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Master_Scythe

Noticed "Not Supported" Actually means "We'll break it"?

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So as the 'old tech' guy around here (though not even I'm this old :P),

I received a notification today warning Facebook users that after the 30th, Messenger on BBOS7 will "No Longer Be Supported".

 

Is it just me? or as time goes on, are more and more "Not supported" messages actually a deliberate breaking of the software.

 

It's almost unheard of on PC's, my Skype is out of date, so is Pidgin, so is OpenOffice, but they all work.

Even STEAM is our of date, but it still lets me play just fine.

 

At my office, we ended support for Windows XP. It still works, but if they call for help, we say sorry XP, we wont help.

 

It seems more and more often, and that the mobile platform is the most to blame, that when support is dropped, it actually is an effort to break things?

I don't even use facebook; however If I want to use the old messenger, on a BBOS7 device, sure I may miss features, but its just XMPP, whats the issue?

 

I'm just seeing a worrying trend of software based forced obsolescence.

IMO people are already happy to jump on the latest tech, and move with the times, without having companies purposefully break their stuff.

 

An iPhone using friend recently showed me, he can dismiss iOS updates, but he can't disable them forever, and the latest one "is slow".

Not ok....

 

 

So, thoughts?

Are they Ending support?

Or are they disabling the product?

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It's IT code for "We couldn't be bothered updating the damn app for this ancient OS anymore because the devs have better things to do"

Edited by Jeruselem
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Constant trivial updates is also annoying, at any given time there might be 30+ for my phone.

 

I got shafted on my Win 8.1 tablet with this bollocks as well. All I did was start the media player Metro app and it wanted to update and refused to work unless I let it update. Attrocious. Stiff shit if you happened to take the thing camping with no 'net reception and just wanted to watch a couple of movies at night.

 

The whole IT industry is becoming a joke. If a normal consumer appliance carried on this way, the company responsible would be living in court. But for whatever reason with anything that runs software, we're expected to put up with it.

 

It's all well and good to end support for something and say that you won't debug problems or provide any more patches/updates. But to take the sabotage approach, just downright low.

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It's IT code for "We couldn't be bothered updating the damn app for this ancient OS anymore because the devs have better things to do"

 

That's my point, I don't think it is!

XMPP was disabled in 2015 or some such, so its not a protocol ending use, or some such.

 

I don't want updates, thats fine, I'll use the old version thank you.

$10 says the old version wont work, PURELY due to a forced version number.

 

As I said, I dont use BBOS7, nor facebook, so it doesnt affect me, it was just the article that made me think about it.

Constant trivial updates is also annoying, at any given time there might be 30+ for my phone.

 

I got shafted on my Win 8.1 tablet with this bollocks as well. All I did was start the media player Metro app and it wanted to update and refused to work unless I let it update. Attrocious. Stiff shit if you happened to take the thing camping with no 'net reception and just wanted to watch a couple of movies at night.

 

The whole IT industry is becoming a joke. If a normal consumer appliance carried on this way, the company responsible would be living in court. But for whatever reason with anything that runs software, we're expected to put up with it.

 

It's all well and good to end support for something and say that you won't debug problems or provide any more patches/updates. But to take the sabotage approach, just downright low.

 

Fucking.

Exactly.

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I'm a software dev, I pretty much trickle update all the database apps here at work.

I rarely have one huge update with lots of changes.

 

Also if a feature isn't used in the database, I don't bother updating it either unless someone complains that is.

Sometimes you get code which works fine in one version of Access but is at best problematic in a later version.

Edited by Jeruselem

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Software is a complex beast. There are solutions to it, but they generally don't sell to the market.

People expect regular updates, and periodically adding useless shite to your product is seen as a sign of a lively and innovative product.

 

Stability, reliability, robustness - forget it, the market for that is too small to bother supporting them - And commercially, those are the people that buy your product once and don't give you money for every new version.

The number of people who will pay the premium for ongoing true support for old software is small.

 

Security is the big driver for this. badly designed software maintained past it's life means lots of bandaids, and occasionally a major architecture change - either of those can mean that sooner or later they reject connections from un-patched/older versions that the are weak links in that bad security architecture (and the bad architecture usually comes from competitively rushing new features to market)

 

Windows 10 pisses me off though. You have to pay more to have control over updates, in order to get less updates (home vs pro vs enterprise) yes, there are other features added that may justify the price, but control of updates should not be restricted in that way.

 

My real hate is platform independent platforms. It's the biggest con in software development, that doesn't make life easy for anyone. Instead of developers supporting a couple of windows versions, mac and linux, that each changes every year or two they now just support one platform that changes every week or month. Each user is then required to personally manage upgrading multiple browsers, .net frameworks, java silverlight, adobe air, flash etc. These then split the security architecture problems even more, and add to the problem.

