Looks like the audit...

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Looks like the audit...

Post by nute »

is nearly completed.

I see the bar is at 98.3% complete now. Anyone know when that
last 1.7% will get cleared? Will completion of the audit release
needed code?
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Post by oiaohm »

Nearly completed is a long way.

The last percents are always slow. The last 1.7 could take as long as the last 98.3 percent to do. Its the hardest to Audit is all that is left.
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Post by Reacter »

What part of the audit is left to complete? Is it the kernel or apps?
More ReactOS, please!
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Post by Z98 »

Kernel. That's always the hardest to audit, because quite frankly, that's the hardest to pinpoint where the code came from or how some dev knew to do a thing like that.
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Audit will be completed...

Post by nute »

reasonably soon I hope.

If ReactOS could be stable by 2009 and it has been developed over 12
years, that suggests to me that the remainder of the audit should take
far less time than the portion which is already done took.

If you have to fully document all the code and design, shouldb't doing
a patent search be sufficient to say idea such and such is free to use?

Isn't the fact that the purpose of ReactOS isn't for profit a real help in
getting past legal barriers? After all, the goal of the ReactOS foundation
is to hand out a Windows compatible operating system with code for free.
This is not an attempt to steal Windows from Microsoft and charge
$5000 a copy.
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Post by oiaohm »

If all goes well audit will be complete before beta is released. End of year. And that is just doubling the time its taken for the Audit to get this far.

Patent Search is not the be all and end all.

If prior art or independent invention is found that is end of problem for good from a patent point of view.

Some coders have left so are not around exactly to question to show where they got stuff from. The stuff that is left is the really hard stuff. Most is in kernel. There is a cab file processor as well. Author if the cab file processor has not been findable for asking of questions.

Nute it just has to run it course. Reactos is not exactly not for profit. When complete there is nothing stopping Reactos being used in commerical products. This is how Linux gets large numbers of its developers these days.

So charging $5000 or more for a support contract + add on software is not exactly imposable for the future of Reactos.

Besides if something are patented does not mean its a problem. If its a IBM patent is perfectly acceptable to use them in open source without any restrictions other than that IBM is free to ship and use it.

Not everyones motive here is just hmm its free. Some are hmm its free and I can make some cash from it in future I hope.
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ReactOS and profit...

Post by nute »

I've heard that HP is hiring mechanical engineers out of Russia to work
in Vancouver, Washington and only paying them $14/hour without
providing benefits.

I'm not sure this extends to computer software engineering in the U.S.
as well, but it's disturbing nonetheless. It's not fair to American engineers
because people here have to borrow a lot of money to earn an advanced
degree at high interest compared to students from countries such as
Russia and Germany who can attend college for free. It also isn't fair because noone in the U.S. can live off of $14/hour without benefits very
well, at least not on their own.

There have been comments that ReactOS should be something that
a commercial entity can make a lot of money off of. First off, outsourcing
and unequal wages across the global market place may prevent that
from being a realistic possibility. Second off, the minute you try to profit
from something, there is a strong incentive for a competeing commerical entity to sue you.

Most people who use Linux, to my knowledge, download it for free.

I don't like the comment that Linux is becoming a $5k support contract
system. I surely don't want that and I'm certain that millions like me
don't want this either. Your home user is never going to have the budget
of a corporate nut who believes that software doesn't work well unless
he/she spends 1000's of dollars on technical support for it.

Even Redhat appears to be getting it now that the home computing
market is too important to ignore. The Fedora project is looking at
following a longer release cycle in the future.

I think it would be wise to decide what is OS and keep that free. Beyond
that, let's say you want to have a commercial library that certain programs
depend on which you don't want to or can't release the source to... in that
case, I suggest a separate company from the ReactOS foundation that works closely without bringing legal heat on ReactOS Foundation itself. If
this company goes down in legal flames, ReactOS will remain fine.

Linus has talked about a similar issue, deciding how the Linux kernel should interface to prorietary drivers and code. If you are not careful how you do
this, your whole entire OS could be taken away from you legally.
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Post by Z98 »

I'm not entirely sure how outsourcing has anything to do with offering support for a product. Many companies outsource to India for the phone tech support, and while that "support" is a joke, it's still technically support. Second, companies like Novell and Red Hat charge support for their corporate customers. No one expects home users to pay for or need the level of support they offer to their corporate customers. In the case of Red Hat, all their support staff are certified system engineers or members of the development team themselves. And quite frankly, having that level of support is incredibly useful. I'm more or less self taught on how to deal with Windows, but my knowledge is still limited. In situations I've never encountered, my high school could rely on the support contract they have with the companies they bought the PCs from. Even if I were a MCSE, that does not mean I would know everything there was to know about Windows. The same holds for corporate IT staffs. And generally, there's far more money riding on those servers, so it's far more important to have a backup.

