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Re: [git-for-windows] Call to developers with access to Windows XP

From: "Johannes Schindelin" <Johannes.Schindelin@xxxxxx>
Hi all,

it has been a while since Windows XP support has been dropped from Git for
Windows (v2.10.0 was the last version to support it), mainly due to the
code changes inherited from Cygwin's code base, which discontinued
supporting Windows XP after version 2.5.2 (because it became way too

Now, as some of you recall, I was not all too happy about having to drop
the Windows XP support,

Thank you for having the concern. It is appreciated, at least by me.

but I saw no alternative seeing as it would have
taken me a good chunk of time (which I have to spend instead on keeping
Git for Windows working on Windows versions that are *not* past their
end-of-life) to reinstate XP support, and it would have taken even more
time to keep it that way, backporting changes all the time from
quickly-advancing Open Source projects moving away from XP support at a
fast pace.

All the same, I tried to make sure that developers out there who are eager
to have Windows XP support know that I am fully willing to assist them in
getting it back. Assisting, not as in "just whine enough and eventually I
will cave in and solve your problem for you", but as in "you are eager,
but do not know where to start? I can tell you all about it, and if you
get stuck, I'll help you get unstuck".

It has been over 9 months now since the first non-XP version of Git for
Windows has been released, and all I heard was that some developers found
workarounds that work for themselves only, without even trying to share
anything helpful for other developers in a similar plight.

This is not enough.

We are now finally at a road fork where I need to know, soon, whether
there is anybody out there who is willing to step up to trying to get
Windows XP support back into Git for Windows.

I suapect that the XP 'community' split into two parts (and not of equal size).

The first is those who for many and various local reasons are still on/using an XP machine, and would like to keep up with the Git community and the coding of Git. This requires only a minimal level of competence in the deep OS stuff of Windows compatability. I'm pretty much in this camp.

The second sort are those who for other reasons are involved and knowledgeable in the deep OS XP compatibility stuff, haven't progressed to the newer and even more improved (as they say) versions of Win 7,8,10 and still want to have the latest Git compiling on XP (as opposed to simply accepting the last XP compative GfW version). It looks like that group is thin on the ground, leaving too many issues to fall though the cracks.

Side note: At this point, I am a bit sick and tired of hearing so many
opinions that *I* should work on that. So that won't fly. Just don't. If
you feel the need to whine how unfair I am even while you are unwilling to
lift so much as a finger to reinstate Windows XP support, just write it on
a piece of paper and flush it down somewhere. Don't write that email,
because all it would ensure is that I personally would rip out all
remaining XP support from Git's own source code, just to rid myself of
this kind of "helpful" advice. It's not worth your time, and certainly not
mine, either.

Back to the subject.

The reason for this call is a Pull Request I would like to merge:
https://github.com/git-for-windows/git/pull/1214. It simplifies Git for
Windows' pthreads emulation rather dramatically, but due to my
(misguided?) request, it tries to keep Windows XP support as a
compile-time option.

The thing is, this code will bit-rot if there is nobody willing to spend
even a little bit of time on Windows XP support in Git for Windows.
Meaning: it will add to my maintenance burden, which is not okay.

So my current preference would be for me to go back to the contributor of
PR #1214 with a profound apology for making that suggestion and wasting
their time unnecessarily. And then just drop the XP support of our pthread

However, I am not quite certain that I have really exhausted all my
options for reaching active developers who are interested enough in
Git for Windows' reinstating Windows XP support that they are willing to
put in the effort to make it so.

Did I reach you, active developers? This is my final attempt to do so...

While it is still regrettable, I think your initial decision, as noted at the beginning, is/will be the right decision. I'm happy to accept that, and do thank you for all the effort on maintining GfW, and its XP support for as long as you did. Many thanks.

At some point I will have to update my tech, once the family budget holder releases the funds ;-)