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Re: Deprecating ARM FPA support (was: ARM Neon Tests Failing on non-Neon Target)


On Mon, 2010-06-28 at 01:37 +0100, Martin Guy wrote:
> On 6/27/10, Gerald Pfeifer <gerald@pfeifer.com> wrote:
> > On Mon, 24 May 2010, Richard Kenner wrote:
> >  > I think that's a critical distinction.  I can't see removing a port just
> >  > because it's not used much (or at all) because it might be valuable for
> >  > historical reason or to show examples for how to do things.
> >
> >  I'd say a port with
> >  zero known users should actually be removed.
> 
> FPA is very widely used. From day 0 until 2006 it was the only FP
> model emulated by the Linux kernel and so in required by all operating
> systems created up to that date.

Apart from all those sensible people who'd already moved to a pure
soft-float world.

>   Actively-maintained software distributions and recent ports of Linux
> tend to use a different ABI ("EABI") whose default FP model is
> user-space softfloat and does not require FPA code generation
> (thankfully!), however there are many exiting software distributions
> in current use that only support emulated hard FPA instructions. 

There's only one main distribution, Debian.  That's dropped the old ABI
as of Sid, and by the time 4.7 comes out Lenny will be well on the road
to obsolete.

> For
> ARM boards without mainline Linux support whose manufacturers' kernel
> ports predates 2.6.16, it is mandatory, as is also is for users who
> just want to compile code for a given existing system that happens not
> to be running a recent kernel and userspace.
> 

Most of these minor boards are using soft float (at least, if they have
any sense).  The only part that really used the FPA was the 7500FE, but
that's been off the market for a long time now.

R.



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