Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:58 AM
I think there is definitely a time to cut off the older technologies and refuse to support them anymore. It's insane to think we'll always support every legacy system ever devised for the rest of time. Having to support older technologies can sometimes hold back progress, whereas it would be much easier to cut off the old and focus the resources that would have gone to that toward newer advancements instead. There is a balance to be had, but I tend to lean more on the side of driving forward rather than holding back.
But I definitely think there should always be legacy support going back at least one major version, maybe two. For instance, my big rant about Windows 8 is that it doesn't offer the traditional Start menu, but back when Windows 95 was released, you had the option of using the new Start menu, or reverting back to the old Program Manager. Obviously I don't expect Program Manager to be supported in Windows 8, but for those in the business world who don't have the time to retrain their employees, it would be simpler to switch their Windows 8 computers into legacy mode for a more traditional interface.
As far as web stuff goes, I can't imagine browsing without JS enabled, yet still people do it. I think we're so far past the point of considering users with outdated browsers that JS isn't even really an important issue anymore; pretty much everybody has it. A few years ago, I would've expected sites to provide a non-JS version, but, I think that ship has sailed. JS is everywhere by default, and too many modern web innovations rely on it, so it would be detrimental to some websites to have to provide a non-JS version. People running with JS disabled can always turn it on for the few cases where it's absolutely necessary.
Hofstadter's Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.
– Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid