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Re: Reinstate support for OS X versions older than 10.9


On 22 September 2015 at 23:47, Ryan Schmidt <gtk@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hello, I'm the maintainer of glib2 in the MacPorts package management system.
> glib 2.46.0 was recently released, and attempting to configure it produces this error:
> checking OSX version >= 10.9.0... no
> configure: error: OSX version is too old!
> glib 2.45.2 and earlier worked fine on older versions of OS X, but 2.45.3 and later claim to require 10.9.

As I said on the bug, I would not close the door on supporting
versions of MacOS prior to 10.9, but given that the platform support
is not continuous, it has to fall under a cost/benefit analysis from
the perspective of the people that do work on the GLib and GTK+,
instead of the people who work with it.

For instance, supporting MacOS 10.8 would give us about 80% of the
installed users base for MacOS; going back to 10.7 we'd reach about
90% — and after that we enter the land of diminishing returns. Those
figures are not going to get better in the future, either. Strict
support cut offs and free updates push OS upgrades forward. Also, I'd
like to point out that the oldest Apple-supported OS version is 10.8
(at least for security updates).

I do sympathise that the users are getting the short end of the stick,
here; on the other hand, with no stable development effort for MacOS,
the situation is only going to get worse as we add new features — and
while "system notifications" may seem negotiable for applications that
were written 15 years ago, I suspect that newer applications may come
to see them as a required feature, especially if the authors don't
want to end up coding them in platform-specific API — which is the
whole reason why we have the API in GIO in the first place. What
happens when the next feature comes along, and it has to bump up the
minimum version of the OS?

The API for sending notifications via GApplication cannot
programmatically fail — but the documentation helpfully says:

    There is no guarantee that the notification is displayed
immediately, or even at all.

Which at least gives us some leeway in not supporting platforms that
do not have system notification API.

I'm sorry I don't have better answers — or, really, answers at all.
I'm not going to do the work to support MacOS < 10.9, and I'd rather
avoid having holes in the API.


[@] ebassi [@gmail.com]
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