[erlang-questions] Erlang on Windows NT4

Sebastian Egner s.egner@REDACTED
Mon Jul 14 11:35:56 CEST 2008


As the release notes for Erts 5.6.1 report under Section 1.4.1 
"Improvements and New Features",
Windows NT4 is not supported any longer by Erlang/OTP, i.e. from R12B incl.

Indeed, trying to install Erlang/OTP R12B-3 on a Windows-NT4 system reports:

    "The procedure entry point GetLongPathNameW could not be located in 
the dynamic link library KERNEL32.dll",

without any indication that this Windows OS is not supported, and no 
Erlang VM can be run.

Is this a bug, or does the NSIS installer simply not test for the 
version of the operating system?

More important, however, is my related question:

     *Are there any plans to support Windows NT4 again in the future?*

Let me briefly explain the background of this question: In November 2007 
our company (SPECS GmbH)
decided to invest in Erlang as a future platform for controlling our 
products, which are serious machines (up
to 2.5 M$) for studying the physical properties of solid surfaces. Our 
current software is a huge thing in Visual
C++ 6.0, glued together with CORBA and the Windows Registry. So far, our 
findings of using Erlang/OTP are
extremely encouraging. We have been able to interface with other parts 
of the software using CORBA and
Erlinterface with very little effort, and could write a layered system 
of drivers for ion guns, x-ray guns, etc. in
a very convenient and efficient fashion. (For the GUI we use Java/SWT.)

Unfortunately, our customers usually retire their old desktop PCs to 
their laboratories, and expect our
software to run on these platforms. In addition, we have lots of 
customers in countries where people
cannot afford to follow Microsoft's pace of product introduction, and 
generally do not upgrade their
PCs every year. Using a non-Microsoft OS is also not an option, because 
our customers use other
software with severe Microsoft lock-in for interpreting their 
experimental data.

Now if R11B-5 will be the last version to support Windows NT4, we have a 
very serious problem with
Erlang/OTP---in particular, because two significant bugs ('ic' 
generating unusable code and Erlinterface
not being able to communicate 0.0 correctly) that I had reported in 
R11B-5 are only fixed in R12B,
which came out 5-Dec-2007 and doesn't run on NT4 anymore (as I was 
surprised to learn today).

What advice would you give me on this situation?


P.S. Excuse me if you had this discussion already, and are tired of it 
being iterated at such a late point in time.


Dr. Sebastian Egner
Head of Software & 
Electronics Development

Voltastr. 5
13355 Berlin

Phone: +49 (0)30 46 78 24 - 9210
Fax: +49 (0)30 46 42 083
E-Mail: s.egner@REDACTED   

Please visit www.specs.de

SPECS Gesellschaft für Oberflächenanalytik und 
Computertechnologie mbH, CEO: Reinhard Lembke
Registered Office: Berlin
Companies Commercial Register No.: 93 HRB 21390 
Register Court: Charlottenburg
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