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Re: Windows 9X compatibility

From: Óscar Fuentes
Subject: Re: Windows 9X compatibility
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2010 16:59:54 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1.93 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

>> Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 18:39:01 -0600
>> From: Christoph <address@hidden>
>> The need is in my opinion a growing pain in the rear-end to support this 
>> backwards compatibility.
> This argument can only be persuasive if it comes from someone who
> personally experienced this pain, which could only be true if they are
> active maintainers of the MS-Windows port.

Maybe the fact that there are no more active maintainers of the
MS-Windows port is somewhat related to the pain in the rear that W9X
compatbility is?

Just an hypothesis.

Speaking for myself, the W9X compatibility requirement means that I
prefer to restrict my very occasional Emacs hacking to Elisp code, even
if I have experience with the Windows API. First, I don't have a machine
for testing. Second, the W9X API is so broken and has some many quirks
that, apart from the permanent browsing of the MSDN it requires, a
trivial change can be easily turned into a long session of mailing list
archive archeology. Third, W9X compatibility means that you either have
to refrain to implement features based on modern APIs or #ifdef them,
which greatly adds to the maintenance burden.

Furthermore, the claim about lots of *running* machines on
underdeveloped areas still having W9X is dubious now. AFAIK, people
transitioned to Windows XP when powerful enough obsoleted machines
arrived, which started to happen about 6 years ago. For the time Emacs
24 is out, the percentage of W9X machines out there will be almost zero,
for the simple reason that computers doesn't last forever (no pun

Finally, if someone has a weak machine, there are some fine GNU/Linux
distros tailored for his needs. I doubt that someone who insists on
using W9X instead of a modern GNU/Linux distro is interested on being up
to date with Emacs releases, or even on using Emacs at all.

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