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Re: [Stretch] Status for architecture qualification

On 06/18/2016 06:25 PM, William ML Leslie wrote:
> In case it isn't clear, the number of users of the architecture is not part of the qualification, it is the amount of maintenance pressure involved. Package
> maintainers have to put more effort into ensuring builds succeed for release architectures, which detracts from other work that needs to be done. Not being a
> release architecture is perfectly fine.

I maintain multiple architectures in Debian Ports, including m68k, powerpcspe, sh4, sparc64 and x32 and actually, it's not so much of a burden to maintain an
architecture in Debian. Most of the packages don't need special attention and if they do, it's usually just poorly written code like people doing weird pointer
arithmetics which provoke unaligned access or abuse C/C++ in other ways.

If upstream developers in these cases cared more about code quality and adhering to the C/C++ standards, we would hardly ever have issues with any ports. Heck,
even on m68k, most packages still build fine and they actually work. As long as an architecture is maintained upstream both in the kernel and the toolchain,
there is absolutely no reason to not keep it in Debian unless there is no hardware available that can be used for buildds and porterboxes. Ports like
Debian/GNU Hurd or Debian/kFreeBSD are a different story though as they need way more work to be able to make all sorts of packages work there.

In the case of PowerPC, both the kernel and the toolchain are very well maintained, many packages like GHC have native support for the architecture and even
rather problematic packages like Firefox/Thunderbird are supported. Plus, PowerPC packages can be built on the POWER8 virtual machines that IBM provides
for Debian Developers in the cloud for free. We have one such machine set up for ppc64, for example.

In any case, if PowerPC should ever be dropped as a release architecture, I will be more than happy to adopt it in Debian Ports.

PS: If you see your package failing to build on any of the ports architectures and you want to fix it and need help, just let me know :).


 .''`.  John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
: :' :  Debian Developer - glaubitz@debian.org
`. `'   Freie Universitaet Berlin - glaubitz@physik.fu-berlin.de
  `-    GPG: 62FF 8A75 84E0 2956 9546  0006 7426 3B37 F5B5 F913

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