Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 16th Jun 2017 22:50 UTC
ReactOS

ReactOS is participating in Google Summer of Code, and two of their projects have been detailed. Trevor Thompson is working on improving the NTFS driver:

When I started last year, ReactOS could read files from an NTFS volume, but had no write support whatsoever. After GSoC last year, the driver in my branch could overwrite existing files. I also fixed a few bugs in the driver's ability to read files, which have already been merged into the trunk. I also fixed ReactOS' implementation of LargeMCB's, which our NTFS driver has come to rely on, and which a few other filesystem drivers rely on.

My goals for this summer are simply file creation and deletion.

Meanwhile, Shriraj Sawant is working on adding taskbar features (more about Sawant in his GSoC blog post):

The current shell in ReactOS lets user manager running applications, start other applications and manage files but nothing more. This idea is about implementing 3 small shell extensions for showing the state of the battery of the machine, for ejecting usb devices and implementing the quick launch toolbar. These are important requirements and they are much needed while presenting ReactOS in real hardware. Not knowing the state of the battery or not being able to eject a usb flash drive is a serious usability problem. The shell extensions would be developed and tested to work on Windows.

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Comment by The123king
by The123king on Sat 17th Jun 2017 08:53 UTC
The123king
Member since:
2009-05-28

Maybe by 0.5 we'll be able to boot ReactOS on NTFS...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by The123king
by dark2 on Sat 17th Jun 2017 14:52 UTC in reply to "Comment by The123king"
dark2 Member since:
2014-12-30

You'll still need to have formatted the drive using an existing Windows license. Installing to EXT2/3 is critically needed.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by The123king
by Andre on Sat 17th Jun 2017 21:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by The123king"
Andre Member since:
2005-07-06

There is mkfs.ntfs on Linux. So technically one would not need Windows.

Furthermore, booting from ext2/3/4 file systems would be nice, but ext2/3/4 do not offer some features used by Windows. Different security model, Alternative Data Stream.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by The123king
by dark2 on Sun 18th Jun 2017 15:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by The123king"
dark2 Member since:
2014-12-30

Mkfs.ntfs can probably be shut down by a cease and desist letter from Microsoft. I highly doubt they licensed it. Since it's not licensed, a business environment can be put in a world of legal trouble for using it without the appropriate Windows license.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by The123king
by Megol on Sun 18th Jun 2017 17:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by The123king"
Megol Member since:
2011-04-11

Mkfs.ntfs can probably be shut down by a cease and desist letter from Microsoft. I highly doubt they licensed it. Since it's not licensed, a business environment can be put in a world of legal trouble for using it without the appropriate Windows license.


This is the year 2017 - Windows NT was introduced with NTFS in 1993. 24 years -> no patents.

So why do you think there would need to be a licence from Microsoft?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by The123king
by galvanash on Sun 18th Jun 2017 18:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by The123king"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

is the year 2017 - Windows NT was introduced with NTFS in 1993. 24 years -> no patents.


There are no patents to speak of. Microsoft didn't patent anything for NTFS. They simply protected it as a trade secret - you had to sign an NDA to view documentation of the file system internals. All the open source (or otherwise) implementations are reverse engineered.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Comment by The123king
by Megol on Mon 19th Jun 2017 17:14 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by The123king"
Megol Member since:
2011-04-11

"is the year 2017 - Windows NT was introduced with NTFS in 1993. 24 years -> no patents.


There are no patents to speak of. Microsoft didn't patent anything for NTFS. They simply protected it as a trade secret - you had to sign an NDA to view documentation of the file system internals. All the open source (or otherwise) implementations are reverse engineered.
"

Of course I know that. But reverse engineering a product is legal in most of the world. So patents would be the only reason to sue - which it obviously isn't.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by The123king
by Andre on Sun 18th Jun 2017 18:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by The123king"
Andre Member since:
2005-07-06

If patents would be an issue, the fact that NTFS was introduced in 1993 does not solve the problem.

The initial version from NT 3.1 is incompatible with the version of NTFS used in NT 3.51 and later. So, that would be 1995.

