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Re: Proposal for new architecture support/distribution


On Mon, 1 Feb 1999, Daniel Jacobowitz wrote:

> Unless I'm severely mistaken, the userland for all lines of Power* CPUs
> should be identical, minus a few hardware-related programs.  The major
> portion of the work is kernel; if you can get them to boot, we'll
> gladly support the installation process.

Unfortunately, this does not hold true for all userland programs. ie;
mpg123. Allow me to show you a little snippet from it's source tree.

- -rw-------   1 5285     5030         4717 Nov  8  1997 decode.c
- -rw-------   1 5285     5030         5070 Nov  8  1997 decode_2to1.c
- -rw-r--r--   1 5285     5010         6528 Dec  2 11:54 decode_3dnow.s
- -rw-------   1 5285     5030         5445 Nov  8  1997 decode_4to1.c
- -rw-------   1 5285     5010         5778 Dec  2 11:54 decode_i386.c
- -rw-r--r--   1 5285     5010         6984 Nov 19 05:42 decode_i486.c
- -rw-------   1 5285     5030         5150 Aug 23  1997 decode_i586.s
- -rw-------   1 5285     5030         6120 Nov  2 17:42 decode_ntom.c

Each one of those files is almost entirely ASM, in reality. The generic
'decode.c' would work, but under some testing I was able to do before I
lost access, it was nearly unusable. But, that's one program. You are
correct that the vast majority of userland things will work cleanly. 

However, that brings me back to the current serious problems that are
keeping me from going further; lack of access to hardware, lack of
information, and lack of help. No matter if they port cleanly; without a
way to test it, we're up against a brick wall. There's nothing that can
really be done till we can obtain hardware and information.

As I stated in my original email, the information should not be too
difficult, seeing as how IBM has now joined Linux International. I don't
believe they'll be too argumentative or difficult with giving us the
information required for the PowerPC RS64 II and the Power2 processor. 

So, that really only leaves the hardware issue, which is why I have turned
to everyone here. I'm familiar with it, enough so as to get others with
access started on the work. And would be more than happy to do so. 

It is my hope that by working with the Debian developers, we will be able
to not only obtain the necessary information and equipment to go further,
but we will be able to take Linux into a currently unexplored market.
Personally, I don't have the resources to do this alone. Nor the time to
port that which needs to be, and so on. As a team, I know that it can be
done, and done well. 

Once again, thoughts, input, output, feedback, etc are always welcome.

Also, please note the new PGP key, and the Reply-To header. I have
procmail working, as a stopgap till I can (hopefully) find a new job, and
switch back to dedicated access. ;P

- -Phillip R. Jaenke (prj@nls.net | InterNIC: PRJ5)
 "Look. It works this way." "Why?" "Because the designer said so."
 "Why?" "Because the designer is a moron. Let's fix it." --anon.

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