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Intent to port to ia64

I wish to create a port of Debian GNU/Linux to ia64
(http://www.linuxia64.org/).  Since I just started the NM process,
I'll need a sponsor once I start creating packages.  Right now,
though, all I've done yet is bootstrap a very minimal native runtime
environment, and I'm waiting to hear back from the SourceForge compile
farm people so I can test it and start expanding it.

If there are no problems with this, I'll go ahead and request a
debian-ia64 mailing list and the addition of an ia64 section to the
archives.  (Anything I missed that's necessary?)

Some technical notes on my intentions for the port:

Gcc and libc seem to have split up into specific ia64 forks which most
of the other distributions are using.  However, I've found the latest
CVS versions of these to be usable in my brief tests on the (very
slow) HP simulator.  Given that in the past Debian has chosen
consistency over compatibility with other distributions, I plan to use
the CVS versions of the standard tools instead, but eventually look
into creating optional packages of the forked versions.

In general, when ia64 support requires an alpha version of software, I
plan to create a package with a name of the form gcc_2.96-0cvs000729,
with a source package gcc-ia64 with the Architecture field set to ia64.
Hopefully, this way the presence of the source package won't interfere
with the other ports, and after a public release the separate source
package will go away but leave a smooth upgrade path.  Otherwise, I'll
do the porting work, then post a patch to the bug tracking system.

Since ia64 supports backward binary compatibility with ia32, it would
be nice if eventually the ia64 version of dpkg could install i386
packages.  However, I cannot think of a good mechanism, so this is a
more long-term goal, unless I'm missing an obvious solution.  (So far
my ideas include: cross-compiling versions of the libraries to use
/usr/i386-linux/lib, or implicit diversions of duplicated files.  I
suppose precedent would say to take the cross-compiling path, but that
has disadvantages as the recent libc5 thread pointed out.)
Daniel Schepler              "Please don't disillusion me.  I
schepler@math.berkeley.edu    haven't had breakfast yet."
                                 -- Orson Scott Card

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