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Re: i686 core-updates failure.

From: Simon Tournier
Subject: Re: i686 core-updates failure.
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2023 18:58:55 +0200


On ven., 14 avril 2023 at 17:12, Csepp <> wrote:

> That is a pretty terrible direction to take.  There are still plenty of
> people who rely on old hardware who can't afford to buy new machines.
> When discussing these issues, it is important to keep in mind that the
> people who have enough spare time to contribute to this project and hang
> out on the mailing lists come from a rather privileged background.  What
> you think is reasonable to categorize as obsolete might be the only
> machine a poor family could afford on the second hand market.
> If Linux distros keep dropping support for old hardware, then they are
> not liberatory, no matter how "free" their licenses are.
> We are also in the middle of a massive climate crisis, so we should aim
> to prolong the usefulness of existing hardware and not give in to this
> planned obsolescence BS.

At some point we have to make choices or trade-off.  Because we have two
incompatible directions.  The maintenance is very hard: on one hand, the
rate of updates is very high and on the other hand the person-power for
doing the job is low.

Somehow, it’s not new.  Mark already pointed the issue with non-x86_64
architectures, for instance, quoting [1]:

        In my experience, Guix is already moving far too fast to be usable on
        less popular architectures.  I have some knowledge of this.  Years ago,
        I made a serious effort to make Guix usable on non-Intel systems.  When
        Guix was young, I initiated its first two ports to non-Intel
        architectures: mips64el-linux and armhf-linux, and I tried to actually
        use Guix on those systems in practice.  I found that my system was very
        frequently broken by upstream updates, and that we didn't have nearly
        enough developer energy to keep up with fixing those problems.

        I've come to believe that having Guix work well on non-Intel systems is,
        in practice, incompatible with the rate at which we update our packages.
        I'm not sure that even Debian would have enough energy to keep less
        popular architecures working well, given our practices.  I raised this
        issue on guix-devel a few times over the years, but it became clear that
        the desire in this community to keep packages aggressively updated far
        outweighs any interest in supporting non-Intel systems.

        Ultimately, I gave up.  In my opinion, Guix has never achieved usability
        as a desktop system on non-Intel systems.  Therefore, the Guix community
        is unable to attract many developers who want a distro that supports
        non-Intel systems well.  Our community has thus become dominated by
        Intel users, and there's unsufficient political will to adopt policies
        that would enable us to provide a usable system for non-Intel users.

        Re: [opinion] CVE-patching is not sufficient for package security 
        Tue, 16 Mar 2021 19:19:59 -0400

My opinion, FWIW, is to move less fast, as explained in [2].  Otherwise
it appears to me impossible to have both very up-to-date packages and
running on various architectures.



PS: “We are in the middle of a massive climate crisis” implies an end;
sadly it will not be the case: we are at the beginning of a massive
climate change.

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