Tue, 07 Oct 2008
You probably noticed by now, that Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 aka
hasn't been released in September. Well, that's a shame, but very easy to
explain: Too many release critical
Well, it's pretty hard to estimate, how fast RC bugs will be fixed, and apparently our release team was a bit too optimistic :(
The big question is: What can you do, to help release
least in this quarter? That's pretty easy: Fix rc-bugs, take care, that
the fixed packages are migrated to
Lenny, do upgrade tests, document
problems in the release-notes. Pretty simple, isn't it?
Even as a
simple user (aren't we all just users?) you may help
Lenny released. Some things you can do:
- If you are running stable (aka
Etch), you could consider upgrading to
Lennyand see, if everything works fine. Currently there are no detailed release notes documenting the procedure, so you best way to test upgrades are to:
- Make backups
- Change your /etc/apt/sources.list
- Run aptitude update to get information about new packages
- Run aptitude install dpkg aptitude apt to install the newest package management
- Run script aptitude full-upgrade
- Exit the environment of the script command, by typing exit
The command script will log the entire output of the command in the file typescript. Should something go wrong during the upgrade, please send this file along with your bug report.
Update: If you upgraded succesfully, you should report that, too. There's a template for upgrade reports, which you can use.
- Speaking of the release notes: You can take a look at the bugs reported against the release notes and see if you can help there, e.g. by writing a paragraph describing a problem.
- Install the package devscripts (you'll need
the version provided by backports.org, and run the script
rc-alert --include-dists TU --include-dist-op and. You'll get a list of release
critical bugs open for one of the packages you have installed. Guessing
that you have them installed, because you are using them and are
interested in them, you should have a very high interest to get these bugs
You can try to help, by trying to reproduce them and reporting that to the bug report. There are even some easy bugs, where the maintainer hasn't found the time to fix it, yet. Bug 497290 for example didn't need deep technical skills. It just needed someone with some time to collect the needed data for the copyright file.
- If you speak a language other than English, you might consider
joining the translation efforts. While it is to late to translate the
debian-installer or the installation guide to a new language for
Lenny(perhaps for the next release then?), you could start translating the release notes to a not yet supported language. If you are willing to do so (which can be quite time consuming, especially in the final phase), please contact either your localization team or the debian doc mailing list if there's no local mailing list.
See? Even as a
simple user without deeper technical knowledge
you can help us getting
Lenny in shape to be released. If you have
technical knowledge: Very good! You might want to read the next
section, too, and see what applies to you, there :)
It basically boils down to two things: If your packages have RC bugs
Lenny fix them and take care, that the fix will propagate to
Lenny. If your packages don't have RC bugs open, fix someone else's
RC bug. Surely you don't think, the release team will fix the remaining rc
bugs, do you? And surely you understand, that your shiny rc bug free
packages are kind of useless, if they aren't released?
To search for bugs to be fixed, take a look at the
unofficial rc bugs thingy. The URL lists RC bugs open in both
Lenny. Obviously they should be fixed ASAP. If no
one takes care about these packages, they might be removed from
Lenny (if possible).
Again: Try to reproduce the bug, try fix it, upload an NMU (or send your patch to the bug report and search for an sponsor). You'll notice, that some of these bugs already have a patch. In that case, your job would be to test the patch, report that to the bug report and offer to sponsor an NMU.
Another interesting list is the
list of rc bugs open only in
Lenny. These bugs have been fixed,
but the fix hasn't propagated to
Lenny, yet. Normally, the release
team will grant freeze exceptions for these packages if possible.
However, if the changes to the fixed version are quite grave or the package
Sid depends on a newer package than in
Lenny that's not possible. In these cases look out for packages
need tpu upload or similar.
Oh, and if you could refrain from upload new upstream versions of packages to
Sid, you would make all our lives easier. Some reasons:
- New packages won't reach
- Upload new packages to
Sidmakes it harder to get a fix into
Lennyshould a new bug be found.
- Uploading a new package makes it harder for other packages depending
on your package to be migrated to
- You are wasting the buildd's time.
And of course you should spend your time fixing rc bugs anyway ;)
Update: Rhonda pointed out, that running rc-alert -d TU -o
and will limit the output to bugs open in both
Lenny, which is the more interesting list of bugs.
Update: script is shipped in the package bsdutils and not in a sepperate package. Thanks to Sebastian Niehaus for notifying!