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Re: Bits from the RM

On Tue, Dec 02, 2003 at 05:09:37PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> > What happens if say there are simply not enough people interested in
> > GNOME for example, and the RC counts rise, and rise at an increasing
> > rate, and we never release again?
> That's not a very interesting hypothetical -- there're plenty of people
> interested in getting Gnome to work on Debian. The aim is to focus
> on *fixing* the bugs, not remove the packages, and while threats can
> motivate sometimes (although they often do the opposite too), it's not
> really where we want to focus our attention or energies.

I agree that GNOME is not a very good example here.  Let me propose
another: The ARM port.  I realize the examples thus far have been in
regard to packages, not ports, but at what point does it make sense to
say "OK, the <foo> port has held up the release of sarge by virtue of
not having a working installer.  It is going to be removed from the list
of supported platforms for sarge."

A quick look at
http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/ports-status indicates
that, for some platforms, the situation is pretty grim.  ARM, for
example, hasn't been touched since March, and doesn't even have a
working kernel for the installer.  m68k is not a whole lot better, but
has at least seen some recent activity.

Where are the people who originally thought it would be "fun" to port
Debian to some of these architectures?  How long do we wait for them?
Clearly AJ's message to debian-devel-announce on August 19 announcing a
release goal of December 1 didn't inspire any new activity.  This gives
the appearance that the ARM port maintainers simply don't care if sarge
gets released at all.  This is very discouraging.

I don't want to come across sounding too harsh; I run Debian on a number
of architectures besides x86 and appreciate its multi-platform support.
But, if those who work on Debian on a given platform are no longer
interested in putting in the effort necessary to maintain that
architecture, we really should rethink our committment to it.


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