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Ubuntu and Debian together have made some thoughts and comments about the relationship between Debian and Ubuntu in the article “Ubuntu and Debian look forward”.
It is a very god read about the relationship between the distributions and why the next Ubuntu release is rather different from what they have made before. Enjoy it here.

The following eleven months of stabilization seem glacial by Ubuntu standards, but it is an optimistic timeline for Debian. One interesting change that the project is considering is to continue to allow non-maintainer updates to all packages throughout the etch cycle. Debian developers have historically been the lords of their particular bits of package turf, so non-maintainer updates have always been a sensitive issue. The release managers believe, however, that non-maintainer updates speed the release process – and make Debian a better distribution as well.

Both distributions have a lot to gain if they can make their plans stick. Ubuntu will have produced a stable distribution which it can credibly promise to support for five years, all while keeping its six-month release cycle. Debian, meanwhile, will be able to get a stable distribution out in a timely manner without compromising its high quality standards. In both cases, the end result can only be good for Linux users.

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