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Re: On cadence and collaboration

On Wed, 5 Aug 2009 10:26:07 -0300, Marga wrote:
> This has been one of the main concerns of the December freeze, apart
> from the fact that we wouldn't meet our release goals, that you are
> suggesting how to solve.  Ubuntu has shown in the past a tendency to
> ship with the latest versions of software. In the case of GNOME, the
> freeze in Ubuntu usually happens before GNOME is even released, and
> yet the latest GNOME goes into the release.
> It is my opinion that freezing after GNOME releases (and gets into
> testing) would be better for Debian.  This means either April or
> October, depending on which GNOME release we want to ship.

I think that this point truly deserves to be discussed for a number of reasons.

Personally, I think that releasing a new distribution right after
GNOME or KDE has produced a new major version is an extremely bad
idea, because the X.XX.0 release of anything tends to have too many
rough edges (feature regressions, out of sync translations, etc.) that
usually need further polishing via X.XX.1 and X.XX.2 releases before a
new major desktop release becomes truly usable by non-technical people
i.e. not requiring any workaround for some stupid regression that gets
fixed later in point releases, much after the initial distribution
release has started shipping with X.XX.0.

As such, I'd prefer if whatever common freeze for core packages that
is agreed between Debian and its derivatives (Ubuntu and others) only
happened after the next X.XX.2 versions of GNOME and KDE have been
released. This will of course require GNOME and KDE to sync their
clocks as well and my understanding is that recent Guadecs and
aKademies have seen the two communities visiting each other and
working towards this goal, which is very good news indeed. Some people
might also find ensuring that XFCE and LXDE are also kept in the loop
is desirable too and, if that's the case, it would be desirable to
help them achieve this goal as well.

I think that the fact we're having this discussion and are taking
concrete actions towards achieving cadence is a step in the right
direction. I'd however humbly hope that distributions would be as
willing to accommodate upstream cycles as they hope to see upstream
accommodate distribution cycles. Both sides will have to give some
slack and agree to shift their release cycles by a couple of months
and meet half-way, for this cadencing idea to work. One simply cannot
expect upstream to magically jump just because one or two major
distributions reached a consensus. The same way that Mark suggested
Ubuntu lending resources to help Debian reach the target freeze on
time, resources will need to be lent to upstream to reach the same
target date on time.

Best Regards,

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