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Freezing times: [Re: Bits from the release team and request for discussion]

Luk Claes wrote:

time-based freezes

For the squeeze release (and future releases), we are considering a
time-based freeze, meaning that the freeze will happen at a predictable
and predetermined time with the release happening at a later time once
the release requirements are met.  We think that having a time-based
freeze would enhance the responsibility among developers to plan ahead
and make sure that the version they want to get in the next release is
one that is stable and can be well supported. time-based freezes would
make a release schedule more predictable as long as we make sure that
what gets into the freeze is sensible. We do think that a time-based
*release* is a no-go for Debian though, as we only want to release when
we are ready in order to not compromise the quality of the release.

About freeze timing we think that DebConf should definitely not fall
into a freeze and that we should leave time after DebConf to integrate
the possibly disruptive changes we introduced by doing cool stuff at
DebConf. We noticed that releases in the first quarter of the year
worked out quite well in the past like both Etch and Lenny. Taking these
into consideration we think it would be best to freeze in December. As
freezing in December would mean that a release cycle always takes about
the same amount of years, let's consider the various options. Having a
release cycle of 1 year would be very short and would cause some issues
with security support and upgrades. Having a release cycle of 3 years
would be quite long and would mean a very long security support. So it
looks like a release cycle of about 2 years seems the best way to go

To have the better synergies with Ubuntu and upstreams, I think we
should freeze at the same times as Ubuntu, so in March or/and September:

- upstreams will deliver the high quality software at these times
  December is to early.

- common BSPs could increment size of fixer, so on long term
  also the number of developers in Debian and in Ubuntu.

- we could really profit from ubuntu: more testing
  Ubuntu has more users, but Debian has more bug solvers, so IMHO
  we need to wait for Ubuntu freeze, to have more tester (thus
  more solved bugs) . I find not to good to solve
  bugs on an already obsolete release (KDE or gnome), so that
  nearly only our user will profit about this.

I think in this manner, on long term we really help Ubuntu, but
also for sure Debian and the Debian quality.


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