Furthermore, with each following NT release (NT 4.0, 2000, XP ...) some extensions have been added, which could also have been patented if Microsoft wanted to.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by The123king
by dylansmrjones on Mon 19th Jun 2017 10:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by The123king"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

That would mostly hurt people in USA, but not the rest of mankind.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by The123king
by Spiron on Mon 19th Jun 2017 12:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by The123king"
Spiron Member since:
2011-03-08

Which is why the ntfs-3g project, and Tuxera as a company, have been shutdown...

oh that's right they haven't. You're spouting bullocks.

While it's possible they COULD shut it down IF they proved that the ntfs-3g project definitely looked at their code and copied some bits this could be difficult because of the open source nature of it. Any copied code would have been there for years and years at a time when MS really were going after projects for copied code (see reactOS's previous legal troubles). As they haven't instigated legal action it's probably safe to assume that there isn't any copied code.

Secondly, you don't need a license to format a drive into a given filesystem. Lots of devices offer the ability to format NTFS without running windows or having paid a license. We're not just talking about no name Chinese sellers either, I used to have a Western Digital device for my TV that could format NTFS. Any companies legal department would look at this for a couple of hours and then probably clear the use of any driver to format a given disk.
That's probably a moot point though because ReactOS isn't anywhere near being usable for almost all buinesses, and the ones that it would work fine for probably aren't using anything that couldn't be done with FAT. ReactOS is a nice idea but ultimately can't compete with the march of technology

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by The123king
by Alfman on Mon 19th Jun 2017 14:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by The123king"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Spiron,

Which is why the ntfs-3g project, and Tuxera as a company, have been shutdown...

oh that's right they haven't. You're spouting bullocks.

While it's possible they COULD shut it down IF they proved that the ntfs-3g project definitely looked at their code and copied some bits this could be difficult because of the open source nature of it. Any copied code would have been there for years and years at a time when MS really were going after projects for copied code (see reactOS's previous legal troubles). As they haven't instigated legal action it's probably safe to assume that there isn't any copied code.



I don't think the legal situation is this simple. First of all, patents don't require the defendant to have any knowledge of the original source. In this case many patents will have expired, but any NTFS features from the last two decades might still be patented. Second of all, the recent case between oracle and google shows us that interfaces could be considered copyrightable by the courts regardless of the implementations, so if it went to court, then conceivably MS could claim the NTFS interfaces are copyrighted and reactos would have to seek an exception to those copyrights, which the court could rule on either way. This is *not* the way copyrights have been used traditionally, but I think the oracle case has opened the door to blocking independent clones.


Secondly, you don't need a license to format a drive into a given filesystem. Lots of devices offer the ability to format NTFS without running windows or having paid a license. We're not just talking about no name Chinese sellers either, I used to have a Western Digital device for my TV that could format NTFS.


Do you know this for a fact? I don't know if it's the case here, but it is pretty common for manufactures to pay blanket royalties.


That's probably a moot point though because ReactOS isn't anywhere near being usable for almost all buinesses, and the ones that it would work fine for probably aren't using anything that couldn't be done with FAT. ReactOS is a nice idea but ultimately can't compete with the march of technology


That's probably what microsoft is thinking from its perspective, they may not consider reactos to be that much of a threat. Suing them would produce a lot of negative criticism for relatively little gain. If this ratio were to change and reactos became a competitive threat, then microsoft likely would bring them to court. A court case itself would cost millions, be dragged out for years, and assuming reactos could afford to defend itself I honestly don't know what reactos' odds would be of winning in the end. The goal of reimplementing the win32 APIs is so fundamental to reactos, yet the courts might easily rule that microsoft owns the rights to them.

I'm not happy about any of this, but realistically I don't think we can dismiss it.

Reply Score: 2

yerverluvinunclebert Member since:
2014-05-03

ReactOS will run on various file systems and so full NTFS support will come. ReactOS will not depend upon NTFS for the reasons others have stated here but it will be able to read and write on an NFTS partition, that development is underway now. FAT32 is the current file system, but EXT, ReiserFS and others may/will come in time.

https://www.reactos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3537&start=45

Edited 2017-06-19 15:11 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

No business environment should even consider using reactos for any purpose. Not for any legal reasons, but because the value proposition isn't there. Windows licenses are relatively cheap for businesses and React os is not stable or complete enough.

