considering i386 as a tier 1 architecture

Greg 'groggy' Lehey grog at
Mon Apr 1 05:50:41 UTC 2013

On Monday,  1 April 2013 at  0:48:08 -0400, Eitan Adler wrote:
> Hi,
> I am writing this email to discuss the i386 architecture in FreeBSD.
> Computers are getting faster, but also more memory intensive.  I
> can not find a laptop with less than 4 or 8 GB of RAM.  Modern
> browsers, such as Firefox, require a 64bit architecture and 8GB of
> RAM.  A 32 bit platform is not enough now a days on systems with
> more than 4 GB of RAM.  A 32 bit core now is like 640K of RAM in
> the 1990s.  Even in the embedded world ARM is going 64 bit with
> ARMv8.
> Secondly, the i386 port is unmaintained.  Very few developers run
> it, so it doesn't get the testing it deserves.  Almost every user
> post or bug report I see from a x86 compatible processor is running
> amd64.  When was the last time you booted i386 outside a virtual
> machine?  Often times the build works for amd64 but fails for i386.
> Finally, others are dropping support for i386.  Windows Server 2008
> is 64 bit only, OSX Mountain Lion (10.8) is 64-bit only.   Users
> and downstream vendors no longer care about preserving ancient
> hardware.
> I hope this email is enough to convince you that on this date we
> should drop support for the i386 architecture for 10.0 to tier 2
> and replace it with the ARM architecture as Tier 1.

Nice one!  And only 48 minutes into the day.  I've seen a number of
people take it seriously.

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