VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

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VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Bryan C. Everly-2
Hi everyone,

I just noticed that the VAX packages directory was missing on
openbsd.cs.toronto.edu and the other mirrors I checked.  I searched the
MARC.info archives and didn't see anything announcing that the VAX was
going away but perhaps I missed something?

I also checked the http://build-failures.rhaalovely.net/ site to see if
perhaps there was a failure in the build that I could take a look at but
the VAX directory was missing there as well.

Sorry if I've missed a post but if someone could fill me in, I'd appreciate
it.

Thanks,
Bryan

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Raf Czlonka-2
On Sat, Jan 23, 2016 at 08:00:09PM GMT, Bryan C. Everly wrote:

> Hi everyone,

Hi Bryan,

> I just noticed that the VAX packages directory was missing on
> openbsd.cs.toronto.edu and the other mirrors I checked.

http://openbsd.cs.toronto.edu/pub/OpenBSD/5.8/packages/vax/

Not from where I'm sitting. And 5.9 hasn't been released yet so packages
for it haven't been built.

> I searched the MARC.info archives and didn't see anything announcing
> that the VAX was going away but perhaps I missed something?
>
> I also checked the http://build-failures.rhaalovely.net/ site to see
> if perhaps there was a failure in the build that I could take a look
> at but the VAX directory was missing there as well.
>
> Sorry if I've missed a post but if someone could fill me in, I'd
> appreciate it.
>
> Thanks,
> Bryan
>

What gave you that idea?

Raf

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Bryan C. Everly-2
I run 5.9-current on my other machines so when i didn't see packages in
/pub/OpenBSD/snapshots/packages I jumped to that conclusion given that the
other architectures were under that directory and VAX was absent.

Glad to hear that isn't the case.  Any idea why they aren't building
packages in 5.9-current snapshots for that architecture?


Thanks,
Bryan

On Sat, Jan 23, 2016 at 3:50 PM, Raf Czlonka <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, Jan 23, 2016 at 08:00:09PM GMT, Bryan C. Everly wrote:
>
> > Hi everyone,
>
> Hi Bryan,
>
> > I just noticed that the VAX packages directory was missing on
> > openbsd.cs.toronto.edu and the other mirrors I checked.
>
> http://openbsd.cs.toronto.edu/pub/OpenBSD/5.8/packages/vax/
>
> Not from where I'm sitting. And 5.9 hasn't been released yet so packages
> for it haven't been built.
>
> > I searched the MARC.info archives and didn't see anything announcing
> > that the VAX was going away but perhaps I missed something?
> >
> > I also checked the http://build-failures.rhaalovely.net/ site to see
> > if perhaps there was a failure in the build that I could take a look
> > at but the VAX directory was missing there as well.
> >
> > Sorry if I've missed a post but if someone could fill me in, I'd
> > appreciate it.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Bryan
> >
>
> What gave you that idea?
>
> Raf

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Raf Czlonka-2
On Sat, Jan 23, 2016 at 09:33:21PM GMT, Bryan C. Everly wrote:

> I run 5.9-current on my other machines so when i didn't see packages
> in /pub/OpenBSD/snapshots/packages I jumped to that conclusion given
> that the other architectures were under that directory and VAX was
> absent.

As you can see from the primary site[0], there's only a handful of
architectures for which package snapshots are available, i.e. arm is not
amongst them either.

> Glad to hear that isn't the case.

I never claimed to be an authoritative source and that it isn't indeed
the case. I haven't noticed anything bar one comment on cvs@[1] which
would point to that conclusion - and indeed, aviion is gone[2]...

> Any idea why they aren't building packages in 5.9-current snapshots
> for that architecture?

As with anything - time, resources, etc.

Raf

[0] http://ftp.openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/snapshots/packages/
[1] https://marc.info/?l=openbsd-cvs&m=144887159202054
[2] https://marc.info/?l=openbsd-cvs&m=144895627013585

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Bryan C. Everly-2
Raf,

I hope to add some of my time on these less popular architectures to
try and fix that.

