What to do with old versions of Python, Perl, PHP, Apache1 (and others)?

Mojca Miklavec mojca at macports.org
Thu Feb 4 08:52:22 PST 2016


We have removed modules for old versions of Python and Perl, but there
are still many of these ports present:

- python24
- python25 (May 2011)
- python26 (Oct 2013)
- python27 (latest)
- (no python30)
- python31
- python32
- python33
- python34
- python35 (latest)
(for Python it's not entirely clear which ones are EOL)

- perl5.16 (eol 2014/05)
- perl5.18 (eol 2015/05)
- perl5.20 (supported)
- perl5.22 (latest)

- php52 (eol 2011/01)
- php53 (eol 2014/08)
- php54 (eol 2015/09)
- ... and newer ...
(see https://secure.php.net/eol.php)

- postgresql7  (eol 2010/10)
- postgresql80 (eol 2010/10)
- postgresql81 (eol 2010/11)
- postgresql82 (eol 2011/12)
- postgresql83 (eol 2013/02)
- postgresql84 (eol 2014/07)
- postgresql90 (eol 2015/09)
- postgresql91 (supported)
- postgresql92
- postgresql93
- postgresql94
- postgresql95
(see http://www.postgresql.org/support/versioning/)

- apache1 (eol 2010/02)

- gcc43
- gcc44
- ...

Some developers are calling for removal of these ports:
while some users occasionally complain if old versions get removed:

Daniel (dluke) said that anyone interested in keeping the ports should
have stepped up as a maintainer (but at least in case of Perl this is
not really an issue: I'm perfectly fine volunteering to maintain [read
as: do nothing to] these old ports).

The question is: what should be the general policy with these ports?
How long should we keep them around? Should we keep them or remove
them? And if we decide to remove them: should we have the same policy
for all rather than keep some forever while removing others as soon as
replacements are there?

I just wanted to clear this question up before acting on the ticket
linked above. I don't have a problem removing the ports, but in a way
I feel at least a bit sorry as long as those ports still work on all
OS X versions, don't need any maintenance and might still be somewhat
useful for people testing functionality of old versions.


PS: Personally I would vote for some introduction of some kind of a
"purgatory" (if graveyard is reserved) section of MacPorts where all
of the outdated, broken, no longer maintained (not just without
maintainer, but abandoned from upstream and with hardly any real
users) ports would go once people agree that there is no real use for
them other than in some obscure cases. Then users who would still need
them would find it easy enough to install them.

I would then also find it easier to just move a port there rather than
keep asking around whether anyone was still using that particular
semi-broken port.

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