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Author Topic: Phasing out support for Windows 98 and Windows ME  (Read 16902 times)

mattias

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Phasing out support for Windows 98 and Windows ME
« on: December 09, 2015, 05:24:53 pm »
The Lazarus team has decided to finally phase out support for the Windows 9x platform.

Reasons for doing so are:
  • The platform is not supported anymore by Microsoft.
  • The platform is hardly in use anymore.
  • The new 3.0 series compiler does not support this platform anymore.
  • There is only 1 maintainer of the Windows 9x code base.
  • Cleaning up the Win32 widgetset code will make it easier to maintain and less prone to bugs.

The phasing out will take place in 2 stages:

Stage 1.
Starting with the upcoming Lazarus 1.6 there will be no more active development in the code that was specifically written for dealing with the Window 9x platform.

However, patches (when supplied in the bugtracker) for bugs in this code can still be applied to the 1.6 fixes branch.

It may (or may not) be necessary to build your application using the 2.6.4 compiler in order to get a  functional Windows 9x application.

Stage 2.
Starting with the 1.7 development branch (AKA trunk) all code that was specifically written for the Windows 9x platform will be removed from our codebase. From that point on software written with this version (or later) of Lazarus will most likely either not run at all, or not run as expected
on the Windows 9x platform.

If you need to develop Win98/ME software you can still use the Lazarus 1.6 branch with FPC 2.6.4.

BeniBela

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Re: Phasing out support for Windows 98 and Windows ME
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 06:18:30 pm »
 :(

Windows 98 was my favorite OS

The sound recorder and explorer were far ahead of what they have in Linux/GNOME nowadays

Segator

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Re: Phasing out support for Windows 98 and Windows ME
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 08:58:32 pm »
That's what mean that the win9x is not supported as host? or that the binary files compiling with 1.7 is not work in win9x?

felipemdc

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Re: Phasing out support for Windows 98 and Windows ME
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2015, 09:13:23 pm »
That's what mean that the win9x is not supported as host? or that the binary files compiling with 1.7 is not work in win9x?

It means both.

jwdietrich

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Re: Phasing out support for Windows 98 and Windows ME
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2015, 10:37:53 pm »
It is not easy to understand, why FPC 3.0 introduces support for MS-DOS 16 bit but drops compatibility with Windows 9x.
function GetRandomNumber: integer; // xkcd.com
begin
  GetRandomNumber := 4; // chosen by fair dice roll. Guaranteed to be random.
end;

Lazarus 1.6.2 | FPC 3.0.0 | PPC, Intel, ARM | macOS, Windows, Linux

BeniBela

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Re: Phasing out support for Windows 98 and Windows ME
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2015, 10:40:26 pm »
It is not easy to understand, why FPC 3.0 introduces support for MS-DOS 16 bit but drops compatibility with Windows 9x.

lol

taazz

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Re: Phasing out support for Windows 98 and Windows ME
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2015, 10:45:33 pm »
It is not easy to understand, why FPC 3.0 introduces support for MS-DOS 16 bit but drops compatibility with Windows 9x.
I think that's because msdos and its various clones are used in embedded systems while win95/98 where never used for embedded systems and are never used outisde the desktop although there are a couple of use cases today they are by no means anything more than support cases with out any development or even bug fixes.
Good judgement is the result of experience … Experience is the result of bad judgement.

OS : Windows 7 64 bit
Laz: Lazarus 1.4.4 FPC 2.6.4 i386-win32-win32/win64

Bart

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Re: Phasing out support for Windows 98 and Windows ME
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2015, 11:17:35 pm »
It is not easy to understand, why FPC 3.0 introduces support for MS-DOS 16 bit but drops compatibility with Windows 9x.

About fpc and win9x: the 3.0 series compiler itself does not run on win9x. A simple "hello world" compiled with 3.0 runs perfectly OK on win9x.
I have no idea wether or not a Lazarus (1.4 or 1.6) compiled program with fpc 3.0 will run on that platform. It may or it may not. I did not test, because this would not have affected the decision we made.

