Re: Vista - stillborn?



Donald L McDaniel wrote:
On Wed, 1 Mar 2006 22:50:17 -0800, TheLetterK wrote
(in article <z_lNf.42294$X7.14836@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>):


Donald L McDaniel wrote:

On Wed, 1 Mar 2006 00:49:49 -0800, C Lund wrote
(in article <clund-F3A071.09494901032006@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>):



In article <0001HW.C029BF1A000A27D8F0488550@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
Donald L McDaniel <orthocross2006@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:


On Tue, 28 Feb 2006 01:22:46 -0800, C Lund wrote
(in article <clund-B0FD01.10224628022006@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>):


In article <jtmckee-B23B79.16212027022006@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
Josh McKee <jtmckee@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:


If your opinion of Windows is based on Windows 98, an eight year old OS that has been surpassed by two subsequent versions, then I have to say that your knowledge of Windows is sorely lacking. Would you accept a claim that Macintosh computers crash and have poor multitasking if said opinion was based on MacOS 8?

MacOS 8 is a completely different OS than OS X. Even the GUI is different. But when I ask wintrolls in here what makes W2K or XP different from win98, I get some mumbling about "under the hood" and that's it - which sounds to me the UI is pretty much the same as in win98 (although I gather XP looks more like Aqua than OS 9). And if the UI of W2K and XP are more or less the same as in win98, then they're no good. Furthermore, everything I've ever read about Windows since then tells me that Windows is still a buggy, malware-ridden, unstable POS, just like it was with win98.

Just so you will know: W2k and XP both are nothing like Windows 98, except in the GUI.

I am aware of the changes "beneath the hood", but this doesn't necessarily change the user experience if everything else is just a flashier version of the same old win95.



As far as the rest is concerned:

1) Windows 98 (and previous) use a MSDOS code-base. In addition, DOS must be started before Windows 98 can be started. Additionally, Windows 98 (and DOS) are completely 16 bit.

2) Windows 2000 and above do NOT use MSDOS at all. They have been written from the ground up to not use any MSDOS code.

Ok. That was new to me. I thought the NT/XP Windowses were the OSes that were without DOS.


Just so you will know in the future:
Windows 2000 IS a version of Windows NT. It uses exactly the same code base (that is, a non-DOS code base), and additionally uses a completely different file system ( "HPFS/NTFS" file systems, rather than the FAT system). XP is also in this family of Operating Systems.

In fact, the internal name of Windows XP is "Windows NT 5.1", not "Windows 2000" (whose internal name was "Windows NT 5.0"). So Windows 2000 is actually NT 5.0 with the Windows 9x GUI and a revised NTFS file system (earliest versions of NT used HPFS rather than NTFS), while XP is Windows 2000 with an entirely new GUI, neither MSDOS nor Windows 9x, and a revised NTFS file system.



With that said you have admitted to being ignorant about Windows and your opinions of Windows XP (the version that has been current for almost *five* years) are worthless.

Too bad nobody has managed to tell me what makes the current incarnations of Windows any better than win98 - other than the flashier GUI.

I hope you have been enlightened with this post.

A little.




Vista is not be based on DOS, Windows 9x, Windows NT, or Windows XP.

Actually, it's the latest incarnation of Windows NT.


The OS has been completely built from the ground up, including a completely new Presentation system (the GUI and Graphics subsystem, Aero)

You mean Avalon (or Windows Presentation Foundation, as it's called now). Aero is strictly the UI repainting effort.


If I had put the word "Aero" before the words "and Graphics subsystem", would you agree with me? I don't always make parallelisms EXACTLY, as I'm sure many others don't. The fact is, the "presentation system" includes BOTH the Windows manager and the Graphics subsystem. In fact, the Graphics subsystem is kind of USELESS without the Window manager, wouldn't you agree?

Not at all. I've used a GUI with no window manager before.


The two subsystems work together. The purpose of the Graphics subsystem is so that the GUI will work.

Aero is layered on top of WPF, as are all Vista applications. But that doesn't make the two synonymous.



-- Vista will not use DirectX, for example.

Only because Microsoft has renamed DirectX.

Microsoft has NOT "renamed DirectX", as you claim. Their engineers built an entirely NEW Graphics subsystem from the ground up.

