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.
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Avoid the problem?
by Atonymouse on Thu 19th Aug 2004 11:54 UTC

The way I see it, most Open Source applications *ignore* the problem. They don't care about backwards compatability; it's not like they try to maintain it.

As a user, I get pretty pissed off when binary compatability breaks when it really shouldn't. Libraries that are depended upon by closed source applications should NOT break compatibility. With GPL'ed libraries, those that require applications to be GPL as well, breaking compatability is less of an issue, since it's possible to fix the application.

GCC is a very good example of how too much freedom can really suck ;) Breaking compatability so damn often as they do, should be punished ;)