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Re: On cadence and collaboration


No, not quoting a bit. And answering to the top of the thread. Over a
week old, also. And even more, not having read a majority of the
replies. Still.

Mark, I think you are personally among the best positioned people to
be heard on this topic - And your goal is quite worthy. However, I
think pushing the distributions to freeze semi-coordinatedly (as much
coordinatedly as possible) is not the best way. As you have witnessed
with Debian, some people will grill you at full flame. RH didn't pay
much attention.

I'd suggest you to try approaching from the other side, although it
will surely prove a very hard path as well: If we say now, «All
distributions should freeze in December», many groups in each will cry
because it breaks their plans. Because their upstreams are working
full-steam (and are either at the most unstable point in their release
cycle or because they are in mid-freeze). 

I have been bitten by this before (i.e. by the not-precisely-2.0
mod_perl that was shipped in Sarge, breaking source compatibility with
any other mod_perl in the face of Earth, which in turn made me
miserable when having a development machine running Sid), and will
quite probably be bitten again (i.e. the Ruby interpreter crew worked
on and announced how their upstream version management scheme will be
handled, and we will probably soon have to rush on a binary package
recreation/renaming frenzy soon). Some things will/would be probably
left out (i.e. the "officially useful" Perl 6.0 release).

Anyway - I think that a key for having distributions agree to a
coordinated freeze is to have upstream development also feel and
adhere to this cadence. If upstreams try to stabilize towards
mid-even-years (i.e. July 2009, July 2011, …), we distributors will
have a much easier time integrating them. And your idea will have a
much better shot at being accepted.

Of course, many upstreams will not accept this, as it breaks their
workflow and might just feel outside influence from people they don't
care too much about (and I'm not meaning the Linux desktops, as they
obviously care about Linux distributions, but mainly OS-agnostic
projects). Still, I think it would be worth a try.


Gunnar Wolf • gwolf@gwolf.org • (+52-55)5623-0154 / 1451-2244

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