• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

How did software development become so hard (Windows)???

b7676

Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2021
Messages
30
Likes
16
On one board intel networking chips are strongly recommended to be avoided, and their wireless implementations are particularly hated. Especially when such better vendors are available.
 

storing

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 27, 2021
Messages
215
Likes
204
If you want a computer where you basically have to reinstall the OS every 2-3 years to correct inevitable config drift due to its use of a centralized, uncorrectable binary-format config registry/state store, get Windows.

I always wonder how this happens exactly (apart from obvious bogus downloads containing malware), any insight? Anyway I have seen way more machines which do not have this problem and run ok after 10 years.
 

Berwhale

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
2,496
Likes
2,982
Location
UK
I always wonder how this happens exactly (apart from obvious bogus downloads containing malware), any insight? Anyway I have seen way more machines which do not have this problem and run ok after 10 years.

One theory is that programs don't uninstall fully and leave registry entries, DLLs and other dependencies lying around and this slows the system down. However, I don't really buy this, i've been running this PC for over 4 years with beta versions of Windows 10 & 11 and hundreds of installs, upgrades and uninstalls over this period.
 

Berwhale

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
2,496
Likes
2,982
Location
UK
I remember those well--took up a whole shelf on my bookcase in my cubicle. But even they only taught you how to program against the Mac Toolbox, not directly at the OS level. In 1999 I actually was told by a project manager in Adobe during a hiring interview that it was impossible to bypass the Toolbox, and that I did not know what I was talking about when I said that I routinely did so in order to support old, slow, Macs with software used by high schools. After about 5 minutes of trying to convince him otherwise after I picked my jaw up off the floor, I basically called him an idiot, then went down the hall to his boss and told him the guy was an idiot and that he was lucky I didn't punch him out for calling me a liar. Needless to say, I did not get nor did I want the job. 2 months later I was offered a senior developer role through a contracting agency for Adobe that would have put me at the same level he was, at almost double the salary of the position I'd interviewed for. I still turned it down, although I did consider how much fun it would be to rub it in. No wonder their software is so damn bloated.

I started out programming on the PC with this :)...

1630954375206.png
 

q3cpma

Major Contributor
Joined
May 22, 2019
Messages
3,063
Likes
4,292
Location
France
[laugh in UNIX]

More seriously, only a start-from-scratch solution with a proper legacy emulation layer could save MS but they canned it. It was called Singularity/Midori and suffered the same fate as other vastly superior systems like Plan 9/Inferno or various Lisp OSes (which were a bit too slow, though). See Systems Software Research is Irrelevant, a very short paper/rant by one of the developers of Plan 9 explaining why we're stuck in that quagmire.

The very slooooow adoption of formal proof/formally proved software like SeL4, Coq, Météor (automatic subway lines in Paris) or F* is the only noteworthy development in industrial (mostly defense) software, to be honest. Though some sectors like railways have used it for some time already.
 
Last edited:

Old Listener

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2016
Messages
445
Likes
471
Location
SF Bay Area, California
I have been going through hell and back with my everyday laptop in the last few weeks.

First, it started to cook all the time with CPU maxed out. I would bring out task manager and the process going crazy was "Microsoft Content." If you google everyone says it is related to Microsoft downloading an update or something. Yet checking Windows update showed nothing.

Then the search indexer started to go at it at the same time. Now I had two cores running like mad, laptop heating up, and so slow it was hard to get anything done.

...
Thought to vent a bit here and dispel any notion that I have any love for much of the software from my ex employer. :)

I earned a living writing s/w for the Windows platform for many years. After I retired (19 years ago!), I still found Windows to be the right choice for my computer needs and those of my wife. However, after I moved from Win 7 to Win 10, I began to see Mcrosoft's actions to be a threat to me as a user.

Every feature update may bring new problems and even the smaller updates often cause problems.

My speculation is that the A and B talents at Microsoft are working on server side projects and Windows development is in the hands of less talented people. Especially managers and decision makers.

I decided that the prudent course for me was to move to the Mac platform. I have been using an M1 based Mac mini for about 6 months. My computing life is wonderfully uneventful now. I'm in the process of moving my wife to an M1 Mac mini now.

I didn't expect any spectacular differences and I haven't seen any but I felt that the move to Macs was a necessary change for me.
 

Tks

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
3,108
Likes
5,107
Long Term Service Channel.

It's basically the desktop version of the server releases. No windows store, no bundled apps or advertising, and just security updates.

MS makes it a PITA for individual to actually buy a copy though.

