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Debian Maintainer Hints At September Release for Lenny 117

Posted by timothy
from the mr-kravitz-unjustly-accused dept.
nerdyH writes "The Debian project's maintainer, Luke Claes, announced in an email Saturday that he will freeze the 'testing' or 'Lenny' tree, in preparation for a new stable release of Debian Linux in ... September! The freeze means that open source software developers have only a couple more days to package any applications that they want to be included in the next release of Debian — and by extension, in the inner sanctum source lists of distributions such as Ubuntu that are based on it. After the freeze starts next week, Debian maintainers will turn their attention to 364 release-critical bugs, and half-a-dozen high-priority goals. Given the work to be done, is September really feasible? Lenny always was a little slow getting back to his right place ..."
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Debian Maintainer Hints At September Release for Lenny

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  • Packaging... meh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AllIGotWasThisNick (1309495) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @10:15PM (#24329303)

    only a couple more days to package any applications that they want to be included in the next release of Debian

    If you've left packaging until the freeze announcement, you don't deserve to be included.

  • by neapolitan (1100101) * on Thursday July 24, 2008 @10:16PM (#24329309)

    I run Debian in several capacities -- stable on my work server, and unstable on my personal machine.

    A lot of people are going to (quite accurately, I guess) point out that for anybody running unstable/experimental there is not much to this. I mean, release numbers are soooo 1990's, as a simple apt-get update; apt-get upgrade brings you up to the latest packages. Even experimental seems to lag waaaay behind other bleeding edge distros though (gentoo).

    Of course, the release is more important for new installs or people running stable. I have been very impressed with Debian stable, the SSH bug nonwithstanding.

    As software packages and Linux get more mature, I see the definition of a "release" issue becoming even less important for the non-server / non-corporate user. Continuous upgrades are the way of the future. Even on the M$ side this seems to be true, with their MS office 200x and "automatic upgrades."

    Thoughts?

    • by jchawk (127686) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @10:24PM (#24329381) Homepage Journal

      It matters in the sense that it's a way for Debian to release a new installer or move to a new standard for device management, but as a whole it doesn't *really* matter. If you are using "stable" in your sources.list verses the actually release name you'll in all likelihood just upgrade right along to the new release, and probably without much fuss.

      I'm excited either way because I 3 Debian!

    • by AmonEzhno (1276076) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @10:32PM (#24329441)
      I agree that the release idea is a little outdated (especially being a freebsd user myself), however it is nice especially with desktop distributions to get new releases. I gather from your post that you seem to have a pretty good grasp of linux so it is not as much an issue for you or me, but more for the common(?) user. For example in ubuntu most releases indicate a significant change in feature set or update in packages. Most home users are not running unstable, so in all likelihood most users are not going to see the latest and greatest in features (unless they have some distinct need and compile from source); the point being that it is a cause for excitement and something to look forward to, at least in my experience.

      On a side note: congrats to you for using Debian unstable, I have had poor luck in the past :P
      • by Nimey (114278) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @10:43PM (#24329523) Homepage Journal

        I used to use Unstable years back, but thought better of it when a nasty lilo bug rendered my hard drive non-bootable. This would have been in the period between 2.2 and 3.0.

        After that I switched to Testing.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by wellingj (1030460)
          Agreed. If you need Unstable you are either a Debian developer, should think about becoming a Debian developer, or better off using Gentoo.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Jurily (900488)

            or better off using Gentoo.

            I would, but I don't have a quad-core box yet.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by LostInTaiwan (837924)
            You should give Sid another try. I've been running it on my laptop since Woody release and and I'm no where near the level of a developer. I run stable on all my servers but Sid is the only way to go for laptops. Etch is a lot better than Woody, but for personal machines, Sid is even better.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            What the hell are you talking about? Using Sid is fine whether you're a Debian developer or not. I've used it for years on various machines and it's never bitten me. I do development in various languages and platforms, as well as need to compile C, C++ applications.

            Your comment is typically elitest, and damnright wrong.
            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by potHead42 (188922)

              Your comment is typically elitest, and damnright wrong.

              eh? he's just speaking the truth, Sid certainly has some serious bugs now and then. I also got bitten by a GRUB bug which made my system unbootable, and with bigger transitions there's always some dependency breakage. but you just have to get accustomed to this things, and be careful when doing big upgrades. I still run Sid on my home machine and my personal server, but I would only recommend it if you already have experience with Debian.

            • The fact that most Debian users recommend running something other than stable is exactly why Debian is becoming more and more irrelevant as a distro (as opposed to a repository for other distros). If you can't have a stable release which is frequent enough to actually be USEFUL to people, you've failed.

