How Important Are Legacy Platforms?


The historical archive of Rebol releases are here for versions 1.5 and 2.4

I’ve consolidated some notes on them in the build “memoizations” in %systems.r:


One thing that is easily noticed is how many builds were never mentioned in R3-Alpha’s makefiles.

As someone with an interest in emulators/simulators and things of that sort, the idea that a platform is “dead” doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t tinker with it. A lot of people are curious about getting software running on legacy systems, it’s an interesting stunt. One that still brings in some interest…even sometimes, money (?)

I thought given the Amiga’s history–for instance–it would be a particularly interesting thing to run modern Rebol on. That never came together, but we did get it on Haiku. And for the lulz, I built it for Syllable as well.

The main reason I think it’s still worthwhile to hold the line and stay building on older platforms is really about trying to stay true to the idea that it’s a language that tries to reign in total footprint. That means measuring not just the size of the interpreter, but the size of the toolchain used to build that interpreter. One advantage of building on old platforms is you don’t have to invent a fake small system to help prove your point of footprint, you use a system that people have in the past used for real work.

But, how many of those do we need? Did R3-Alpha basically cull all the uninteresting systems?

Basically I’m wondering if there are feelings anyone has about this. Is FreeBSD/OpenBSD pointless? How about QNX? Should the makefiles just drop mention of some things, and they not be taken into account going forward? Does anyone see a platform they are interested in enough to try tinkering to see if it works, and then outreach to that community to see if they care?


There has to be a point to all of this … no point at all building for systems ( which means also providing a place to store the builds ) if there are no users. Then it becomes sort of a vanity project.


Amiga is do-or-die. :stuck_out_tongue: