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Debian Release Mgr. Proposes Dropping Some Archs

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the notion-that-could-become-an-idea-and-maybe-a-concept dept.

Debian 377

smerdyakov writes "In this story posted by Andrew Orlowski of the Register Debian Release manager Steve Langasek has announced that support will be dropped for all but four computer architectures. Among the reasons cited for doing this are improving testing coordination, 'a more limber release process' and ultimately a ('hopefully') shorter release cyle. The main architectures to survive will be Intel x86, AMD64, PowerPC and IA-64." Actually, the story says clearly that this is only a proposal at this point, but it's definitely something to watch.

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dd (-1, Troll)

*-_-.Munkeh.-_-* (866759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937310)

GNAA declares boycott of all foods that make sperm taste bad
GNAA declares boycott of all foods that make sperm taste bad

Washington, District of Columbia (USNS) - Gathered on the steps of the Justice Department, gay niggers worldwide announced their most ambitious ploy for political power to date, a boycott of all foods that make semen taste awful. GNAA president timecop led the rally with a pink megaphone, shouting over the noise of riot cops assembling in case the peaceful assembly turned violent.

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GNAA member DiKKy, on loan from NATO class dunce Norway, as if on cue dumped a 55 gallon drum of whipped semen into the Justice Department's Martin Luther King, Jr. meditative koi pond. As carp drowned in the sticky mucosal fluid, DiKKy took the microphone from a timecop overcome by emotion at the sacrifice of so much precious gay nigger seed. "Gummy bears make it taste like rubber cement - no, that's not a pun. And salmon, of course," said DiKKy, "which makes it taste oily. Oh, and here's a big no-no: asparagus. Yucky."

United Asparagus Growers President Ralph Gruntligel was interviewed by CBS' "60 Minutes," which, in trying to downplay its recent scandal over forging records to replace the lost forged records of a famous politician, has changed focus to such cutting edge topics as sitting room makeovers and loose candle wax.

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Back at the rally, timecop sniffed in response. "Like his ugly fat bitch of a wife will ever give him this kind of head," he said, demonstrating on Morgan Freeman, who happened to be passing on his way to testify before a Senate committee on racial discrimination in the color of fingernail clippers. "Desist -- cease, I say!" began Freeman, but then, in his characteristic basso profundo, began moaning rhythmically to the motion of gay nigger tongues.

Semen, the technical name for the fluid of male sexual emission which occurs at ejaculation, has a generally salty or sweet taste, depending on what the person responsible has consumed since his last ejaculation, said Dr. Ben Rodriguez-Silverstein. "It's entirely possible that these foods make semen taste disgusting," he said. "But unfortunately, most of them are necessary for survival."

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At that moment, GNAA member Penisbird staggered into the room, having consumed all of the samples collected so far, and vomited iridescent fluid across the rug, desk, sofa and commemorative bust of Hilary Clinton. The demonstration will continue throughout the week and end abruptly on Saturday night, probably after they start playing the "boom-boom techno" at the Rainbow Lounge in Montrose, Texas, said timecop.



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The hell? (5, Funny)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937313)

Is it April the 1st already?

Re:The hell? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937475)

Is it April the 1st already?

No, that's the day they threaten to drop support for the Furbie.

Re:The hell? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937687)

THANK THE LORD!

Someone at Debian is finally getting a fucking clue. I've been telling stupid Debian zealots this for years... your distro is dying because everything has to move in lockstep. Take a look at the Linux kernel -- it's x86, and yet there are loads of ports which move at their own speed. Debian is a slug of a distro because it moves at the speed of the absolutely *LEAST* developed port. Split them off focus on the x86 distro... and let the other catch up or die off. Debian is smothering... and all the puffed up insane zealotry about how other platforms are supported just as well as x86 is worthless if your distro is 5 years out of date.

Finally! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937318)

I've been waiting all day for slashbots to troll this story.

debian sucks bawls anyway (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937320)

so who cares?

