I'd say that Freedos is okay for networking if you have a card that is
supported by open source drivers, but that seems to be a very short list
of cards at this time.  I guess the question to ask of anyone seeking to
network Freedos is, is a dos environment enough for what you are after?
Command line linux is much easier to network than freedos and there is a
lot of utility to it.  I don't foresee a strong effort to get free
network driver support to track with today's gigabit and 10 gigabit
built-in and PCI cards.  Companies aren't releasing dos drivers for the
most part anymore because Microsoft isn't supporting DOS.  This is a
shame, Microsoft shouldn't have to support an OS for that OS to be
popular.

I question whether TCP/IP is the best way to go in a DOS environment.
Local area only networking with special filtering gateways to deal with
remote data and remote access makes more sense security wise than
hooking DOS directly to the Net via TCP/IP.  What is your application?
Are the DOS based clients seen as single user terminals hooked to a
central network server that handles authentication, routing, providing
network services, etcetera?  Are DOS based clients going to access each
other for services?  

Novell's Netware, up until the company gave up and went to a TCP/IP
based system, was a local area network system.  There are many
disadvantages to running the same protocol that the Internet runs for
local area networking.  First problem that strikes immediately is
addressing.  Where IPV6 is supposed to help, most people don't have 
IPv6 equipment where IPv6 is unheard of in DOS environments.  Even 
so, IPv6 is just a band-aid measure if globally unique IP addresses 
continue to be given out thoughtlessly.

Services like DNS, dhcp, etcetera don't seem to be designed to
distinguish between a local verses a remote source.  Routing is
overly complicated if a private network is TCP/IP based.  Say I
assume that the .home or the .pri domain are not used on the Net.
Maybe I think that .cox isn't used.  There is no way to set DNS 
up to distinguish a local use of .foo when there is the 
possibility of a remote usage of foo.  Where there is name 
collision, how do you sort that out?  If you know you are looking
for local resolution of a name and there is some way to indicate 
that in a standard manner, problem solved.  Reality is, .foo which
is not in use in Internet names today could be used tomorrow.
Other problems come into play when you search by host name and 
failing to add the private domain name leads to an erroneous 
name resolution.  There seems to be no standard for naming private
TCP/IP based networks that are occasionally Net connected.  Some people
say use your global domain name on your private hosts.  Other people
say, buy two domain names and use one of them for the private hosts.
Still others say, use a .cox, .pri, .home, or some .foo that is not
in use on the Internet.  All of these options have serious drawbacks.

Using your global domain name on private hosts that may never touch 
the Net, you can't use those host names twice.  Using a second 
globally registered domain for private hosts reduces the global 
name space.  Trying to guess that domain foo will never be used
on the Internet, there are no standard choices which means that
the domain you choose could be adopted at any time.  IPv6 doesn't
help, most people can't implement IPv6 and even if you can, IPv6
only increases the number of addresses without providing a way
to let people reuse names/overlap names.  The strings people come 
up with to name IP addresses can only be so long before it becomes
easier to simply type in the number.  I'm afraid that the naming
convention in use 10 years from now will be a gross patch on top 
of what we do now.

DOS environments are incapable of protecting the hardware as the kernel
is NOT a layer around the hardware.  QDOS stood for quick and dirty
operating system and people should realize that DOS was never intended
for a networked environment.  DOS combined with an IPX/SPX network is
interesting, but Netware is totally proprietary.

Look at mailing addresses in the U.S.  There are city level unique zip
codes, at least 10^5 or 100k possibilities.  That is assuming that all
zip codes are maximum 5 digits long (which probably isn't true).  Look
at the street level though and chances are you can find an Elm street
for example in 100's of places.  The combination of street name, street
address, and zip code will always be unique.  Street names that are
popular get reused, something that isn't easily done with the current
Internet naming scheme.  Does everyone want to type the equivalent of
a complete mailing address to get to a web site?  No, of course not.
Maybe in the future, simple names will be expanded by tools that help
you to expand them properly.

A private network should route and name hosts independently of the
Internet and getting to the Net, for security reasons, should 
involve a special procedure.

My simple recommendation is, consider something other than TCP/IP 
for a DOS environment and Linux for Internet connected TCP/IP 
networks.  For security reasons, most of us probably don't want
our DOS environments to connect directly to the Net, but for 
gaming purposes, local area networking can be quite fun.


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