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Re: configure speedup proposal: add --assume-c99 and --assume-posix2008

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re: configure speedup proposal: add --assume-c99 and --assume-posix2008 flags
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2014 15:41:40 -0500 (CDT)
User-agent: Alpine 2.01 (GSO 1266 2009-07-14)

On Sun, 23 Mar 2014, John Spencer wrote:

i even ask myself sometimes if it is still worth plastering software and configure scripts with checks and ifdefs for these broken platforms that probably cant even build the dependencies of modern software (these ifdefs are almost always completely unmaintained due to lack of testing and very likely to fail), and even if they still compile *and* work there, are probably not even used. because the handful of people using these platforms stick to their current versions anyway...

It seems likely that you are not a user of one of these platforms and therefore not really qualified to characterize them. Most of them are not "broken platforms" since they work just fine.

People who still use old systems do so because newer operating system versions don't run on (or run well on) their hardware. It is up to package developers if they care to ensure that their software runs on something other than a very recent OS version.

speaking of it, it may be a good test to revive one of these zombie OS's trying to do a full build of the 500 most popular non-linux-specific packages in debian to proof that probably less than 10% will compile despite extensive platform-specific hacks and workarounds. carrying around all this legacy baggage is kinda like porting a 16bit DOS program to win 3.11, then to win95, 98, xp, 7, 8 and still keeping all the old 16bit code in #ifdefs without testing it ever.

You are blowing the magnitude of the "legacy baggage" way out of proportion. In fact, there is really not much left compared to what there used to be.

Please take care because most of the software you are using was developed on one of these legacy systems and worked just fine when it was developed (and most still does now). Many people here developed those systems that you describe as "broken" now.

Bob Friesenhahn
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,

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