On Monday, 8 September 2014 at 08:06:37 UTC, Ola Fosheim Grøstad wrote:
On Sunday, 7 September 2014 at 21:03:17 UTC, Vladimir Panteleev wrote:
The 438-byte "Hello, world" program is achieved using Crinkler, which is a COFF linker with aggressive compression and header optimization. It was created for compressing 4K demos.

Pretty nice! Is the format correct too, or can it break on OS upgrades?

From the Crinkler manual:


The goal of Crinkler is for the produced EXE files to be compatible with all widely used Windows versions and configurations. As of version 1.4, the EXE files produced by Crinkler are, to the best of our knowledge, compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, both 32 bit and 64 bit versions. They are compatible with Data Execution Prevention and with execution hooks that inspect the import or export table of launched executables (graphics drivers are known to do this).

It is not a primary goal of Crinkler to anticipate incompatibilities that may arise in the future as a consequence of new Windows versions, graphics drivers or other widespread system changes. Guaranteeing such compatibility would require Crinkler to follow the EXE file format specification to the letter, precluding most of the header hacks that Crinkler utilizes in order to reduce the size overhead of the EXE format as much as possible. Rather, we strive to continually monitor the compatibility situation and release a new, fixed version of Crinkler whenever a situation arises that affects the compatibility severely (such as a new, incompatible version of Windows). This has occurred several times already throughout the history of Crinkler.

Each new version of Crinkler not only produces executables that are compatible with the current majority of targeted systems. It also includes a way of fixing old Crinkler executables to have the same level of compatibility. See the section on recompression for more details on this feature.

This compatibility strategy ensures that intros made using Crinkler will continue to be accessible to their audience, even if the Windows EXE loader changes in an incompatible way that could not be anticipated at the time the intro was produced.

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