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Re: Document reasonable portability targets


From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: Document reasonable portability targets
Date: Tue, 17 May 2011 00:20:27 +0200
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Simon Josefsson wrote on 2011-01-29 in
<http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-gnulib/2011-01/msg00544.html>:
> The section on intentionally non-supported platforms reads a bit harsh
> to me.

This is somehow intended. The question about DJGPP is coming up occasionally.
The harsh statement is so that we don't need to spend time discussing this
over and over again.

> I don't think it is inconceivable that we'll support DOS through 
> FreeDOS for example?

I think it is inconceivable, because DOS programs can only be 64 KB large
in size. Very few GNU programs are in this category.

> Maybe a sentence or two about _why_ the mentioned 
> platforms are not supported? Is there any technical reason we don't 
> support Symbian for example?  I can understand why we don't support
> Windows 95/98/ME: it is an abandoned platform with no security updates
> and no commercial support available, and there is no need to develop new
> programs for that platform.

Everyone has his own reasons not to support these. My personal reasons are:
  - Windows 95/98/ME - because the file system is insane under the hood,
    and because Microsoft's documentation of today does not even tell any
    more which Win32 API functions existed in which version.
  - DJGPP and EMX - because these have mostly been supplanted by Windows.
  - Symbian - because its programming model and the type of applications
    is so far away from POSIX applications.

Anyway, I don't find it necessary for us to give a rationale for not
doing Windows 95 support. It's sufficient that we (as a group of developers)
give no false hopes.

If you feel inclined to really support one of these platforms, then go ahead,
remove it from the list of unsupported platforms, and take it on your
shoulders :-)

Bruno
-- 
In memoriam The victims of the Zaklopańća massacre 
<http://greatersurbiton.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/interview-with-nihada-hodzic-survivor-of-the-zaklopaca-massacre/>



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