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

On Jan 12, 2017, at 8:50 AM, G 3 <programmingkidx gmail com> wrote:

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 It being only two versions "out of date", it made some amount of sense to continue to support it.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.

First off, no, this isn't Gtk. This is a facility for developers of Gnome applications to build the dependencies for their programs on Macs, to enable using the Mac menus, and to bundle the app into a draggable bundle for installation. What Gnome application do you develop? How many known 10.4 users do you have?

As for Gtk, they accepted a change *last year* which requires *in the configure script* at least MacOS X 10.9. That's currently patched around in gtk-osx and the patch has been ignored by the Gtk development team. Gtk-4 is going to require GL and modern accelerated graphics. It's very unlikely to work at all on older hardware, and by older I mean anything that can't run Sierra.

Meanwhile, connecting insecure computers to the net represents a threat not just to the user but to the entire net: Consider the recent DDoS attacks using enormous botnets of IoT devices. If you insist on maintaining that old PPC box, put Linux on it so that you can get current certificates and security patches. Don't run an unsupported OS on the net! That, by the way, is not Apple's "party line", it's a common refrain of senior Gnome developers.

You haven't thus far demonstrated even the ability to *use* gtk-osx. How are you going to help me maintain it?

John Ralls

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]