As some of you have already noticed it, version 2 of our Yocto-Visualization application doesn't run under Windows XP. Actually, it uses the .NET 4.5 framework which you can't install on Windows XP. This week, we show you how to work around this issue.
The obsolescence of Windows XP
You may have noticed that Microsoft does everything it can to wipe out Windows XP: no more maintenance, and you can't install the latest versions of their tools on this old OS. We even noticed that, by default, the latest version of Visual-Studio generates executables which don't run on XP. From the Microsoft standpoint, we can understand this way of doing things: why spend money to maintain an operating system dating from 17 years ago and which stopped being sold almost 10 years ago? After all, the average user, switching smart phone every two years, can afford buying a new Windows license every ten years, especially as most of the time the change is performed naturally when the customers renew their hardware. And too bad if the customers must change their old printers at the same time.
But here we are, this reasoning knowingly ignores a whole category of users: manufacturers. There still are in the world huge numbers of computers running XP which are used to monitor and drive bigger or smaller machines. These production tools, which are worth literally millions, when it's not billions, are supposed to work for several tens of years. No way people are going to dismantle a satisfactory production line because the operating system of its monitoring computers is not in fashion anymore. As for simply replacing Windows XP with a more modern version, even the industrial machine designers won't risk it. Most of the time, these machines are actually made of sub-sets, manufactured by third parties, which require large numbers of drivers which don't necessarily have an equivalent on another OS.
At Yoctopuce, we think like everybody else that it is better to migrate toward a more modern OS than Windows XP, if only to benefit from the security updates, essential for the computer survival in the modern internet. However, we also think that it's not a reason to leave to their plight those who can't migrate, whatever their reasons. Therefore, we modified the source code of the Yocto-Visualization so that you can easily recompile it for Framework .Net 3.5, easily available on any XP machine. We don't intend to propose an installer, but the process to obtain a executable file is relatively simple.
Recompiling Yocto-Visualization for .Net 3.5
If you haven't already done so, install Visual-Studio on your machine, you can download it for free from the Microsoft web site. You need version 2015 or above. Note that version 2017 doesn't install on XP. However, you can have several versions of Visual-Studio on the same machine and you don't have to use an XP machine to compile a program which will run on XP.
Download the Yocto-Visualization sources on gitHub, they are available as a ZIP file which you can extract wherever you want.
Download the Yocto-Visualization sources
Open the YoctoVisualization.csproj file with Visual-Studio. Open the project properties, and in the application tab, change the target framework parameter to .NET Framework 3.5.
Change the framework version
Recompile the application and you will find in the "bin/Debug" sub-directory a "YoctoVisualization.exe" executable file which you can use under Windows XP. Don't forget to copy "yapi.dll" and "amd64\yapi.dll" at the same time as the executable.
The price to pay
The standard version of Yocto-Visualization takes advantage of a few optimizations available from .Net 4.5 only. A version compiled for 3.5 is therefore a little slower, but this seemed a acceptable compromise. It's up to you!