This is why this shithole company drives me up the wall. If it weren't for a few obscure peices of software (and some games), I'd have been Linux exclusive.

You literally can't even pay them to buy things they offer to some segments of the market.
 

dadregga

Active Member
Joined
May 27, 2021
Messages
117
Likes
258
One theory is that programs don't uninstall fully and leave registry entries, DLLs and other dependencies lying around and this slows the system down. However, I don't really buy this, i've been running this PC for over 4 years with beta versions of Windows 10 & 11 and hundreds of installs, upgrades and uninstalls over this period.

It's not that it slows the system down - it's that a non-transactional global state store for the whole operating system that you can't revert back to a safe baseline (aka Windows Registry) is a design flaw that promotes entropy, increases the odds of the system getting into an uncorrectable state, and is by nature something you can't fix without wiping the OS and starting over again.

Windows Registry was a bad design decision, and honestly kidding aside is the single largest contributor to system entropy in Windows.

It's the one thing you cannot fix without wiping the whole shebang and reinstalling (hell you can even fix the bootloader, the BCD table, etc without reinstalling!), which makes it the weak point in terms of system stability.
If you don't believe me, you can take it from a Windows sysadmin:p
 
Last edited:

andyc56

Active Member
Joined
May 14, 2016
Messages
101
Likes
144
Windows 10 runs so much smoother if you use the LTSC versions.

They are de-bloated from the start.

Be careful if you're using MS Visual Studio with LTSC though. They say Visual Studio is not supported in LTSC. I have tried Visual Studio under LTSC with C++ development and it seemed to work fine, but haven't done any development under C# with that combination. I ended up switching to Pro and using the Windows 10 Debloater PowerShell script to get rid of a lot of garbage (yes I know that's a PITA).
 
Last edited:

Chromatischism

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
3,643
Likes
2,697
I have a lot of stuff on this PC. More than I should. But, I'm still running strong at the 5-year mark from the original Windows 10 install. And that includes the whole MS Office suite, Adobe suite, photo editing, video editing, dozens of others.

I do see the CPU use from Microsoft update-related services from time to time but most of the time I'm at idle and crashes are rare.

Now I don't know the reason, but I have experienced more of this problem on laptop computers than desktops. One possible reason is that the laptop is asleep more often so it has more catching up to do? I don't know.
 

Chromatischism

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
Messages
3,643
Likes
2,697
I started out programming on the PC with this :)...

View attachment 151748
I started by playing around with the QBasic game Gorillas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorillas_(video_game)

I don't think I learned that much, but it was fun.

About 22 years later I learned database design, Visual Basic, and MS Access development by reverse engineering Microsoft's Northwind Traders Access database. That was fun, and I then realized just how much you can do with it. Even after all this time I think it's neglected and undervalued.
 

JeffS7444

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
1,781
Likes
2,601
Knock on wood, but W10 + Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop has been alright so far on my PCs, but I try not to muck around customizing registry keys, and I periodically remove legacy drivers and support software such as Adobe Air, now that newer MiniDSP plugins no longer use it.

But I think it's a universal problem that software documentation tends to lag way behind development.
 

cyruz

Active Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2020
Messages
100
Likes
81
Location
Italy
I agree with whoever said that actually Windows 10 has made many progresses when it comes to stability. I remember that before W7 it has always been a show of random BSOD with any hardware.

I owned and own many computers (desktop, laptop, tablet), mostly OEM machines, one self built. Never had a blue screen with W10, only one with the self built machine because of a motherboard bios issue.

W10 falls short with all of its privacy issues. Because of the way we are using internet nowadays, with all the devices phoning home to synchroniza data, Windows 10 is just following the trend and all of its bloat is enabled by default so that everything can be made to just work.

The problem for demanding and concerned users is that there is no easy way to remove or deactivate this stuff. So we have to rely on debloaters, make custom iso, follow guides and whatever else comes to mind.

This is the price we have to pay for easy to use systems. MacOS looks less intrusive, but I think it's just a feeling that comes from the user experience that is much snappier compared to Windows. At the end I'm not sure it won't phone home even more than W10 (this should be checked).

Sometimes I feel the need to come back to my VOID Linux, installed and configured from scratch, with a minimal keyboard driven tiling manager. But then this feeling fades away when I realize that I'm not becoming younger and I want to actually use a system, not configure it forever.
 

Tks

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
3,108
Likes
5,107
Long Term Service Channel.

It's basically the desktop version of the server releases. No windows store, no bundled apps or advertising, and just security updates.

MS makes it a PITA for individual to actually buy a copy though.