Contrary to what seems to be popular opinion, it is perfectly legal to use binary drivers with Linux. The GPL in no way forbids this. The gray area is distributing binary drivers with Linux. If a home user downloads and installs binary drivers for their own uses, then they're perfectly safe. The FSF might not like what they're doing, but ultimately the home user doesn't need to care what the FSF thinks if they're using it for personal use.

As such, ReactOS will likely always rely on the home user to install whatever proprietary programs or drivers they want to. Now if the driver interface was LGPL, ROS could sign distribution contracts with some hardware companies to distribute the drivers, but beyond that, we don't need to do anything.
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Are proprietary drivers the only way for ReactOS???

Post by nute »

"I'm not entirely sure how outsourcing has anything to do with offering support for a product. Many companies outsource to India for the phone
tech support, and while that "support" is a joke, it's still technically
support. "

Why the, "Indian techies are poor at providing tech support," mentality?
A little reality check, there is an overabundance of college educated people
in India and a shortage of good jobs for them. Not that every Indian who does tech support is college educated, but many who are trained as doctors and perhaps even in a related field choose telephone tech support because the pay scales are slanted in favor of it in India.

ReactOS is outsourced as it is. Mostly Europeans and Russians,
not Americans, are welcome to contribute original code to it.

"Contrary to what seems to be popular opinion, it is perfectly legal to use binary drivers with Linux. The GPL in no way forbids this. The gray area is distributing binary drivers with Linux. If a home user downloads and installs binary drivers for their own uses, then they're perfectly safe. The FSF might not like what they're doing, but ultimately the home user doesn't need to care what the FSF thinks if they're using it for personal use."

One of the reasons I like Fedora is that it is ONLY distributed with free
stuff. One of the things I HATE about Windows is that practically any software program you want or need has to be paid for to get the full capabilities out of it. I hate, "you must register," harrassment. In the interests of narrowing the digital divide and ensuring free access to
public information, the less proprietary software that is used, the better. Companies that greedily try to make their software and hardware impenetrable are wasting a lot of money that could be put into
production and development instead.

As for the "contrary to popular opinion...," comment, there is no reason
to throw away the most significant advantages of being in Linux
by incorporating proprietary drivers into your system. Linux can be
legally mass installed to multiple computers from a single source without purchasing licenses; can you do that with any Windows system?
Especially with Fedora, proprietary drivers are a HUGE problem
because Linux is changing rapidly. Most companies that put out
binary only drivers for a particular release of a specific Linux distribution won't update them at all and they don't have to. Proprietary UNIX has
been dying because of support problems. Many places will tell you
that Unix is too expensive and that Linux is very appealing as a
replacement option if they haven't gone to Linux already.

By the way, why is so much hatred being expressed towards the
free software foundation? The free software foundation is about
openness, it's an antidote to the secrecy companies try to insist
is a prerequisite to them being able to profit.

Will ReactOS fail as a niche system if companies across the board get
away from distributing drivers for their popular proprietary hardware
devices long term? ReactOS will always be behind, especially if the
number of programmers working on it stays at 20 or drops below that.

I will not be surprised if it comes out that Microsoft is still paying bribes
to companies and corporations to keep them from going to Linux or some
other system, i.e. Solaris. As popular as Linux is, the failures to even support proprietary drivers for it across many companies baffle me.
I'm surprised some companies haven't gone to a proprietary library
that you can write a standard open driver to for their hardware
products. It is also baffling to me why so many proprietary drivers
written for Linux aren't full featured. For example, a driver I tried
for the Intel 536EP chipset modem under Linux didn't support the
voice capability.
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Post by oiaohm »

Linux development has always been unfriendly to binary drivers.

Fedora is not the only Distro with free stuff. Debian and Ubuntu just remove the restricted repository. Then the only stuff on offer is open source.

