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Re: Document reasonable portability targets


From: Bruno Haible
Subject: Re: Document reasonable portability targets
Date: Tue, 17 May 2011 02:25:13 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.9.9

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the stylistic improvements.

> > +currently ported to are probably HP-UX 10.20 and IRIX 5.3, though we
> > +are not testing these platform very often.
> 
> platform -> platforms

OK.

> > +will not support all versions that are at most three years old, but only
> 
> I had trouble parsing the sentence that contains this line.  Perhaps replace
> the entire line with the word "supports"?

Yes, OK.

> > +people from their developers or users community contributes support to
> 
> Change to "developers or users contribute support to".

Yes.

> > +As of 2011, the list of supported platforms is the following:
> 
> The actual list talks about testing, not supporting, so I suggest changing
> "supported" to "tested".

The paragraph before that line establishes a correspondence between "supported"
and "tested".

> > address@hidden
> > +Interix 3.5 is not tested.
> 
> I suggest adding "Interix 6.1 is rarely tested, and requires suacomp 0.6.8 or 
> later."; see
> <http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-gnulib/2011-05/msg00324.html> and
> <http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-tar/2011-05/msg00009.html>.

Thanks, I was waiting for these details from Markus Duft, but now you told
everything already.

> > +These operating systems are all supported in an unvirtualized environment.
> 
> I'd remove the above sentence, partly because of the "tested" versus 
> "supported"
> issue

That issue is explained through the sentence "The degree of support Gnulib
guarantees for a platform depends ..." But I can rephrase it.

> partly because the sentence is redundant. 

Yes it is redundant, but a little bit of redundancy makes the text easier to
read. And it's a positive counter-weight, whereas the rest of the paragraph is
negative.

> > +The following platforms are @emph{not} supported by Gnulib.  Even correct
> > +patches for their support will not be applied.
> 
> Rather than just saying "no", it'll be helpful to give a few reasons why,
> so that people don't write and ask "why?".  Also, there's no need for the 
> @emph.
> And it wouldn't hurt to add a "Please" here.  How about the following wording 
> instead?
> It tries to capture the essential (i.e., harsh :-) idea without being too 
> off-putting.
> 
>   The following platforms are not supported by Gnulib.  The cost of 
> supporting them
>   would exceed the benefit because they're rarely used, or poorly documented,
>   or have been supplanted by other platforms, or diverge too much from POSIX,
>   or some combination of these and other factors.  Please don't bother sending
>   us patches for them.

Thanks, I'm taking this paragraph like you wrote it.


2011-05-16  Paul Eggert  <address@hidden>
            Bruno Haible  <address@hidden>

        doc: Tweak recent change.
        * README (Portability guidelines): Tweak new text.
        * doc/gnulib-intro.texi (Target Platforms): Likewise. Mention
        Interix 6.1.

--- README.orig Tue May 17 02:19:41 2011
+++ README      Tue May 17 02:00:17 2011
@@ -213,9 +213,9 @@
 platforms that predate POSIX 1003.1-2001.
 
 Currently we assume at least a freestanding C89 compiler, possibly
-operating with a C library that predates C89.  The oldest environment
+operating with a C library that predates C89.  The oldest environments
 currently ported to are probably HP-UX 10.20 and IRIX 5.3, though we
-are not testing these platform very often.
+are not testing these platforms very often.
 
 Because we assume a freestanding C89 compiler, Gnulib code can include
 <float.h>, <limits.h>, <stdarg.h>, and <stddef.h> unconditionally.  It
--- doc/gnulib-intro.texi.orig  Tue May 17 02:19:41 2011
+++ doc/gnulib-intro.texi       Tue May 17 02:19:28 2011
@@ -89,14 +89,12 @@
 are actively developed.  Such platforms are also supported by Gnulib, if
 that OS's developers community keeps in touch with the Gnulib developers,
 by providing bug reports, analyses, or patches.  For such platforms, Gnulib
-will not support all versions that are at most three years old, but only
-the versions of the last year or the last few months, depending on the
-maturity of said OS project, the number of its users, and how often these
-users upgrade.
+supports only the versions of the last year or the last few months,
+depending on the maturity of said OS project, the number of its users, and
+how often these users upgrade.
 
 Niche operating systems are generally unsupported by Gnulib, unless some
-people from their developers or users community contributes support to
-Gnulib.
+of their developers or users contribute support to Gnulib.
 
 The degree of support Gnulib guarantees for a platform depends on the
 amount of testing it gets from volunteers.  Platforms on which Gnulib
@@ -150,6 +148,8 @@
 @item
 mingw in 64-bit mode is not tested and low priority so far.
 @item
+Interix 6.1 is rarely tested, and requires the @code{suacomp} library
+(@url{http://sourceforge.net/projects/suacomp/}) in version 0.6.8 or newer.
 Interix 3.5 is not tested.
 @item
 Haiku is rarely tested, BeOS is not tested and low priority.
@@ -159,7 +159,7 @@
 QNX is not tested and low priority.
 @end itemize
 
-These operating systems are all supported in an unvirtualized environment.
+Gnulib supports these operating systems only in an unvirtualized environment.
 When you run an OS inside a virtual machine, you have to be aware that the
 virtual machine can bring in bugs of its own.  For example, floating-point
 operations on Solaris can behave slightly differently in QEMU than on real
@@ -170,8 +170,11 @@
 rarely tested and low priority: WINE has a set of behaviours and bugs that
 is slightly different from native Windows.
 
-The following platforms are @emph{not} supported by Gnulib.  Even correct
-patches for their support will not be applied.
+The following platforms are not supported by Gnulib.  The cost of
+supporting them would exceed the benefit because they are rarely used, or
+poorly documented, or have been supplanted by other platforms, or diverge
+too much from POSIX, or some combination of these and other factors.
+Please don't bother sending us patches for them.
 
 @itemize
 @item

-- 
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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