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hugo
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Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:45 pm

Schedule

Post by hugo » Tue Jan 11, 2005 11:01 pm

Hi I was interested in joining this team a few years ago, at that time I was working on a compiler project and was getting a little bored.

However I did not join, because I felt that the goals were unacheivable in any resonable time-frame.

I still think that this is the case, although progress has clearly been made.

My own feeling at that time, was that an OS that was 100% compatible with NT's driver model, would be a reasonable goal, since drivers would not be a major consideration.

I cannot help but suspect that this project will eventually fizzle out, simply because the pace of change in Microsoft's own developments creates a moving target.

One of the biggest problems the project will face is the move to 64-bits, this won't be overnight of course, but 64-bit systems will eventually become the norm as the years roll by.

ReactOS, impressive though it is, will simply be unable to respond, because the architectural differences between 32-bit and 64-bit are so great.

It has taken Microsoft many years to get XP 64 for AMD up and running, and that is only a beta.

I often wonder whether an alternative OS (Other than Linux and MacOS) is really commercially acheivable?

"Be" died off, and "Lindows" is a mystery to me, I never seem to be able to get straight answers about where Lindows is heading.

Do the team have any kind of project plan? any find of schedule?

Regards
Hugh

Elledan
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Post by Elledan » Wed Jan 12, 2005 12:08 am

Unix was well-established in 1991, when the first version of Linux was released. At the moment, there are more and more servers running Linux every day. Linux has been ported to virtually every platform possible, and is also beginning to work its way into the embedded OS market. Unix's only stronghold are mainframes, but even here it isn't safe.

The problem every OSS-project faces in the beginning is attracting developers. This is an exponential process, however, in that for every developer who joins the project, (roughly) two more will join.

Windows is well-established in the desktop market, but ROS will have an even easier task than Linux: its ability to use existing drivers and applications (Linux can't use Unix drivers, and few, if any, Unix applications). ROS also isn't designed from scratch (well, not fully). The most important parts (APIs, kernel components, etc.) are already defined or well-documented.

This means that the ROS developers 'only' have to focus on the OS itself, and not worry about drivers, applications and similar peripheral things.

Regarding your comment that MSFT's development moves way too fast to make a project like ROS feasible, remember that the next Windows version isn't going to be released before 2006 (will probably become 2007, knowing MSFT). ROS will have improved considerably by then (2 years time), and should be able to compete at least with Win2k.

Further, Linux was ported to x86-64 years before WinXP's 64-bit version was past its first alpha-release. And it has been ported to so many other architectures, not because a manager told the developers so, but because they wanted do to so. If there's a group of developers out there willing to port ROS to x86-64, the real trick lies in making those people aware of the ROS project.

Which is going to be one of the key points for ROS in the coming years: to gain recognition, make people aware of its existence. Everything will happen from there.

And ROS isn't an 'alternative' OS. It's an 'embrace and extend' OS. If it succeeds in the first stage (embrace), it'll be fine.

laserjones
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 1:45 am

I agree

Post by laserjones » Wed Jan 12, 2005 1:52 am

Furthermore, don't forget that zillions of applications and drivers exist for 32-bit Windows, and many people are lazy upgrading their OS (I know many people still using Win98). So, software vendors will have to make their products Win32-compatible for many years to come, even after Longhorn is released. These are reasons enough to make a free Win32 clone - it will find a lot of users. I, for my part, am desperately waiting for it after many failed tries to establish Linux as an alternative for me.

AcetoliNe
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Post by AcetoliNe » Wed Jan 12, 2005 2:25 pm

I cannot help but suspect that this project will eventually fizzle out, simply because the pace of change in Microsoft's own developments creates a moving target.
Your worries are justified. Many a promising OSS project has become flaccid and dry. However, you must understand that the ReactOS developers are commited to seeing it done, and many people would simply not rest if it were to fall flat (like me). Let's hope that this kind of doom doesn't plague ReactOS!
ReactOS, impressive though it is, will simply be unable to respond, because the architectural differences between 32-bit and 64-bit are so great.

It has taken Microsoft many years to get XP 64 for AMD up and running, and that is only a beta.
I'm not that worried about transitioning to other platforms. With the ros community I know, it would be ported to 64-bit overnight!!!

Also, as was pointed out, 32 bit still has a long (perhaps a decade or even more) time to live before finally running out of gas. I mean, look at 16 bit. People still use it!
caveman LIKES chocolate.
we shall reinvent the wheel until it turns properly.

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