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Bits from the Release Team: Architecture health check

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* Architecture health check
* "Recursive" auto-removals temporarily suspended
* Auto-removals now listed on the PTS

Architecture health check

During an IRC-meeting on the 26th of January, the Release Team
reviewed the status of the architectures in sid.

The following architectures are currently doing well enough to be
release architectures:

 * amd64
 * i386
 * powerpc
   - The architecture has improved since we warned it.
 * s390x

The following architectures are not doing well enough to be considered
release architectures:
 * hurd-i386
   - The architecture is not in testing, which is status quo.
 * ia64
   - We have seen no improvements and intend to remove it from
 * sparc
   - We have seen no improvements.  Therefore, out of date
     binaries on sparc will no longer prevent packages from 
     migrating to testing and Britney will be allowed to break
     existing packages in testing on sparc.
   - We will review sparc again in about 2 months; should porters
     have stepped up and resolved the concerns we had about sparc
     we will consider undoing this change.  Otherwise, we will
     remove sparc from testing as well.

This leaves 6 architectures:
 * armel and armhf
   - We are mostly happy, but we are a bit concerned that the
     architectures (especially armhf) might be a bit short on
     buildd redundancy (buildspeed-wise).  Héctor Orón has
     promised to do an assessment on the situation and we now
     await his results.
   - armel and armhf remain in testing as candidate release
     architectures for now.
 * mips and mipsel
   - On the 17th of January, the mips and mipsel porters
     approached DSA and the Release Team with a proposal for
     resolving our concerns with hardware issues for these ports.
     The proposal looks promising and we have decided to defer
     the decision regarding these architectures for now.
   - mips and mipsel remain in testing as candidate release
     architectures for now.
 * kfreebsd-amd64 and kfreebsd-i386
   - On one hand, we are unconvinced that kFreeBSD will be able
     to be on par with other release architectures in terms of
     supported packages for Jessie.
   - On the other hand, we believe kFreeBSD could be improved by
     reducing the scope of the port for Jessie.
   - Therefore, we would like to invite the kFreeBSD porters to a
     dialogue to determine the scope of kFreeBSD for Jessie.  If
     we can come to a agreement on this and both sides can live
     up to the agreement, kFreeBSD will become a release
     architecture for Jessie.
   - kfreebsd-amd64 and kfreebsd-i386 remain in testing as
     candidate release architectures for now.

We intend to review *all* architectures once again in about 2 months
from now.


 Q: Why does kFreeBSD get the offer to reduce its scope, while
    Hurd did not?
 A: We believe the kFreeBSD ports to be sufficiently close to a
    release architecture in terms of supported packages for a scope
    reduction to make sense.  At this time, we do not feel we can
    say the same for Hurd.
 Q: What were the problems with sparc again?
 A: Kernel in stable does not work and sparc is still using gcc-4.6
    as default compiler.

"Recursive" auto-removals temporarily suspended

We have received complaints that package maintainers felt surprised
and inadequately warned, when their packages were removed due to a(n
indirect) dependency being removed.  Therefore, we have decided to
temporarily suspend removals of packages that have reverse
dependencies until a "push-notification" is in place.

As soon as this issue is resolved, we will re-enable recursive
automatic removals.

This issue is currently tracked as #734396.

Auto-removals now listed on the PTS

Thanks to the work of Ivo De Decker and Paul Wise, the PTS will now
display a warning for packages that are about to be auto-removed from

Niels, on behalf of the Release Team

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