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Re: The 98% and N<=2 criteria (was: Vancouver meeting - clarifications)

On Fri, Mar 18, 2005 at 11:32:08PM -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:
> As pointed out in a recent thread, most of the core hardware portability
> issues are picked up just by building on "the big three" -- i386, powerpc,
> amd64.  If we know the software isn't going to be used, is it actually
> useful to build it as a "QA measure"?

A QA measure for kernel/toolchain issues, sure. Many compiler bugs are
identified by compiling 10G worth of software for an architecture;
perhaps we should have a better way of tracking these, but it surely is
a class of problems that /cannot/ be identified by just building on the
big N architectures.

> What value is there, in fact, in checking for bugs that will only be
> tripped while building software that isn't going to be used?

Many, many more software than just the one that Debian distributes
exists; and many developers may attempt to build their software using
gcc on exotic hardware.

By building 10G worth of software for an architecture, it is /very/
likely that most ICE bugs have been found, and at least some, if not
many, of them fixed, by the time Debian releases. This helps people
developing software for that hardware platform -- and not just if they
happen to be Debian users. This is of extreme value to the Free Software
community as a whole.

     smog  |   bricks
 AIR  --  mud  -- FIRE
soda water |   tequila
 -- with thanks to fortune

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