Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 6th Mar 2009 22:15 UTC
SuSE, openSUSE Following in the footsteps of distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora, the openSUSE project has announced it will move to a fixed release schedule. However, contrary to the two aforementioned distributions, openSUSE will have an eight month release schedule. The new schedule was announced in an email by release manager Stephan Kulow.
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RE: I like the Debian model...
by raver31 on Sat 7th Mar 2009 06:56 UTC in reply to "I like the Debian model..."
Member since:

Exactly, keep it under wraps until it is rock solid.
Look what happened with Vista for example. Sorry, bad example, that one took years and in the end was still rushed out.

Another example : Duke Nukem Forever
oh wait...

Reply Parent Score: 3

darknexus Member since:

The trouble with the Debian way is that it is outdated frequently and doesn't get updated for years unless you use the sid branch. Stable is one thing, but being several years out of date can be a problem especially in the foss world where things change so rapidly. Debian 5 isn't outdated now, at least not too badly, but in a year it will be and we won't see a release for years after. I think something in between is a better idea, have a target release timeframe, but don't set it in stone so that you can still concentrate on quality rather than holding precisely to a schedule.

Reply Parent Score: 4

da_Chicken Member since:

Contrary to what you may have heard, Debian is not a "one size fits all" kind of distro. Instead, Debian offers its users several options, and using a stable release is only one of these options.

A stable Debian release has the advantage that it is well-tested and should work for most users without major problems. The disadvantage is that the software in a stable release becomes increasingly outdated as time marches on. Using Debian's stable release can be an excellent choice in the areas of computing where you really need some extra stability, like in servers and on the enterprise and production desktops. But a stable Debian release might not be an ideal choice for home desktop users and geeks who always want the latest and greatest and don't care too much about stability and reliability.

These home desktop users and geeks are likely to prefer tracking Debian's Testing or Unstable development branches instead of using a stable release. Users tracking Debian's Unstable branch get the latest software that has been packaged for Debian, but they may also get bitten by occasional bugs. After Debian packages have spent a couple of weeks in Unstable and no serious bugs have been found in them, the packages migrate to Testing.

So tracking Debian Testing may look like an ideal way to use Debian on the home desktops (especially since Debian Testing now receives security updates) -- Debian Testing offers you relatively up-to-date software and you can still avoid serious bugs that sometimes bite users who track Debian Unstable.

Unfortunately there's one snag left: most packages migrate from Unstable to Testing automatically and newer packages may have different dependencies than the older versions of the same packages. These changed dependencies can occasionally cause dependency breakages when you track Debian Testing. The solution is to enable both Testing and Unstable in sources.list and to make Testing the default "release" in apt.conf, like explained in this HowTo:

Now that I've shown you how geeks and home desktop users can get more up-to-date versions of software in Debian, you will soon realize that the long release cycles are not really a problem in Debian. On the contrary, some people are frequently complaining that the three years that Debian usually supports its stable releases is not long enough time, because they don't like to upgrade their servers every other year.

I've never tried this openSUSE distro, but the rather short release cycle suggests that it is not a good choice for servers. I'd expect it is only meant to be used on the desktop.

Reply Parent Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:

Another example : Duke Nukem Forever
oh wait...

In 2006, 3D Realms clearly articulated their scheduling strategy regarding the game, first announced in April 1997:

We'll see nuclear fusion electric plants first. Possibly, fusion powered cars. And almost certainly several releases of Debian.

Edited 2009-03-07 17:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2