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Re: RFC: Better portability for package maintainers

On Sat, May 20, 2006 at 12:37:36PM -0300, Gustavo Noronha Silva wrote:
> Our Architecture: field is about the arches that Debian itself supports.
> If the meaning was broad as you describe, would we have to make sure our
> packages build on MS DOS?
> I'll agree with Josselin here: Debian is a GNU operating system, not a
> POSIX OS. If there are porting problems which are specific to Nexenta
> and you want them to be integrated, you can provide patches. Or you can
> port the GNU libc to Nexenta (and, after this happens, you can even
> integrate Nexenta into Debian, why not?).

Still, I would say that Erast has a good point.  The problem is, there
are three different sides:
* Sun
    They want people to support their platform.
* upstreams
    They just *love* having their software ported everywhere.  And I mean:
    * purely commercial upstreams (more customers!)
    * purely noncommercial ones (free ego boost)
    * anything in-between (bigger user base, more potential patches, etc)
    With Nexenta being more similar to Solaris, the ported software will
    be more likely to work there as well, giving it more coverage.
* Debian
    Easy porting, and keeping porting that way in the future.  Supporting
    wildly diverse libcs stands against this goal.

Note that the first two groups would prefer a new project which is not
very likely to have a lot of users soon to use the Sun libc.
Sun: for obvious reasons.
Upstreams: free porting to near-Solaris, hardly any users lost due to
harder porting.

On the other hand, Debian obviously would prefer to have Nexenta be
close -- preferably as an arch.  Without GNU libc, Nexenta can't really
be a part of Debian.

> I do care about Free Software principles, but my time for working on
> Debian is very limited these days, and porting my packages to an
> "unsupported" architecture is not very high in my priorities list.

In other words, Nexenta can choose between:
* GNU libc: easy porting of nearly all of Debian's repository, more
  cooperation from Debian developers
* Sun libc: better interoperability with Solaris

GNU libc would give Nexenta lots of usability fast, Sun libc would make
it a more experimental bridge to Solaris.

I don't really love Sun -- but, if we can give them a reason to relicense
their stuff to something GPL-compatible, it would be a big win.  Without
compatibility with GPL, we'll have more and more wars and crap similar to
the recent Java issue.

Cheers and schtuff,
1KB			// Microsoft corollary to Hanlon's razor:
			//        Never attribute to stupidity what can be
			//        adequately explained by malice.

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