Murray's Blog

Distros need community, distros need schedules

I am disappointed. Fedora has a sane time-based release schedule, but does not seem any closer to allowing community involvement. Debian has great community involvement but seems even further away from having a time-based release schedule, or even a release. Allowing either of these problems to go unfixed means eventual demise for a mass-market consumer distro.

Red Hat's merger with the fedora.us packaging community to make the Fedora distro seems to have actually made things worse. Before the merger, we saw the start of a single authorative community-based source for 3rd party packages, allowing people to actually install software that is not on the Red Hat disks. There needs to be one and only one source of such RPMs, or everthing forks at the first commonly-used 3rd-party library RPM, and quality control becomes impossible. But now fedora.us is no longer that community, because Fedora say that they are that community, except they are not. If Fedora don't fix it soon then they need to publically endorse fedora.us again so they can get the job done.

Most debian users use either testing or unstable, neither of which is suitable for regular users, and which are actually too fragile for most advanced users. The stable distribution is so old (GNOME 1.4) that it is also useless to regular users. There is no scheduled date for a new debian stable release, and no rush to make it happen according to any concept of feature/quality completion, because there is no scheduled date. Debian is a perfect example of how "soon" turns into "almost never". "soon" is never as good as an actual schedule.

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