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Compatibility woes / deprecation (Miscellaneous)

posted by marcov(R), 15.02.2009, 13:55

> > But nobody seems to care a bit about the hybrid platforms win9x and
> > classic macos.
> People still use 'em, they just don't code for 'em.

Never was a truer word spoken. And there is something of a Darwinian problem there. A problem which will make them extinct in time.

> In case you haven't noticed, MS etc. don't make it easy to code for older OSes.

Neither did AT&T make it easy for the Unixers in the early nineties. But they both their own independant codebase, several even, and they made commercial Unix (except maybe Solaris, which was opened under the pressure though) nearly irrelevant.

> A lot of good a "stable" OS is if you don't have any software that runs on
> it. Might as well use Whitix.

Well, maybe used software is not entirely static either :-)

> I have to actually find older DOS versions before I can archive
> them!

No need. Work on the clones to make them better. If they can run all software, who cares about the original ones? :-)

> You know as well as anybody that drivers aren't easy to write.

I know, but I didn't say it was going to be easy. It is easiest to sit on your bum. But it will get you nowhere.

> and it is shunned for no good reason.

People don't want to invest in long term compatibility. They want to get something of the shelf cheaply, and then run that forever.

Which is in itself not that bad, but they want support too. Both fixing (e.g. keep running on newer hardware), or functional enhancements to keep up with times. Somebody got to pay. The consumers won't, so they move on. Like it or not, but it is a fact.

Only in the very high end (mostly IBM, but also e.g. Compaq's Alpha, Itanium and HP's UX lines were continued mostly compatible for a long time) this is different.

> If even Win2k is abandoned, what chance does anyone have?

(w2k was actually easy to abandon. The performance difference that hurt at 800MHz/512MB hurt less with 2GHz/2GB. If the backlash against Vista hadn't been that bad, that maybe would have happened with Vista too. OTOH, currently computers aren't gettting that much faster anymore (only more cores)

> Why bother fixing what will just break again in the next release?
> In other words, once you find what works, keep it as long
> as possible!

That can be counter productive, because migrating then gets very,very expensive (both in time and money). Taking a hard good look every year about what you "support" and what you need usually pays off.

> Or maybe you think that what was good once before (Win98SE or
> FPC 1.0.10) is truly crap in hindsight? (Doubt it.)

I never had any illusions about either one of them. 1.0.10 was a fine release btw, it was just that all the ones behind it (even the 1.9 series betas, except for the very first 1.9 one) were simply a lot better.

>"But it's not x86-64
> with ten threads and UTF-16! It doesn't use my Blu-Ray drive and ZFS!" So?
> If it works it works.

It might work, but is that really all that I need? Or do I end up supporting an old Dos install for a few progs, and a spiky new machine next to it to run the new stuff?

> The point is that you can't rely on MS,
> Mozilla, Cygwin, or anybody else to support even what they used to
> support!

Of course not. I wonder why you had the idea in the first place. I don't think you can get T-Ford parts from Ford either.

> "Doctor, it hurts when I do this." "Well, then don't do that." Great
> solution, doc, except that's no solution, it's a workaround. "

Pirate : I want a new wooden peg leg.
Doctor : peg legs are no longer made of wood. The new prosthetic limbs are way better now though.
Pirate : But you used to support wooden peg legs!

> XP works
> great as long as you don't use DOS. Vista works even better but even less
> with DOS." And yet DOS is ridiculed for all the hacks and workarounds it
> uses, but "newer" OSes aren't really any better, just different.

First IMHO they are better. But the big difference is that this DOS obsession is the real problem. I don't have a DOS obsession, and anything that is even slightly or gradually better is a plus then.

> EDIT: By the way, upgrading your OS or cpu only helps you, not everybody
> else.
> In other words, it's a hack, a workaround, not a true universal
> solution.

The point is that keeping the old OS is not a golden rule. Peoples main motivation is to do work with computers, not conserve an old OS.

For you, somehow conserving Dos, and putting everything else in stasis is an obsession. For most others it isn't. Worse, the people that seem to obsess about Dos, seems to be mostly obsessing is why the entire world abandoned Dos instead of working on/with Dos.

To keep Dos alive, working on it is the only way. Just like I work on the TextMode IDE, just because I like it.


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