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Re: Concerns about AMD64 port

On Thu, Feb 05, 2004 at 12:52:03PM -0500, C. Scott Ananian wrote:
> > Obviously working with these other archs is required, but I don't see
> > how it requires us to not do a native 64-bit port by itself.
> my personal opinion is that you are welcome to do so and keep the flamewar
> the hell out of my inbox.  i'm just here for mips64 stuff.

I am happy to help on this, but a Debian port is not a vacuum.  FTP
archives must be set up, and the task is frankly too large for one
single person.

I would like to see this apparent consensus to put off an AMD64 port
reversed.  Actually, from what I've seen today, the consensus seems to
be the opposite: go ahead with it now.

The argument that "we don't know exactly what the migration will be
like, but we know it won't work well if you already have 64-bit
userland" is simply unconvincing.

I have already presented two different ways, in the past few hours,
which would let us manage the transition, in terms of packages,

If x86-64 does catch on in a big way -- and with Intel's backing, it
looks like it might -- what is actually happening here is that Debian
will be unusable in any but 32-bit mode on a large number of 64-bit
computers.  And for no reason other than our own sloth.

I started this thread responsing to the message on the AMD64 ports page
that says that a pure 64-bit port would be of little use.  I continue to
maintain that this is wrong, and I have ample experience with pure
64-bit systems to prove it.  I am sure you could find many more on
debian-alpha and axp-list that would agree.

The other fact is that the position I advocate does not prevent people
that need to run 32-bit binaries from doing so with a chroot.  Nor does
it necessarily delay the release of a port with mixed-mode support.  In
fact, I believe it actually hastens that release.  After all, the 64-bit
part will still have to be done.

-- John

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