Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Jan 2006 21:01 UTC
ReactOS "There has been a lot of talk about possible tainted code in ReactOS and or developers that had access to leaked Microsoft source code. This has caused a lot of speculation about the future of the ReactOS Project. I'm going to try to put those fears to rest and explain what has been going on and where we are going to go from here. There was one issue that started this discussion and it related to clean-room reverse engineering of certain code in ReactOS."
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Not wishing to troll here
by Zenja on Fri 27th Jan 2006 22:47 UTC
Zenja
Member since:
2005-07-06

I was really suprised at the speed in which a small number of developers were able to get ReactOS to such a working state so quickly, with limited documentation about the inner workings of WinNT (especially compared to how long it's taking AROS, Haiku etc). Yes, I'm aware that WINE has given them a large head start, but still, the speed is very impressive. Now that we've read that at least 4 of its developers had access to leaked Windows source code, well, this doesn't look good for ReactOS at all.

Sadly, I believe that this project has just been given a mortal blow, and it will slowly bleed to death. Once the mainstream sensationalist media get a hold of this, some of the remaining developers might even wish to disassociate themselves from this project to prevent tarnishing their reputation (ie. new employers google developers name, and end up discovering that the project they worked on is center of code theft controversy). Goodbye ReactOS.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not wishing to troll here
by BrandonTurner on Fri 27th Jan 2006 23:09 in reply to "Not wishing to troll here"
BrandonTurner Member since:
2006-01-27

I don't think Steven explained that part well enough. Those of the developers that admited to having the leaked code have not had access to it in over 2 years. Also, they confirmed that at no time did they use any knowdegle gained from the code to help ROS. Infact, all said that they did not even read/study the code. I personally believe each dev that admitted to it, and I beleive that there was no taint caused because of this. However because legal advise we did vote the way we did. Just to cover all our bases.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Not wishing to troll here
by Tyr. on Fri 27th Jan 2006 23:13 in reply to "Not wishing to troll here"
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, I'm aware that WINE has given them a large head start, but still, the speed is very impressive. Now that we've read that at least 4 of its developers had access to leaked Windows source code, well, this doesn't look good for ReactOS at all.

I don't know what you're talking about. The speed was absulutely *glacial* at first, to the point where everyone thought the project was dead. Turns out they were just coding along and then came out with their hard work and took everyone by surprise. Once they had that solid base to work on the project in general speeded up.

Second, I highly doubt there was code copying going on. MS would have been all over them a long time ago if there was. And this whole deal about being "contaminated" because you read some code once is just a sign of just how twisted the IP system has become IMHO.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Not wishing to troll here
by bryanv on Fri 27th Jan 2006 23:28 in reply to "RE: Not wishing to troll here"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

The project I'm currently involved with in the US has me in a "clean room". We're handed specifications we much implement. We know the client already has a system that does exactly what they're handing us. However: We're not allowed to look at it, examine it, use it, etc. All communication about requirements, use, system design, etc. are monitored by independant third parties.

All because the last consulting company to come in and build the system had a little clause that they retained ownership of the product since they produced it.

Well, the client (now wanting to license branding options to their clients, resell the product, etc.) isn't happy with that situation, and brought us into a clean room to reimplement the system so they -can- do that.

I can totally understand the danger that can be caused by tainted coders. The client I work for could loose everything if we were tainted in any way -- and they're rightfully paranoid about it. Hopefully, in another month I'll be done with this clean room stuff - it'll be nice to be out of the 'dungeon' as we've started to call it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Not wishing to troll here
by ionescu007 on Fri 27th Jan 2006 23:15 in reply to "Not wishing to troll here"
ionescu007 Member since:
2006-01-27

I don't like to feed trolls but I could try to point out that ReactOS has been in development since 1997-1998. That's about 9 years. Haiku has been in development since 2002 or 2003, AFAIK. That's only 3 or 4 years at best. Judging by their status page: http://haiku-os.org/learn.php?mode=status, Haiku is around what could be called a ~0.5 status. They've almost reached alpha in all their modules. ReactOS has *cross your fingers networking*, almost 0 sound support except for very specific configurations, and supports about 3 video card drivers. It also can't really run any big application in a usable fashion except for Abi/OO (which hit regressions every month). It seems pretty clear that Haiku has done twice the amount of work ReactOS did in half the time, so I don't understand your comparision, which seemed to imply that ReactOS was developed so "rapidly" because 5 developers had access to leaked source code. If those 5 developers had actually used that access to some purpose, I think ReactOS would've been at 1.0 a couple of years ago. I'm pretty sure a lot of the original Linux devs "had access to" UNIX code as well. Linux is alive and well today. Since the project seems to have taken such a serious stance against this and is going through such a heavy audit, I very much doubt there was any foul play involved, or that could be mistankingly intepreted.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Not wishing to troll here
by siki_miki on Sun 29th Jan 2006 15:01 in reply to "Not wishing to troll here"
siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

For something that is publicly available, there should not be any blacklisting of anyone for contributing to reactos. Especially if person in question doesn't live in the US or if they didn't sign NDA with MS. If they read a document containing info about leaked source code, or even unmodified data itself, it doesn't mean they downloaded it or they even knew what is it and can't be held responsible, not even in the context of US nazi-IP laws.

And btw. Microsoft is being punished by the EU for NOT making available documentation of their interfaces, people doingit instead of MS shouldn't be punished for it!

Reply Parent Score: 1