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Re: GSoC proposal


2009/4/16 sha liu <sandyleo26@gmail.com>
>> ps: you can call me Fred or Mr. Muller, but not Muller.
>> In English family names are last (as opposed to Chinese
>> where you put them first...)
> Sure, Fred. You can call me Liu or Sha or Sha Liu or Liu Sha
> or even 刘沙(I know you know some Chinese), whichever
> you like since all these sound great to me.

> I hate this but I think I have to mention the question again:
> Since there're already two ports related to mips arch (mips and mipsel)
> in Debian now, is it possible for this project to to be integrated into
> Debian repository? as the third port?

I must say this mailing list is unusually quiet.  Hmm...
Thanks to Fred for his warm response!  I wonder if
we should try asking this question on debian-devel@l.d.o.

Anyhow, to answer your question, I think there is genuine
interest within the Debian community to eventually produce
a MIPS N32 port or even MIPS N64 port.  The discussion
in this bug report may give you some more hints:


Note especially the insights from the late Thiemo Seufer,
who was a Debian Developer for the MIPS port and who
unfortunately died in a tragic accident on December 26
last year.  Do try to read the whole thread and understand
it; though one of the key part is this:

>> Just to make sure:  There are only two Debian MIPS architectures: mips
>> and mipsel.   Does that mean, that
>>   Debian arch  | ABI (from your list above)
>>   -------------+---------------------------
>>   mips         | mips, mipsn32, mips64
>>   mipsel       | mipsel, mipsn32el, mips64el
> No, sorry again for leaving ot crucial information. Debian currently
> supports only O32 ABI. Support for the other ABIs is planned in future
> but so far hasn't progressed much beyond 64bit Kernels. The ABI names
> quoted above are actually the propsed Debian architecture names, since
> "Debian architecture" effectiely means "support for one specific ABI".

That said, there are several ways to go about it:

 1. Straight port like what we are proposing for GSoC

 2. A "multilib" strategy currently available in Debian 5.0

 3. Multi-arch.

You might be interested to read about a PDF report entitled
_Multi-Arch_Implementation_Strategy_  prepared for HP
by Canonical to study more on the pros and cons of each:


Anyhow, I think the main question now to the Debian MIPS
developers community is this: Can we go ahead and use the
Theimo's proposed name of "mipsn32el" for this port?  If the
answer is "Yes", then yes, let's get started!  :-)

Don't worry too much about whether it will be integrated
into the official Debian repository at this point.  If it is good,
and the community really wants it, it will happen.  For the
time being, it will be maintained out-of-tree.  Take a
look at the history of the Debian "armel" port.  IIRC, It took
almost two years before it became an official Debian port.
:-)  But that is OK, as it allows time and flexibility to
experiment and sort out problems before the official
release, and an out-of-tree port is equally helpful to the

The following links might be helpful:


Any comments from the Debian MIPS developers
community?  :-)


Anthony Fok
Debian Developer
ThizLinux Software Co., Ltd.

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