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Re: On cadence and collaboration

Marc Haber wrote:
On Wed, Aug 05, 2009 at 08:44:29PM +0100, Mark Shuttleworth wrote:
My expectation is that Debian will want to have more flexibility in how
long the release is baked than Ubuntu would normally give itself. My
hope is that we can agree on a GNOME and KDE version, and that Debian
will thus benefit from all the work Ubuntu does on that and then have a
few extra months (as many as deemed necessary) to bake it to Debian's
And you are willing to allow Ubuntu to release with outdated KDE and
outdated GNOME, frozen in Dezember, while both upstreams releasing
again in January? In the past, so I have been told, Ubuntu has let the
current versions slip into the April release
We only do this with upstreams which have earned credibility in their release management. Our general policy is that we only accept things which are already an upstream stable release at our upstream version freeze milestone (about two months into the six month cycle). We make exceptions for those upstreams which have a very good track record of actually delivering on time, every time, and being good about freezing early themselves (with appropriate policies for translation and UI freeze, for example). GNOME set the pace on that, KDE is now also looking good.

The stronger an upstream's reputation, the easier it is to trust them and plan for a release which they haven't yet delivered when we freeze.

I doubt we would lightly trust an upstream that had not already gone through that process once or twice.

, which would not be possible if you were syncing with Debian.
Well, given that Debian will typically take longer to be satisfied with a release (more architectures, more packages considered RC, different approach to QA, volunteer team) it may well be possible to agree to freeze on something which is not yet released in December, but will be released early enough to give both Ubuntu and Debian confidence that it can be a shared component.

Or do you expect that we would let new KDE and new GNOME into a
distribution frozen two months earlier to accomodate Ubuntu?
No, I wouldn't expect that, it wouldn't make sense or be congruent with Debian's values.

If you mean that Debian continues its staged freeze, starting with the
toolchain in December, followed by other stages and the last stage
including the desktop environments in february, do you seriously
expect us to release before October? That would be overly optimistic,
we're not that fast.
Well, I agree that prior staged freezes haven't been ideal, but I think the basic idea has merit, especially in collaboration with other distributions and upstream.

 And, even if we were that fast, Ubuntu LTS would
be on the market half a year earlier, giving Ubuntu a strong advantage
over Debian stable.
We've been in that situation in the past, for example with Ubuntu 6.06 and Debian Etch, and it didn't make much difference.


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