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Re: AMD64 Status Update -- And Future Directions

>>>>> "Stephen" == Stephen Frost <sfrost@snowman.net> writes:

    Stephen> * Roland Fehrenbacher (rf@q-leap.de) wrote:
    >> The problem with your approach of doing 64bit first and then multiarch
    >> is that it is has just the wrong timing. 32 bit compatibility is needed
    >> most now and not sometime in the future when you care thinking about it.

    Stephen> The only wrong timing about it is that it took this long for
    Stephen> someone to do it.

That is a wrong timing indeed but not the only one.

As I said, no one should stop you from doing this port. That would be
ridiculous. After all we are talking about voluntary effort here which should
be applauded in the first place. Still I think your time could be better
invested, but who am I to tell you ... ;-)

Fellow multiarch backers: How are we going to proceed from here? We need to get
out of the theory phase and do some practical stuff soon in my opinion. What
can be done, what is the status/plan, Goswin, Bart, Arndt, .... 

    >> Your 64bit only suggestion breaks with a very important rule that makes
    >> architectures successful: Good (meaning performant and simple) backwards
    >> compatibility to a widely used architecture (being x86 in this

    Stephen> This is true when it comes to the chip and hardware, it's not true
    Stephen> when it comes to Debian.  Once someone decides to just do it
    Stephen> there's no real barrier to recompiling everything in Debian for
    Stephen> amd64, which, in fact, is exactly what John has begun doing.  Just
    Stephen> about everything in Debian has been 64bit safe for quite some
    Stephen> time, it's not like we're having to wait for things to be ported,
    Stephen> it's generally just a recompile.

    >> that a Debian 64bit port will certainly find some users, but it will
    >> present a quite tough barrier for people to use Debian on this platform
    >> in general (especially in the business world).

    Stephen> A tough barrier to having a useful amd64 system running Debian to
    Stephen> date has been the attempted multiarch setup.  It really doesn't
    Stephen> work very well, obvious things like postgresql are missing, and
    Stephen> it's not even in it's finalized form (so it would seem if you
    Stephen> follow the lists anyway).  I'm *in* the business world and have
    Stephen> had to go with an i386-only amd64 system.  I'm very happy that
    Stephen> someone has the time to fix this in the *near* future.

    >> unpatient way of doing it. And heck, I am repeating myself: Multiarch is
    >> actually working now!!!!

    Stephen> It's almost as useful as i386 on amd64.

    >> Well I think it is more difficult for the simple fact that making
    >> radical changes on an existing and used platform (the proposed 64 bit
    >> port) is much more painful than on an experimental platform (like
    >> multiarch is currently).

    Stephen> Upgrade paths are not required, and besides, it's not like
    Stephen> anyone's *seriously* looked into this difficulty to see how
    Stephen> difficult it would really be.  There's just been alot of
    Stephen> hand-waving about how hard it'd be.

    John> 2. We get more people using Debian on AMD64...  they could help out
    John> with the multiarch effort later.
    >>  Those peolple who will be using this port obviously haven't cared about
    >> 32 bit. So I don't think there is much hope in that.

    Stephen> That's not true.  I'd like to be able to use 32bit apps someday on
    Stephen> my amd64 system, but the lack of 32bit apps wouldn't keep me from
    Stephen> running a 64bit port on it.  My primary applications are
    Stephen> postgresql and some home-grown stuff that I'm looking forward to
    Stephen> recompiling and running as 64bit.

    >> Anyway, nobody can stop you doing of what you are planning or already
    >> have started to do ... But please don't drag people away from the
    >> multiarch port by making flawed arguments.

    Stephen> If they care about multiarch then they'll work on multiarch.  For
    Stephen> the rest of us who agree multiarch is a good idea but want
    Stephen> something usable soon, John's work is much appriciated.
    Stephen> Attempting to hold hostage the amd64 port for the sake of
    Stephen> multiarch is a rather flawed idea and thankfully not something we
    Stephen> have to stand for.

    Stephen> 	Stephen

    Stephen> 	Stephen

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