Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 31st Jan 2006 15:25 UTC, submitted by fsmdave
ReactOS "Among the many free software projects out there, I think ReactOS is particularly worth some discussion. This is an effort to create a complete, clean room re-implementation of the entire Microsoft Windows NT operating system. Here is why I think this project is important."
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He's got a point
by Terracotta on Tue 31st Jan 2006 15:44 UTC
Terracotta
Member since:
2005-08-15

I must say that, though I in the beginning was a bit negative to this project, I must say that it does has it's advantage. So can it help people to migrate to open source tools like for example KDE, and make them slowly change to open source software, without loosing their beloved apps. Or some hardware may work on their system while they can still use OSS.

Reply Score: 2

Idealism
by JrezIN on Tue 31st Jan 2006 15:50 UTC
JrezIN
Member since:
2005-06-29

Idealism is the major creation force behind most of open-source movement... Political question should not stop idealist people from doing what they want... As long they're open minded, almost any project can be usefull, if not for many, for some.

Political and industry interest sure is one big reason for such sucess of the open source movement these days, but idealism still the major reason for most of these projects' creation.

If they want to bring another alternative for everyone, why bother to weak their work just for policition reasons as acelerating the adoption of another one? In the end, it's no good for anyone.

I wish luck for the ReactOS to solve the problems with that small part of the code they had last week. It's an important and decent project, no matter what.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Idealism
by modmans2ndcoming on Tue 31st Jan 2006 18:46 UTC in reply to "Idealism"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

Idealism? OSS folks see software as an extension of the spiritual world?

I Think it is more pragmatism than idealism my friend :-)

Reply Score: 2

breaking interfaces
by Morin on Tue 31st Jan 2006 15:56 UTC
Morin
Member since:
2005-12-31

> It will also mean that when or if Microsoft chooses to change or deliberately break
> interfaces to force software to migrate to their newest operating system release
> and also deliberately break their own development environments and platform
> sdk's to force software built from them to require the same, while removing the
> older ones from the marketplace, these same companies will not be forced to follow
> this and have Microsoft dictate and control where their software will run or what
> market their software can be sold into. So ReactOS is important even to proprietary
> software developers today.

In what way does ReactOS make old apps run on the newest version of Windows which otherwise wouldn't run? Say, Company X writes an application that runs on 2k/XP (current ROS target) and will no longer run on a (yet fictional) Windows 2010. Joe User would be unable to use that application when he upgrades to Win2010. How does ReactOS prevent this? (The only thing I could remotely imagine is that Mr User has to upgrade to ReactOS instead of Win2010, but saying "sorry Joe, our software doesn't run with stock Windows" is a good way to lose your customers).

Slightly offtopic, the code audit runs with an amazing speed:
http://www.reactos.org/wiki/index.php?title=Audit&action=history

- Morin

Reply Score: 2

RE: breaking interfaces
by dagw on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:08 UTC in reply to "breaking interfaces"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

A lot of companies have ancient software running on ancient servers. This is unlikely to change in the future. So when you upgrade to Win2010 and your really important app won't run, you can move that app to ReactOS (perhaps running in a virtual machine) instead of having a server running an old unsupported version of windows.

Sure the company who supplied the software should have issued an upgrade to run on Win2010, but they went bankrupt in 2006. Either that or it was an inhouse app written by a guy who quit 6 years ago and no one is really sure where the source code is, or for that matter exactly what it does.

Reply Score: 1

What un documented APIs?
by aedwards on Tue 31st Jan 2006 16:46 UTC
aedwards
Member since:
2006-01-31

Would someone please tell me where a list of this perceived un documented APis exist? Can this be posted online in the format of what feature is missing or what the function name would be at the C API level?

I have been a C coder for 11 years and actually worked on the Office Group, Visual C++, AND Visual Basic at MS and I never saw any hidden APIs. On top of that they need to sell their OS by having developers write applications that do things for business and consumers so they can be productive every day. How in the world would it help us for them to hide APIs? I am still working on C based software and having no problems finding info I need for features or functionality expsed via their C API, .NET, or any of their other APIs.

I normally don't get so up on something, but I have ben hearing this accusation for years with NO backup!

Thanks,
Allan
http://www.aspire.ws
Aspire Managed Solutions, Inc.

Edited 2006-01-31 16:47

Reply Score: 2

RE: What un documented APIs?
by peejay on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:00 UTC in reply to "What un documented APIs?"
peejay Member since:
2005-06-29

Would someone please tell me where a list of this perceived un documented APis exist? Can this be posted online in the format of what feature is missing or what the function name would be at the C API level?

No, then they wouldn't be undocumented.

I have been a C coder for 11 years and actually worked on the Office Group, Visual C++, AND Visual Basic at MS and I never saw any hidden APIs.

Well yeah, that's the idea. ;)


(The truth is, I have no idea about them, one way or the other.)

Reply Score: 3

RE: What un documented APIs?
by siride on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:32 UTC in reply to "What un documented APIs?"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

There's the native API, for one. It's not really hidden (you can easily see the symbols with that DLL viewer program by opening ntdll.dll), but it's not documented.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What un documented APIs?
by bornagainenguin on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:53 UTC in reply to "What un documented APIs?"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

I have been a C coder for 11 years and actually worked on the Office Group, Visual C++, AND Visual Basic at MS and I never saw any hidden APIs. On top of that they need to sell their OS by having developers write applications that do things for business and consumers so they can be productive every day. How in the world would it help us for them to hide APIs? I am still working on C based software and having no problems finding info I need for features or functionality expsed via their C API, .NET, or any of their other APIs. --aedwards


Like you were told when you made this point on TFA commentary pages, do a search in google for undocumented API Windows and see how much stuff comes up!

