As Etch progresses, Debian's release manager talks turkey

Release managers are not mentioned in the Debian Constitution, yet few positions in Debian are more influential, especially in the final stages of preparation for a release. Recently, Andreas Barth, who shares the release manager position with Steve Langasek, took time from his efforts coordinating the Etch release -- tentatively scheduled for early December -- to talk about the stages in the release process, the goals for the upcoming release, and the short- and long-range problems that he faces in his role. Contrary to some predictions of disaster, he presents a picture of a distribution that is continuing to evolve without sacrificing the openness for which it is often admired.

The Debian release team for Etch would be a large department in most companies. Besides the two release managers, it includes five release assistants, and at least 20 other people involved in quality assurance, installation, and writing release notes and documentation.