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Re: Feedback from the community -> ARM

On Sat, Jun 12, 2021 at 11:34:32AM +0000, Andrew M.A. Cater wrote:
> Some of them are hugely true: at the time when the first RPi was released, it
> was released as ARM v6 with hardware floating point. Almost all Linux 
> distributions at that point had agreed on architectures <ARM v7 32 bit as
> having software floating point and ARM v7 specs to be hardware floating 
> point.
> Sounds small: but it's meant that Raspbian was always the odd one out, that 
> RPi .debs had to be essentially rebuilt from scratch and you couldn't
> just move to stock Debian / Ubuntu or whatever or run software from one 
> on the other.. Raspberry Pi OS still preserves this v6-ness and essential
> 32 bit nature - not just for backward compatibility but because the Soc ine
> very Pi Zero is still only ARM v6 and 32 bit.

Yes, this was a big thing, but five years ago! Or ten.
But I don't see how these old grudges are any more relevant
than if Acer preinstalls 32 or 64bit Windows on their 
computers, or if ChromeOS on certain devices is 32 or 64 bit.

The Raspberry Pi 4 is completely capable of running plain vanilla 
64bit aarch64/arm64 binaries. And that is what counts. Grudges 
about historic decisions of the RP Foundation don't change that
at all. 

> This is also the reason why Raspberry Pi OS isn't particularly concerned with 
> 64 bit and a 64 bit Raspberry Pi OS is in paermanent beta, though
> you've been able to run 64 bit code on everything since some models of the
> Raspberry Pi 2. 

They also have different goals from Debian. It is not surprising
that their solutions are different. 

> There have also been points when the Raspberry Pi Foundation didn't
> talk to the wider ARM Linux community (and where the wider community couldn't
> get information/offer advice/help) which hasn't helped the overall situation
> or some people's feelings about Raspberry Pi in gneral

That might be true, but then there is still the reality that the
RPi is probably the most successful ARM system outside of 
mobile phones/tablets. It is what I can buy in the shops now,
at a very competitive (compared to amd64 and other arm boards) 
price. It runs vanilla Debian without patches (unlike many
sunxi based devices with old old kernels). It is in the reach
of everybody (unlike the hardware that Amazon uses for their 
arm based EC2 hosts, whatever that is, you cannot easily buy

> Strange booting process: a consequence of the original Broadcom SoC.
> It would be _so_ nice if RPi people would just adopt UEFI from here on in
> and produce firmware that would default to that.

Who is "Raspberry Pi people"? There is a -- by now very stable --
UEFI support for the RPi4 (and 3? never tried that), so again 
this criticism is not fair. If this happens with the blessing
and financing of the foundation (I have no idea) or not does
not make any difference. 

Yes, the official foundation images do use something else, but
so do most hardware vendors (by preinstalling Windows). I don't
see how this is a valid criticism.

> The details of Raspberry Pi-ness and requests there are subtly different 
> to  requests to ARM themselves. The fact that the RPi is very much dominant at
>  the moment is also because it's very much available while most of the other 
> ARM SBCs are on back order / not currently in production / waiting on chips. 
> If that situation continues,then the RPi will become the de facto solution 
> for most ARM stuff in the medium term.

It *is* the de facto solution for most people for the medium term, 
at least until the dust around the Apple M1 systems settles (too
expensive to buy as an expensive toy with unknown support).

And I don't see how this is bad. It is not as if the RPi takes
away anybody's options to buy other Arm SBCs. 


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