[wp-hackers] delete_user action hook

Brian Layman Brian at TheCodeCave.com
Mon Jul 17 20:08:33 GMT 2006

C >>> Windows a backwards-compatible OS. Can you say "bloat"? I knew you
C >>> could!
MM>> Yes, but it also could be argued it's why they won the hearts of
MM>> developers over Apple in the early 90s.
CG> but that doesn't seem to be the real reason...

I'm in the middle of another similar discussion on the ZTree support forum
because a guy there has a bunch of stable Win95a machines and a feature
introduced to Ztree yesterday requires a DLL that was released as part of
IE4 in 1997. (http://www.ztw3.com/forum/forum.cgi?read=80424) He doesn't
want to update his machines and is asking the lead developer (Kim) to add
extra version check for a SHELL32 release from 9 years ago.  It's odd that
backwards compatibility should come up again here, on the same day.

Guru, you must be too young to remember the early days when you had to keep
a 5 1/4 for DOS 5 (for the newest programs) and one for Dos 3 (so that you
could still run your favorite programs).  The newer games (err... apps)
would run under DOS 5, but surely would not run under DOS 3.1.  Some even
required IBM PC DOS specifically (and/or that bit of BASIC built into true a
IBM PC's EPROM) and would never accept Compaq DOS.  

An expensive ATI Sound card that was worthless for Windows 3.1 because the
3.0 drivers would not work on 3.1 and there was no such thing as a generic
sound card driver.  And of course Windows 3.1 would not run under DR DOS.
Oh and you had to have 1 more disk for DOS 2 so you could play Wolfenstein
which only worked on DOS 2 and apples (hang on.. OK HERE:
http://www.thecodecave.com/images/CW5_25.jpg.  At #629 my disk was pretty
low in the run. I wonder how much it is worth?  And I still have the DOS
version needed: http://www.thecodecave.com/images/CWDos2_5_25.jpg).  Let's
forget the "True Compatible"/"100% compatible"/Clone/Tandy backwards
compatibility issues. But I will mention the backwards incompatibility
issues introduced by the PC Jr, the 80286 and the PS/2s each of which lopped
of huge chunks of earlier software and each of which were considered
failures as platforms.

All of this was nothing new and Apple and the new thing called a Mac were no

It was only when the 80386 came out and the 80486 was largely backwards
compatible, that the PC started making real strides into the consumer market
and making up the loads of lost ground in the war against Apple and the C64.
With MAC, even though it was popular, you had to scrap a lot of your work
with every new machine/OS that came out.  With the PC, you didn't have this
cost.  The killer stroke was when 95 said (and actually achieved) "I will
handle all communication between you and the hardware.  You don't need to
talk directly to any of memory/video/hardware."  (3 tried to do this too but
largely failed)  That not only meant that you no longer need to care if a
Trident 8900c separates even and odd image rows in its memory while a Tseng
Labs card did not.  It also meant that the OS could allow programs to be
backwards compatible to old hardware like the Trident 8900 and Diamond
Stealth which still work under XP.

The non-butchered form of Occam's razor, "entities should not be multiplied
beyond necessity", applies here.  Matt's right that Microsoft made life
easier for the developers and the users alike by telling each of them "You
don't have to change what you are doing".  They did the same thing by going
multilingual.  Like rivers and electricity, the masses go where there is the
least resistance.  Occam's razor doesn't show you the BEST or RIGHT
solution, just the solution that will win out most of the time.

I +1 this particular issue, but think that in general backwards
compatibility IS a very important concern.  How many blogs out there still
run 1.2 despite the holes, because the admin didn't want to scrap their
theme to run 1.5 or 2.0?  I should say that I think that the WP PTB (powers
that be) do a good job of leveraging all of this.  They keep WordPress on
the right track. 

Brian Layman

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