:)

Thanks,
Bryan

> On Jan 23, 2016, at 5:34 PM, Raf Czlonka <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Sat, Jan 23, 2016 at 09:33:21PM GMT, Bryan C. Everly wrote:
>>
>> I run 5.9-current on my other machines so when i didn't see packages
>> in /pub/OpenBSD/snapshots/packages I jumped to that conclusion given
>> that the other architectures were under that directory and VAX was
>> absent.
>
> As you can see from the primary site[0], there's only a handful of
> architectures for which package snapshots are available, i.e. arm is not
> amongst them either.
>
>> Glad to hear that isn't the case.
>
> I never claimed to be an authoritative source and that it isn't indeed
> the case. I haven't noticed anything bar one comment on cvs@[1] which
> would point to that conclusion - and indeed, aviion is gone[2]...
>
>> Any idea why they aren't building packages in 5.9-current snapshots
>> for that architecture?
>
> As with anything - time, resources, etc.
>
> Raf
>
> [0] http://ftp.openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/snapshots/packages/
> [1] https://marc.info/?l=openbsd-cvs&m=144887159202054
> [2] https://marc.info/?l=openbsd-cvs&m=144895627013585

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Christian Weisgerber
In reply to this post by Bryan C. Everly-2
On 2016-01-23, "Bryan C. Everly" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I just noticed that the VAX packages directory was missing on
> openbsd.cs.toronto.edu and the other mirrors I checked.  I searched the
> MARC.info archives and didn't see anything announcing that the VAX was
> going away but perhaps I missed something?

There hasn't been anything official.

Vax is one of several architectures that Theo has had to stop
building base snapshots for because the system is too unreliable /
the hardware itself is unreliable / the hardware is dead.  The last
snapshot is dated Oct 31.  I assume that sebastia@'s cessation of
package builds has related reasons.

Going by previous experience, it's conceivable that somebody else
will step in to build the release and possibly a few packages.

Vax has been on life support with ever more perfunctory package
builds for years.  Again, from previous experience, it may take
several release cycles of hemming and hawing before people face the
facts and officially let it die.

Armish, socppc, and sparc are also on their death beds.  I'm not
divulging deep secrets here; you can just check the dates on ftp
and see that no recent snapshots have been built.

--
Christian "naddy" Weisgerber                          [hidden email]

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Christian Weisgerber
In reply to this post by Bryan C. Everly-2
On 2016-01-23, Bryan Everly <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I hope to add some of my time on these less popular architectures to
> try and fix that.

It's the comparatively popular platforms like powerpc and sparc64
that are in dire need of help if OpenBSD is not to turn into an
amd64-only platform.

I obviously can't tell people how to waste their time, but while
investing in moribund museum architectures may offer personal
satisfaction to some, it does not help in the bigger picture.

--
Christian "naddy" Weisgerber                          [hidden email]

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Bryan C. Everly-2
I'm ready willing and able!

I'm currently trying to port the Linux display driver for the hppa
frame buffer on my C3700 so we can maybe get X on that platform
natively.

I have a PPC Mac Mini and a SunBlade 100 so I will most definitely help.

Thanks,
Bryan

> On Jan 23, 2016, at 6:43 PM, Christian Weisgerber <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On 2016-01-23, Bryan Everly <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> I hope to add some of my time on these less popular architectures to
>> try and fix that.
>
> It's the comparatively popular platforms like powerpc and sparc64
> that are in dire need of help if OpenBSD is not to turn into an
> amd64-only platform.
>
> I obviously can't tell people how to waste their time, but while
> investing in moribund museum architectures may offer personal
> satisfaction to some, it does not help in the bigger picture.
>
> --
> Christian "naddy" Weisgerber                          [hidden email]

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Darren Clark-2
In reply to this post by Christian Weisgerber
 >>There hasn't been anything official. Vax is one of several
architectures that Theo has had to stop building base >>snapshots for
because the system is too unreliable / the hardware itself is unreliable
/ the hardware is dead. The >>last snapshot is dated Oct 31. I assume
that sebastia@'s cessation of package builds has related reasons.


Back in late 2013 or early 2014 a Vax 4000/96 died. I brought up using
emulators to build with, but Theo didn't feel it was a good idea (and I
agree with his reasons). Here is his quote "We do not wish to use a vax
emulator. That will use even more power than the vaxes, and actually we
are still looking for someone to pay the power bill around here."

