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Re: Concerns about AMD64 port

* John Goerzen (jgoerzen@complete.org) wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 05, 2004 at 03:55:47PM +0100, Goswin von Brederlow wrote:
> > Our big goal is to support A) pure 32bit i386, B) mixed 32/64 bit
> > i386/amd64 and C) pure 64bit amd64 userspace.
> If a pure 64bit userspace is the goal, why does the AMD64 ports page say
> such a thing is "academical and of little use"?
> Can't A be accomplished simply by building a standard i386 kernel and
> using a standard i386 distro?  IOW, don't we already have that?
> B seems like the toughest thing to accomplish.  Wouldn't it make more
> sense to get C done first, and then once the 64-bit userspace is
> functional, add on the 32-bit emulation?

I tend to agree with you here but people complain about the problem of
upgrading from the pure 64bit system to the mixed system.  Personally?
I'd say screw 'em and just warn people who do the 64bit-native install
that they're going to have to reinstall when the mixed arch comes out.

> Like I mentioned, there is not much manual effort here; most software is
> already 64-bit clean.

Eh, there's been comments that, while most of it compiles, alot of it
doesn't run as well as it should because it hasn't been tested nearly as
much.  I've got no personal experiance on this, perhaps you do (sounds
like it considering you had a 64bit alpha system previously).

> > > Can someone explain what is going on here?
> > 
> > Its a transition. Its all a mess untill stuff is cleaned up, things
> > have been tried and decided upon.
> I'm a little unclear on what we're transitioning from and to.  It's a
> new arch, never before supported in Debian; where is the transition?

It's the package system, from only doing 32bit or 64bit to being able to
support both 32bit and 64bit on a single system and have the packaging
system handle it decently.

> It seems to me that the fact that this arch has a particular feature
> (the ability to run 32-bit apps) is causing us to ignore the primary
> point of the arch (the ability to run 64-bit apps) because of this one
> incidental feature.  Is not AMD64 perfectly usable with a pure 64-bit
> userland?  Could not people that want a 32-bit userland install an
> existing i386 Debian distro?

Sure, but it's not what everyone else is doing and not what the
standards are calling for.


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