I still think having true functions in batch files would be a good thing
turn batch files into more capable language

On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, Eric Auer wrote:

> Hi!
> Your vision on DOS is somewhat, well, interesting ;-) So
> there is a lot to chat about, although I am not sure if
> the KERNEL list is the right place for this topic. DPMI:
> > I would expect performance gain to be minimal.  Maybe there could be
> > Low/HMA/UMB memory savings with a different architecture.  Hard to say.
> Well there could, but why would it matter? More heavy DOS
> software normally uses DOS extenders / DPMI anyway, which
> means it does not care about how much low DOS RAM is free.
> The HMA is mostly used for the kernel and buffers, so as
> long as the kernel fits in there, no others have a heavy
> need for it. Only a few drivers may use it "UMB style".
> Also, caches put bigger buffers in XMS, not needing HMA.
> Finally UMB is mostly used for drivers: You could write
> drivers that use DOS extenders / DPMI if you really have
> a lack of space. Actually the simulation of SoundBlaster
> 16 that comes with "SoundBlaster" PCI works like that.
> Probably also some commercial NTFS drivers, because NTFS
> is complex and you do not want to spend 100s of kilobytes
> of DOS memory only for loading a filesystem driver...
> USB, PXE and CD/DVD/BD drivers as drivers / in memdisk:
> > I lean this way too w/respect to drivers.  Built-in's biggest advantage
> is
> You still have to configure built-in drivers, you only
> avoid the risk that you forget to include the file in
> your boot disk ;-)
> > simplicity in user configuration. However, networking seems to be lacking
> > throughput speed with either mTCP or Watt32 apps.  I'm not sure if it's a
> > packet driver, TCP/IP stack, app (doubt), or kernel (doubt) issue.
> Networking in DOS means that your app has a compiled-in
> network stack which communicates with a packet driver to
> get the low-level hardware stuff done. You often have a
> small buffer for that and little concurrency. There may
> be a bit of IRQ and DMA, but "big" operating systems are
> more relaxed about juggling with multiple streams of net
> data with support from complex chips on your network card.
> Note that this is just an educated guess: Ask our experts!
> > guess is that it's a 16-bit MOV/LD* loops, the lack of zero-copy
> > networking, and the switch between kernel and app.  I've seen some
> No switch: The kernel does not network at all and there is
> only one app at a time using the network. Depending on how
> your packet driver and network stack library work, you do
> not need many steps of copying either and the transfer to
> or from a buffer is unlikely to be a big bottleneck with
> modern CPU, I think. However, as said, you probably work
> with little bits of data and small buffers in DOS, because
> you may have less orchestration between stack and driver.
> > reference to the same ... USB drivers as well (USB 1.1 speed from USB
> > 2.0 devices or 3.0 devices).  And there seems to be 3 ways to get USB
> That problem far much more trivial than you might think:
> USB 2 and 3 are controlled in ways that differ a lot from
> USB 1, so many drivers simply do not talk USB 2 or 3 at
> all. This is not like AGP, PCI or PCIe where you flip a
> few bits and suddenly I/O to your graphics card is fast.
> It is more like the difference between paged graphics at
> a000:0 and a linear framebuffer, to stay in the example.
> However, there is no linear USB. Talking USB the 2 or 3
> way is just a quite different language, but as you know,
> at least one shareware driver speaks it and knows the
> dialect of at least some relatively widespread chips...
> > working on DOS: USBDOS, DOSUSB, Panasonic/ASPI Method. I need to play
> Enjoy :-) And maybe do some benchmarks. Even the shareware
> driver should work long enough for that - I think it just
> blocks after a while after each boot, but is not locked in
> terms of how many days or years you have it installed.
> >> On the other hand, I think it would be an interesting experiment
> >> to have a kernel which can load files from at least the root dir
> >> of ISO9660 or UDF disks and similar (ext2? ntfs?) and which can
> >> directly interpret GPT partition tables...
> > Yes! I agree!  The FD Kernel needs to speak MBR, GPT, ISO9660 & UDF
> > (including El Torito), NTFS, Ext2/3/4 to stay relevant. Probably HFS+ as
> > well.  Linux and/or FUSE should be helpful here.
> Uhm no. You do not agree ;-) Yes the kernel should speak both
> MBR and GPT. Something about 4k sector size is also a good
> idea. However, El Torito is only so-so as CD/DVD/BD driver
> and Jack's drivers are probably better. It would be fun from
> an academic point of view to have ElTorito-ISO9660-GPT in a
> kernel, but even Linux works great with kernels-without-any-
> disk-drivers when you put the drivers in the boot-ramdisk to
> load them as separate files from there. DOS with MEMDISK is
> basically the same.
> Having (separately loaded) drivers for ISO9660 (we do, even
> with long file name support) and UDF (only experimental and
> abandoned??) is indeed important for DOS. Also, somebody may
> want to undust the old EXT2 semi-drivers called LTOOLS, they
> probably still have some sort of ancient limitation such as
> lacking LBA support or getting confused by non-ancient EXT2
> or even EXT3 or EXT4 filesystems. Note that LTOOLS, similar
> to SMBCLIENT, works a bit like FTP clients: You type some
> command and files get transferred. That is much easier than
> making a drive letter, because a Windows or Linux drive is
> probably way more complex than can be represented as a good
> old DOS drive letter and the drivers would also be way more
> complex than the amount of RAM that you want to invest for
> a DOS driver (loadable or part of the kernel) would allow.
