Steve Nickolas - Using Windoze wrote:


Sory for this extremely late answer, but what i meant was: when did the
FreeDOS spec get changed?


Such a change would be news to me. To my knowledge the standard is still Borland C++ 3.10 and TASM, or Turbo C++ 1.01 and Arrowsoft ASM for a lower denominator that's freely downloadable at least.


I don't recall if the change was ever formalized, but there is a general shift away from Borland and T/Masm
to OpenWatcom and Nasm. I know there was a discussion on the lists about making a change in the
spec, but would have to look over the archives... That stated, in the end it is the person doing the work
that gets to decide what tools are used, though using ones that are not [easily] available to others then
you are less likely to get any help (occasionally it does occur :-) and if/when you no longer feel like
maintaining it, then it will be more difficult for future work [though once a tool reaches a certain point,
there may be little need of further modification]. The kernel for example is now primarily using
OW and Nasm (though Borland still works, Masm syntax is no longer used for the asm portions),
but FreeCom is still built using Borland's tools, and a good chunk of the utilities haven't been compiled
in a long while so remain with same dependencies.

I believe the shift has to do with several advantages OW has over Borland tools:
- it has a largely compatible (depending on how dependent a program is on Borland's details of course)
- it can be freely distributed (so in theory we could provide self hosting distributions) with source
[subject to the terms of its license of course], whereas Borland is free, but lacks source and should
be retrieved from Borland [or like myself use copies that were bought a while back for releases]
-OW is still under development, Borland's is not, in fact their help support does not even know that their
DOS compiler exists (at least last time I called).
-OW does a good job optimizing code and supports 386 whereas I do not believe the Borland
downloads support 386; plus once you get used to it, OW's #pragma functions/inline asm are really cool
Personally I think Tasm is better than Nasm, but Nasm is freely available (Tasm is not available for
download legally, and Masm dl ver 6/7/8 is for Win32 or Masm 5 dl is limited to OS/2 developement)
with source and still being developed.

The above is just what I recall so take with a huge grain of salt.

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