State of Mac OS support

Eric S. Raymond esr at
Sat Aug 26 13:58:23 UTC 2017

There have been inquiries from Daniele Nicolodi and Fred Wright about
Mac OS X support.

Mark Atwood, who's our strategy/product-management/external-relations
specialist, may override me on this.  Unless and until he does, here's
the skinny:


We're supporting 10.12, which has the POSIX clock calls.  Earlier
versions can go piss up a rope.

The reason I am vehement about this is that I recently learned a
thing: some pre-10.12 versions ship with headers that don't match
what's documented for their releases on the Apple website.

If Apple can't be bothered to keep its act together enough to present
a stable and documented API, we can't be bothered to support their

Yes, we used to ship a special accommodation for Apple's non-POSIX
calls in 10.11.  At some point it broke.  Given what I learned later -
including one rumor that their non-POSIX clock-setting call is a no-op
- I cannot be fscking bothered to figure out *why* it broke.

I consider this entire sorry history a lesson in the wisdom of *not
making exceptions* to our POSIX-baseline policy.  Doing that for Apple
was a mistake I don't intend to double down on.

If the 10.12 POSIX clock calls don't work, that's *Apple's* problem.

		<a href="">Eric S. Raymond</a>

Never could an increase of comfort or security be a sufficient good to be
bought at the price of liberty.		-- Hillaire Belloc

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