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current state of sid (unstable)

Long time, no involvement :-(.  A primary hard disk failure a number of
months ago took the wind out of my sails, and I wasn't sure I wanted to
reengage on this particular battlefield.  In the final analysis, I don't
have the time I once did, but in a perverse kind of way, it's kinda fun.

So...  What's the current state of unstable on Alpha?  I've been told
the following so far:

(1) DRI is broken again.
(2) KMS works at the console level but breaks when X is started.
(3) The TGA video driver is broken but no one in the user community
    seems to care.  Frankly, I won't care either unless things break so
    badly I can no longer run with the Radeon card :-).
(4) The Radeon driver is working for at least one person with UMS.
(5) Some long-standing compiler and libc issues have been fixed
    upstream and in Debian, but recently, a build of libc in Debian
    Unstable failed.
(6) gnome-settings-daemon is *still* plagued by segfaults, which makes
    it difficult/impossible to set up any desktop preferences other than
    the default.  mcree is attempting to debug the problem, and found a
    "dodgy" machine instruction on disassemble.  See
    http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=525031 for more
    info if anyone wants to lend a hand.  For what it's worth, this is
    one of the few things I remember being chronically broken on my
    system before the primary hard drive went bye-bye, and running with
    lenny has been refreshingly boring until recently.
(7) KDE4 on Alpha was completely broken in an up-to-date sid prior to
    the disk failure, and is non-working in my up-to-date lenny today.

Which brings me to why I'm considering hopping back on the unstable
treadmill...  Besides the KDE4 issues, iceweasel on Alpha has historically
been "barely useful" at best.  By "barely useful" I mean "fragile": on
those rare occasions when it doesn't segfault for reasons I can't pin down,
all it takes is the application of a random regular system update to put it
in that state.  That's why I've typically built my own firefox from the
standard mozilla source tree (monolithic build with libxul.so, no wrapped
xulrunner).  Unfortunately, firefox-3.6.8 built with an up-to-date lenny
environment suffers from the same persistent segfault issues, which tends
to indicate some kind of problem with libraries, which is what pushed me
toward "unstable" originally, i.e., it was worth the risk of running
"unstable" to maybe get needed library fixes that would give me a
working browser.  Anyway, the approach has worked in the past, and I'm
actively considering it again.

Comments welcome.  I've received one strong recommendation to give
Gentoo a try, presumably because the Alpha platform is still supported
by Gentoo.

Thanks in advance.  I've missed my Alpha.


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