… Because I do boy, And it’s cool boy

Several people have expressed shock and dismay at a concept which has been floating around since the 2003 Debconf in Oslo where it was announced as a concept at the FTP master talk (a well attended talk as I recall). Kenshi expressed support for the SCC concept which is nice to see.

What I find incredible (and perhaps a little confusing) is the large number of people who simply don’t understand that what is being proposed won’t kill off the SCC architectures. If an architecture isn’t one of the “Big Four” then Debian won’t be making STABLE releases (or so the proposal goes) but we will continue to support the architecture in unstable (and, one would assume, continue to support a testing migration path for the architecture too, although that I’m less sure of).

Slashdot carried a story on the proposal and the number of slashmonkeys who misunderstand is sufficiently great that the total amount of animosity now directed toward the Debian release team is actually upsetting a very good friend of mine. If the knee-jerk reaction results in causing pain to those close to our important teams; can we actually expect 100% that those members won’t be tempted to throw in the towel in order to protect the ones that they love? For goodness sake people — get a grip.

As the AMD64 team have demonstrated, architecture ports of Debian are actually capable of surviving outside of the main Debian archive entirely. Of course the port puts quite a strain on the Alioth systems but at least it’s a proof of concept. Also as Ubuntu has demonstrated, it is completely feasible to take an “unstable” snapshot of Debian and turn it into a very stable and pleasant release within six months across three architectures. So surely it would be possible to do it with those minority architectures which want it.

Interestingly the majority of the minority architectures (E.g. mips, mipsel, arm etc) are not actually small in terms of userbase but simply in terms of downloads. However they are also the embedded architectures and on such it is often desirable to take an unstable snapshot and stabilise the parts of it needed for any given application. And this is often what is actually done.

If there honestly is so much energy available to complain about the decision made over the past two years (okay — consolidated and made official very recently) which makes in my (and many others’) opinion complete sense; then can that energy instead be channelled into assisting the release team with achieving the Sarge release and then working with the project teams to actualise this proposal in such a way that those architectures being moved to the SCC flourish under their newfound freedom instead of languishing unattended because those who should care about them are too busy crying about the fact that Debian has moved on to providing a commitment to a smaller more manageable (and thus more releasable) subset of the architectures.

Stop thinking of your own agendas guys and start thinking about the project. If we don’t start making releases soon then Debian is likely to hemorrhage so many developers that we’ll be seriously in danger of implosion. At least this way we stand a chance of only losing a few hot-headed and stubborn developers instead of a large number of capable and dedicated people who accept that making releases and continuing to push out our excellent operating system is more important than their pet architecture.

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