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Re: AMD64 Status Update -- And Future Directions

BTW, big thanks to John Goerzen for leaping us past the bickering on a
side issue into a usable system.

* Joseph Ruscio <jruscio@vt.edu> [040212 14:14]:
> wouldn't it be better to split multiarch into its own project and have
> the amd64 port be just that, a full pure 64 bit port of debian to
> AMD64? That way the guys interested in developing multiarch wouldn't
> be hassled by all of us who want pure 64-bit debian now, and people
> interested in pure 64-bit debian would have an official channel to
> work through. Just my humble opinion.

This is a good suggestion.  Splitting multi-arch Debian support into
it's own project, that is.  It's needed but has little to do with AMD64

I agree pretty much with everything in this tread except for the fact
that multi-arch support will not be needed once we all move to 64bit.

Multi-arch support was missing for the x86 platform even before we got
64bit ABI.  The ability to cleanly manage optimized packages was missing
a package-name kludge was used to install mplayer-k7_*_i386.deb,
kernel-image-*-i686*i386.deb, and others on non i386 CPUs.

When AMD comes out with a new flavor of the Athlon64 we may want to
create optimized packages for it.  Multi-arch will make that possible to
take advantage of the improvements without having full ports to AMD64-v1
and AMD64-v2 (or whatever they call it).

Since we now have a pure-amd64 port of Debian that installs in /lib,
another possibility -- and a simple one at that -- would be to have dpkg
map /lib of _i386.deb's into /lib/i386/.  This would be easily done by
creating a tree of symlinks somewhere in /var and just untarring the
package there.

Of course the same issues that plagued us in the multi-arch discussion
are present (collisions in /usr/share/doc, library packages that contain
files for /bin, etc). And as an added bonus it introduces extra breakage
in binary-only software from 3rd parties (dlopen("/lib/..."), other
binary data in /lib, etc). ...hmm...

Since a pure port seems to be well underway I think I will continue to
work on the multi-arch support in dpkg/apt.. and consider the above
approach and it's issues.



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