On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 7:30 PM, Michael B. Brutman
<mbbrut...@brutman.com> wrote:
> On 4/11/2012 1:25 PM, Rugxulo wrote:
>> On Sat, Apr 7, 2012 at 7:12 PM, Michael B. Brutman
>> <mbbrut...@brutman.com>  wrote:
>>> For hard-core application programming where you need to use a few BIOS
>>> and DOS interrupts I like to use C and C++ (carefully).  C gives you a
>>> tremendous amount of control and flexibility.
>>> Open Watcom is open source and is regularly updated, but it is loosing
>>> critical mass.  It seems to be a fairly well kept secret, which I don't
>>> understand.
>> OpenWatcom is awesome, but ...
>> 1). It's only OSI approved, not FSF approved. (Yeah, I know.)
>> 2). No shared library support on GNU/Linux.
>> 3). 32-bit max. only, no 64-bit (except unfinished Alpha support).
>> 4). incomplete C99, a fair bit less than latest GCC
>> 5). slightly less target optimizations (but still good)
>> So that's my guess why more people don't use it.
> 1) No comment.

"wait, freedos isn't free?"


It feels so dishonest to hear people say that.

> 2) If you are programming for GNU/Linux, using OpenWatcom is insane when
> you have GCC/GLIBC available.

It's not insane at all. In fact, some people *like* static binaries.
:-) And they are sure a billion times smaller than silly GLIBC. I'm
not saying GLIBC doesn't have advantages, but I think OW is perfectly
acceptable for Linux. However, no shared lib support is a common
complaint from people. So don't expect a lot of heavy-duty Linux
projects to adopt it.

> We are talking about DOS here, right?
> Not being able to support shared libraries on GNU/Linux is not a concern.

I just meant "overall" there are various reasons why people don't use it more.

> 3) The ability to generate 16 and 32 bit code for DOS is what is
> relevant for FreeDOS.  If somebody needs 64 bit registers and pointers
> then it's probably time to migrate to a 64 bit OS.

I just meant that 64-bit is all the rage, and some people use it (or
even "need" it, allegedly), hence it's often been discussed how adding
this to OW could happen. This has been talked about for years, but no
one has stepped up. (Though it wouldn't be an easy task anyways, so
I'm not surprised.)

Changing OSes and compilers due to arbitrary limitations is not what I
consider fun or realistic. It's best to avoid such heavy-handed

> 4) The latest GCC doesn't generate code for 16/32 bit DOS.

It never did intend to support anything but flat 32-bit, but of course
they've added a lot more over the years. There was a guy a few years
ago working on 16-bit (Rask?), but I guess he never finished. I don't
envy that amount of work. It's not that it couldn't be done, but
nobody has bothered. ("Linux doesn't need it, we don't care.")

>> As for "loosing critical mass", it's not dead yet, though Google
>> Groups isn't letting people post to the OpenWatcom groups anymore (too
>> much spam??), so you have to use something else (e.g. Opera and
>> connect directly to news.openwatcom.org or use Eternal September,
>> aioeu, etc).
> Having their own news server is a plus - you are not bound by what
> newsgroups your ISP wants to carry, if they carry anything at all.

Well, I found Google Groups to be very easy to use, but I have no
choice here since they aren't letting us post (in openwatcom.*)

>> There supposedly will be a 2.0 release later this year, but the
>> maintainer (Peter Chapin) has been busy with other things (work?),
>> hence the delay from last time (1.9, approx. 2 years ago).
> Peter is stepping down as the project maintainer.  He's been very busy
> apparently ...

I missed where he said he was stepping down, are you sure? Nobody
seemed to complain when he said it would be delayed a few months, so I
figured everything was just slow. If true, I'm not horribly surprised,
but still .... Anyways, he did good work over the years, so I can't

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