Hi Jim,

What you say makes perfect sense, some comments below.

>> You mean you booted into MS-DOS 6.22 and then started WfW from within 
>> DOS 6.22? If so, I have to ask why??

No one has answered this part yet, especially why.

> That's actually how Windows 1.x-3.x worked ...

Yes, if you means 3.0 I agree it's a shell around DOS. I don't agree in 
the case of WfW 3.11

> technically, Win95/98 
> also worked a similar way, but Microsoft kind of changed things to make 
> it not so obvious.

I think to claim a 32bit prot-mode o/s with a PnP driver model is a "DOS 
Shell" is stretching it beyond belief. Does every 32bit API call map 
back to a DOS 6.22 software interrupt?

> For Windows 3.11 (WFW) you boot into DOS, then you run "win" to start 
> Windows.

Yes, but is it not the case that the startup files are different, plus 
it's prot-mode, and anyway is it not the case you are much better to run 
it with it's own startup files, HIMEM, EMM386 and IFSHLP, as opposed to 
the DOS 6.22 versions, especially for Networking?

> Think of Windows as being just like Norton File Commander, or 

I can't.

> While Windows had its own device drivers and 
> executable file format, Win 1.x-3.0 still used MS-DOS for all basic 
> operations.

I agree.

> Windows just sat on top of DOS and managed the 
> multitasking.

As I said, a different o/s, the fact it was loaded from DOS 6.22 doesn't 
mean it's "just a DOS shell". If I booted WinXP from grub it doesn't 
mean it's "just a LINUX shell". Eric mentioned in the past that DOS does 
not have the sub-systems to allow multiple programs to read/write to the 
NIC at the same time and to be able to queue them. In my view, this 
makes WfW a "different" o/s.

> Windows 3.11 (WFW) stopped using DOS for file i/o,

Exactly, but how did they invent new I/O that didn't rely on DOS? Does 
Windows make calls direct to the hardware interrupts?

> but 
> still made pretty heavy use of DOS for other operating system 
> functions.


> Windows wasn't so much an operating system as an "extension" 
> that leveraged DOS to do most of the "behind the scenes" work.  That's 
> what Ray means with "just a shell".

OK, let's agree it's just a shell for a minute; why would anyone want to 
start it from within FreeDOS? In my view, it's a total mismatch. FreeDOS 
doesn't pretend to be a prot-mode o/s and anyway it runs much better in 
real mode at the moment. If it's going to a 32/64 bit prot-mode o/s then 
really it's time to forget the whole "legacy" thing and just create a 
next generation 64bit command line o/s that supports endless memory, 
multi-processors, multi-tasking, firmware BIOS, native SCSI, NTFS, NFS, 
KERBEROS and SMB signing.

Gerry Hickman (London UK)

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