[L2Ork-dev] Unifying GUI toolkit versions

Albert Graef aggraef at gmail.com
Mon Apr 2 05:17:36 EDT 2018

On Sun, Apr 1, 2018 at 9:29 PM, Jonathan Wilkes <jon.w.wilkes at gmail.com> wrote:
> But even my refurbished Lenovo X60
> only lasted about 5 years, and that's probably the most resilient
> commodity PC laptop I've ever seen.

Yeah, many of those old Thinkpads are built like tanks. ;-) But
personally, I wouldn't dare to put WinXP on *anything* that's
connected to the Internet these days, and I haven't seen it on any
student computers for quite a few years now. Marco, do you have a
ballpark figure what percentage of your students are still running XP?

I'm afraid that I have to side with Jonathan on this issue. We just
can't support those legacy nw.js versions any longer. Yes, there are
some ugly workarounds in the code which make Purr Data harder to
maintain, and it's sometimes hard to assess whether bugs are due to
our code or some quirks in a legacy version of the toolkit. But the
main issue at stake here is *security*. We're running a version of
Chromium there, and that needs to be patched up quite frequently. We
don't want Purr Data to become a security headache for people just
because we don't update our Chromium engine. And there's simply no
leeway to make the transition more smoothly, it's a binary decision at
this point, because we're already using the very latest nw.js versions
that will work on these legacy systems at all. In fact, Jonathan has
been warning that this day *will* come quite a few times already.

I'd say that we should get on with it. If anything, we should actually
update our nw.js engine much more frequently, at the very least with
every point release. Marco, I perfectly understand your concerns.
Students sometimes just have to use older computers. But that doesn't
mean that they still have to run XP. There's always the possibility to
use a reasonably recent Linux distribution instead. It doesn't cost
anything (except the time and brain activity needed to set it up), it
will be a much more secure system and it will also run Purr Data much
better than XP.


Dr. Albert Gr"af
Computer Music Research Group, JGU Mainz, Germany
Email:  aggraef at gmail.com
WWW:    https://plus.google.com/+AlbertGraef

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