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Debian to drop mainframe/Sparc development

Topics: 
Debian

Debian has been known to be the NetBSD of Linux : it runs on 11 different computer architectures ranging from embedded devices over personal computers to mainframes. But this complex range of archs to be supported makes realeasing a new version of Debian painstakingly slow. The upcoming next release, Debian 3.1 aka Sarge, has been delayed already a few times. But now, release manager Steve Langasek has announced that Debian 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 shorter release cyle. Luckily, this is only a proposal, but it indicates about how some of the leading people in the Debian project feel about the current situation. Personally, I think the proposal is insane, and that one should better investigate about how the number of packages could be
reduced. Dropping Sparc would make me quite unhappy, and frankly, I don't see how this is compatible with the Debian Social Contract. It's all about the user, wasn't it ?


Update : from Steve's original post, I can make out that dropping archs would only be for stable and testing, so there still would be some kind of support. Still, having no stable (server) environment for Sparc could be painfull.