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Too many release-critical bugs in Debian

Anthony Towns has announced that “the release team and ftpmaster will probably be looking into setting some expectations for fixing RC bugs in unstable”.
Hey all,

This is just a brief note to warn that over the next month or so the
release team and ftpmaster will probably be looking into setting some
expectations for fixing RC bugs in unstable in a few weeks or so –
1600 RC bugs is just too many to deal with, even if the testing scripts
are coping, it makes it very difficult to focus human attention on the
most useful QA and release work.

More precisely perhaps, the 600 odd RC bugs that have been open for more
than three months is about 700 too many.

There's no specifics at the moment, but whatever solution we come up with
will probably include both a stick and a carrot; that is both making
it easier to fix bugs as well as adding some negative consequences for
packages whose bugs don't get fixed.

This note is just some advance notice so that folks who don't want to
risk any negative consequences, whatever they end up being, can ensure
they don't have any RC bugs that are weeks old. Note that the RMs have
declared it open season on NMUs, so do look at packages you care about
even if you don't maintain them.

Random ideas for positive consequences might include things like better
advanced warning of upcoming RC issues, more frequent dinstall processing,
or roving hoards of qa uploaders turning patches into uploads, though
obviously none of these are anything more than random ideas at the
moment. Random ideas for negative consequences might include forced
orphaning by overriding maintainer fields to debian-qa, removal of
packages from unstable, and possibly limits on NEW packages (eg, to
reject uploads of packages that have been removed).

Again this is just advance notice, all or none of the above ideas may
happen, and we might come up with other ideas too. In any case, they
won't happen overnight or in the next week — but if you want to avoid
the bad ones happening to you do make it a priority to fix any RC bugs
you have or receive.

If you'd like to make suggestions about ideas that would be useful,
or complain in advance about some of the possibilities feel free, but
don't expect much sympathy for any RC bugs that are open today and are
still open in a month.

ObTrivia: With the recent fix for #46709, our oldest RC bug now has
six digits! And only another 11 bugs to fix before our oldest RC bug
is #200003!

Cheers,
aj, ftpmaster provocateur

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