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Re: Are we losing users to Gentoo?

On Tue, Nov 26, 2002 at 04:41:45PM +0200, Riku Voipio wrote:
> Something is seriously wrong, if a single bug that affects a single
> arch can stop everyone else from forward. We need a way to get packages
> that are broken on some platform into the distrubution while the
> developers of the arch sort out the problem. Not the way it is happening
> currently, that everyone has to wait the platform to fix itself before
> updated packages get into distribution.

i have a very different opinion on that. i don't any box that's not x86
but i still like all the ports, because it gets debian a bigger audience
which means more testing, fixes and potential developers. and this
audience is not only bigger but also wider spread, which means debian is
put to much more different uses and therefore bugs that might slip
unnoticed are discovered. on top of that it is a good thing to support
other architectures to avoid monopolies. a lot of the bugs that show up
on one architecture are a bug on x86 as well, but just don't show up. we
can for example be pretty sure that our software is 64-bit clean because
of things like the alpha port, which means that supporting x86-64 and
ia64 is a breeze (which is a nightmare for proprietary software
vendors, that never thought their software has to run on anything but a

if we want to support these architectures, then we have to support them
together with mainline architectures, and not treat them as second-class
spinoffs of x86-linux. if we don't release on all architectures at the
same time and thus force the developers to fix bugs on less-used arches
as well, we will basically give up on supporting them at all. which is
something i definitely would not like.

on a bit wider perspective, there are many examples where non-mainline
uses lead to improvements for all. a very prominent example is the 2.5
kernel, which brings a lot of scalability improvements for small x86
servers done by people who give shit about computers like these.

cu  robert

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