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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Aegisub for Windows Me and 98? Never.

You may wonder why there is no version of Aegisub that works on Windows 95, 98, 98 SE or Me, together knows as Windows 9x. The reason is part technical-practical and part ideological.

The ideological part is short and simple: All of those operating systems are outdated, no longer under support by Microsoft and in general regarded as far inferior to the Windows NT line of systems (2000, XP, Vista). We would rather see people stop using outdated technology.

The technical part mostli lies in Unicode support. All Windows NT versions are native Unicode from the kernel all the way to the user interface. Windows 9x is not. The only way to get some kind of Unicode support on Windows 9x is to use the Microsoft Layer for Unicode library, but even that only gives flaky support at best. We did try building Aegisub against MSLU (unicows.dll) once a long time ago, and failed. Then decided that it wasn't worth the trouble.

True, Aegisub's support for Unicode isn't perfect. There's problems with right-to-left/bidirectional text and probably also several other complex scripts, but it's far better than only supporting one codepage at a time.

Finally, of course, there's the question of number of potential users. In the time this blog has been up (around a month) we've had one sigle hit from a user searching for a Windows Me version. There just isn't a user base large enough to justify the amount of work it would be to create an inferior version.

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  1. According to Google analytics, 0.07% of our hits since we've started measuring (that is, five) come from Windows 98. The situation for ME is even worse: we got ONE hit from it.

  2. Well I came from the cccp project, you have to try and build a customer base like micosnot did. Good luck with that.

  3. 6,374 visits from Win98 alone since January 1st for CCCP. ME (863) and 95 (133) is significantly less.

    Those Win9X people are still out there....lurking.

  4. Yes, frightening, but considering how old is the hardware of all of win98 boxes I have seen so far, they cannot handle even SD XviD and decent computers are quite cheap these days so I suspect that at least some have religious reasons to use it (yes, I really know a guy that stopped actively using it only about two years ago). Also Aegisub was designed for at least 1024x768 and amz even has mentioned that it might be raised. And to this day I have not seen a pc with win98 that had a monitor that could do 1024x768@85 (as we all know they're all CRT and using CRT with vertical refresh rate below 85 Hz is really bad for your eyes).

  5. I have a computer with Windows 98 and a monitor that could do 1024x768. It's 60 Hz, but that is not the point. The max. of my monitor is 1280x1024, not bad =).

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