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From Timur Shenkao <...@timshenkao.su>
Subject Re: Propose to discontinue supporting Apache MXNet on Windows 7
Date Mon, 03 Sep 2018 09:14:20 GMT
Users live like you described: install mxnet, then import fails, switch to
TF or Pytorch and forget mxnet forever.

Only very stubborn users spend time in loop: compiling / building wheel /
conda package on external machine, copy to destination machine, fail with
some dependency error, etc. Until patience is lost or something workable is
created.

On Monday, September 3, 2018, Lin Yuan <apeforest@gmail.com> wrote:

> Thanks for all the constructive discussions. I have a few thoughts on this
> topic:
>
> When we say we support a particular platform X, I suppose it means the
> following processes in production:
>
> 1) Active developer support, the minimum of which is a clear instruction to
> build from source on X.
> 2) Thorough test in each release/patch on X.
> 3) Continuous integration on X
>
> It seems today we are missing all of them for Windows 7 (correct me if I am
> wrong). I have found issues opened over 9 months ago #9271
> <https://github.com/apache/incubator-mxnet/issues/9271> which fails simply
> by importing mxnet and exiting on Windows 7. Thus, I am wondering how many
> users are actually running MXNet on Windows 7 for meaningful work. How did
> live by with such an obvious blocker.
>
> If we do have a large active user base to support, we then should dedicate
> resource to implement the above three items in order to claim that we
> support Windows 7. After all, maybe we should change the thread topic to
> "Should we start supporting Windows 7 again?" :)
>
> I really appreciate your valuable comments. Have a great labor day weekend!
>
> Lin
>
>
> On Sun, Sep 2, 2018 at 12:37 PM Timur Shenkao <tsh@timshenkao.su> wrote:
>
> > >> I also believe that it is possible to install more recent >> versions
> of
> > Visual Studio on Windows 7.
> >
> > It's about security reasons and AD permissions and bought licenses for
> VS,
> > not about general technical impossibility of installation of up-to-date
> > versions.
> >
> > On Sunday, September 2, 2018, Marco de Abreu
> > <marco.g.abreu@googlemail.com.invalid> wrote:
> >
> > > Thanks for the data and these quite important points. I agree and
> hereby
> > > change my vote to -1.
> > >
> > > Barber, Christopher <Christopher.Barber@analog.com> schrieb am So., 2.
> > > Sep.
> > > 2018, 18:56:
> > >
> > > > FWIW, my company is only beginning to transition to Windows 10 now,
> and
> > > my
> > > > past experience would lead me to believe that many enterprises stick
> > with
> > > > old versions of Windows long past when you think they would.
> > > >
> > > > Seems to me that if you are unwilling to deprecate python 2.7, then
> > > > continuing to support Windows 7 is a no-brainer. You are more likely
> to
> > > get
> > > > users to switch to python 3 than you are to get them to install a new
> > > > operating system.
> > > >
> > > > And do you really want to drop support for platforms that your
> > > competitors
> > > > still support? Given MXNet's market share, I wouldn't dream of
> > dropping a
> > > > platform until after the more popular frameworks have already done
> so.
> > > >
> > > > I also believe that it is possible to install more recent versions of
> > > > Visual Studio on Windows 7.
> > > >
> > > > On 9/2/18, 1:57 AM, "kellen sunderland" <
> kellen.sunderland@gmail.com>
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > >     Google analytics are sadly probably the best numbers we're going
> to
> > > > get.
> > > >     Of course these numbers are likely to over-represent windows
> usage,
> > > as
> > > > I'm
> > > >     sure many people are looking up documentation on a windows
> machine
> > > > while
> > > >     ssh'd into a cloud instance or IoT device.
> > > >
> > > >     What's the trend over time for these numbers Mu?  Is Windows 7
> > usage
> > > >     relatively stable over the last year?
> > > >
> > > >     On Sun, Sep 2, 2018 at 1:58 AM Mu Li <muli.cmu@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >
> > > >     > According to google analytics, ~12% users who visited mxnet's
> > > > website are
> > > >     > using Windows 7. It's a significant number. Even though we
> cannot
> > > > conclude
> > > >     > that all of these users will run MXNet on Windows 7, I suggest
> we
> > > > still
> > > >     > support win7.
