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Re: Bits from the Release Team - Kicking off Wheezy

On Sun, May 01, 2011 at 08:02:51PM +0200, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> On 01/05/11 at 18:38 +0200, Pierre Habouzit wrote:
> > You're saying:
> > 
> >   Problem:
> >     I acknowledge that people are not interested in stable releases
> >     enough and that the RT has to compensate all the time.
> Those two statements are true:
> - A subset of DDs care about doing stable releases. The rest of DDs
>   don't care.
> - A subset of DDs care about doing 'rolling'. The rest of DDs don't
>   care.
> The release team obviously cares about stable releases, and I mostly
> read the individual positions of RT members in this thread as "if we do
> 'rolling', it will be harder to do stable releases." Their position is
> completely understandable. It's likely that doing 'rolling' will impact
> stable releases in some ways. Some of the impact might be negative, some
> might be positive.
> But what we (the project) need to decide on is where we want to go.
> After all, we could decide not to do stable releases, or to do them
> every six months instead of every two years. The current choice of
> doing stable releases every two years is there only because a large
> subset of DDs care about doing that.

The thing is, I think that rolling and testing are not compatible. So
it seems unlikely to me that we can support both in Debian, especially
not in the same namespace "testing" or "rolling".

I don't want to lose stable releases, it's a disservice to our users.
And if you try something like your plan B, you'll have two issues:

(1) you'll split the userbase, some of the users will use rolling
    instead of testing, and during the freeze we're very interested
    about our users to test testing. It's actually the period where it
    matters the most.

    In the end you get less testing coverage, hence mathematically
    lessen the quality.

(2) developers who already care little about stable releases will even
    care less because they will be able to do the work that they like
    (brining their software up to date, not really caring about stable),
    IOW it'll divert attention of the maintainers even more.

Both will lead to a poorer quality of the stable release, and probably
even longer freezes. Both are a disservice to the stable release, and to
our users. And in the end both will put more pressure on the shoulders
of the RT members that already don't scale.

Of course rolling has some appeal, but it's just hype, and well,
sometimes our users want silly things and we should know better than to
indulge them.

I agree that a 6 months freeze sucks because we miss a release for many
upstreams (gnome, KDE, …), which makes packaging harder. But maybe we
should focus on how to reduce the freeze period (which would in turn
mean that we should have some study about why it's 6-months long instead
of 3 like I'm sure it could be).

I strongly believe that lessening the quality of the Debian stable
release is harming Debian as a whole.

And I know I'm rehashing things, but this will inevitably lead to more
work for maintainers: supporting stable + testing means more work there
is no way it will reduce the work. It's our scarce resource
(developpers), so why don't we *first* focus on making packaging easier,
leaner, simpler, and *then* see what we can do with all that new free
time we just bought?
·O·  Pierre Habouzit
··O                                                madcoder@debian.org
OOO                                                http://www.madism.org

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