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Compatibility woes / deprecation (Miscellaneous)

posted by Rugxulo(R) Homepage, Usono, 15.02.2009, 20:55

> > 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.

No pun intended? ;-)

> > 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? :-)

I meant apps, not OSes themselves. It's hard to find some things. (Simtel falling apart and Jumbo dying didn't help. Even Hobbes is pretty lacking.)

> > 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.

No, it's easiest to complain. ;-) However, I was trying to be pragmatic as well as look at the flaws in the situation (e.g. my list of Firefox solutions).

> 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.

Itanium 2 can only run x86 in software emulation now.

> > 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)

Wait for SSE5. Heck, even Windows 7 claims to be even more multi-core friendly.

> > 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.

FPC 1.0.10 had an EMX port (DOS + OS/2 in one), which seems cool. Do any newer versions support that? It seems to me that such a thing would simplify porting. (BTW, another thing that's hard to find is latest EMX and RSX binaries. Rainer's page is dead, so it was hard to do. Still not sure I found it all, e.g. latest RSX.EXE 5.24 ASM srcs.)

> 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?

Ideally, something like Windows (and MS with its knowhow) would keep DOS working, but they didn't. And x86-64 didn't help matters either.

> > 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.

I find it very very hard to believe that Firefox 3 is so much harder to get working on Win9x than 2.x was. Same with Cygwin. What, did they forget their expertise? No, they just randomly lost interest.

> > "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!

You know, they recall even artificial knees sometimes due to errors. Not convenient! Even the Segueway had several stability bugs that had to be fixed. In other words, things always break whether new or old. And sometimes older might be 10% inferior but 200% easier to maintain, and cheaper too.

> 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.

Even MSVC 2k5 supposedly doesn't work on Vista. Lots of XP drivers don't work on Vista (e.g. printers, scanners, my digital camera). Lousy DOS support. Various other bugs and gotchas. Vista isn't that bad, but it's not that good either (at least, not good enough to kill XP and force everyone to upgrade). At least, I hope all their work on Win7 won't detract from SP2/SP3 for Vista (which does indeed need it). Even UAC is annoying due to hardcoded filenames (e.g. try running anything, even a simple DOS/DJGPP util like UPDATE or PATCH without triggering UAC, you can't!).

> 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.

I am not going to buy an XBox 360 running a PowerPC if it won't run my original XBox (x86) games. Sure, they added some software emulation, but it only runs like three games of mine, so that's a bust. Why pay more money for a machine that won't run old stuff? I don't have the money or interest to buy all new games. And even the XBox 360 is three years old, probably soon obsolete in the next year (since XBox 1 was dropped like a stone sometime in 2006). Sometimes you don't need "better" or "faster / flashier", just something that works.

> For you, somehow conserving Dos, and putting everything else in stasis is
> an obsession.

Who said put everything in statis? The world keeps moving, just that some things aren't good ideas. DPMI 0.9 is hundreds of times more popular than 1.0. Python 3 ain't the same as 2 (or Perl 6 vs. 5). Change is good, but change that breaks compatibility for no good reason (without good workaround) is bad.

> 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.

I don't care if they work on other stuff, just don't break what already worked!

On one hand, rr using Win2k can't use latest VirtualBox (I feel bad for him), but heck, me on Vista, I can't even run DOS full-screen (only slow-ass DOSBox) or compile latest GNU Emacs. So both our OSes suck?? Or is it just that no one fixed 'em?? And since Windows is closed src, we can only let MS do it (and they won't, of course) or else find workarounds. It gets tiring always working around bugs when it's someone else's responsibility. If not for the hard work of the DJGPP guys, 2K/XP NTVDM bugs would've killed DJGPP a long time ago.


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