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amd64 and sarge

Dear Porters, dear Developers,

the latest update from the release masters indicate that the release
of sarge is happening quite soon (perhaps by mid-September).[1] I'm
happy with this development. This mail should write up some of the
issues I see for amd64 and sarge, and I welcome feedback.

In my opinion, the decision how to proceed needs to be based on the
following issues:
1. amd64 is currently not part of sid
2. to allow amd64 to enter the archive, at least the mirror scripts
have to be adopted, and the technical questions by the ftp-masters
have to be answered (however, these questions are not asked till now[2]).
3. the release of sarge is overdue; we should not risk a further
4. base+standard packages will be frozen starting on August 1st.[1]
5. our users will profit if we can give them at least some support for
amd64 (means: more than only i386).

So, because of 1. and 4., there is already now no possiblity any more
to add amd64 to sarge as a normal architecture. I also see no way to
official release sarge r0 with amd64 as supported architecture.

What may be possible in my opinion is to add amd64 as a "maybe
broken"-architecture even to sarge (means: bugs only for that arch are
non-RC per definition, and this arch doesn't count for package
transits to sarge); on the other hand, porters uploads of amd64-binary
packages even to t-p-u are relaxed till sarge r1 (or so). Via this
way, amd64 packages are in the archive, even in the dist called sarge.
Users don't need to use a development version of debian for amd64. We
just don't claim that it's as hard tested as everything else. Going
this way would prevent to delay the release of sarge. And: We keep the
door wide open to add amd64 with sarge r1.

If we want to follow this way, the remaining steps would be IMHO:
1. Get the remaining issues with the ftp- and mirror scripts fixed.
2. Ask the technical questions from the ftp-masters, and answer them.
3. Add amd64 to sid, and as "maybe broken"-arch to sarge.
4. Release sarge.


[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2004/07/msg00016.html
[2] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/07/msg01344.html
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