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[eclipse-dev] Eclipse on Unix (i.e. HP-UX, Solaris, AIX)

Unix variants (HP-UX, Solaris, AIX) are very slow in moving to new versions of GTK; some of them are still using GTK 2.18, which was released 7 years ago. In order to support these Unix platforms, over time the SWT developers have ended up needing to support wider and wider GTK version ranges. This has become a very significant burden for them, and has lead to huge sacrifices in both time to implement features, and in overall stability (due to the increasingly complicated codebase). On top of this, building and testing SWT against these old versions of GTK has become increasingly difficult as the Linux-based machines we use to build our GTK versions are no longer supported or are missing required libraries.

Given the above issues, plus the small number of active SWT committers, and the comparatively very limited consumption of the Unix versions of Eclipse, we believe that starting with the Eclipse Oxygen release, it is time to drop support for Eclipse on Unix in particular, and move to a model where SWT/GTK supports only a limited range of recent GTK versions.

With that said, the community ultimately gets to decide: If there is enough interest in continuing to support Eclipse on Unix, people interested in those platforms will have to work with the respective vendors to ensure that binaries get built and tested, and that a compatible GTK is available (perhaps by getting the operating system libraries updated to the required level, or alternatively by creating (and maintaining) a separate SWT port that is compatible only with the old GTK versions). Ideally, the Unix vendors should engage with the community and provide binaries, build machines and testing if they are interested in keeping Eclipse working on their operating system.

The Eclipse Project PMC