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Debian Software Linux

Debian Decides To Adopt Time-Based Release Freezes 79

Posted by Soulskill
from the regular-intervals dept.
frenchbedroom writes "The ongoing Debconf 9 meeting in Cáceres, Spain has brought a significant change to Debian's project management. The Debian project will now freeze development in December of every odd year, which means we can expect a new Debian release in the spring of every even year, starting with 'Squeeze' in 2010. Until now, development freezing was decided by the Debian release team. From the announcement: 'The project chose December as a suitable freeze date since spring releases proved successful for the releases of Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 (codenamed "Etch") and Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 ("Lenny"). Time-based freezes will allow the Debian Project to blend the predictability of time based releases with its well established policy of feature based releases. The new freeze policy will provide better predictability of releases for users of the Debian distribution, and also allow Debian developers to do better long-term planning. A two-year release cycle will give more time for disruptive changes, reducing inconveniences caused for users. Having predictable freezes should also reduce overall freeze time.' We previously discussed talks between Canonical and the Debian release team about fixed freeze dates."
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Debian Decides To Adopt Time-Based Release Freezes

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  • Linux: Debian (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @11:33AM (#28867143)

    Two things to note.

    First, the small font used for the non-mainpage stories makes me read the story title as "Lesbian decides to adopt time-based release freezes".

    Second, limiting an OSS project to a time-based release cycle puts an artificial constraint on the development process. While it might be useful to encourage faster development in some cases, it is just as likely to force a new feature to be dropped at the last minute if it can't make it through the door in time.

    I'd rather they stick with feature-based releases which focus on the quality of features rather than trying to force feature development into a specific duration.

  • Re:Linux: Debian (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @11:45AM (#28867347)

    You can always tar/configure/make in Debian just like you can in Slackware.

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

    by TREE (9562) * on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @11:48AM (#28867427)

    No schedule, feature based or time based, will have all upstream developers in sync. Someone will always be developing new stuff and want to squeeze it in.

    At least this way, there's a known target that developers can be (made) aware of.

  • Re:Linux: Debian (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lenzm (1238440) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @11:49AM (#28867463) Homepage
    All releases are artificial constraints. There's always new features that could be included.
  • I run Debian stable on my laptop, and I don't see why I would run Ubuntu instead of Debian. Debian has a larger range of packages and is much more flexible and forgiving if you don't want to run one of the preconfigured subdistros (i.e. Ubuntu/Gnome, Kubuntu, Xubuntu etc.). Plus, having run distributions like Debian/sid or Gentoo, which have continuous updates, I find the reliability you get from a computer which never randomly changes packages is a plus. The six-monthly timetable of Ubuntu is much too short for that; I would've got the bugs ironed out just in time for a new release. There is, as you indicate, the LTS releases: but they're just one of the regular releases and this means you get people pulling in opposite directions (latest and greatest vs good for the whole three/five years). Also, is there some guarantee that you can always upgrade from one LTS release to the next LTS release?

    In short, with Debian stable, I know what I'm getting. With Ubuntu, in my mind there's too much uncertainty that I'll have a reliable computer for its lifespan. Even if there isn't any uncertainty, there's no reason to convert. No matter how good Ubuntu is, I can't imagine it being better enough than Debian (on my desktop for my purposes) to warrant converting.

    (That said, I would like answers to my questions. Googling "Ubuntu LTS" gives you almost nothing about LTS in general. The one page that's not information about a specific release has almost no content: a paragraph about Ubuntu's normal release schedule, a paragraph about the LTS release schedule, and a paragraph taking you to a list of pages about the beta releases (!) of distributions released a year (!!) or three (!!!) ago. This absence of information, and absence of relevant information, fills me with an absence of confidence, and it's one reason I'm not going to switch my laptop from Debian stable.)

  • Re:Linux: Debian (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @01:54PM (#28870021)

    Have you seen the spiders in Australia? I think you guys need the extra 6 months...

  • by Sophacles (24240) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @02:41PM (#28870861)

    The debian page itself lists releases by number and code name. So does Mac OS X, of course they are all referred to by code name too, leopard, tiger, etc. The Windows world has it easy, Windows 7 comes after windows 95, as per standard numbering schemes. Don't forget that in number based versioning schemes 2.1 is different than 2.10, and that 2.1 is before 2.9, which in turn is before 2.10. In debian of course you could just replace codenames with stable, testing and unstable and be done with it.

  • Re:Linux: Debian (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AlXtreme (223728) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @03:51PM (#28872081) Homepage Journal

    I like Debian's commitment to free software, but if you don't deliver a product people will look elsewhere.

    They did and do deliver a product: a rock-solid stable Linux distribution.

    Some people care more about a stable environment (for servers or workstations) than the latest bells and whistles. That, together with the necessary security fixes, makes Debian the best distribution for me hands-down. And if you run Ubuntu or any derivative, you're still running Debian under the hood. Even if you don't need a rock-solid distribution, they allow other groups to give you those bells and whistles you want.

    Rather than whine about those 3 years (hell, if you really needed an upgrade you could have tried out testing), be grateful that there are so many people out there that put this distribution together in their spare time and by doing so make your distribution possible.

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

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