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Proposal: Let's drop i386


I definitely should have included more links to previous discussions -
including this survey I did 4 years ago - https://bryanquigley.com/posts
/crazy-ideas/32-bit-usage-survey-results.html.

Is it ethical to continue to support a platform that we may not be able to
provide meaningful security support for?  Ignoring meltdown for a moment,
Spectre V2 requires microcode updates to protect against it - I'm not sure
they will ever come for hardware from 2006.

b) Those, who do not want to consume more resources due to ethical
considerations (that's the one for me): how many people could fed or how
much CO2 prevented, if all systems were some percent smaller on disk/RAM,
including IT-system production and operation related resource usage?
Wasting resources is also about freedom, as we deprive others who cannot
afford them/fight for them in the same way we can do.

My laptop is from 2009 (albeit upgraded).. I like holding on to devices
myself.  If we fully drop the port, every i386 user still has some level of
Ubuntu support until 2023.   In any case as you go back further processors
become much less power efficient - are you sure that you aren't the one
wasting resources?

It happens that Energy Star requirements significantly increased
requirements in 2007 especially around idle power usage which is one of the
biggest wasters of power in computers generally (see
https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=archives.computer_spec_version_4_0).

Kind regards,
Bryan


On Fri, May 11, 2018 at 11:32 AM, Fiedler Roman <Roman.Fiedler at ait.ac.at>
wrote:

> > Von: ubuntu-devel [mailto:ubuntu-devel-bounces at lists.ubuntu.com] Im
> >
> > Hello,
> >
> > Less and less non-amd64-compatible i386 hardware is available for
> > consumers to buy today from anything but computer part recycling centers.
> > The last of these machines were manufactured over a decade ago, and
> > support from an increasing number of upstream projects has ended. ...
> >
> > ...
>  >
> > We still have a relatively high number if i386 downloads but that doesn't
> > mean users machines are not capable of amd64. For the flavors remaining
> > today on i386 here are some i386 to amd64 ratios for 18.04:
> >
> > Lubuntu cdimage - 0.87
> > Lubuntu tracker - 0.64
> > ...
>
> This decision is not only about numbers, but somehow also about ethics.
> The number of e.g. wheel-chair users or other disabled persons might not be
> relevant for a society/economy in terms of numbers. But we honor the value
> of freedom, also for those, who are not that well off than we are. Those
> would not be able to participate in the same way, if we would not assist
> them by providing support for that minority.
>
> So for the i386 discussion, there might be only two distinct groups of
> users worth considering:
>
> a) Those, who cannot afford newer systems due to economical reasons.
>
> b) Those, who do not want to consume more resources due to ethical
> considerations (that's the one for me): how many people could fed or how
> much CO2 prevented, if all systems were some percent smaller on disk/RAM,
> including IT-system production and operation related resource usage?
> Wasting resources is also about freedom, as we deprive others who cannot
> afford them/fight for them in the same way we can do.
>
>
> Those two groups could be seen apart from a third one: those, who do not
> want to change for convenience (parking on the wheel-chair parking space,
> because it is closer to the entrance), thus depriving others from resources
> (in our case developers having to care for one platform more).
>
> How to value all those arguments might be more something for a Ubuntu
> ethics board (if existing), not just the mailing list? But first to get
> more insight, add some online survey link beside each i386-download asking
> users for their reasons?
>
> LG Roman
>
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