[OpenIndiana-discuss] All 32-bit-only X device drivers removed from Hipster -??

Nikola M minikola at gmail.com
Thu Mar 5 07:04:43 UTC 2015

I have been reading 'Hipster' change log, posted on Openindiana wiki 
under the page:
and I noticed that alp did "All 32-bit-only X device drivers removed.", 
just after updating them.

It is strange to remove such a large portion of graphics support for 
Openindiana, and user support, too and I see no reason for it.
And also removing support for 32-bit hardware for Openindiana would not 
benefit anyone and must not come unnoticed and undiscussed.
It is true no one tells that Hipster is production ready, but it is a 
norm in Hipster to never go back with changes , not having versioned 
numbers upon repository updates (and I suppose it is because of breaking 
consolidations and harder to make working 'entire' consolidation out of 
changing packages),
so I must say a few words.

As recently it was mentioned on mailing list by alp, that he is thinking 
of removing 32-bit hardware support for no clear reasons,
Remind you that all Openindiana ISO disks till now both work on 32-bit 
and 64-bit x86 hardware, both as LiveDVD media and after install, with 
most of applications being 32bit on 64bit hardware.
Removing also such excellent functionality is also questionable.

It is such a move not only for not supporting users needs and multiple 
answers on the list that responded negatively of removing 32-bit 
hardware support, but also is a way for killing user experience for 
anyone using 32-bit hardware (and other 32-bit mainstream operating 
systems does not even think of dropping support for 32-bit hardware any 
time soon.
Those are machines coming brand new with 32-bit OSes in March 2015 with 
no less then 2GB of RAM or 4 with less usabe, that is still considered 
'just fine' amount for many desktop and small server needs. Also this 
kind of hardware is all around us and it is simply not the case that 
'every computer in last 7-8 years is 64bit',
, but also vast amount of them has up to 4GB of RAM and 32-bit OS es 
installed and that is big potential also for OI use that, should not be 

It is true GDA at illumos stated that illumos wold move to support ony 
64-bit on x86 for hardware (32-bit applications are going to be 
supported with no changes),
but it did NOT happen in illlumos, nor there are indications it will 
happen any time soon..
Also, illumos will have announcement (with question from community of 
users) and some 'last illumos for 32bit' that could be maintained for a 
longer time. Also no mentions that illumos will do thing like that yet.

So, removig important functionality from OI requires wider consensus, no 
mater what you think about contribution models and types of involvement.
It is not distribution made for 2 or 3 people, it is made for wide audience.
Decisions like this in my humble opinion should not be acted upon behind 
closed doors and without calling for action or help in solving issues. 
(IF they represent any issues).
Removing 32-bit suport is maybe solving some issues (what) for minority 
of people, (and as we know OI has very strong workarounds inherited from 
Opensolaris for suporting multiple platforms), but it is screwing OI in 
a big way, comparing to any other distro and platform.

Situation where new user, holding DVD or USB flash drive in hand and 
trying to boot Openindiana for the first time on it's existing hardware 
he can spare for trying it out,
and realization that it's graphics are intentionally not supported for 
no clear reason is a showstopper not only for current users.
If some techical things are in mind here , then OI should firstly have 
at least some or ANY release, following /dev that could fully support 
32-bit and not, before that move and not letting down existing users.

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