With the release of JustTrace Q3 2013 behind us, we started looking for new cool features to add to our product. We are already a mature tool with great features and, daresay, a pretty face but there is so much more to do! Alas, the day still has 24 hours (and we need our sleep as well) so we had to look for options to make us more efficient.
That’s why we decided to stop supporting Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 starting with the Q1 2014 release.
This allows us to:
- Use the new system features in Vista and later versions of Windows – using the OS APIs introduced since Vista allows us to implement faster, with lighter use of resources, and more precise profiling
- Use the new features of .net 4.5 – again for faster and more fluid UI. Using Reactive Extensions and Reactive UI libraries, we created a very responsive interface for JustTrace, but we can do so much better! The sad truth is that all the cool libraries are coming as portable libs or outright target .net 4.5. We are evaluating using the async features of C# 5 and immutable collections to improve our UI even more.
- Although not immediately visible benefit, but this frees up resources to develop and test the new features on the new platforms – 8.1, 2012 R2, VS 2013. Right now, we treat XP and Windows 8.1 equally and test every possible scenario on all configurations. All the automated testing, unit testing, virtual machines and sheer manual labor in the world are not enough to test all possible combinations. For example, we shipped with a bug, which triggered only on Windows 7 and only with Aero enabled, which we did not catch during testing because our VMs have Aero turned off. We would like to concentrate where it matters. We looked at our EQATEC dashboard and saw this:
As you can see, XP does not even register in the default view! The usage data gave us confidence to proceed with the plan.
Of course, we will continue supporting our Q3 2012 release with service packs containing bug fixes, but all new features will target Vista and later operating systems. Also, we would like to stress that we will continue to profile applications which target .net 2.0/3.0/3.5.
By the way it’s important to explain that the above screenshot represents the extent of the information we collect about our users. We only see aggregated data, with no user-level details. So please participate in our customer experience program, to help us make important decisions on the development of JustTrace. So that we can make the product fit your needs and requirements better.