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A related issue:

When the release drags on so long, new upstream releases are made and developers want to package these so they can use them. e.g. gnome 2.6, gnome 2.8... There are two options: 1) break sid, delay the release; 2) use experimental. Experimental is a pain. There are no autobuilders and it often has experimental packages in it which are broken. Users might want the latest gnome, but not at the risk of breaking other packages. Having separate, autobuilt experimental repositories (experimental-gnome, experimental-utopia, experimental-gcc...) would fix these problems. Note that gnome does work well in experimental -- proving that the concept is good; the problem is that the gnome team have done a lot of work to make this work - average developers don't have the time to do this for their own smaller packages/groups of packages.
See also:
 * ExperimentalHardToUse
 * RequireCoMaintainersOnAllPackages

Since the RC bugs are a critical issue, every developer should make sure his/her packages are as neat as possible. perhaps we are too lame and don't give our packages the love they deserve? if so, what can we do about it? more co-maintenance? more checks? harder policy?

Note: I am probably the lamest of all and this isn't meant to insult anyone

Watch files could be used more often to simplify the tracking and packaging of latest versions of upstream programs.

-- true, but that's not an issue for release-quality (at least not very much) -- robert

-- See also:

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