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Re: cortex / arm-hardfloat-linux-gnueabi (was Re: armelfp: new architecture name for an armel variant)

+++ Loïc Minier [2010-07-15 10:00 +0200]:
> On Wed, Jul 14, 2010, Hector Oron wrote:
> > Genesi have recommended 'cortex' as Debian architecture name and
> > 'arm-hardfloat-linux-gnueabi' as triplet. This has been in fact
> > approved and endorsed -and actually encouraged- by ARM itself, they
> > really liked the idea of having a debian-cortex port.

I don't know who said this but I guess they were marketing people. We
all know that marketing people love naming things in short-termist,
confusing and meaningless ways. Debian tries hard to avoid this. And
the people I just talked to at ARM said 'Oh no, that's just wrong!'

>  cortex as the port name sounds very wrong, as others have commented
>  already:
>  * some CPUs we explicitly targe t(by configuring for vfpv3-d16) aren't
>    cortex (they don't instantiate the Cortex-A8 gates on the silicon,
>    but a custom design which is compatible to the armv7 architecture)
>  * (minor) what if ARM releases a "speedex" which is armv7 or armv7
>    compatible?
>  "armvfp" is also being put forward; while this seems to make sense,
>  armel can also use vfp instructions, so I personally find it confusing.
>  If we take a step back and ask ourselves why we're doing this new port,
>  it's because of a new ABI using hard-float across library calls.  Hence
>  armhf.  It turns out that we also take an opinionated view that armv7
>  and vfpv3-d16 are modern choices for the port, so we could indeed use
>  armv7hf or armhfvfp to reflect this, but it's ugly.

>  I think there was consensus that {arm,armel}{hf,fp} were reasonnable
>  names; I don't care too much across these, but please avoid armv7, vfp,
>  cortex in the port name; it's first about a new ABI.

Exactly. I am in total agreement with Loic here. I know names is
always contentious and a classic 'bikeshed' issue, but they do also
last a long time and it's important to do the best we can given the
info available at the time.

Obviously Genesi can do whatever the hell they like - we can't stop
them, and indeed don't want to, but please - think carefully about the
above. I was impressed that they came to this list to try and get a
consensus before doing a load of incompatible work - that's excellent,
and the way things should be done, but Matt's last post suggests they
didn't really like the answers received and will go ahead with 'cortex'.

That's much less good. I don't think Debian (or probably Linaro or
Ubuntu) can accept the cortex name for the reasons Loic outlines above
and it'll mean at least names have to be changed before they can
upstream thier patches, which is a pain for everyone, and we won't be
able to just adopt the Genesi port in due course. And they won't
benefit from Linaro, Ubuntu and Debian work in reverse. That's all
bad. Can we really not agree on something basically correct and not
confusing, either now or in the future, i.e 'armelhf' (or 'armhf' if
that's too long).?

Principal hats:  Linaro, Emdebian, Wookware, Balloonboard, ARM

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