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Re: On cadence and collaboration

Having read all thread, and letting some time to calm down the subject,
I would like to suggest a few points, presuming that synchronizing could
be done in a way in benefit of both projects. (please, forgive my poor
english skill, if you have doubts, please ask for detailment).

- Given that Debian Project has around 2000 commited devs and
contributors, and Ubuntu around 156 (please, correct and update all
numbers), and that Canonical has resources to commit deadlines for some
tasks, Canonical needs Debian for its business model and Debian wants
skilled commited devs and contributors and useful larger user base bug
reports (and patches) for same versions.
- Given that Debian has more than 25000 packages and Ubuntu LTS server
around 800 and desktop around 2000 (please, correct and update numbers),
a "basic" synchronization could be tried.
- Maybe, as already suggested, the first try could has a 3 month delay
to be feasible.
- Maybe, the first try could be version sync for a small (or even *very
small*) group of high profile "user visible" packages that also cause
large number of bug reports and or (binary?) package compatibility
problems (Ex.: kernel, gcc, postgresql, mysql, apache, php, gnome and or
kde, etc).
- For such an agreed small group of packages, Debian Project could list
teams needing help to accomplish deadlines and Canonical could commit
*enough  resources* to help these teams meet freeze deadlines.
- The work would be performed at Debian infrastructure (the "upstream")
not Launchpad, and compliant with Debian quality procedures and
- The commitment and quality of Canonical efforts and resources
contributions could be evaluated for future steps to a broad
- All efforts should be directed to diverge the respective distro
patches for the agreed set of packages to an actual minimum, ideally,
zero code difference. Kernel could be a special case, but having the
*same upstream version as base* will be a good thing.
- After the version freeze period, the release date would be each
project decision. But versions would be definitive (at least until some
tragic RC bug is found) for the package subset agreed.
- The respective release dates will be different, given the different
requirements and pre-conditions (more platforms, # of acceptable RC
bugs, different number of packages released, etc ).

- Canonical *WILL* release Ubuntu LTS server and LTS desktop with such
agreed group of package *versions*. Period.

- After the freeze and continuing after release, Canonical will commit
the resources for help cleaning the bugs, and keeping security, that get
into BTS and forward relevant Launchpad reports - and patches- to BTS as
soon as possible.
- Again, the commitment and quality of Canonical efforts and resources
contributions at this phase could be evaluated for future steps to a
broad collaboration.

After this first round trip, the whole process would be evaluated and
adjusted. Maybe cancelled or broadned. But without trying with a small
group of highly user visible packages, we will not know.

Mr. Shuttleworth is a business man and will likely perceive the value
proposition and benefits for Canonical business model in the long run,
despite requiring some more commitment of resources ahead and after
release, but limited to a small group of key packages that causes lots
of bug reports and or binary incompatibilities during release life
cycle. Not having to deal alone with these versions' bugs will reduce
Canonical costs. And neither Debian alone. [0] 

At Debian Project side, there could be benefits of more skilled
contributions and BTS reports and patches, with consolidated
collaboration even synergetic in future, and predictable work oportunity
windows for Teams. Plans could be articulated with more teams.

Starting with a small group of key packages has chance to succeed and
will not have too much risk for both projects.
Both projects will have to concede "some" next release goals to reduce
scope and needed work. Maybe some Debian release goal could be
accomplished in a longer time frime but involved packages will NOT be
part of the small group of agreed packages for FREEZE date.
Thus, Debian will release with such planned goal, but the involved
packages will not be the same of Ubuntu LTS, not being part of the
agreed group, but without much fuss because respective Teams were not
commited to release without such goal.

Improvements and corrections for these suggestions are welcome.
Andre Felipe Machado

[0] ([Off Topic and not deserving answer as it is an unqualified
suggestion]: Maybe, Canonical could be improve margins if Ubuntu
becomes, ACTUALLY, a debian pure blend, differentiating itself with
package preconfigurations (preseed) and package sets, and even release
dates because pure-blends could release "cuts" of sid or testing,
afaik). Maintaining a distro alone is a costly proposition. But it may
not be feasible anymore. Maybe, with improving working collaboration,
Ubuntu could come back to be _fully_ Debian source code progressively.)

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