Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble

MSFN is made available via donations, subscriptions and advertising revenue. The use of ad-blocking software hurts the site. Please disable ad-blocking software or set an exception for MSFN. Alternatively, register and become a site sponsor/subscriber and ads will be disabled automatically. 


patchworks

Open Sourcing Windows 9x

Recommended Posts

Yeah, a lot of NT fanboys on that message board. Still, it was an interesting read. Thanks for the link.

I posted this there because I thought that most of the programs and DLLs developed for ReactOS, as well as FreeDOS command programs, could be used on a Windows 9x Open Source OS... There's no need to code parts that are already out there....

The kernel and driver handling part would have to be written from scratch though...

(I'm not a programmer, so I may be wrong... :blushing: )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Olá!

The code can't be recycled that easily. I also follow ReactOS for some time and the current development status is nowhere stable nor efficient enough to run apps as we'd like it and this is something that simply makes me sad as I don't want to switch over to linux nor continue opressed by MS licensing and EULA's.

--

If you're really interested in pursuing this goal then you might however have better luck with the WINE files since they intend to emulate Win9x behavior and will likely allow replace much of the DLL's with other 32 bit equivalents.

The ReactOS team doesn't seem very interested to go anywhere and refuse any suggestion to add slight improvements that would at least make it a minimally usuable OS as NTFS support and care more about finishing the driver support area to use the same Windows drivers.

If more people used ReactOS as a work OS then it would surely increase the popularity and feedback.

Just sad to see no better alternatives (or "ReactOS") to run common MS based applications.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you're really interested in pursuing this goal then you might however have better luck with the WINE files since they intend to emulate Win9x behavior and will likely allow replace much of the DLL's with other 32 bit equivalents.

True, although ReactOS also borrows tons of code from WINE.

The ReactOS team doesn't seem very interested to go anywhere and refuse any suggestion to add slight improvements that would at least make it a minimally usuable OS as NTFS support and care more about finishing the driver support area to use the same Windows drivers.

Honestly, I agree with them. Whithout good driver support ReactOS will never be stable and fast, specially when it comes to gaming. Also, file systems are implemented via drivers, so without a good driver support, it might get complicated to implement something as complex as NTFS. Also, with NTFS they would have to start dealing with complicated stuff like implementing security, multiple user accouts and so on.

If more people used ReactOS as a work OS then it would surely increase the popularity and feedback.

The problems is, most people seem not to understand the concept of beta software, they install it and then expect it to run well. If ReactOS was more widespread, I think it would get a bad reputation due its instability and compatibility issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
By the time an OpenSource Win9x clone managed to do anything useful without any binaries from Microsoft, finding 9x drivers for anything would be a nightmare as horrible as it is to find WfW 3.11 drivers nowadays.

This would be when open-source drivers come in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think few people expect a stable and ready OS to be delivered from the ReactOS team.

Honestly, I agree with them. Whithout good driver support ReactOS will never be stable and fast, specially when it comes to gaming. Also, file systems are implemented via drivers, so without a good driver support, it might get complicated to implement something as complex as NTFS. Also, with NTFS they would have to start dealing with complicated stuff like implementing security, multiple user accouts and so on.

This has been done for ages under Linux and there are even DOS driver support. The documentation produced along the way is more than enough to understand what needs to be done and *nix OS's can add good support for working with this filesystem then it would be logical to see this as a much easier task for ReactOS.

They simply don't see it as priority and keep ReactOS from being used on real hardware situations.

Seriously doubt it would bring a bad reputation as people willing to use it are aware of the limitations and would likely find good ways to use this OS.

Also worth mentioning that some developers have already used NTFS.sys driver from Microsoft to add this support but it would pretty much defeat the point of using open source developments if we enclosed a MS file and I never saw this option available ever again.

--

Drivers for hardware aren´t a complication - look on driverpacks.net to find support for nearly about every vital piece of hardware.

:)

Edited by Nuno Brito

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The idea behind this is due to the proliferation of unofficial patchs/service packs.

Quite simple (in theory): gradual substitution of Windows 9x components by open source ones.

Starting from simple 'components' (such as shell, icons, embedded apps, etc) to the deep core (Memory manager, Kernel, etc).

Just a note: i'm not a programmer, so i can't do anything exept searching for open source components (here's my open source software list) and contacting their authors.

Along the same lines as you are thinking, this guy is already proposing outfitting Windows

with only freeware applications.

Interesting read...

http://www.freewaregenius.com/2007/10/29/r...eware-programs/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This would be when open-source drivers come in.

