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"React16" and "React98" concepts Viable?

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:53 pm
by Icy EyeG
I'd like to know if it would be viable/possible to develop the following OSes:
  • "React16" ---> Open/Free Windows 3.11 based 16-bit OS, also using FreeDOS
    "React98" ---> Open/Free Windows 9x based OS, also using FreeDOS
Please note that I'm new here and that I'm just an amateur programmer: I don't have enough knowledge to know what really takes to develop an OS.

So don't flame me... :oops: I just want an opinion.
And congrats to all the ROS devs/contribs for the great work so far! :D

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:08 pm
by Z98
Short answer: No.

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:13 pm
by Icy EyeG
Z98 wrote:Short answer: No.
May I ask why? :oops:

Re: "React16" and "React98" concepts Via

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:14 pm
by jimtabor
Icy EyeG wrote:I'd like to know if it would be viable/possible to develop the following OSes:
  • "React16" ---> Open/Free Windows 3.11 based 16-bit OS, also using FreeDOS
    "React98" ---> Open/Free Windows 9x based OS, also using FreeDOS
Please note that I'm new here and that I'm just an amateur programmer: I don't have enough knowledge to know what really takes to develop an OS.

So don't flame me... :oops: I just want an opinion.
And congrats to all the ROS devs/contribs for the great work so far! :D
No! I will not flame you!

That sounds very good~

So, you or anyone else,, work on porting wine for both. Find the book Undocumented Windows. Wine is based on this. So Start! Coding!

Thanks,
James

Re: "React16" and "React98" concepts Via

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:41 pm
by Icy EyeG
jimtabor wrote:So, you or anyone else,, work on porting wine for both. Find the book Undocumented Windows. Wine is based on this. So Start! Coding!
I wish I could... But I don't have enough skills to do it.... :oops:

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:54 pm
by Z98
Simple. Few if any of the devs care about Windows 9x or 3.1. This project was originally targeted at Windows 95 but switched over to NT as the 9x platform became increasingly antiquated, from both a market standpoint and a technical standpoint. Windows 9x has some major weaknesses and most of us feel that the sooner it goes, the better. And as for a 16bit OS, considering most processors these days are 32/64bit, we're not likely to invest the effort needed to create an OS for an architecture that old.

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:13 pm
by silverblade
Technology progresses.

In hindsight:

Windows 3.1 was an abysmal mess, the "multi-tasking" it offered is a complete joke, and I wouldn't go as far as to call it an OS. DOS was the OS it sat on top of.

Windows 9x was a vast improvement, however it was a sort of kludge of 16-bit and 32-bit code. It was sort of a semi-OS in that it'd provide its own drivers for things but you'd often run into situations where an MS-DOS driver was doing the work.

My thoughts on the matter?

Considering that your average PC around these times would be:
Win 3.1 - 486 or early Pentium with about 4 - 16 MB of RAM
Win 95 - Pentium with about 32 - 64 MB of RAM

and so on...

Processors these days would run code designed for those specs exponentially faster.

So, as far as DOS goes, I would say emulate it. DOSBox does a darn good job of this, IMO. Apps that run under DOS expect direct access to hardware. Rather than try to stick a square peg in a round hole (DOS app vs. NT architecture) just provide a square hole that fits into the round hole ;)

Sadly, many Windows 9x applications are "broken" architecturally and insist on talking to hardware directly. I'm not sure if an emulation approach would work well (if at all) here.

Or, you could somehow translate the binaries to work on the NT architecture. This would take a lot of work but would end up being more efficient.

Or we could all just stop using legacy apps. Problem solved :lol:

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:58 pm
by oiaohm
Main thing is I don't see a reason to fork existing projects.

http://www.japheth.de/HX.html and http://tippach.business.t-online.de/wdosx/

Note Windows 95 base memory requirements may turn out to be enough for Reactos. HX could have some uses with reactos and dos friendliness. If anyone wants to do it. Since it just replaces the dos stub on a PE instend of displaying will not run in dos it runs.

