mpthompson wrote:Let me know if that makes it a little clear to new users what they might expect right now with Raspbian.
It's a bit clearer, but the motivation for going to all this trouble doesn't really jump out at the reader, and I had to reread things several times to get straight (I hope) the differences between Raspbian, Wheezy armhf & the Debian distro available from ./downloads.
So I tried editing the "What is Raspbian?" section to make everything really explicit:
Raspbian is an unofficial port of Debian Wheezy armhf with compilation settings adjusted to produce optimized "hard float" code that will run on the Raspberry Pi. This should provide significantly faster performance for applications that make heavy use of floating point arithmetic operations (eg?).
The port is necessary because the official Debian Wheezy armhf release is compatible only with versions of the ARM architecture later than the one used on the Pi (ARMv7-A CPUs and higher, vs the Pi's ARMv6).
The official Debian image (available for download from raspberrypi.org) used "soft float" settings for easier compatibility with the Pi. This was necessary due to time constraints (?), but implies that it does not use of the Pi's processor's floating point hardware - reducing the Pi's performance during floating point intensive applications .
(If this seems overlong or is an excessive mangling of reality, please feel to ignore it!)