An 'entirely new' graphics subsystem that makes the old calls and is completely backwards compatible with the old one, yet offers little in the way of new features (basically, they just modified DirectX for use as a graphics foundation)? I know Microsoft often re-invents the wheel, but don't you think that's a little extreme? I posit to you that Microsoft actually used Direct3D9.L as the 'graphics subsystem' for WGF, as they claim.

They may have used SOME of the same modules

*All* of the same 'modules', actually.

(after all, display of an object on the screen of an Intel-based PC is pretty much going to be the same or similar in all OSes),

That's certainly not true. There are many ways people can go about displaying graphics.

I do admit. But "some" does NOT mean "all".

And "all new" does not mean "extended some".

To use the word "the same, but renamed", ALL the modules would have to be "the SAME". This is not the case
with Avalon and Aero.

WPF and Aero have nothing to do with this. You're talking about Windows Graphics Foundation--Microsoft extended DirectX a little bit (it really wasn't much), renamed it, and built the rest of the UI around it. WPF is using DirectX (now called Windows Graphics Foundation) like Xgl uses OpenGL.

You *might* be talking about WGF 2.0, which is little more than the next version of DirectX given a new name.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Graphics_Foundation

It's certainly not an 'entirely new graphics foundation'. It's yet another evolutionary advancement of DirectX.



Avalon is built atop the same APIs that were previously called DirectX.


This is obviously either a complete lie, or a complete misunderstanding, in my opinion. I prefer to believe that it is a misunderstanding.

Yes, your misunderstanding.



It's similar to what OS X and Xgl are doing with OpenGL. Indeed, Vista isn't even going to support OpenGL anymore, instead implementing OpenGL as a wrapper around DirectX (or whatever they're calling it now, Windows Graphics Foundation I think? It's the same thing, just renamed and revamped a bit).


It uses another Graphics subsystem entirely, one written strictly for Vista and other future Microsoft OSes.

It's being backported to Windows XP.


And? How does this make it "the same modules"?

You claimed it was 'strictly for Vista and future Microsoft OS's'. This clearly isn't the case since it's being backported.



That is, it does not use Microsoft Windows 32 bit modules any more, such as the modules used with Windows 9x.


Win32 (the API for Windows 9x/2k/XP) is NOT being used in Vista. PERIOD.

While technically true (those APIs exist only as wrappers around .NET in Vista), many of the applications and services that called on them still exist.



Yes, it does in some instances.


There may be "similar" modules, but NOT the "same" modules.

Unlike you, I actually mean what I write.



Vista also uses a completely new Communications subsystem,

It's just a userspace-level service communication technology. Useful, yes, but not particularly new or amazing.


and sooner rather than later, it will use an entirely new File System, not NTFS (I don't even think it will install on a FAT32 volume ),

WinFS is a layer over top NTFS, that provides a relational database backend for applications to call on.


This is just not true. The mature WinFS has absolutely nothing to do with the NT file system.

Yes, it *is* true. WinFS is a relational database backend built over a traditional NTFS file system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WinFS

Please read up on the subject before arguing over it.

Vista ITSELF is built on a "relational database", while previous versions of Windows are not.

I've been following Vista, and I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. WinFS isn't even going to be included in Vista out of the box.


I do admit that what people are CALLING the PORT of WinFS to XP has similarities with NTFS. This is because XP cannot support Vista's kernel (that is, the relational database aspects of Vista are part of the KERNEL of Vista).

I'm not sure where to start with this...

First of all, the beta test of WinFS on XP is the real deal. It's not a 'port', it's a *beta test* of what's going to be offered for Vista after Vista's release. Same technology, albeit still in beta testing. Secondly, could you point me to some documentation for these 'relational database aspects' that Microsoft is adding to the version of NT used in Vista?

If this were so, Microsoft would have no need to "port" WinFS to XP, just make it "backward compatible".

They didn't have to 'port' anything. WinFS on XP is a beta test of the same thing that'll be offered for Vista later.


Personally, I do believe that the so-called "WinFS" which is "ported" to XP will NOT be the mature "WinFS" which will be released with the server version of Vista.

Why? That is counter to everything Microsoft has said about it, and that would be a really stupid idea for Microsoft to pull that sort of stunt. All it would do is annoy the developers who have been writing all this code for use with WinFS that would no longer work.



and it probably will be released as a Service Pack for both XP and Vista) sometime in 2007, when the Server version of Vista is released.)

Doubt we'll see WinFS on XP.