Reply Score: 2

yerverluvinunclebert Member since:
2014-05-03

No business environment should even consider using reactos for any purpose. Not for any legal reasons, but because the value proposition isn't there. Windows licenses are relatively cheap for businesses and React os is not stable or complete enough.


Your statements are as sweeping as they are incorrect.

Actually some would consider it, in fact some have gone further than that. Some are using it now for discrete tasks. Many business are looking to ReactOS to synchronise or work with their software/hardware. It is stable enough for a particular task, whatever that task is.

None of them SHOULD be using ReactOS in its current state for any serious business purpose - yet some already are, that is how keen they are.

Edited 2017-06-19 15:03 UTC

Reply Score: 1

yahya
Member since:
2007-03-29

If NTFS is to be the target file system, having only very incomplete support for it after over 20 years of development(see https://www.reactos.org/wiki/FreeWin95 ) makes it seem rather unlikely that ReactOS will ever become a viable replacement for Windoze.

Edited 2017-06-18 12:28 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Andre Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows 95 didn't support NTFS either, so when targeting a Windows 95 clone, they didn't even have to consider anything about NTFS. So after 20 years, that's not fair to say. It would be fair to take the point in time where it started to be an NT clone.

Reply Score: 1

yahya Member since:
2007-03-29

Windows NT 4.0 came out in July 1996, NTFS has been around since 1983.

Even if we start counting later, the picture remains pretty depressing.

I am not blaming the ReactOS guys for anything, but given the pace of process over the last decade or so, it is just mathematically impossible that they are ever going to catch up with Windows which is a moving target anyway.

Edited 2017-06-19 07:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

yerverluvinunclebert Member since:
2014-05-03

Incorrect. If you knew the project you'd understand. Reactos is a community project and has 20 or so devs.
Microdolts has hundreds.

Windows is undocumented and the process to recreate an o/s is markedly more difficult than creating an o/s from scratch and making it look like Windows.

It has to be driver and application compatible, then the UIX must be identical in operation not to mention the fundamental memory management. On top of that there are all the other o/s functions such as file systems, USB support &c. The task is huge but it really IS happening. All of this needs to be researched, documented and re-engineered in a clean room environment.

Whether it happens in your timescales is academic as you aren't involved. The project isn't for YOU. Rather than complain in an unconstructive fashion, get involved, contribute code or money and it WILL happen quicker. The speed of completion is down to you personally. Sell your house and give the proceeds to the ReactOS team and it will complete next year.

PS. They don't have to catch up with Windows - that isn't the idea. They are creating an NT5 system which to you is XP or Server 2003. That will allow the majority of 32bit apps and drivers to function normally. Subsequent enhancements will allow further addition of functionality as the community determines/provides.

Edited 2017-06-19 10:46 UTC

Reply Score: 3

yahya Member since:
2007-03-29

Incorrect. If you knew the project you'd understand. Reactos is a community project and has 20 or so devs.
Microdolts has hundreds.


I am aware of that. But this does not refute the conclusion that it is unlikely to ever catch up with Windows, rather it expains why.



Windows is undocumented and the process to recreate an o/s is markedly more difficult than creating an o/s from scratch and making it look like Windows.

It has to be driver and application compatible, then the UIX must be identical in operation not to mention the fundamental memory management. On top of that there are all the other o/s functions such as file systems, USB support &c. The task is huge but it really IS happening. All of this needs to be researched, documented and re-engineered in a clean room environment.


Again, you make my point by giving all kinds of reasons for why it is difficult for a small resource-depleted project to produce a viable Windows clone.



Whether it happens in your timescales is academic as you aren't involved. The project isn't for YOU. Rather than complain in an unconstructive fashion, get involved, contribute code or money and it WILL happen quicker.



I have donated to what was labelled the "ReactOS community edition", admittedly not a huge amount, but still I wanted to support the project. But the language chosen in that funding drive was quite premature, invoking the false impression that if you donate now, there would be a usable project in the not too distant future. I have come to understand that this is not a realistic expectation. I am a happy user of Debian and Arch Linux and it looks like this is not going to change in the next few years.

Reply Score: 2

yerverluvinunclebert Member since:
2014-05-03

I am using reactos for a single task and it works well.

Others are already using ReactOS for a single task.

It isn't recommended but for many applications it already works.

