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Subject: Re: [geda-user] [pcb-rnd] on IRIX - portability
To: geda-user AT delorie DOT com
References: <alpine DOT DEB DOT 2 DOT 00 DOT 1609170509090 DOT 7286 AT igor2priv>
From: "Dave McGuire (mcguire AT neurotica DOT com) [via geda-user AT delorie DOT com]" <geda-user AT delorie DOT com>
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Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2016 09:15:16 -0400
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On 09/16/2016 11:31 PM, gedau AT igor2 DOT repo DOT hu wrote:
> pcb-rnd code base got some cleaning recenlty, which together with the
> earlier unglib, scconfig and ANSI C89 porting efforts resulted in that I
> managed to compile it on an old SGI Indy box running the original IRIX
> system - with absolutely no GNU installed.
> 
> A screenshot of a remote X session:
> http://igor2.repo.hu/tmp/pcb-rnd-irix.png
> 
> There are still a few minor issues to fix but we are very near to
> compile out-of-the-box on such old UNIX systems (with the lesstif HID
> using motif, and with batch mode). All plugins compile, except for the
> gtk and the puller.
> 
> If you are still using your favorite SunOS or AIX or IRIX or whichever
> non-mainstream-Linux/BSD system and want to edit your PCBs on it, please
> contact me. (If you have a BSD and pcb-rnd doesn't work out-of-the-box,
> please file a bug report.)

  This is a fantastic idea, I'm really glad you are doing this.  This
is, IMO, the very best way to test portability: to actually PORT.

  Some personal history with PCB...PCB became a de-facto Linux-only
package several years ago.  I started using it around 2003-2004 on my
primary desktop machine at the time, which was an SGI Octane running
IRIX.  I had a bunch of Sun Ray thin clients around the lab, backed by a
large (16 CPU) Solaris system, and I ran PCB on those occasionally as
well.  Everything was great.  Then a large spurt of development
happened, and with each subsequent snapshot it became harder and harder
to get it running on something that wasn't a PC running Linux.  I didn't
have (and didn't want) any PCs, and being a commercial UNIX guy I wasn't
terribly interested in Linux either.

  Well now I'm much less opposed to Linux (though Solaris still does all
the heavy lifting around here, server-wise) and PC hardware finally
became almost powerful enough to be useful (with the introduction of the
i7), so I moved over to Linux on the desktop.  It has grown up quite a
bit and is now very usable IMO.

  But Linux on PCs is not the end-all, be-all of computing, and
portability testing on other platforms can even force out latent bugs on
the "native" platform.

  I can provide access to fairly recent UltraSPARC hardware running
Solaris for further work along these lines.  I can also do some builds
and such on there myself, if that would be useful.  I also have several
other platforms as well.  Contact me if you're interested in exploring some.

  For my own use, though, while I'm following pcb-rnd development with
interest, the loss of transparency was a show-stopper for me.  I realize
you don't want to deal with OpenGL (which is definitely the best way to
do this), but isn't there a practical way to implement transparency
without it?

                 -Dave

-- 
Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA

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