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Re: backward compatability of tools

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: backward compatability of tools
Date: 17 Feb 2003 17:09:20 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) Emacs/20.3

"Dr. David Kirkby" <address@hidden> writes:

> SunOs 4.1.4

Sun has been withdrawing support for that OS.  Since September 2000
Sun has not issued patches for new bugs in that operating system.  On
September 30, Sun will further transition SunOS 4.1.4 to "custom
quote" level, which means you will need to spend a lot of money (and
have service division VP approval!)  in order to get a bug fixed.

> The first thing one notices is that there is a long delay (a minute
> or so) before a single line of output appears from a relatively
> small configure script. This is not just due to the age of the
> computer.

I wouldn't worry about this too much.  These machines are of interest
only to antiquarians now.  They have a lot of time, by definition.

> Then there are a list of tmp files it can't find.

That is a known bug in the SunOS 4.1.x shell; see Sun bugs 1123136,
1134744, and 1170383.  If you have software support with Sun, you can
insist that they fix it.  You have until September to do so; after
that, they aren't obligated to fix it.

To work around the bug, you can install a working shell (e.g., an old
version of bash), and then bootstrap from that.  This is admittedly a
bit of a pain, but if you want to keep your museum piece running,
you'll have to do stuff like that.  For more on this subject, please

> Do others think I'm totally mad and we should just ignore older
> software/hardware? 

For quite some time now, the vast majority of bug reports that I've
gotten from SunOS 4.x users are from people who are doing portability
checking.  In other words, they don't need the software themselves;
they just think that other people might need the software.

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