Complaining after fair notice of dropping XP support. Was: Not very nice at all.

Peter A. Castro
Thu Nov 10 20:56:00 GMT 2016

On Thu, 10 Nov 2016, Brian Inglis wrote:

> Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2016 02:45:32 -0700
> From: Brian Inglis
> Subject: Re: Complaining after fair notice of dropping XP support. Was: Not
>     very nice at all.
> On 2016-11-10 00:24, Fergus wrote:
>>>> 1. Use the following version of setup*.exe:
>>>> 32-bit:
>>>> 2. Run setup*.exe with the -X option, using the following
>>>> mirror:
>>>> 32-bit:
>> Q1	Any ideas of what might be de-railing this simple operation?
> See notice on throttling Cygwin Time Machine because of abuse:
> advises using only setup on as few required packages as possible
> at a time, until abuse stops.

Greetings, All,
   (Time Machine owner/operator here! :-)

>> Q2	[... virtual(?);] Could one instead use wget on

Brian is correct about robots and LIST, but what he (anyone) doesn't know 
is why.  I generally keep to myself and don't post non-Cygwin specific 
things to this list so I've never really explain why I do what I do. 
And, no, it's not "BWJM" ( either. :)

> Wget honours robots.txt, and LIST has been disabled for Cygwin
> Time Machine directories, so you can not even see the
> directories, and no FTP download requests other than GET will
> work.
> Please remember that both the Cygwin and Time Machine
> projects are volunteer efforts with few resources.
> Each must manage their projects as best they can fit effort
> into their time, and may withdraw their efforts and
> facilities at any time.

While it is true I have limited resources, it's unlikely I'll ever 
withdraw the Time Machine.  I've been doing this for over 10 years and 
will continue so until Windows finally becomes Skynet.  :-)  At that point 
I figure we'll all be dead or used as living batteries, so it won't 

> Following the mailing lists/groups and participation earlier
> could perhaps have delayed the final implementation to allow
> more time for people to plan and execute final downloads.
> Complaining after advance notice was given publicly and making
> could/should have suggestions after the fact is pointless, and
> could demotivate the volunteers to drop the projects, make
> access private, or charge for it.
> Fairly recently, the owner of, that many of us had
> used to browse and post to mailing lists via the web, shut
> down his web site, although he kept his mail-news gateway up.
> How many people over the years expressed appreciation for his
> free service to the community? Or were gracious when letting
> him know his site had a problem. And thanked him when it was
> fixed. Not enough probably!
> If you, a bunch of Cygwin XP dependents banded together, or
> your company  have the space, bandwidth, server(s), money to
> provide a public mirror of the final Cygwin XP release from
> the Time Machine, you could contact the owner and make a
> proposal to offload his site, or upgrade his facilities and
> help run them.

Ugh.  Please don't.  I already have plans in motion to move the Time 
Machine to a service with greater network bandwidth and I'm really not 
willing to consider other options.  In the process of that I'll be 
restricting the existing site even further to not-so-subtly prod existing 
users over to the new system, when it is live.  People wanting to make 
their own special, private copy really should wait, please, pretty please.

And for those who think keeping a private mirror is trivial, let me give 
you some stats.  A full snapshot of Cygwin, 32-bit + 64-bit (+noarch) + 
source packages (Current and Previous) is about 137Gb.  Don't believe me? 
Your setup.ini has a size (and a hash) for every package.  Add them up 
yourself.  Now consider that I have about 4000 snapshots (and counting!) 
of Cygwin.
Oh!  Quick quiz:
   What's 137Gb * 4000?
   Answer: 535Tb.
Now, do you really think I have that amount of storage?  Of course not. 
The Time Machine isn't organized like that (don't be silly).  It's 
currently about 500Gb (which is quite a savings, if you think about it 
:-).  It is for this reason I won't let webcrawlers on the site.  They 
would see each "virtual" slice as wholely separate and attempt to pull it 
all.  That is what was happening before I disabled FTP LIST.

> Or your company could ask MS and Redhat for XP and Cygwin XP
> support quotes if it has the money ;^>

I see what you did there.  Ha Ha. :)

> There's an opportunity for some of you XP folks to make
> money off the others by providing dedicated repos of
> outdated software with support ;^>
> If you are working for a company that decided to build products
> for XP dependent on Cygwin, maybe it's time to tell them that
> Cygwin has reached EOL on the EOL XP.
> If you are supporting Cygwin based products on XP, maybe it's
> time to tell your customers you can't any longer, as both are
> unsupported.
> You can download source and binary packages that you need that
> predate 2.6 from the Cygwin mirrors, and include all the build
> dependencies, starting with cygport.
> That will enable you to use setup to download from the Time
> Machine only those packages recently updated on Cygwin
> mirrors to use 2.6.

That is the best advice I can give anyone.  Only take what you really 
need.  Don't be greedy.

> You could run setup unattended installing packages one at a
> time, in a loop driven by the packages needed from
> installed.db, to honour the site owner's request.
> You will then be in a position to monitor upstream sources,
> so you can download new upstream patches and releases as
> they become available, so you have and can apply them when
> needed, to rebuild the updated packages.
> You could also try upgrading to W10 and working with single
> user Ubuntu under WSL ;^>

--=> Peter A. Castro
Email: doctor at fruitbat dot org / Peter dot Castro at oracle dot com
 	"Cats are just autistic Dogs" -- Dr. Tony Attwood

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