Thanks for your work.
Can you please tell me any applications that can run on GEM? Or any
limitation of GEM (e.g. DOS extender needed?)
First of all, there are many applications that can run on GEM. OpenGEM
Release 3 includes a great deal of these applications. Here is a partial
- GEM 1st Mail
- Artline 1.01
- Convert 2.00
- Dicmerge 2.00
- GEM Draw 2.0
- Edicon 2.01
- FreeGEM Doodle 2.2
- GDScript 2.0
- GEMWeb 0.3b
- GEM Graph 1.01
- Map Editor 1.01
- GEM Paint 2.0
- GEM Publisher 2
- SCGEM 1
- GEM Tetris 3
- GEM WordChart 1.0
- GEM 1st WordPlus 2.00
GEM can do word processing, DTP, spread sheets, draw vector graphics and do
some basic web browsing. GEM can also execute DOS applications from inside
GEM (so that you'll return to GEM when the DOS application exits).
There are some limitations to GEM.
- It uses the first 640kb of memory, so it can run out of memory if you
execute large applications (especially DTP or DOS applications from inside
- It is a single-tasking enviroment
- It is not LFN aware
However, you need nothing in addition to DOS to run GEM, and it should run
on almost any machine. My recommended specs are a 386, but you'll find GEM
happily runs on machines as low as 80086.
The OpenGEM SDK provides a way for people to program for GEM, and includes
all the information and sources that they need, along with language
bindings. I have released this SDK for two reasons
- Previously GEM programming information and sources was spread around the
net, making it hard to start creating GEM applications
- I have a vision of creating a really good file manager and GUI solution
for FreeDOS 1.0, and OpenGEM is my proposed realistion of this vision.
Right now I'm finalising GEMini Release 3, which will provide a really fast
and stable drag and drop file manager for FreeDOS. In around a month beta
testing of OpenGEM Release 4 will start. OpenGEM Release 4 will provide a
complete GUI enviroment for FreeDOS that gives users three things:
OpenGEM is reaching the forth generation release of the software. It's been
released and maintained since 2002, and has been in development since 2001.
OpenGEM is based on code that was commercially developed and released in the
1980s. It's pretty solid, and OpenGEM Release 4 will focus carefully on
creating a product that is as close to commercially stable software as
possible (even though it's GPL software!).
OpenGEM currently provides a complete GUI enviroment and application set.
OpenGEM Release 4 will move beyond this. There will be two primary releases
1 - OpenGEM Core
A small set of the default core componants to run OpenGEM. It will be a
little bigger than the current GEMini file manager, and it will provide a
stable, fast GUI for end users. It will replace GEMini as a software
2 - OpenGEM Complete
The default core componants of OpenGEM plus additional drivers for printers,
video cards and complete font sets. This will provide an extended GUI
system for users who plan to install and use a lot of GEM applications in
OpenGEM Core can be easily updated to OpenGEM Complete with downloadable
packs of printer and video drivers, and font sets. There will be a new
automatic install system for OpenGEM Release 4 that allows system updates
and applications installs to happen virtually hands-free. You simply put
the install file in a directory, and start OpenGEM. It does the rest of the
The GEM applications will be downloadable in seperate packs, so people can
choose exactly what they want to install of their system, and there is no
bloating of the distribution packages.
OpenGEM Release 4 will focus on making sure the end-user has as little
hassle as possible installing and using the software. It will install and
set itself up using information we have gathered from end-users over the
last couple of years, and it will make it simple to
- change system settings
- update system software
- install new applications
- repair the system in case something goes wrong
Updates and installations are almost completely automatic in OpenGEM Release
4, and the setup application is being overhauled to make sure it's easier to
use than ever before.
So there you have it. I'm working to try and make sure FreeDOS has the
absolute best GUI file manager and complete GUI system options ready for the
1.0 release, and with the OpenGEM SDK release I'm providing tools to make
sure that people can always maintain or update the system.
Here is the roadmap of development:
- GEMini Release 3 released (June)
- OpenGEM Release 4 Core RC1 released (late June)
- OpenGEM Release 4 Core RC2 released (July)
- OpenGEM Release 4 Complete RC1 released (July)
- OpenGEM SDK Release 2 released (July)
- OpenGEM Release 4 Core released (late July)
- OpenGEM Release 4 Complete released (late July)
There will be upgrades from GEMini Release 3 to OpenGEM Core, and from
OpenGEM Release 3 to OpenGEM Complete.
You can download all this stuff from http://gem.shaneland.co.uk
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