[lubuntu-devel] Fwd: removal of blocking powerpc binaries: a proposal

Walter Lapchynski wxl at ubuntu.com
Fri Nov 11 00:57:48 UTC 2016

With Debian having removed ppc as a release architecture, I think the end
is in sight for Lubuntu ppc whether we like it or not. I don't think we
should draw any definitive conclusions quite yet, but I suspect this is a
harbinger of what's to come. I'll keep everyone updated as I know more.

For people interested in the Debian side of things, see:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Steve Langasek <steve.langasek at ubuntu.com>
Date: Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 5:09 PM
Subject: removal of blocking powerpc binaries: a proposal
To: ubuntu-release at lists.ubuntu.com
Cc: technical-board at lists.ubuntu.com

Hi folks,

At today's Technical Board meeting, we discussed the status of Ubuntu's
powerpc port.  Given that Debian has dropped powerpc as a release
architecture, it seems an appropriate moment to check on the health of the
port in Ubuntu as well.

While the TB did not make any decisions today on whether to keep powerpc as
a release arch, we did identify a couple of process improvements that should
allow us to approach the question armed with better data later in the cycle.
One of these concerns powerpc-specific package build failures holding up
packages in -proposed.

Going forward, the suggestion is that whenever an archive admin sees a
package held up in zesty-proposed by a powerpc-specific build failure[1],
and removing the old binaries from zesty would allow the package to migrate
without increasing the uninstallability count in the archive (i.e.: only
remove leaf packages), they should feel free to do so.  In addition, it
would be helpful if AAs could track how much effort they're spending on this
- either in terms of time, or number of packages removed.

This will help give us data about three things:

 - how much time are developers who aren't porters spending on powerpc?
   (since removing the binaries is pretty much the smallest amount of time
   that a developer could spend on resolving the issue)
 - how fast (if at all) is this port bit-rotting? (comparing relative
   numbers of available packages, per architecture, for yakkety vs. zesty)
 - conversely, how active is the powerpc porter community? (looking at
   number of binary packages reintroduced after removal)

That should put us on a much firmer footing to have the conversation as a
community about the viability of the powerpc port going forward, while in
the meantime ensuring that any accumulating issues with the port don't cause
unnecessary drag for the rest of the distribution.

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 at ubuntu.com                                     vorlon at debian.org

[1] http://people.canonical.com/~ubuntu-archive/proposed-

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