From the ‘It’s Done, When It’s Done’ files:
Watching Debian Linux releases come together has always been a long and drawn out process. Few other Linux projects (if any) have the same breadth of platform support or packages and few (if any) have the same fiercely principled approach (hurray Debian Free Software Guidelines) to development either.
The next big Debian release – codenamed Wheezy – (all Debian releases in recent memory have been named after Toy Story characters) is nearing the finish line.
First, there are 100 bugs that need to be fixed.
So how is Debian going to deal with those last 100 bugs?
It’s a process that will involve discipline and some package cutting too.
In a mailing list posting, Debian developer Julien Cristau wrote:
“We are only interested in the absolute minimum patches that fix RC bugs. Spurious changes will simply lead to longer review times for everyone, disappointment and ultimately a longer freeze.
It helps us if you justify your request sufficiently to save time going back and forth. We don’t know all packages intimately, so we rely on you to answer the question “why should this fix be accepted at this stage?”
Going a step further – Cristau added:
“As the release approaches, it’s more likely that we will simply remove packages that have open RC bugs.”
Debian has long had the philosophy of being done, when it’s done. It’s a philosophy that has caused trouble in the past (ie. the Sarge release which was delayed for nearly a year back in 2005. It’s also a philosophy that works (assuming you can herd cats).