1 year release good enough.
I was wondering about the 2 year release cycle of Debian and it's
adaptability on the Desktops.
You have to admit that Debian is not used used much on the Desktops --
it appears to be more popular for servers; and the 2 year release cycle
is good for servers; increasing the release cycles to a higher amount is
also not bad when it comes to servers. Cause servers don't have to care
much about hardware compatibility and changes in protocols/formats
following the limited amount of task they do, or they don't require
periodic updates to installed software.
On the desktops however, in the above context, things differ completely.
There's new hardware available always; within a period of 2 years, the
generation of hardware changes requiring new drivers. Backports are
available, but usually after a timeframe of 1 year, it's unlikely that
the backports can be made available for 1.2 year old packages (they
require newer build time dependencies). Using apt-pinning, you can
upgrade the libraries but these can break stable applications, and often
you have to upgrade practically the whole system cause of some
dependency (like glibc) being unsatisfied.
An upgrade of X drivers is yet more complicated, not to mention
backporting ATI and Nvidia drivers become yet more complicated and often
impossible in a system more than 1 year old.
Apart from hardware compatibility, newer standards (like HTML 5, h265,
document formats etc...) are a necessity for a the Desktops but
backporing the corresponding program may not be possible because of very
Further, Desktop systems dont require that much of stability and
reliability and even security many times.
As a consequence, I suggest a sub-stable branch who's release cycle will
be 1 year. As compared to the stable branch, this branch should be more
flexible to upgrades and even downgrades -- our objective should be to
include the software version in the sub-stable branch which apparently
have the least bugs and other critical issues -- for e.g. KDE 4.7 has a
lot of new small bugs as compared to 4.6 -- I've to say KDE 4.6 was
better in terms of number of bugs, thus the sub-stable branch should
continue to include the 4.6 release of KDE. If a major upstream bugs or
issue is found in a package, it'll be upgraded.
After one year, this sub-stable branch will be declared stable -- thus
the stable branch will have even more stability and reliability, it
being tested and correspondingly upgrade rigorously while it was in
Since there's a new branch, there'll be additional loads on the
developers (backports and all that), I suggest the unstable branch be
demolished (I'm not clear about it's role though) and increase the
migration time from experimental to testing.