Stable 2015 is based on Debian 8 (Jessie) and is modified to suit Australasian users. There will be 4 (possibly 5) Desktop Environments (DE) available. At the time of writing the plan is to release Stable 2015 with these DEs, Gnome, KDE, MATE, XFCE, and possibly Trinity (also known as TDE).
Each DE will also have 2 versions, Core and Full. Core will be the absolute basic components of a Debian install with the absolute base components of the chosen DE. Full will have the standard Debian base with the standard Cobber selection of applications for each DE.
Applications that will be available are;
Testing is based on Debian testing and, like stable, is modified to suit Australasian users. Testing is the testing bed for each new Stable release. The name testing was deliberately chosen to highlight that testing is for testing purposes and is not Stable. While testing is not Stable it is hoped people will help develop Cobber (and by extension Debian) by using testing and help report bugs in the software so that each new stable release will be as Stable as humanly possible.
Testing will mostly use the exact same applications as stable but will be more up to date so testing can be a good choice for people who are interested in a semi rolling release. I use the term "semi rolling release" deliberately because about 6 months before each new stable testing will go into feature freeze and during the feature freeze applications are not updated and the priority is to fix upstream bugs so that the new Debian Stable release is Stable.
At various times there may be different applications or core (hidden) features chosen. These decisions are not made lightly but are made within the wider Debian community.
Unstable is based on Debian Unstable and, like stable, is modified to suit Australian users. Unstable is the entry point for new software into Cobber. The name Unstable was deliberately chosen to highlight that unstable can be unstable because of the stage of the software it contains. While Unstable is not Stable it is hoped people will help develop Cobber (and by extension Debian) by using unstable and help report bugs in the software so that each new stable release will be as Stable as humanly possible.
In many ways Unstable and Testing will be similar and the feature freeze that occurs in testing will also, to a certain extent, occur in unstable. This is because, as explained in testing, priority is given to fixing bugs so that the new stable release is Stable
Experimental is based on Debian Experimental and, unlike the other versions of Cobber, is not for general use. Experimental will not be released as a version of Cobber as such rather software that is "experimental" is made available for use. To use Experimental all that is required is enabling Experimental in the sources.list and then selecting the software you want to install. Experimental is the entry point for Experimental software into Cobber. The name Experimental should indicate that this is a true tester/developer version. Use caution when using Experimental.
You are welcome to contact me and make suggestions or to discuss how you can help make Cobber a stable and successful operating system.