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Compatibility woes / deprecation (Miscellaneous)

posted by Rugxulo(R) Homepage, Usono, 14.02.2009, 23:08

> > "Take inventory of all your software packages... CD's, floppy's,
> > download's, etc. How many say "Windows XP: on them? How much did all
> > of that cost?
> (just fyi: All software that I'm interested in either runs on plain dos or
> 2k/XP. I've no win9x specific software at all, and never had any that was
> not win9x system software which was redundant after migrating from w9x.
> When I moved to NT (w2k), I mostly cleared out old dos utility programs,
> partially also because I gave up resistance against LFN)

First of all, many DOS apps support LFNs (e.g. some FreeDOS utils: find, more, FreeCom, etc.) as well as all DJGPP v2 apps by default. Secondly, you are indeed naive if you think XP can run all your old software. It was a big deal when people found out they couldn't run their old games and other software. The only real saving grace there was the 3rd-party DOSBox, which is nice if (and only if) you have a fast enough machine. It's severely slower than real hardware. (I mean, if my P4 can barely emulate a 486, that's not so awesome. I'll be honest, a 486 is probably too slow for me.)

> > Can you affort to throw away 50% of that money (and time and
> > detication -- and memories)?"
> Is it worth enough to fund broad support for this platform? If so, why
> don't you do that? OS/2 has been kept somewhat alive for 10 years, same
> for dos, but no such initiative for w9x has ever sprung up.

OS/2 hasn't really been kept alive. It's just that IBM finally leased it out to somebody to sell (and without giving srcs, too). And they're too expensive and have a tough time getting compatible hardware drivers. Still, I feel for them because there's no major technical deficiency in their OS. At least, I wish them luck.

ReactOS was originally FreeWin95 (or whatever) but eventually upgraded to target the now-ubiquitous XP, which is even more complex. No wonder they still aren't finished. There are indeed a lot of Win9x users, but XP was forced down our throats, for better or worse, and when you break compatibility, people move to what works, not what's best or what they're used to. The main advantage of XP was better stability, but it used more resources and broke compatibility. Other extras (Unicode) were just icing on the cake as most developers don't use them.

> Most people are glad it is dead. (and in the case of Win ME, they
> are dancing on the grave).

Win9x (including ME) were discontinued after six years or so. XP has now been around longer than that, and I never see any new computers with XP installed anymore. So if you think XP is so stable, you are in for a surprise. It will be dropped just like perfectly acceptable OSes before it. Then you're screwed. And the irritation I have is that there's no justifiable reason to drop everything.

> Windows NT/2k has been duplicated by ReactOS,

Alpha (i.e. crashes, quite buggy).

> Beos by Haiku,


> Amiga OS by Morphos,

AROS is probably a better example (isn't MorphOS $$$?).

> dos by freedos,

At least it's GPL. But it's practically frozen in suspended animation (like Dave Lister.) ;-)

> Unix by linux/bsd/osx whatever.

Linux has been around since 1991, and the *BSD family since 1993 or so. So they've had a lot longer time to build (than FreeDOS, for example). Plus they have commercial support from various companies. (I don't know why money is such a motivator to some people.)


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