Stable tag will be slipped Sunday and release engineering will begin Monday

Rahul Siddharthan rsidd at
Mon Apr 4 11:58:05 PDT 2005

Bill Hacker wrote:
>Chris Pressey wrote:
>> On 04 Apr 2005 07:11:25 GMT
>> Rahul Siddharthan <rsidd at xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>Similarly, if one doesn't upgrade the system for 10 months, "apt-get
>>>upgrade" or "apt-get dist-upgrade" just *works*, you rapidly have an
>>>uptodate system.
>> One thing I'd like to find out is whether this is due to technological
>> or QA factors.  I suspect it's mostly the latter, although there are
>> probably some technical aspects that foster it, too.
>> -Chris
>It is largely QA and a firm hand *about* QA in Debian's case.

It's both QA and the technology.

>The downside is that their 'STABLE', which is indeed very 'Stable'
>can suffer from *seriously* outdated modules because they MAY
>(or even 'are known to') break other things if independently updated.

I was using Debian unstable till recently and switched to Ubuntu,
which is like an up-to-date Debian.  I *never* had a breakage with
Debian unstable.  And I had about 10 different repositories in my
sources.list.  Only one time, when I had an unofficial KDE installed, 
upgrading to the official one created issues; but manually removing
the offending KDE packages fixed things immediately.

And as I said, the upgrade from Debian to Ubuntu went without a hitch.
It's as if a parallel project created their own FreeBSD-compatible
ports tree, and you could just upgrade your machine, and all packages
on it, to that tree with a single command.  And on linux that means
the entire base system, libc and all.  I left only the kernel
untouched.   I have to admire a packaging system that can do that.

If you have problems with Debian's slowness in releasing, try Ubuntu.
Or Xandros or Lindows or the other systems that use Debian packaging.
Don't confuse the packaging system with Debian's official releases.
In fact, don't even confuse apt with dpkg.  Apt has been ported to RPM
too (though I haven't used it).

>The traditional *BSD methods, be they port, package, or direct build,
>are far more forgiving and resilient - and generally easier to
>troubleshoot, fix, or work around to keep current.

Bill, I don't think you've actually used Debian.  Try it and see.
As for me, "resilient" is not the word I would think of when
considering the FreeBSD ports tree.  I remember at least 2 serious
snafus (involving libpng and gettext), and have forgotten dozens of
minor hiccups, in my 4-5 years of using FreeBSD.  Usually nowadays,
when such a major disruptive upgrade happens, detailed portupgrade
instructions are posted on the lists, and things still seem to go
wrong for users.


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