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Re: Debian decides to adopt time-based release freezes


Marc Haber wrote:
Our 18-to-24-month release cycle was a nice vehicle to stay
asynchronous with Ubuntu, which _I_ consider a desireable feature to
prevent Debian from perishing.

It's easy to say stuff like this, but really, the Debian project at large has done *no* introspection of what went well and not so well during the lenny cycle. The installer team had IRC meetings to draw conclusions for the future, the release team did and the keynote seemed to reflect their thoughts that (mind you, during the talk, Luk introduced the subject with "The release team thinks about going to a time-based freeze", it seems unfortunate that it was declared a done deal during on the way, but the start is harmless enough), maybe some others did, but I have missed an review of the lenny release process on the project level (well, beyond people saying any and every problem would have been solved by more release updates, 'cause how should any one know that there are RC bugs to fix if it isn't announced).

After the talk Bdale commented about the length of the freeze and the made observation (actually had a "complaint") that the length of the freeze is something were not the release team, but the project at large should ask itself what to do better. That has not happened. And that why you have so many RC bugs, including so many trivially fixable ones.

If something poses the risk of Debian perishing it is *not* the questions of if Debian releases a month before or after Ubuntu, but what it releases. And not whether the Nautilus minor version higher or lower, but of what quality the releases are.

Debian's main advantage over Ubuntu is that the (allegedly) higher quality, not that it releases on a different date. But that comes from people actually working on producing quality releases. In order to keep people working on quality releases and keep the freeze short, the day-to-day quality of Debian-packages has to be improved. Yet, of the many people crying wolf over too many RC bugs being currently open, how many actually work on fixing some?

The problem of lenny's long freeze was in part that there was so few people working on the release and on fixing RC bugs. And that deficit also shows in the quality of lenny. If people feel that flamewars are needed to keep Debian relevant, how about flaming the people sitting on their unfixed RC bugs instead of always focusing on the release team?

What is wrong with everybody who is not outraged by having five hundred RC bugs not seeing maintainer attention for more than a month?

You know what another great way is to make Debian irrelevant? Make sure that releases are impossible because nobody wants to be the release manager.



P.S.: Mind you, my impression about the "momentum" that the release team
      wants to not loose was that they wanted to make a freeze and
      release while everybody still remembers the pain of lenny and has
      the impetus to do things better this time. Obviously if you never
      had that impetus, that is quite difficult to achieve.
Thomas Viehmann, http://thomas.viehmann.net/

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