Then, besides coding the whole OS itself, the few programmers in the project would also have to code drivers for just about everything?

This has been done for ages under Linux and there are even DOS driver support. The documentation produced along the way is more than enough to understand what needs to be done and *nix OS's can add good support for working with this filesystem then it would be logical to see this as a much easier task for ReactOS.

I think they'll just use NTFS3G to create the FS driver when they decide to work on this.

They simply don't see it as priority and keep ReactOS from being used on real hardware situations.

Giving the fact that its compatibility with Win32 software and drivers isn't quite there, I don't see this as a big loss.

Seriously doubt it would bring a bad reputation as people willing to use it are aware of the limitations and would likely find good ways to use this OS.

That is the problem: if it becomes more popular, tons of "n00bs" might start using it just for the heck of it and then complain in the forums that "ROS did't run program X! It is a piece of ****!!!!!!!" because they do not seem to understand the concept of alpha software.

Of course, many people would be smart enough to understand this, but those "n00bs" alone would probably annoy the hell out of the developers and desmotivate them, possibly slowing down ROS' development.

Also worth mentioning that some developers have already used NTFS.sys driver from Microsoft to add this support but it would pretty much defeat the point of using open source developments if we enclosed a MS file and I never saw this option available ever again.

Interesting, didn't know that.

Drivers for hardware aren´t a complication - look on driverpacks.net to find support for nearly about every vital piece of hardware.

:)

Yup, the problem is getting them to work (well) in ROS right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Then, besides coding the whole OS itself, the few programmers in the project would also have to code drivers for just about everything?

Not necessarily. With good documentation you can get other programmers to port drivers, while the core team continues working on the actual OS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What some of the younger members might be unaware of is that the same team that originated ReactOS originally came from a DEAD project aiming to re-build Win9x from scratch, called FreeWin95:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReactOS#FreeWin95_to_ReactOS

While I do respect the abilities of most ReactOS team members, I concur with Nuno that they all seem more aimed to "academic" talking about this or that "fine tuning" and "high level" programming of a completely unusable module, rather than producing anything actually working, even in a limited way.

As I see it, they completely fail to see that to allow for a wider diffusion of ReactOS, and thus ultimately get more contributions, they should try to produce (and they do have the capabilities to do so ;)) something that answers the current needs of "advanced users", i.e. whatever features are missing from MS products.

To have initially a "mixed system" made out of MS base and some ReactOS components is what would guarantee a wider use of the project.

Things appear to start slowly changing, the latest FREELDR appears to have been successfully used to boot 2003. :)

But I don't think that anyone there will likely go back and do something for Win9x....

...the real bad thing is that whatever has been done in 1996 and 1997 was never publicly released, as it may be useful as a base for people possibly interested in the Win9x project.

Sadly, from my experience, there is some kind of CATCH22 going on:

Anyone interested in Win9x re-building is NOT a programmer capable of doing so.

Any programmer capable of re-building Win9x is not interested in Win9x rebuilding.

:wacko:

jaclaz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While I do respect the abilities of most ReactOS team members, I concur with Nuno that they all seem more aimed to "academic" talking about this or that "fine tuning" and "high level" programming of a completely unusable module, rather than producing anything actually working, even in a limited way.

As I see it, they completely fail to see that to allow for a wider diffusion of ReactOS, and thus ultimately get more contributions, they should try to produce (and they do have the capabilities to do so ;) ) something that answers the current needs of "advanced users", i.e. whatever features are missing from MS products.

Several developers have more expertise on determined areas. Perhaps most of them have more knowledge of kernel-related stuff? Or perhaps they just find programming the kernel more interesting? I'm a hobbyist programmer (but nowhere near their level) and I know how desmotivating it is to program something you are not thrilled about.

To have initially a "mixed system" made out of MS base and some ReactOS components is what would guarantee a wider use of the project.

I'm not a lawyer or anything, but wouldn't that be illegal? Even if it isn't, the ROS team seems obsessed about securing ROS legally, to the point I've seen discussions about whether using FAT is legal or not in their forums.

But I don't think that anyone there will likely go back and do something for Win9x....

...the real bad thing is that whatever has been done in 1996 and 1997 was never publicly released, as it may be useful as a base for people possibly interested in the Win9x project.

Yeah, and I doubt any of them has a backup of the old Free95 project.

Sadly, from my experience, there is some kind of CATCH22 going on:

Anyone interested in Win9x re-ruilding is NOT a programmer capable of doing so.

Any programmer capable of re-building Win9x is not interested in Win9x rebuilding.

