Debian and Ubuntu syncing

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Re: Debian and Ubuntu syncing

Postby DtW » 2010-01-10 08:20

There is definitely too much hysteria and misinformation about this. There have been plans and discussions for setting fixed freeze date (or maybe not exact date but a freeze month) for Debian. Freeze date is not release date. Freeze means that serious preparation for release begins and usually only bug fixes are allowed. Debian’s last releases have happened something like 20–24 months after the previous release so such fixed two-year freeze cycle wouldn’t change Debian. Nobody has talked about changing Debian’s release policy. It would still be the same: fix release-critical bugs first and release when everything is ready.

That fixed freeze cycle would be in sync with Ubuntu’s LTS releases. The idea behind freeze synchronization is that Debian and Ubuntu developers would be concentrating on very much the same upstream versions and could collaborate more. Mark Shuttleworth also thinks that such synchronization may encourage some upstreams to prepare their releases before Debian’s and Ubuntu LTS’s freeze. I haven’t seen any other people speaking for this, though.

These are the things that have been publicly discussed. I haven’t seen Mark Shuttleworth saying it but I think that the motivation also comes from the fact that many Ubuntu releases have suffered from quality issues. That is, Ubuntu is too buggy and they want to make it better. One way to make Ubuntu LTS releases better is to have more stable ground to base their release on. A frozen Debian would be good ground to build their LTS release from.

Obviously there have been different opinions among Debian developers. I’ll list some of the aspects here. For example, it has been stated that

  • two-year freeze cycle won’t change the Debian’s current practice of 20–24 months between releases. Instead it would establish the practice more clearly and encourage individual developers to get their work ready before the well-known freeze date.
  • fixed freeze cycle is not suitable for a volunteer organization like Debian. People can’t be made to work for a fixed date. Instead the freezing should be planned pretty much like it has been previously: evaluating the state of the repository and discussing about plans with the maintainers of most important packages.
  • collaborating more and better with Ubuntu is good and freeze synchronization makes it easier.
  • Ubuntu has so limited man power that there wouldn’t be that much actual collaboration in practice. Ubuntu has a team which takes care of the packages so from Debian developers’ point of view it might be difficult to find one Ubuntu person who to work with and who is concentrating on exactly the same issue.
  • synchronizing freezes with Ubuntu helps Ubuntu but not Debian. It could make some Debian developers feel that they are working for Ubuntu and this is discouraging.
  • synchronizing with another stable and high-quality distro like Red Hat would be a better idea.
  • being not synchronized with Ubuntu is good because it makes the two distributions more distinct.
Those are some of the aspects that have come in the discussions. They don’t represent “sides” in the discussion nor any official view of Debian developers or community.

It remains to be seen what will actually happen. A person in the Debian release team first suggested that they would freeze the testing repository in January 2010 but pretty much nobody seemed to be ready for that. After discussing with major packaging teams the current release team’s publicly announced plan is to freeze in March 2010:

http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.linux.debian.devel.announce/1406
Last edited by DtW on 2010-01-10 17:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Debian and Ubuntu syncing

Postby refracta » 2010-01-10 12:37

thank deity for that explanation....us big dummies couldn't figure any of that out.....nice to know that everything is just fine...lets get to sync'n.....

let the tail wag the dog just a little to get used to the feeling and how it works....

I am sure the tail will not wag the dog a little more and more as time goes along....
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Re: Debian and Ubuntu syncing

Postby Polaris96 » 2010-01-10 16:30

Thank you, DtW, for the clarifications. You definitely have a greater awareness of this issue than I. I just don't like the indicators I see based on experienec in other fields.

I've just seen the tail start wagging the dog way too much. Anybody remember the giant economic crash a few years ago? In the USA, one of the primary catalysts was a bill promulgated by the government saying, "every citizen should have the right to own a home, so banks SHALL offer loans below the prime interest rate to facilitate this process."

Tail wagging dog. (lest anybody think I love the capitalists, let me add that every greedy hedgefund *&*^head immediately spun this into speculation heaven with Other Peoples' Money)

Point is: tail wags dog .... BOOM! ... Oh, Crap!! How did this happen? Quick! Let's form a committee to assign blame.

I fully agree with refracta's insinuation that opening the door just a crack is sufficient to start the snowball rolling.

As you have mentioned, sir, syncing benefits ubuntu not debian. Debian's benefitting ubuntu enough just by existing. Let's work at OUR pace, not theirs.
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Re: Debian and Ubuntu syncing

Postby Bro.Tiag » 2010-01-10 16:45

DtW wrote:That fixed freeze cycle would be in sync with Ubuntu’s LTS releases.
There lies the problem.
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Re: Debian and Ubuntu syncing

Postby DtW » 2010-01-10 17:50

I have pretty much the same concerns as many other people. Moving control away from a volunteer organization can be dangerous. Debian as a developer community can work well when the developers feel proud of what they are doing and feel that they are in control of their own work. On the other hand, if a volunteer developer feels that she is working for someone else and the decision-making is escaping her, it’s likely that her motivation will decrease. Not a healthy thing for the community.

But I’m not sure what will happen. I wish Debian developers were given a lot more credit of their good work and not comments like “Ubuntu is Debian-done-right” (of which I disagree strongly).
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Re: Debian and Ubuntu syncing

Postby Polaris96 » 2010-01-10 21:07

Well said.

