Dropping support for W95/W98/WME/NT4?

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Dropping support for W95/W98/WME/NT4?

Postby kimmov » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:03 pm

As I found out in topic Upgrading release compiler to VS2008 updating the VS version also means dropping support for old Windows versions.

So this isn't as easy decision as I hoped it would be.

The fun thing is, while dropping support for W9x/ME we can also remove lots and lots of code supporting those versions. Basically WinMerge would become Unicode-only application and all non-Unicode (ANSI) support code could just be removed. We'd have only one WinMerge executable and one set dlls. Which would make installer smaller and simpler.

Advantages are remarkable.

There is also very important development point of view. I don't believe any of developers actually run or test Windows in W98? So the current status is already "it might work". Which is of course quite a risky status for stable releases... Somehow we have managed to not break things too much...

The unfortunate fact is that we have less and less developer time for WinMerge. So this is also a question about what we really can reasonably keep supporting. I personally don't have time to do more than check now and then that ANSI build works (or fixing compile problems just before doing releases). And based on the fact ANSI targets have been broken for long times in past I doubt there are many people compiling them (again other than me when doing releases).

It is very hard to know about users. Are there still many W98 users for WinMerge? Perhaps. But the fact is also that W98/NT4 cannot be installed to few years old computers. So they run only on old machines.

My personal opinion is that we should move on and drop the W98/NT4 support now for WinMerge 2.13/2.14. It eases, simplifies and makes faster our development for more modern Windows versions.
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Re: Dropping support for W95/W98/WME/NT4?

Postby gerundt » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:50 pm

I don't touch a Windows 98 system for almost 2 years. And the next Windows version comes maybe at the end of the year. So, I have no problem to drop W95/W98/WME/NT4 support with WinMerge 2.14.

Just my 2 cents. ;)
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Re: Dropping support for W95/W98/WME/NT4?

Postby kimmov » Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:15 pm

Dropping support for old Windows versions is must at some point. Only question is when?

Firefox has dropped the support, next Subversion release is dropping support etc. So I don't think anybody can claim we are doing it too fast. :)

So if not for 2.14 release, surely for next one.
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Re: Dropping support for W95/W98/WME/NT4?

Postby gerundt » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:56 pm

Some commerical software producer are even a one step ahead and don't support Windows 2000 anymore (for example: Microsoft Office 2007, Autodesk Inventor 2009 and AutoCAD 2009). But this would be a step to fare for WinMerge I think...
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Re: Dropping support for W95/W98/WME/NT4?

Postby kimmov » Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:31 am

I think we should just move on with this. It doesn't feel good to release binaries nobody is testing...

So what we need to do? This is my initial list:
  • remove ANSI binaries from installer
  • add checks to installer to require at least W2K
  • remove ANSI binaries building from release script
  • remove ANSI targets from project files
  • cleanup ANSI target specific code:
    Code: Select all
    #ifdef _UNICODE
  • update documentation
From this list only the first item is mandatory, others we can do later on.
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Re: Dropping support for W95/W98/WME/NT4?

Postby gerundt » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:08 pm

kimmov wrote:
  • add checks to installer to require at least W2K


It seems, that InnoSetup has a MinVersion directive we can use:

The MSI setup already install only the Unicode version on Windows 2000 or higher and don't support 95/98/ME/NT. :mrgreen:
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Re: Dropping support for W95/W98/WME/NT4?

Postby gerundt » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:21 pm

The following code should add the Windows 2000 requiredment to the InnoSetup (untested):

Code: Select all
Index: WinMerge.iss
===================================================================
--- WinMerge.iss   (Revision 7218)
+++ WinMerge.iss   (Arbeitskopie)
@@ -85,6 +85,9 @@
 ;This must be admin to install C++ Runtimes and shell extension
 PrivilegesRequired=admin
 
+;Windows 2000 or later required
+MinVersion=0,5.0
+
 UninstallDisplayIcon={app}\{code:ExeName}
 
 ;Artwork References
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Re: Dropping support for W95/W98/WME/NT4?

Postby christianlist » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:50 am

Okay, I'll remove 95/98/ME/NT from the list of operating systems on the SF page.
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Re: Dropping support for W95/W98/WME/NT4?

Postby gerundt » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:43 pm

christianlist wrote:Okay, I'll remove 95/98/ME/NT from the list of operating systems on the SF page.


Even for Trunk versions? I think at the SF page we should it first remove, when we release a stable version without W95/W98/WME/NT4 support.
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Re: Dropping support for W95/W98/WME/NT4?

Postby gerundt » Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:23 pm

As sign for the usage of Win9x/ME/NT4 I look at the web statistics from this month (Jul 2010):

  • Operating System = Visitors
  • Windows XP = 52,763 (57%)
  • Windows 7 = 25,344 (27%)
  • Windows Vista = 7,345 (8%)
  • Windows Server 2003 = 2,779 (3%)
  • Unknown = 1,253
  • Linux = 1,221
  • Mac OS = 865
  • Windows 2000 = 643
  • Windows 98 = 46
  • iPhone = 38
  • Windows NT = 9
  • Android = 9
  • iPod = 8
  • Windows ME = 8
  • FreeBSD = 7
  • SunOS = 3
  • HP-UX = 1
  • Nintendo Wii = 1
  • PlayStation Portable = 1
  • BlackBerry = 1
  • Palm OS = 1

Only 0,06% of the users which visit our website this month has Windows 98/ME/NT4. This means nothing about the installations in the world, but it is a sign. :mrgreen:
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