Every year I actually forget how many of these update channels they have, and everytime I see the number or the version of the update, I am reminded "of course I can't recall, because they can't even make the udpate names and numbers make sense, let alone all the different kinds of channels for updates".

Remind me again, there's the pre pre beta folks, then the beta, then some fast track nonsense, then some ring, then this long term thing. Bah..
 

Berwhale

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
2,496
Likes
2,982
Location
UK
Every year I actually forget how many of these update channels they have, and everytime I see the number or the version of the update, I am reminded "of course I can't recall, because they can't even make the udpate names and numbers make sense, let alone all the different kinds of channels for updates".

Remind me again, there's the pre pre beta folks, then the beta, then some fast track nonsense, then some ring, then this long term thing. Bah..

This is getting simplified for Windows 11. There will only be one release per year, in the Fall, and support for each version will be extended to 36 months (for Enterprise, at least).

Also, Microsoft have kept the major version number of Windows 11 the same as Windows 10. This is for application compatibility. A lot of 3rd party applications check the major version and won't work if it's changed.
 

bravomail

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Oct 19, 2018
Messages
810
Likes
446
I personally have been using Windows with little to no trouble for some reason. Yeah some times something like that happens.

I'm in the same boat. But I do rigorous optimization routine every time I install Windows, since Windows XP times - applying registry tweaks, turning off bad services, turning off file sharing, putting temp files on RAMDisk etc etc. There are many free utilities which will do it for you automatically. And any non-OS/Microsoft service or startup process? I turn it off immediately, no Google updaters, no Adobe, no Office Click-Run, no JavaUpdates - nothing!
 

001

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
242
Likes
470
It's not that it slows the system down - it's that a non-transactional global state store for the whole operating system that you can't revert back to a safe baseline (aka Windows Registry) is a design flaw that promotes entropy, increases the odds of the system getting into an uncorrectable state, and is by nature something you can't fix without wiping the OS and starting over again.

Windows Registry was a bad design decision, and honestly kidding aside is the single largest contributor to system entropy in Windows.

It's the one thing you cannot fix without wiping the whole shebang and reinstalling (hell you can even fix the bootloader, the BCD table, etc without reinstalling!), which makes it the weak point in terms of system stability.
If you don't believe me, you can take it from a Windows sysadmin:p
Indeed, wipe and re-image is the quickest solution to bring user happiness back on track *provided* [and I'm talking within an enterprise setup] user and data storage are separated entities. Still annoys me that I can re-image an equivalent sized Linux in ~3 minutes, sometimes less than 2 minutes, but it always takes much longer to do the same with a Windows box. As they say on the 'Miranda' TV comedy series "Such fun, such fun"
 

PierreV

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
1,353
Likes
4,335
On my main machine, I don't remember doing an intentional fresh install since Windows XP. I always upgrade in place (which means that MS has probably done a fresh install in the background). I used to upgrade components on a yearly basis which means there never was a traumatic hole in driver support. Upgrades are less frequent these days, but for my latest major switch (going from Intel to AMD platform 2-3 years ago) I just image everything, switch or upgrade drives, and fix what is needed as I go. Obviously in that case, I still have the old mobo and processor and am ready to go on with the old machine should anything break badly. The oldest fully active program I have on my system is a never reinstalled 1998 version of Lotus Approach :) Up until last year, I still used it on a regular basis because I had developed a fairly complex database application in it pre 2000 and never had the courage to port it. I have to reduce the screen resolution when running though as it crashes above "HD". I have had hardware failures, such as hard drives and SSDs dying on me but I am always ready to recover from backups. I am definitely a happy Windows camper.
My servers have always been Unix though, first BSD, then Linux. Very happy there as well. Uptimes are "forever" unless there was a long power cut or a hardware failure or intentional upgrades. My Apple stuff has been a mixed bag: generally very nice and stable until they have a hardware problem, usually on the motherboard, voltage regulators and similar stuff, at which point I discovered my image backups couldn't be restored on newer machines because the hardware was just unsupported.

Not sure how OS reliability, resilience, or ease of use equate to "software development became hard" though. I'd say that software development has become tremendously easy today compared to what it was 20-30 years or so ago but that it suffers from incredible bloat.

I once interviewed (I'd say twenty years ago or so) a guy for a developer job at my company and asked him to implement/outline a small on-the-fly compression routine for network traffic. The kid started by defining a byte class and using byte objects. While it actually worked, performance sucked, memory footprint sucked (both by 2 to 3 orders of magnitude) and he did not get the job. What I did not realize at the time was how ahead of his time the guy was ;)
 
Top Bottom