Can’t we all just get along?
OK, this is about software, not politics or social relations.
My question is why can some software products be made relatively version/platform insensitive and others fail for the slightest variation?
IBM’s Lotus Notes/Domino is one of the best. Classic applications will run on virtually any version of the software and on any operating system.
Microsoft Windows is, perhaps surprisingly, also very good. Most modern applications will run on anything from Windows 2000 to Windows 7 — although for some reason printer drivers are still version specific.
Other products from IBM Collaboration Solutions and from Microsoft are very version specific — look at Sametime and Quickr from IBM or Exchange from Microsoft.
And many Linux programs are extremely version specific — running on only a specific point release of certain distributions.
Mac OSX apps seem to fall in the middle ground; most are OK across a range of OS releases but some fail every time Apple changes something in the back end.
I’m sure there are good reasons for these things that developers understand. But as an administrator and end user I want everything to “just work”.
Is it too much to ask that our application can just get along?