ReactOS will never be complete but what it will do is offer increasing compatibility and functionality. ReactOS will meet 2003 compatibility - that is certain - it is just a matter of when.

I will consider reactOS as complete for me when it runs my applications in a stable fashion.

IF you think that I am agreeing with you then I am happy for you. The point is that rather that disparage something that doesn't work for YOUR timescales, consider the size of the task and encourage completion through donation of more of your time and/or money.

Being positive helps the project as it is community driven. There are two types of people in the world, the do-ers and the complainers. Some shine, some drain. I call the latter dementors, courtesy of Harry Potter. Consider in which category you fit.

Reply Score: 1

orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

(Sigh). This is the classic rhetorical option of all those who, when faced with valid criticism, put their fingers in their ears and instead of even acknowledging the kernel of the point raised, repeat "Not listening, *whiner*".

So, what is ReactOS for ultimately, if not general use? Is it a demonstrator? No, it's more than that, or at least claims to be as a goal (or is claimed to be by its adherents); is it generally ready to be used as a replacement for any reasonably recent and still updated version of Windows? No. Will it be ready in the next 20 years at this pace. No. In 2O years' time we will have AI, implants will be the norm in first world countries, and we personally will to an extent be the walking, talking Internet of Things. That is, in terms of desktop computing, by that time all bets will be off.

ReactOS is a fine idea but let us face it, it will be sitting in this No Man's Land for years to come...And what was that about "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."?

The ReactOS community conversely has no moral right to claim anyone's blanket allegiance, 'just because'. Yes we could all get involved and all contribute but would it in the end matter? Personally I think not per se. But each to their own.

Reply Score: 2

yerverluvinunclebert Member since:
2014-05-03

(Sigh). This is the classic rhetorical option of all those who...


Oh, you are SO clever, oh and you've won the argument because you began it with a sigh...

You are the sort of person that it is a mistake to engage with. Patronising and oh so correct at the same time. We only meet your type on the internet.

Pointless. Time spent on you is time utterly wasted. Engagement over.

Reply Score: 1

yahya Member since:
2007-03-29

I am using reactos for a single task and it works well.

Others are already using ReactOS for a single task.

It isn't recommended but for many applications it already works.


What kind of tasks are you using it for? Because each application I tried it for failed. If it runs in Wine, I am going to use Wine, because that's integrated with my system. When it does not run in Wine, it does not run in ReactOS either, that's my experience. So I end up running it in Windows in VirtualBox.


ReactOS will never be complete but what it will do is offer increasing compatibility and functionality. ReactOS will meet 2003 compatibility - that is certain - it is just a matter of when.


But at the current pace, that's going to be at least another 10-15 years. Who is still going to be running Win32 applications by then?

Haiku has managed to produce a fairly complete and mature BeOS clone, but who cares now, except for a few nostalgics? I actually do like it a lot, and it works so much better on my machines than ReactOS (actually, the big advantage over ReactOS is, that it does run on my real hardware, while ROS only runs in Virtualbox), but if there is nothing much I can do with it, I am not going to really use it.

Reply Score: 2

Megol Member since:
2011-04-11

Windows NT 4.0 came out in July 1996, NTFS has been around since 1983.


What? No!

The Windows NT project hadn't even started at that time _and_ even if it were started, NTFS were magically ready at the start of the project it still wouldn't have anything to do with the patent date.

Reply Score: 2

yahya Member since:
2007-03-29

I meant 1993, not 1983. That's when NTFS was introduced with Windows NT 3.1. That's early geological history. Linux was just two years old back then.

But even if we start counting only with the first consumer targeted Windows using NTFS, it is very hard not to acknowledge that ReactOS not having complete support for it by now indicates that it is unlikely to succeed before Win32 fades into obscurity. Again, I am not blaming anyone. I know that the ReactOS folks are a small crowd with very limited resources, but when I read some of the comments here beginning with "ReactOS will ..." I just have to think of those street preachers who insist that Jesus is returning any day now...

Reply Score: 2

Andre Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah, I remember hoping ReactOS would be stable at the time Vista was going to be released because Vista was going to be such a disaster.... and now many years later it's still not there.

Reply Score: 1

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Windows NT 4.0 came out in July 1996, NTFS has been around since 1983.


I think you meant 1993 which is when NT 3.1 was released, along with NTFS 1.0.