Now... (-1, Troll)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937326)

... [Linux] zealots are gonna console themselves on this. If it were the other way round, you'd hear them praising themselves on how Linux is great as it's available on all platforms.

Re:Now... (2, Informative)

Storlek (860226) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937406)

This isn't about the kernel, it's about the distro. Linux won't stop running on other systems, Debian's just not going to support them. Maintaining a distribution on so many architectures is a lot of work that doesn't yield a very high return, and dropping the less common ones is really a very smart move.

Re:Now... (3, Insightful)

misleb (129952) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937649)

... [Linux] zealots are gonna console themselves on this.

If it significantly improves the Debian release cycle, yes.

If it were the other way round, you'd hear them praising themselves on how Linux is great as it's available on all platforms.

Umm, it still would be avaiable on so many platforms. Debian is just one distribution. I'm sure there will be people who will maintain a Debian-like system for all the existing archs. All they have to do is rebuild the packages and maintain an installer for the architecture in question. They just won't be officially "Debian." But thanks for Trolling.

-matthew

Too bad I don't remember my nick (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937328)

Or I'd be one of the first responses here!
Thanks,
Fuller

The real headline.. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937333)

"Affected Admins Propose Dropping Debian"

MOD PARENT +1 FUNNY! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937439)

That's some funny shizzz

Wow. Has anyone really considered the impact?! (-1, Offtopic)

Sassan Sanei (714729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937337)

This all seems interesting enough on the surface, but if we allow this to happen, what will happen next? In addition to the obvious ramifications pointed out in the article, I can only imagine that this will lead to a bunch of spam that is "customized" to the recipient, making it more offensive yet even more difficult to filter out. So to me the real question, would it embark us on a dangerous downward spiral of complacency, or tap the inner strength of our individual selves to propel our civilization to new heights. As someone once observed, it's like stapling a butterfly to a desk. There's no way it would continue to be a butterfly. After all, well-behaved people rarely make history. This is how it happens now. Hang on, and enjoy the ride! Cheers, Sassan

Those would be the good ones to keep... (5, Interesting)

thepotoo (829391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937344)

Seeing as they're the major systems out there. But IA-64? I've barely heard of that, and TFA says Microsoft dropped XP for that. Can anyone elaborate as to why this one was kept?

Re:Those would be the good ones to keep... (0, Troll)

Taladar (717494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937398)

Problably because it is almost compatible to AMD64 and thus not much effort to support.

Re:Those would be the good ones to keep... (1)

csimpkin (808625) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937418)

IA-64 is the instruction set for the itanium I think. The one that is almost compatible with the AMD64 is "extended memory" something or other.

Re:Those would be the good ones to keep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937564)


Itanium has nothing to do with AMD64. They are entirely different architectures.

IA-64 vs AMD64 (4, Informative)

cbr2702 (750255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937565)

Not at all. The IA-64 is Intel's Itanium architecture which was massively redesigned. It is not compatable at all with x86 or AMD64 and is actually closer to the PowerPC, as both are RISC chips. The Itanium hasn't done very well (IBM just stopped selling it for their own POWER arch) but it it still used, and probably is at least #4 on servers.

Re:IA-64 vs AMD64 (3, Interesting)

geneing (756949) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937614)

I wouldn't say that IA-64 is similar to RISC chips. If anything the VLIW paradigm is exactly the opposite of RISC.

Re:IA-64 vs AMD64 (1)

NoMercy (105420) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937707)

Well if you buy Intel's marketing it's not RISC it's EPIC ;)

It actually looks like a rather nice chip at first glance, but the market wants good x86 preformance not just a good looking design.

Re:Those would be the good ones to keep... (3, Informative)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937448)

Seeing as they're the major systems out there. But IA-64? I've barely heard of that, and TFA says Microsoft dropped XP for that. Can anyone elaborate as to why this one was kept?

For IA64, kernel, toolchain and libc are maintained by upstream, and Debian itself has sufficient IA64 know-how, as well. That's why it's practical to keep it.

