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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RE: Hmmm
by Laurence on Mon 18th Jan 2010 17:53 UTC 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

RE[3]: Hmmm
by fireball on Mon 18th Jan 2010 18:19 in reply to "RE[2]: Hmmm"
fireball Member since:
2006-07-15

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.

Virtualization requires a valid license for the OS (including 98 and 95, they are not vaporware).

Wine is a compatibility layer, not an OS.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Hmmm
by Laurence on Mon 18th Jan 2010 22:55 in reply to "RE[2]: Hmmm"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

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.


Because you still need a licence for Windows if you virtualize it and WINE isn't an OS.

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.


The whole point of ReactOS is it's a Windows clone and can run Windows apps.

So drawing developers in is a moot point as they're already there (in a manner of speaking)

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.


I agree with you but the problem is many people can't look past the now.

To fix something that's not currently a problem (ie the "it's working at the moment so why should I care?" mentality than many budget holders have) costs money now. So some managers would rather wait until the proverbial sh*t hits the fan before investing into a solution to fix something that might never happen (despite how likely that it will happen).

Reply Parent Score: 3