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Re: ARM port(s) BoF at DebConf

On 19 July 2012 19:35, Steve McIntyre <steve@einval.com> wrote:
> armel
> =====
> First released with Lenny. Soft-float EABI, Software floating point
> assumed by default. v4t which also runs smaller-size thumb instruction
> set. Targeting old hardware like openmoko. Discussed (again!) moving
> forwards from v4. Declared that v5 is no faster than v4t, but there
> are doubts elsewhere in the community. Later discussion suggests
> moving to v5te would be worth it. Some good benchmarks would help -
> volunteers welcome!

Actually, supporting less machines is a move backward, not forward.
The speed advantage for standard apps on v5+ machines is less than 1%,
i.e. negligable.

Of course, I have a vested interest in continued armv4t support, since
my company has an armv4t board on the market that ships with Debian as
its standard distribution. It would also impact Technologic Systems,
Bluewater Systems and other small companies for similar reasons.

Who is it that keeps bringing this up? I can see that ARM Ltd would
want this, as it would eliminate Linux distro support for devices from
which they no longer see any royalties., but I don't see any advantage
for anyone else except chronic speed freaks who would kill other
people's boards off to get a half of a percent faster for themselves.

If somebody has a critical need to multiple two shorts with result as
a long in a single instruction (which is what the E in 5TE brings),
surely they can compile their own armel packages changing the cpu
type, rather than making Debian do that and breaking other people's
systems needlessly?

Isn't Debian supposed to be the "Universal Operating System", where
"Universal" includes running on as many different computers as
And the speed freaks can always build their own v5t and v5te
repositories and use those to install from, leaving everybody happy.


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