This is the problem: Ubuntu takes a very cavalier attitude toward that KIND of thing. They have no problems whatsoever enforcing a saccharine "kind and gentle" atmosphere in UF. However, when comments like that get dropped, the response is, "well, you can't expect us to police ALL our members..." <wink wink>

try posting this on UF:
Code: Select all
$sudo passwd root


And see how easy it is for Brown to police ALL of their members...

Debian is free for all, including ubuntu, to use. The idea of creating any "special relationship" with ANY other sitro is anathema to this project, which, as has been mentioned, is fueled by openness, freedom, voluntary cooperation, and hoppy ethanol.
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Re: Debian and Ubuntu syncing

Postby BioTube » 2010-01-11 23:53

Polaris96 wrote:I've just seen the tail start wagging the dog way too much. Anybody remember the giant economic crash a few years ago? In the USA, one of the primary catalysts was a bill promulgated by the government saying, "every citizen should have the right to own a home, so banks SHALL offer loans below the prime interest rate to facilitate this process."
This is offtopic, but the fact of the matter is the trouble started back in the recession of 2001(what you mentioned didn't help, but it didn't cause it).
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Re: Debian and Ubuntu syncing

Postby Polaris96 » 2010-01-13 21:52

Ok, poor choice words on my part to imply any single event started the headaches. I was looking for a recent parallel and those events seemed to fit well.

I doubt any 5 people will ever attain complete agreement on "the real cause". I do acknowledge your point and I think it's well made.
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Re: Debian and Ubuntu syncing

Postby AdrianTM » 2010-01-13 22:08

Polaris96 wrote:I've just seen the tail start wagging the dog way too much. Anybody remember the giant economic crash a few years ago? In the USA, one of the primary catalysts was a bill promulgated by the government saying, "every citizen should have the right to own a home, so banks SHALL offer loans below the prime interest rate to facilitate this process."

I don't buy it. First of all the government can't tell private banks how to give their money (I'm pretty much sure is unconstitutional), second, banks were running after customers to give them money without the impulse from the government, they were afraid they would lose their market share, third (as mentioned by the other poster) this was only a part of the problem.

As for people leaving Debian because of Debian devs collaboration with Ubuntu, I have only one thing to say: don't let the virtual door slap your ass on the way out.
Ubuntu hate is a mental derangement.
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Re: Debian and Ubuntu syncing

Postby Polaris96 » 2010-01-13 23:36

Check on a financial webring. Unfortunately, we seem to be mixing history with politics, at this point.

I Have equal disdain for both the common man and the greedy venture capitalist. Capitalists definetly throw better parties, though.

'nuff from me on any sociopolitical issues (forgot that many people are incapable of seeing a basic greed/stupidity issue in non-partisan terms.)

I admit now and forever that it was all [$GROUP_OF_YOUR_CHOICE]'s fault.


Who said anything about leaving debian, adrian? I'm far more inclined to believe that there WON'T be freezing, syncing, or any other unnecessary pandering to irrelevant child OS's.
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Re: Debian and Ubuntu syncing

Postby AdrianTM » 2010-01-14 04:49

Who said anything about leaving debian, adrian?

Don't know people started to talk about BSD in this thread...
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Re: Debian and Ubuntu syncing

Postby nitehawk » 2010-01-15 22:54

AdrianTM wrote:
Who said anything about leaving debian, adrian?

Don't know people started to talk about BSD in this thread...

...that was only in reference to the idea (of the scant and remote possibility) that there might be deeper shades or streaks of brown showing up in Debian,....which hopefully will NOT be the case.
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Re: Debian and Ubuntu syncing

Postby refracta » 2010-01-16 01:03

I usually change if I see brown streaks....just sayin...
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Re: Debian and Ubuntu syncing

Postby DtW » 2010-02-09 16:00

DtW wrote:It remains to be seen what will actually happen. A person in the Debian release team first suggested that they would freeze the testing repository in January 2010 but pretty much nobody seemed to be ready for that. After discussing with major packaging teams the current release team’s publicly announced plan is to freeze in March 2010:

Yes, the plan was to freeze in March but now the release team considers it “highly unlikely” because there are so many release critical bugs. I’m glad to hear that it’s still the quality that comes first, not date.

http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/02/msg00002.html

I'm a happy user of Debian Lenny who wishes to see Squeeze just as solid system. Now, everybody, let’s fix a couple of bugs or otherwise help those great people developing Debian. :)
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Re: Debian and Ubuntu syncing

Postby Parsifal » 2010-05-09 08:43

I think that viewing the issue as Debian vs. Ubuntu is the wrong way to look at it. Each distributions has its own user base (with some overlap; I dual boot Debian and Ubuntu myself), and each distribution's primary focus should be catering to its user base as best it possibly can.

Now, since the two distributions are so closely related, but with different release policies, I don't think it's right to view the issue as "Debian users vs. Ubuntu users". Ubuntu users can be thought of as Debian users by proxy who prefer the Ubuntu release cycle, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that; the reason there are so many different GNU+Linux distributions in the first place is that people have different wants and needs in their operating system.

My suggestion is that Debian and Ubuntu should be considering not only their own user base, but how best to serve their combined user base, as well as GNU+Linux users in general. If Debian is capable of helping Ubuntu make a better release without compromising its own release quality, therefore, it should do so for the same reason that a mother cooks for her entire family and not just herself.

As a side issue, it will also help to convert more Windows users if they observe the GNU+Linux community to be a friendly one in which various distros help each other to succeed, rather than competing for resources as in the proprietary software model. As the cliché goes, "united we stand, divided we fall".
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