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Re: [PATCH] RFC: Version support policy

Jan Beulich writes ("Re: [PATCH] RFC: Version support policy"):
> On 13.08.2021 13:37, Ian Jackson wrote:
> > The current policy for minimum supported versions of tools, compilers,
> > etc. is unsatisfactory: For many dependencies no minimum version is
> > specified.  For those where a version is stated, updating it is a
> > decision that has to be explicitly taken for that tool.
> Considering your submission of this having been close to a glibc
> version issue you and I have been discussing, I wonder whether
> "etc" above includes library dependencies as well.

Yes.  This is intending to cover all dependencies of whatever nature.

> In addition I see a difference between actively breaking e.g.
> building with older tool chains vs (like you have it in your
> README adjustment) merely a statement about what we believe
> things may work with, leaving room for people to fix issues with
> their (older) environments, and such changes then not getting
> rejected simply because of policy.

This is a valid concern.  I was thinking about this and I think
something needs to be written about this somewhere but the REAME isn't
the right place.  CODING_STYLE maybe.

> > In this patch I propose a cutoff of 6 years.
> > Obviously there will be debate about the precise value.
> Indeed I consider this way too short. Purely as a personal (and
> abstract) view (realizing this isn't really practical, and knowing
> there are reasons why I'd actually like to see a bump of the
> baseline) I'd prefer if there weren't minimum version requirements
> at all (apart from maybe - along the lines of ...
> > It will also be necessary to make exceptions, and/or to make different
> > rules for different architectures.  In particular, new architectures,
> > new configurations, or new features, may need an absolute earliest
> > tooling date which is considerably less than the usual limit.
> ... this - a baseline determined when Xen became an open source
> project).

I don't think that is workable.  Effectively, it means we are
targeting a constantly-obsolescing dependency environment.  It
would prevent us from adopting even very-well-established facilities
and improvements in our dependencies.

Effectively, it would force us to continue to write using 10- or
20-year-old idioms.  Idioms many of which have been found to be
suboptimal, and which in some cases are becoming unsupported.




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