              And moreover, to your point about how the grandparent's comment is "elitist, and damnright wrong": the problem with Debian unstable and testing isn't the stability of the individual apps (which is generally e

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Debian 'unstable' is still more stable than Windows. Don't mod this funny, I'm entirely serious.

            PS. You wimps who don't like living on the edge can always use 'testing'.

          • Agreed. If you need Unstable you are either a Debian developer, should think about becoming a Debian developer, or better off using Gentoo.

            Regarding Gentoo, it's the other way around - if you use Gentoo, you're probably better off using Debian unstable. You get all the bleeding edge releases, and none of the mess with compiling. Plus, there are much fewer broken packages in Debian unstable repositories than there are in Gentoo ~* trees, and at least Debian can figure out when the dependency graph is broken

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by yomegaman (516565)

          The problem with 'testing' is that it doesn't get security updates in a timely way. You have to do some gyrations to get the package out of unstable just that one time or else wait two weeks. That's how it was a few months ago anyway.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by zsau (266209)

          As for me, of the machines I manage (my own and others in my family), the machines that cause the least troubles and have the happiest users are the ones running Debian Stable. I typically put Debian/testing (by codename) onto new computes as I acquire them, and once testing's become stable, I change them to stable. When I get a new computer, the old one goes to whoever wants it most.

          The changes that happen to testing often bring nice new features with awful icky bugs that I don't really want to deal with,

        • by bsims (895751)

          I used to use Unstable years back, but thought better of it when a nasty lilo bug rendered my hard drive non-bootable. This would have been in the period between 2.2 and 3.0. After that I switched to Testing.

          If you are going to run Unstable, apt-listbugs is a darn good idea. It might have spared you some grief.

          • by Nimey (114278)

            I rather doubt apt-listbugs existed in 2001. I'd certainly never heard of it back then.

            • by bsims (895751)

              You are right it entered the repository in November of 2002
              according to the changelog.

    • by Cyberax (705495)

      No. I've tried several distributions with "rolling updates" but very often upgrades broke something on my machine. That is not a problem for me, but it WILL be a problem for Joe User.

      Time-based releases two times a year are fine for most users.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Bob54321 (911744)
        I have to say the man has a point here. Rolling releases can be quite stable but every so often something will break and require you have a bit of knowledge about your system to fix it. Personally, I use Arch Linux and really enjoy using it, but I recommend other "stable" distros to people who want their computer to just work.
        • I agree, but rolling releases are bloody fantastic for power users who can fix the little odd breakage.

      • by HJED (1304957)

        Time-based releases two times a year are fine for most users.

        but wheres the fun in that? the best part about linux is constanly fixing it

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Linux is illegal! You are breaking the law, and hurting yourself and your family with your ILLEGAL SOFTWARE. Your ip has been noted and is being forwarded to the SPA with a reccomendation that they investigate your CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. Please destroy all your unpatriotic linux software before the government finally cracks down on you people and you all end up as lampshades or soap.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by millosh (890186)
      I am using testing at my servers and unstable/experimental on my desktops and laptops. Actually, in some cases, like TV servers are, I am using there unstable/experimental, too.

      At my old laptop, I installed unstable in late 2004 and ran that until February this year without any significant problem except that for some time I ran Firefox 3beta until it didn't become stable enough to go into Debian unstable (and became Iceweasel) :)

      A week or two ago, after one of apt-get update--apt-get upgrade iterations I'v
    • If you've got only a few machines, it's easy for you to say that upgrading is not a big deal.

      However, if you have to administer a hundred machines in a company or university, it's not that easy. There's always something that goes wrong or requires extra configuration, and you have to test the new release with all sorts of hardware before you can consider pushing it to the users' desktops.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Law and Order fans want to know.

  • It's about time we had some Law and Order in that rogue Debian distro!
  • Oh wait...Wrong Lenny.

    I use Slackware, the one, true Unix like operating system... Punk!

  • So next stable Debian version will not have KDE 4.1?
    • by jd (1658) <.imipak. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Thursday July 24, 2008 @11:50PM (#24330017) Homepage Journal

      Just looked through the Debian package list. Looks like there's a lot I'd have expected that isn't there (ATLAS seems to be missing, as are the MUMPS and Fortran 95 programming languages - gfortran's f90 support is considered an old dialect, buggy and inadequate by a number of Fortran sites, and I didn't see Erlang on the list either). There are also a lot of ancient versions. For example, HDF5 1.6.6 has not been supported for some time. HDF 1.6.7 is the supported current version in the 1.6.x branch and has been since February, but the website makes it clear that the 1.8.x branch is intended as the official current release.