Re:Those would be the good ones to keep... (2)

MurkyWater (866956) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937481)

If I'm not mistaken I've also heard that there are a good number of servers that use this architecture, which may be another reason, in addition to the two already mentioned. If this is the case, though, I wonder why Sparc is being dropped. It seems like a pretty widely used platform to me, but I may have a bias, since my school's CS department uses Sparcs.

Re:Those would be the good ones to keep... (3, Interesting)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937593)

If this is the case, though, I wonder why Sparc is being dropped.

SPARC has barely any upstream support in the kernel. kernel.org kernels are frequently broken. What's worse, Debian hasn't got a SPARC maintainer right now.

Re:Those would be the good ones to keep... (5, Interesting)

Cramer (69040) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937711)

I beg to differ. As a sparc/linux user and kernel hacker, the linux kernel is supported on sparc (sparc64 at least, sparc32 really is some dead-end hardware.) Granted, there aren't 10,000 developers maintaining it -- there doesn't need to be -- but it is maintained. The live development kernel (bitkeeper) has been usable for a very long time on sparc. So, either you aren't using sparc/linux, you're on sparc32 hardware, or you're just very unlucky. For the record, there are many x86 users that are frequently broken, too.

The lack of a SPARC maintainer is a concern, but one that can easily be addressed. (politics aside.)

Re:Those would be the good ones to keep... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937594)

The only people buying Itaniums were forced to by HP. Outside of that, SGI ships, what perhaps a few thousand Itaniums a year? The Itanic is sunk.

Re:Those would be the good ones to keep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937460)

From TFA:
The four architectures to survive are Intel x86, AMD64, PowerPC and ... IA-64. Itanic? The latter seems a fortunate candidate for survival: Microsoft recently dropped Windows XP for IA-64, and hardware vendors including IBM and HP have axed IA-64 systems from key product lines. Perhaps the recent surge in sales can explain it: Dell shipped 1,371 Itanium servers last year and in 2004, between 26,005 and 33,623 Itanic servers left the dock, depending on whose numbers you believe.

Re:Those would be the good ones to keep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937625)


Even 30K servers is a drop in the bucket compared to x86, SPARC, and POWER. Itanium is a really small player in the server space, even after a decade of hype.

Re:Those would be the good ones to keep... (2, Informative)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937490)

" Seeing as they're the major systems out there. But IA-64? I've barely heard of that, and TFA says Microsoft dropped XP for that. Can anyone elaborate as to why this one was kept?"

I was thinking along the same lines. Heck, I'd think that sparc's are more prevalent out there than the IA-64....

Re:Those would be the good ones to keep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937523)

also, the IA64 has much better support for a large number of processors and memory, well beyond the AMD64. Good for very large installations, a place where linux seems to shine.

Re:Those would be the good ones to keep... (1)

SunFan (845761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937660)


Actually, Linux shines in the 1-way to 8-way space, where, coincidentally, Opteron shines as well.

What about ARM ? (5, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937528)

By the end of this year, the majority of Linux systems will be cell phones and settop boxes/ digital TV etc running on ARM and PowerPC architectures .... not x86. I would have thought that keeping ARM would be a GoodThing.

Perhaps Debian isn't trying to address the embedded segment.

Re:Those would be the good ones to keep... (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937530)

If the IA-64 is in the top 4 platforms using Debian then there is your answer.

nooooooo (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937345)

so i won't have debian in my toaster????

well, I can still be using NetBSD. Of course the toaster runs it!

Dropping ARM??? (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937359)

That might really hurt embedded developers. Seems like embedded users would be far more likely to use Deb than IA-64 users.

Re:Dropping ARM??? (2, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937467)

not that likely to use a full deb.

and there's barely any arm desktops/servers.

Re:Dropping ARM??? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937527)

Maybe I'm dumb, but how many embedded developers go and use off-the-shelf versions of Debian. I'd imagine that ARM embedded developers do a bunch of work to customize their Linux versions. To my knowledge this release process is more about the ISOs that appear on debian.org rather than supporting ARM in the underlying source tree.

