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

Alexandr Kuznetsov kuzsasha at gmail.com
Thu Dec 5 18:55:00 CET 2013

Ok. It seems like we need specify toolset explicitly: v110_xp or 
v120_xp  or otherwise blender.exe won't run. (And do it for all libs) I 
now fully support dropping XP completely. ;)


On 12/5/2013 10:58 AM, Alexandr Kuznetsov wrote:
> Hi,
> 1) I fully agree that we should stop supporting XP officially. 
> However, we shouldn't use incompatible API calls for now.
> The fact of the matter is that if someone has XP, they probably have 
> obsolete computer, which is at least 6 years old. For 3D graphics this 
> is more than a century. They won't able to run Cycles and other 
> powerful (but computationally expensive) tools. For this, old versions 
> of Blender will suffice.
> (I'm installing XP right now. It seems SP3 will be required to run VS 
> 2013 libs)
> 2)  I think we still should support 32 bit OSs. Many computers, even 
> in recent years , came preinstalled with them. If a computer has less 
> than 4 GB of RAM (as many computers did in the past few years) 
> manufactures usually go with 32. There is almost no advantage to 
> choose x64.
> According to steam, there is about a quarter of os are 32bit.
> http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey
> By dropping 32 bit OS, we just create a barrier to entry. How many 
> artists will reinstall all programs and copy documents just to try a 
> software?
> However, I know myself  the pain of compiling extra libs.
> 3) MSVC 2008.
> We should move to vs 2013 by 2.71. Right now, I can compile most of 
> the blender with VS 2013 with some VS 2008 libs (with VC 2008 
> installed). I'm busy with upcoming final exams, so I didn't have much 
> time to compile all of the libs.
> 4)
> Dependencies.
> I think we should create a clear wiki page with all of the libs that 
> required for blender. It should include the version #s (it's hard to 
> search through commit logs) which are the same for all OSs. Plus, it 
> would really nice to have a build instructions and configurations. 
> Right now, some libs have instructions spread across svn.
> 5)
> The plan looks good.
> Best,
> Alex
> On 12/5/2013 10:42 AM, Nkansah Rexford wrote:
>> Xp support should be dropped. Yes, for real, ASAP
>> google.com/+Nkansahrexford | sent from Tab
>> On Dec 5, 2013 3:33 PM, "Jürgen Herrmann" <shadowrom at me.com> wrote:
>>> 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...
>>> /Jürgen
>>> ----- 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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