I freely confess my earlier example was a bit exaggerated to make a point. However, yes, SPI has been doing this for years now. There are, of course, the stable Debian releases (Buzz, Rex, Bo, Hamm, Slink, Potato, Woody, Sarge, Etch, Lenny, Squeeze, Wheezy, Jessie) that come out every ~ 2-3 years on the traditional software schedule, but these are equivalent to Canonical’s Ubuntu long-term support (LTS) releases or Firefox ESR releases, focusing on security patches and updates only.
However, the second choice most non-production clients use is testing, which is a rolling distribution which gently keeps up with the next target, without being unstable or prone to choatic changes. When 9.0 is released, testing will freeze and resume after the stable release is out, and so on. And it’s very easy to transition to it. In fact, if you don’t believe me, a simple triplet of sed -i ‘s/jessie/testing/g’ /etc/apt/sources.list && apt update && apt dist-upgrade -y is all it takes to jump from stable to a rolling release.
This said, I concede to saying Debian uses and has used both models. Of course, there’s also their equivalent to Haiku Nightly builds which is always codenamed sid, or “unstable” – which true to its name, is something they encourage only developers or bug testers to run.
As for Microsoft, they’ve changed quite a bit with 10, adopting the same hybrid SRLC stages/RR model. Users got 10.10240 (“Threshold”, or just “10”) as a final build, and the Anniversary Update (Redstone) recently, which is basically is like a time warp of going from Cheetah to Puma on the Mac. But 10 is also a rolling release if one wants to take the risk. Users can join Slow or Fast Release rings, which put 10 on par with Chrome or other RR cycles.
So all this said, what I was advocating is that Haiku could switch to a similar model, since the project has been in alpha status for years now. That’s just the way everything is, and Haiku is following a thought out, solid plan in the background. I think those who’ve used Haiku for a while (first used a2) understand this well, but newbies or observers don’t. And it’s only a suggestion, but I really and truly believe a compromise at least from the old software release lifecycle that BeOS followed would help the project out tremendously.
But regardless, the rolling release suggestion was/is nothing more than my opinion, and I know it probably doesn’t fit the grand plan or roadmap for Haiku. If Beta and getting to R1 is the way to go, then I’m more than willing to keep waiting for that glorious day.