> > > >     >
> > > >     > BTW, anyone who can access mxnet's google analytics report can
> > > > verify this
> > > >     > number by following this instruction:
> > > >     >
> > > >     >
> > > > https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1340778/detecting-
> > > windows-7-with-google-analytics
> > > >     >
> > > >     >
> > > >     >
> > > >     > On Sat, Sep 1, 2018 at 1:55 PM Steffen Rochel <
> > > > steffenrochel@gmail.com>
> > > >     > wrote:
> > > >     >
> > > >     > > I support a data driven decision. Any suggestions how we
can
> > > obtain
> > > >     > insight
> > > >     > > about OS usage of the MXNet user community?
> > > >     > > Can we get such information from pip install statistics
or
> > should
> > > > we
> > > >     > > perform a user poll on the discussion forum?
> > > >     > > On the other hand the lack of data should not prevent us
from
> > > > moving
> > > >     > > forward and dropping support for outdated OS.
> > > >     > > In any case we would have to announce dropping a platform
> > support
> > > > at
> > > >     > least
> > > >     > > a release in advance.
> > > >     > > Steffen
> > > >     > >
> > > >     > > On Thu, Aug 30, 2018 at 12:21 PM Sheng Zha <
> > zhasheng@apache.org>
> > > > wrote:
> > > >     > >
> > > >     > > > Hi Kellen,
> > > >     > > >
> > > >     > > > Thanks for the explanation. Unfortunately, I don't
have the
> > > > usage data,
> > > >     > > so
> > > >     > > > I refrained from voting. If any of the voters have
such
> data
> > > I'd
> > > > love
> > > >     > to
> > > >     > > > see it too.
> > > >     > > >
> > > >     > > > -sz
> > > >     > > >
> > > >     > > > On 2018/08/30 14:58:09, kellen sunderland <
> > > > kellen.sunderland@gmail.com
> > > >     > >
> > > >     > > > wrote:
> > > >     > > > > I haven't spoken to anyone about the decision
(as I'm
> > > > currently on an
> > > >     > > > > island in the med) but to me the quick +1s are
likely a
> > > result
> > > > of
> > > >     > this
> > > >     > > > > being a fairly straightforward decision.  The
factors
> that
> > > > went into
> > > >     > my
> > > >     > > > > thinking were (1) prioritizing growing platforms
rather
> > than
> > > >     > shrinking
> > > >     > > > > platforms (i.e. thinking long term rather than
shirt
> term)
> > > and
> > > > (2)
> > > >     > > > earning
> > > >     > > > > our customers' trust.  Claiming support for a
platform
> when
> > > we
> > > > can't
> > > >     > > > > realistically deliver it would lose us trust.
 I'd prefer
> > to
> > > > over
> > > >     > > deliver
> > > >     > > > > and under promise when it come to windows 7 for
this
> > reason.
> > > >     > > > >
> > > >     > > > > Now on the flip side one thing I would see as
valuable is
> > to
> > > > try and
> > > >     > > get
> > > >     > > > > windows builds working with clang.  This could
be
> > beneficial
> > > > in the
> > > >     > > sense
> > > >     > > > > that it would be easy to maintain for mxnet devs
and
> allow
> > us
> > > > to use
> > > >     > > > modern
> > > >     > > > > cpp on older windows machines without using vs
> 2013(which I
> > > > consider
> > > >     > a
> > > >     > > > > non-starter with our codebase).
> > > >     > > > >
> > > >     > > > > You have peaked my curiousity though Sheng.  How
many
> win7
> > > > users does
> > > >     > > > MXNet
> > > >     > > > > have relative to macos/Linux?
> > > >     > > > >
> > > >     > > > > On Thu, Aug 30, 2018, 8:51 AM Sheng Zha <
> > szha.pvg@gmail.com>
> > > > wrote:
> > > >     > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > Hi Yuan,
> > > >     > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > No problem. This is an issue that's worth
having a
> clear
> > > >     > definition,
> > > >     > > so
> > > >     > > > > > there's nothing wrong about your proposal,
and thanks
> for
> > > > bringing
> > > >     > > > this up.
