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Re: Windows Late, Linux "Right on Trucking"

__/ [ Ray Ingles ] on Thursday 23 March 2006 15:17 \__

> On 2006-03-23, ray <ray@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> | Opinion: Why does Microsoft keep falling on its face when it comes
>>> | to deadlines, while Linux and other open-source projects keep right
>>> | on trucking?
>> Ubuntu have just announced a six week delay in their next release.
>  I hadn't heard that was final, just "proposed". It is decided now?

I am almost sure it was finalised and was announced by Shuttleworth about 4
days ago. I read about it in various sites. I also wonder if ray's (all
lowercase) comment was sarcastic. 6 weeks is peanuts compared to //years//
of Longhorn/Vista delays. Besides, the release cycle for Ubuntu is still set
to 6 months, not 2-3 years like Microsoft (with foreseeable precedence of
being 2007-2001=6).

> But it's true that the article's not entirely fair in its comparison.
> OSS tends not to set deadlines, so they'd be missed less because of that
> if for no other reason. And the 2.6 kernel did take a lot longer to
> finalize than many people had wanted. But, of course, there *are*
> reasons why OSS progress continues at a brisk pace.
> First off, most OSS change is incremental rather than in discrete
> version jumps. Because the code is open and active testing is integral
> to the process and the culture, improvements tend to be put out quickly
> without regard to a "ship date". The development is steady and more
> linear, instead of in occasional big jumps.

It is also patch-based, so input comes in steadily from testers and can be
put on pause (feature freeze) for the next stage of rigorous testing to
commence. It makes it easier to administer and facilitate deadlines. If
anything critical crops up, one of the many 'eyes' can suggest or even
submit the complete patch rather than dispatch an automated and opaque bug
report (or doing a head count on bug reports by error code). If you see the
kernel digests or changelogs, you will notice the many contributions that
reach OSDL from @suse, @ibm and other community-based folks.

> Second, when a deadline is announced, it tends to be because the code
> is actually maturing. Debian goes a long time between major releases,
> and still has missed deadlines when it finalizes them... but the
> slippage is by an order of magnitude less than most commercial projects
> because they are setting the deadline toward the end of the process
> rather than early on, when the uncertainty is far greater. And, of
> course, the slippage isn't as critical since the code is out there for
> people to work with if they really need to.

I have my respect for Debian, but I worry that Ubuntu have stolen their
thunder. I sometimes wonder if the Debian team will be employed by
Canonical. It's a step forward (evolving to unity), not backwards.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux    ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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