Yet above, you claim that "WinFS" is being "Back-ported" to XP.

WinFS isn't one of the technologies I was claiming would be backported. Though I should have been more specific--I doubt we'll see a final version of WinFS on XP. That's a major selling point for Microsoft, and they're going to have enough trouble convincing businesses to upgrade as-is.

Make up your mind, please. Either it WILL be "WinFS" which is "back-ported to XP" or it won't be.

I never said WinFS would be backported. You misread what I wrote. I was talking about WPF and other core foundations to allow Vista Lapps to run on XP. WinFS is not a critical part of Vista, but *does* serve as an excellent selling feature. That's why I don't think the final version of WinFS will be available for Windows XP.

I hold that it won't be the same (though it will have similar features, such as Aero and some, though not all, aspects of the relational database).

'Aero' is not a core Windows Vista foundation. It's just a UI cleanup effort built atop some actual core foundations (WPF to be specific).



Some elements of this new file system are already present in Vista, and will be included when the OS is released to the Public sometime this year (probably during the Holiday season).


The filesystem of Vista (WinFS) is NOT yet finished, and will NOT be in the initial public release of Vista.

That's what he said, though technically Vista uses NTFS--WinFS is just a layer over NTFS that provides a relational database backend (and abstraction of the data within, but that's neither here nor there)

This was done so that Microsoft could meet its announced release time for Vista. The REST of the filesystem will be released as a Service Pack later.


It also uses a completely different Hardware configuration method (EFI, rather than a BIOS)

Yes, so does every other major desktop platform now. Indeed, Vista is well behind everyone else here (Linux has supported EFI basically since the release of the Itaniums, and OS X has since the introduction of the Mactels).


In the first place, I have not been comparing Vista with any other OS. I have been simply stating facts. YOU turned it into some kind of contest.

Well it sounded like you were trying to list the innovative features of Vista. EFI support really isn't that innovative.



Time, shmime. Who gives a crap about the timing? Because other OSes used the configuration method before Microsoft somehow makes them "better" than Microsoft? Idiotic logic, to my way of thinking.

Did I say it did? I simply thought you were talking about the amazing technologies Vista is going to include (certainly *sounded* like that's what you were doing). Not really that amazing when you're last to market with it.


Xerox used "windows", "mice", and "keyboards" before Apple did. Does this make them "better than Apple"?

You have made quite a leap there; your conclusion is not drawn from what was actually stated.



In addition, it has an entirely new kernel.

No it doesn't. It's still the same old NT kernel, with some tweaks. More than what changed from Windows 2000 to Windows XP, but it's not an 'entirely new kernel'. Are you thinking of Singularity? If so, we probably won't see that until the version after Vista (and I don't mean the server release either).


Since the relational database aspects of Vista will be KERNEL-BASED,

Not really. Feel free to provide evidence to counter this, however.

I hold that the Vista kernel WILL be completely different than previous versions.

Well, even assuming you were correct in your above assertion, how would the inclusion of a relational database module make it 'completely different'?


In addition, Vista will also NOT be using the GDI kernel. It will be using a different Graphics subsystem, contrary to your claims of "the same codebase re-baptized under a different name".

That's not what I said. I said it was the same NT kernel, with some tweaks. Of course, I'm not sure why you keep insisting that the kernel must be different just because Microsoft layered it's graphics foundation over DirectX... Last time I checked, DirectX was supported by XP, and the graphics foundation was going to be backported to XP.


It is obvious that there will have to be "similar" code in the Vista kernel, to accomplish what is needed by the OS to address various hardware.

Most of it will just be recompiled. IIRC, this sort of thing is actually why Microsoft developed a modular kernel...

But again, "similar" code does not make it "the same" code, as you claim.

No, but using the same code does generally make something the same.



So the difference between Windows Vista and XP is much like the difference between Mac OS 9 and OS X.

It's not even close. It's more like the difference between NT 4.x and NT 5.0 (Windows 2000), though that was a bit more radical.


Considering that XP uses a DIFFERENT version of NTFS (NT 5.1)

Are you talking about NTFS (a file system), or NT (a kernel)? IIRC, Windows XP is using the same version of NTFS that Windows 2000 does (NTFS 5). The kernel version between the two is different, however (Windows XP is, as you mention, using NT 5.1, where Windows 2000 uses 5.0). Still, that hardly makes a difference anywhere near as vast as, oh, say using a *completely different operating system*. Going from NT 5.1 to NT 5.4 is not a 'difference much like Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X'. That would be like going from Windows XP to GNU/Linux.

