Users and unmaintained applications

As most of you know I maintain OpenZaurus distribution. We provide few graphical enviroments — OPIE is most popular one. And here comes a problem…

Years ago OPIE forked from Qtopia but it’s still compatible — mostly on source level (any Qtopia application/library can be built for OPIE). Years ago OpenZaurus moved from gcc 2.95.x to more modern compilers — 3.3.x was choosen. This broke binary compatibility and ‘oz-compat’ aka ‘sharp-compat-libs’ package was born — it contain libqte2 and libqpe1 from SharpROM to get possibility to run old binaries under new edition of OZ.

But with OpenZaurus 3.5.1 we started to use ‘soft-float’ toolchain (ARM cpu lack FPU and use FPU emulation on kernel level — soft-float replace FPU instructions with extra code so emulator is not used). This change broke ‘sharp-compat-libs’ — some apps was working, some not but even if something worked then not always correct (for example spreadsheets gave wrong results from calculations).

Newest version of OZ (3.5.4) does not provide ‘sharp-compat-libs’ so users start to request old, dead upstream, not fetchable applications to be added into OpenZaurus. I tried to get one of them working — as usual code required some changes to get it build with gcc 3.4.4 but finally it built. But then new question came: How to manage such dead software… If any problem will arrive no one will fix it rather. So I asked other developers and final version is: no support for such crap at all.

I know that some users will complain more now but sorry — who will maintain such stuff?

4 thoughts on “Users and unmaintained applications

  1. Pingback: » Hentges ROM, Poodle and OZ updates

  2. Mark Gholson

    Without oz-compat, how are we supposed to run Opera 7? Is there a new way to install Opera?

  3. Hrw

    OpenZaurus contain OpenSource type of software only. We do not support running closed source applications.

  4. Pingback: Hrw website :: Private support emails

Comments are closed.

  1. » Hentges ROM, Poodle and OZ updates says:

    […] OpenZaurus Hrw has an interesting posting on his blog regarding obsolete Opie software. As you know, with OZ 3.5.1 the compatibility with Sharp ROM was broken in exchange for a speed increase in all floating point operations (SoftFloat). Since then people were using the oz-compat packge to run old Sharp binaries (like Opera) on OZ. Hrw outlines the problems with oz-compat in detail, why it is a very bad idea to use it and why it should die completely. […]

  2. […] On the other hand there are requests are about adding software into OpenZaurus feeds or providing support for exotic hardware. If software == unmaintained, very low quality applications for Qtopia enviroments (I wrote about them already) then I refuse to touch them at all as this takes too much time to get good results (tried once with Mileage). Another thing is hardware support – it is hard to support something which I lack (did it once with CF-XGA card) but even if I have it support can be hard because lack of time (like it was with Ir keyboard). […]