Jonathan writes: The "staging out" process may not be perfect, but nobody has posted a better idea yet.
Actually the usual process dates back to before Unix, so probably you young whippersnappers just aren't old enough to remember it (;-))
It's a special case of the process described in Paul Stachour's continous maintenance talk, at http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=1640399#at
You increment the minor version number, and ship an updater with the new version that warns the user that the program is going to go out of support, and invites them to volunteer. After a while you bump the minor number and make the user confirm that they know it's going away. Then you bump it once more and make it fail. All over about a 18-month period, just like your normal maintenance.
To be fair, people who maintain linkers will probably know this trick: it's how they commonly handle format changes.
--dave (who helped Paul polish the paper) c-b
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