Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Stable

A stable is a place where you keep horses. It therefore also houses horse shit.

Stable means static. Something is stable if it doesn't change.

Stable means reliable. Something is stable if it doesn't fail.

The Debian "stable" distribution is static. It's also reliable, but if there's a bug, somewhere they'd rather keep the distribution static than make it more reliable. The only exception is security problems.

Of course, it's not as simple as "fix the bug, increase reliability." Fixing one bug could introduce another. Then you're fixing that one, and now we're well away from "static," and static can be a desirable trait.

Still, it's interesting, this conflict between stable and stable.
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