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Re: Dropping 386 support

peter green wrote:
> calling stuff i386 when it will not run natively on a 386 seems like asking
> for confustion to me

True, but we're way to close to a release to fix *that*.  And I'm not
sure that we could easily fix binary-i386 at all..

> why and when was this instruction emulation needed in the first place (that
> is why and when was the userland changed to need it)

Looking in that archive, this was first discussed in April 2003:


   Debian to drop Support for i386? Jochen Friedrich [30]noted that
   due to GCC 3.2 the new libstdc++5 library requires an 80486
   processor or higher, the old 80386 on which Linux was started, is
   no longer supported. Therefore Matthias Klose [31]wondered whether
   Debian should further support the i386 target.

   30. http://bugs.debian.org/185662
   31. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg01895.html


   Dropping Support for i386? Nathanael Nerode [17]investigated the
   i386 problem and discovered that to maintain binary compatibility
   with C++ packages from other distributions, Debian needs to use the
   i486 version of atomicity.h supplied by GCC. Dagfinn Ilmari
   Mannsåker [18]wrote a small [19]script that compares the speed of
   OpenSSL code for i386 versus i486 on a P-III Mobile.

   17. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg02112.html
   18. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-0304/msg02134.html
   19. http://ilmari.org/sslcmp

Another URL that was inspired by and mentioned on the debian-release
mailing list: <http://people.debian.org/~joey/pr/3.1/i386.html>

Hope that helps.



Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it!  -- Mark Twain

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