Backwards compatibility

Andrey Repin
Sun Jan 4 17:50:00 GMT 2015

Greetings, Laurens Blankers!

> I was wondering what the Cygwin community thinks about maintaining
> backwards compatibility, especially regarding configuration files when 
> updating or changing a package. As a long time Debian user I have grown 
> accustomed to upgrades going very smoothly, backwards compatibility with 
> previous setups being maintained, and smooth, well documented, and 
> mostly automatic migrations if compatibility can't be maintained.
> What, if any, is the policy regarding upgrades for Cygwin?

> I did search through the Cygwin documention and couldn't find this
> information. If I overlooked something I apologize in advance. Please 
> point me to the appropriate document.

It's up to each package maintainer, there's no centralized supervision of the
project. "Cygwin documentation" you were looking at only covering the
cygwin1.dll itself and the few accompanying tools.

> Of course this question doesn't come out of the blue. It is triggered by
> the release of xinit 1.3.4-1 last month, which breaks setups for many 
> people. If you like you can check the cygwin-xfree mailing list. 
> Unfortunately the responds from the package maintainers has been: The 
> way it has worked for years was a bug, your setup is wrong. Which would 
> be fine if there was documentation on how to do this, or even a way to 
> do this, but there is neither. There seems to be a general unwillingness 
> among the maintainers to acknowledge that user experience matters.

In case of a bug, it, however unfortunately, does not. If, instead of
complaining, that "nothing works", you would rather ask how to fix it, you may
have received a more constructive answer.

> Before you ask, yes, I did post this to the cygwin-xfree mailing list. 
> However I am not getting anywhere there. So I am interested in the 
> thoughts of the wider, beyond X11, Cygwin community on backwards 
> compatibility.

There's no such thing as "bug support", I'm afraid.
Beside that, Cygwin packages are mainly a recompilation of existing upstream
packages. Often with very little or no patching.
If upstream maintainer make a deal breaking change (like with grep last
month), Cygwin maintainers could only help you fix things, if at all possible.

Andrey Repin ( 04.01.2015, <20:27>

Sorry for my terrible english...

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