I'm interested in building updated packages for sparc32 - sun4m in particular. Since Etch was the last official release, I've been building applications from source, with success in most cases, but this result isn't easy to share or reproduce. So I started looking at what it would take to produce/port packages from a newer version, for example "Jessie". I would be cross compiling for reasons of getting it done in a reasonable amount of time.
I realize this is probably a bad idea for many reasons, and likely a dead end at some point, as low level support has been dropped at some point in the kernel and it appears to have problems in gcc. But maybe a leap forward of 5-10 years is possible.
The first thing I'm not sure about is, would current packages work correctly if installed on Etch? For example, it would be nice to pick packages of interest, port those (and their dependencies), and install via apt, but I'm guessing there would be problems with such a large version leap. If those are serious, it might be easier to do a from-scratch port.. which might be a larger undertaking than I should try.
Any general suggestions on an approach?