This is the first of the two "larger" reports during the release management funding experiment.
I suppose I don't need to be more specific about what I did in detail - my blog postings in http://blogs.turmzimmer.net/en/debian/etch-rm/ cover that already. The thing that ate most of my time are the release critical bugs. While it is possible for me on normal days to fix one bug every few days, it was now possible to fix a couple of bugs per day. This sounds rather good, but at the same time took away most of my time for other things I should have also worked on - that even involved blogging about my work. (Also in looking back that was still a good decision to work so much an release critical bugs - it would have been just more convenient if that wasn't necessary so much.)
Looking back, I started with improving tools. I think that this was a good decision, good tools make work easier - and also, everyone can use the better tools, so they multiply their benefit. And e.g. the structural changes I did to bts.turmzimmer.net to allow "show also related bugs" were so deep that I probably wouldn't have been able to do them, unless I reserve a couple of hours in a row. In other words, being able to explicitly set some time aside for Debian which is not eaten up by the daily routine tasks (which involves reading quite much mail, BTW), is a good thing.
So, looking at the status changes during the time I spent full-time on release issues I think it worked well. Of course, not everything is perfect, but there is a clear improvement. On the other hand, there was a large disadvantage of the whole experiment: Some people who used to do good work reduced their involvement drastically. There was nothing I could do about, and that happened way before I started full-time on release, but on the global picture that still counts. So, as a first summary, I am happy with my own involvement, but that doesn't necessarily apply to the full experiment.
Update: There are media rumours floating around that "[Etch has] been delayed because some developers have deliberately slowed down their work". This doesn't reflect what I said.
I just noted that the dunc-tank experiment has positive and negative effects, and we shouldn't watch only one side - whichever that side is. The reasons for the release being delayed from the original planned date has other reasons, please read the mails on debian-devel-announce for details (also all linked on http://release.debian.org/). And, I'm quite happy with the involvement of most Developers in the release. (And this paragraph isn't part of what this blog posting should be about really, but as it is cited, it is still here ...)
Release update and more
(This blog entry is a bit delayed because I have been on the QA meeting.) On Monday and Tuesday last week we did one important step: We sent out the release update that etch is fully frozen now. Preparing that, and then handling the incoming freeze requests took some of the time. Of course, some of the regular RC bug squashing happened as well - but that is rather a routine task now.