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Re: Dropping sparc32 for lenny

First of all, I'm glad with the etch support. It should keep life for
us easy for a while longer.
Sooner or later, it is expected ditros drop support for older
architectures. Sad but true. Is there a 'retirement home' distro
out there already? For a while we could keep backport efforts going
I guess.

More inline.

On Sun, Apr 15, 2007 at 09:51:03PM +0100, Jurij Smakov wrote:
> Hi,
> Now that we have released, we need to set our goals for the future. As 
> you probably guessed from the subject, I am strongly in favor of 
> dropping sparc32 support for lenny. There are multiple reasons for it, 
> including
> * Nearly complete lack of upstream support. David Miller, current 
>   upstream maintainer of sparc64 has expressed his thoughts on the 
>   topic in [0], triggering the discussion about dropping sparc32
>   support in Aurora Linux. [1]

I plan to keep submitting patches from time to time, but am limited by
what hardware and time I have. Maybe I can find some additional hardware
to work on around here.

> * Several serious problems, like lack of SMP support and driver 
>   failures (CD-ROMs do not work for some reason).
> * Shrinking userbase, flaky hardware.

I think in a while the userbase does not justify keeping the architecture
around in Debian. Best to prepare for that and find the best possible
way forward.
As for the hardware, it seems rock solid apart from the timekeeper chip.


> * Possibility to build the archive with optimization for UltraSparc 
>   processors, leading in some cases to significant performance 
>   improvements.
> As much as I hate to see Debian lose the support for another 
> subarchitecture, I don't think that anything can be done about it, 
> unless a group of determined and, more importantly, capable people,
> willing to maintain, fix and test it, will emerge. There is also a 
> possibility of separating sparc32 into an unofficial project.
> Any thoughts on the matter will be appreciated. My intention is to 
> come to a rough consensus (if possible), and then present our plan 
> with regards to sparc32 to release managers.
> [0] http://marc.info/?l=linux-sparc&m=117407830512186&w=2
> [1] http://lists.auroralinux.org/pipermail/aurora-sparc-user/2007-March/004504.html
> Best regards,
> -- 
> Jurij Smakov                                           jurij@wooyd.org
> Key: http://www.wooyd.org/pgpkey/                      KeyID: C99E03CC

30 years from now GNU/Linux will be as redundant a term as MERT/UNIX is 
today. - Martin Habets

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