I've been running a MicroVax 3100/40, and doing builds with it is
painfully slow.

Darren Clark

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Ted Unangst-6
[hidden email] wrote:
> Back in late 2013 or early 2014 a Vax 4000/96 died. I brought up using
> emulators to build with, but Theo didn't feel it was a good idea (and I
> agree with his reasons). Here is his quote "We do not wish to use a vax
> emulator. That will use even more power than the vaxes, and actually we
> are still looking for someone to pay the power bill around here."

I will add that one of the reasons we have support for all these museum pieces
is that people can build their very own museum and run something interesting
on it. But running on emulators doesn't really satisfy that goal. If there are,
in fact, no museum pieces left in the world, we no longer need to supply an OS
to run on them.

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

nawi
In reply to this post by Christian Weisgerber
Hello !

I have no VAX but I am interested in the discussion about supporting
old platforms.

Quotes taked from Christian Weisgerber :

> It's the comparatively popular platforms like powerpc and sparc64
> that are in dire need of help if OpenBSD is not to turn into an
> amd64-only platform.

> Going by previous experience, it's conceivable that somebody else
> will step in to build the release and possibly a few packages.

I don't know, which platformes are planned to be supported in the
future but are there enough people out there, to invest time / money
providing missing builds for SUN / SGI ? The question is meaned
serious and not against this platforms.

Let's say someone will build releases and packages, would the project
accept this builds or is there the need to host them self (security /
trust and so on) ?

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Sebastian Reitenbach
In reply to this post by Christian Weisgerber
On 01/24/16 00:23, Christian Weisgerber wrote:

> On 2016-01-23, "Bryan C. Everly" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I just noticed that the VAX packages directory was missing on
>> openbsd.cs.toronto.edu and the other mirrors I checked.  I searched the
>> MARC.info archives and didn't see anything announcing that the VAX was
>> going away but perhaps I missed something?
>
> There hasn't been anything official.
>
> Vax is one of several architectures that Theo has had to stop
> building base snapshots for because the system is too unreliable /
> the hardware itself is unreliable / the hardware is dead.  The last
> snapshot is dated Oct 31.  I assume that sebastia@'s cessation of
> package builds has related reasons.

more or less right. Release builds for VAX usually don't end much
early before the release. There were already times, where I had to
stop them, in order to ship. Those two to three months time, it's a lot
of babysitting. When I'm lucky, DPB just dies, and I get mail and
restart, if I'm unlucky, it just gets stuck, and I may not recognize it
for a (few) day(s).
That's why I mostly concentrate on release builds, only attempt
builds here and there in between, just to see/test that my
preparation setup, and DPB stuff still works, or just to improve.

>
> Going by previous experience, it's conceivable that somebody else
> will step in to build the release and possibly a few packages.
>
> Vax has been on life support with ever more perfunctory package
> builds for years.  Again, from previous experience, it may take
> several release cycles of hemming and hawing before people face the
> facts and officially let it die.

When there will be release snapshot for the VAX, I'll be happily
babysit and build as usual (:

>
> Armish, socppc, and sparc are also on their death beds.  I'm not
> divulging deep secrets here; you can just check the dates on ftp
> and see that no recent snapshots have been built.

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Marc Espie-2
It's dead Jim.

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Bryan C. Everly-2
In reply to this post by Sebastian Reitenbach
I'm happy to help as well.


