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Re: vancouver revisited

Riku Voipio wrote:
> Machines and archs. On mips/mipsel/arm we have the situation that we 
> support d-i on some legacy dead-end systems, while there is a pile new
> embedded systems on same arch. If you are working on the embedded side,
> it feels silly to maintain installer for machines you are not using,
> just for the sake of keeping the port in debian.

I can't think of any of ports of d-i that were done by someone with that
mindset. If someone did, please speak up so we can all stop wasting our
time on maintaining support for that system in d-i.

Now, as far as specifics, I can think of some data points rather opposed
to your claim that d-i is only supporting old, dead hardware on mips*
and arm:

 - One of the three mips subarches supported by d-i, the SWARM board, is
   pretty new and cool. If I could buy one, I would. tbm apparently felt
   it was worth his time to do a lot of work to get d-i working on this
   board for both mips and mipsel.
 - goswin apparently felt the same about the xxs1500. Although it's not
   complete, which is a pity as the hardware looks pretty nice.
 - My current employer uses d-i as part of the process of bootstrapping
   Debian arm images, which are then stipped down and put in various
   embedded flashes, including jffs2 images exactly as you describe. But
   just because they flash Debian from a jff2 does not mean that the
   installer is not useful to them, or that it's not useful to their
   customers. Indeed they hired me to work on the installer and improve
   the integration of it into their systems.
 - At DebConf5, vince needed to get an arm system going locally for the
   kernel team to use for something. He had a nice, relatively modern arm
   box, and the best way he could find to install it in time over the
   converence was d-i. I doubt that those were exceptional circumstances,
   though I wish d-i had worked better on arm in that case..
 - A personal interest shared by me, tbm, and taggart is to get Debian
   working on the various types of cheap mips wireless access points that
   are now available in the < $100 price range, many of which now sport a
   usb interface, so should be able to run a real Debian system. I imagine
   it will be useful to have preinstalled images to load into the flash
   and/or a USB drive, but that users will also find it useful to install
   Debian on these from scratch using an installer they are comfortable
   with from installing their PCs.

But this is all irrelivant to the discussion, since there is nothing in
any propsal that says that d-i has to be the way to install Debian on a
given architecture.

For what it's worth, when I look at the set of issues[1] that are blocking
us from releasing a new version of the installer right now, I see lots
to suggest that d-i will not be releasing again with support for all
Debian architectures anytime soon. Most of the issues are in the areas
of kernel, toolchain, and other basic tools, and many of them would cause
problems for anyone attempting the sort of debootstrapping you are

see shy jo

[1] http://wiki.debian.net/?DebianInstallerEtchBeta1Prep

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