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Isn't BACKWARD COMPABILITY more important NOW ?


In reference to Joe's article:


1. Most computers are bought as a replacement. (I.e., hardware upgrade)

The rate of adoption of new computers seems to be slowing (i.e., most people are REPLACING computers, not buying ones).

2. New versions of Windows aren't as significantly improved as in the past.
E.g., Dos to Windows 3.1 was a huge improvement. Windows 3.1 to 95 was equally big in terms of USEABILITY. (Thank god for the START button).

3. There's a HUGE installed base of software.

All of these factors suggest that NOW MORE THAN EVER <g> it's important to be backward compabitle.

There's less benefit to upgrading and most people are going to have EXISTING software that they want to run on the new computer.

Mr. Analogy
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

"The rate of adoption of new computers seems to be slowing (i.e., most people are REPLACING computers, not buying ones)."

Doesn't replacing a computer mean buying a new one to take the place of the old one?  Were you trying to say that buyers are not increasing their total count of computers?

Anyway...I agree with you - backwards compatability is ALWAYS important.

www.ChristopherHawkins.com
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

"Doesn't replacing a computer mean buying a new one to take the place of the old one?  Were you trying to say that buyers are not increasing their total count of computers?"

Yes, that's what I meant: total count of computers isn't increasing for *some* users.

Perhaps a more general point is that people aren't replacing thier software, just thier hardware.


That wasn't true in the mid 80s and early 90s.  Rate of NEW computer purchases was quite high (according to Joel's article, which seems reasonable).

Mr. Analogy
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

> ...backwards compatability is ALWAYS important.

Unless it comes at the expense of security.

Nearly Nameless
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

> Unless it comes at the expense of security.

Here, Here! 

I'd add, "ease of use is always important, unless it comes at the expense of security."

christopher baus (www.baus.net)
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Unless the "security" is bogus. We have all sorts of email that's blocked because our IT department doesn't trust us. We are development shop and need to send files to each other. I understand blocking .exes, .bats, etc. But blocking them inside .zip files when the sender and recievers are both inside the company is ridiculous. It sacrifies ease of use under the guise of improving security, but it in fact does not improve security one bit. It just makes us curse the IT dept and rename them from foo.exe to foodotexe.txt. Don't know what we are going to do when those idiots start looking at the contents of files to determine if we can email them.

MilesArcher
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

"It just makes us curse the IT dept and rename them from foo.exe to foodotexe.txt"

Hmm... that's probably acceptable to the IT department. Stops accidental execution.

Perhaps that's what the IT dept. should be doing: simply RENAME files to remove the .exe extension.

Then, only employees who know what an .exe is will be able to run one (after renaming foobar.exe.txt to foobar.exe) .

Mr. Analogy
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

" it's important to be backward compabitle"

But there's no revenue in keeping old machines running; Microsoft has to sell something.

Tom H
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

With older versions of Windows (98, NT etc..) and Firefox/Opera, you can be backward compatible and forward compatible.

The forward is happening in the browser...not the OS

fool for python
Thursday, June 17, 2004

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