Thanks,
Bryan

On Sun, Jan 24, 2016 at 5:55 PM, Sebastian Reitenbach <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 01/24/16 00:23, Christian Weisgerber wrote:
>
>> On 2016-01-23, "Bryan C. Everly" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> I just noticed that the VAX packages directory was missing on
>>> openbsd.cs.toronto.edu and the other mirrors I checked.  I searched the
>>> MARC.info archives and didn't see anything announcing that the VAX was
>>> going away but perhaps I missed something?
>>>
>>
>> There hasn't been anything official.
>>
>> Vax is one of several architectures that Theo has had to stop
>> building base snapshots for because the system is too unreliable /
>> the hardware itself is unreliable / the hardware is dead.  The last
>> snapshot is dated Oct 31.  I assume that sebastia@'s cessation of
>> package builds has related reasons.
>>
>
> more or less right. Release builds for VAX usually don't end much
> early before the release. There were already times, where I had to
> stop them, in order to ship. Those two to three months time, it's a lot
> of babysitting. When I'm lucky, DPB just dies, and I get mail and
> restart, if I'm unlucky, it just gets stuck, and I may not recognize it
> for a (few) day(s).
> That's why I mostly concentrate on release builds, only attempt
> builds here and there in between, just to see/test that my
> preparation setup, and DPB stuff still works, or just to improve.
>
>
>> Going by previous experience, it's conceivable that somebody else
>> will step in to build the release and possibly a few packages.
>>
>> Vax has been on life support with ever more perfunctory package
>> builds for years.  Again, from previous experience, it may take
>> several release cycles of hemming and hawing before people face the
>> facts and officially let it die.
>>
>
> When there will be release snapshot for the VAX, I'll be happily
> babysit and build as usual (:
>
>
>
>> Armish, socppc, and sparc are also on their death beds.  I'm not
>> divulging deep secrets here; you can just check the dates on ftp
>> and see that no recent snapshots have been built.

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Adam Thompson
In reply to this post by Ted Unangst-6
On 16-01-23 08:34 PM, Ted Unangst wrote:
> I will add that one of the reasons we have support for all these
> museum pieces is that people can build their very own museum and run
> something interesting on it. But running on emulators doesn't really
> satisfy that goal. If there are, in fact, no museum pieces left in the
> world, we no longer need to supply an OS to run on them.

Huh.  Previous discussions had led me to believe that the OpenBSD
project's rationale for supporting all these various architectures was
that it ultimately resulted in much-higher-quality code because
platforms like VAX and SPARC64 acted as canaries for suboptimal coding
practices?  (Endian issues, stack issues, framing issues, alignment
issues, etc., etc., etc.)

Besides, I thought the run-on-everything-and-anything (including the
verging-on-absurd) was NetBSD's thing, not OpenBSD's?  See
http://netbsd.org/ports/, make your own opinions on which platforms
verge on the absurd...

-Adam

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Chris Cappuccio
Adam Thompson [[hidden email]] wrote:

> On 16-01-23 08:34 PM, Ted Unangst wrote:
> >I will add that one of the reasons we have support for all these museum
> >pieces is that people can build their very own museum and run something
> >interesting on it. But running on emulators doesn't really satisfy that
> >goal. If there are, in fact, no museum pieces left in the world, we no
> >longer need to supply an OS to run on them.
>
> Huh.  Previous discussions had led me to believe that the OpenBSD project's
> rationale for supporting all these various architectures was that it
> ultimately resulted in much-higher-quality code because platforms like VAX
> and SPARC64 acted as canaries for suboptimal coding practices?  (Endian
> issues, stack issues, framing issues, alignment issues, etc., etc., etc.)
>

These are wonderful reasons, but OpenBSD requires real hardware to run on,
emulators are secondary. There was just _one_ guy who was dedicated to
maintaining development hardware, and even the GCC compiler, for OpenBSD/vax,
and he's no longer dedicated to it. That leaves zero guys and gals left to
maintain it. I don't see anyone stepping up here, only a few people who
would like someone to maintain it for them!

> Besides, I thought the run-on-everything-and-anything (including the
> verging-on-absurd) was NetBSD's thing, not OpenBSD's?  See
> http://netbsd.org/ports/, make your own opinions on which platforms verge on
> the absurd...
>

NetBSD doesn't actually run on many of these older platforms, hasn't been
tested on real hardware, only emulators. That has been the case for years.
It's not maintained.

If OpenBSD provides a release for a particular architecture, it was actually
booted and compiled on a real machine...and will work on your similar machine.


Chris

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Ted Unangst-6
In reply to this post by nawi
Christoph R. Murauer wrote:
> Let's say someone will build releases and packages, would the project
> accept this builds or is there the need to host them self (security /
> trust and so on) ?

It takes more than just someone willing to type a few commands. You
have investigate and understand the failures.