Re: "React16" and "React98" concepts Via

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:58 am
by forart
Icy EyeG wrote:I'd like to know if it would be viable/possible to develop the following OSes:
Check out this interesting idea, instead:

Open Sourcing Windows 9x

I like the approach: build something like our ROSi that gradually substitutes MS components with open source alternatives. In this whay you (should) have a 100% functional OS since the 1st release...

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:34 pm
by silverblade
I think this guy sums it up quite well on that forum:
Relic wrote: Using open source just for the sake of it being open source is mindless!
It seems pointless. 9x is a dying (if not already dead) architecture. The nice thing about the NT architecture is that it allows for a Win32 subsystem which allows all well-behaved 9x applications to function anyway.

And by well behaved I mean applications that don't insist on poking around with the hardware directly.

I doubt you'd have a 100% functional OS in the first release as well.

Consider ReactOS is built from the ground up from new source code. The "public" interfaces to the different components needs to be the same as Windows in order for 3rd party components to work. The internals of the components need not be identical. Again if any application is poking around with the internals of such components, it needs to be shot / doesn't deserve to run, IMO! :lol:

And then there's the matter of Windows components having proprietary interfaces between one another. You can't invent a new way of talking to one Windows component from another otherwise it won't work with Windows.

We have completely fresh code, however we still have bugs.

It's a problem that occurs at least once with all (non-trivial) software.

The only way you'd get a 100% match to Windows would be to actually get hold of the original code, or by reverse-engineering. It's unlikely MS would give you the original code, and even then it'd be illegal to re-use it in open-source software due to copyright. And as for reverse-engineering... You'd be there a while, figuring out how it works, and be on shaky ground legally.

In summary:
I don't see a valid reason to resurrect Windows 9x in an open source form.

Re: "React16" and "React98" concepts Via

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:12 am
by Jawmht
Icy EyeG wrote:I'd like to know if it would be viable/possible to develop the following OSes:
  • "React16" ---> Open/Free Windows 3.11 based 16-bit OS, also using FreeDOS
    "React98" ---> Open/Free Windows 9x based OS, also using FreeDOS
Not 16 bit, the OS structures and handles are 32.

The 2nd would be *possible*(Not very useful,... or stable) if you took FreeDOS added ROS's process scheduler, shell, program loader, and userland. Then stripped the NT only API's , put all calls into the imported DLL's and removed NTDLL. But after such you would just end with a OS less stable than 95 and that didn't do half the stuff NT could do. ME pretty much reached the limit of what could be built on top of DOS.

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:23 am
by EmuandCo
Errr, why in the name of Jesus Christ do you want a Open Win9x???? It SUCKS. Thats why it was canceled. NT Architecture FTW

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:53 am
by silverblade
...and that adequately sums up my feelings on the matter, too. :lol:

Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:40 am
by Cristan
It could be fun, but making an Operating System really is a lot of work. So you'll need quite a group of enthusiasts who are willing to spend a lot of time in making it in order to be succesful.

Because of the many drawbacks of the Windows 3.11/9X architecture and the lack of people still running Windows 3.11/9X (and people who are geeky enough to make an OS definitely won't still run such an outdated OS), you simply won't find enough people to make the OS.

Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:00 am
by Wierd
16bit reactos? Eww. No. Not even I will stoop so low.

I am a bit saddened that later version of ROS need a pentium class or better. I REALLY wanted to profile ReactOS on a "Super low end 486" I have sitting around drawing dust against NT4-- and or-- to run Apache Webserver under ROS on same said antique for "extreme torture testing"---

Sadly, this is no longer the case. I will have to look for an antiquated pentium 50, with 32mb of ram, and an ISA video card now. *sigh*.....

I think I have a few such dinosaurs in my shed as well..... but it lacks the mystique and MS bashing potential that using a 486 offers. (Eg-- Microsoft needs a pentium III 500, and 1gb of ram to do this---- but we do it with 32mb of ram and a 486SX 25.....)

But again-- 16bit ReactOS? EWWWW! The line should be drawn at the VDM, and NOPLACE ELSE should ANY 16bit code even be CONSIDERED. (shudders uncontrollably.)