About DOS: well somebody added a new target (as in: wrote all the code for it and maintains it, which is a hell of a lot of work) and it was accepted by fpc.

Lazarus OTOH has never supported, nor ever intended to support DOS (or Win 3.1).
We target a different set of users compared to fpc.

To be honest, I suspect I  may be the only Lazarus user running Lazarus on a Win9x system (Win98 in a VM under Win7 and a 15 year old WinME machine (with failing hardware)).

Bart

_Bernd

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Re: Phasing out support for Windows 98 and Windows ME
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2015, 11:49:46 pm »
To be honest, I suspect I  may be the only Lazarus user running Lazarus on a Win9x system (Win98 in a VM under Win7 and a 15 year old WinME machine (with failing hardware)).
no, you are not alone. I am running Lazarus (0.9.24 and 1.0.8 ) on a native Windows 98 machine. I use this machine to control and test hardware via the lpt port.

Regards, Bernd.

marcov

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Re: Phasing out support for Windows 98 and Windows ME
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2015, 11:52:13 am »
It is not easy to understand, why FPC 3.0 introduces support for MS-DOS 16 bit but drops compatibility with Windows 9x.

It was not the plan to deprecate win9x, but to remove the win9x limitations from the win32/win64 target for unicode purposes. IOW separate winNT  (effectively XP+ since w2k support is also officially dead)
and win9x targets.

But finding win9x maintainers for such target turned out to be impossible, but if there are volunteers and they have something initial to show for, I don't see why a solution could
not be found. 

So in short: msdos and amiga (even older) have target maintainers, and win9x not.

tr_escape

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Re: Phasing out support for Windows 98 and Windows ME
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2015, 03:16:48 pm »
Maybe some additional application it can be work:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/kernelex/files/KernelEx/4.5.2/

I found in comments of this blog
http://blog.oldversion.com/why-use-windows-98/

Who wants to try?

Leledumbo

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Re: Phasing out support for Windows 98 and Windows ME
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2015, 07:37:42 pm »
It is not easy to understand, why FPC 3.0 introduces support for MS-DOS 16 bit but drops compatibility with Windows 9x.
The MS-DOS compiler can be used for developing (second stage) bootloader, which is useful for baremetal in case you want to write your own OS kernel. Win9x target has no such advantage IMHO.

marcov

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Re: Phasing out support for Windows 98 and Windows ME
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2015, 02:14:55 pm »
You are wrong. FPC 3.0 does not drop Win9x compatibility.

Correct. Formally, 2.6.0 already did, though in practice people kept submitting patches.

As said the main reason was to release win32/64 platform maintainers from having to duplicate an RTL in and RTL for the unicode support of 3.x.   A separate target could have been created, but there were no maintainers willing to commit to anything.


tr_escape

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Re: Phasing out support for Windows 98 and Windows ME
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2015, 04:08:18 pm »
Maybe some additional application it can be work:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/kernelex/files/KernelEx/4.5.2/

I found in comments of this blog
http://blog.oldversion.com/why-use-windows-98/

Who wants to try?


Ok...

I tried myself but in VirtualPC 2007 with Windows 98 SE TR.
First you have to be patient about windows 98's slowness.

- You have to install KernelEx as mentioned first message of mine in this topic.
  http://sourceforge.net/projects/kernelex/files/KernelEx/4.5.2/

- Install Lazarus 1.6RC1 for windows 32 bits.

- If you need winzip you may found in oldapps site...

And Lazarus can compile but can't debug because of some dll files.

But I am not sure about to develop on Win98...





Martin_fr

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Re: Phasing out support for Windows 98 and Windows ME
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2015, 04:27:29 pm »
And Lazarus can compile but can't debug because of some dll files.

Have you tried the alternative gdb (sourceforge / lazarus win32) 7.2.1?

Or better http://sourceforge.net/projects/mingw/files/MinGW/Extension/gdb/Technology%20Preview_%20GDB%206.7.5.20071127/
(Yes its old, but lazarus should still work with it)

 

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