There’s a lot of news coming out of Raleigh lately, and you know for sure that I have a lot to say — good things, of course — about Red Hat and CentOS joining forces. But for now, perhaps the most informed commentary on this issue comes from Karsten Wade in his personal blog.
So if you can hold that thought, I want to touch on another issue before it gets too late.
You’ve read this here before, but it bears repeating: The six-month distribution release cycle is a myth. For whatever reason, tying a distro’s development to a set date twice on the calendar, rather than letting the development process work out the details of when a distro should be released, leads to unrealistic expectations, at the very least. At worst, it results in broken pieces in the new release.
TL;DR: Distros should be released when they’re ready.
Yes, there are extremes to this rule, and we’re looking at you, Debian. But the fact remains that headaches for developers and users can be avoided by letting the process take its course and allow a reasonable amount of time to provide for a solid distro. This is surely not too much to ask, in contrast to the alternative: being shackled by a six-month cycle that geometrically increases pressure to release with a lesser regard to quality in order to make the deadline.
So it comes with a great deal of surprise — the good kind — that the Fedora Project’s Jaroslav Resnik wrote in his blog that as the schedule-wrangler, he gets asked the question. Letting him describe it, “Is Fedora 21 going to be released in the old model way, or new one? Hard to answer right now. But there’s one date – F21 is not going to be released earlier than in August (and I’d say late August).”
His blog item outlines why we’re not going to get Fedora 21 in May or June — as the six-month cycle would have it — and the reasons why are rational and commendable. In fact, there’s surely no harm in waiting for certain programs vital to the distro be ready before unleashing it on the public. Jaroslav’s explanation provides a good insight into why it’s good to not be bound by the calendar.
Plus — and this is pure speculation — if Fedora has something special for Fedora 21, I for one am glad to give them a little more time to provide it.
So thank you, Fedora, for getting it right yet again.
One regrettable item related to this issue is that the Fedora Project dropped its semi-annual brouhaha otherwise known as the release name discussion and election. Fedora will no longer have an accompanying release names with each subsequent number, which is unfortunate because it was one of the fun things to look forward to with each release. My guess is that Beefy Miracle had put this process off the rails, though it’s good that Schrodinger’s Cat got in before they curtailed the names.
See you next week, if not sooner.
This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy, Larry the CrunchBang Guy, Fosstafarian, Larry the Korora Guy, and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.
(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)