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Packages affected: All
This document provides the rationale for the release schedule dates set and documented at FeistyReleaseSchedule
There is no formal artwork freeze, but artwork is a feature like anything else and progress is expected through the release cycle. Milestones are back on the schedule, both to make sure we actually do them as well as making it easier for testers to plan ahead. Artwork freezes have not worked well in the past, so this is an attempt to get artwork ready with a different approach.
Unlike the last cycle, the etch freeze is in a convenient time for us now. Etch is in base freeze and will soon be in full freeze. If Debian ends up releasing on time, we don't want the new stuff uploaded to Debian post-release into Feisty.
FeatureFreeze and UpstreamVersionFreeze
It was decided to merge those freezes based on the fact that we have approved more or less anything in the first couple of weeks of UVF. We need a bit longer feature freeze than for the last release due to a higher number of features. Another reason for merging the freezes is that it is a "requires approval" freeze rather than a "new versions will not be accepted" freeze.
There is now only one documentation freeze which is the string freeze. The reason for not having more freezes is we have not seen any effect from having a DocStringFreeze and it is not clear what the purpose of said freeze would be.
BetaFreeze and BetaRelease
A month before the release candidate and release, as usual. This time matching the GNOME release with freezing the day after GNOME releasing.
Major bugs in the kernel usually show up pretty quickly after the mass-testing of the beta release, so the freeze is two weeks afterwards, giving a couple of weeks for it to be polished.
One week before release. There was a bit of discussion about having a longer release candidate freeze, but we are not seeing too much community testing of the RC as well as the RC should at least in theory be possible to use as the final release. Also matching the GNOME release schedule so we get 2.18.1 in.
Usual six month release.