For what it's worth, here's why I think we need the SCCWVancouver proposal, or something similar. In a nutshell, it all comes down to what's best for most of our users.
It's looking more and more likely to me, based partly on straightforward extrapotation and partly on gut feelings, that in the next ten years or so, we have one of the following two choices about what Debian makes available to our users:
- Possibly two releases for all architectures. Two. In ten years.
- Some appropriate number of releases (say, 4) on a few architectures, or with some other significant limiting change.
After it's three years old, Debian stable is barely usable on new hardware, can barely function as a server on the internet, is not attractive as a desktop, and is barely maintainable for security. If a later release is delayed even more, stable will be useless for most purposes.
So if we go down road #1, at some point we will need to find a way to make either testing or unstable a viable alternative for more of our users. I've actually already been working on doing this, through things like organising the testing security team, and by making periodic "releases" from testing on the pretext of beta testing d-i.
I observe many of our users already switching to those releases; I see increasing interest in the testing security team, and more people working in it; I see derived distributions like Ubuntu doing essentially the same thing and users switching to it in droves; I see my employer's distribution (debian-edu) giving up on stable and planning to just base releases on testing too.
We're farther down road #1 than you think.
So given this choice, I have to pick #2. Why? Well, because I don't think that any amount of work that we do to try to make #1 palatable to our users will end up satisfying all of them. Some of our users need stable releases. If we can only give them useful stable releases on a few architectures, that still wins over no useful stable releases at all.
Also, unlike apparently 90% of everyone I've seen comment on this, I actually think that leaving some arches up to the porters will allow them to make usable releases of some sort. Maybe not all arches, but enough to swing things even more toward #2 in my estimation.
I doubt that SCC is the only way to get us down path #2, but it's so far the only thing that has even a glimmer of hope that we'll avoid the trap of