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Interesting Article

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#1 usasma


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Posted 01 October 2006 - 08:55 AM

I just read this interesting article. It appears to explain why Windows is such a mess - and how it happens.

Synopsis: There's one approved way to call a function in Windows. But software programmers often use other methods - and this is what makes it so hard to keep Windows compatible with applications.

In this example they used Mapped Network Drives. There's a function that will call the Map Network Drives that can be used to do this directly.

But, the programmer decided to call the right click menu of Explorer to get it. And, instead of picking the name from the menu, they just picked the 3rd entry from the top. Then, they realized that it was different between WinXP and Win2K - so they added a version check to it. Then the user enables AutoPlay - and it bumps the item down - so they went back and defined it as the 5th item up from the bottom (rather than the 3rd item down from the top). Etc, etc, etc.

Now, there's no way that Microsoft can know exactly what each programmer in the entire world has done (but they're trying with the different hardware and software certification programs that they use).

Then along comes Vista with even more changes to the context menu. How can Microsoft be sure that this program will work with Vista?

You may say that it's the programmer's problem - but it's not, it's the user of the program's problem. They're the one that will have to wait for a patch to fix this - and they may lose a contract or some business because of it.
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#2 jgweed


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Posted 01 October 2006 - 09:11 AM

Trying to maintain backward compatibility, as well as interface new modules into an older framework of code, has been a major problem with MS. To be fair, it is a monumental task given the economic necessity of producing a new version every other year or so, and to meet deadlines, they have not done it with much elegance.
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#3 Enthusiast


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Posted 02 October 2006 - 03:41 AM

Poorly written or non-compliant code is also one of the major reasons for the existence of the seemingly never ending discovery of exploits, most of which are unfairly blamed on Microsoft.

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