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Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2011 04:22:57 +0400
From: Solar Designer <solar@...nwall.com>
To: john-dev@...ts.openwall.com
Subject: Re: Plugin formats "released"

Jim -

On Sun, Jul 24, 2011 at 06:59:05PM -0500, JimF wrote:
> From: "Solar Designer" <solar@...nwall.com>
> >Unfortunately, it's still limited to just GNU make and Sun's make, and
> >is expected to fail on other kinds of makes.  But that's better than GNU
> >make only.
> 
> If we can add other systems, we 'should' (or provide specific Makefiles FOR 
> those systems).  However, I do not have access personally to them, so do 
> not even know which ones would not work with the existing make file.

I expect that pretty much all systems that don't use GNU make and are
not Solaris won't be able to build -jumbo with the Makefile that we
currently intend to use.

I think that the only reasonable way to implement what we need in a
portable fashion would be to require that a script is run before make.
That is, we'd move to the "./configure; make" approach, even though we
wouldn't have to use specifically GNU autoconf.  I'd rather not do it
yet.  -jumbo is known to be somewhat non-portable, so maybe the
requirement for GNU make on systems other than Solaris is acceptable
for it.

> How would this information normally arrive?  emails directly to you, or is 
> this something that people post on the mail list?

In late 1990s, I used to test JtR on plenty of platforms myself, and I
used to receive private e-mails about build issues (as well as about
other issues).  Then the e-mails about build issues became almost
non-existent (except for cases where it wasn't JtR's fault that the
build failed), presumably because both JtR became more portable (there
were few issues left to fix) and because old systems became uncommon
(try to find an Ultrix system still in use now) and totally unreasonable
to run JtR on (too slow).  In 2005, I setup the john-users mailing list.
Now such messages are supposed to arrive to the list, but like I said
they're extremely rare anyway.  Well, maybe if we break builds on HP-UX
or AIX (maintained systems) in the main JtR, we'll hear from someone
after a long while.  If we do it in -jumbo, like I think we did now (if
not earlier), no one is likely to complain because -jumbo is positioned
as being less portable.

Alexander

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