Feature Freeze Mode
In the run-up to CreatingDists, for a short time preceding the tagging of the release it's a good idea to hold off on adding new features or doing other major changes like architectural changes to the code that might decrease its stability. Whether a change is minor enough to be "ok" is left to the developer's judgement, and they're trusted to be conservative and careful.
The most useful activity to do during a feature freeze is to locate and/or fix bugs that produce crashes, and to do so with the smallest amount of change to the codebase possible. If a "proper" fix requires architectural changes or redesign of the code, consider writing that up as a post-release task.
It might be useful to branch off a release branch a week before making the release. Hopefully most people using CVS would switch to this branch at this time. Then only bug fixes can go into that branch. --Ted