> Debian makes releases (freezes) for people who don't want to upgrade their OS every day. I can't speak for RHEL but I expect it is the same. API/ABI changes are a relatively small part of that.
On an individual package or application level, there's very little API or ABI churn from version to version. But when you aggregate $largeamount of software together, there's quite a bit more API/ABI churn when looked at as a whole.
The problem people have is that they expect nothing to ever change (ie write once and forget) and that is a very naive attitude.
The real question is: Do you want to deal with small amounts of change continually, or large amounts of change all at once?
The general Linux (and distro) approach is the former, with the likes of RHEL providing the latter if you're willing to pay the price. And FWIW that price isn't just up-front $$$, but also opportunity costs of missing out on (often much) newer features and things and maintainance costs of backporting/bundling newer libraries or simply supporting old ones.