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Re: Uncoordinated upload of the rustified librsvg


2018-11-04 17:32 Ben Hutchings:
On Sun, 2018-11-04 at 13:15 +0100, Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo wrote:

For example RISC-V / riscv64 will probably not have LLVM ready at least
until the LLVM stable released next March.

There are enough languages whose implementation depends on LLVM that I
think it has to be considered an essential part of a new Debian port.
I doubt this is a surprise to the RISC-V porters.

Rust was already a build-dependency for our standard desktop
installation, since Firefox uses it.

A port of LLVM is in the works, and has been for a few years, but it's
not complete yet and not upstreamed.  The people interested in the
RISC-V port for LLVM focused more on the 32-bit and embedded variants,
while the support for 64-bit is more mature in GCC, glibc and Linux.

From a high level view, Firefox (along with the less critical
Thunderbird) is about the only important package that depended on Rust,
until librsvg.  There are other browsers available based on webkit
already working on riscv64.

In general, there is a significant difference before and after
librsvg-rust, because we go from "Firefox and Thunderbird not available"
to "50%(1) of the Debian archive not available [unless other significant
extra efforts or suboptimal solutions(2) are taken]".

Speaking strictly of riscv64(3) -- having almost all of Debian,
including almost everything in the Desktop space and missing only
Firefox, is not bad deal at all.

If more devices similar to the HiFive Unleashed become available in the
next months, with higher volumes and lower prices, Debian users could
use them as regular servers, media centres, scientific/imaging
applications, even desktops.  Which would be nice, because Debian would
work right away in RISC-V based hardware, which currently (and hopefully
in the future) is significantly more open/free than what we have had in
our desktops and phones for a long time.

However, if the number of packages available is reduced significantly,
due to unavailability of librsvg and things that depend on it, we'd have
probably only 50%(1) of the Debian archive available, missing many
important areas.


(1) 50% is made up number, but by precluding most desktop and media
   players software, we can hopefully agree that it's a big event

(2) Let's agree that even if we upload librsvg-c for the use of ports,
   it's not a particularly good solution

(3) The same goes for other ports in which librsvg-rust is not available
   now, of course; including other free(-ish) hardware based on SH4 now
   that patents expired, but that effort has gone quiet for a while

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo <manuel.montezelo@gmail.com>

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