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Re: Proposal for new architecture support/distribution

On Mon, Feb 01, 1999 at 07:54:41PM -0500, Phillip R. Jaenke wrote:
> > Processor is not the issue.  That should be public information.  They
> > ARE the same architecture.
> Incorrect assumption. The PowerPC RS64 II is not the same as a Power2 is
> not the same as a PowerPC With X5 Cache is not the same as a PowerPC
> (603,603e,604,604e). Comparing the PowerPC RS64II purely on the
> architectural level with a PowerPC 604e, is akin to comparing an
> UltraSPARC II to a PentiumII.

But they should at least be userland compatible.  Are they not?   I can
certainly see needing optimized versions of some packages, per
debian/pentium, but not a new port.

> > I'm confused.  Different kernels should _never_ harm userland
> > compatibility.  Only the kernel should ever need to know the difference
> > between UP and SMP.
> It's not the userland/kernel that I'm most worried about; more the
> userland applications themselves. If a multi-threaded application is
> compiled UP, then in most cases, it will not take advantage of an SMP
> system, at least in my experience.

I've never seen a (stabilized, not too unfinished) application that
could support SMP only by recompilation.  Unix threads work just as
well on UP and SMP.  Plus, applications can generally detect and
runtime-enable SMP.

> I honestly cannot say I have seen a Linux system acting as a fileserver,
> or a workgroup server of any sort, in the sense of handling user logins
> and home directories, as well as applications. Proxy servers don't count.
> (I stopped counting Linux proxy servers *long* ago. They're everywhere.)

I have.

> First off; I'm going to have to stick by a seperate RS/6000 distribution
> due to the kernel work that must be done, and possibly other userland work
> that I honestly don't believe any one of us can anticipate anywhere near
> accurately alone. Furthermore, the name alone will likely bring along
> further supporters, especially IBM, who will likely make donations to
> Debian, in the form of hardware and funding. We all know that this is what
> keeps things going, therefore, it cannot be a Bad Thing(tm). ;)

Amigas and Mac 68k's recquire completely different kernels and
installation procedures.  That doesn't stop them from sharing userland. 
Plus, I think that that is an abysmal reason to split or rename - IBM
should at least recognize that the PowerPC is their good old RS/6000.

> Therefore, I propose that we begin work on Debian for the RS/6000. The
> distribution will be no different from any other distribution, except for
> the architectural differences. Depending on how things are done, we may
> have to subdivide it by architecture, ie; Debian-PPC, Debian-PPC64,
> Debian-PPCX5, Debian-POWER2. Personally, that's about the *last* thing I'd
> like to see. Much more work, and possibly more confusion.

Agreed.  So WHY split it from debian/powerpc?


/--------------------------------\  /--------------------------------\
|       Daniel Jacobowitz        |__|     CMU, CS class of 2002      |
|   Debian GNU/Linux Developer    __   Part-Time Systems Programmer  |
|         dan@debian.org         |  |        drow@cs.cmu.edu         |
\--------------------------------/  \--------------------------------/

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