Sunday, May 07, 2006

Outdated libraries

Every so often, the ugly interaction of Solaris and the undisciplined open software world completely breaks a project I'm working on.

Latest case in point - libxml2. Solaris ships a horrifically antiquated version (2.6.10, to be exact) with Solaris 10 (and nevada, currently). Snag is, PHP requires 2.6.11 or later and won't build.

There are a couple of bugs open: 6362386 and 6193876. Not to mention 6378879.

It's been this way for 16 months. Surely time enough for something to have happened?

I realise that, because certain core components of Solaris itself rely upon libxml2, it cannot be upgraded without due care. If that is the case, then those components should use a private, compatible, copy, and allow the publically available version to be kept reasonably current.

Unfortunately the download site appears to be down at the moment, so I'll have to grab the source and build my own up-to-date copy tomorrow before I can make progress.

It's not as if libxml2 is the only external component that is somewhat antiquated. In fact, quite a lot of it is getting sufficiently old as to be useless, and if Solaris is going to be used as a platform for other open-source applications then some serious updating is going to have to be done.

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