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Obsoleting IRIX < 6.5, Solaris 7, and Tru64 UNIX < V5.1

I'd like to obsolete support for some older versions of IRIX, Solaris,
and Tru64 UNIX which get increasingly difficult and time consuming to
support.  The plan is to obsolete them in the GCC 4.5 release and remove
the support in GCC 4.6.  That means that in GCC 4.5.x, an attempt to
configure for those targets will fail like this:

*** Configuration alpha-dec-osf4.0f is obsolete.
*** Specify --enable-obsolete to build it anyway.
*** Support will be REMOVED in the next major release of GCC,
*** unless a maintainer comes forward.

but it is still possible to override this by adding the
--enable-obsolete option mentioned in the error message.  No support
will actually be removed in this release.

The detailed plan is to obsolete support for the following versions:

* IRIX before 6.5:

** IRIX 5.3 entered retired mode by the end of 1998.  Patches are no
   longer available from, and a full bootstrap and test
   cycle takes 8 1/2 days on the machines I have available, even without

** IRIX 6.2 entered retired mode by 01/2003 and patches aren't available
   either.  I don't have any machine available running that version.

** IRIX 6.3 and 6.4 were only ever released for specific hardware.

** With a few exceptions, all machines supported by IRIX 6.[2-4] are
   supported by IRIX 6.5, too (at least until 6.5.22).

** I also consider obsoleting support for the O32 ABI: the SGI linker used
   is different from the N32/N64 ld, and has repeatedly caused problems
   which couldn't be resolved even when SGI still had full IRIX
   support.  Also, the ISO C99 support in libc is only available for the
   N32 and N64 ABIs.

* Solaris 7:

  Solaris 7 isn't supported any more since 08/2008:

  I cannot test it either on bare metal nor in branded zones or
  (probably) xVM domUs.  Given that Solaris 8, 9, 10, and 11 will
  continue to be supported, that should be enough reason to stop.

* Tru64 UNIX before V5.1:

** Tru64 UNIX V4.0 ended prior-version support in 07/2007.  The version
   has many standards conformance problems compared to V5.1, so it seems
   inappropriate to invest much more work here.

** Tru64 UNIX V5.0 was relatively short-lived; prior-version support
   already ended in 10/2003.  I don't have any machines to test it on,
   and for all practical purposes, V5.1 should be an appropriate

** Since prior-version support for V5.1 and V5.1A has ended in 03/2004
   resp. 07/2007, support for V5.1 effectively means V5.1B, though bugs
   affecting the other V5.1 releases will be considered.

I'd like to hear if this is causing massive problems for anyone, and
especially to get comments on the obsoletion of the IRIX 6.5 O32 ABI
support.  I'll triage the bug reports for those obsoleted releases and
try to fix them on the GCC 4.5 branch.

A short overview of my maintenance activities and current projects is on

I'm currently looking for a hardware donation to at least speed up Tru64
UNIX V5.1 testing.

Unless someone strongly objects and steps up to provide testing and bug
fixing, I'll install a patch to enforce this within a week and announce
it on the GCC 4.5 changes page.


Rainer Orth, Center for Biotechnology, Bielefeld University

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