 

but the market wants that next useless feature this week, and next week they want a UI tweak. Software has embraced capitalist consumerism, and the trend cycles are faster than almost any industry - they make the fashion industry look like plodding dinosaurs these days. The world is doomed.

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eh, well, Google deprecated the old Youtube APIs, and broke a lot of old, un-updateable embedded devices, TVs, Set-Top-Boxes, even old Android and iOS devices.

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eh, well, Google deprecated the old Youtube APIs, and broke a lot of old, un-updateable embedded devices, TVs, Set-Top-Boxes, even old Android and iOS devices.

 

And when a full API change, or decommission occurs, thats more acceptable.

 

I'm talking the trend of V7.1 supported, 7.0 not. With no protcol changes, as are in this example, a chat client.

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As a dev, it happens a lot but when software get updated and they kill off old antiquated functions between versions so I have replace with new code which works across versions.

It's not that bad as the Windows API pretty much has something to compensate if I need it.

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As a dev, it happens a lot but when software get updated and they kill off old antiquated functions between versions so I have replace with new code which works across versions.

It's not that bad as the Windows API pretty much has something to compensate if I need it.

 

I get it, and I'm not arguing that, it makes sense. And it will break features, as you're implying!

But adding a new feature, or modifying a part of the app, or, well anything less than rewriting the core API, shouldn't break the core of the application. But "Magically" it does.

 

Sticking to the "chat client" topic, if you're still using the same messaging API, it should work.

Emoji\stickers\voice\files WHATEVER might not work, or might spam random text on the 'out of date client' as it tries to binary convert a voice file or some shit, but there is NO reason why I shouldn't be able to receive plain text, as I did before.

 

Good examples are usenet clients, and IRC clients.

I can load a "file" in an old usenet client, and I get.... code.....

I can do it in a modern one, and I get a filename to download.

But they both still work, as a usenet client!

 

As I said, No Support should mean, no bug reports, no security updates, no complaining that a file came through as spam text, or whatever.

UNLESS, (like youtube) the require the ENTIRE API, there is NO REASON the old stuff should lose CORE functionality.

 

Its just bullshit.

Edited by Master_Scythe

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UNLESS, (like youtube) the require the ENTIRE API, there is NO REASON the old stuff should lose CORE functionality.

It doesn't need to be the entire API.

 

First example that springs to mind: If something in your login process changes, say a security hole is discovered, you can't realistically continue supporting the pre-patch login process "just because" M_S wants to run an old version of the client.

 

The "planned obsolescence" angle doesn't fly for app developers, it's in their interests to keep as many users active as possible.

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UNLESS, (like youtube) the require the ENTIRE API, there is NO REASON the old stuff should lose CORE functionality.

It doesn't need to be the entire API.

 

First example that springs to mind: If something in your login process changes, say a security hole is discovered, you can't realistically continue supporting the pre-patch login process "just because" M_S wants to run an old version of the client.

 

The "planned obsolescence" angle doesn't fly for app developers, it's in their interests to keep as many users active as possible.

 

 

well sure, there will always be exceptions, but you see where I'm coming from.

 

Think MSN messenger as a good example.

If you try and log in with anything older than 4.2 it fails; there was a MASSIVE security hole.

So long as you're using 4.2 or above (and you dont have china IPs blocked, as they have the only active server anymore....) it logs in fine.

But they went all the way to 6.8.

 

Its just basically unheard of on mobile platforms though. "Update, or dont use it" is a bullshit policy.

Edited by Master_Scythe

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My Kinsky media uPnP control point software is giving me annoying balloon-help and popup reply messages.

 

Not just one when you start it, they queue up and just keep coming until you clear them. So annoying. And I bet when I do update it that there'll be no noteworthy additions to have made it worthwhile.

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if we're bitching :

 

i still run a canon canoscan lide 35 that they offered to give me a discount for upgrade to a new scanner when win 7 came in, as it was "no longer supported"

 

until i found an online site explaining how to quite simply trick the o.s. into believing it was a lide 60 - and it has run faultlessly since, although it occasionally gets broken if they try and slip in an online update under windoze, easily "fixed" by a manual driver reinstall

 

 

it did allow me to get a cheap second lide 35 scanner for $5 through ocau when another poor schmuck took their advice - and although i pointed out it was unnecessary, he had already spent $ and was happy for me to score a bargain

 

what a bunch of mercenary twats to pretend the hardware can't operate... i like their equipment (the canon s100 camera is a great small format camera for macro shots for blogging), but their business plan sucks

 

 

and don't get me started on fucking garmin - my nuvi phone came with lifetime map upgrades, which per garmin was the supported life of the phone apparently, and despite getting a few more years out of the upgrades utilising yet another work-around, they ceased to allow that route and declined to answer my rather pointed mail about why they had broken their contract for "lifetime upgrades" by what was purely bastardry on their part

 

i will never touch another garmin product, and will routinely bad mouth their shitty practice

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Printer makers are a real lazy lot with drivers. They don't produce updated drivers for older printers, sometimes you can hack another printer driver to work with older printers.

