Linked by Stefan Michalowski, M. Sc. on Thu 19th Aug 2004 08:27 UTC
Editorial Lately posted on Slashdot, an article written by Joel Spolsky mentioned the trouble through which Microsoft went to make each version of Windows backwards compatible. In one case, for the game Simcity, they even changed the way memory handling was done when running that application. You can find additional stories of software tricks that recent versions of Windows have to perform in order to run these bug-dependant applications on the web. After reading the story, I discussed with a couple of friends how weird this was and how Free Software completely avoids this problem.
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It's great.
by anonymous on Thu 19th Aug 2004 08:42 UTC

If you ask me, the backwards compatibility of Windwos is
plain great, and a huge contributor to its success.
The hacks for bug dependant programs are ofcourse very questionable though.
I wish open source would care more about binary
combatibility, these days you're lucky if a program compiled
on distro x version y runs on distro x version x+-1.
Let alone distro z.

Please remember not every program and system is open source.
While making multi distro/version binaries is doable, it's
a painful task, way to painful. LSB helps in some area, but
you need an LSB compilation environment, but far far to few
libraries are standarized yet, static linking doesn't even work for many libraries.

Most of the people at my company do windows programming.
They set up a project in VC++, push a compile button, and
the resulting program runs on atleast WinNT to WinXP.
Should we port any of these to Linux, and support the multiple
distros and versions, we'd be out of time to do real work.

People, please care about ABIs .