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Re: Debian decides to adopt time-based release freezes


On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 01:07:39PM +0000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> I'm not aware of any apples-to-apples comparisons of Debian's and Ubuntu's
> "quality"; but personally I haven't seen much evidence that Debian's
> is significantly superior (NB: I haven't used Ubuntu LTS personally,
> though). The tradeoffs to me seem to be:
>   Debian stable             Ubuntu LTS
>   2 year rel cycle          2 year rel cycle
>   3 years security          3 years desktop security, 5 years server
>   guaranteed freeze date    guaranteed release date
>   support for all pkgs      support for main, best-effort for universe
>   stabilise from testing    upgrade support from previous Ubuntu 6mo release
>   upgrade from oldstable    upgrade support from previous Ubuntu LTS (?)
>   support for 6-12 archs    support for 2-3 architectures
>                             availability of pre-installed systems
>                             full-time security support staff
>                             commercial quality support
>                             larger userbase
>                             some additional packages

What do you intend to visualize with this comparison? After all
its not really fair, to list a clear pro on the one side
as a pro on the other side. To make distinction clear, you need
a list which compares pros on the one side to cons on the other side.
Your comparison fails this at least in architectures (2-3 is worse than

> For otherwise unsupported packages in Ubuntu universe, any security
> problem that Debian notices can be copied straight into Ubuntu due to
> synced package versions, making "best-effort" mean "at least as good as
> Debian", so there's no drawback to using packages in universe.

Its not "at least as good as Debian" as appearently merges does not
happen automatically. I track my packages in Ubuntu and noticed that
security bugs (which I happened to have reported in Launchpad myself)
where fixed by a maintainer-upload almost half a year, before Ubuntu
*started* to fix it on their site. And then they decided to not fix
some suites, because of EOL.
> > There seems to be an assumption here that Ubuntu would benefit from bugfixes
> > from Debian developers, but that the reverse would not be true.  Is this
> > what you believe?  Does that mean you don't think Ubuntu developers
> > contribute fixes back to Debian today?
> Ubuntu has a well-defined and efficient process for accepting changes
> from Debian (pull from unstable regularly), Debian doesn't have a
> similarly efficient process for getting contributions from Ubuntu
> (Ubuntu folks file a bug, maintainer eventually incorporates it), and
> that'll presumably be made worse if there's a Debian freeze for most of
> the LTS development cycle. So yeah, I think it's reasonable to expect
> Debian won't get that many benefits from work on Ubuntu LTS into the
> corresponding stable release.

Which is a fault on our side, obviously.

Best Regards,

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