Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Jul 2009 09:50 UTC, submitted by kragil
Debian and its clones Most mainstream distributions, like Ubuntu, Fedora, and Mandriva, have already adopted a time-based release schedule, meaning that releases are not done on a feature basis, but according to a pre-determined time schedule. The Debian project has announced that it has adopted a time-based release schedule too.
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Useful for customers
by irbis on Wed 29th Jul 2009 18:01 UTC
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This new decision can be especially useful for organizations and companies that use Debian. Their IT people can predict better when their Debian installations will need to be upgraded, and reserve time for it. Or if stable itself might not fulfil their needs completely they can have a better idea whether they should maybe install some newer software from backports etc. or if they could afford just wait for the next release and so on.

That aspect, predictability, is one major reason why most commercial Linux distributions already use time-based releases. You could say that it improves the usability of a distro if you can have at least some idea of its release schedule.

Of course, it is great that at least some distribution, Debian, still emphasizes stability so much, but I don't think that a 2-year cycle will be so big a problem in that respect. The developers will just have to make certain decisions and choices in order to reach stability in a more fixed schedule from now on. Also, the main dilemma of Debian's stable releases, that of stable packages becoming outdated compared to the improved upstream versions will be less of a problem from now on, making Debian much more attractive to even many new users who may have prefered other distros to Debian before.

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