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The debian-s390 port is beginning to pick up speed.

Cross-posting to: 

Hi, and Greetings from Poughkeepsie, NY, USA,
where I'm currently working on the Linux/390 Redbook 

While I'm here, and have access to a full park of the biggest, best
and meanest Mainframes I've ever seen, I've started doing the
dirty-work of bootstrapping a debian-s390 port in my 'copious free time'. 
I will continue to do this when I get back home, although the 
mashine that I'll have then will be miniscule in comparison 
to what I have experianced here.

I've found many friends of Debian within IBM. 
Debian is seen here as a well respected, high quality distribution. 
A debian-s390 distribution also seems to fit well with the idea that 
IBM just doesn't want to be in the distribution business.  
However it is organisationally very difficult for a Cosmos as large as IBM 
to formulate a "cooperation" with an "informal" organisation such as Debian. 

I am particularly impressed with the way that I see the spirit of 
free (speach) software being respected, understood and *lived* 
within various teams I've had the chance to meet here (and in Germany). 
There are still issues being worked out, such as the incorporation 
of the gcc-s390-tool-chain changes but these kinds of things are 
taking place at the common denominator speed of the respective 
lawyers, not the developers. It will happen.

I hope that IBM finds a way of publicly saying that they welcome and
support Debian's initiative to produce a "debian-s390" port without
requiring us to assume a commercial identity (which we neither have 
nor want). 

I hope that Debian finds a way of accepting, and saying 
thankyou for the support, encouragement and hard work that many 
individuals and departments within IBM are giving us.

That's enough politics for today, here comes the fun stuff.

I modified a script from Florian Lohoff (flo@rfc.822.org) which
just walks through the Packages-list and targets anything without an
$ARCH-veto. (The only use a Mainframe would have for a soundblaster card
would be if the floor were slightly uneven.)

These source packages wander through dpkg-buildpackage -b -us -uc.
The survivers land in 'OK', everything else goes to 'NO', 
which is where the fun starts - picking up the pieces and fixing them.

There's nothing subtle about this way of doing it, and it *is*
a good cpu, tool-chain and disk-testing tool, so I called it the 
Brute-Force-Build-Daemon ;-)

You can follow the fun at http://pax.gt.owl.de/~higson/debian-s390/

If you have suggestions about how we *should* be doing the debian side 
of this, or if you want to join in the fray, just join the debian-s390
mailing list at http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/subscribe

s390-linux specifics and generics are discussed at linux-390@vm.marist.edu

"Whatever you do will be insignificant, 
but it is very important that you do it."  == Mahatma Gandhi ==
Have a nice day ;-) Richard Higson mailto:richard.higson@gt.owl.de

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