Why is ReactOS based on a 17-year-old version of Windows?

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LeoI07
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Why is ReactOS based on a 17-year-old version of Windows?

Post by LeoI07 »

ReactOS is supposed to be binary compatible with Windows Server 2003 and later versions of Windows. Its code is a reverse-engineering of that of Windows Server 2003. But I have a question: why? Windows Vista is based on Server 2003, and 7 is based on Vista. But once you get to Windows 8, Microsoft had to really slim down the OS so it could run on ARM CPUs, and Windows 10 is just about as slim since it's based on Windows 8.

From what I can tell, the ReactOS developers have access to the Windows Server 2003 source code (probably through Microsoft's Shared Source Intitiative), so wouldn't it be possible for them to get their hands on the source code of more recent Windows versions? If ReactOS were based on Windows 10, it would probably be a lot more useful in this day and age (bonus points if it can run on instruction sets Windows 10 can't). I mean, Windows 10 comes with compatibility layers that can help run programs coded for versions back to Windows 95, so that's another reason it would be more versatile.

ReactOS devs, if you see this, I'd love for you to answer my question. I'd like an explanation for why ReactOS is so """""ancient""""", even if it's just "Windows Server 2003 was the latest code base when ReactOS builds was first being coded".

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EmuandCo
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Re: Why is ReactOS based on a 17-year-old version of Windows?

Post by EmuandCo »

I'd like to see sources/proof for your claims. If there are none, you won't get any reply after you obviosly are just trying to harm the project then.
ReactOS is still in alpha stage, meaning it is not feature-complete and is recommended only for evaluation and testing purposes.

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gonzoMD
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Re: Why is ReactOS based on a 17-year-old version of Windows?

Post by gonzoMD »

To be clear: the Developers have no access to ANY windows source code. Reverse engineering means to study the functions, maybe write tests to proof its function and reimplement APIs based on this research.

To (hopefully) answer your question: It took years to gain the quality of compatibility we have so far. In this time Windows changed much, but if we would decide to change the target, everything would start from the beginning (tests, research, implementation and so on).
This is what most people don't understand. They say "this shitty Reactos is obsolete because it reimplements an ancient Windows". None of them really knows what it means to study such a complex thing as Windows and then create something that works similar.

hbelusca
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Re: Why is ReactOS based on a 17-year-old version of Windows?

Post by hbelusca »

Ask yourself the following question: If your hypothesis was correct, then how is it possible that our kernel is still much incomplete and buggy, after all those years?

florian
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Re: Why is ReactOS based on a 17-year-old version of Windows?

Post by florian »

If one cannot create a bicycle, one shouldn't try to create a Boeing...

Let's assume that our developers are probably no masochists and that they know best where to start.
LeoI07 wrote:Windows Vista is based on Server 2003, and 7 is based on Vista. But once you get to Windows 8, Microsoft had to really slim down the OS so it could run on ARM CPUs, and Windows 10 is just about as slim since it's based on Windows 8
Well, I'm not a developer. But let's compare the history of window's kernel versions: Win Vista (NT 6.0) and Win 7 (NT 6.1) with Win 8 (NT 6.2), Win 8.1 (NT 6.3) and Win 10, which one could describe as a Win 8.2 because once it was internally marked as NT 6.4 before they changed the kernel version to NT "10". Due to those quiet close to each other kernel versions I doubt your words. Sorry.
LeoI07 wrote:From what I can tell, the ReactOS developers have access to the Windows Server 2003 source code (probably through Microsoft's Shared Source Intitiative), so wouldn't it be possible for them to get their hands on the source code of more recent Windows versions?
Hm, Microsoft released five licenses for general use. But most of them "have limitations that prevent them from being open-source according to the Open Source Initiative and free to the Free Software Foundation". (Compare https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_Source_Initiative)

If Microsoft's Shared Source Initiative would have been an option (like the truly opensource-project WINE) they would have used it (like they do it with WINE and other opensource stuff).

learn_more
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Re: Why is ReactOS based on a 17-year-old version of Windows?

