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HardCopy

Autoit Limitations Review

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Firstly excuse me for asking here, but i thought it the best place if any!.

What are the the Dev Teams future plans for removing the compatibility

limitations applied within AutoIt, in light of Microsofts plans to cease support

of the windows98 platform in 2006.

By this i mean, some of the limitations in Autoit, ie number of controls

listview items etc. have been implemented as to retain compatibility with

the Windows98 Platform. In the future will these be removed? maybe stepping to a new

major version number like v4.

This is purely a curiousity question and not asked to generate contraversy.

AutoIt as it stands, is an invaluable tool for my current needs & I very much appreciate

the time, skill & effort the Developers put into it.

Thank you for your time.

HardCopy


Contributions: UDF _DateYearFirstChildren are like Farts, you can just about stand your own.Why am I not a Vegetarian?...Well...my ancestors didn't fight & evolve to the Top of the food chain for me to survive on Salad

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We continue to support Windows 95, even though Bill and company have stopped supporting it years ago, and I expect, just because Micro$oft stops supporting Windows 98, that does not mean that we will stop. That is the OS I have at home (other than Mandrake Linux) so I want it to stay in there. Yeah, I will probably put Win2003 Workstation on the next computer I get (along with Fedora Linux), but for now I am still running 98.


David Nuttall
Nuttall Computer Consulting

An Aquarius born during the Age of Aquarius

AutoIt allows me to re-invent the wheel so much faster.

I'm off to write a wizard, a wonderful wizard of odd...

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#3 ·  Posted (edited)

I agree with Nutster -- I run computers that are not capable of running a later version of Windows than 98SE.

Edit: On a similar note, is anyone aware of a place that will allow me to download Windows Updates without using the Windows Update interface? I'd like to have these updates on a CD so that when the time comes, I can still reformat.

Edited by LxP

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We continue to support Windows 95, even though Bill and company have stopped supporting it years ago, and I expect, just because Micro$oft stops supporting Windows 98, that does not mean that we will stop. That is the OS I have at home (other than Mandrake Linux) so I want it to stay in there. Yeah, I will probably put Win2003 Workstation on the next computer I get (along with Fedora Linux), but for now I am still running 98.

I'm confused...

Are you saying that AutoIt, by continuing to support defunct and obsolete operating systems, will be limited in the future in some way because of this, or, do you mean that the current version of AutoIt (ie. 3.x) will continue to support these obsolete operating systems and the next major version will not be limited (ie. similar to what we have with the AutoIt 2.x and 3.x scenario now)?

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The former.

In my opinion the limits aren't a great concern anyway -- anything requiring e.g. strings over 2GB in length or over 384 recursive calls** need rewriting of the script and not of AutoIt internals.

** Nutster says that the recursive call limit can be removed anyway.

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Ah ok, thanks for the clarification LxP. To be honest, I'm not a big supporter of crippling software (regardless of how much it is crippled) just to maintain compatibility with defunct O/S's.

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The former.

In my opinion the limits aren't a great concern anyway -- anything requiring e.g. strings over 2GB in length or over 384 recursive calls** need rewriting of the script and not of AutoIt internals.

** Nutster says that the recursive call limit can be removed anyway.

i agree

i/we have written some awesome programs... the only area of concern was memory and cpu usage... not the limitations of Autoit

8)


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#8 ·  Posted (edited)

Edit: On a similar note, is anyone aware of a place that will allow me to download Windows Updates without using the Windows Update interface? I'd like to have these updates on a CD so that when the time comes, I can still reformat.

There a few parts I have found on MajorGeeks.com . Take a look there. Edited by Nutster

David Nuttall
Nuttall Computer Consulting

An Aquarius born during the Age of Aquarius

AutoIt allows me to re-invent the wheel so much faster.

I'm off to write a wizard, a wonderful wizard of odd...

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In my opinion the limits aren't a great concern anyway -- anything requiring e.g. strings over 2GB in length or over 384 recursive calls** need rewriting of the script and not of AutoIt internals.

** Nutster says that the recursive call limit can be removed anyway.

That is true. I just have to find some time to fix some bugs in things already in the system with StringRegExp and then I can look at this. I have a to-do list at home, but I have been too busy the last couple of months to work on AutoIt.

