DOS is not a good candidate for multitasking. Why DOS can run in less memory and with older hardware than NT style systems and Linux style systems can, others who are more knowledgeable can comment on that.
Remember, QDOS was probably the first DOS where the acronym means, quick and dirty operating system. DOS style systems do not have a layer of abstraction between hardware and programs, thus compatibility is difficult to maintain. I suppose DOS is faster than a typical modern OS because of the reduction of layers between apps and hardware, but this comes at a price. I am not impressed with Freedos network support or printer support for that matter. If someone could port CUPS to Freedos, that would be really nice. As far as networking, someone should make a GPL clone of Microsoft Client and possibly others should start making DOS drivers for modern network cards and release those under a GPL license. Linux has Freedos beat hands down for hardware support including sound card support, but I suppose porting Linux drivers to Freedos could be very difficult because Freedos doesn't protect the hardware the way Linux does and because application programs typically try to run the hardware directly. In the same sense that DOS is not a system that one wants to multitask on, DOS is also not a system that one wants to support multiple users on because there is zero as in no file protection. DOS systems do not support the concept of this file belongs to this user and that file belongs to that user and so on. Dosbox is a nice way to go, but Linux probably isn't the fastest host system in the world. Perhaps Freedos 32 needs to be revived and a gui developed for it that can run Dosbox. I think the future for Freedos is seeing how much hardware power you really need to emulate the typical PC of days gone by. Is a first generation Pentium that is too slow now for Linux fast enough to emulate the typical IBM PC and run Freedos? I say virtualization and emulation are the future because it may be difficult or impossible to drive modern hardware that DOS applications were not written for in Freedos running natively. An emulator can translate calls for an old sound blaster style card to drive a newer Intel integrated sound system. Otherwise, I encourage people to check out games like Dirk Dashing Secret Agent to get a taste of what can be done natively on a Linux system. Why do modern operating systems abstract the hardware away? Security, maintainability, and easing the task of application programmers comes to mind. A badly written program in control of the hardware is bad news. If the hardware is protected though, processes that are out of control can potentially be contained and controlled. I think a discussion of why Microsoft abandoned DOS for NT is in order before people go crazy about enhancing Freedos. DOS was never intended to support multiple users and multiple processes let alone contain badly written software. For those who like simplicity and want something graphical, check out Syllable and help if you can. At a certain point, one has to limit their expectations for Freedos or else the system will disappoint. The point of Freedos is to be able to use very old computers and run old software that predates Windows NT and Linux. I would like to see a simple gui developed for Freedos that can run Firefox, but even that is probably getting too far away from what DOS and Freedos in particular are for. A true DOS system has zero intelligence about the software being run. Viruses etcetera are a serious problem in a DOS environment. Emulating DOS with an emulator that catches bad code before that code has a chance to execute is probably a doable thing. I want to see a new release of Freedos with fewer bugs as much as the next guy, but before that can happen I think a few things have to be considered: 1) Interest in freedos will drop even further if a new release doesn't run on 386 and older computers. 2) Freedos is not a multitasking OS or a true networking OS where trying to make it one while ignoring other OSes that fit that description better is going to be unpopular. The single task nature of Freedos can be a strength. 3) Freedos needs to become Windows 9x compatible at some point or else a different gui running on top of Freedos needs to be popularized. This Windows 9x replacement needs to run on hardware as old as the late model 486. This gui needs to make more network cards and printers work on top of Freedos than would typically work in a program called from the command prompt. 4) As we get further and further away from the "good old days" where everyone ran a commercial version of DOS, open source DOS software is going to become more important and be legal to use. Popular closed source software, even Wordperfect for Dos, won't be legal to use. Closed source software with bugs, even simcity for DOS has bugs, isn't really fixable. Simcity is a bad example because Micropolis is the open source remake of it. Freedos doesn't seem to work well on multiprocessor systems nor does Freedos support a lot of modern hardware well. The support for modern hardware issue can be solved by reviving Freedos 32 and emulating the older hardware that the modern stuff is replacing. Memory protection and memory management are doable on x86 computers where the IA32 architecture especially has hardware to assist with this. Computers are becoming fast enough that hardware calls can be captured and translated on the fly. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Download Intel® Parallel Studio Eval Try the new software tools for yourself. Speed compiling, find bugs proactively, and fine-tune applications for parallel performance. See why Intel Parallel Studio got high marks during beta. http://p.sf.net/sfu/intel-sw-dev _______________________________________________ Freedos-user mailing list Freedosemail@example.com https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/freedos-user