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Re: Debian rolling: tentative summary

On Monday, May 02, 2011 07:31:31 AM Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> How we deal with freezes is the hard point in this discussion. I'm
> personnally in favor of the "freeze rolling for 3 months, then fork
> frozen and unfreeze rolling" plan, though it has some problems too
> (it is not clear whether the required manpower really decreases at
> the end of freezes).

There is a ton of complexity hidden under these simple words.  There is also 
(that I can immediately think of):

 - How do we provide a reliable path for fixes to Testing once Unstable/Rolling 
have moved on?

 - How do we stitch Testing/Rolling back together after a release into the new 

 - How do we allow for more parallel transitions so that rolling can actually 

The first two points have gotten a lot of discussion.  The third one, not so 

The Debian archive has gotten large enough with enough non-trivial 
intersections between groups of packages that transitions of almost any size 
need coordination and analysis to find an appropriate time to land in order to 
minimize deadlocks in Unstable -> Testing (or whatever you call it) 

If you view this exercise as primarily a PR move to make Testing seem more 
attractive to users that want a rolling distribution, then I suggest we 
arrange things so it can actually roll.  

As an example, my desktop environment of choice (KDE) is still a year (and two 
major releases) out of date in Debian Unstable/Testing.  Current packages 
exist in Experimental, but can't get to Unstable let alone some theoretical 
Rolling because there's no transition window.  

I don't think that someone who is attracted to the idea of a Rolling release 
to get the latest and greatest would find this met their expectations.

Without solving the problem of the need to serialize transitions, I doubt 
Rolling will match the expectations such a change would engender and while 
there would no doubt be publicity, I'm skeptical it would be the good kind.

Scott K

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