Linked by David Adams on Fri 18th Apr 2008 16:17 UTC, submitted by da_Chicken
Debian and its clones iTWire interviews the newly-elected Debian Project Leader, Steve McIntyre. "A few days back, the project concluded its elections for the year and Steve McIntyre emerged as the victor in a three-cornered contest. McIntyre may well be the most watched elected official of a non-profit group - the direction the project takes is of vital concern to a great many businesses."
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Thanks Debian
by da_Chicken on Fri 18th Apr 2008 21:44 UTC
Member since:

Good interview. I found this McIntyre's comment particularly interesting:

"In my opinion, a key thing that has changed over the last couple of release cycles (Etch and Lenny) is that we have a very strong Release Team who concentrate on release issues for the entire period, trying to ensure that Testing is always in a reasonable and consistent state. We used to let things essentially run wild for long periods and only try and stabilise very late. The very long Woody and Sarge cycles showed that could not work any longer. At the moment, we're aiming for 18-month release cycles. If we can aim for 18 months and deliver within a few months of that each time, we'll be happy."

I started using Debian on my desktop some time around 2002 or 2003 (Red Hat 7.2 and 7.3 tempted me away from MS Windows, then I moved on to Slackware and FreeBSD). My first Debian install was via the Knoppix live-cd but the package updates soon broke my Knoppix installation. Next I installed Debian via the Morphix live-cd and that installation was much easier to maintain because Morphix used the Unstable branch and didn't mix Stable with Unstable, like Knoppix. I think the first beta version of the new debian-installer was published in 2003 and since then I haven't had much use for the distros that are based on Debian.

Debian 3.0 (Woody) was released in 2002 and Debian 3.1 (Sarge) in 2005. Apparently Debian kept on growing and expanding during those years but it also had some scaling problems that slowed down the development and made the Sarge release very difficult. Some notes on Debian's history can be found in the following pages:

I've noticed that Debian's development has picked up speed considerably after the Sarge release. When I first started using Debian, I used the Unstable development branch on my desktop. It had occasional problems but it also had newer packages than Testing or Stable. I do remember that it used to take a long time for the new versions of KDE and GNOME to enter even Unstable. And Debian was probably the last GNU/Linux distro to switch from XFree86 to Xorg.

Since the Etch release I've used the Testing branch on both my desktop & laptop and the applications have been relatively new versions. The security updates for Testing also started working quite smoothly after the Etch release. McIntyre's comment suggests that I need to thank the Release Team for keeping Testing so usable lately. So thanks. And big thanks also to all the package maintainers in Debian for keeping the packages up-to-date.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Thanks Debian
by l3v1 on Sat 19th Apr 2008 18:08 UTC in reply to "Thanks Debian"
l3v1 Member since:

we have a very strong Release Team

All I can say - as an outsider but long time [~9 years] user - is that those guys would need an un-imaginably large pat on the backs for their work.

"Debian is dying because we've not heard anything"

Well, as I've come to get accustomed to, silence there usually means the mills are running at full capacity. Too much noise often meant exploding debates and longish argument-exchanges but, in the end, stable was always trustable and testing has always been up-to-date and usually more stable than lots of other hyped distros [yes, that is my opinion].

This time [leader election] is always a good opportunity to look back and respect the road they[Debian]'ve come along, their contribution has been huge, no matter if you just look at Debian itself, or the spinoffs that used their base.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Thanks Debian
by sbergman27 on Sat 19th Apr 2008 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Thanks Debian"
sbergman27 Member since:

Well, as I've come to get accustomed to, silence there usually means the mills are running at full capacity. Too much noise often meant exploding debates and longish argument-exchanges...

Yes. Back before they had competition in their own back yard, the list-bickering escalated to excessive proportions. And release times seemed to increase in proportion to the amount of bickering, as did the frequency of use of the "It's ready when it's ready/Debian devs are perfectionists" defense. Aside from a rather nasty spat of bickering relatively late in the development cycle of Etch, which involved a formal vote on the impeachment of the current DPL, among other unpleasantries, list-bickering was greatly decreased, and the release cycle was remarkably short (for Debian). And, wonder of wonders, I've not heard complaints about the quality of Etch, so I guess Etch was "ready when it's ready" rather sooner than its predecessors.

Edited 2008-04-19 18:27 UTC

Reply Score: 2