A controversial fund-raising project has contributed to the delay of the next release of Debian, the open source organisation has admitted.
Earlier this year a group of Debian contributors created the Dunc-Tank.org with the aim of releasing Etch “on time” through its structure. helping "the release of Etch happen on time". Etch is the code name for the entirely volunteer-based upcoming Linux distribution release of Debian.
Dunc-Tank funded Debian's two release managers, Steve Langasek in October and Andreas Barth in November, to work full time and help Etch hit its 4 December release date.
Long release delays have been a persistent problem with Debian, one factor that led to the creation of the Debian-based Ubuntu project. Ubuntu has a commercially oriented sponsor in the form of Canonical, founded by South African IT billionaire Mark Shuttleworth.
In a progress report on Monday, Barth admitted that while the experiment had sped up some aspects of development, it had failed in other respects that hadn't allowed Etch to finish on time. "There was a large disadvantage to the whole experiment: Some people who used to do good work reduced their involvement drastically," Barth wrote. The release is fully frozen now but hasn't yet been officially released, Barth noted.