Reply Score: 2

Promoting positivity
by yerverluvinunclebert on Mon 19th Jun 2017 12:11 UTC
yerverluvinunclebert
Member since:
2014-05-03

In the light of my previous comment- I'd like to promote some positivity. Showing how some apps run perfectly well. They tend to be encapsulated and self contained apps that do not depend too much on .net and other newer MS technologies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeM-zJLCokQ&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_m...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Promoting positivity
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 19th Jun 2017 13:42 UTC in reply to "Promoting positivity"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

You know .Net was introduced in 2002. 15 years ago. Its not exactly new technology.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Promoting positivity
by yerverluvinunclebert on Mon 19th Jun 2017 14:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Promoting positivity"
yerverluvinunclebert Member since:
2014-05-03

You know .Net was introduced in 2002. 15 years ago. Its not exactly new technology.


So? the first date of .net is worth quoting, why? .net has changed immeasurably over that time but ReactOS hasn't tried to support any version as it makes no sense yet.

It merely points out that the team has not ported mono or some other open source .net tool into ReactOS yet. It isn't trying to do everything NOW. They are still working on the core before they start working on supporting the layered products. When the core is complete many of these components will just start working... in the natural way of things. As far as I know no-one is working on .net support yet for that very reason.

It is strange how these obvious facts are unclear to so many potentially bright people.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Promoting positivity
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 20th Jun 2017 13:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Promoting positivity"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

The comment I was replying to said that they weren't doing anything new like .Net, Which is an absurd comment.

Which parts they try to tackle first is kind of irrelevant as they won't ever catch up to any version of windows. I'm sure the people working on it are very bright, no knock on them. But Microsoft had thousands working on different aspects of windows full time for years. Which made it a mess in some parts, and really good in others. Its not reasonable to expect a group of developers to match that, without a compelling reason and a bunch of supporting companies ( which helped launch Linux, see IBM in the late 90's early '00).

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Promoting positivity
by Megol on Wed 21st Jun 2017 14:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Promoting positivity"
Megol Member since:
2011-04-11

The comment I was replying to said that they weren't doing anything new like .Net, Which is an absurd comment.

Which parts they try to tackle first is kind of irrelevant as they won't ever catch up to any version of windows. I'm sure the people working on it are very bright, no knock on them. But Microsoft had thousands working on different aspects of windows full time for years. Which made it a mess in some parts, and really good in others. Its not reasonable to expect a group of developers to match that, without a compelling reason and a bunch of supporting companies ( which helped launch Linux, see IBM in the late 90's early '00).


Why do you think they have to "catch up"? I would love a system completely void of .net/metro/modern stuff that is still compatible with Win32. I doubt I am the only one. If one want to add .net later or as an option it is possible - there are open source variants that can be ported.

Even "just" building a system compatible with the native NT API could provide a good base for operating system experiments. What about a hybrid system where parts are open source and parts are closed source parts from Microsoft? Or a hybrid that essentially provides the Linux susbsystem for Windows on an open-source kernel using Windows drivers?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Promoting positivity
by yahya on Tue 20th Jun 2017 11:13 UTC in reply to "Promoting positivity"
yahya Member since:
2007-03-29

I guess the problem I have with videos of this sort is, while some applications do run on Reactos (mostly applications which are also available natively for Linux), the ReactOS install from whom the video is taken is invariably in an emulator, not on real hardware.

And this seems to have gotten worse over the years. I recall, some 12-14 years ago I tried ReactOS 0.0.1 on a real desktop PC, it was a pure command line os, it couldn't do much, but at least it did run on real hardware. In recent years, whenever I try the same trick again, it fails almost all the time, quite as if the devs had stopped caring about real hardware and all they cared about was taking videos of a reactos install in Virtualbox running Firefox, Thunderbird or VLC. Maybe that's enough for crowdfunding drives on Indiegogo, but I doubt that is going to get ROS anywhere.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Darkmage
by Darkmage on Tue 20th Jun 2017 06:00 UTC
Darkmage
Member since:
2006-10-20

Considering that Caligari Truespace and 3D Studio Max both already work in ReactOS. You can already model and animate on ReactOS and then render out using a network renderer on a Linux cluster. That's a pretty huge win already.

Reply Score: 2