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hppa release status


during the upload of python2.5, the build failed on hppa due to stalls
in the test suite, see http://bugs.debian.org/483042 and
(Matthias "fixed" that bug by disabling the testsuite, not something that makes
us happy.)

After that happened, we asked on #parisc if someone could take a look,
and we were told that linuxthreads is currently unmaintained for hppa,
and the issue could only be fixed by moving to nptl and we need to do an
(incompatible) abi change in glibc. Such a change would be really
unfortunate, and we hope that every other roads have been evaluated
first (like trying to understand why python on linuxthreads fails on
hppa but not on e.g. kfreebsd). We also would like to be sure that ntpl
is really better than linuxthreads for python2.5 before a transition.

In addition to the python2.5 issue, there are two other issues that are
quite concerning:
  * a problem with ruby1.9 which likely is kernel related #478717.
  * dirmngr that segfaults, likely because of some signalstack issues

We've seen no porter activity on those bugs yet.

On further discussing that within the release team, we noticed that the
Qualification page on http://wiki.debian.org/hppaLennyReleaseRecertification
is not really complete, e.g. it says:
| The installer is being maintained by ... and it's currently working
| effectively. Successful installation reports are available at: ...

It would really be great (read: it is necessary) that the Qualification
Page is filled with the missing information, and that we actually have
enough porters for hppa.

So, with respect to the python2.5 issue, what now?

At the technical side, best of course would be if linuxthreads would
continue to work at least enough for lenny, this was the case for a few
years already, it should be able to survive a few months more, and
python2.5 can build with the test-suite on hppa.  Of course not breaking
the API during a linuxthreads -> NPTL switch would be even better.

If really you see no other option than switching to NPTL, even at the
current unfortunate moment, the only way how this could be done in a
timely fashion would be to exempt hppa from the list of architectures
our testing migration scripts look at for updateness and non-breakness.
Then upload glibc ASAP, and schedule an archive-wide binNMU campaign.

Of course, this demands enough buildd power, and wanna-build access by
(some of) the porters (or whatever else you consider appropriate).
Moreover it needs quite a lot of time to track that closely, which the
Release Team probably won't have on its own, so we will need hppa
buildd-admin and hppa porters time, a lot.

After the transition is done (and we can only hope it is in time for
lenny), hppa could be added back to the normal architectures. Downside
of this is of course that in case hppa is slower than lenny, lenny would
be released without hppa.

Of course, we also need plans for the ruby and dirmngr issues.

So, after that long mail, what's your take on this? How do we continue?


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