Can development focus be switched from XP to Windows 10?

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Shamoy12345
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Can development focus be switched from XP to Windows 10?

Post by Shamoy12345 »

Hi, I have a few questions. I recently learned programming and I'd like to help contribute to the development of ReactOS. I just wanted to know if it would be a better idea to skip XP/Vista/7/8/8.1 to go with Windows 10 kernel reverse engineering since it has a lot more features and support for more drivers/programs? Also, can Vulkan support be added to ReactOS since its already open source, powerful, and a huge potential game changer for game development?

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Konata
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Re: Can development focus be switched from XP to Windows 10?

Post by Konata »

The project would like to get full Server 2003 comparability before moving targets. If they changed the target every time a new version of Windows came out they'd never get there. After Server 2003 compatibility is achieved then they can start moving to new targets. But Windows 8/10 compatibility will be a pretty massive undertaking considering you'd have to recreate UWP and make a new explorer.

florian
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Re: Can development focus be switched from XP to Windows 10?

Post by florian »

Let's compare it with an analogy:

First we learn to add and to subtract (in terms of ReactOS in the shape of Win Server 2003 beeing NT-Kenel 5.2). Then we learn to multiply, to divide, to extract a root... (following NT-Kernels). And let's consider Win 10 and its NT-Kernel 6.4 aka "10" as for instance integral calculus.

hbelusca
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Re: Can development focus be switched from XP to Windows 10?

Post by hbelusca »

florian wrote:Let's compare it with an analogy:

First we learn to add and to subtract (in terms of ReactOS in the shape of Win Server 2003 beeing NT-Kenel 5.2). Then we learn to multiply, to divide, to extract a root... (following NT-Kernels). And let's consider Win 10 and its NT-Kernel 6.4 aka "10" as for instance integral calculus.
+10 for the maths analogy :D

middings
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Re: Can development focus be switched from XP to Windows 10?

Post by middings »

At Lockheed Missiles and Space Company the rocket engineers had a saying, "To make a big rocket that flies, start with a small rocket that flies." White-sheet projects (entirely fresh designs) for big, complex rockets rarely succeed. A similar principle applies to ambitious software projects.

I do not want to discourage any potential code contributors. At present there are few applications that require Microsoft Windows 10. Therefore, there is no immediate need to make one big jump all the way to Windows 10. An ambitious programmer who wishes to speed ReactOS's path to compatibility with Microsoft's newer versions of Windows might consider contributing code that adds useful Windows 7 and Server 2008 (NT 6.1) system calls to ReactOS.

Regarding Vulkan, the minimum Windows operating system supported by Vulkan is Windows 7. Consider examining Vulkan documentation and testing Vulkan on a Windows 7 system in order to discover and document the Windows 7 API routines that Vulkan requires.

Finally, Vulkan is touted as a 3D graphics especially suited for multiprocessor systems. Presently, ReactOS is a uniprocessor system. Improving ReactOS's support for multiprocessor use might be useful for future Vulkan support on ReactOS.

Deciheximal
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Re: Can development focus be switched from XP to Windows 10?

Post by Deciheximal »

I hope this project doesn't switch it's focus from XP to newer versions, period. In my experience, the further into the future any project tries to take itself, the more likely the original working features break or lose focus for support entirely. And frankly, Windows 10 is kind of a junky OS in my opinion.

ctasan
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Re: Can development focus be switched from XP to Windows 10?

Post by ctasan »

We should bring Vista support for this, which is a massive project on its own. Major kernel changes, driver rewrites (and bringing new driver models) ×and lots of Win32 work ahead.
ReactOS Community Changelogs | Admin of ReactOS Turkish Twitter account @reactos_tr

milon
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Re: Can development focus be switched from XP to Windows 10?

Post by milon »

Deciheximal wrote:I hope this project doesn't switch it's focus from XP to newer versions, period. In my experience, the further into the future any project tries to take itself, the more likely the original working features break or lose focus for support entirely. And frankly, Windows 10 is kind of a junky OS in my opinion.
That may be true of projects that set their own targets, but in this case the target is already set: binary compatibility with Microsoft applications and drivers. We don't actually have original features, unless you considering leaving out anti-piracy measures to be an original feature. The ReactOS Foundation has set their focus on NT 5 (I think - I could be off slightly), and that target won't really change until the goal has been met. Then work will proceed on later NT architectures.

