For your consideration: Secondary Architectures in Fedora

Christopher Aillon caillon at
Wed May 30 16:29:51 UTC 2007

David Woodhouse wrote:
> I don't think anyone suggested that you must delay the security fix
> while someone debugs and fixes a compiler problem like that (although
> usually if it's a security fix it'll be a minimal patch, and any
> compiler bug you now trigger should be fairly easy to work around).

Except Firefox's codebase is large enough that a bug may be introduced 
in something that would have affected the previous build without the 
patches and it would go unnoticed as I don't produce Firefox builds 
daily.  I understand people want to do daily? builds to catch this sort 
of thing sooner, which I support.  Some times it affects new code, 
sometimes it affects old code.  It's hard to predict.

Additionally, we get security fixes in chunks.  Up to 30 at a time and 
they come bundled with other "high importance" fixes such as crash 
fixes, hang fixes, etc.

> The only delay you currently have is the time it takes to add the
> ExcludeArch: to the specfile and file the ExcludeArch bug -- and then
> for the build system to rebuild the package itself. You can even find
> the test case and file the compiler bug (on which your ExcludeArch bug
> will depend) _after_ you've built the new package with the ExcludeArch.

Actually, no.  Firefox can take up to 5 hours to build.  If the build 
fails toward the end, it's ~4 hours PLUS 5 hours which is already a full 
work day.  Considering that there are packages that need rebuilding 
currently against the new Firefox, this does have a very real impact on 

> Has that _really_ been so much of a problem for you?

Honestly, it has been so much that QE expects it these days.  The QE 
folks in my office hear of a firefox errata coming and start praying 
that the arches behave this time.  Because any delays for me means 
delays in getting packages to them for testing.  I run into some odd 
issue on non-x86 arches every to every other release, though I will 
admit that firefox has not failed while building ppc for quite some time 

I realize that I need to support these arches for RHEL anyway, so there 
is some priority to fixing/working around compiler issues, but there is 
no reason to delay Fedora fixes while we get things resolved.

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