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Compatibility woes / deprecation (Miscellaneous)

posted by marcov(R), 18.02.2009, 12:17

> > > 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? ;-)

Of course. But also the hard truth I'm afraid, even if wrapped in a pun.

> > 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.)

Then support them, get active in them etc. People burn out, it happens, they need people to follow in their footsteps.

> > 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.

Compatible to their own lines, even though the lines were in heavy decline.
Not everything is about x86.

> > 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.

The problem with multicore is the apps, not the OS. SSE5 has some minor checksumming/compression and encryption primitives only afaik.

While I actually like the idea, I don't expect them to be a massive chance in performance, except in some heavy utilized SSL servers or so.

> > > 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?

Don't know. Afaik the devels that mostly did that partially went to the native OS/2 port. And while still alive (as in devels are on the list) the mutation rate there is not that high either :-)

> > 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.

Which proves that ideals are often just handles for self-delusion :)

> > 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.

Well, assume with 2.x there were still maintainers, and now not. Big difference.

> Same with Cygwin. What, did they forget
> their expertise? No, they just randomly lost interest.

But that is _NORMAL_, any organisation of any kind has a certain people throughput. If key people loose interest, who are YOU to force them to do anything?

> > > "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!
> In other words, things always break whether new or old.

And old things lie on the ground, rot away and become fossils. Like Dos and Dinosaurs.

> And sometimes older might be 10% inferior but 200% easier to maintain, and
> cheaper too.

Maintaining multiple targets is nearly always more expensive. And if you don't get anything back from the people who have the actual advantage (either invested time or paying money), you are stuck with the expenses, and see nothing in return. Often not even some form of gratified feeling that somebody is actually using it.

> > 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).

Yes. Shits happens. Natural process of deprecation.

> Lousy DOS support.

Feature not regression.

> 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).

As far as I heard, Win7 is a dolled up Vista.

> 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!).

Yes I know. Install in my case.

> > For you, somehow conserving Dos, and putting everything else in stasis
> is
> > an obsession.
> Who said put everything in statis?

Well, got that as the general tenure of all your messages in this thread.

> The world keeps moving, just that some
> things aren't good ideas.

Problem is that "good" is very subjective. People have lots of different opinions. If you view a complex situation from an oversimplified single person perspective, everything is simple, and you are always right.

> Change is good, but
> change that breaks compatibility for no good reason (without good
> workaround) is bad.

First, there can be good reasons that don't have workaround. Nobody is obliged to actually keep compatibility.

Second, the no good reason is very subjective.

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

For the hundredth time, keeping something unbroken in a live environment actually takes knowledge, skill and time. So if there nobody is actively validating it during times of heavy changes, it will be broken within weeks.
(and that is actual experience from FPC)

> 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??

Yes and no.

Yes: if you consider that your OS doesn't live up to your demands.
No : if you consider your demands (to run new software on old OSes) to be the problem, rather than the OS.

Take your pick.

> Or is it just that no one fixed 'em??

It is just that.

> And since Windows is closed src, we can only let MS do it (and they won't, of course) or else find workarounds.

VirtualBox isn't running on Windows. So the problem is IMHO in first order in VirtualBox, not in 2k.

> 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.

I agree with that, and FPC/dos too.


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