About Windows 10 being "junky" - I'm not thrilled with their UI choices myself. I much preferred Windows 2000 and 7 over all the others. But that's just the outer layer. The internals are far more important, and from that perspective Windows 10 is arguably the best thing MS has made yet.

val
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Re: Can development focus be switched from XP to Windows 10?

Post by val »

yah, I was struggling with finding a way to launch cmd.exe (anything actually), untill I just went to Explorer, opened system32 folder and found there that frigging cmd.exe, :lol: but in no way Windows 10 is "junky". It's great. And it feels from the very start - it worked better with my 2011 laptop than 7. Everything just worked right out of the box - camera, bluetooth, usb3. Which was not the case for 7 unfortunately, despite the laptop is kinda more for 7 (by an age).
And 10 is efficient (CPU load low) that is why I Iove Windows among other things. No other OSes could even have been compared to it by this. I've tried linuxes, bsds, open solaris, solaris, and finally mac os x. and everytime I saw unforgivable high cpu load in cases where Windows shines. mac os x is just an anti-"recordsman". *facepalm* fresh example - recently I played with my PPC iMac g5 from 2004. with a single core 1.8 GHz cpu even silly "top" utility takes up >7% of constant load. this is abysmall. My above laptop is dual core 2.2 GHz btw, not so higher. 10 manages to take less than 1% with frigging 1400 threads started! even linux's top takes up around 1-3%. And this with 1 to 3 seconds interval! Windows GUI taskmanager with 0.5 seconds interval always takes up less than 1%. Actually almost always <0.2%. It says a lot about code quality.

Of course "switching to 10 targetting" is a topic for only those who have no idea, what it is writing an OS.

florian
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Re: Can development focus be switched from XP to Windows 10?

Post by florian »

milon wrote:About Windows 10 being "junky" - I'm not thrilled with their UI choices myself. I much preferred Windows 2000 and 7 over all the others. But that's just the outer layer. The internals are far more important, and from that perspective Windows 10 is arguably the best thing MS has made yet.
Almost nothing to add - but: I am dissatisfied with Win 10 data privacy.

Janus
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Re: Can development focus be switched from XP to Windows 10?

Post by Janus »

Speaking strictly for myself, stating my own opinions.

I find Windows through XP to be designed for the personal computer.
That is, for the individual.
For home computers to be used as real computers, adapted, customized, yet generic enough to be recognizable.
Which is to say it has a work flow in mind, and a coherent structure.

Starting with Vista, it is no longer designed for the individual.
It was a CPU and memory hog, and horrid.

Win7, I hate to say, was an improvement.
A substantial one in fact.
Sadly, in addition, they continued the trend of dumbing down everything.

I use on a daily basis something they deem irrelevant, the file extension.
I need to know which file format something is, not what program opens it by default.
Sure they were missing in XP, but easily put back with an addon.
Then in vista, they removed the entire interface it used.
Replacing a generic interface that could apply to any file, with one that is per file extension, said file extension being invisible to the system owner.

Not that XP was perfect, who ever thought up making zip files into directories was wrong, the same for cabs and the rest.
Then we get libraries, the only thing I have found more irritating than windows trying to lock me into using user profiles.

I keep my OS on its own drive letter.
I keep my utilities on another.
I keep my compilers on another, except for VS of course.
I keep my data on a separate physical drive from windows.
Yet windows, especially vista and later, keeps trying to default to saving everything in the user profile, exactly where I do not want it.

Through XP, right clicking on the desktop itself took you to everything to do with the desktop.
Now what used to be all in one place, or at least linked to, is scattered.
Screen savers are in one place, monitors in another, resolution in yet another, and the list goes on.
There was nothing wrong the control panel, yet they changed it, renaming things at what is to me anyway, random.

Why are printers, external drives, keyboards, usb devices and monitors lumped into one place?

The desktop is no longer designed for the end user.
Win7 is the last version designed for a real computer.
Win8/8.1/10 are designed as appliance frontends.

Win10 no longer even pretends you own your computer.
It has built in mandatory telemetry.
It tracks everything you do, and reports in.
Every W10 install appears to have an implicit cloud account it wants to sync with.
It is no longer a real OS.
It has become a cloud account front end.

