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Re: Re-evaluating architecture inclusion in unstable/experimental

On Fri, 2018-09-28 at 14:16 +0200, John Paul Adrian Glaubitz wrote:
> Furthermore, several of the ports are in very healthy condition and
> even surpass some release architectures. The powerpc and ppc64 ports,
> for example, build more packages than any of the mips* ports.

I would be very happy to never have to wait for MIPS builds again.

> As for the kernel maintenance, except for Alpha, all the ports have
> at least one kernel maintainer:
>  * hppa: actively maintained by two people who also maintain the toolchain

But the hardware is EOL since 2008.

>  * ia64: maintained by one paid developer at Intel

To the extent of 2 whole commits this year!  I'm pretty sure this is
not actually his job any more.

>  * m68k: maintained by multiple independent kernel maintainers, at least
>          five people involved upstream; port is also getting new drivers

But the available hardware is either too slow to be useful, or only
available through crowdfunding (maybe, eventually).

>  * powerpc/ppc64: maintained mostly by IBM people

IBM looks after 64-bit configurations, so ppc64 is covered but not

>  * sh4: maintained by two kernel maintainers

That may be, but the Debian port isn't stable enough to *build* a
kernel: https://buildd.debian.org/status/logs.php?pkg=linux&arch=sh4

>  * sparc64: used to be maintained by a team at Oracle but Oracle recently
>             changed their mind about Linux on SPARC; now it's back to
>             David Miller and some additional volunteers

Oracle laid off their SPARC team.  Fujitsu has another SPARC processor
in development, but only for supercomputers (and they seem to be
switching to Aarch64 later).  So we can expect this architecture to
slowly fade away now.

>  * x32: maintained by the people who maintain the x86 port of the kernel

H. Peter Anvin did the original port in 2012, but so far as I can see
none of the x86 maintainers have done any development on it since then.
And yes, development work has been needed:

- x32 has 64-bit time_t and that never worked quite right.  This may
  have finally been fixed this year by Arnd Bergmann's work, but I'm
  not sure.
- syscall restart was broken until 2015 when someone actually tested
- There have been several regressions specific to x32, some of which
  stuck around for a year or so before someone and fixed them.


So, by all means have fun working on these ports, but aside from ppc64
I don't see any prospect of them meeting release qualifications.


Ben Hutchings
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism. - Harrison

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