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qa - issue: lifecycle management / debian stable & security updates

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

quality assurance does not only consist of the technical part. 
It also contains things like lifecycle management.

Having read the resignement-mail of Martin Schulze, i think that this is one 
of THE critical alarm signs that the quality of debian is at risk. 

Meaning: the 'stable' release is what people out there are supposed to run, 
and for which they can expect timely updates. 

Reading something like '... It make me ill, angry and utterly frustrated. ...'  
connected with maintaining the 'bread&butter' release makes me wonder wether 
the Debian Project really cares about the customer who just wants to run a 
secure, up-to-date system. 

Ok, maintenance isn`t sexy - but a well maintained distribution builds up a 
lot of confidence in the end users (especially the business type ones), but 
i`m sure i don`t have to tell you that. 

And regarding lifecycle management - if I can`t be sure to get timely security 
updates for a freshly installed systems for the next two years (or whatever 
the expected product-lifetime is), well - neither i will use it nor can I 
encurage my customers to do so.

I simply can`t, because in my expirience  if the maintanance for any currently 
software supposed to be stable is in jeopardy, these are signs for REAL qa 
It cannot be, that wether an update is on the server or not dependes on the 
willingness of some people. 

If there is a streamlined qa, there would be a simple process with just/at 
least two people signing the updates (4 eyes principle) after the evalution 
phase and a third person automatically putting them on the server as soon the 
update is properly signed by both aforementioned people...  
A process like this could be carved in stone - and there would simply be no 
need of frustration. 

Reading something like 'maintainer stable is denied ftpmaster access' without 
a proposal of another way to ensure proper distribution of updates gives me 
the creeps.  

All in all: good luck and continue the (overall) good work :))

best regards,
(Quality Manager/Corporate IT)

Dirk Westfal / Frankfurter Verein / Edv Abteilung
Fon: +49  69 79405 447 Fax: +49 69 79405 311

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