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Re: Dropping sparc32 for lenny

Mark Morgan Lloyd wrote:

/Why/ are there problems with sparc32? Because nobody really understands the
architecture except Sun. Why are there MMU miss issues on sparc64? Same reason.
What chance do we have of a fix? Slim since Sun says the hardware's obsolete.
Who does this affect? First time users, and casual developers who want to test
that their code works on SPARC. What will the result be? Development tools
languish, Linux on SPARC dies.

Maybe I'm being pessimistic, and in a few months time everybody finds that
they've got enough cash in their pockets to go out and buy T1 systems.

You are misinterpreting Sun's position.
Sun provides hardware and Solaris support for all Sun machines
until at least 10 years after the last of the type was offered for sale.
This is one helluva lot longer than most other companies.

I have Ultra 2 and Ultra 5 machines here, both are supported in both
Solaris 10 and Linux. Both can be found on EBay, usually selling for
less than the shipping cost.

All 32 bit Sun machines have been obselete for more than 10 years,
the last example being the Sparc 5 which was kept in production
artificially until the Ultra 5 had been qualified for use as the SSP on
E10000 systems.

Despite this, the architecture is well documented and Sun have been
very helpfull in tracking down any information that has been requested.

Sun assists the 64 bit Sparc port of Linux, and has done for
several years.

The MMU miss issues come in 2 varieties, some 400MHz processor
modules contain iffy cache control chips which were supplied by IBM,
these modules should have been replaced. In virtually all other cases
there will be a bug in the kernel code. I am not aware of any current
bugs so this should not be an issue.

The real problem with Sparc32 is simple, the maintainer is not doing the
job and nobody has volunteered to take over. Without an active kernel
maintainer the port is suffering from bit rot and is doomed.

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