Support for ancient machines and operating systems

Sergey Fedorov vital.had at
Mon Jan 8 19:16:26 UTC 2024

*The whole of open-source is largely a hobby project* :)

> I will note, however, that there are a huge number of people who rely on
Sonoma on Intel or ARM as their daily work machine.

This is not the right question to ask. How many people exclusively depend
on Macports for their daily work will be a better one. It is irrelevant how
many use Sonoma as such, as long as they are not using Macports.

Then, how many people depend on 10.7, 10.8 or anything below, say, macOS
12? There is nothing specific to PowerPC here. Apple hardware restricts OS
which can be installed, so nobody gonna use older Intel systems just as
much for commercial applications.
In fact I would bet that there are more users of 10.5 ppc than of 10.7 x86.
There are some reasons to use the former, there are arguably none to use
the latter.

On Tue, Jan 9, 2024 at 2:33 AM Perry E. Metzger <perry at> wrote:

> The question is very simple. "Does anyone using MacPorts actually depend
> on the machines in question for their daily work". Not "could someone in
> theory do so". Not "is there a way that you could do such a thing if you
> really really wanted to". Does anyone *actually* do it.
> My assumption is no, or possibly a very, very small number of people. You
> can buy a much newer and better machine for a pittance on eBay or the
> equivalent.
> I will note, however, that there are a huge number of people who rely on
> Sonoma on Intel or ARM as their daily work machine.
> Perry
> On 1/8/24 13:17, Sergey Fedorov wrote:
> I do not particularly get the question. By “not using as a hobby project”
> you mean using it commercially? Obviously, “the latest software” condition
> restricts this to open-source.
> I can name at least a few areas where macOS PowerPC *can be* used either
> commercially or with the latest software but rather for not-too-demanding
> academic applications. Obviously, even the best machines from 2005 cannot
> compete speed-wise with the modern ones, so if a commercial application is
> sensitive to processing speed (or portability), PPC is not a reasonable
> option.
> There is nothing preventing one from using a PowerMac today for print
> media design and prepress, commercially. But software won’t be the latest.
> There is nothing preventing from using a PowerMac for something like
> econometric models in R. Perhaps not a very commercial stuff, but not a
> hobby project either. Everything I did for Bayesian modelling on an Intel
> Mac I can do on a PowerPC.
> What is the real stopper is portability. If someone would give me a
> PowerBook with G5 quad or at least dual cpu, I could use it as the to-go
> machine.
> Single G4 – no, thanks, that is only good for a hobby project.
> On Mon, Jan 8, 2024 at 11:45 PM Nicklas Larsson via macports-dev <
> macports-dev at> wrote:
>> Hi all!
>> I’m seriously curious: does anyone still today use a PPC machine today as
>> (1) main/only workstation with (2) necessary use of latest software and (3)
>> without using it as hobby project?
>> Best regards,
>> Nicklas
>> > On 8 Jan 2024, at 15:50, Perry E. Metzger <perry at> wrote:
>> >
>> > There's been a bit of tension recently because of a group of people who
>> are very interested in keeping MacPorts working on PowerPC hardware, none
>> of which has been made for the last 18 years or so.
>> >
>> > I'd like to float the idea that we create a fork of the MacPorts
>> repository that is devoted to operating systems and hardware that is more
>> than (say) a decade old, and that we allow the people who are interested in
>> maintaining that software to freely work on it. It doesn't hurt the rest of
>> us after all, and it absolves us of the need to keep the main MacPorts
>> repository complicated by patches to support very old systems.
>> >
>> > This way, people interested in old systems can keep them running, and
>> their work doesn't take up time for the rest of us and vice versa.
>> >
>> > Perry
>> >
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