> This also holds for HFS+ and NTFS and ExFAT and so on, of
> course. Even if you take the effort to make a super-powered
> DOS extended / DPMI driven driver, you would still end up
> having your cool Windows or Linux drive with devices and
> pipelines and long Unicode names and so on represented as
> a boring, maybe even 8.3-named shim for the sake of letting
> your 1980 GIF viewer access your Windows 8 clip-arts ;-)
> If you access your Windows and Linux drive using some DOS
> extended file manager with loadable filesystem modules,
> you might get a better user experience with less headache
> about DOS RAM than when you try to over-boost DOS itself.
> > I'd want FD to be USB-ready (built-in or driver) for Floppy,
> > Zip/Jaz/SparQ/LS-120 (similar drives), HDD, CD/DVD/BD, mice,
> > gamepads/joysticks, keyboards.
> A built-in driver in that sense would be any driver for any
> DOS. It does not have to have any relation with the kernel
> of FreeDOS in particular... If fancy USB drives such as ZIP
> behave well, they should all be covered by the same storage
> driver for DOS. But if you read the docs from Bret, you see
> that USB storage devices kind of default to misbehave :-p
> Similarily, CD/DVD/BD go in one category, as long as your
> driver speaks the general protocol (or for non-USB: speaks
> your controller such as SATA or IDE/ATA/ATAPI) and as long
> as you have a CD-like / network-redirector-like driver for
> understanding the ISO9660 or other "optical" filesystem.
> I think your contributions would be welcome in writing some
> components a la SHSU-UDF (SHSUCDX but then UDF) or modules
> for Bret's drivers to understand GPT with all FAT sizes and
> maybe maybe the most basic support for the most widespread
> "modern" filesystems. Say some NTFS version and EXT2 with a
> bit of resistence to EXT3 and EXT4 at the expense of being
> only read-only or something... As long as you get a bit in
> touch with your Windows and Linux data... I think writing
> from DOS to those is a risky idea in the first place. That
> would be like using a disk hex editor to fix your DirectX.
> Luckily Bret already supports mice, keyboards and game :-)
> > I think Jim Hall's suggestion of a virtualized OS is more applicable
> here.
> >  Something like MOL (Mac On Linux), or QEMU User Space Emulation (ala
> Wine)
> > with device redirection to generic hardware might be best.
> That would be called dosbox and dosemu then, already exists ;-)
> You could contribute by making a TINY Linux distro around them
> which mostly serves as workhorse for all sorts of drivers, for
> hardware and filesystems, network, showing your CGA game in
> suitable form on your holographic tablet touch screen, etc...
> >> Some automated or semi-automatic quality checks seem interesting.
> > Just need people to start writing tests. :D
> Feel invited. Note that with automated code quality checks you
> will initially just find out that DOS is convoluted and ugly.
> But it has to be like that to be compatible. The hard part is
> to find out what is necessarily ugly and what are real bugs :-p
> > I've seen cwsdpmi r7 supports upto 64GB address space.  Some new
> interfaces
> > might be nice to program too, but I'd advocate step one to be making use
> of
> > such extensions transparent to old programs.
> How are your experiences with CWSDPMI r7? Can you help making
> it more stable, at least by giving feedback to the maintainer
> who probably does not really have but will enjoy it if people
> enjoy the proof of concept? :-)
> You are right about the transparency in some aspects: If your
> interface can only allocate 100 MB for some reasons, you can
> still offer ten programs to allocate 100 MB each as long as
> you know that you actually have 1 GB and as long as you can
> let the driver keep an overview which 100 MB is of which app.
> > I think memcopy becomes more important the more we look to implement
> > advanced hardware like USB1.1/2.0/3.0, 10/100/1000 ethernet.  They're
> > all based on memory mapped IO.
> How do you know? Maybe they can also just DMA to where you
> need the data to be in the end? In particular with USB, the
> problem seems to be more that USB 1 is not for big chunks
> of data and requesting many small chunks has big overhead,
> no matter how fast you memcopy them. You get similar issues
> with disk I/O, DOS caches rarely pool your I/O to read-ahead
> megabytes of your MPEG or combine several FAT changes before
> writing them in some smart and safe way. Instead, expect DOS
> apps to read your MPEG 32 kB at a time and update the FAT at
> a ratio of a few bytes at a time. Combine that with the IOPS
> rating of a typical USB2 stick and the overhead of only using
> USB1 to talk to it and you see why sorting your family pics
> on that stick or some SD card is not very smooth inside DOS.
> You could try to write a layer of cleverness and pooling for
> some cache, or a complete cache, but note that people might
> actually prefer basic: You write it, it is slow, but you can
> unplug that USB stick or even your whole PC after a fraction
> of a second and the data already is there and consistent...
> >> Maybe we should discuss the roadmap again in the first place?
> > I'd like to see more discussion.  In the mean time, I'll keep
> > experimenting.
> Enjoy :-) As Tom said between the lines, the (more long term)
> roadmap is more visionary and less based on consensus or some
> practical "what do we NEED to add NEXT" considerations. The
> roadmap for 1.0 and 1.1 was more like that. Today I would say
> the question is more which bits you want to ADD and less what
> you want to CHANGE DOS as a whole into. Because after all, it
> is quite good that DOS is what it is. It does not need to be
> a weak imitation of something else which already is good, too.
> Regards, Eric :-)
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