Proposed drop of 16-bit platforms from future Ghostscript releases 
Author Message
 Proposed drop of 16-bit platforms from future Ghostscript releases

Dear Ghostscript users,

As you know, current Ghostscript releases still include makefiles for 16-bit
MS-DOS (Borland C/C++ and Turbo C/C++) and 16-bit MS Windows (Borland C/C++
only).  They don't include pre-built 16-bit MS-DOS executables, because the
640K address space limitation now prevents such executables from actually
being able to process any useful input file.

I'm planning on removing the 16-bit MS-DOS makefiles from the next Aladdin
Ghostscript release (planned for April or May), which would in turn become
the current GNU release sometime in 1998.  What I would like to do is also
remove the 16-bit Windows platform.  This does *not* mean losing the ability
to run under Windows 3.1: Ghostscript would still run on the Win32 platform,
which is a platform for 32-bit executables under Windows 3.1.  It just means
that you wouldn't be able to run Ghostscript on any Intel CPU below an

16-bit Ghostscript filesets would still be available from archives
(including my own archives, if necessary), although they probably wouldn't
remain for long on the GNU or Aladdin distribution sites.

The Ghostscript source code currently includes a lot of minor quirks
specifically to support systems with 16-bit segmented addressing and 16-bit
ints.  While I probably wouldn't bother to actually remove any of this code
right away, I wouldn't give any consideration to 16-bit compatibility in any
new code I write, and some of the old 16-bit code would go away over time.

Dropping 16-bit platforms would remove a small but occasionally burdensome
load on future Ghostscript evolution, so I would really like to do it; in
particular, I really don't want to have to worry about 16-bit platforms when
I start tackling postscript Level 3, which I expect to be around mid-year
(if the specs are published by then).  If the loss of 16-bit platforms would
cause significant hardship for anyone, please let me know by e-mail as soon
as possible.

                                Thanks -

203 Santa Margarita Ave. | tel. +1-415-322-0103 (AM only); fax +1-415-322-1734
Menlo Park, CA 94025     |         http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~ghost/index.html
          "Implementation is the sincerest form of flattery."

Sat, 10 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

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