Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 6th Jul 2009 14:12 UTC, submitted by s1oan
ReactOS The team behind ReactOS, the NT-compatible open source operating system, have released ReactOS 0.3.10, which comes with many improvements aimed towards making it easier to run ReactOS on real hardware.
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RE[2]: Contributing to Wine
by lemur2 on Wed 8th Jul 2009 05:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Contributing to Wine"
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How exactly is Wine more patent-threat proof than ReactOS?

Well, a patent protects an invention, or if you will "an implementation of an idea".

What this means in practice is that it should have been possible (and was) to get a patent on the formula for paracetemol, as an example, but it should not be possible to patent the idea of a "headache tablet" itself. So neurofen wouldn't infringe on the patent for panadol, even though both were headache tablets, because neurofen is a different formula and it works in a different way.

OK, with me so far?

Wine works by intercepting the calls a running program makes to the OS, and it determines if the running program is a Windows executable, and if so it interprets the parameters as if this were a call to the win32 ABI, and Wine then translates these to equivalent parameters for a call to the underlying Linux kernel and drivers. Wine does the reverse things with the results returned.

ReactOS works by passing the parameters directly to an entry point in a loaded dll.

In short, ReactOS tries to work exactly like Windows, whereas Wine tries to achieve the same things as Windows in an entirely different way. Wine is to Windows as neurofen is to paracetemol. ReactOS is to Windows as a paracetemol ripoff is to paracetemol.

Therefore, ReactOS is far, far more likely to infringe any patent, assuming there is a valid patent, on Windows ABI.

Mind you, having said all that, there is COPIOUS prior art on ABIs for Operating Systems, so IMO it is very, very unlikely that there is indeed any valid patents involved here.

Edited 2009-07-08 05:35 UTC

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