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Re: Goodbye to the 3b1

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Andy Dougherty
September 9, 2013 12:46
Re: Goodbye to the 3b1
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On Mon, Sep 09, 2013 at 10:30:47AM +0200, Irek Szczesniak wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 7, 2013 at 5:59 PM, Andy Dougherty <> wrote:
> > Inspired by the recent archaeology in old #ifdef's, I noted that perl
> > still ships with hints files (and a replacement compiler script!) for
> > the AT&T Unix PC (aka 7300 or 3b1).  That script won't work anymore,
> > since the compiler didn't understand ANSI C.  I'm pretty sure the last
> > successful build I had on that platform was 5.001m.
> >
> > Normally, I think we ought to put in a "will-be-removed" type notice in
> > one version, and then actually remove it in the next, but in this case
> > I think that's just wasting time.
> I think such a warning is required for consistency and fairness.
> Please follow the established procedure.
> > The beefiest 3b1 only had 2M of RAM
> > (mine only had 1M) and a 67 MB hard drive (I think mine was 40 MB).
> > You can't even unpack perl-5.18.0 on a disk that small, let alone build
> > it in that little bit of RAM.
> Are you sure? AT&T still deploys ksh93 (last I've seen was ksh93
> version 's') for that platform, and the AST toolkit (used by ksh93 for
> platform abstraction) is a lot more complex than perl's core, and
> takes a lot of memory to build.

There may well be other software available that still could, in principle,
build on a 3b1, but that's not really relevant.  Perl5 won't, and hasn't
for a very long time.

See for links to various hardware details.
A freshly unpacked perl-5.18.1 distribution takes up 73 MB.  I am
quite sure that won't fit on a 67 MB disk.

The two items that were removed were also broken.  As I explained above,
the 3b1cc script won't work for perl-5.18.1, since the native compler
didn't understand prototypes.  The hints/ hint file won't work
since it calls the broken 3b1cc script.

I really don't see how it's unfair to anyone to remove broken
hints files.  Nobody could possibly have been relying on them.

    Andy Dougherty

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