Re: [gtk-osx-users] Support for ancient MacOS versions?

On Jan 12, 2017, at 11:02 AM, John Ralls wrote:

A post yesterday from someone actually trying to build Gtk on a Tiger system raises a question I've been mulling for some time:

Is it time to pull the plug on the older versions of MacOS?


When I took over the project from Richard in 2009 Snow Leopard was the current OS X release, and Tiger, which was and still is the minimum "supported" version for gtk-osx, was 5 years old. It being only two versions "out of date", it made some amount of sense to continue to support it. There were still a lot of PPC macs around and Snow Leopard didn't support them.

That was almost 8 years ago, and much has changed. In particular, Xcode 7 and MacOS10.9.sdk introduced a new linkage system that allows one to build binaries that run on any system from 10.6 on by passing the oldest version you want to --macosx-version-min. Clang has matured into a pretty good compiler, especially compared to the buggy llvm-gcc compilers of Xcode 4.x. Packages which include mac- specific code often require patching to be able to build with the older SDKs and compilers. Maintaining all of that takes effort and I don't think that there are a lot of users who benefit from it.

In fact given today's security environment I think that supporting ancient and no-longer updated MacOS versions is a disservice to users, who might get the message that it's OK to expose their insecure systems to the internet because someone out there still supports their system.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" Benjamin Franklin. Yes there are a lot of people out there who are paranoid and afraid that someone is coming to get them, but we can still cater to both the paranoid and the sane.

So I'm inclined to change the support policy to 5 years, effective on the fifth anniversary of Mountain Lion's release on 16 February; meaning that after that gtk-osx won't actively support building on systems older than Mountain Lion; on 10 June 2018 the minimum supported system will be Mavericks, and so on.

You sound like Apple. This is GTK. Having it support more versions means more people can enjoy it.

The immediate impact will be removing all of the ppc-related and pre-10.8 special case code from jhbuildrc-gtk-osx. Over time I'd also weed out patches and modules which enable building on now unsupported versions of OS X.


Please please keep Mac OS 10.4 support. The very reason why I was interested in GTK was the fact it still supported Mac OS 10.4. I admit there aren't a lot of us PowerPC users around, but we like using software just like you. We want to be able to use GTK also. Apple's Cocoa framework is nasty to use when making the interface by code. I was hoping something like GTK would be a good replacement.

I will be more than happy to help you support GTK on Tiger.

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