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requalification of arm as etch release architecture

Following up on last night's irc meeting[1], which had a preponderance
of arm (and armeb) people in attendance compared to most architectured,
there is the start of a page for requalifying arm as an etch release
architecture here: http://wiki.debian.org/armEtchReleaseRecertification

This is also a useful overview:
http://spohr.debian.org/~ajt/etch_arch_qualify.html, showing that arm is
problimatic in the areas of:
  - Not currently having a developer accessible machine;
  - Not having enough Debian developers listed as port maintainers;
    (I've not listed myself since I'm still coming up to speed on arm
  - Not having enough users listed;
  - Not having info on who's supporting toolchain stuff etc;
  - Only being up-to-date for a very poor 94% of the archive currently
    and only having built a likewise poor 91% of the archive.
    (And thus probably being next in line after m68k, which has just
    started being ignored for testing propigation). A lot of this comes
    down to build failures, eg perl currently fails to build on arm,
    which is really painful for the release team.
  - Requiring a lot more than two buildds to stay as current;
  - Not having sufficient buildd redundancy for when the next netwinder
    does a halt and catch fire.

Anyway, I just wanted to open this up for discussion to make sure we've
considered all sides of the issue and aren't plowing ahead with
recertification just because it's the Thing To Do.

I don't know whether arm will be able to meet the criteria to be
released with etch or not. My question to you is, even assuming we can
qualify, is there enough value in a stable Debian release for arm to
justify the additional load that releasing another architecture will put
on the release, security, installer, etc teams?

Or would using testing and/or snapshots for arm deployment work well
enough for most Debian arm users? I know that testing has been fine for
us at ADS as the base for our Debian arm releases. I doubt there are a
lot of people running arm on serious servers, and so I question whether
those using arm for the more or less embedded type stuff that's common
for this architecture really need a stable release. Some people seemed
to agree on irc that this was becoming practical now that testing is
starting to get things like security support. Comments?

The other side of that question is whether, if Debian didn't target the
arm port at stable, Debian testing would remain in a usable state for
arm. Some of the current issues obviously need to be addressed anyway
for arm to be a viable Debian architecture of any sort.

see shy jo

[1] http://wiki.debian.org/IRC/debian-tech/Event/20051009-releasequalification

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