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Win9x Developer team

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Running windoze 98 on current hardware is for people that know what they are doing. It is for those who have experienced the OS when it first came out, and that still have their licensed CDs. It is for people that liked it, and want it back and better.

Agreed. Some of us have never stopped using it. Just because MS stopped supporting it and other big money businesses want it dead doesn't mean we have to let it happen. I see nothing in their EULA that says we have to let it die after 8 or 10 years.

Well. Open source can give results in a very long run, only. Since the amount of 98 users is going down, it should be more logical to focus on a more usable goal, I believe.

The Open Source community is far more responsive to the needs and wants of the user and the software they maintain shows it. How long did it take MS to add tabbed browsing? Microsoft doesn't respond to the wishes of the user unless it hurts their bottom line. Maybe we can't actually "Open Source" 98 but we can have Open Source improvements for 98.


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so i have to clear some things before somebody do something stupid...

to mods:

ad legality

If we are talking about collecting official updaters from Microsoft and create one updater (similar to unattended installations, which includes also service packs) it is absolutely legal unless we claim any autorship of the code. and really i dont want to see that anybody here is going to claim authorship of software which has been developed by M$ or be paid for it.

for me personally it took months to find all updates for my windows which were created by microsoft and learn how to install them in correct order. the installation of all updates can take hours and i must be on PC. if i create some kind of scripts which do this automatically, It can be done without modifying of the packages.

When it comes to unofficial fixes it is as i said before. anybody can fix errors of his own system. this just cannot be prohibited by law. if somebody asks me how to fix same problem on different system (anybody can ask, including M$) i can give him the solution, but only for free.

when it comes to creating of new software based on microsofts apis then the situation is quite clear i hope.

but when it comes to creating new software using microsofts files... hard to say where is the border line between creating new app based on MS Visual C++, and between system patch which was created unoficially. I worked for newspapers so i know laws about authorship in my country. If i use some parts of any material which has been distributed previously i have to mention it in final product. (for example if i create new core file for ms system it must contain information what it was based on). If the final product produces profit, then the author of the original work has right for part of it.

so if i create new fixed version of any ms file there must be mentioned that the file/package is still protected by M$ licensing and eula(as is mentioned in certain unofficial updates)

honestly, there are quite a lot of commercial software which modifies microsoft's products in many different ways, more than we will ever be able to modify. for example some codecs, renderers, freeware apis and so on. if here in this part of forum is approximately 10-15 people able to build up a team, they will surely do their jobs for the feeling of good work. i dont believe that these people represent any threat to M$.

please tell me your idea about how win9x can be consolidated, sorted (removed obsolete, used only those which will avail) ... i really dont want that such work may cause trouble...

to people here:

i think that some people here will lost their breath, but i believe that Tihiy is right in many things he said. Right now i see that tests with various dlls may broke certain system processes (for example MDAC is completelely screwed up on my system now and i have to restore backup).

the things have to be done more carefully as it will be done with such enthusiasm i see.

to Tihiy:

i started to perform analysis of the files available here and on MDGX's webpage. i found certain bugfixes but also things that may cause serious version conflicts (see io.sys problem in forum upward). unskilled user which has seen number of possible updates was so confused that he even didnt know from where to begin...

but on other hand, i found solutions which i was pursuing for months without knowing that they are currently available, also some updates caused version downgrade so i have to restore some patches again... and thats also the reason why i beliieve that consolidation is needed...

This post reminds me of some of the posts by someone from another forum (tapland.com) that goes by "Nerys"... He always has some long, legal statement to make without a single capital at the front of a sentence :-)

Really informative post though!

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We can add new code to system. just as we can add new driver to system we can add new modules (just as tihiy does in uberskin) and we can collect existing updates which were released by MS. all this software can be redistributed to people who legally own licensed Win9x. this is completely clear to me.

but when it comes to modifying of existing files the situation is not so clear. laws, eulas and licenses may contain some things that does not allow us to modify the code, but it is not so strict as some people believe... i shall take a look again and maybe i found something interesting.

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I readed the licence agreement the Polish Windows 98 displayed during install procedure. There was a clausule at the end of the text referring to the Polish law act. The conclusion is, it is legal to do reverse engineering, if it is necesary to find and remove bugs in the software.

It is possible, other language versions of the licence agreement are very different from the Polish one.

Edited by Sfor
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I readed the licence agreement the Polish Windows 98 displayed during install procedure. There was a clausule at the end of the text referring to the Polish law act. The conclusion is, it is legal to do reverse engineering, if it is necesary to find and remove bugs in the software.

It is possible, other language versions of the licence agreement are very different from the Polish one.

But thing is, we aren't removing bugs, we are adding features.

@ specialbao1: Microsoft doesn't give a crap about what we do on 9x as they don't support it anymore. But that doesn't make it less illegal.

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removing bugs:

can be done with using of reverse engeneering without breaking the eula. MS have to be informed about the activity and has to receive the fixed file. some bugfixes have already been done.

adding features:

can be done by adding new dlls, which are based on completely new code.

Xenos kernel patcher ideed adds new features, but the way how it works is quite masterpiece when we are looking from law point. xenos kernelex is a patcher. completely new code which is being added to existing kernel files. program indeed adds new code. but new code add every new application and application connects itself with system.

again - there things which are well known about windows and every good programmer know about them and use them to connect his application with system. dll exports belongs to this category of knowledge and really, i didnt read in any eula how application can add new features to system :)

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It depends on the purpose of the reverse engineering.

- If a decompiled code is put in some other application, it is a theft.

- If the decompilation is used to find and remove bugs, it is not a theft.

I'm not good enough in english language to dig in the law related matters. Still, an action can both legal and not legal, depending on the purpose the action was taken for.

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to Sfor:

i really dont know how are dll exports of XP kernel made in source code. If completely new code is created to emulate XP kernel and being added to existing 98's kernel... i believe it is very similar to Wine under linux, but i cannot be sure...

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I hate when legal issues intervene in good things. One more thing: is Microsoft affiliated with this forum? If so, MS should give a **** that people still think about Windows 98 (It's bad for business, I know).

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