Dropping compatibility for no reason = bad idea.

Not writing grotesque hacks to support badly written software = good idea.
Posted on 2007-12-22 11:22:32 by f0dder

Dropping compatibility for no reason = bad idea.

Not writing grotesque hacks to support badly written software = good idea.



If you cannot develop a solid solution, there is certainly money to be made in prolonging the problem ;)
Posted on 2007-12-22 11:36:24 by SpooK

Dropping compatibility for no reason = bad idea.

Not writing grotesque hacks to support badly written software = good idea.



Wide-sweeping and dangerously over-generalized statements are fine in both the church and town hall, but not in the conference room of a corporation with responsibilities to its shareholders.

Do you run Vista? If not, why not?
Posted on 2007-12-22 18:29:02 by Rockoon
I'm waiting for the child diseases to be ironed out before I give Vista a (real) go on my main box. The experience with it on various laptops + a short test drive on my own box have been a pretty mixed experience.

But with a good vLite'ing, it might be bearable... and I certainly wouldn't mind the enhanced prefetcher.
Posted on 2007-12-22 19:37:18 by f0dder

I'm waiting for the child diseases to be ironed out before I give Vista a (real) go on my main box.


By child diseases, do you mean compatability issues?

Posted on 2007-12-22 21:32:57 by Rockoon
Not really no, more like slowness, UAC awkwardness, etc...

And yes, I really do think Microsoft should have abstained from some of the hoop-jumping, if they've taken some "hard" decisions earlier, things would be less of a mess now. And it's not like it would have hurt their position either, being a monopoly and all...
Posted on 2007-12-22 21:40:00 by f0dder

And yes, I really do think Microsoft should have abstained from some of the hoop-jumping, if they've taken some "hard" decisions earlier, things would be less of a mess now.

Agree with that, but...

Mr Chen mentions hacks ('compatabilities') a lot - how MS have to work around programs.
The Old New Thing

As he says, if a program doesn't work after e.g. Windows Update then it's usually 'bloody MS wankers' instead of 'bloody Apple wankers' (QT anyone? or flash?)

How many of us use 'undocumented' win32 api's and structures?
Posted on 2007-12-22 22:06:51 by sinsi

Not really no, more like slowness, UAC awkwardness, etc...


By UAC awkwardness do you mean compatability problems? Think about it.

Properly developed Vista aware apps do not have UAC awkwardness.

If the app triggers "UAC awkwardness," you are suggesting instead that Microsoft should simply break the application rather than jump through hoops. You have the choice to not to run the app at all, avoiding the awkwardness entirely, which is equivilent to microsoft breaking it.

You don't like choice?

At what point do you trash support? A decade after the fact it is quite easy to say they should have dropped support sooner because you no longer are in touch with what that sacrifice would have really meant. It is clearly bad practice to drop support while the market is still head over heals in love with the stuff that would be broken, especialy when a 4-line shim trivialy maintains compatability.

"We can piss off an estimated 10 million customers.. or we can stick in this 4 line shim.. what do you think Bill?"


And yes, I really do think Microsoft should have abstained from some of the hoop-jumping, if they've taken some "hard" decisions earlier, things would be less of a mess now. And it's not like it would have hurt their position either, being a monopoly and all...


A monopoly with 3 major players for competition.. Apple, Linux, and Sun.

Microsoft also competes with prior versions of its own OS. Windows ME couldnt compete with the earlier Windows 98, for instance. It was a big flop.

Apple routinely trashes backward compatability every 3 to 4 years. That means higher costs over the long run for a business. Businesses don't like Apple very much.

Once upon a time Sun trashed backward compatability as well, driving most of its market to BSD or NT. Sun commited compatability suicide right when it mattered most while believing that a broken SunOS emulator would save them. Silly.

Linux has worse than backward compatability issues.. instead it has sidways compatability issues. When discussing the Linux market, you are really discussing a single application: Apache.



I don't run Vista precisely because there are major compatabiliy issues. Performance issues are only of minor concern thanks to Moores Law, but compatability issues are a deal breaker. I certainly wouldnt recommend to a business that they adopt Vista. "Only run Vista if you hate money"

I suspect I know what is going to happen with the next iteration of Windows. Lots of lots of sandboxing so that users can have all their compatability back.
Posted on 2007-12-23 00:12:20 by Rockoon


Not really no, more like slowness, UAC awkwardness, etc...


By UAC awkwardness do you mean compatability problems? Think about it.


Nah, since the UAC irritations have been with core Vista stuff. Things like the control panel etc... but I hear that amount of UAC elevation prompts have been cut down for SP1, that'd certainly help. It still feels "slow" when the prompt comes up, and I don't like how the rest of the screen is dimmed, but I can live with the latter.

Imho it should have been possible for the privilege evalation of UAC should be kept for some (shortis, couple of minutes perhaps) time period, since usually you need a wholecouple of administrative actions at once. (And it's very possible that this is doable right now, just not in any obvious non-google-requiring way :)).


If the app triggers "UAC awkwardness," you are suggesting instead that Microsoft should simply break the application rather than jump through hoops. You have the choice to not to run the app at all, avoiding the awkwardness entirely, which is equivilent to microsoft breaking it.

