maintainer

Retiring the sparc32 Debian port... or not?

According to Jurij Smakov's announcement, the Debian port for 32bit SPARC machines is about to be retired.

This is really sad in my opinion, as we should rather support more architectures instead of less architectures. After all, Debian is "The Universal Operating System" [1].

Now, I know that my opinion doesn't matter much in this case, but many other people who own sparc32 boxes seem to feel the same, judging from the thread which was started by the announcement.

Also, I do realize that nobody wants to retire the port just for fun. To my understanding there is one major problem which needs to be sorted out in order to "save" the sparc32 support in Debian (and also in Linux!):

There is no Linux kernel maintainer for the sparc32 Linux code at the moment!

This seems to be the root of the whole problem. It makes maintaining a Debian port for sparc32 really hard, as you can surely imagine. Also, there seem to be too few people who actively work on the surrounding toolchain stuff (gcc, binutils, etc) which is also very important.

My suggestion would be to not drop the Debian support for now, but rather set the status to "needs help" or something and actively search for contributors and/or maintainers. Heck, list it on Unmaintained Free Software, or write a "call for help" Slashdot article, post the issue on all Linux-/Debian-/SPARC-related mailing lists etc. etc. (or write funny blog posts, heh).

I guess if two or three experienced SPARC developers would step up and take care of the kernel and toolchain maintenance for sparc32, there would be no reason to drop it anytime soon.

Anyone?

Unmaintained Free Software is no longer... um... unmaintained

Just when I was thinking that the Unmaintained Free Software wiki was finally dead, Joey Hess mentioned it in his blog (thanks!), which (it seems) has resulted in a few new contributors (thanks!).

In addition, I got motivated to work on it again; I had neglected the wiki for quite a while, partly because I was busy with tons of other projects (which I always am, so I guess that doesn't count), and partly also because it was a one-man project for a long time. Even after being mentioned on Slashdot, Newsforge and a bunch of other sites it never reached a state of halfway constant contributions from other people. But, it somehow survived while one or two similar projects I was aware of died away.

As it's the only project of its kind which exists at the moment (to the best of my knowledge) and I really think it's a worthwhile cause, I'll continue searching and adding more projects , in the hope that some interested programmers take over maintainance of one or the other... Any help and contributions are of course very welcome!

Joey: As for Xgalaga, it was not yet re-added after I switched from a custom-made CMS to a wiki, but it's there now. That'll hopefully increase it's chances to find a new maintainer ;)

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