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Debian

Debian Aims For September Release Date 282

Posted by michael
from the slow-and-steady-wins-the-race dept.
An anonymous submitter writes "Debian Planet has a good discussion of the most recent release update from the new Debian release managers. The most interesting point is the current hard freeze of base+standard and an optimistic but doable release date in September."
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Debian Aims For September Release Date

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  • Debian... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dhakbar (783117) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @12:52PM (#9870078)
    As always, those of you who whine about Debian being out of date have probably never looked at the packages available in unstable and testing. Debian is a very fine distro for even desktop use.
  • by Pecisk (688001) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @01:07PM (#9870232)
    With all that flame war nonsense about communication (which sucks unfortunately in Debian) and AMD64 inclusion in Sarge, it's great that someone has cleared mind and moved forward. No offence to Debian AMD64 guys, thought. But they should at least understand that Sarge release already TOO late.
  • by eddy (18759) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @01:08PM (#9870245) Homepage Journal

    I've never understod this obsession with debian release dates. Since you can apt-get dist-upgrade every day to keep up to date, "release date" is simply the assigning of a particular date to a set of file versions.

    Utterly unimportant in the grand scheme of things, if you ask me.

  • eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theantix (466036) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @01:08PM (#9870246) Journal
    I think Debian is a fine project, but to be fair you have to admit that the unstable and testing distributions break far too often to use on a production machine. Of course, I've heard that Lindows^H^H^H^Hare and Xandros do a fine job of producing a quality stable release from those packages, but that's not really the same as pure Debian. Using pure Debian is great if you like to tinker and don't mind when things stop working all of a sudden. But for a primary desktop machine it is too unstable and just doesn't cut it for me anymore since I fully ditched mswindows and rely on my linux installation for everyday work.

    This isn't to say that Debian sucks -- it really doesn't suck at all and I love using stable for servers. It's just not a "fine desktop" for people who just want to get work or play done without applications suddenly failing on them.
  • Re:Debian... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mst76 (629405) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @01:16PM (#9870324)
    As always, those who defend Debian point to the availability of Unstable and Testing. Please get a clue, there is a reason that they are called Unstable and Testing and not Debian-New and Debian-Newer. They are not slightly-less stable versions of Stable. They do not always get security updates on time. They may leave major packages like KDE broken for weeks. When you install Unstable, it depends on your luck at the time what works and what doesn't. Near release time Unstable is often pretty OK, mid-release cycles major things may break. And you know why? Because Unstable and Testing are meant for DEVELOPERS, not end-users.

    I have great admiration of the Debian project and philosophy, but frankly I think it's a little too ambitious. They basically want to get a huge number of packages all stable across a huge number of platforms for release. The fact that so many users recommend Unstable or even Testing to end-users points out flaws in the development model IMO.
  • by MBAFK (769131) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @01:21PM (#9870371)
    We use Debian on our production kit. I would not like to 'chase' versions with apt daily, weekly or monthly. To us having a stable set of boxes is extremely important, an official release is a big deal to us and the long term plans for our servers are based on these releases.

    I used to do apt-get dist-upgrade all the time on my workstation but it is not acceptable for some computers.

  • Re:Debian... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Erwos (553607) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @01:21PM (#9870373)
    "As always, those of you who whine about Debian being out of date have probably never looked at the packages available in unstable and testing."

    And for those of us who've used Debian before, we can tell you that, every so often, unstable just breaks. It's not like it's planned, but the fact is, with so many package maintainers, something's bound to go wrong - and it usually does every few months. At that point, you've got to go and uninstall and reinstall packages to make dpkg not complain about weird circular dependency problems - an irony for a distribution that so many claim is the answer to "dependency hell".

    You can't test to see how reliable Debian Unstable is, either. I mean, "Debian unstable works great for me" is kind of confusing as a statement. Did it work right a month ago? How about 36 days ago? 67 days ago? That is to say, it's impossible to actually be sure that it's working right any particular day because Debian unstable is constantly changing. Debian stable, SuSE, and RedHat simply don't have this problem, and it's why many people are not enamored of running Debian off the unstable packages repository.

    Thus, Debian unstable is simply _not_ what you want for reliable updating and pain-free maintenance. Debian is many great things, but realize that it has big faults once you move out of stable. It pisses me off to no end when people proclaim Debian to be the most stable (in reference to the stable branch) and most up-to-date (in reference to unstable). It's the most stable OR the most up-to-date, not both.

    Just thought I'd get that off my chest. I'm a big Debian proponent, but I'm not going to lie about what's going on with it.

    -Erwos
  • by eddy (18759) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @01:38PM (#9870526) Homepage Journal

    You apt-get upgrade the debian/stable boxes regularly to get the latest fixes, right?

    I don't see how the set of versions of a debian/stable upgraded continuously up till date X would differ from one installed with a release dated X. So the goal is the same.

    Now, since it's the stable branch, updates are safe -- at least compared to not upgrading and being stuck with security issues. So the path is safe.

    If you believe otherwise, if being "stable" is so important that you can't rely on [blindly] upgrading at any point between releases, then I don't see how you can [blindly] upgrade at release, in which case again, the actual date doesn't matter since if you're going to "vet" the release anyhow... well, you could do that to any point between releases.

    That's how I see it.

  • by Progman3K (515744) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:10PM (#9870816)
    I don't use Debian, I run Gentoo, but I respect the Debian team because they produce an exceptionally fine version of Linux.

    The aim of open source is freedom, and I think it's great that the Debian team, the Fedora team, and the Gentoo team each try to further the cause in their own way, each with their own focus, giving everyone so much choice.

