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?

openzaurus opie