Debian's Lenny Gets a Release Date
The Debian team has tangled with more than its fair share of demons during the development cycle of the 5.0 "Lenny" release. Lenny, which was loosely scheduled for release in September 2008, was delayed due to the number of release-critical bugs that were awaiting patches. As the year came to a close, Lenny faced other challenges, including team management shake-ups and a vote on how to handle Lenny's inclusion of non-free binary blobs to best meet the Debian Free Software Guidelines.
On February 1st, Lenny's second release candidate was announced, as well as the release's "deep freeze" status. Lenny is scheduled for general release over the weekend of February 14th.
In the interim, the Debian team is ironing out the remaining issues, and has asked that any interested in this process, or those able to help with the Release Notes to get involved to make this last push toward the finish line.
Though there's inevitably uneasiness and frustration when a release is delayed, Debian deserves credit where it's due. The Debian team has taken the time to sit down and hash out the problems and concerns discovered during Lenny's development -- whether the problems were code-based or philosophical. Working to solve these problems outright might delay a release chronologically, but delays rarely damage a project's reputation the way a poor piece of code or questionable management can.