CT&D #20. Cross-Platform Issues in Computing

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What experiences have you had in cross-platform issues? What do you forsee to be in store for future dealings between platforms?

Is it acceptable to work natively even when it may be difficult and unfamiliar? Is a utopia of universality of worry free designing foreseeable?  

Regarding my experiences in dealing with cross-platform issues, there are a few examples I can name. Two of the more basic examples were actually covered in the book: file extensions and inserting media. For most of my life, I have owned and used Windows based computers before actually owning a Mac and regularly using one too. Because of this, I was shocked that the Mac handled file extensions differently (regarding naming conventions for example) and to some extent did not take CDs (my Mac lacks a CD/DVD port); even so, it has USB ports as does the Windows based computers which in this instance is platform-universal. Even the actions on a Mac were different (no double clicks, copying and pasting an image are performed slightly differently).

Although these are certainly problems that people tend to deal with when using different platforms, these issues I think are pretty minor when compared to facing the prospect of having to witness a program that works on one platform and not the other. Fortunately, I haven’t really seen that, an example being Photoshop which is definitely a cross-platforming software (albeit its differences in controls for some applications). With that being said, I really think that the incentive to make programs and software cross platform compatible has been raised and worked on and in the future, I won’t be surprised if every program (well known or not) is made 100% cross compatible. Still, the top priority in 100% cross platform compatibility would be on design, business and even gaming compatibility, a feat that I can see possible in the future.

I do agree with the author that one needs to work natively within an operating system even if unfamiliar with the proper usage because we live in a world where different operating systems exist at any situation and by learning another gives one the knowledge and skill to perform tasks at any time and place a computer is made available.

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