If you look back at the eighties, IBM ruled using maninframes, and teminals that over time became home/personal computers.
That transformation destroyed the entire business model of IBM, in no small part because they failed to adapt.
That put all the processing in IBM's hands, and the display in yours.

If you look at how W10 works, with its implicit cloud account, phoning home, telemetry, constant resetting of preferences on updates.
They are getting control of your user profile, your data, and a list of everything you do with your computer.
It is no longer yours.
Microsoft is trying to become IBM, the monster they vanquished.

I am not saying Windows is perfect, it isn't.
I am also not saying that Linux is a replacement, it isn't.
Not that there is anything inherently stopping it, there isn't.
No, what is stopping them is their own strength.

The sole advantage windows has had over Linux has always been the fact that it could be predicted.
Win3.x was little more than just a fancy multitasking dos.
Win9x is where Microsoft finally got it right.
Win2k is where things finally jelled and just started working.

I actually preferred the 2K desktop to XP, but the differences were easily fixed.

Linux on the other hand has many desktops.
And it has many distros.
Each of those distros then has their own take on each of those desktops, and many their own custom desktop in addition.
They are seemingly endlessly tweakable.

Yet this strength, is also its limitation, and its achilles heel.
For in Linux, there are no real guides to where anything goes, what it is called, how things are arranged.
What you know on one, may work on another, or may not.
The cohesiveness of the device manager present since Win9x, has never been in Linux, nor do I believe it ever shall.

This single strength, coherence and predictability, has been systematically removed from each generation of windows starting with vista.
Improvements in the kernel have been masked by the growing chaos of the desktop.
Win8 was not even designed for a desktop machine at all, it is based on a touch screen.
WIn8.1 & W10 continue this trend, though with concession to make it survivable.

I ask you this.
Do you develop?
I do.
I make software, some for me, some for customers.
That is called intellectual property. (IP)
Those of us who do that need to feel and be secure.
To know that our computers and data are safe and secure.
If you are using an OS that keeps track of your programs, your files, and who knows what all, and phones home reporting all of this, and you have no say what so ever about it.
How do you feel that your IP is safe and secure?

Yet even if we separate the desktop from the kernel, as is done in Linux to its benefit.
I know I would prefer a newer Win kernel, with the older desktop that just worked, instead of the modern art display masquerading as interface.
The kernel level interfaces have changed significantly between win2k3, and W7/8/8.1/10, with each of the latter also having changes.
The Kernel interface through XP is more or less known.
What is happening now is recreating that interface and its underlying infrastructure.

Once that is done, then a game of compare and contrast can begin.
Then either turning the newer kernel interfaces and driver interfaces into a superset, or the current into a subset.
Either way, the grace of open source is that it is possible to keep the older driver interface through a translation layer.
Performance may be lost, but critical applications can continue to run, and processors are always getting faster.

While it may not be discussed publicly.
I am quite sure that there are already individuals doing that compare and contrast between kernel levels.
That they are helping in part to ensure long term steerage of the project, getting ready for the day when people, businesses, corporations and governments can no longer pretend that Windows is securable since it has become little more than a cloud front end.

There is nothing to preclude microsoft having kept the older interface, except that they want to change the perception of windows, from a stand alone computer you own, to being a part of the great digital outdoors known as the internet.
That is the one great strength of Linux, no one can force anything between you and your computer, though they can make it hard to find everything because each and every team and desktop has their own ideas about how things should work, including many end users.

If ReactOS is ready when windows collapses under its own weight, it will win the desktop wars in one move.
If it is not however, then privacy will suffer, with large social consequences.
For a coherent desktop that leaks data, will still be used more than an incoherent one that does not.

In closing, oh man I so did not intend this to go on like this.
I am hoping you meant the kernel level stuff.
For the simple and just works desktop is the heart and soul of this project.


Janus.

P.S. If you hate the W7 or later explorer, try explorer++ instead.
Combined with voidtools everything, they work wonders.

learn_more
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Re: Can development focus be switched from XP to Windows 10?

Post by learn_more »

i love the win7 and win10 explorer tbfh :D

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Konata
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Re: Can development focus be switched from XP to Windows 10?

Post by Konata »

learn_more wrote:i love the win7 and win10 explorer tbfh :D
I'm glad at least one developer likes 10, lol. I thought they all hated it.
I like 7's too. It feels really cheesy by today's standards, but it's still beautiful.

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