If the first reply to this thread was not "hey, I noticed snapshots were
missing too so I started building them on my own, here's a link" then I'm not
very optimistic. Not to be all Debbie Downer, but most problems in OpenBSD
aren't fixed by people who need to be told the nature of the problem.

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Bryan C. Everly-2
Ted,

I'm willing to step up on some of these if someone would be willing to help
me figure out how to get into the flow of things.  I fear my VAXstation
3100 might not have the gas to do it so I'll take a peek at eBay and see
what I can acquire.  My stable includes:

* Sun Blade 100 (sparc64)
* HP C3700 (hppa)
* SGI O2 (sgi)
* AlphaStation 500 (alpha)
* VAXstation 3100 (VAX)
* Mac Mini G4 (macppc)
* Thinkpad T21 (i386)

If there are some of these platforms that require some love, I'm willing to
give it if I can get some random mentoring along the way.  I just wasn't
sure if the project would be into me doing builds on my systems and calling
them "official" from a security, etc. perspective.

Please let me know and I'll do what I can do help.



Thanks,
Bryan

On Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 2:59 PM, Ted Unangst <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Christoph R. Murauer wrote:
> > Let's say someone will build releases and packages, would the project
> > accept this builds or is there the need to host them self (security /
> > trust and so on) ?
>
> It takes more than just someone willing to type a few commands. You
> have investigate and understand the failures.
>
> If the first reply to this thread was not "hey, I noticed snapshots were
> missing too so I started building them on my own, here's a link" then I'm
> not
> very optimistic. Not to be all Debbie Downer, but most problems in OpenBSD
> aren't fixed by people who need to be told the nature of the problem.

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

nawi
In reply to this post by Ted Unangst-6
> Christoph R. Murauer wrote:
>> Let's say someone will build releases and packages, would the
>> project
>> accept this builds or is there the need to host them self (security
>> /
>> trust and so on) ?
>
> It takes more than just someone willing to type a few commands. You
> have investigate and understand the failures.
>
> If the first reply to this thread was not "hey, I noticed snapshots
> were
> missing too so I started building them on my own, here's a link" then
> I'm not
> very optimistic. Not to be all Debbie Downer, but most problems in
> OpenBSD
> aren't fixed by people who need to be told the nature of the problem.
>

I totally agree. My question was more meaned like, is it worth in
theese days to invest time and money to learn this things on a old
platform like a Sun or SGI or, is it better to buy cheap amd64
hardware and, let it as it is.

Also not meaned as decission what a person should do (code or not
code) - more like, it was good but now it is dead and we go on or as
long, as there are XYZ people out there we keep it alive.

I know, noone could answer that for me ... it was a try, maybe in the
hope, that others had similar minds.

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Re: VAX - are we dropping support in 5.9?

Christian Weisgerber
In reply to this post by nawi
On 2016-01-24, "Christoph R. Murauer" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Quotes taked from Christian Weisgerber :
>
>> It's the comparatively popular platforms like powerpc and sparc64
>> that are in dire need of help if OpenBSD is not to turn into an
>> amd64-only platform.

That was a plea for help.  Well, a pointer to where help would be
actually... helpful.

People need to run these platforms, find problems, and fix them.
However, I'm afraid you'll find that most of the low hanging fruit
has been picked and addressing the problems that matter will require
heavy lifting.

For instance, landry@'s powerpc package builds are crippled by the
unreliability of the build machines.  Given the plural, we don't
think that the hardware is flakey.  Some kernel bug(s) randomly
causes processes to die.  Vague guesses have been offered.  Maybe
it's a pmap problem.  Somebody with considerable time and skill
needs to wade in there.

Or looking a bit into the future, I'll mention the elephant in the
room and say that architectures without clang support are doomed.

>> Going by previous experience, it's conceivable that somebody else
>> will step in to build the release and possibly a few packages.

That was not a plea for help.

I meant to say that some OpenBSD developer may step in and do some
builds on their own hardware.  I think that happened e.g. for
5.8/sparc.  This is really the last stage of an architecture's
death, long after it has ceased to be useful.

> Let's say someone will build releases and packages, would the project
> accept this builds

Would you like the project to accept builds from a random stranger?

--
Christian "naddy" Weisgerber                          [hidden email]

12