[ros-dev] Time has come, a call to developers

Aleksey Bragin aleksey at reactos.org
Thu May 8 15:46:42 CEST 2008

this message is inspired by a lot of thinking, and yesterdays talk in  
#reactos, when Magnus Olsen's proposition to add support for more  
than one graphic adapter was a last drop into my cup of tolerancy.

Thus I want to say, one very important idea. But what I want even  
more, for our developers to understand it. The key idea is that our  
work on the project now MUST be aimed at bugfixing, not at adding  
even more nice features. There are already quite enough of them  

As I said 1000 times, our general "users" don't care about ability to  
insert 3 graphic cards into their PC, and get ReactOS using them!  
They care about ReactOS crashing after closing regedit. Or during  
Office 2003 installation. And if it continues to crash this way, I'm  
sorry, but noone could feel the pleasure of multiple graphic cards  
support, or any other feature which is useless for 99% of potential  

Moreover, I don't understand why noone ever bothered to work through  
the winetests for reactos-specific parts of the system, like GDI,  
user32/win32k testing, kernel32 testing. There are lots of failures,  
and wine test results show APIs which are used for REAL, and by REAL  
applications, not some historic APIs implemented by Magnus (no  
offence, I'm just using him as an example, please excuse me if I  
sound harsh anywhere) which are unused by any real application nowadays.

I clearly want to stress, that there is a strong misconcept in  
ReactOS way of development of its Win32 subsystem. There were a lot  
of positive events happening (win32k native tests library, great work  
by Timo at fixing various small issues, handles, memory leaks, etc).  
But it must be continued!

Ged Murphy said very right about the problem: small problems prevent  
big apps from working. Wine already supports Office 2003 for years,  
and noone except me was trying to make support it better. The same  
applies to everywhere, there is no need to have some special skills  
to improve ReactOS. You know, there are not that many people who  
*really* worked on win32k in Microsoft, and they obviously can't code  
for us anyway, so everyone had to learn how to develop one or another  
part of the system. Look at Stefan Ginsberg - a guy who didn't know  
anything about C development 3 months ago, but learnt just by reading  
ros-diffs (well, and constant private messaging me in IRC asking  
questions, but that doesn't count), and yesterday spotted a couple of  
important real problems.

Especially that counts for Win32-subsystem (the kernel must stay as  
strict NT-alike as legally possible, so it takes time to read all  
available literature), but for Win32-subsystem, just maintaining its  
code would result in a hundred less crashes now! I don't even say  
about rewriting bad written parts. Or just simply, very-very simply,  
syncing Wine's changes back into ReactOS!

But nobody cares to do that.

I especially delay the 0.3.5 release, because I want people to  
concentrate more on bugfixes. We could easily release in the  
beginning of may, there are enough of good changes for a usual  
reactos release. But I want this particular release to be *unusual*.

If ReactOS wants to hit beta this year, developers must concentrate  
on a boring work first, believe me, there will be lots more fun when  
amount of people trying out reactos increases at least 100x.

And if no beta this year, I'm sorry to say, but it may be too late.

Thanks for thorough reading. Comments are welcome.

With the best regards,
Aleksey Bragin.

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