Linked by Michael Hill on Thu 7th Oct 2010 14:59 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes This is a painful article to write. I've been a longtime fan and user of what is affectionately known as PC/GEOS over the years. However, I'm fearing we're nearing the end of GEOS.
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by edwdig on Sun 10th Oct 2010 04:31 UTC in reply to "I use PC/GEOS"
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I have GEOS installed on my two dedicated DOS machines, and I run it in DOSBox on my Mac. Recently I downloaded the SDK and have played around with that. It has its own OO layer that generates C that is then compiled by Borland C++ 4.5. Its a pretty interesting SDK... a little hard to get used to at first, but its a truly OO message-passing based API.

The general impression was that the SDK was hard to get used to for people who were already comfortable with Win32 programming. On the flip side, if you had never done GUI programming before, GEOS was far, far easier to work with than Win32.

Now as for what I would like to see happen to it? Ideally, open source it.

Never going to happen. It would be very expensive to sort through the legal issues. You'd then have to pay someone to spend months removing the licensed code and getting things working again.

And if you did all that, you'd have a very small number of people who understood the core system well enough to do serious work on it. I'd also guess that if any of those people had any interest in doing that work for free that it would have already happened.

If not that, finish the 32 bit version that has modern networking support, and a modernized "Specific UI".

Find the money...

I would also like to see Breadbox just bundle it with DOSBox.

That seems totally reasonable. I don't see any reason why that couldn't happen easily.

There must be some way for Breadbox to involve hobbiest developers in PC/GEOS.

There used to be a decent number of them, and Breadbox did support them. I tried to help out the hobbiest developers, and I know several of the senior GEOS developers did as well. Most of the features added to NewBasic after the original release were because of that.

Maybe get the SDK to work with GCC or a Linux version of the SDK?

GCC doesn't support segmented memory models. OpenWatcom is the only compiler that's a realistic option. When I looked into it years ago, OpenWatcom didn't run on Linux yet.

I did briefly experiment with trying to build GEOS code using OpenWatcom, but at the time I didn't know anywhere near enough about makefiles to get anywhere. It should be possible though.

A Developer portal?

Stuff like that used to exist. It all died out when active development of the OS stopped.

Maybe open-source some part of the office suite or one of the other programs?

The source code to GeoFile was included with the GEOS 2.0 SDK. No one did anything significant with it.

Several of the more prominent GEOS developers were very willing to share their own code when asked.

A contest of some kind?

One of the user groups used to run development contests every year. I won a few prizes in them myself. The contests ended due to a combination of the userbase shrinking and most of the better developers getting hired by Breadbox, NewDeal, MyTurn, and Geoworks.

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