Simplified and documented freeze structure

Martin Pitt martin.pitt at
Fri Sep 28 08:53:04 BST 2007

Hello Ubuntu developers,

In the past years we accumulated quite a lot of different types of
freezes. As recently seen on the mailing list and often on IRC, the
multitude of freezes can often be overwhelming and confusing, so after
discussing this on ubuntu-devel@ those were cleaned up,
consolidated, and properly documented.

This is the main entry point:

which lists all kinds of freezes, with links to pages which document
each of the freezes in detail.

In particular, the following things changed:

 * StringFreeze and ArtworkDeadline are subsumed under
   UserInterfaceFreeze now.

 * UpstreamVersionFreeze was dropped completely. The main things
   we care about with new upstream versions are:

    (1) introducing new features, and

    (2) changing ABI/API, so that we need to do transitions.

  (1) has always been covered by the already existing FeatureFreeze.
  The definition of FF has now been updated to cover (2), too.

  That way, we do not need to make a big fuss about upstream
  microreleases which only fix bugs and treat upstream bugfix-only
  microreleases the same way as we treat new syncs/merges from Debian.
  We already do that in practice for e.g. system-config-printer,
  where we have brilliant upstream connections, and fixes immediately
  go upstream. We believe this makes sense because for the purposes of
  release management it is not really important whether fixes come
  directly from upstream or from Debian or us.

  The ABI/API break would then be mentioned in the description of

 * NewPackagesFreezeUniverse is subsumed by FF now, too, since they
   are just features on the distro level.

   Originally, this freeze was scheduled a bit later than FF in gutsy.
   However, since reviewing new source packages takes some days up to
   a few weeks, it has never been clear when to do the cut.

   The new definition of FF clearly defines this process now.

 * DocumentationStringFreeze has been added to the official freeze
   list. It has existed for a long time already, and is a freeze for
   the documentation team, not for the packages in the distribution.
   However, since it is important for the entire process, it should be
   listed on the page, too.

According to those changes, the instructions how to request exceptions
[1] have been updated for above changes. The other pages which refer
to those freezes have been updated as well ([2], [3]).

Thank you for your attention,

Martin Pitt
on behalf of the Ubuntu Release Team.


Martin Pitt
Ubuntu Developer
Debian Developer
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