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

On Jan 12, 2017, at 9:43 AM, G 3 <programmingkidx gmail com> wrote:

On Jan 12, 2017, at 12:16 PM, John Ralls wrote:

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versions "out of date", it made some amount of sense to continue to support it.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 

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 

I think I am a little confused by this not being GTK. The list I am sending this email to is called 
gtk-osx-users-list. I am a new user of GTK so I don't have too much experience with it yet.

Yes, gtk-OSX-users, IOW users of the gtk-osx project. See The mailing list for Gtk users would be gtk-app-devel, 
and for Gtk developers Gtk-devel.

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.

That is unfortunate.

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 

I have compiled applications that have multiple dependencies to them and have made those applications 
distributable by changing and including their needed dylib's so that all the user has to do is unzip the 
application and copy it to their hard drive. Is there any easier way to distribute an application? This 
method takes literally seconds to do. It looks like a Mac OS X user is required to build the GTK library 
itself in order to use it. I suggest we build a library that is simple to download and install. It only 
takes one user to make a distributable library that everyone could use. I have always built applications 
via the "configure ; make ; make install" method. The jhbuild way of doing things is new to me, but I do 
see its advantages. With a little more help I could get to the point where I could make this distributable 
library for you.

No, I don't think "a little more help" is going to get you anywhere close. "A few years of experience with 
Gtk+" would be a reasonable prerequisite. If you don't know about drag-and-drop installation of application 
bundles, we can add "a few years experience developing of MacOS" as well.

"I have compiled applications" implies that you've never actually *developed* anything. If that's the case 
then you need to add "a few years learning to write and maintain real applications in C" before you're ready 
to even begin the "few years of experience with Gtk". You'll also need to fluently write and maintain Python, 
Perl, and bash scripting and comfortable with a variety of regular expressions.

John Ralls

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