Surely I'm not the only one who remembers that old chant: "DOS isn't done until Lotus won't run"? And when it changed variously to "Windows isn't done until _________ won't run"?

But just so I'm not immediately written off as a troll, here are a few hot links...some that should be familiar for you if you've actually been programming for the last ten years:

Undocumented Windows® 95:
[ http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/4942/contents.html ]

And lest you claim that was then, this is now, here's a news article where MS announces it will share 272 undocumented APIs as part of their attempts to end run the DOJ case they got out of with a slap on the wrist:

[ http://news.zdnet.co.uk/business/0,39020645,2121402,00.htm ]

Finally I will tell you that these tpes of code exist in not just Windows 9x but in the NT series of Windows as well, but to get that information you'll have to shop Amazon:

[ http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0201608340/qid=1138729646/sr=1-1/r... ]

So nice try but no dice. Oh and after consiering the matter for a bit I'm going to report your post as spam, because honestly if you've been coding for a while you know these things and the only reason I can think for you to blantantly state such utter crock is if you were hoping to get people to click the links to your website...

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 4

RE: What un documented APIs?
by A.H. on Tue 31st Jan 2006 22:16 UTC in reply to "What un documented APIs?"
A.H. Member since:
2005-11-11

"On top of that they need to sell their OS by having developers write applications that do things for business and consumers so they can be productive every day. How in the world would it help us for them to hide APIs?"

This logic would've worked perfectly if MS was developing and selling OS only.

However, since they are not, consider this purely hypothetical scenario: MS gives 3rd party developers "good enough" documented APIs to see what kind of applications they manage to come up with. Then they take the most successful of those applications and write they own version of them, using undocumented APIs to give their applications a bit of an edge over 3rd party.

I know it's completely paranoid and probably is not true.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What un documented APIs?
by bornagainenguin on Wed 1st Feb 2006 01:23 UTC in reply to "What un documented APIs?"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

Still no reply?

Looking at your profile shows that for all practical purposes you registered here more or less soley for the purpose of commenting on this issue so near and dear to your heart...

...and then have not made a single response to the rest of the discussion! Doing some elementry Googling brings up that your company once sponsored a .Net programming contest on OSNews.com (which might explain why your spam post is still up..) and that from what I understood of the business speak posted in an advert for a business seminar your programming experience seems to be in databases--please correct me if I'm wrong!

His career with the Inland Revenue started in a local tax office before he moved into IT as a programmer developing large national systems. He had experience of live systems support before taking up a role as a systems designer. Following his spell at TSB he returned to the IR working in Operational Research mainly focusing on software development metrics but also developing process/simulation models. He then led a feasibility appraisal team that was responsible for working with IT suppliers in order to develop and cost potential solutions prior to project approval. Most recently he has been part of the Business Design Office and has been responsible for developing an Enterprise Model to support the Business Architect role.
--found here:
[ http://www.irmuk.co.uk/eac2004/speakers.htm#Edwards ]

--bornagainpenguin (who is about to waste several of his votes seeing that your post gets voted down as obviosuly being either A) Spam or B) Astro-turfing, since it seems quite odd for a programmer of your prestige to make these outlandish claims...)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What un documented APIs?
by sappyvcv on Wed 1st Feb 2006 04:29 UTC in reply to "RE: What un documented APIs?"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Have you looked at some of the undocumented APIs?

Most of them are very trivial. Stuff any programmer can do with ease.

DPA_ functions are basically just abstract functions for maintaining a memory pool of array pointers.

None of those APIs are some super secret that gave Microsoft some sort of unfair advantage. It was simply a slip in their process, or someone thought a function wasn't important enough to document. Go code for a large company and you might understand better.

Reply Score: 1

Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

Yes, there's a number of undocumented functions in Windows. They're not intended for public use. Some of them are just placeholders that end up being deprecated in favor of more complete frameworks later on. Nothing the person linked to was some sort of secret API that made Microsoft's products superior to their competitors'.

Reply Score: 1

Microsoft Virtual Server
by AndrewZ on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:23 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15

"A lot of companies have ancient software running on ancient servers. This is unlikely to change in the future. So when you upgrade to Win2010 and your really important app won't run, you can move that app to ReactOS (perhaps running in a virtual machine) instead of having a server running an old unsupported version of windows."

Microsoft has addressed the issue of legacy software with their Virtual Server product. It allows you to run older versions of the OS, and older legacy applications on a modern OS with modern hardware.

It's a much better, supported solution
at present. But ReactOS may provide alternative choices in the future. And options are always good.

Reply Score: 2

Please consider emulation!
by vdbergh on Tue 31st Jan 2006 17:56 UTC
vdbergh
Member since:
2006-01-31

I think the main application of Reactos will be to run inside an emulator (say qemu). In this way you will be able to play your old Windows games when Microsoft has moved on (and you can also play them on Linux). This is the way I use Freedos. To play DOS games it is much faster to run Freedos inside qemu than to use dosbox.

Another important application is the use of hardware without Linux support. Just install the drivers in a small Reactos image inside an emulator. I use this method for a Canon printer (with a real XP image, as Reactos does not do USB yet I think).

Reply Score: 2

Does anyone use the OS?
by libray on Wed 1st Feb 2006 14:29 UTC
libray
Member since:
2005-08-27

It is an interesting project. But, as far as I can see, relying on using this in anything but a hobbyist environment will never be a reality. There was already an created OS that could run its own native apps as well as the current Windows apps of the day. That was OS/2.

Reply Score: 1