, while 2k used NT 5.0, and later builds of NT 4.x also used NT 5.0,

I wasn't aware of these and certainly weren't referencing them.

and low-level disk utilities for XP cannot be used with previous versions of NTFS, and low-level disk utilities for Vista cannot be used with any previous version of Windows,

Why not? Vista and Windows XP both use NTFS 5.


I conclude that ALL these OSes were DIFFERENT from each other.

There's another one of your strange leaps from one point to a completely related point. You're even wrong on a number of them.


By the way, NTFS 5.0 was released BEFORE Windows 2000 was released. It was, in fact, released as a Service Pack with NT 4.5.

I didn't use Windows NT 4.x, so I usually don't comment much on it.



In line with Microsoft's past practice of making it's OS backward-compatible with previous OSes, Vista does allow for a limited amount of backward-compatibility with previous versions of their OSes, although I do not think (I could be wrong) that it includes any 16 bit code at all, as Windows 9x and XP did.

No 16-bit code, but it still includes a lot of Windows XP code.


Well, I feel sure that some code in OS X is still the same as some of the code in OS 9.

Not a bit of it. They are two completely separate and distinct operating systems, whereas Windows Vista and Windows XP are very similar indeed, and share a great deal of code.

Some things work much the same in all versions of an OS.

OS X and OS 9 are not descended from the same code base, in any way whatsoever. OS X is not a 'later version of Classic Mac OS'. OS X is descended almost entirely from NeXT step, with some bits of FreeBSD added to the userspace later. There are certainly some classic Mac OS technologies that made their way into OS X (Quicktime, for example), but the code isn't the same.


Considering that Vista will be backward compatible (to a measure) with XP and 98, there is most probably some 32 bit code included for backward-compatibility. However, "some 32 bit code" does NOT make the ENTIRE
OS "the same" as all previous OSes. Vista will probably use mostly 64 bit code for native apps, with 32 bit code for backward-compatibility with 98/2k/XP.

Coding for XP and coding for Vista will be very similar. All of the technologies required to run 'Vista' apps, are being backported to XP and run natively.


Why use ONLY 64 bit code for ALL processes, when sometimes 32 bit code can do the SAME THINGS just as well as some 64 bit code can do, and CHEAPER (bit-wise).

pointers and arrays make up a small percentage of code.

Remember that a 64 bit word is twice as large as a 32 bit word, so it takes more memory (and processor cyles) to use 64 bit code.

This is why pointers and arrays are 'swollen'--but it's sort of irrelevant since most code doesn't suffer from this problem.


Why waste half a 64 bit word using a 64 bit instruction (and the processor cycles this takes), when one can use a 32 bit word for the same process? I'm sure this is why some 64 bit processors and instruction sets also include 32 bit instructions and registers alongside their 64 bit registers.

I'm aware of what occurs when you 'go 64-bit'. No need to elaborate. I'm just saying that it doesn't really matter in real life.



So, yes, Vista is an ENTIRELY NEW OS,

No, it isn't.


Evidently, you think that NO OS is "new" except OS X.

OS X isn't particularly new either. It (or rather, it's previous incarnations) was developed back in 1989, and has experienced some relatively minor evolutionary improvements since then.

Of course, you are an idiot to think this, but so what?

Could you please point me to somewhere where I claimed that OS X the only new product, or indeed, that it was a revolutionary product?

You're an idiot anyway. Evidently, you and I have completely different definitions for the words "new"or "different".

Yes, I usually reserve 'new' for things that didn't exist before. You reserve 'new' for anything that has been slightly changed.



and totally unrelated to Windows XP or any other version of Windows except in the name of the manufacturer.

It's not even close to 'totally unrelated to Windows XP'. It's an evolutionary advancement to Windows NT, not the radical departure you claim.


If you want to be an idiot, so can I: OS X is NOT a "radical departure" from the "Mac OS", just an "evolutionary advancement" to it.

Could you please prove that statement? I've been pretty rational throughout this, and pointed out specific examples of how Vista and Windows XP aren't that far apart. Seeing you try to prove that OS X is a version of Classic Mac OS, however, will be numerous. But if you want to make yourself out to be an idiot, by all means continue.
.