Debian, for all that it’s a very popular and important community Linux has a problem with hitting deadlines. I mean it’s not like how Microsoft can miss its deadlines by years, but still Debian has had its troubles. The community was doing much better this time for the forthcoming release of Debian 5, Lenny, but some last-minute problems still need cleaning up and the Debian developers would like you to help.
In a note to the Debian developer list, Alexander ‘Tollmar’ Reichle-Schmehl, a leading Debian developer and spokesman, wrote, “You probably noticed by now, that Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 aka “Lenny” hasn’t been released in September. Well, that’s a shame, but very easy to explain: Too many release critical bugs.”
As is so often the case with any software project, Reichle-Schmehl explained, “Our release team coordinated several transitions, took care of release goals, but it’s pretty hard to estimate, how fast RC (release candidate) bugs will be fixed, and apparently they were a bit to optimistic”
What he’d like from developers is “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?” Well, it is if you’re a Linux developer, but otherwise, not really.
However, Reichle-Schmehl continued, “Even as a “simple user” (aren’t we all just users?) you may help getting “Lenny” released.” Specifically, he suggests that if you’re already running Debian 4, Etch, “you could consider upgrading to “Lenny” and see, if everything works fine. Currently there are no detailed release notes documenting the procedure, so you best way to test upgrades are to: