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squeeze and the future of the alpha port, redux

Dear Alpha fans,

In August of last year, I posed the question to the debian-alpha mailing
list:  should Debian continue to support an alpha port following the release
of lenny?


As would be expected when making such a post to the debian-alpha list, there
were a number of responses from users who expressed dismay at the prospect
of Debian no longer supporting alpha in squeeze.

Also unsurprisingly (to me, given my observations that had led to the post
in the first place), no one else has yet stepped up to be an alpha porter
for squeeze.

I linked to
as a starting point for folks to get involved in trying to help with the
alpha port if they want to see it continue in squeeze.  Well, only 9 of
those bugs have been closed in the past year, with 31 other bugs open, not
to mention the serious problems of the port's viability implied by things
like the lack of Java support and the general absence of a porter community.

For Lenny, I was the sole Debian developer willing to put his name down as a
porter on <http://wiki.debian.org/alphaLennyReleaseRecertification>.  For
Squeeze, I am not willing to put my name down without a significant show of
committment on the part of other developers.  By all rights, alpha shouldn't
even have released with Lenny given the state of its porter support; it's
effectively coasted for the past year (I haven't even had a running alpha
for the past five months owing to a hardware failure), and I don't want to
see it coast its way into Squeeze.

I've cc:ed everyone who listed themselves as an alpha porter for etch on
<http://wiki.debian.org/alphaEtchReleaseRecertification>, to make sure
anyone willing to do the work on alpha for Squeeze has an opportunity to do
so.  But in the absence of some demonstration of committment in the next
couple of weeks, on March 7 I'll plan to ask the ftp team and the release
team to drop alpha from the archive for testing and unstable.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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