About time (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937362)

Thanks a lot! This was about time, or else we would never get a new stable release. Lets just hope thats it gets further then just beeing an proposal...

Sparc and Solaris are dead (1)

mslinux (570958) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937380)

When the altruistic geeks of open source talk of no longer supporting a processor, you know things have got to be bad. Sun needs help... now!!!

Man, when will people learn that one cannot beat Intel when it comes to R&D and their blitzkreg-like manufacturering of processors?

Re:Sparc and Solaris are dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937436)

Lets ask AMD shall we? Dumb.

As anal as Debian is, this is kind of sad. (4, Insightful)

theolein (316044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937383)

I mean, debian is the only distro that supports all the exotic architectures. If debian only supports the main architectures in futre, what then will the difference be between them and SuSE, Mandrake, Ubuntu and Gentoo for that matter?

Re:As anal as Debian is, this is kind of sad. (3, Insightful)

Kimos (859729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937401)

apt

That's what drew me to Debian, that's what keeps me with Debian.

Re:As anal as Debian is, this is kind of sad. (1)

Storlek (860226) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937446)

Ubuntu uses apt too, doesn't it?

Re:As anal as Debian is, this is kind of sad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937572)

in principle Hoary universe has the same set of packages as Debian unstable. In reality a lot of the packages in Hoary Universe do not work.

It would be really nice to have a bugzilla for Hoary Universe. I don't think that most of the bugs in this bugzilla would be fixed, but it could serve as a warning for users who wish to install Ubuntu to use a specific program.

Re:As anal as Debian is, this is kind of sad. (2, Informative)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937462)

You do know you can get apt for other dists right?

Re:As anal as Debian is, this is kind of sad. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937611)

Ok, then, decent apt repositories.

I have debian on servers and suse on desktops at work; and while I believe we have everything apt for SuSE set up correctly with all the popular apt repositories; you still get a tiny fraction of the packages.

Re:As anal as Debian is, this is kind of sad. (1)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937482)

I believe Gentoo supports all those architectures...

Re:As anal as Debian is, this is kind of sad. (0, Redundant)

keesh (202812) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937521)

Indeed. Gentoo supports everything that debian does and more. Well, except for Hurd.

Re:As anal as Debian is, this is kind of sad. (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937483)

Well, SuSe will be the one with the nice cardboard box, Ubuntu will be like Debian but with packages newer than 10 years old, Gentoo the distro for nerds and nerds-wannabes and Mandrake will have... the magic (for newbies ;)

Seriously, it's a good point. Someone correct me if i'm wrong, but of all the "major" distros, Debian was pretty much the one which offered good support for exotic architectures - specially if you wanted to build a server, it's always been rock solid. It's sad.

I'm sure you could volunteer to take on the work (1)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937508)

Hey, if you feel that strongly about it, I am sure the team would let you take over the ports.

I thought not.

Re:I'm sure you could volunteer to take on the wor (1)

Bloater (12932) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937718)

Uh, the problem is not that there aren't any volunteers to maintain a full architecture repo. It is that the amount of effort for the low-level core stuff (installer, kernel, etc...) is very high since that is where all the differences are. It doesn't need people to work on a port, but a way of keeping all those low-level bits working roughly the same on all the official arches. I think most of the problem is that the linus kernel does not maintain consistency across arches. That is where the problem lies.

IMHO, the next best solution is to do an installer and well managed kernel for PPC, i386 and amd64, and release bootable cd images for all the other arches that you run debootstrap from as and when, and install your own kernel on the created system, but the rest of the packages are maintained for all the distro's in a similar fashion. Most packages require very little effort to make them work on all arches if you can make them work on four.

Re:As anal as Debian is, this is kind of sad. (2, Insightful)

cyngus (753668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937537)

About five minutes after Debian drops support for the other architectures, someone will start "New Debian" and fork off and keep supporting them.

Re:As anal as Debian is, this is kind of sad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937719)

I just hope there'll be a good process for getting these patches/changes from these forks back into Debian proper.