David Nuttall
Nuttall Computer Consulting

An Aquarius born during the Age of Aquarius

AutoIt allows me to re-invent the wheel so much faster.

I'm off to write a wizard, a wonderful wizard of odd...

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Ah ok, thanks for the clarification LxP. To be honest, I'm not a big supporter of crippling software (regardless of how much it is crippled) just to maintain compatibility with defunct O/S's.

Approximately 15% of systems use Windows 98 SE, as of 2003. How can you say its not still a major operating system? It may not be up to par with the latest and greatest, but "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."


Writing AutoIt scripts since
_DateAdd("d", -2, _NowCalcDate())

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Approximately 15% of systems use Windows 98 SE, as of 2003. How can you say its not still a major operating system? It may not be up to par with the latest and greatest, but "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

It definitely "aint" broke. They just are trying to force migration. They think they are invincible.

IMHO

JS


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Approximately 15% of systems use Windows 98 SE, as of 2003. How can you say its not still a major operating system? It may not be up to par with the latest and greatest, but "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

True, it's still used and sure there will be some hanging on to it for years and years, but you can discount them as non-mainstream users simply because new O/S's are appearing about every 3-4 years and that's about the same lifespan for a computer before it's considered obsolete. By your own reasoning, AutoIt will never be on par the the latest and greatest. I guess you'll have to make up your own mind as to whether this is a good thing or not.

Look, I understand there are people still using 95 & 98 and I'm probably going to be in the same position as they are in a few years with my Win XP so I'm not saying AutoIt should suddenly drop support for these O/S's but I am saying in needs to move with the times or risk getting left behind itself. Cutting your nose off to spite your face just because a few people are stuck in the dark ages isn't sensible. My fear isn't the current limitations of AutoIt (these appear minor), it's what happens when a new O/S comes out that is able to do so much more but because of these vocal few using now defunct O/S's, AutoIt stagnates in trying to maintain compatibility.

To put it another way, would you like to be stuck using AutoIt without GUI functions just because some people still use MS-DOS? Of course not. I personally don't believe that my O/S should be a limiting factor for future versions of AutoIt. For example, if I had the 128 bit version of Windows, I wouldn't be happy knowing AutoIt had been dumbed down to maintain compatibility for someones Win XP, especially if I wanted to use some of the new bells and whistles but couldn't due to this. How much support in AutoIt is there for Windows 3.x and should AutoIt be limited to continue to support that O/S? The point is, at some stage AutoIt will have to drop support for old O/S or separate (like V2.x and V3.x) - it's inevitable.

JS, you are 100% correct, that is exactly what they are doing. MS are in a position now to drop support for an old O/S when they release a new one. Personally, I believe they have put a 7 year lifespan on O/S's.

BTW, this is not meant to be confrontational, I'm just providing an alternative opinion and voicing a concern. Besides, opinions are like assholes, everyone has one :P and in the end, the Devs will do what they feel is best and we will choose to live with it or move on.

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My guess is that AutoIt will ultimately move on and some version will be deemed as the final one to be guaranteed to work under a given OS.

At such a point, hopefully the developers will still be open to bug fix reports and maybe minor feature enhancements if needed.

I suppose that those of us stuck with older OSes need to remember that just because a future version of AutoIt will no longer support an OS doesn't mean that an older (and perfectly good) version won't.

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I'm confused, are you all starting to gang up on me here too? 15% is a big number, and I run into a lot of Win98 (9x in general) to this day. I like support for older versions, but I also like how AutoIt is expanding into functionality not possible in older versions (COM...)


Writing AutoIt scripts since
_DateAdd("d", -2, _NowCalcDate())

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PartyPooper, your points are full of problems.

First of all, MS-DOS is an entirely different operating system. For all intents and purposes, MS-DOS is just as much a non-Windows operating system as Linux or Mac. Therefore, that is not a valid argument.