> > > >     > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > I'm more concerned about the seemingly unanimous
votes
> on
> > > > dropping
> > > >     > > > support
> > > >     > > > > > on a platform without seeing the supporting
evidence
> that
> > > > it's the
> > > >     > > > right
> > > >     > > > > > thing. It is as if everyone who participated
in the
> vote
> > > are
> > > >     > already
> > > >     > > > on the
> > > >     > > > > > same page, and somehow I'm the only one that's
not. But
> > the
> > > > only
> > > >     > > > argument I
> > > >     > > > > > hear so far is that it's technically not
> straightforward
> > to
> > > >     > continue
> > > >     > > > the
> > > >     > > > > > support, which, coming from Amazon folks,
certainly
> > doesn't
> > > > sound
> > > >     > > > > > customer-obsessed.
> > > >     > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > -sz
> > > >     > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 11:37 PM Lin Yuan
<
> > > > apeforest@gmail.com>
> > > >     > > wrote:
> > > >     > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > Hi Sheng,
> > > >     > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > Thanks for raising this concern. The
problem now is
> > that
> > > we
> > > >     > cannot
> > > >     > > > even
> > > >     > > > > > > build MXNet on Windows 7 because the
build process
> > > > requires MS VS
> > > >     > > > 2015 w/
> > > >     > > > > > > update 3 which is incompatible on Windows
7. This
> > leaves
> > > > many
> > > >     > > > Windows 7
> > > >     > > > > > > related open issues on github without
any timely
> > > response.
> > > > In my
> > > >     > > > opinion,
> > > >     > > > > > > having no response to users' request
is probably even
> > > > worse than
> > > >     > > > letting
> > > >     > > > > > > them know the limitation of OS support.
> > > >     > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > To minimize the impact to current Windows
7 users, we
> > can
> > > > provide
> > > >     > > > PyPi
> > > >     > > > > > > package for Windows 7 in this release
but defer the
> bug
> > > > fix and
> > > >     > > > feature
> > > >     > > > > > > enhancement to later Windows OS version.
Based on
> > users'
> > > >     > feedbacks,
> > > >     > > > we
> > > >     > > > > > can
> > > >     > > > > > > then officially discontinue the Windows
7 support in
> > the
> > > > next
> > > >     > MXNet
> > > >     > > > > > > release.
> > > >     > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > I will appreciate your comments.
> > > >     > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > Lin
> > > >     > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 1:37 PM Sheng
Zha <
> > > > szha.pvg@gmail.com>
> > > >     > > > wrote:
> > > >     > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > Are any of the votes based on any
measure of user
> > > > impact, if we
> > > >     > > > indeed
> > > >     > > > > > > > decide not to fix the current problems?
> > > >     > > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > -sz
> > > >     > > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 1:29 PM
Hagay Lupesko <
> > > >     > lupesko@gmail.com
> > > >     > > >
> > > >     > > > > > wrote:
> > > >     > > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > +1 (non-binding)
> > > >     > > > > > > > > Thanks for raising this Lin!
> > > >     > > > > > > > > Are you suggesting to do it
as part of MXNet 1.3?
> > > >     > > > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 9:14
AM Srivastava, Rohit
> > > > Kumar <
> > > >     > > > > > > > > srivastava.141@buckeyemail.osu.edu>
wrote:
> > > >     > > > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > > +1
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > > On 8/29/18, 8:39 AM,
"sandeep krishnamurthy" <
> > > >     > > > > > > > > sandeep.krishna98@gmail.com>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > > wrote:
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     +1 Thanks for bringing
this up.