No, simply that UAC was designed a bit better (re credential "caching" I mention above). As it is now, I'd probably end up turning it off if I was going to use Vista for daily work...


At what point do you trash support? A decade after the fact it is quite easy to say they should have dropped support sooner because you no longer are in touch with what that sacrifice would have really meant. It is clearly bad practice to drop support while the market is still head over heals in love with the stuff that would be broken, especialy when a 4-line shim trivialy maintains compatability.

My opinion: win32 shouldn't have had so strong ties to win16, but have been (re)designed properly, rooting out the legacy. Win16 apps would still have been able to run just fine via WoW. Yeah yeah, time invested in learning the API etc., but it would've been for the better.

Same with 9x vs. NT, WinMe shouldn't have been done at all, and more focus should have been given to win2k, to make it the only new OS. And make non-privileged users the default, instead of waiting with that until Vista.

And to avoid some of the breakage we've seen, APIs and other things like the PE loader should have done stricter checks and verification.


A monopoly with 3 major players for competition.. Apple, Linux, and Sun.

With the marketshare of the three other players, it's still safe to call it a monopoly. It would take something really massive to change that situation, not just a few apps breaking.


Microsoft also competes with prior versions of its own OS. Windows ME couldnt compete with the earlier Windows 98, for instance. It was a big flop.

Apple routinely trashes backward compatability every 3 to 4 years. That means higher costs over the long run for a business. Businesses don't like Apple very much.

Apple has a number of problems :), and changing major hardware platform + major OS changes is a killer as well. Especially when you don't have as massive marketshare as Microsoft. At least apple did include  mulation, but I'm not an apple user so I dunno how well it works.


Once upon a time Sun trashed backward compatability as well, driving most of its market to BSD or NT. Sun commited compatability suicide right when it mattered most while believing that a broken SunOS emulator would save them. Silly.

They should've done a working emulator, then :]


I don't run Vista precisely because there are major compatabiliy issues. Performance issues are only of minor concern thanks to Moores Law, but compatability issues are a deal breaker. I certainly wouldnt recommend to a business that they adopt Vista. "Only run Vista if you hate money"

Performance is a big deal to me when the situation is as bad as it is with Vista. I don't want to spend considerable resources just to run the OS; the OS is supposed to be there to make everything else work, and let me spend my resources on the apps I use to get work done, or the games I kill time with. Yeah yeah, both 2k and XP required some additional computing power and memory, but it was nowhere near as bad as with Vista.

The longer you go before breaking clean, the harder it is to do.

I'm not advocating you should throw away backwards compatibility entirely, just that sometimes it's better to have a clean core system, and implement the necessary backward compatibility with emulation, sandboxing, shims etc. But windows is currently such a tainted mess...

Posted on 2007-12-23 06:28:30 by f0dder
I have Vista Home Premium 32-bit and 64-bit. I have run both, collectively over a 9 month period. What I can honestly say is that UAC is only worth disabling and as for actually running Vista... not quite yet.

Remember when XP first came out? Well, dealing with Microsoft and most major software developers involves a standard operating procedure of waiting a year or so until they have thoroughly used their live market as post-beta testers.

WinFS didn't even make it to the production date... so imagine how far short they really fell. Perhaps Vista will be worth using after SP1. Perhaps not since I've heard rumors (somewhere) that the next OS is already scheduled for 2009. Wait two more years and you can skip the hype altogether.

As for now, I am happy enough with XP (x64 actually) as it just works... SP3 will just be icing on the cake ;)
Posted on 2007-12-23 11:33:36 by SpooK
As for SP3, I wonder how soon we'll see the x64 version of that, considering XP64 is closer to the win2003 server codebase than the XP codebase.
Posted on 2007-12-23 11:38:04 by f0dder

As for SP3, I wonder how soon we'll see the x64 version of that, considering XP64 is closer to the win2003 server codebase than the XP codebase.



No offense to others, but hopefully sooner than 32-bit XP as I run XP x64 :P
Posted on 2007-12-23 12:35:20 by SpooK
Same here, though I'm not too optimistic :)

I'll probably give Vista64 a spin once SP1 is out, but of course not without a good deal of vLite'ing...
Posted on 2007-12-23 13:50:44 by f0dder

No offense to others, but hopefully sooner than 32-bit XP as I run XP x64 :P


Me as well, XP64 on my main PC and Win2K on my development PC, I like to keep the 2 separate.
Posted on 2007-12-23 17:06:27 by donkey
I will take my leave from all Windows operating systems and return to unices.
Posted on 2007-12-23 23:49:54 by Homer

I will take my leave from all Windows operating systems and return to unices.


I hope to take the same leave in switching over to DynatOS one day :)
Posted on 2007-12-23 23:54:49 by SpooK
Well I think to leave windows the next time I get a new computer as I want to run away from Vista. Vista is such a horrible idea. Time to move on  ;)
Posted on 2007-12-24 20:19:22 by roticv

Well I think to leave windows the next time I get a new computer as I want to run away from Vista. Vista is such a horrible idea. Time to move on  ;)

Nice things in kernel ('cept for DRM crap), horrible things in user interface. Vista kernel + blackbox + xplorer^2 might actually be okay. But if the enhanced (aggressive :]) prefetcher was ported to XP...
Posted on 2007-12-25 08:32:36 by f0dder