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

On Sat, Apr 14, 2007 at 08:40:37PM +0200, Christoph Haas wrote:
> Or take Ubuntu. They are delivering what is mainly testing/unstable with

good point.

> (2) Why is "testing" the preparation for the next stable release?
> I know the deal... "testing" is frozen and becomes the new stable
> release. During the pre-release period package maintainers are asked not
> to upload new versions or use "experimental" for it. A few weeks ago my
> system consisted of so many packages from "experimental" that I couldn't
> even count them. 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. Can't the release
> managers just copy the whole "testing" distribution into a new "etch"
> branch and work on "etch" without further touching "testing"? If they

that's a very good idea.

so most of the time we'd have stable, testing, and unstable.

in the lead-up to a relase, we'd also have 'frozen' or 'pre-release'.

under that scheme, 'lenny' should have been created when testing was
frozen. the freeze and release-testing process would have happened
to 'etch' (aka 'frozen') and 'lenny' (aka 'testing') would have been
trickle-fed from 'unstable' as normal.

it would be really easy to implement, too.

i guess one reason not to do that is because people want the new release
well tested....but a) we'll get volunteers to do that anyway, the
same people who jump onto testing now when it's frozen, and b) it's a
dis-service to those who are using 'testing' as a less risky 'unstable'.

> (3) The names of the distributions are misleading
> "stable" is stable. Perfect.
> "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"?
> It's meant for package maintainers mainly IMHO.


after all, ubuntu gets away with calling what is essentially debian
testing plus a few fixes their stable release...and their users seem
mostly happy with that.

OTOH, it's good to give users some warning that 'testing' and especially
'unstable' aren't anywhere near as well tested as a 'stable' release.

btw, there's a history behind the name 'unstable'. the name was chosen
because a major CD distributor of the time jumped the gun in '95 or '96
and released debian 'hamm' (or was it 'bo'? i can't remember) before
we did. the name 'unstable' was chosen partly to avoid that happening


craig sanders <cas@taz.net.au>

I never did give anybody hell.  I just told the truth and they thought
it was hell.
		-- Harry S. Truman

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