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[fab] Secondary Arches



Hi All,

I'd like to make a few comments on the secondary arch proposal that was
discussed during the Fedora Summit.

First, I think secondary arches are a good idea.  There are communities
out there that are perfectly capable and willing to enable Fedora on
various hardware platforms.  I think secondary arches are a great
enabler for such communities, and I hope they can help spread Fedora to
things other than boring old x86.

That being said, I agree with spot.  There are two key issues that are
essentially taking a great idea and sinking it immediately.  In order
for secondary arches to really work, I believe the arch teams need to be
able to host repositories along side the primary arches on
fedoraproject.org, and binary isos for the arches (if available) should
also be hosted.

The fact that one has to host repositories and isos on servers outside
of fedoraproject.org basically kills the distinction that it's a true
Fedora release.  Why?  It's simple.  The suggestion as it stands is that
secondary arches can only use the Fedora name if all changes are in the
Fedora packages.  However, this will never be the case for
fedora-release, which will require yum repo files that point to servers
other than fedoraproject.org.

Sure, that's a trivial example that can easily be circumvented by
providing an "exemption" for that package.  However, it hints at another
issue which is the fact that people go to http://fedoraproject.org/ to
download Fedora.  If they now have to go to foo.bar.com to download it,
you lose brand distinction.

"But we can't BUILD the packages on these arches, so why should we host
them?"  What difference does that make?  If the Board is going to allow
secondary arches built on servers _outside_ of the Fedora buildsys to
carry the Fedora name, then explain to me why those packages cannot sit
on fedoraproject.org.  At that point they are officially part of Fedora,
and belong with the rest of it.  Disk is cheap.  I'll personally buy the
Fedora project a couple 160G hard drives to host the packages and isos
if that is the only reason they can't be hosted.

Also, hosting repositories/isos outside of fedoraproject.org basically
means those arches lose another major benefit, which is mirroring.  The
fedora mirror structure is fairly good, and trying to achieve something
of similar numbers will simply be very difficult to accomplish.  Mirrors
can choose not to mirror secondary arches if they wish.  Let them make
that choice.

I strongly urge the Board to consider these points before coming to a
final policy for secondary arches.  I want to see this change turn into
a great move for Fedora, and not just a "dumping of work" as some are
already perceiving it to be.

josh

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