Originally Posted by cgc0202
I had been a user of both the original Apple II and the DOS MIcrosoft PC and experienced the evolution of these computers as well as others now no longer manufactured. Once Apple developed an operating system much better than DOS. I never looked back. I do not want to waste my time. [However, in science and technology, especially in the biomedical field, sometimes we are forced to use costly scientific equipment that are Windows-based because the manufacture decided to use MS software only
. So, I used both operating systems and familiar with them.]
I appreciate hearing a user's point of view
However, to most developers, the 'Microsoft' platform == consistency.
They don't want to have to touch anything else, or re-learn without necessity (sadly). So, it's Windows® + x86....forever
i386...i486..etc, etc...to now, with the dual and quad-core chips...
The only real major change in Windows, was going from 16-bit to 32-bit, as far as i know.
Old software still runs and continues to run, with only minor tweaks.
DOS software continues to be usable, at least to some degree
Also funny that, Linux has started out on the x86 architecture as well.
Apple on the other hand, has gone thru several processor changes, so that has got to spook devs, at least a bit. Perhaps it only means a recompile in higher-level languages like C, but when you are writing device drivers, it's slightly more complicated.
Plus a major OS change....
And then bit endianness factor as well, also important when it comes to hardware. (Which, by the way, always confuses users who are setting up SheepShaver on Intel macs, since those don't come with Classic, thus needing an emulator for all those PPC apps. Users complain that all the files they transfer look strange and are unusable, with strangely scrambled names
So, what the developer sees:
68K to PPC, @ old Mac OS: 'fat' binaries, to support both architectures;
PPC @ old Mac OS to OS X (unix): has Classic, still time to rewrite the whole product;
PPC to x86, @ OS X: 'fat' binaries, to support both architectures, doesn't have Classic anymore. Unlucky users have to use SheepShaver.
When you have the source code, you can just recompile with some minor changes. But if you for some reason still have to rely on a library that's been compiled long ago, and the source has been lost, then the only choice is rewriting from scratch.
So in biomed, i do understand the idea of "write once, run forever"...
P.S. Sorry for the long rant, that is somewhat off topic, but is still relevant. I hope it is somewhat readable at this point.