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Re: [Bug-wget] Support of non-linux OS's going down the drain?

From: H.Merijn Brand
Subject: Re: [Bug-wget] Support of non-linux OS's going down the drain?
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 20:38:29 +0200

On Fri, 19 Aug 2011 09:48:12 -0700, Micah Cowan <address@hidden>

> On 08/19/2011 12:18 AM, H.Merijn Brand wrote:
> > With HP-UX 11.00 and HP C-ANSI-C it doesn't even *compile* anymore!
> (Re "Support of non-linux OS's going down the drain?")

I fully understand below statement, but I do not feel "guilty".

I am close to full-time perl-tester. I invented the core-smoking
process, that helps the perl5 development team to acquire test results
for most architectures and operating systems without the testers
actually being involved (though most testers actually get involved or
get more interested than originally planned, which is a good thing).

Our test bed runs on AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Windows and even OpenVMS and
gives us a day-to-day overview of what patches break what.

Note however that there are many many opensource projects, and that
none of us have enough CPU cycles available to test more than one or
two projects actively. I'm a perl5 committer, which makes me someone
dedicated to perl5, but with a very clear and open view to problems
other projects have on less active or available OS versions.

That said, I will always feedback the problems and sometimes the
solutions that I encounter in other projects. I'll give some example
from the very recent past that took quite a bit of my precious free

1. Together with someone from the GNU gcc team we tracked down a bug
   in the assembler part of gcc itself that caused gcc to not only
   generate invalid assembly, but eventually caused gcc itself to
   crash in certain C code. Now fixed, will be part of gcc-4.6.2

2. SQLite code would not compile on HP-UX 11.00 and older under
   certain conditions. Together with some others, we analyzed the
   problem and found a fix

3. I gave a patch to the authors of ccache to enable running on both
   HP-UX and AIX.

4. I implemented (longer ago now) a way to allow grep to use PCRE in
   regular expressions. That is now - heavily changed - available as
   -P option

5. I helped implementing PCRE patterns in 'less' search algorithms

6. I gave a lot of feedback to the people that create and maintain git.
   It now runs out of the box on most HP-UX.

These are all actions done together with others in tight cooperation.
Feedback is vital.

I might be the last one on this planet to still have *recent*
opensource projects as prebuilt binary software depots available for
most versions of HP-UX that are abandoned by HP. If I look at the
amount of downloads for e.g. HP-UX 10.20, which I consider long dead,
I see a proof that we -as open software community - make an awful lot
of people very very happy.

Help comes in grades. Feedback is one form of them. I certainly feel
your angry when you say that "others" (including me) did not test
pre-releases or test releases. I however just don't have the time to
test each and every opensource project I ever use *for every release*.

I mean, I just use wget. I used version 1.10/1 for a long time, until I
ran into a problem. A new version is available, and I download it, run
the documented build process (configuration, make, make test, make
install) for those projects, and I report back what I find. If theere
is an easy fix, I'll add that in my feedback.

I am not trying to criticize anyone either. I'm just trying to explain
that your problems are others problems too and that tuits are not free.
One needs a serious amount of motivation to actively participate in
improving open source. I try to take part in that process, but my time
and motivation is also limited. I also realize that most motivated
developers are NOT on devious OS's like Solaris, AIX, HP-UX or (Open)VMS

> If folks would like to see better support for non-GNU/Linux platforms, 
> then folks using those platforms might do well to help test the software 
> when test tarballs are released. There is one primary developer, and a 
> smattering of sporadic contributors, and every time a release is made, 
> the maintainer is always dismayed to find that all of a sudden people 
> find all their particular platform bugs at that time.
> No one ever seems to pay much attention to the test packages that people 
> make available, sometimes several months in advance, and the maintainer 
> surely lacks the resources to test on many different platforms 
> (particularly ones that don't lend themselves well to being run under a 
> VM), so I'm afraid there's little that can be done about the problem. It 
> wouldn't be appropriate to announce test source packages to as wide an 
> audience as we do for full releases, and obviously the maintainer's own 
> development platform (and whatever's most widely used among the mailing 
> list users) will get the best treatment.
> (Not trying to criticize anyone or anything, just trying to make the 
> point that the "favored" status of one particular OS is more or less 
> inevitable.)

H.Merijn Brand  http://tux.nl      Perl Monger  http://amsterdam.pm.org/
using 5.00307 through 5.14 and porting perl5.15.x on HP-UX 10.20, 11.00,
11.11, 11.23 and 11.31, OpenSuSE 10.1, 11.0 .. 11.4 and AIX 5.2 and 5.3.
http://mirrors.develooper.com/hpux/           http://www.test-smoke.org/
http://qa.perl.org      http://www.goldmark.org/jeff/stupid-disclaimers/

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