Correct me if my maths is wrong, but half of one minute is 30s, which is indeed “tens of seconds”.
I cannot prove usage numbers, as the RSS widget that we use to get an idea of version stats only went live in 1.17. However, I don’t think it matters - you’re suggesting using compile time (something that only really affects core devs) as a reason to delete content, which has no dependence on compile time. To put that another way - from the user perspective, they lose something (content) for no gain (because they aren’t compiling the site).
I’ll note that I don’t see issues with inotify, and compile time for
jekyll serve is currently ~56s. I think that’s fine. If the build were broken it’d be different, but it isn’t.
I realise I previous backed some of this in my earlier post but the more I think about it, the more this feels like convenience for the few over hardship for the many. I will still back this, but only once I’m satisfied that the end user can still get at this content easily. Ideally that means the switcher in the manual page should offer the PDFs when selecting an old version - I don’t want users having to hunt for them, or come into the IRC channel to ask where they are. It should be obvious from the manual page where to get them. I’ll go add that comment to the PR now