Edited by Jeruselem

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It's bullshit really. Getting then digitally signed by MS costs a few hundred bucks, no excuse multinationals like Canon.

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We had a fujixerox multifunction printer at work but the drivers were unsigned so later fussy versions if windows refused to use those drivers. Glad to say later printers used signed drivers.

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Yeah, when they say Lifetime support, or Lifetime warranty, or Lifetime guarantee, they mean the lifetime of the device, which is often determined by them. (That's where end-of-life comes from.)

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if we're bitching :

 

canoscan lide 35

 

and don't get me started on fucking garmin

 

 

2 companies I also have very low respect for.

 

Canon make good cameras. There DSLRs are very good (but I prefer Nikon) I have also been burnt by the canon driver debarcle with scanners. Perfectly good scanners gone to the dump because their driver support is crap. We have canon printers/photocopiers are work. - the only device that I have seen that fails to print a PDF that IT created in scanning mode. Shite postscript support - and their recommendation is always use the canon proprietary UFR driver - which also fails to work with many files. I'm a convert to Brother printers and scanners these days. Good results at home and through work (we even got them to mod their firmware to port networking features from another model).

 

Garmin - decent hardware, dismally crappy software on the PC and the device (and they use dodgy maps). Someone needs to get their engineers/managers to put the lawyers in their place. 2 caution messages every time they power up - and sometimes in the middle of reversing, the legal messages pop up and disable the reversing camera display! 2 years, still not fixed in the software updates.

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I'm talking the trend of V7.1 supported, 7.0 not. With no protcol changes, as are in this example, a chat client.

I expect v7.1 will not break v7.0 . I expect that v8.0 can break v7.0. Major version numbers are for exactly that reason, breaking changes. So typically, if you upgrade from one version to another you can accept that things may break. People should read the change log before upgrading. Same as v1.0 of an API can completely fuck apps coded against v0.9.

 

This isn't really in direct response to your OP, just version numbering in general, and stuff like Windows is a bit different, where Microsoft would go bankrupt if an upgrade from windows 8.1 to window 10 meant you had to reinstall all your data and your software working on 8.1 doesn't work on 10. MS are a definite exception though, with their diligence in maintaing backwards compatibility.

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I'm talking the trend of V7.1 supported, 7.0 not. With no protcol changes, as are in this example, a chat client.

I expect v7.1 will not break v7.0 . I expect that v8.0 can break v7.0. Major version numbers are for exactly that reason, breaking changes. So typically, if you upgrade from one version to another you can accept that things may break. People should read the change log before upgrading. Same as v1.0 of an API can completely fuck apps coded against v0.9.

 

This isn't really in direct response to your OP, just version numbering in general, and stuff like Windows is a bit different, where Microsoft would go bankrupt if an upgrade from windows 8.1 to window 10 meant you had to reinstall all your data and your software working on 8.1 doesn't work on 10. MS are a definite exception though, with their diligence in maintaing backwards compatibility.

 

 

Considering you can still run like VB6 apps on Windows 10 x64 ... yes!

That's with a bit of finicking with some OCX and DLL but it works.

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I'm talking the trend of V7.1 supported, 7.0 not. With no protcol changes, as are in this example, a chat client.

I expect v7.1 will not break v7.0 . I expect that v8.0 can break v7.0. Major version numbers are for exactly that reason, breaking changes. So typically, if you upgrade from one version to another you can accept that things may break. People should read the change log before upgrading. Same as v1.0 of an API can completely fuck apps coded against v0.9.

 

This isn't really in direct response to your OP, just version numbering in general, and stuff like Windows is a bit different, where Microsoft would go bankrupt if an upgrade from windows 8.1 to window 10 meant you had to reinstall all your data and your software working on 8.1 doesn't work on 10. MS are a definite exception though, with their diligence in maintaing backwards compatibility.

 

 

Considering you can still run like VB6 apps on Windows 10 x64 ... yes!

That's with a bit of finicking with some OCX and DLL but it works.

 

 

Oh for sure, and I'll even give a weak free pass to companies who offer old versions.

 

Android, iOS and Metro apps, all don't allow that though.

Very few companies host their APK's, and even fewer allow old versions to even connect.

 

I'll admit my initial post is certainly more mobile focused; but still.

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We have an in-house VB6 app which is still in VB6 because no one here codes in VB6 anymore, but it's still working even on Windows 10 x64 1607. It was last updated in like 2011 to make it work with Vista.

Edited by Jeruselem

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We have similar apps at work.

But they are not performing authentication over public networks and or interfacing with servers that interface to multiple versions of clients.

 

In isolation, old software can run for decades. With interfacing the costs go up, Care about security, and you can add another zero.

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