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Debian has three distro "levels": unstable, testing, and stable (also rumoured is something called "experimental", but we needn't go there now). There are some policies for packages entering in testing, but for stable we must to go on "freeze when ready" and fix all remaining Release Candidate (rc) bugs before release. With this proposal I want to remove the release concept, but we need some infrastructural changes.

  • We must improve, and don't trash, tests made in unstable:

    A new upstream package could enter in unstable only if the actual package in unstable isn't older than "testing waiting time"/2, or if the upstream release fixes some rc bug in the actual package in testing.
  • We must use this same policy adding the normal unstable to testing policy and from testing to stable, using a "stable waiting time" that could be fixed to 30/60/90 days according to the priority (and eventually section) of the packages.
  • We cannot have two different packages entering in stable less than 30 days (in the optimal case) when also dependencies are old enough and they're rc bugs free.
  • If security bugs come out when a package is in testing there will be opened rc bugs in testing, and also in unstable if needed. If we have security bugs when the package lands in stable we fix through stable/updates.
  • We will have a very slowly moving stable release without the needs of formal freeze and releases: a "living" system.
  • Official cd are daily (or weekly) rebuilt snapshots of the stable distro or net installable cd images.