Future of GtkAda Windows XP support

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Future of GtkAda Windows XP support

Dmitry A. Kazakov
Recently I found out that MSYS2 stopped supporting Windows XP. And
indeed running gtk3-demo.exe from the latest MSYS2 fails under Windows
XP (dwmapi.dll not found and a bunch of following errors).

So my question is, will GtkAda follow?

It would be a great loss. End customers keep on running automation
systems under Windows XP and don't want to go to Windows 7 and even less
to Windows 10.

--
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Dmitry A. Kazakov
http://www.dmitry-kazakov.de
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Re: Future of GtkAda Windows XP support

Emmanuel Briot
> It would be a great loss. End customers keep on running automation systems under Windows XP and don't want to go to Windows 7 and even less to Windows 10.


Presumably you mean “users” here. I don’t think we have customers on XP.

Microsoft itself no longer supports XP.

As a matter of fact, GNAT itself is no longer supported on XP anyway, so GtkAda isn’t either. People can of course keep
using existing versions of GtkAda that were compatible with XP, so there is no risk for existing projects (which in general
do not need to evolve to newer versions of the tools), and new projects should not be developed for XP which is no longer
supported by Microsoft either.

Emmanuel
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Re: Future of GtkAda Windows XP support

Dmitry A. Kazakov

On 23/01/2017 09:51, Emmanuel Briot wrote:
>> It would be a great loss. End customers keep on running automation
>> systems under Windows XP and don't want to go to Windows 7 and even less
>> to Windows 10.
>
> Presumably you mean “users” here. I don’t think we have customers on XP.

"Users" are we, who write HMI GUI to be installed on a Windows XP
machine. Our customers are very reluctant to switch from Windows XP. In
many cases they simply cannot do that due to internal regulations
regarding the OS they are allowed to deploy.

> Microsoft itself no longer supports XP.

Yes, but in a different sense. You still can build for Windows XP
target. MS really killed only NT, as you cannot build for that target
anymore, at least not with the standard Windows header files.

> As a matter of fact, GNAT itself is no longer supported on XP
> anyway,

Say, somebody buys GNAT Pro for Windows. Does it mean that AdaCore will
not support builds targeting Windows XP SP3?

> so GtkAda isn’t either. People can of course keep
> using existing versions of GtkAda that were compatible with XP, so
> there is no risk for existing projects (which in general
> do not need to evolve to newer versions of the tools), and new
> projects should not be developed for XP which is no longer
> supported by Microsoft either.

It is the old projects which are in peril due to the change. The latest
GPL GtkAda runs well on Windows XP with the GTK binaries it comes with.
It does run not with MSYS2 GTK binaries due to problems introduced in
GTK lately. (E.g. there is no reason why dwmapi.dll must be linked to or
at all, especially because it existed only on Windows Vista.) [*]

My question is if these issues will appear in the coming GtkAda binary
distributions or AdaCore plans to fix [some of] that.

------------
* There would be no reason to change GTK binaries if GTK didn't have so
many bugs.

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Dmitry A. Kazakov
http://www.dmitry-kazakov.de
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Re: Future of GtkAda Windows XP support

Emmanuel Briot
>> Microsoft itself no longer supports XP.
>
> Yes, but in a different sense. You still can build for Windows XP target. MS really killed only NT, as you cannot build for that target anymore, at least not with the standard Windows header files.

No, that’s the same sense exactly. You can still build with the same version of GtkAda you were using
for Windows NT, things do not get “broken” magically.
Newer versions of GtkAda are untested on XP

> Say, somebody buys GNAT Pro for Windows. Does it mean that AdaCore will not support builds targeting Windows XP SP3?

I think that’s the case, although you should certainly discuss with [hidden email] for such requirements. AdaCore
is very flexible and customer-oriented when it comes to the list of supported platforms.

> It is the old projects which are in peril due to the change. The latest GPL GtkAda runs well on Windows XP with the GTK binaries it comes with. It does run not with MSYS2 GTK

You are not consistent. If it is an old project, then by all means stay with the old GtkAda as well.

> My question is if these issues will appear in the coming GtkAda binary distributions or AdaCore plans to fix [some of] that.

No, we do not test on XP.

Emmanuel
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Re: Future of GtkAda Windows XP support

Dmitry A. Kazakov
In reply to this post by Dmitry A. Kazakov
On 23/01/2017 11:00, Gautier de Montmollin wrote:

> If your target is only Windows, you could consider using the GWindows framework (*).

It is almost newer only Windows and frequently advanced widgets are
needed. Another important point is re-use. Some modules are used across
several projects even if some them are single-platform.

In rare cases I did several Ada GUI projects in pure Win32 API. GNAT has
mature Win32Ada bindings, with additions for missing API's, it is fine
to me.

Windows GDI is not that bad or difficult. Yes, it deploys very clumsy
data structures uncomfortable to use in either C or Ada, but otherwise
it is easier in some aspects than GTK, especially regarding tasking
issues and *if* GUI layout is based on fixed forms.

I don't fully understand motivations for GWindows or Claw, because the
only reason to me why I am using GTK is for platform independence. I am
not a fan of GTK design.

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Dmitry A. Kazakov
http://www.dmitry-kazakov.de
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