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Re: Debian decides to adopt time-based release freezes


On ketvirtadienis 30 Liepa 2009 11:37:46 Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> I don't mind who changes the date for the other but I really don't agree
> that doing it is only for Ubuntu's advantage. Nobody in Debian would have
> taken such a decision, we are Debian developers and have no interest in
> helping only Ubuntu.
> What we're speaking of is synergy between both distributions. You know the
> it's the principle behind “the combination of both is worth more that the
> sum of individual parts”.

Debian might not bleed too much in terms of existing users, but it might not 
attract more new ones. You fail to sees that Ubuntu has a huge marketing 
machine behind it which will overshadow Debian. And why wouldn't they? They 
make (most?) money from LTS which is in fact aimed at corporate workstations 
and servers - the majority user base of Debian stable users. Since Ubuntu will 
do their best on this front so it might make sense to avoid this disadvantage 
(since we objectively can't do better in marketing).

What is more, we are indeed forgetting that Ubuntu releases each 6 months. 
Whenever Debian freezes, it already benefits some Ubuntu release(s) (and vice 
versa). So this is just a proof that this freeze date is aimed specially at 
Ubuntu LTS. Actually, I don't see much wrong with that (despite concerns I 
expressed above) and this could very well be a future goal (for Dec 2011). But 
no, Debian has (for some unknown reason) to do this now (Dec 2009) and in my 
humble opinion mess up developers' plans (which might result in demotivating 
them), end up in long freeze due to huge number of RC bugs, planned but not 
done/rushed transitions (demotivated people, less work done) and finally 
release in the end of 2010 with old software. In addition, now Debian puts 
more burden on security team and everyone requiring to support both lenny and 
squeeze of their packages which would have been plain unnecessary if the next 
release date would not be rushed and so badly communicated (which for some 
reason is not admitted either).

So let's just freeze late in the early/middle spring of 2010 this time and aim 
for Dec 2011 freeze next time. If you disagree with that, please enlighten me 
why Debian needs to rush _this time_. If synchronization is so badly wanted 
for the next Debian release, why not to synchronize with Ubuntu 10.10 (as an 

By the way, why isn't it obvious that Debian developers _want_ to be informed 
about important decisions in advance, not from the press *after* the fact or 
any other source outside the project?

> > We are not only major supplier to Ubuntu, we have our end customers
> > ourselves. I'd prefer that it stayed that way.
> The synchronization with Ubuntu is not going to remove our identity.
> We'll keep our user base and the possible improvements in both
> distributions will help us do better in the competition with other
> operating systems (proprietary or not).

Synchronization will not remove Debian identity. However, what's badly needed 
here is *official* position about Debian vs. Ubuntu relationship. Currently, 
there is absolutely no clarity about that (some hints are coming only from 
Ubuntu side which is frustrating). It is obvious to anybody that Dec 2009 was 
chosen to accommodate Ubuntu LTS release cycle, yet any official announcement 
failed to mention that (is Debian afraid of it?). On the other hand, Mark 
Shuttleworth said this openly (which means, he thinks it is good for Ubuntu). 
Let's just make this relationship clear one day. Everybody would benefit from 
that even if they do not like it.

Modestas Vainius <modestas@vainius.eu>

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