2012/4/7, Bernd Blaauw <bbla...@home.nl>:

>> I was wondering what would it take to upgrade FreeDOS to 32bit,
>> whether it would be worth and whether we would have the human
>> resources.
> 32bit user programs tend to be available already in the form of
> protected mode software, using one of the various DOS Extenders.

I've got no idea - but many of you can answer precisely: it is really
the same having 4 GB of "linear" address space, and, from the other
side, just 640 KB, and "the rest" (if 3,5 GB can be called "the
rest"...) available by using some kind of "extenders"?

> I'm not seeing much of a benefit, especially in the case of a 16bit
> subsystem being omitted like in ReactOS or 64bit Windows.
> Without some clever tricks 32bit DOS would still be stuck with FAT
> filesystems (thus 4GB filesize limit)

Well, this could be done later.

> and 4GB of memory, while high-end consumer platforms allow up to 64GB right 
> now (Intel
> X79 socket 2011 platform with 8 memory slots).

But is "high-end consumer platform" FreeDOS' "target audience"?
Besides: 4GB compared to 64 GB is 16x less. But 640 KB compared to 4
GB is more than 6000x times less...

>> Having said this, could we have tangible benefits from a 32bit
>> version? What are the prospects of a 32bit FreeDOS in the future? And,
>> again, would it be worth?
> Doubt it very strong. [..]

Why not, actually? DOS - or something as simple, as DOS - on desktops
has advantages over contemporary OS-es, even Linux/BSD's:
- simplicity
- "light weight"
- direct access to hardware (yes, it's an advantage to me)

At the time of cheap computers, do we really need "multiuser" OS? It
was reasonable 20 years ago, when fast machine was really expensive -
but is it still today, when every average user can have his own
computer (and - in fact - has several without even realizing it, e.g.
his handy, iPhone, watch etc)?

No idea however, how much overhead/complexity could be disposed of, if
Linux were single-user - but indeed after establishing my own user
account ("root" is always present immediately after installation) I
don't need to create the third one on the same machine.

I remember, that it has been advertised as serious advantage of Win
3.x, that the drivers from now on shall be created "for Windows", and
not for every single program separately, like it was before - but
never found information, why the drivers weren't made "for DOS"
earlier. Not "for AutoCAD", "for WordPerfect" and so on - but "for
DOS" in general (then available for every program/application).
Anyway, if there really were pure technical reasons - it can be taken
into consideration during development of such DOS/32 (or DOS/64).
Anyway: having a choice between using a shipped driver, or accessing
the hardware directly, would be an advantage to me.

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