Note Debian and Ubuntu are not crippled like Fedora. I don't know where this stupid comment that Fedora is the only one with free stuff comes from. Have a good look threw distrowatch.com you will find there is a lot more.

I love when people get stuff wrong http://www.marko.net/asterisk/archives/0209/0685.html
It support voice but only works with a few things because it does not have stop functions. You can record or play back audio to it. Only way to stop is hang up. That is fine for a asterisk phone exchange.

Besides you are better of with a true hardware modem that works correctly. With phone exchanges I use voice but the card only takes like 8 lines I don't care luckily but it does not have Windows drivers and Never had them and Never will have them. High end stuff that works correctly. There are also high end cards that don't work with windows let alone high end motherboards and processors. It cuts both ways. Microsoft has low end hardware. Linux has high end hardware. And there are problems on both sides.

In one way Microsoft has the right idea with Singularity. With Linux the problem is no common binary format between kernels. besides it runs on many different processes. So binary drivers are never a solution for linux. What is need is something like bytecode like .net so companys can protect there secrets and be cross processor and platform.

If Linux embraces and Extends dot net or something equal its the solution not binary drivers. Start asking for what is truly required.

Note long term binary drivers is not even a solution on windows. I have a stack of hardware from windows 98 that does not work now. And the company's are no more. Some of the nightmares with vista is binary drivers too.

There is a stability problem why Linux is resistant to binary drivers as well. For kernel stability it will only load modules for the kernel and built by the same complier version. Different versions of gcc do interfaces slightly different and this can break things. Yes linux drivers are kinda signed per kernel. Signing of drivers can be enabled in linux as well.

Please note there was a attempt a a unified binary Unix driver format and it died because of the tech problems.

And nute please learn how to use quote and enable BBCode makes stuff short and more read able.
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Post by nute »

I never said Fedora was the ONLY Linux distribution that can be downloaded without
binary drivers and other proprietary software, but words have been put in my mouth
to that effect. Thanks a lot. I should point out that .NET belongs to Microsoft, it is
nonsense to use a closed Microsoft product to solve a kernel problem in the Linux

As far as saying the development of a unified binary format failed, should I pouint out
that there are multiple incompatible versions of Windows around? Does anyone else
have a Windows 98SE program that doesn't work in XP? How about Vista, any
casualties yet? It's not just a lack of drivers that's a problem, a sidewinder joystick
that only works in Windows 95 anyone?

The Linux kernel is ELF based and has been for a long time. The problem isn't
different binary formats, it is changes in libraries and at times the deprecation of
entire kernel subsystems. The USB P1K phone from von-phone requires OSS
which has been replaced by ALSA.

As far as the comment that Fedora is broken where other Linux distributions aren't,
I frequent the Portland Linux User's group and that just simply isn't true. There are
plenty of posts about Ubuntu which is a Debian derivative. A lot of problems with Nvidia
and ATI video cards. I'm not saying that these problems don't exist under Fedora. Releasing binary drivers for Linux shows a lack of commitment to customers
on the part of the company that is putting them out, especially if updates aren't
released as kernel subsystems and low level system libraries change.

How many people could take the source code to a piece of complex hardware and
implement it successfully, let alone profitabily, on a large scale?
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Post by oiaohm »

.Net spec a non patent locked open standard. Microsoft made it but it does not exactly belong to them any more. It was even released without patent lock. Mono .Net takes it different ways to where Microsoft intended too.

I never said it was exactly the binary format itself. Its variation between complier and kernel options that is the killer to binary driver in kernel. .Net gives a solution since its only byte code it can build to native matching the kernel and complier required. By By Problem.

I use Debian and Ubuntu with Nvidia and ATI cards. The catch is having the right kernel one of the kernels have a patch in that is nvidia incompatible. Fedora is worst. There are patches added to fedora that make it binary drivers not work even if Nvidia and ATI tell the not to until they can update there drivers. Almost all other distros will take Nvidia and ATI warning and give Nvidia and ATI time to get upto speed.

Only way at moment to full support linux is to release drivers open source.

All binary drivers a doomed to fail on someone due to kernel patches alterations of Distribution's. There has to be a middle ground made. Either use the .Net spec or something equal. This will end problem. Until then its between a rock and a hard place. Linux has a more version than windows so its a lot worse on linux.

A please stop making me laugh http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowTo/ConnectUSBPhone
von-phone does not even make that phone it a yealink with a von-phone branding that does work with alsa. Process is not exactly straight forward.

