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Re: When Debian 4.1 will arrive... will anyone care?

> > > > Some users, I guess some developpers and contributors, and at
> > > > least myself, find it very demotivating to think that a new
> > > > release means that nothing will happen anymore in Debian
> > > > stable in the next 24 months.

> > On Sat, 14 Apr 2007, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> > > If that is really the case, then you should not use Debian stable.
> > > Debian stable is there to be rock solid; expecting anything else is
> > > having unfounded expectations.

> On Sat, Apr 14, 2007 at 07:08:08PM +0200, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> > What's wrong in wanting something rock solid released more often than
> > every 2 years ?
> > 
> > I know corps want a stable release that last more than one year, but that
> > shouldn't forbid us to support one release for 3 years and have good
> > intermediary releases with less support.

Le Sat, Apr 14, 2007 at 08:40:37PM +0200, Christoph Haas a écrit :
> If I want to have the newest versions with a very low chance of
> ruining my system I'd say that "testing" is even a good choice for
> production systems.

> (1) Packages depend always on the newest other package versions
> Most packages aren't available as backports so the user would
> obviously dist-upgrade to "testing" or "unstable" thus ruining the
> rock-stableness of the system. Some maintainers deliberately maintain
> the dependencies manually so their packages can be used on a stable
> distribution. Can't every maintainer do that? (Serious question. I'm not
> sure if/how that's technically feasible.)

> (2) Why is "testing" the preparation for the next stable release?
> If - as I propose - the mainstream user uses "testing"
> then it should always be fueled with new packages from "unstable" as
> usual - even during the weeks before a release.

> (3) The names of the distributions are misleading
> "testing" isn't what desktop users would want to use - at least not
> by that name. They don't want to test things. They want current packages
> that aren't too broken or have too obvious bugs. Why not call it
> "current"?
> "unstable" isn't unstable at all. The set of packages is in permanent
> flux, yes. But it makes a good desktop system if you know how to scratch
> the itches. Why not call it something like "developer" or "incoming"?


	A reason why I am always reluctant to tell unexperienced
persons to use testing is that I can not know if its state will change
during the lapse of time between when I advice and when the person
actually installs. Even for myself: If I plan to install a Debian on
somebody's PC a few days in advance (typically agreeing during week to
meet on week-end), what happens if in the meantime something gets

	This is why I like the concept of CUT releeases: it gives a
reference point to everybody. I am not comfortable with the idea that
each time I install Debian testing on a machine, it is a combination
of packages which might be unique in the world.

	As you said, "testing" is maybe an unfortunate name. Packages
are also tested in Sid, and this already catches a lot of problems. It
also does not indicate the fact that a package with no problems can be
replaced by a packaged with new bugs. As it is thought that many users
of testing are likely to be desktop users, let us not forget that
there are now programs which harras people at each login to tell them
that new shiny upgrades are awaiting to be downloaded.

	I think that CUT and backports are complementary. The only
reason why I do not backport my packages is that it would double the
sponsoring overhead. But I hope that backports.org can become
backports.debian.org some day. Also, being able to upload a package in
unstable and backports at the same time would be cool as well. In the
case of simple packages, it can easily happen that no changes have to
be made for the backport.

	Another incentive for using stable would be to let the stable
backports of new packages enter in stable through the point stable
releases. Then, if the release cycle is long, stable users can benefit
from new packages without even learning how to use backports.

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Wako, Saitama, Japan

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