Second, Windows 3.1 is a 16-bit environment; AutoIt was written as a 32-bit program. It's not backwards compatible in the same way a 64-bit compiled application won't work on a 32-bit OS. However, a 32-bit program will (mostly, depending on what is being done) work on a 64-bit OS so applications are mostly future compatible without even needing to be recompiled. So again, your argument is baseless.

Third, you assume we're going learn all these new glorious features and integrate them. By the time Vista rolls around and by the time we learn it, we'll all be better programmers and better able to figure out solutions to the problems of version incompatibilities. To some extent, we've already done things okay. I've not heard any complaints about TrayTip() but it's a Windows 2000+ function. JP recently added a function which requires both a specific minimum version of Windows and a specific file system. How much more niche can you get than that?

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I'm confused, are you all starting to gang up on me here too?

:P

I hadn't realised this when I first posted to this thread, but keep in mind that when the developers decide to stop enhancing a Windows 98-compatible version of AutoIt, you're still going to walk away with all of the functionality that AutoIt currently has (which is a lot).

Of course one day you're not going to be able to run the latest version of AutoIt on a Win98 PC, but it's very likely that any unsupported functionality wouldn't be very useful on a computer that's limited to running Win98 anyway.

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First of all, MS-DOS is an entirely different operating system. For all intents and purposes, MS-DOS is just as much a non-Windows operating system as Linux or Mac. Therefore, that is not a valid argument.

Second, Windows 3.1 is a 16-bit environment; AutoIt was written as a 32-bit program. It's not backwards compatible in the same way a 64-bit compiled application won't work on a 32-bit OS. However, a 32-bit program will (mostly, depending on what is being done) work on a 64-bit OS so applications are mostly future compatible without even needing to be recompiled. So again, your argument is baseless.

They were just generic examples Jason, and not meant to be taken as literally. My point was directed at the differences and limitations between operating systems and how one type of O/S shouldn't be a limiting factor with AutoIt just because some people still use it. Thanks for pointing out AutoIt can't be used on Windows 3.1 (and I'm assuming WFWG 3.11 as well). The introduction states that AutoIt v3 is a freeware BASIC-like scripting language designed for automating the Windows GUI. Windows 3.x is still Windows (granted 16 bit Windows but still Windows) and there are those fringe dwellers that still use it, hence, the reason I mentioned it. BTW, I couldn't seem to find anything in the Help File that actually tells me what versions of Windows AutoIt will actually work on.

Third, you assume we're going learn all these new glorious features and integrate them.

OMG, you aren't :P

As I said, it is inevitable that support will be dropped at some point in the future. Currently, this is all a storm in a teacup because the current limitations are minimal at best, but that may change with the release of Vista. I guess it's a wait and see just how much has changed type of thing.

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to have autoit backwards compatible with windows 3.11, would take a complete rewrite of autoit. Also you lose alot of functionallity that you currently have on a 32 bit OS. See there alot of different structure changes even from windows 95 to 98, for instance the registry... windows 3.11 is just a gui over dos, memory limited to 64mb i believe. windows 9x system is a windows 32 bit kernel over dos. a rewrite backwards is kinda silly to me, but we should just be looking foreward. :P I do know that there are some dos keyboard memory buffer programs that can send keystrokes. i cannot say that i have heard of a windows 3.11 scripting language. i dunno it may exist, go look and see if you can find one....


 

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My guess is that AutoIt will ultimately move on and some version will be deemed as the final one to be guaranteed to work under a given OS.

At such a point, hopefully the developers will still be open to bug fix reports and maybe minor feature enhancements if needed.

I suppose that those of us stuck with older OSes need to remember that just because a future version of AutoIt will no longer support an OS doesn't mean that an older (and perfectly good) version won't.

That may be one of the things we talk about when making version 4. But this is going to be a while as we are still having too much fun with version 3. I expect all releases/betas of version 3 will remain compatible with 95/98/Me as well the new stuff as it comes out. We (well Jon really) made the decision that version 3 should be designed for all Win32 OS's, which start at Windose 95, but not Windows 3.

David Nuttall
Nuttall Computer Consulting

An Aquarius born during the Age of Aquarius

AutoIt allows me to re-invent the wheel so much faster.

I'm off to write a wizard, a wonderful wizard of odd...

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