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Subject: Re: [boost] Boost is supposed to serve *the entire C++ community; it isn't Boost's goal to serve Boost's community*
From: Andrey Semashev (andrey.semashev_at_[hidden])
Date: 2016-05-23 06:12:44

On Monday, 23 May 2016 12:52:17 MSK Vladimir Batov wrote:
> On 05/23/2016 06:09 AM, Andrey Semashev wrote:
> > Actually, Ubuntu is quite proactive. The latest release is 16.04
> > (which is also an LTS release) provides gcc 5.3.1 out of the box.
> > Also, there is PPA[1] which provides more recent compiler
> > versions.
> Actually, it's the customers who are not in a hurry to install and
> "play" with "latest and greatest" for obvious reasons. Unlike children
> who are eager to play with a new "toy" and throwing tantrums when the
> rest of the world is not catching up, businesses always (from my
> experience) a version behind... be that MS Windows or Ubuntu LTS or Solaris.

I was addressing the remark with regard to Ubuntu, which is obviously not to blame for
your customers' preferences.

Then, there are different kinds of customers. In some cases it doesn't really matter what
OS your software is developed for - because you ship both the software and the OS.
Sometimes hardware, too.

But I know what you're talking about. Corporate clients don't care how the software is
written as long as it gets the job done. Developers do. So it's up to the developers to push
for the new language features, libraries and so on. In my practice language or library
updates never came from top down in a company, always from bottom up from the
initiative developers who care.

> My understanding is that rushing forward well ahead of the installed
> customer base causes a lot of headache as I'll then have to ship
> libraries not present on the customer machine. Then I'll have to make
> sure those correct libraries are in fact used... and fix when the
> customer screws something up (like LD_LIBRARY_PATH). So, simple
> "ship-and-forget" turns into maintenance and support on site. A nightmare.

Don't forget that using the older tools becomes more expensive over time - sometimes
more expensive than maintaining your own up to date environment in the older OS. And
with regard to maintenance, the support contract is another (often significant, often
main) source of income.

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