Post by learn_more »

florian wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:10 pm
(like the truly opensource-project WINE)
The truly opensource-project wine, like the truly opensource-project ReactOS ?

florian
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Re: Why is ReactOS based on a 17-year-old version of Windows?

Post by florian »

Like the not really opensource-project called MS Shared Source Initiative.

Sorry for any misunderstandings. I'm not a native speaker.

LeoI07
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Re: Why is ReactOS based on a 17-year-old version of Windows?

Post by LeoI07 »

gonzoMD wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:52 pm
It took years to gain the quality of compatibility we have so far. In this time Windows changed much, but if we would decide to change the target, everything would start from the beginning (tests, research, implementation and so on).
Well, Windows 10 is supposed to be, essentially, the last version of Windows, where instead of making Windows 11, Microsoft is giving constant feature updates to Windows 10. So, if that's the case, the Windows 10 source code probably won't change much in the future, so if ReactOS development did start over to become up to date with Windows 10, it would probably stay up to date for as long as Windows 10's source code doesn't get completely changed to something else.

Julcar
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Re: Why is ReactOS based on a 17-year-old version of Windows?

Post by Julcar »

Let's be clear:
MS Windows is Coca Cola
ReactOS is trying to recreate the same flavor but using known ingredients and recipes shared by others.
Maybe Coca Cola improved the flavor in reclently years, but ReactCola is still in the attempt to get the flavor of 17 years ago, still doesn't taste the same but is closer.

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Jared
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Re: Why is ReactOS based on a 17-year-old version of Windows?

Post by Jared »

The answer can be explained on a thread from a previous post as seen on here: viewtopic.php?t=15868

asd1!
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Re: Why is ReactOS based on a 17-year-old version of Windows?

Post by asd1! »

@anyone: before continuing replying to this non-sense thread, think! ...and please, don't fall the troll's trap!. See the user registration date. This is another thread like this (where I've left there a similar warning message). We must train our neurons to identify trolls, and we must 'react' before it's too late. Don't feed the troll, it best way to make them stop (but they won't stop, so, please remind this message to identify them). Again, the purpose of who started this thread is making ReactOS look obsolete (again, to discourage the developing of ReactOS).

For me the answer is simple: as an analogy, you can think in ReactOS the same "as a Living Standard", the same as HTML or JavaScript (which they are alive since much more than 20 years), because, even if they are also "old", they are being constantly developed to the current date. Summarizing, you can say the current HTML5 is based on very old-version of HTML, and the same with the latest JavaScript.

Aeneas
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Re: Why is ReactOS based on a 17-year-old version of Windows?

Post by Aeneas »

Because 17 years ago the version was... new. And they have a handful of developers and not a myriad. The answer is trivial, when you think of it.

It is the same reason why a bunch of enthusiasts can come together and make a yacht — but not an ocean liner. And it is perhaps better to get a nice yacht than a really unfinished and dysfunctional ocean liner carcass.

middings
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Re: Why is ReactOS based on a 17-year-old version of Windows?

Post by middings »

Why didn't the OP find the ReactOS FAQ and read it? The FAQ answers all of the OP's genuine questions.

Patchworks
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Re: Why is ReactOS based on a 17-year-old version of Windows?

Post by Patchworks »

...'cause Windows NT is *still* Windows NT ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_NT

shunesburg
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Re: Why is ReactOS based on a 17-year-old version of Windows?

Post by shunesburg »

Julcar wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:45 am
Let's be clear:
MS Windows is Coca Cola
ReactOS is trying to recreate the same flavor but using known ingredients and recipes shared by others.
Maybe Coca Cola improved the flavor in reclently years, but ReactCola is still in the attempt to get the flavor of 17 years ago, still doesn't taste the same but is closer.
I like your comparison. :D

I think LeoI07 want to say the target of the project should be the Windows 10 OS and not the old Windows Server 2003. But the Kernel doesn't change a lot since decades, and it's true some features and options need to be compatible this newer version but it's only the beginning (alpha version).

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