Re: ARM EABI port: minimum CPU choice
"Dustin Harriman" <email@example.com> wrote:
> I'm not a DD but I am an experienced Unix sysadmin. And as a
> sysadmin I want to add my 2 cents. Given the limited supply of
> effort to move Debian ARM forward, it's important to choose an
> easy-to-maintain, generic solution
If you cut down the EABI, how do you move the distribution forward?
The whole point behind this EABI is to fully support new versions of
the ARM architecture. By cutting it down you simply miss the main
goal. What's the point of getting a new Debian port when there is
already a working ARM port (well, it requires NWFPE floating point
emulation by the kernel, but in this case you could just create an ARM
soft-float Debian port)?
> Otherwise, it will take much longer to impliment, and hurt Debian
> ARM's chances of building up more of a "critical-mass" community
I think there are better chances to get this adopted if Thumb is
supported. There already is a 32bit only ARM Debian, there is no need
for a similar one.
> And after reading this thread so far, I think the
> easiest-to-maintain, reasonable solution is to not have thumb
> instructions supported, and worry about thumb-only ARM CPUs *only*
> when thumb-only processors hit the mainstream market (at which time
> Debian users might actually acquire them and want to use stock
> Debian on them).
There are Thumb(-2)-only processors already (probably not shipped yet)
but the Linux kernel cannot run run on them yet (there is ongoing work
for a Thumb-2 kernel port).
> I think it's very important to economize the efforts of DD's to
> maintain/develop Debian ARM, and strive towards the generic
> interests of end users having easy access to popular Debian software
> that works well (like firefox).
I don't think you economise much of the effort on the long term as in
few years time you might get back to the discussion of whether to
support Thumb or not.
> I don't think DD's should cater to 3rd party software makers who
> *might* require thumb. Hopefully any such 3rd partys can choose (or
> re-engineer) to not use thumb of they want to easily run on a Debian
> ARM system. Let them deal with that complication. Not DDs.
> If I'm not mistaken, Debian has a long history of serving the widest
> audience of users first and foremost, not those 3rd parties.
On some embedded systems with constrained resources, you might have to
use 3rd party software (like running the Embedded Opera browser as
Firefox is to large)