      This is something that isn't Debian't fault -- there are way too many packages with way too many updates and far too few people helping -- and is something that all distributins suffer from. The specialist distros may help, but I don't like the concept. Beter to have a single core distro with extensions for specialist needs, as then you can combine extensions according to problem-space rather than dealing with the version hell that always happens when you mix distros.

      • by xenocide2 (231786)

        You have confused me:

        http://packages.debian.org/search?keywords=erlang [debian.org]

        http://packages.debian.org/lenny/gfortran [debian.org]

        http://packages.debian.org/lenny/atlas3-base [debian.org]

        http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/pkgreport.cgi?ordering=normal;archive=0;dist=unstable;repeatmerged=1;src=hdf5 [debian.org] reports no bugs of any kind reported -- You should send bugmail requesting the new release of HDF5 if it really is stable.

        (Mumps is missing, but I really wouldn't say I was missing it.)

        Debian is renowned for its breadth of packaging; just how did y

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jd (1658)
          Being confused is healthy. G95 (g95.sourceforge.net) is NOT gfortran, which is a Fortran 90 implementation, not a Fortran 95 implementation. gfortran is also listed by organizations such as NASA as not to be used due to severe bugs, with instructions to use g95 instead. Hey, I can only go by what they say. I can't access the other pages you linked to - I suspect they're now slashdotted. However, HDF5 1.8.1 is extremely stable and is the version people are supposed to be using. No idea what version of ATLAS
          • by gnalle (125916)
            I am getting curious here. Do you have a link to a webpage where NASA instructs people to use g95 instead of gfortran? I would like to read that. BTW: I also had problems with early versions of gfortran, but I believe that the compiler has improved.
            • by jd (1658)
              Ok, I'm going to have to make one of those rare corrections. (ha!) It was on the fun3d.larc.nasa.gov website and on some of their other CFD pages, but is no longer present. If you go to g95's website and look under status (or just go to http://www.g95.org/g95_status.html [g95.org]), and look for fun3d, you will see an excerpt from the authors to the same effect.
              • by xenocide2 (231786)

                Well conferring with an Ubuntu developer I know, he suggested you should look at Debian Science and Debian SciComp, if you think there's too many packages and too few people for specialists. They seem to be quite healthy. You might ask them why the Debian gfortran package is described as a f95 compiler if you believe that it's not. And take a look around while you're there -- you might discover Debian is more substantial than you thought.

        • by jd (1658)

          Ok, I finally got a response back from the atlas3 link you gave, but you might not like it. I'm thinking it's a false message, though, and more of a timeout issue:

          Error

          Package not available in this suite.

    • by Rolgar (556636)

      This does seem like a bad time to freeze, but the package I was thinking of is OpenOffice.org 3.0, which is scheduled for September, especially when the wait for the next Debian release (based on history) won't be until 2010. That, along with Firefox 3 would really make a great base system. I use testing, and will get OO.o 3 within a week of it being available, and I guess you've got to freeze sometime, but I think you should really look at at major packages like that when you set a date for a distro rele

      • by gmuslera (3436)
        September is more than a month away. KDE 4.1 is supposed to come out in 4 (?) days.
  • What? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    A new release already? That doesn't sound right.
    This isn't the Debian I grew up with.
    Something's fishy.

  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @10:58PM (#24329631)
    I've noticed that Debian, Mozilla, and Gentoo all have a nasty habit of saying, "that's not a bug!", and then when finally convinced:

    "Well. We can't look at it for THIS release." And then your perfectly valid bug is shuffled off into a nice category where it won't upset their bug count for the release effort.

    Note that the total number of bugs in Lenny is actually around 1800- only by a pretty fine comb have they been able to claim "only" 360 bugs.

    • by setagllib (753300) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @11:05PM (#24329683)

      There's a big difference between a release-critical bug (one that would basically ruin a whole release for everyone) and an annoyance (such as spewing diagnostic messages under certain circumstances on certain hardware).

      Ubuntu has stuck to its schedules by releasing with plenty of release-critical bugs still in the air, and fixing most of them in post-release updates. That's cool for getting a release out there, but it basically makes every official release feel like an RC1.

      • by SuperBanana (662181) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @11:15PM (#24329751)

        an annoyance (such as spewing diagnostic messages under certain circumstances on certain hardware).

        A system which spews diagnostic messages will fill up /var, and is far more than an "annoyance". If Debian Stable had such a bug, it would be inexcusable. People rely on it to run critical production systems.

        How often do we complain about vendors shipping buggy software? And look at the graph for bugs for stable- in the last few months, it's skyrocketed!

        Ubuntu has stuck to its schedules by releasing with plenty of release-critical bugs still in the air, and fixing most of them in post-release updates.

