I’ve been supporting XP now for close to 15 years in MarcEdit, and I’m finding the number of areas in the code where I have to work around XP limitations is continually growing. The tipping point for me occurred about a month ago, when I had to write a new URI parser because the version found in current version of .NET and the one found on XP are worlds different and what XP provides wasn’t robust enough and has a number of problematic bugs.
So, you can probably guess where I’m going with this. I’m starting to think about plans for essentially dropping XP support and freezing a version of MarcEdit (that wouldn’t be updated) for those libraries still using XP. Ideally, I’d like to not provide a frozen version at all because this version will become out of date very quickly – but I’m also unsure of how many users still run XP and how long XP will continue to kick around within the library environment. I haven’t picked a date yet, but I definitely want to have this conversation. Does XP support continue to be important to this community, and more importantly, if we look out say 1-1.5 years, will that still be true.
One last thing; I plan on doing a little bit of log analysis to understand more about the current MarcEdit XP user community. If this community is largely international, I may just suck it up and continue finding a way to make it work. I want to be sensitive to the fact I work in an academic bubble, and I know that many libraries have to struggle simply to be open for their patrons. For anyone in that position, XP probably works good enough. But I think that it’s time to start asking this question and evaluating what the tipping points might be within the MarcEdit community around XP and it’s continued use.
At some point, XP support will need to end. It’s just so long in the tooth, that continuing to support it will eventually limit some of the work I might to do with MarcEdit. The question at this point is when that might happen…1 year from now, 2 years? I just don’t know.