One of Debian's great strengths is that they have a lot of influence witht the upstream guys ("we won't include your database unless you fix XXX") - and the new forked projects won't have that luxury.

In other news... (5, Funny)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937386)

In other news, the NetBSD team announced that they have successfully ported NetBSD to the abacus...

Damn... (3, Funny)

nick-less (307628) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937387)

I just managed to find some spare time to finish my Debian m68k install on my fellow Amiga 1000 and now they're going to drop support? Argh...

Hooray "limber release process!" (4, Funny)

Look KG486 (867105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937390)

Can't wait to get my hands on the new, stable 2.2 kernel!

Oh, wait...

Re:Hooray "limber release process!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937456)

2.2 Is the current stable kernel. In fact my stable Debian server is running it. I think they might even risk it and go for 2.4 this time.

Re:Hooray "limber release process!" (3, Interesting)

Look KG486 (867105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937688)

Wow, I was almost certain Debian stable was up to 2.4 by now. I'm sure it's a well-maintained 2.2 kernel with backports aplenty, but I'm stunned my wisecrack was actually true. I see some 2.4.x kernel-images in the list for Woody though.

Last release was 19 July, 2002. While one can apt-get his way to modern times, I have to believe an annual release (or more frequent) will only help bring in fresh users.

FWIW, I run Gentoo with a 2.6 kernel. I have issues from time to time, but they get ironed out with a little patience. There's always someone in the community that has an answer and very often, a solution.

It seems Linux and its distributions are at a minor crossroads where stable releases and unstable, bleeding edge releases meet. On one hand you want to get new features out to users so they can test them and the software can be refined, but now that Linux is finding its way into production environments and a few desktops, bugs can be real backbreakers.

Older Hardware (3, Interesting)

nairnr (314138) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937420)

My basement has become a repository for some older machines. I had chosen debian for a couple, noticeably a HP-PA machine, and my I had a few Sparc 2, IPX boxes. Debian was my distro of choice because they still supported these machines. My Alpha is running an older version of RedHat when it was still supported.

So the question becomes, who will bother supporting non-mainstream hardware? They are still functional machines for me...

Re:Older Hardware (3, Funny)

goofyspouse (817551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937500)

"So the question becomes, who will bother supporting non-mainstream hardware? They are still functional machines for me..."

Sweet christ...move out of mom's basement and learn what it is like to kiss a girl. There is ZERO reason to keep these ancient systems running. Recycle the things or donate them to a museum.

Re:Older Hardware (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937602)

Come on, stop kissing girls for a minute and realize that there is certain historical value to keeping running the variety of quality hardware that was available in the 1980's. Various kinds of historical preservation is seen as valuable in other fields culture, why not also in computers?

Re:Older Hardware (1)

goofyspouse (817551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937647)

"Various kinds of historical preservation is seen as valuable in other fields culture, why not also in computers?"

Isn't that what museums are for? O_o /me resumes daydreaming about smooches

Re:Older Hardware (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937679)

HPPA is very prevalent in government circles... Sparc is, well, sparc.

OTOH You'd normally run HPUX on the first and Solaris on the second. Not debian.

Re:Older Hardware (1)

Ulric (531205) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937697)

I think he mentioned pa-risc, sparc and alpha, which are still useful (you can get them new) and supported by Debian. I was considering picking up Debian myself just because of their support for different architectures.

Re:Older Hardware (1)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937552)

Well, you're always free to fork and do it yourself. Why should people be expending effort because you're a cheap bastard?

Scary but beneficial (4, Insightful)

caryw (131578) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937423)

While Linux is well known for being exteremly cross-platform, 99.9% of installs will be on one of those four architectures. It would make sense to concentrate solely on those four rather than adding support for every Amiga and 68XXX setup out there. Especially now with Debian becoming a very strong player in the linux server community (now that RedHat is concentrating mainly on paid contracts and has allowed Fedora Core to become bulky and buggy.)

