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Compatibility woes / deprecation (Miscellaneous)

posted by Rugxulo(R) Homepage, Usono, 24.02.2009, 19:46

> > The only reason to not use something old is if the new improves in
> > every way, which is hardly typical.
> That is not correct. If it works better/easier over the whole line is
> enough. Otherwise I would always remain stuck with something old because
> it is "better" on one not terribly important point.

Well, for instance, I use HHsed a lot, and it's old and not as good as GNU sed, for instance. BUT, it's much smaller, easier to build, and actually faster (no thanks to 16-bit code, though). Doesn't mean I can't still use GNU sed sometimes, but hey, if it ain't broke, why fix it?

> > Pros:
> > + small
> Not an advantage per se.

True, I take it back, but it's not exactly a disadvantage either. ;-)

> > + fast (even can use EMS or XMS for even faster speeds)
> For me 32-bit binaires were always faster.

True again, esp. since even the 486 runs 32-bit code faster. In simple benchmarks, Blair's 16-bit C MD5SUM is lots slower than DOS386's FreeBASIC MD5 tool.

But I actually meant the compiler itself is fast ("turbo").

> > + 16-bit code (which GCC still lacks)
> > + runs on 16-bit cpus
> > + all models: tiny through huge
> > - 186/286 optimizations at most (useless for 99% of the world)
> Not a requirement. Don't have anything in use below XP2000+

Well, just saying, GCC doesn't properly support 16-bit code yet (although GAS mostly does, from what I've read). Rask was/is? working on something, and even DJ himself hacked "back in the day" to semi-working 16-bit status. So you have to use something other than GCC.

It's been said that 16-bit is only needed for boot loaders, but obviously some OSes (DOS, ELKS) still use it too. Personally, I think "anything that works" is fine, but some people are offended by 16-bits (although mostly due to segments and their quirks, I think).

> > + supports ANSI C and C++ AT&T 2.0
> I'm not a C programmer.

Neither am I really. Note that I also don't know any Pascal, but I wouldn't mind learning some eventually. (IOW, I'm not a purist.)

> > + nice IDE
> > + nice help / function reference
> I use FPC's IDE. Works fine. Am improving the help, but it is huge.

I don't actually use TC's IDE much except on rare occasion to look up some function. I like TDE.

> > Cons:
> > - no sources
> Less important if it works right. But for runtime parts sources are a non
> negotiable requirement.

Well, if this were a deal breaker, I'd switch exclusively to OpenWatcom. But it's not.

> > - DOS only (no cross compiling supported)
> Useless :-)

Less useless with DOSBox, DOSEMU + FreeDOS, 32-bit Windows, etc.

> > - no newer C++ features (generics, templates, etc.)
> Those would be the only reason to use C++ in the first place.

Not really. Some (few) people still use C++ as a glorified "C with classes". A C++ subset is realistically better than nothing.

> > Besides, there even a DOS extender that works with it
> >
> (Swallow
> Pmode works with FPC too. Likewise untested in recent years.

Too busy porting to Nintendo DS? :-D


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