[Bf-committers] Blender on Windows - some thoughts about XP and32bit

Jürgen Herrmann shadowrom at me.com
Thu Dec 5 16:32:39 CET 2013

Hi there,

I too think we should drop XP Support asap. It would make it easier to so a clean transition to VS2012+ without the need of compatibility stuff within blender and its dependencies. Unfortunately I am not able to complete this atm because of lack of time...


----- Ursprüngliche Nachricht -----
Von: "Thomas Dinges" <blender at dingto.org>
Gesendet: ‎05.‎12.‎2013 15:19
An: "bf-blender developers" <bf-committers at blender.org>
Betreff: Re: [Bf-committers] Blender on Windows - some thoughts about XP and32bit

I forgot to mention:
We also only support 4 year old Mac OS versions (10.6 and above) and I 
am pretty sure that a 13 year old Linux is not supported either.  :)

Am 05.12.2013 15:07, schrieb Thomas Dinges:
> Hi everyone,
> I want to share my opinion about some things regarding Blender on Windows.
> Please note: This is just my own opinion and no decision of any kind has
> been made here, so please don't panic. I'd like to get the opinion from
> the other active Blender developers here.
> 1) Windows XP
> ======================
> Windows XP is 13 years old and even Microsoft itself drops support for
> it once and for all in April 2014.
> Sometimes we have bugs that only happen on XP, we have some (little)
> special code in libraries such as OIIO for example to support XP....
> I think it's time to fade out the support for it. If a vendor (in this
> Microsoft) doesn't even support its product any longer, why should a
> third party do it? Also on a side note, XP has a lot of security holes
> by now and they won't be patched. Microsoft itself expresses a clear
> warning to users:
> http://news.techworld.com/security/3476295/microsoft-to-windows-xp-users-your-operating-system-is-a-major-security-risk/
> It should be easy to keep the binaries working, but on a support level
> (Support in bug tracker, system requirements on blender.org) I suggest
> to mark XP as "not officially supported any longer".
> 2) 32 bit
> ======================
> Dropping 32 bit for the Windows platform is nothing that should happen
> soon, I guess some people still use Windows Vista and 7 with 32bit OS.
> Nevertheless, if we take a look at our minimal system requirements:
> http://www.blender.org/download/requirements/ , it mentions a Dual Core
> CPU with SSE2 support. Afaik all those CPUs support 64bit instructions
> so no new hardware would be required, just a OS update.
> Also, there is always Linux, if people want to keep using older hardware
> but cannot afford an update to Windows 7/8.
> 3) Problems and chances
> ======================
> So, why do I bring up this topic? This has several reasons.
> Developer team
> ---------------------------
> Windows developer team is quite small already, compared to Linux/OS X
> platform. I think we have some devs who develop on it but actual
> platform maintenance (libraries, release builds) is done by 2-3 people
> max. And I don't think any of us is still using a XP/32bit setup.
> Personally I don't use 32bit systems for several years already, and I
> would be very happy if someone could take over support for that. It just
> takes a lot of time to compile libs (like recently new OIIO/OSL) for 32
> bit as well, fix (compile) errors, build 32 bit Blender, run some tests
> and make sure it works all fine.
> MSVC 2008
> ---------------------------
> Using a 5 year old compiler is a bad thing. Not only can we get a much
> better performance for (Cycles) Rendering for example, by using a recent
> version (like MSVC 2012), we could also get rid of some special code in
> our libraries and patches which we added just to make it compile on this
> ancient compiler...
> MSVC 2012 is 20% faster in Cycles rendering afaik, so we don't talk
> about some tiny numbers here.
> So, why didn't we update yet? Lack of Windows developers and time.
> Especially if we have to build/update *all* libs for both x64/32 and
> make sure it runs smooth everywhere, this is just a boring task no one
> really wants to do.
> Jürgen did a great job with his work on vc2012 libs, but I think he is
> busy lately and some things need to be finished here still before we
> could switch to this for official releases.
> Other applications
> ---------------------------
> Other 3D applications already dropped support for Windows XP and/or
> 32bit: http://temp.dingto.org/SysRequirements.pdf
> This is of course no real reason, but a pretty clear indication.
> 4) Possible plan
> ======================
> Windows XP:
> Blender 2.70: Last version with official support for Windows XP, after
> the release we remove it from blender.org (system requirements info
> text) and fade out support in the bug tracker.
> Blender 2.71 and above: Binaries will probably still run fine on XP, but
> it might break at some point.
> 32bit:
> Blender 2.70: Add a notice on blender.org, that we highly recommend
> using a 64bit operating system for best performance and best support.
> And again, I'd like to hand over the support for Windows 32 bit to
> someone else, preferably someone who actually is *on* this platform and
> can test issues as well.
> Sorry for the long mail and I hope you don't misinterpret this. I am
> very well aware of people living in poor countries who cannot update
> easily, but at the same time we also have to look forward and stop
> supporting ancient technology.
> Best regards,
> Thomas
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