Mind you that was valid 3 months ago about that phone not working. Its fixed the driver was upgraded since it was open source.

Yes there is a old binary driver on the von-phone site that does not work. People need to find out who truly made there products. Simpler to find linux drivers that way.

Even the latest kernel can use OSS drivers if required.

Depends on what it is. Linux kernel about 10000 people could take lead of the project or any segment So a lot can build new drivers. Please note that is currently non allocated personal. All it would take is the specs to be handed over. Each one of that 10000 has a major company behind them. Of course cloning the complex bit of hardware would take a lot longer.

The number of programmers core programmers working on reactos is about the number of core programmers that work on a driver in linux min.

Lets just say the Linux kernel project has a lot of unused resources at moment.
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Post by Z98 »

The FSF pushes their own political agenda and expect everyone to follow their example. I for one don't give a damn about their movement, as I'm in the open source side, not free software. I'm also extremely pragmatic. If I have a choice between a proprietary driver that has all the features or an open source driver that is still crippled because of lack of information, I'll go proprietary. I care less about ideology than about actual results. I also find it stupid that people will consider such a course of action immoral. After all, I don't tell other people how they should be using software, thus I expect that same courtesy in return. Unfortunately, that seems too much to ask from zealots.

Just because something is called Windows doesn't mean what lies under is the same. If you expected a 98 driver to work in XP, I'd call you nuts. There was a kernel change from ME to 2000, which makes the 9x/ME series kernel about as similar as the Mac OS X kernel when compared to NT. Okay, not so extreme, but close enough. And every time you change driver models, things are bound to break. Linux's issue is that kernels of supposedly the same version will not have the same level of compatibility with a binary driver. As far as I'm concerned, they're just shooting themselves in the foot on that one. And that would be another reason why Linux is still struggling to be taken seriously by gamers. 3D graphics card drivers from the vendors are almost always binary, and that's what's usually needed to play newer games on a playable level.

GCC. Oh, where the hell do I start with this? Despite its supposed greatness, it's had its own share of pitfalls and major flaws. While it's supposed to be standards compliant, GCC has introduced many of its own extensions, one reason why it's one of the few if not the only compiler capable of compiling Linux. It's also extremely forgiving of sloppy coding.

As a final note regarding hw drivers, it's actually quite simple why some companies won't release open source drivers. They want their users to buy new hardware. They don't want their hw to have too long a lifespan. Open source drivers tend to extend that lifespan by quite a few years, which doesn't exactly always please the manufacturers. It's annoying, yes, it's a pain in the ass, yes, but quite frankly, it can be dealt with. Calling for a boycott of that hw manufacturer is probably one of the more stupid ways, since those have a very low chance of succeeding. Stop complaining and actually do something like reverse engineer the hw and write your own driver has a far likelier chance of success. But just don't expect the rest of the world to stop using the original binary drivers just because you feel it's wrong to. Cause some of us just don't give a damn how we get there, so long as we get there.
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Post by oiaohm »

Z98 gcc is not the only complier that can build Linux kernel. Intels and Amd reference compliers and 3 other commercials can. Amost everything bar MSVC and open wacom. Yes even borlands linux complier can build the Linux kernel. Note Linux kernel still builds on solarias compliers.

And not a single gcc extension is required to build linux. Tcc complier and a few other standard only complier proved that one.

There are the same source version. Does not mean after build is anywhere near the same there are many optimizations and customizations. Problem there are also Linux Kernel that are not unmodified Linux Kernels. Distros like Fedora apply patches to the core kernel that are not approved. Then other is work around to complier faults. Leading to sections of code not exactly the same.

It is one of my pet hates. Funny as it sounds most binary drivers work perfectly with a standard linux kernel build before the distro makers tweek it.

MS Windows cannot be compared. It only build with a limited number of compliers ie One for kernel space and One for graphic space. It does not have distro makers screwing with it. Some of the worst stuffups was not only gcc vs gcc. It was intels and amd's reference compliers they don't mix. Only true solution for linux is a non binary solution. One way or the other. I am not saying the reset of the world has to stop using binary drivers. I am saying a true solution is need. Even Microsoft is coming to the same answer.
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Post by HyTeK »

I noticed the audit isn't on the front page anymore......so was the audit completed?

Or is there a temporary failure on parts of the website?

I hope the audit is done ;)

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