It is somewhat difficult to put into words just how much hate I have for this particular issue. Debugging it ended up taking an entire week and the result surprised pretty much everyone on the team, including the senior developers. The issue that was highlighted however has very deep root causes that touch upon the very foundation of the C ABI and its brittleness.
Weclome to the second part of the series where I discuss bugs that were truly irritating to debug. In general, fixing a bug is usually simple. Finding the bug is where the actual work is involved.
In the recent craze over smartphones, tablets, and what I'll term webbooks (think ChromeOS machines), many companies seem to have forgotten the greatest achievement of modern desktop operating systems, namely the ability to multitask. Smartphone OSes originally either did not have this capability built in or did not expose it to the end user. This was understandable, as smartphones operate under different constraints with respect to power and screen space. Even tablets, with their higher power envelopes and bigger screens, are ultimately presented as consumption devices.
Many people see ReactOS as a Windows XP successor, a way for them to avoid the changes Microsoft brought about in Windows 8. This is a somewhat idealized goal, as ReactOS would need to be much more complete before it could attempt to fill in that role. There are however other use cases for which ReactOS is much closer to being ready for. Many of these however are more business use cases than consumer use cases.
Remote Desktop Thin Client
Deciding whether to write this latest entry was a tad difficult, if only because I'm starting to feel like I've been harping a bit too much on Microsoft, but some of the information that has trickled out about the new Xbox bears some putting into context. Specifically, the requirement that anyone wanting to publish a game to Xbox Live needs to sign on with a publisher, so no self-publishing by indies. There's some minor rumbling and irritation at this requirement, but I don't think anyone was really expecting Microsoft to even try to accommodate indies on this one.