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Re: ppc64el porter situation


On 2016-10-17 22:50, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> Disclaimer:
> I am not a member of the release team, and I am only speaking for myself.
> The architecture requalification status for stretch [1] lists the 
> ppc64el porter situation as green, but there are three reasons why
> the situation doesn't look that good to me.
> First, official status of the porters:
> - 1 DD
> - 1 DM
> - 2 no DD/DM
> Is a DM enough, if the only DD gets killed by a car [2] the day after 
> the release of stretch?

I am actually not sure it makes a lot of difference being DD or DM or
even not a DD/DM. What is important is that issues are fixed, that 
patches are provided. For that you need access to the knowledge and
access to the hardware, not upload or vote rights.
> Second, all 4 committed porters seem to be employees of IBM.

That's true, but they are from two different teams in two different

> What happens if for whatever good or bad reason IBM decides in 2018
> or 2019 to go away from ppc64el, and all 4 committed porters get fired?
> The wording of the porter commitment is already limited to "I intend to",
> and there is the single point of failure that one business decision
> by IBM might reduce the number of porters immediately from 4 to 0.

I think it's unlikely to happen, and even if that happens the porters
might continue to work on Debian on their personal time.

> Third, the skills of the committed porters for post-release work.
> It is extremely valuable when people are doing manual and automated 
> testing and fix the usual porting issues prior to the release.
> But the most important skills required post-release until end-2020 are 
> quite different.
> How many of the committed ppc64el porters are personally able to fix
> difficult issues that require intimate knowledge of hardware, kernel
> and toolchain?

The 4 porters have been working on ppc64el for years, they have done the
initial bootstrapping outside of Debian, they have done the initial
bootstrap in Debian, they have participated in the release of Jessie and
they have sent hundred of patches in the BTS.

To me it looks like they are really skilled for that job. Do you have
actual facts showing the contrary?


Aurelien Jarno                          GPG: 4096R/1DDD8C9B
aurelien@aurel32.net                 http://www.aurel32.net

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