Sparc64 doesn't care about you, and you shouldn't care about Sparc64
craig001 at lerwick.hopto.org
Wed Nov 11 20:17:47 UTC 2015
----- Original Message -----
> From: "John Baldwin" <jhb at freebsd.org>
> To: freebsd-arch at freebsd.org
> Cc: "Anna Wilcox" <AWilcox at wilcox-tech.com>, "Marius Strobl" <marius at alchemy.franken.de>, "Sean Bruno"
> <sbruno at freebsd.org>, "Jordan Hubbard" <jkh at mail.turbofuzz.com>, sparc64 at freebsd.org, "Warner Losh" <imp at bsdimp.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, 11 November, 2015 6:32:08 PM
> Subject: Re: Sparc64 doesn't care about you, and you shouldn't care about Sparc64
> On Wednesday, November 11, 2015 04:07:35 PM Brian McGovern wrote:
> > I have to step in on Jordan's side on this one. As a
> > recently-former lab admin (June), we were - and I assume continue
> > to - chucking Sun Sparc hardware as fast as we can EOL the
> > products which run on the platform, and to the best of my
> > knowledge, we haven't bought new gear since Oracle bought Sun. I
> > think I still have an SB150 sitting in a closet collecting dust
> > for the emergency case which is predestined to emergency at some
> > point, but we're not even considering giving the boxes another
> > life as second tier hardware - the x86/64 space offers far
> > superior metrics in terms of price/performance/support/replacement
> > parts.
> > This, of course, means that our customers will be eventually follow
> > suit as they do their next round of upgrades. While this means
> > there will be a ton of Sparc64 hardware around at low prices, I
> > have no doubt it'll be a niche community, like BETAMAX, Laserdisc,
> > and HD-DVD before...
> > If there is someone who loves this platform enough to keep it going
> > single-handedly, or nearly so, that's one thing. If the discussion
> > is to divert project resources to keep it alive just because its
> > one more platform, I have a laundry list of things that I suspect
> > will have a bigger impact on the broader x86 (and even ARM)
> > community; then again, I expect just about everyone has such a
> > list.
> This last question is an important one I think. What is the actual
> cost to
> the project to let sparc64 remain Tier-2? That means we aren't
> committed to
> building packages, so that mostly lets Sean off the hook.
> The biggest hang up I can see is the question of toolchain.
> On the question of toolchain I think GCC 4.2 continues to become
> less useful. If we could have an 11 without GCC 4.2 that would be
> However, clang is only production-viable on x86 right now. Even lldb
> work on i386 and only works on amd64. If your argument for tossing
> is GCC 4.2 then if you are logically consistent you have to toss a
> whole lot
> of other stuff as well. (Even clang on amd64 is still using binutils
> Realistically I think FreeBSD needs to support two sets of
> clang and modern (GPLv3) GCC/binutils.
> I think it is a laudable goal to have the option of a GPL-free base
> but I think we should also make it an option to use a modern GCC
> For platforms that depend on GCC 4.2 I think we should be moving them
> using newer GCC in some fashion. That is relevant for several
> that we definitely want to keep going forward, not just sparc64, and
> it's a
> problem we need to solve regardless. Once that is addressed it is
> not clear
> to me what drain on project resources sparc64 is.
> John Baldwin
> freebsd-sparc64 at freebsd.org mailing list
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Just to raise something else as well, port maintainers seem hesitant to push sparc64 fixes in. I have raised a few fixes PR (specifically around the compatx ports) that are still open. There are also some other PR's open that could do with more experienced eyes to help.
It would be a shame to see sparc64@ killed off on FreeBSD. I would be keen to keep working on it if someone want a n00b under their wing.
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