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Software that needs XP

By Kiltie ·
One of my biggest gripes is software that insists on a certain Operating System being installed. I run multi boot systems. Some software I cannot run on 98, I have to boot to XP.

Why?

Sure, maybe it is best to have the latest and greatest, but that point is debatable, for example Vista has far too many restrictions, imho good software doesn't need any qualifications.

To insist on NT, a specific version of OS, or a .NET framework is surely outrageous?

Or are programmers being lazy, needing support?

I am impartial, love to see your opinions on this.

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Lowest common denominator

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Software that needs XP

I was developing an app that ran on 95,98,NT 4,0, 2000, 2003 and XP, standalone, workgrouped, terminal services, virtualized and in a domain.
Not always without a bit of discomfort I might add

You have three options

You don't use all of the options available in the newer OS's. No themes for instance!, old school fisher price UI.

You cross your fingers and hope the newer OS doesn't break your app. (see above)

Works mostly but can be unusable. Had one 3rd party component that under themes had the same foreground and background colours, didn't crash, wasn't very friendly though.

You write an OS specific one and hope it's 'easy' to upgrade in line with the OS.

It usually isn't (see above).

To answer your question though, which one of the above options dramatically reduces your testing overhead?

There are two sorts of incompatibility that creep in. One is feature based like themes, the other is an interface change low privileged user under XP.

Wait for Vista, incompatibilities will increase.

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my bet is testing time

by shryko In reply to Software that needs XP

if you write the software to **require** a certain OS under it, then you only need to bother testing 1 OS under it.

I believe it wouldn't be the programmers that are responcible, but the management. they see a corner they can cut, and the foregone customers will be minimal, so, it's fine to cut it off and save money/time... it also means you can speed up the development and testing time, while maintaining a high standard...

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Too Broad

by rkuhn In reply to Software that needs XP

Too broad of a question.

Sometimes it's poor management, sometimes the programmers, sometimes technical such as a new OS's security limitations, etc.

Really depends on the product you are talking about.

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Life cycle support

by sstudley1 In reply to Software that needs XP

You have to remember that M$ does not provide patches for Win 98 anymore, end of life cycle. How can a programmer support what the OS maintainer won't support.
Then you look at the security model that the program is written to.
There was NO security protocls in Win9x till they logged into a NT domain.
So it all depends.
A VB programmer, not VB.Net, will be programming to the whole array of Windows, till they enact a security profile, after that it usually falls to NT and up.
But why would you want to support M$ Win9x and all their associated headaches still, can you not just deal with 'semi'-'modern' Win OS's.
Seems like we could let the old dogs just die off as golden memories and not have to keep they're faillings in mind still.

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Why because there are still

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Life cycle support

millions of them out there.

They are customers, letting your customers die off is not sound business practice, unless you are an organ farmer or an undertaker

There's still off the shelf software that doesn't work properly under XP. Not long back people were still muttering about supporting WFG 3.11.

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Lazy Programmers

by wlperkins In reply to Life cycle support

I have never failed to purchase ANY game I desired to play. Until the last Tomb Raider came out. Every past Tomb Raider ran on the 9x kernel (and was also available for PS2). This Tomb Raider, although available for PS2, apparently won't run on 9x. I say apparently because when I read the minimum requirements on the box said XP, I simply put it back on the shelf. Although I do own XP, I don't run XP on my gaming PC.
Like the poster's dual boot system, It isn't a question of hardware. There aren't any new features on the PS2 that weren't there for the last Tomb Raider. And there aren't any features of the game that wont run on 9x. Yes, it is lazy programming to write software that simply calls all of the OS functions for every little feature of the game. But even still, there are enough common function between 9x and XP, that even a lazy programmer could write software compatible with both versions.
So the only conclusion has to be that it's an issue of profit. The management simply made the decision that the cost to compile and test for both versions was greater than the profit to be made from the extra sales. No concern for customer loyalty, not a care about brand image, no consideration even for game legacy. This Tomb Raider is clearly near the end of the franchise, if it is not the end in itself. Yet they still chose to make this the only version which wont run on 9x.
I could give a rat's *** about support from MS. I simply don't use it. Win 9x ran fine right out of the box, and nothing has changed. A little common sense, and malware is easy to avoid. But when there is an issue, I simply wipe the drive and start over. Fixes every issue I've ever come across. And now with virtualization support, I can make 9x read only, and continue using it forever. Like the poster, my only issue/limitation with using 9x is available games/apps.
BTW, I run an AMD at 2400 2GB of PC3200 300GB in PATA RAID.

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So you would program for other OSes in your free time?

by Kevin W In reply to Lazy Programmers

I can't understand the "lazy programmer" comment I see thrown around a lot. If management decides that a programmer only has X hours to program something, and to do that he has to cut corners and take shortcuts that only work in XP, how does that make him lazy? Because he doesn't "do the right thing" and put in personal hours so that he can use non-OS-specific code?

I see this comment about my favorite simulation. "The programmers must be lazy not to implement feature X." Oh, really? Again, if management doesn't give them time to implement that feature on the clock, but customers want it, the programmer is supposed to donate his time to the cause?

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Absolutely 100% Agree

by rkuhn In reply to So you would program for ...

But the same could be said about management. They are answering, ultimately, to someone else as well.

No decision is made in a vaccuum and none of us know the exact reasons behind 99% of these decisions.

Threads like this are fun to debate but probably not to factual or real.

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Lazy Programmers

by wlperkins In reply to Life cycle support

I have never failed to purchase ANY game I desired to play. Until the last Tomb Raider came out. Every past Tomb Raider ran on the 9x kernel (and was also available for PS2). This Tomb Raider, although available for PS2, apparently won't run on 9x. I say apparently because when I read the minimum requirements on the box said XP, I simply put it back on the shelf. Although I do own XP, I don't run XP on my gaming PC.
Like the poster's dual boot system, It isn't a question of hardware. There aren't any new features on the PS2 that weren't there for the last Tomb Raider. And there aren't any features of the game that wont run on 9x. Yes, it is lazy programming to write software that simply calls all of the OS functions for every little feature of the game. But even still, there are enough common function between 9x and XP, that even a lazy programmer could write software compatible with both versions.
So the only conclusion has to be that it's an issue of profit. The management simply made the decision that the cost to compile and test for both versions was greater than the profit to be made from the extra sales. No concern for customer loyalty, not a care about brand image, no consideration even for game legacy. This Tomb Raider is clearly near the end of the franchise, if it is not the end in itself. Yet they still chose to make this the only version which wont run on 9x.
I could give a rat's *** about support from MS. I simply don't use it. Win 9x ran fine right out of the box, and nothing has changed. A little common sense, and malware is easy to avoid. But when there is an issue, I simply wipe the drive and start over. Fixes every issue I've ever come across. And now with virtualization support, I can make 9x read only, and continue using it forever. Like the poster, my only issue/limitation with using 9x is available games/apps.
BTW, I run an AMD at 2400 2GB of PC3200 300GB in PATA RAID.

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How far back do want to go?

by gexner In reply to Lazy Programmers

You should care about your rats-***. Once Microsoft stops support on a version of Windows, such as the 9x versions, a company would be insane to write for that version anymore. No support means NO SUPPORT. Win98 is 8 years old. In computer terms, that's ancient history. Why would anyone expect a new game to work on at best, an 8-year old computer? How far back do you want to go?

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