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Re: IA-64 GCC deprecation?

On Sun, Jun 16, 2019 at 12:22 PM John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
<glaubitz@physik.fu-berlin.de> wrote:
> GCC maintainers should therefore also consider the needs and interests
> of the maintainers of other projects, in particular with the power that
> GCC has to destroy complete ports.

We understand the importance of GCC and we do not deprecate a target
without good reason.

But you need to remember that we are a volunteer project, and do not
have infinite amounts of time available to support dying targets.
Someone has to support a target, and if no one steps forward then we
have to deprecate it.

> In Debian, we just had to kill of the PowerPCSPE port because GCC decided
> to get rid of the backend despite Andrew Jenner working on fixing up the
> backend. Eric Botcazou said that he didn't think the backend had to be
> removed as it was separate from the other PowerPC backends. But that comment
> was ignored and the backend removed and the Debian port killed off leaving
> multiple users in frustration not being able to update their machines
> anymore.

If someone steps forward to support a target, it can be readded.  But
you aren't going to get much sympathy for the PowerPC SPE port.  This
was a problem for a long time.  Freescale stopped supporting it long
ago.  IBM was forced to support it because it was part of the PowerPC
port.  IBM did the work to separate it, and then after a long period
of no one touching it we had to deprecate it.  But if someone is
serious about fixing it, then it can be re-added.  Ports have been
re-added after deprecation in the past.  There just needs to be
someone willing to do the necessary work.

> RISC-V hardware is expensive, too, and very hard to come by. The same
> applies to VAX and PDP-11. So, I don't think this is a valid argument.

There is a big difference.  There are multiple companies supporting
RISC-V development, including gnu toolchain development.  There are no
companies supporting VAX and PDP-11 toolchain development.  And there
are no companies supporting IA-64 toolchain development.


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