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Thinking about Debian Release Process


Please, I don't intend to hurt anyone. I'll try to be as polite as
possible. And if you think this subject may make you angry, please take
a cup of camomila tea before reading this email.

Thinking about Debian Release Process

I would like to make some points about the release process, I hope this
discussion can make some difference in the release for etch.

1) Debian releases when it's ready

This is a well-known Debian behaviour. And for several reasons it is
considered a good idea (at least this is the current practice). And I
don't want to change that. What I do think we can think about is the
meaning of "it" in the phrase above, i mean, what exactly are we waiting
to be ready?

Maybe this is already known by some people, and I even understand how it
happens. Let me make an example:

Let's say that after sarge releases the init maintainers decide that the
locale environment variables will be set at boot. This will cause a lot
of trouble and we will have to wait the entire distribution to be fixed
before the next release.

What I am suggesting is to predict this structural changes and say:
"Hey, we are going to do A, B and C for the next release, and D, E and F
will be made only in the release after that" and then "Debian will
release when it's ready". The only difference is that more people will
know what the "it" means.

2) When the release starts, or, for how long testing will be accepting

This is something even more obscure, I think it's caused by the 1st
point I made.

For most of the people this sounds like that someone at some point
simply says "Hey, it's a good time to start a release, huh?" and then
someone replies "Yeah, sure... let's do it... how many RC bugs do we


I hope this discussion helps in making our release process less


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