posted by Thom Holwerda on Thu 8th May 2008 21:32 UTC
IconThere are quite a few operating systems which have moved beyond the simple hobby operating system stage, onto a more lasting plane of existence. AROS, ReactOS, SkyOS, Syllable, Haiku; they're no longer basement products, coded by a single programer - they are now projects in which a lot of people have invested time, and possibly money too. They won't go away any time soon. The last few days have seen news on three of these systems: ReactOS, SkyOS, and Syllable.

Firstly, Syllable. Ruwen Boehm ported the VLC and MPlayer multimedia players to Syllable Desktop (VLC screenshot). The behaviour of both is still a bit rough, but watching DVDs on Syllable is possible now. Some of the needed parts were ported by Rui Caridade, Andrew Kennan, and Kaj de Vos. Newly ported components include FAAD2, FLAC, FontConfig, LibA52, LibCDDB, LibDVDNav, LibDVDRead, LibID3Tag, LibMAD and LibMPEG2. These packages don't have to be installed separately, as the libraries are included in VLC and MPlayer. Packages for both are available from the Syllable website.

Robert Szeleney, SkyOS' wunderkind, announced a new IDE for SkyOS, coming in the next SkyOS build. "The IDE features various editors (source, datacollection, layouts, etc.) and allows GUI design using the SkyOS Layout system to design size, resolution and font independent layouts." A video of the new IDE has been put online. "In later versions the IDE will also supported an integrated debugging and an image editor to design your icons and images right in the project." Additionally, the first theme using the new theme engine has been released.

Lastly, ReactOS has made some major strides, once again. The DirectX runtime now loads and works on ReactOS, albeit 3D support is not yet functional. The installer doesn't work either, so you'll need to copy the relevant files over manually (dxg.sys, dxgthk.sys, dxapi.sys, ddraw.dll, and dciman32.dll). In addition, there have been performance fixes, a new calculator program, as well as a temporary measure for keyboard switching.

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