Well, how does the Debian Freeze of Stretch (a major basis of Sparky's program base) affect us here at Sparky? The "freeze" thing happens to Debian Testing about every 2 years before a new stable is released. For the next few months, Debian-Testing will still be Stretch, A nice well mannered, but mostly dull guy for the next few months until he becomes very dull when he becomes the next Stable, taking over from Jessie. Buster will become the next Testing then.https://wiki.debian.org/DebianStretch
## timeline is
2014-11-09: Distribution codename announced
2015-04-26: Jessie released, development on Stretch started
2016-03-03: Decided to defer everything by 2 months to release with Linux 4.10
Q3 2016: Please finish up things for Stretch
2016-11-05: Transition freeze (general freeze of transitions)
2017-01-05: "Soft" freeze (no new packages, no re-entry, normal migrations)
2017-02-05: Full freeze
When will it be released as stable? The mantra for a couple decades is "When it is done". April, May, July, who knows? People run servers off of stable and Debian has earned peoples trust and will continue to release as close to a bug free stable as possible. Also, Debian wants to include a very stable 4.10 kernel.
One thing that people may have noticed is that programs can suddenly disappear during the freeze. https://release.debian.org/stretch/freeze_policy.html#autoremovals
Throughout the freeze, we will continue to remove non-key packages with RC bugs in testing and their reverse dependencies automatically. As usual, the auto-removal system will send a notice before this happens. Please note that it is not enough for the bug to be fixed in unstable. The fix (in unstable or testing-proposed-updates) must be done in such a way that the fixed package can be unblocked and allowed to migrate to testing, based on the rules listed above. You must contact us to ensure the fix is unblocked - do not rely on the release team to notice on their own.
For those of us in Sparky the road can fork at this point. We can choose to continue with stretch and become stable, or we can continue as testing.
For my main box, with plain Debian testing, I will choose to transition to stable.
deb http://debian.mirror.rafal.ca/debian/ stretch main non-free contrib
deb-src http://debian.mirror.rafal.ca/debian/ stretch main non-free contrib
deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security stretch/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org/debian-security stretch/updates main contrib non-free
However for my Sparky computer, there is no "stretch" in my sourcelists. All instances are "testing", and will remain so. This is called a "rolling release." When Buster arrives as the new Testing - it might be a bumpy ride for a bit, new programs will have been piling up in unstable-Sid and a flood of transitions and new programs will fly down.
Pavroo previously stated that his intent is to provide a Sparky stable version when Stretch goes to testing. That is fantastic. Myself, twice I stepped into testing for CrunchBang (#!) linux and then went back to stable on my main box. Things are good. Enjoy the journey.