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Re: Let's remove mips, mipsel, s390, ... (Was: [Fwd: Re: GTK+2.0 2.6.2-3 and buildds running out of space])

On Sun, Feb 20, 2005 at 10:57:47PM +0000, Dirk Eddelbuettel wrote:

> Our chances of actually releasing one day could only increase if we dropped 
> arches such as mipsel, s390, m68k, ... and concentrated on those that actually 
> mattered: i386, powerpc, amd64 -- and I'll gladly add a few more.  But a total of
> eleven is insane.

Ah, are the 6 months over and it's time for your regularly "drop those
archs!"-rant again?

Linux is about freedom - freedom of whatever software you want to use and
even what arch you want to use to run your chosen software. And even it's
freedom of you to support an arch or not - but keep in mind that dropping
support for some archs might trigger the freedom of release managers to not
include your packages because of missing arch support. Isn't freedom a great

Yet you haven't come up with proofs to support your call to remove those
archs. I think you're just annoyed to deal with more than (let's say) 3
archs. But hey, that's your personal problem then. 

I do see some structural problems (or say management problems) for some
archs, but not problems with those archs itself. While m68k has solved those
problems long time ago and still continuing to work on those problems,
other archs don't want to take over the way of m68k to prevent problems. 
But again, that's a managing problem. Remove the responsible porters if
they are not successful in doing their duties, but not the arch. 

> But then it doesn't matter anymore. These days, Debian is "infrastructure". 
> We no longer make releases. We provide the basis from which others make releases
> -- Ubuntu, Prodigy, Knoppix, Custom debian dists etc pp.

That's true in some regards, but hasn't to do anything with the number of
> Still, the hours we maste on fixing, building, maintaining, ... code on unused
> platforms is hysterical waste of resources. Resources we don't really have. It
> would be better to concentrate on a core of packages, and platforms, and then
> get on with it.  One day it will break the infrastructure provision, at which 
> point someone will fork our high-priority core packages.

Concentrating on a core set of packages for release was one of the aspects I
already proposed last year, well, 2 years ago in the meantime. 
The problem is quite simple: Debian is too huge for the current structure. 
It worked fine so far, but that's easy. You can easily release 2000 packages
for 3 archs with that grown structure, but you will get real problems with
>10000 packages and >10 archs. Change the structure how Debian works and
you'll be able to deal again with those problems easily. 

Ciao...              // 
      Ingo         \X/

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