On 09/19/2016 10:37 PM, Steve Langasek wrote:
Hi Nicholas,

On Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 06:47:31PM -0400, Nicholas Skaggs wrote:
On 09/07/2016 04:57 PM, Nicholas Skaggs wrote:
Hello all. I'd like to discuss the removal of 32-bit architectures from
the juju-core source package. The current packaging in the xenial and
yakkety archive for juju-core specifies it's architecture as 'All'. This
was an oversight as we officially support only the following
architectures:
amd64 ppc64el arm64 s390x
We don't test or support 32-bit builds of juju. This is in-line with the
clouds upon which juju runs which don't support 32-bit servers, as well as
our own support of xenial server and mitaka -- 64-bit only.
With this in mind, I'd like to update the archive packaging in both xenial
and yakkety to remove these unsupported builds. I realize removing
previously published binaries from the xenial archive isn't ideal, however
we cannot update the current packages in order to deal with changes in
cloud providers.
I am looking for feedback and help to accomplish this. I would propose the
following, but am open to other ideas to best accomplish this task.
1) Upload a new conjure-up package to xenial and yakkety that changes the
architecture to 'Any'
 From my POV this is not required.  Anyway, changing its architecture to
'any' would probably not be what you want since that would still build the
package on all architectures; if you were going to change it at all,
presumably you would want to restrict the architecture list, or add the same
kind of warning-message-on-upgrade dummy package.  But provided that we are
handling the architectures appropriately in juju-core itself, I don't think
you need to change anything in conjure-up.

2) Upload a new juju-source package to xenial and yakkety that:
        -- specifies the architecture as 'amd64 ppc64el arm64 s390x'
        -- provides a second binary package for 32-bit users that ensures
they upgrade to a message informing them the package isn't supported.
This seems like the best available option.  Ideally we would not get
ourselves in the situation in the first place that a package we can't
support has made it into a release.  But seeing that we're here, I think
it's better to bite the bullet now rather than let it drag on further.

I want to ensure a smooth experience for anyone who installed a 32-bit
version of juju on xenial. It is not found on any images, and juju itself
is not yet final. Production deployments should still be utilizing juju-1.
I would like to remove this package before wider adoption as juju2 enters
RC and final release stages. I would especially appreciate ideas about
ensuring a good upgrade story for current users. I don't suspect there are
many at all, but I don't want to leave unsupported and abandoned packages
in the archive.
I'd like to update this mailing to reflect a series of discussions today on
#ubuntu-devel surrounding this topic. It has been proposed that a solution
be found to provide as much support for the existing 32-bit packages as
possible. I've requested the juju-core team to provide compile-time support
for disabling providers as a means to mitigate issues where upstream code
stops support for 32-bit builds. For 32-bit users, they will retain support
to the extent possible for providers on a best effort basis.
Most importantly, I trust this relieves my concerns about the inability to
landed needed SRU's and regular updates in the development version of ubuntu
due to a failing build in an unsupported architecture. I'd like to thank
everyone involved for there feedback and discussions. For now, consider this
request canceled.
This implies that the package will be available on 32-bit now, but that you
are not committing to keep that package free of functional regressions in
SRU on 32-bit architectures.  That seems much worse, to me, than disabling
the package altogether on 32-bit now, or immediately disabling all the
providers that upstream has not committed to providing 32-bit support for.
I agree it's better to cut this off now rather than later. That was the initial point of my mail, and my continuing concern with shipping packages that don't have upstream support. The counter-arguments given in response to my initial mail pointed out that juju is not unique in this regard and that efforts should be made to support 32-bit. My concerns haven't gone away; I think removing the package and being clear to users about what is supported is a "better" user experience, but I am open to feedback that would seek alternative solutions. My concern either way is that we're blocked on fixing issues because of 32-bit failures later on, which I consider a big risk. The proposal of making it so we could simply disable the broken bits on 32-bit and retain as much as we can was a reasonable request, and one I wanted to try and fulfill.
One of the arguments made for why it's ok to drop the 32-bit package right
now in xenial is that juju 2 is not yet at its final release and isn't yet
used in production.  Tabling this request "for now" just means that the next
time it comes up, it will have much worse impact on the end user.  Let's
please sort out now what the juju team can commit to support on 32-bit for
the lifetime of the LTS and do that, rather than pulling the rug out from
under the users later.
I also agree that now is the time to decide, hence my mails. I felt the risk of "dropping" a 32-bit package, while never an ideal thing, was best done now early in the cycle and before adoption. If we think there is any chance the package would have to be removed during the course of the cycle, I would be firmly in the camp of removing it now. I'm also concerned about the value and overhead that will be placed on keeping the 32-bit package useful over 5 years. Speaking as a user personally, I really don't like neutered packages. They are like landmines sometimes; I've personally been bitten by this on armhf. I laid out a worst case scenario of having a juju package that works only with the local provider. Others felt would this would retain value even if that came to pass (which I agreed wasn't the most likely outcome at the time). I think if there is value even in the worst case scenario, it makes sense to try and support it. So I sent my follow-up mail to do just that.

Fast-forwarding to today, I made an effort to get a sustainable 32-bit package. I also wanted to gain reassurance I could easily deal with further issues should they crop up to truly alleviate my concerns about being blocked, hence "sustainable". This was not the first 32-bit build issue, and xenial is quite young. Thus I requested the juju core team provide a way of compiling without various provider support or other things that may trip up builds in the future. In addition, I worked again on trying to get a working 32-bit build myself with the idea of breaking providers, tests, or anything else as needed. With the caveat in mind that I am not a go developer, I discovered that as I tore parts away, more things started breaking. The build failures were not unique to a specific provider as we had thought, and making things work was not an easy task. I also began to seriously wonder how well juju would function with the amount of edits I was doing. I was ultimately not successful in getting a build, nor was I confident that the build would work reasonably. At the same time, the core team investigated breaking out provider by provider support and found it was going to be onerous, and represent a continual burden due to the intrinsic nature of go. Armed with the knowledge that this was not going to be easily solved by disabling providers, I don't think this failure changes the outcome.

Given the lack of results, I'm not confident about the 32-bit builds going forward. After my investigation and attempts to produce a current working build, I think the safest option remains the package removal. I'm even less convinced now that 32-bit builds can be supported in the future. Sadly, the window for discussion and exploring alternatives on this is closing. Juju 2 is releasing an RC today, and adoption will begin. I would like to resolve this matter asap. I want to get the RC into the archive for our LTS users especially, as well as yakkety for our QA and stabilization efforts there.

Nicholas

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