Embedded architectures can be extremely important, since everyone uses a cell phone for instance; that doesn't mean it's a good idea to use them as build farm servers.
And this is a concern right now for anyone doing development for things like mobile phones. The attitude amongst the people who are supposedly most active (and best funded) has apparently mostly been to ignore the need for a decent cross-compilation workflow and instead either claim that running the compiler on a phone is "not that bad" or use second-rate workarounds like qemu, wasting an absurd amount of CPU time and energy emulating a native compiler and toolchain.
It should be completely possible to cross-build a distribution: very little code is actually in an architecture-specific machine language, and the build process should be using portable languages as well. I have high hopes that stuff like multiarch will help to work around the issues with tools and their liking for specific, immutable filesystem paths. That cross-building cannot be done for a distribution (various Debian-related efforts seem to undermine such claims) shouldn't be an excuse for not doing anything about it.
It has been over two decades since ARM had any kind of performance advantage over mainstream architectures, and although you can certainly go and buy a bunch of ARM-based devices to do parallel native builds, and although the performance per core of ARM-based devices is improving, it's wasteful and absurd to suggest that people would go and buy a cluster of modestly performing gadgets when the machine on their desk/lap/rack could race through the process in comparatively little time.
To label anyone as clueless may be rude, but it is fair to state that the situation is ridiculous.
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