        Yeah, I still shudder from the utter mess of Gutsy upgrades from Feisty. Not a single Ubuntu user in the office had a clean upgrade...

        • by setagllib (753300)

          You're right, my example about diagnostic messages was a bad one. Nevertheless I've had dodgy hardware that produced regular messages on Linux and even BSDs, and while I didn't file a bug for it, I can see how somebody else would. Diagnostic messages are there for a reason, and it's usually your hardware's fault if they're flowing too thick.

        • by xenocide2 (231786)

          The problem with local investigation of upgrade quality is that dumb ideas spread locally ;)

          I.e. one guy tells a friend about a package, and its upgrade is broken. Perhaps it was a third party package containing the old artwork and themes without setting up dpkg-diverts correctly. Or maybe one guy sets up everyone's computer in the office, and uses Automatix every time. It's hard for me to say who's fault it is or debug the past.

        • "A system which spews diagnostic messages will fill up /var, and is far more than an "annoyance"."

          Yeah, so instead of the 8 years that it would normally take to completely fill up /var, it'll now take 7 years and 11 months. Boo hoo.

          Different bugs have different severity. Get used to it.

        • "A system which spews diagnostic messages will fill up /var, and is far more than an "annoyance". If Debian Stable had such a bug, it would be inexcusable. People rely on it to run critical production systems."

          Such a problem may be by itself a "critical" bug, but then, making the offending package dependant on logrotate (if not already) and configuring it to rotate logs at a sane rate would avoid /var being filled by default, thus lowering the buglevel from "critical" to "normal". Maybe such a solution is

  • Is either icedtea6 or openjdk going to make it for lenny?
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Check out here:

      http://packages.qa.debian.org/o/openjdk-6.html
      http://release.debian.org/migration/testing.pl?package=openjdk-6

      Looks like it is blocked by a new FTBFS on sparc.

  • Trump Ubuntu in their weird names, call it Lemmy instead.

    You might at least get a good look at Debian from people other than us just on the name alone.

  • Is there (or will there be) a Squiggy?
  • I can't believe how bad the sentences are for killing a rabbit.
  • "and by extension, in the inner sanctum source lists of distributions such as Ubuntu that are based on it"

    Ubuntu is built off a snapshot of Unstable, so I don't see how Debian's freeze will affect it.

    • by Fri13 (963421)

      Because Ubuntu is snapshot of unstable, isn't a LTS version somekind "snapshot" from the "Stable"?
      Like now Canonical can maintain LTS version again longer when Debian's unstable where current LTS is, change to Stable?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by ichthyoboy (1167379)

        Because Ubuntu is snapshot of unstable, isn't a LTS version somekind "snapshot" from the "Stable"?

        Nope...it just means that they will support it longer (security updates for 3 years for desktop, 5 years for server) than the regular releases (18 months for server and desktop). Hence the Long Term Support moniker.

      • by Rolgar (556636)

        Well, the early releases of Ubuntu were based on stable, but I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that they aren't anymore. Ubuntu has made enough changes to their system that haven't been passed into Debian that I don't think they use testing as a base system any more. The best way to prove that though would be to find if there were packages from stable or unstable Debian in the Ubuntu release.

        The LTS is a Canonical business distinction that specifies that this version has longer patch and fix support. Regu

    • by petermgreen (876956) <plugwashNO@SPAMp10link.net> on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:17AM (#24333349) Homepage

      Ubuntu is built off a snapshot of Unstable,
      Not exactly, changes are auto-imported from debian unstable only for packages that don't have any ubuntu specific changes.

      so I don't see how Debian's freeze will affect it.
      Debian tries to keep testing and unstable pretty close to each other. Changes in unstable that are not wanted in testing can be a major PITA when bugs need to be fixed (there is another way into testing but they prefer not to use it because the packages get far less testing when they are introduced by that route).

      So while unstable is not technically frozen developers are strongly discouraged from uploading stuff to unstable that are not intended to become part of lenny

  • Just to mention, this is oddly enough that Mandriva get's called as GNU/Linux and Debian gets called as Linux.... :-)

    Because no one anymore cares what does something mean and why it

  • I'm pretty excited about this. I run Etch on a handful of servers and i've never seen a Linux distrib have such a wonderful combination of absolute stability, ease of use, and community support. This is, of course just my opinion ;) Can't wait for Lenny!
  • September? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Cro Magnon (467622) on Friday July 25, 2008 @09:43AM (#24333849) Homepage Journal

    Great! Did they say what year?

  • Corrections... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Maulkin (605067)
    1) It's Luk, not Luke
    2) He's a Release Manager, not the Debian project's maintainer. Whatever that is.

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