Backward compatibility

I have an odd job, it must be said. And I do get excited over matters that others might think obscure, banal, dull, tedious or geek. Here's one.

Today, I'll tell you about my day. Today I was doing compatibility testing between versions of Lotus Notes client to ensure that the calendar/scheduling stuff worked fine. It did, of course.

But which versions ? In the red corner, v6.5.3 FP1, the latest and greatest. In the blue corner, Notes v4.5.6. Yup. v4.5. On OS/2. In a Microsoft Virtual PC.

Scary. and it worked. Flawlessly! The v4.5.6 mail template performed without a hitch on a v6.5 server. Calendar entries flew back and forth. Rebuttals, the whole lot. Whoever architected this did a fantastic job.

Put this in perspective. v4.5.6 was released 19th August 1998. (Before 'Pants joined DIAMOND, for fricks sake). And is still being used in this business, in a specific application category some 6.5 years later. Flawlessly. Its three major releases behind (v4.6, v5.x, v6.x). Whilst its out of support, it STILL runs in only 64mb and still performs an essential function. (No-one would CHOOSE to do this, lets face it)

I mean. Try this with ANY other product.

Still, it was fun watching virtual PC boot up and all these OS/2 drivers scroll by, with "OS/2 driver blah blah (c) Microsoft 2003" all over them. Can you think of the poor sod in Redmond who's job it was to code OS/2 drivers some THREE years after the platform was dropped ?

Or spare a thought for the German bank who demanded IBM fix some OS/2 bugs. Last month!

(No, I'm not an OS/2 advocate. Just fun watching systems still working, long after they should have been put down)