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Clipper EXE's in 16, 32, 64 bit

Clipper EXE's in 16, 32, 64 bit

(OP)
I am a novice programmer running and maintaining a few clipper programs at my business and at home. I use Clipper 5.2 and run the programs on XP Home SP3. I assume I will have to get WIN 7 when one of my three machines needs replacing. I have been reading about clipper programs and 16, 32 and 64 bit operating systems on this site and am concerned about continuing to be able to use my clipper programs for some years to come.

1. Is the standard version of WIN 7 32 bit? (With 64 bit being an “upgrade” option)
2. Do I understand correctly that my current programs WILL run under the 32 bit WIN 7 but not 64 bit? (i.e. if question #1 is true, then I need to be careful to get the standard WIN 7)
3. I’ve seen references to Harbour and XHarbour and looked at their websites. But if Question #2 is true then I don’t need to transfer to a different compiler, unless the programs were too sluggish. But IF I need to change compilers would Harbour be better than XHarbour for a real novice like me?
4. I know this forum doesn’t get much use now. Is there any better site for people like me still using Clipper?

Thanks for the help

RE: Clipper EXE's in 16, 32, 64 bit

Hi Hardyone

I also maintain a bunch of legacy clipper apps (Summer '87, 5.x) and have migrated them to newer hardware successfully. Here are my personal opinions on your questions (others may disagree):

1. Neither 32 or 64 bit Win 7 is "standard", but 64 is more commonly used. The big advantage is more memory addressability. The downside may be a lack of 64-bit drivers for older hardware (such as printers).
2. Yes, 16 bit apps (Clipper 5.x for example) will run under Win7-32 very much like under XP. However, if you get Win 7 64 Professional, you can install XP-mode (free download), which is a fully licensed XP pro which runs under Win 7 in a virtual machine. That is the configuration I use on my support machines, because then I can run both 16 and 32 bit programs concurrently. So your existing programs still run under XP, but can run in windows on the Win 7 desktop, which is quite seamless.
3. I use xHarbour for new programs or revisions to existing ones, because it gives 32 bit executables compatible with any Windows version, runs MUCH faster, and doesn't hog the CPU on input loops. It can be configured to compile old clipper programs with very few modifications. On the downside it can be difficult to get into and doesn't have a lot of tutorial material available, especially for the Windows environment (it is mostly Linux based).
4. Clipper is a dying environment; mostly used now to maintain legacy systems. New development has moved elsewhere. Google Groups comp.lang.clipper is another good forum, but it also is fading quickly. Even Harbour and xHarbour development is languishing, it seems.

Jock

RE: Clipper EXE's in 16, 32, 64 bit

(OP)
Thanks Jock. I've always appreciated your input. We'll see if anyone has other thoughts.
Jim

RE: Clipper EXE's in 16, 32, 64 bit

I would agree with Jock.

I have a few bits of old Clipper still running, some decades old, my biggest app was ported to xBase++ - which has given it
(now) nearly a decade of extra life. I wouldn't recommend anyone to go that route now though, xBase++ isn't that compatible
and there are fiddly things to rewrite when you move across.

I mostly moved to VFP, which I love, and am rewriting the above xBase++ into c# against MS-SQL - which I loathe so much I find it
hard to even look at. You know, I can even find tiny bits of dust in my keyboard which I simply MUST pick out, right now, rather
than work in c#!

Regards

Griff
Keep Smileing

There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don't.

RE: Clipper EXE's in 16, 32, 64 bit

Besides the mentioning of xHarbour, I would appreciate mentioning the Harbour-project, www.harbour-project.org, the originating source for xHarbour, that's just as mature as xHarbour in the xBase language, but lacking the optional GUI and some RDD libraries, that maybe you won't be using, when switching from plain Clipper.

RE: Clipper EXE's in 16, 32, 64 bit

GriffMG,

Off topic,

What has you tainted about Xbase ++? Also, what incompatibilities ha e you experienced?

Richard L. Hankins Jr.
Senior Programmer
Auction Services, Inc.

RE: Clipper EXE's in 16, 32, 64 bit

Morning Richard!

I'm not sure I'm tainted against xBase++. It's pretty stable and has a lot going for it.

I converted the app that I am now rewriting in c#=>M$SQL from Clipper to xBase++ nearly
a decade ago, and was slightly disappointed that it didn't live up to the 100% hype.

Every single .prg had to be visited and tweaked to get it to work, and I had some
stuff which managed parent->child browsing that has never been as good in xBase++
as it was in Clipper.

One of the 'cripplers' was really daft, I have a 'push/pop' routine that saves the database
environment (tables, records and indexes) which was blindingly fast in Clipper, but stunningly slow
in xBase++. I'm talking orders of magnitude slower, millionths of a second to push or pop in
Clipper, sometimes literally minutes (even days, anecdotally) in xBase++

That said, the client has had a decade extra out of an application that was on it's last legs,
and I have gotten to start the rewrite... perhaps I'll even finish it soon!

xBase++ is streets ahead of c# - even if it is way older!

Regards

Griff
Keep Smileing

There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don't.

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