    Look how at-home Linux is on EVERY computing platform; THAT is beauty. THAT is truth, THAT is freedom!

    I know I'll come off like a Microsoft (or ANY OTHER monopoly) - basher, but the days of closed-source-we-decide-what-is-best-for-you are OVER!

    Thank you very much, development teams, engineers, beta-testers and users!

    Ever onward! Excelsior!
  • Re:Debian... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by steveha (103154) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:17PM (#9870855) Homepage
    there is a reason that they are called Unstable and Testing

    Yet "Unstable" continues to work well for me. Sometimes I get bitten, but I love getting new software when it is really new.

    When you install Unstable, it depends on your luck at the time what works and what doesn't.

    I've had few problems. The essential core stuff has never broken on me. One thing you can do to minimize the danger: have multiple computers, and run your update on a spare computer. If it's happy, you can roll that update out to your other computers.

    Unstable does sometimes live up to its name, but I'm willing to deal with it. There is no perfect solution; you can have more stability than Unstable if you accept less-frequent updates, and since I have the skills to sort out problems, and I enjoy frequent updates, Unstable is right for me.

    If you want to set up a very stable computer, either as a server or as a desktop for someone who can't cope well with problems, Debian Stable is great. And there are backports of the most important new packages (e.g. Firefox) so you can run them on a Stable system.

    I have great admiration of the Debian project and philosophy, but frankly I think it's a little too ambitious.

    Frankly I think you are on drugs. The Debian project is one of the oldest distros; what they are doing has been working for years and years. Not everybody wants to run Debian, but not everybody wants to run any other distro either.

    The fact that so many users recommend Unstable or even Testing to end-users points out flaws in the development model IMO.

    IMHO, this just points up the fact that there is a tradeoff between wanting the newest packages and wanting a more stable system. If you want a really stable system, and don't care about new packages: Debian Stable. If you want a really stable system, with some packages newer, Debian Stable plus some backport packages. If you are able to fix problems and want the newest packages, Debian Unstable. And if you want semi-new packages, pretty stable, and you don't care about the whole "community" aspect of Debian, then go with some other distro (such as Fedora).

    I say there is no perfect solution, so it is pointless to accuse Debian of not being perfect.

    steveha
  • Re:eh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cafard (666342) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:49PM (#9871168) Journal
    I prefer the Fedora Core model of having a new stable platform every six months and doing a major upgrade at that time, so I can schedule and dedicate time to work out upgrading errors Eh... Why don't you 'apt-get update; apt-get upgrade' every six months then, for example ? :)
  • by hummassa (157160) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @02:56PM (#9871269) Homepage Journal
    1. don't try to track sid every single day.
    1(a). this means: apt-get upgrade if and only if there is a serious vulnerability; optionally, once a week, preferably once a month.
    2. USE apt-listbugs.
    2(a). this means: READ the fscking bugs. take a special look in those marked by apt-listbugs with , but DO read all of them. in any apt-get dist-upgrade, I get at most 30 bugs.
    3. USE apt-listchanges.
    3(a). yes, you know the drill. READ the changes. SEARCH for changed functionality, especially in packages you tinkered with the config.

    1+2+3 == NEVER breaking the machine.
  • Wrong (Score:3, Insightful)

    by trashme (670522) <tribble@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @06:49PM (#9873764)
    Too much patent issues, too much packages not available because not all platforms support them, too much old packages, even in unstable.
    I have no idea where you get this idea of too many unavailable packages. One of Debian's strength's is the sheer number of available packages. A quick check on my system shows well over 10K available packages.
    They are still debating if XFree 4.2 should be default.
    As someone else mentioned, unstable is using XFree 4.3
    Even if you are using unstable, packages keep changing way too much
    Then don't update all the time. There is no reason you have to update every day. If your system is running fine, leave it as is.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @06:50PM (#9873780)
    Well, many people use woody on servers just because its not a fast moving target like other distributions. And if you wish, you may use testing or unstable and have always the newest software (yes, newer then other distributions).

    Remember, the 'stable' means 'not moving'. The 'unstable' means 'moving target', not 'showing blue screens'. Not at all.

    (Yes, I know, -1 Redundant, but... those people don't even try Debian, they just 'know' it has old packages because 'everybody knows'. Well, then 'everybody' is wrong.)
  • Re:Debian... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrroach (164090) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @09:49PM (#9875135)
    every so often, unstable just breaks. It's not like it's planned, but the fact is, with so many package maintainers,
    something's bound to go wrong - and it usually does every few months. At that point, you've got to go and uninstall and reinstall packages to make dpkg not complain about weird circular dependency problems - an irony for a distribution that so many claim is the answer to "dependency hell".


    The "unstable" [debian.org] moniker refers to the state of the interdependencies between packages. There is no irony whatsoever in the version explicitly labelled "unstable" having unstable dependencies. IMO the fact that the problems happen so rarely, and that the reasons for them are generally well known (gcc 3, gnutls, libpng problems were all known about well in advance) is a testament to the quality of the work the debian developers do.

    To a certain extent, you can test the waters before installing by using apt-listbugs and knowing how to roll back versions of packages.

    That said, debian is not for everybody. I like it because it Works For Me, it has just about every package that I am interested in and is constantly being updated. It works for my wife because I admin her system for her (and I always apt-get upgrade my own system before touching hers). For a lot of people, stable plus backports would be a great fit if it were better documented (or blessed) how to do that.

    In the end though, this isn't Highlander, there can be more than one distro. I like a lot of the other distros, I just like debian more, I ain't mad at you if you run fedora or suse (now, lindows... maybe).

    -Mark

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov

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