"Some of the features we are seeing in Maverick are, as
usual, newer versions of applications. This release potentially has
a larger jump in versions, as Lucid synchronised and merged from
Debian Testing; but Maverick reverted to the usual practice of
importing from Debian Unstable, which has higher version numbers.
One of the surprises that came out of Debconf (the Debian
conference) was the announcement of their feature freeze, which
meant that Debian stabilisations commenced mid-cycle for Maverick
in preparation for their next stable release.
"The superb timing, which I believe is less than accidental, is
actually beneficial to both distributions. It allows Ubuntu to
maintain an approach of largely getting the latest and greatest,
whilst also maintaining quality of bug fixes only. The benefit to
Debian is that it is easier for Ubuntu developers to pass patches
back to Debian, as the chance of running the same version (with
same bugs) in both projects is greater. I feel this is partly the
realisation of Mark Shuttleworth's controversial suggestion of
unification of development cycle 'cadences', although this could
equally be good fortune."