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Re: Proposal: remove OSF/1 support

On 03/31, Greg Troxel wrote:
> nia <> writes:
> > According to a rather upset person on reddit, bootstrap has been
> > broken for years, and I don't think we have the capability to test
> > this platform even if we want to, since it's a proprietary platform
> > that only runs on hardware that is increasingly rare.
> I don't think people have a right to be upset that Free Software has
> bugs and that some unspecified Other People aren't fixing it for them.
> So if someone is acting that way, I'm inclined to just dismiss their
> comments entirely.

Hi, Greg!

You might have guessed that I would push back on this a little. :-)  I
haven't read the Reddit rant, so I'm not talking about that at all, but
I do think this idea of "here's some stuff I'm hacking on, but it's
broken all over the place and not really useful, but you're welcome to
help" is not always what users have in mind when they're using open
source software.

I mean, sometimes that's exactly what they have in mind: they're users
who want to hack on it for fun or to make it better so that they can use

But there are other users, and it might even be some of the same users
who wanted to hack on a project but in a different context, who are
wishing to use open source software in a production environment (at work
or home), and they need it to be secure, reliable, and to not break
backward compatibility.

Now right there, you may say that that's not part of the deal, and users
need to either contribute themselves or pay someone to contribute.  And
I hear you, but I think there's at least a third model here: users who
maintain their own open source projects and want to use others.  So,
it's kind of like economic specialization: instead of everyone growing
their own food and making their own clothes, etc., they specialize and
then trade.  IMO, the same thing can happen in the open source software
world where a user might maintain their own open source project but
then wish to not have to become an expert in someone else's open source
project; they wish to just use it.

So, I think I said it in our last discussion a few months back related
to a security issue with OpenSSL, and I know you're looking at it from
more of a legal point of view, and I'm not (for better or for worse),
but I still feel like there's some basic level of responsibility in
maintaining an open source software project that the maintainer should
take on, and I think that includes ensuring the software is secure,
reliable, and not breaking backward compatibility (within the same
major version number); and of course if it's pre-1.0.0, then backward
compatibility is not promised.

Now, as for this OSF/1 situation, I'm OK with nia's change to

to add an "other supported platforms" section and wording to make it
more clear that it might not work.  Personally, I'd go even further and
break the platforms down into tiers just like NetBSD does at

And with zero knowledge of OSF/1 and pkgsrc on it, but just based on
what was said in this thread, it seems to me that OSF/1 would go into
"Tier III: Life Support -- severely incapacitated or broken." :-)
Just my opinion, of course.  And I'd be willing to contribute such a
breakdown to the pkgsrc website if you like the idea.

Kind regards,


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