Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Jan 2010 16:06 UTC, submitted by fireball
ReactOS The ReactOS project aims to be an open source Windows NT-compatible operating system which can run Windows applications and utilise Windows drivers. Obviously, this is quite a daunting task, and as such, progress has been relatively slow. As a result, project coordinator and kernel developer Aleksey Bragin has proposed a rather drastic solution.
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Hmmm
by jgagnon on Mon 18th Jan 2010 17:19 UTC
jgagnon
Member since:
2008-06-24

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around what the ReactOS team's idea of "success" is. Windows, in its various flavors, is a good enough Windows, so why even go that direction? Improving on it ("a better Windows than Windows") just makes it less compatible so again, what would be the point? They can't possibly put as many resources into it as Microsoft does so they will always be behind. I truly commend their efforts, I just don't understand what their desired end result is in the grand scheme of things. It is unlikely that many developers will target ReactOS specifically as a platform.

I think the switch to WINE for the Win32 layer is likely the best move they can make from a resource perspective. In the end, most users doesn't really care HOW the compatibility is attained, they just want it there, easy to manage, and fast enough to make more sense than dual booting another OS. If the WINE group and the ReactOS group gain from combined efforts then everybody wins.

I still can't help but feeling that ReactOS would have made a lot more sense 10 years ago and is pretty much irrelevant today. ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Hmmm
by fireball on Mon 18th Jan 2010 17:32 in reply to "Hmmm"
fireball Member since:
2006-07-15

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around what the ReactOS team's idea of "success" is. Windows, in its various flavors, is a good enough Windows, so why even go that direction? Improving on it ("a better Windows than Windows") just makes it less compatible so again, what would be the point? They can't possibly put as many resources into it as Microsoft does so they will always be behind


They used to say the same about Linux in ~1993.

But thanks for words of support!

Edited 2010-01-18 17:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Hmmm
by jgagnon on Mon 18th Jan 2010 17:39 in reply to "RE: Hmmm"
jgagnon Member since:
2008-06-24

Except that Linux wasn't trying to be a better Windows... Better OS maybe, but not a clone+1.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Hmmm
by Laurence on Mon 18th Jan 2010 17:53 in reply to "Hmmm"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I still can't help but feeling that ReactOS would have made a lot more sense 10 years ago and is pretty much irrelevant today.


Actually I think it makes more sense today than ever.

As Windows is an OS with an ever increasing footprint and support for legacy versions are being dropped - it might prove useful to have a compact system that will run the old Win32 apps reliably when you just need something simple because a 10+ year old business critical application was never upgraded to run on newer OSs.
(eg I keep hearing horror stories about offices with a stray Win95 desktop because they need software xyz which didn't support XP).

Nobody can expect Microsoft to maintain complete backwards compatibility (some argue that their attempts at such is half the problem with Windows of present) nor to keep supporting old OSs indefinitely because a lazy developer / cheapskate company never thought about future-proofing.

So the answer might turn out to be ReactOS.


Closer to home, I've found another use for this OS. I'm currently playing around to see how viable it is as a virtual server for a Windows only application.
I'm doing this partly to be bloody minded (I can so I will), and partly because I don't want to pay for a Windows license just to run one application when I know it already runs perfectly under WINE.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Hmmm
by jgagnon on Mon 18th Jan 2010 18:13 in reply to "RE: Hmmm"
jgagnon Member since:
2008-06-24

But, what does ReactOS offer that WINE (or the like) cannot solve? Or virtualization for that matter? Run XP/2000/98/95 in a VM and your problem is solved, for the most part.

Again, I am not trying to convince anyone that ReactOS should not be made, I just don't think it will ever be a platform of choice for development of Windows applications. So that makes me ask the question of "Why?". It's the relevance question. I understand full well the motivation for making something for the challenge of it, but if the end result is for others to use it then there has to be a reason to draw them in.

On a side note, people still running 15 year old unsupported software on a 15 year old unsupported operating system probably need to consider their costs in maintaining that system versus rewriting it for a more current architecture. Why fix it if it isn't broken? Because sometimes it costs more to keep it unbroken that it does to replace it, especially over time. Not to mention that replacing it may have other benefits that could never be reaped from the old software.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Purpose of ReactOS
by contextfree on Wed 20th Jan 2010 23:12 in reply to "Hmmm"
contextfree Member since:
2009-06-01

I think it's mostly just to give people interested in understanding more about the guts of NT/Windows something to poke around in. This is probably why the project is tacitly condoned by Microsoft* -- it's unlikely to actually cut into their revenue in any significant way, and having more alpha geeks interested in Windows is a benefit to them.

* The lead developers of ReactOS co-authored (with Mark Russinovich) the latest edition of the official book on Windows internals published by MS Press.

Reply Parent Score: 1