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Re: AMD64 for sarge [<rant> Package: ftpmasters, Severity: serious, ...]

On Wed, Jul 07, 2004 at 10:01:51AM -0400, Chip Salzenberg wrote:
> According to Martin Michlmayr - Debian Project Leader:
> >   - A general port inclusion policy: there are a number of pending ports
> >     (s390x, powerp64 and various BSD ports), and therefore it is
> >     important to have a clear policy saying which criteria a new port
> >     has to fulfil.
> AMD64 hardware sales are huge and growing.  Its CPUs are made by both
> AMD and Intel.  It's the upward-compatible upgrade path for the single
> most popular computer architecture *ever*.
> But Debian can't accept the port because we don't have a PORT POLICY.
> I think there's only one possible comment: "WTF?!"

Let's quantify this a bit more calmly :-)

I think there is something odd here.  We have numerous other ports that
have been allowed in prior to having this written policy.  I have
personally been involved with several of them.  Not allowing something
in because there is no written policy is a policy itself, and it seems
to be arbitrarily enforced.

It is very annoying to have all these closed-door workings of Debian.
ftpmaster writing policies behind closed doors that impact everyone, for
instance, and the DPL supporting it is troubling to me.  I might even go
so far as to say that it violates our "We won't hide problems" promise.
I am at a loss as to why this discussion is not happing on -devel or
-project and instead in private.

The various informal requirements (which, I should say, sounded quite
reasonable) that have been communicated to me on these lists before seem
to have been met by amd64 quite some time ago.  Some of them have not
been met by architectures already in the archive (even *released*
architectures!).  I would hope that the port policy would also force the
expulsion of any existing port that cannot meet the requirements for a
new port.

There seems to be a lot of ill will towards amd64 for a reason I cannot
fathom.  Some would be led to believe a conspiracy exists.  Because the
powers that be hold their discussions in private, we cannot prove or
disprove this, and I'm not alleging it.

But we have a situation here where the amd64 port name was arbitrarily
changed in dpkg (without any public discussion first); amd64 is more
mature than even some released architectures; people (the DPL included)
continue to raise the inability of amd64 to run 32-bit apps as a reason
not to accept it (even though this has not been a requirement for any
other 64-bit platform).  We have not only working debian-installer but
also working DFS installer.  There are also allusions to unnamed
"technical concerns" that ftpmasters have but have not communicated to

> Can you imagine -- can anyone imagine -- that this POLICY, when it is
> created, won't allow the AMD64 port?!  That would be insane!  So, just

That is an excellent point.  If ftpmasters see a problem with amd64
meeting the policy they are drafting, tell us about it already and let
us fix things now rather than making us wait for this vaporous document.

> accept the fricking port and *then* write the policy!

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