True

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not a lawyer or anything, but wouldn't that be illegal? Even if it isn't, the ROS team seems obsessed about securing ROS legally, to the point I've seen discussions about whether using FAT is legal or not in their forums.

Depends on what country you're in. :P But jeez, i didn't know the ROS team's legal obsession is THAT bad. I didn't see any nix people sued for using FAT partitions...

Edited by Th3_uN1Qu3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NO, there is NO law against writing a program able to read and write a "patented" filesystem, on the contrary, the recent EU anti-trust sentence states exactly the opposite, the more methods to access a given protocol the better.

Point is whether Microsoft is entitled to require a fee for USING the "patented" filesystem.

The validity of the patent has been denied in Germany:

http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS9467496750.html

which will be most probably provoke it to be judged NOT VALID in all the EU.

As everyone knows, the release of the patent by the US office has been MUCH controversial:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/04/15/fat_patent_review/

http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/01/11/...tpatents_1.html

I find the idea of asking a fee to software producers absolutely queer, but, should the patent be proved to be valid, asking the fee for hardware items sold pre-formatted as FAT (like USB sticks, MP2 players or the like) might have it's merit.

jaclaz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To have initially a "mixed system" made out of MS base and some ReactOS components is what would guarantee a wider use of the project.

I'm not a lawyer or anything, but wouldn't that be illegal? Even if it isn't, the ROS team seems obsessed about securing ROS legally, to the point I've seen discussions about whether using FAT is legal or not in their forums.

But not too long ago the ReactOS team had to waste many months undertaking a code audit, as someone had taken a "short cut", and copied large slabs of Microsoft code directly into ReactOS. Now that was a litigation problem! So they had to identify it and get it all out before they could proceed with anything. I am therefore not at all surprised that they wish to be squeeky clean on the legalities front1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, this is an old topic, it's been 2 1/2 years. I had forgotten all about it and what I said, I had to read it all.

I will say I'm not as verbally aggressive now-a-days, so anything I posted in this thread that's confrontmental, I apologize for, but I do still stand behind my points. Of course there's a reason I sub-titled myself "trouble maker" as I will give unfiltered replies to subjects.

The amount of work required to "replace the guts" of Win9x is massive, and nearly impossible because you have to realize things like the 9x kernel has taken years to develop by entire teams. As a developer, I honestly don't know how projects like Wine ever get to a point of working without outright stealing a ton of DLLs from Windows.

But the real reason I'm posting is to ask "patchworks" (original poster):

Now that it's been 2.5yrs, a fair amount of time, how do you still feel about this idea of reworking 9x? Considering how much hardware has advanced and OSs like 2000 and XP don't really use much ran at all compared to how much and how cheaply you can buy it. Do you still hold 9x with so much regard. I will admit 98SE is a great OS, imho MS's 2nd best OS ever, but honestly, the advancements of the NT5 kernel are too great to ignore, and I would rather cough up the extra CPU & RAM to get a more stable OS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
this guy is already proposing outfitting Windows with only freeware applications.

No, not freeware, but open source.

Wow, this is an old topic, it's been 2 1/2 years.

Well, i believe that means that is an interesting idea, after all. :lol:

but I do still stand behind my points.

Me too, hehe. :rolleyes:

The amount of work required to "replace the guts" of Win9x is massive, and nearly impossible because you have to realize things like the 9x kernel has taken years to develop by entire teams. As a developer, I honestly don't know how projects like Wine ever get to a point of working without outright stealing a ton of DLLs from Windows.

Well then, I believe that you (and not just you, that means it's my fault) miunderstood the point.

I never sayd to "reinvent the weel" by coding a 9x compatible system from scratch (as ReactOS is doing for NT).

My project idea is something more similar to a specialized "WPIW", than an a standalone OS: as a requirement you need an installed Windows 9x (or 98SE, if we prefer) and a functional internet connection.

Then you simply download a "mod manager" that dynamically - 'cause 3rd party softwares just "comes out as mushrooms" - downloads and installs selected open source applications/drivers/icons/themes/etc in order to substitute the official ones.

This, as already specified, means that you have a fully functional OS since the "0.0001pre-alpha" version of the project (it can just mod icons and notepad, in the 1st version).

Now that it's been 2.5yrs, a fair amount of time, how do you still feel about this idea of reworking 9x?

Considering the prolification of unofficial patches and indipendent fans works/mods, I still believe that moving to open source could boost up the "revival" of the 9x platforms.

Pratical use ? An alternative to WFLP is just an example...

BTW, the project is mutch focused on building an "open source collaboration platform" between MSFN modders/devs/fan than intrinsic functionality.

:whistle:

Edited by patchworks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...