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Monday, 23 November 2009 05:34

Debian looking at development freeze by March

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The Debian GNU/Linux project is looking at a development freeze in March next year for its next release, Squeeze, the project leader Steve McIntyre says.


A freeze means that no new features are incorporated and only bug fixes are done. The release does not take place until all RC (release critical) bugs are squashed.

McIntyre was hopeful that this would translate into a release sometime by the middle of the Northern summer.

"It would be nice to have things done before we head off to New York for DebConf in July, so that we're free of the release work while we discuss future plans," he told iTWire, in response to a query.

Debian's last release, Lenny, hit the download servers on February 14 this year.

Earlier this year, the owner of Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth, had proposed that Debian sync releases with Ubuntu so that the work could be spread. Ubuntu releases every six months as it is tied to the GNOME release schedule.

Said McIntyre: "In terms of the discussions with Mark and the Ubuntu team, those are still happening here and there. As the major components of both our releases are shared, we're hoping to be able to sync up on the same or similar upstream versions and spread some of the work.

"Exactly if and how that will happen depends on the teams involved, but we should be able to help each other. Maybe in future we'll be able to sync more tightly, but that's going to take time."

He said things were fairly quiet in the project right now. "That's what typically happens in the middle of a release cycle. We've got some Bug Squashing Parties coming up in the next few weeks to help us kill off some of the release critical bugs in Squeeze, and I'll be hosting one of those at my place in Cambridge next weekend."

McIntyre said the process of organising the next Debian conference had begun. "We're now looking for sponsors to aid us in paying for the conference. It will be quite exciting to hold DebConf in the US for the first time - we're expecting a much bigger audience from our US-based developers and users than normal, and I can't wait to meet more of them."

McIntyre is in his second term as leader and said he would not be running for election again. "After two years of being nominally 'in charge' I'll be happy to pass the reins over to somebody else.

"There are plenty of other qualified folks around who could do the job, and in my increasingly-tight spare time it would would be nice to do more technical stuff again," he said.

Debian, which was set up in 1993, provides ports for more architectures than any other GNU/Linux distribution. The distribution is highly regarded, especially for its software management capabilities.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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