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     On Wed, Aug 29, 2018
at 6:38 AM Marco de
> > Abreu
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     <marco.g.abreu@googlemail.com.invalid>
> > wrote:
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > +1
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > On Wed, Aug
29, 2018 at 1:08 PM kellen
> > > > sunderland <
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > kellen.sunderland@gmail.com>
wrote:
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > +1 (non-binding)
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > On Wed,
Aug 29, 2018, 1:18 AM Anirudh
> > > > Acharya <
> > > >     > > > > > > > > > anirudhkrec@gmail.com>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > wrote:
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > +1
for discontinuing.
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > On
Tue, Aug 28, 2018 at 4:11 PM
> Naveen
> > > > Swamy <
> > > >     > > > > > > > > mnnaveen@gmail.com
> > > >     > > > > > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > wrote:
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
+1 to stop supporting Win7
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
On Tue, Aug 28, 2018 at 3:54 PM Lin
> > > Yuan
> > > > <
> > > >     > > > > > > > > apeforest@gmail.com>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > wrote:
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> Dear Community,
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> Currently, our MXNet installation
> > > > guide for
> > > >     > > > Windows
> > > >     > > > > > > does
> > > >     > > > > > > > > not
> > > >     > > > > > > > > > work
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > for
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> Windows 7. e.g. Microsoft Visual
> > > > Studio 2015
> > > >     > is
> > > >     > > > not
> > > >     > > > > > > > > > supported on
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > Windows
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
7
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> <
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > >
> > > >     > > >
> > > >     > >
> > > >     >
> > > > https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/vs/support/vs2015/received-error-
> > > specified-program-requires-newer-version-windows/
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> >.
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> In addition, MSFT ended
> > “Mainstream”
> > > > support
> > > >     > > for
> > > >     > > > > > > Windows
> > > >     > > > > > > > 7
> > > >     > > > > > > > > > in 2015
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > (
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     >
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > > >
> > > >     > > > > >
> > > >     > > >
> > > >     > >
> > > >     >
> > > > https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-
> > > lifecycle-fact-sheet
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> ).
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> Therefore, it is not possible for
> > > > developers
> > > >     > to
> > > >     > > > build
> > > >     > > > > > > > MXNet
> > > >     > > > > > > > > > and
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > verify
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
the
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> fix on Windows 7 platform. Given
> > that
> > > > there
> > > >     > > have
> > > >     > > > been
> > > >     > > > > > > > > several
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > issues
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
about
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> MXNet error on Windows 7
> > (issue#9271
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> <
> > > >     > > > > > https://github.com/apache/incubator-mxnet/issues/9271
> > > >     > > > > > > >,
> > > >     > > > > > > > > > issue
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > #8921
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> <
> > > >     > > > > > https://github.com/apache/incubator-mxnet/issues/8921
> > > >     > > > > > > >,
> > > >     > > > > > > > > > issue
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > #11163
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> <
> > > >     > > > > > > https://github.com/apache/
> incubator-mxnet/issues/11163
> > > >     > > > > > > > >),
> > > >     > > > > > > > > > it will
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > even
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> add
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> more burden on developers in the
> > > > future if we
> > > >     > > > were to
> > > >     > > > > > > > > > continue
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > supporting
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> Windows 7.
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> I therefore would like to propose
> > > that
> > > > we
> > > >     > > > discontinue
> > > >     > > > > > > the
> > > >     > > > > > > > > > support
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > of
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
MXNet
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> on Windows 7 in the next release.
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> Specifically, this means the
> > > following
> > > >     > required
> > > >     > > > > > > actions:
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> 1) state the discontinuation of
> > > > Windows 7
> > > >     > > > support in
> > > >     > > > > > > the
> > > >     > > > > > > > > > release
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > note
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> 2) update the MXNet webpage if
> > > Windows
> > > >     > version
> > > >     > > is
> > > >     > > > > > > > > mentioned.
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> 3) update the open Github issues
> > > > related to
> > > >     > > > Windows 7
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> Please share your thoughts about
> > this
> > > >     > proposal
> > > >     > > > and/or
> > > >     > > > > > > > > > suggest if
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > there
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > is
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> any other missing action item
> from
> > > the
> > > > above.
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> Best Regards,
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
>
> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     > > > >
> Lin
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> > > >     > > > > > > > > >     Sandeep Krishnamurthy
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