Besides, if you really want to run *nix on your Atari go download NetBSD [netbsd.org].
- Cary
--Fairfax Underground [fairfaxunderground.com]: Where Fairfax County comes out to play

Re:Scary but beneficial (1)

takis (14451) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937661)

And even with NetBSD, it seems only i386 and SPARC64 have binary packages for the 2.0 release:

ftp://ftp.netbsd.org/pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-current/p kg src/archivers/file-roller/README.html

Or am I looking at the wrong spot?

Not quite accurate .. (5, Informative)

abrotman (323016) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937433)

Original email [debian.org]

They seem to imply it is a proposal to drop the actual releasing after sarge .. They will still have support for the other architectures, but seem to imply it must meet certain criteria to be considered for release.

IMHO: requiring a level of 98% is too high and only releasing if you can still buy is rediculous. Debian still mostly compiles for 386(on x86) and it's hard to buy a 386 these days.

Re:Not quite accurate .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937518)

IMHO: requiring a level of 98% is too high and only releasing if you can still buy is rediculous. Debian still mostly compiles for 386(on x86) and it's hard to buy a 386 these days.

In the US you mean

Seems fairly reasonable. (3, Insightful)

MurkyWater (866956) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937442)

As the article mentions there's been a lot of debate since the proposal was posted. I don't think that it is a completely unreasonable proposal. From what I've seen, there is too much time between releases, and this does seem as if it would speed things up a little, due to the lower amount of testing necessary.

I'm not sure how developers and users of the possible unsupported architectures would feel. I'd imagine that they would be pretty upset. There's no reason why they couldn't continue working on their respective platforms on their own, and have whatever release cycle they would like. I've seen an i586 Debian project, but I don't know how successful it is. I also know Slackware recently picked up S/390 support, and Gentoo has a wide range of architectures that it supports. Switching flavors always seems like another possible option.

IA64? (4, Insightful)

bstadil (7110) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937443)

Why not let HP and Intel carry the support banner for IA86.

The few machines sold hardly matters. HP 'claims" they will sppnd $3B on IA64 over next 5 years surely they can afford to pay for Linux on this dud of a processor.

Or better still pay the Debian guys

Need of different levels of support? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937445)

I assume if they drop support, those less common architectures would be supported by some forks.

I hope there will be a good process of getting the changes from thoses forks bake into Debian proper if this happens.

Foolishness abounds (0)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937447)

The best way to alienate any group is to tell them their architecture isn't important enough to bother with. Debian is hardly providing 24/7 tech support or lifetime warranties on all products, so stability on different platforms isn't critical in the first place.


(In the second place, if there's a bug in the software, there's a bug and the sooner it is exposed and fixed, the better.)


Sure, Debian can test, et al, on some fixed set of boxes and "validate" their distro for them. But how hard would it be to then cross-compile for all the other platforms? They just need to say that those aren't verified. People would be fine with that. Well, more fine than being dumped altogether.


Let the user community decide if those lines need better verification, by providing it themselves. But you need a platform to verify, first!

All the ports slow down Debian release process (1)

Goonie (8651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937671)

I am not a Debian developer, but I have examined some of the mailing list stuff on delayed releases over the years.

Having to have the installer, particularly, ready and tested across every single architecture is a major reason for delayed Debian releases. So are release-critical bugs in a particular architecture. As one of the vast majority of Debian users who use x86 (actually now just switched to AMD64, which will become more important over time), it seems silly to wait months for a release because the bloody Motorola 68000 series port (to pick a hypothetical example) can't fix their bloody boot disks.

This is not final (5, Informative)

alfino (173081) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937451)

As an active Debian developer, I simply want to state: this is anything but final and not at all decided. I am only one of many developers against the proposed scheme, and especially against the way in which the scheme was devised -- in a closed meeting with only a few select members, and completely without soliciting any input from the community.

In the long run, Debian may well have to concentrate more on some architectures than others, but a radical step such as the one proposed will probably not fly well with the community. Since our users are our top priority, you can expect many more emails on the topic before anything will happen.

Debian.. PFHT.. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937457)

Well, I'm sure Debian has their reasons, but I suspect they're suffering due to some of their fans dropping it for other distros. Late releases, stupid politics and aged packages isn't doing this distro any justice.

As for their decision to drop SPARC, good.. I ran Debian on my SPARC boxes for a few years, and it was garbage. Slow, clumsy and at times a few bad packages got in causing problems. Debian for SPARC made Solaris look like a rocket ship.

For all you SPARC users, switch to Gentoo (Running it and loving it) or support one of the other SPARC distros like Splack (Slackware-based SPARC distro).

spelling (0, Flamebait)

ParryHotter (738618) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937458)

I don't know if English is your mother tongue, but "Among the reasons SITED for doing this ..." is ugly. the correct word is CITED.

Don't we already have that? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937478)

It's called Ubuntu.

drop me too! (2, Interesting)

r00t (33219) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937485)

PowerPC is stuck with a crappy old pre-NPTL glibc
because of the feature freeze. Making PowerPC be
unofficial would allow this to get fixed.

Heck, drop every port but x86. It's not nice how
the x86 port drags around the others by the
release cycle.

Re:drop me too! (1)

eobanb (823187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937634)

drop every port but x86 I'm trying to find the (insightful) humour in this...I hope it's a joke...

Re:drop me too! (3, Interesting)

r00t (33219) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937716)

It's not a joke. Dropping a port from "official"
status means that the port is free to ignore the
normal release cycle. The normal release cycle is,
predictably, controlled by the x86 majority.

Once free of such tyranny, the non-x86 ports can
fix things without concern for x86 releases.

I'm a Debian user with PowerPC, and I'd love to
have a modern glibc. The upcoming release isn't
worth much on PowerPC right now, because it's still
using the old pre-NPTL LinuxThreads hack.

Forks? (2, Insightful)

marsjays (473206) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937509)

Will dropping support for other than the four major platforms (if it's done) split the Debian developers into two or more groups, one developing Debian for the major platforms and the other(s) specializing on some other platform, for example ARM?

So what thing might mean (4, Informative)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937514)

is that only those 4 archs will be actively supported in Debian _releases_. Other architectures will still exist and maintained but not be included in the shifts from unstable->testing->stable.

If it's that it might be a good things, granting the more popular(?) architectures a smaller turnaround time for stable releases.

Or maybe hell freezes over.

cool, maybe now i can get some work done (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937516)

that is, now that i'm thoroughly disgusted with the editors - saying something's certain at the top of a paragraph, then "actually, no, not really" at the end. screw you for ignoring strunk & white.

NetBSD, here I come (1)

xwin (848234) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937533)

This is one of the strangest moves in my opinion. What other choice do I have for running linux on MIPS?

Like Gentoo? (1, Interesting)

amightywind (691887) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937536)

'a more limber release process' and ultimately a ('hopefully') shorter release cyle.

You mean like Gentoo? And they still support Sparc.

IA64?!? (3, Funny)

Yonder Way (603108) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937609)

What thought process led to IA64 being favored over the various flavors of sparc?!? It probably involved a lot of vodka.

What Litmus test? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937629)

The main architectures to survive will be Intel x86, AMD64, PowerPC and IA-64.

I applaud Debian for realizing it's not worth wasting time on platforms with a total user population of less than a BOF meeting at the local community college. On the other hand, what the hell is Itanic doing on the list?

who cares? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937644)

debian is irrelevant now.

Debian IS losing relevance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11937675)

Debian is losing relevance to distributions like Ubuntu and Gentoo. They should definitely split into something like 'Debian-mainstream' and 'Debian-exotic' and let the two camps maintain their own release cycles, otherwise they're liable to fade aware into Slackware-dom.

Welcome to the world of continuous improvement, a la Gentoo.

Why can't the kernel be seperated from the distro? (2, Insightful)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 9 years ago | (#11937686)

I've never understood why the kernel can't be seperated from the distribution. If all applications were written on top of a platform like java or php or whatever, couldn't the kernel come from anywhere and if there was support for the application platform apps would run?
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