On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 10:30 AM, Eric Auer <e.a...@jpberlin.de> wrote:
> (sorry everybody about the long answer... The short
> answer is "would be nice to have a Wiki page about
> situations where WfW 3.11 can be made to run, but I
> still think that this has mostly novelty value only)

There's nothing stopping someone from fixing any remaining
compatibility issues with FreeDOS, but overall it's not been a
priority for most developers. It's just too old (and non-free,
proprietary, buggy, wimpy, etc).

You can probably only find it on MSDN (Subscriber Downloads or
whatever) or eBay. But it's very niche, very obscure these days. I
wouldn't bother (without a very good reason, too much other stuff to

I'm told that DOSBox can run Win 3.x, but I never tried.

>> I guess people who commonly use Windows,
>> and don't feel comfortable with Unix/Gnu-Linux,
>> and people who used to work with MS-DOS, would benefit
> You cannot surf the modern web or use modern Office
> in any version of DOS and you do not have to type any
> command to do that in any version of Linux either...

No Javascript support is one obvious omission. But "modern" web (HTML
5, etc) practically demands Firefox or Chrome anyways. Just get a
cheap Chromebook, that's probably your simplest answer, if you need
all these modern niceties.

> You can install Win95 style Look and Feel in Linux,
> as well as tiled GUI and nice retro file managers.
> GUI is not a feature of DOS at all, so you cannot re-
> implement that. You can only make DOS compatible to
> run ancient GUI for DOS and run ancient GUI apps ;-)

If anything, I'd say GUI is worthless, it doesn't (usually) add any
power or any extra features at all. So you don't really "need" it. But
I guess it looks nice and is simpler to use:

* http://www.mevis-research.de/~ritter/awakeideas/desktop.html
* https://sourceforge.net/projects/fltk-dos/?source=navbar

> This would not hurt DOS app compatibility but it will
> not bring new DOS GUI apps into existence. Plenty of
> good free GUI apps exist for Linux and for Windows.

There's nothing wrong with good ol' "cmdline" apps (if you can find
them). As long as they do the job, who cares about a flashy interface?

> The easiest way to run Win3 games today is to tell
> Wine in Linux to simulate Win3 instead of newer Win.

I honestly don't know if Chromebooks intend to support such emulation.
There are kludges (chroot?), but I'm not sure of the details. Though
that would help tremendously if you could easily install such things
(and QEMU, etc).

> A fun but exotic way would be to install HX RT in DOS
> and run a few Win3 GUI apps directly in DOS without
> having Win3 itself. DOSEMU2 on GITHUB has a discussion
> whether they should bundle HX by default, which is a
> powerful DOS extender which even implements Win3 API.

I seriously hope they don't include it. It's not "free/libre", and I
thought they were intending to "fix" the "old" DOSEMU issue of things
like that. But maybe it's too much work to fix.   :-(    Good luck
getting any Linux distros on board, they are extremely picky.
(Honestly, we need to do a better job of using "Free" tools overall.)

> It surprises me that new hardware still ships with NDIS
> drivers. When in doubt, NDIS and package drivers can be
> wrapped into each other for use in plain DOS.

If you use VBox or QEMU (atop Linux), you don't have to look far to
find a working packet driver.

> Nice that Office 97 Win3 viewers exist or ancient Adobe
> viewers or MSIE. Yet Office 97 format is rarely used, a
> plain TXT file in arbitrary encoding can be handled by
> FoxType and similar with some effort and a GhostScript
> based PS / PDF viewer today is probably better than old
> Adobe tools. Pity that you prefer MSIE 5 over Dillo ;-)

There are several ways to view PDFs in DOS, but none is perfect.

Not to take the cheap way out, but honestly I think PDF is
overengineered and uselessly complex. Honestly, people shouldn't rely
so heavily on it and should focus on simpler formats.

> There are also nicer DOS media players than Win3 ones,
> same for image viewers. Dunno for catfish & VisualBasic.

Yes, various tools exist (Dugl Viewer, SEE, DISP, QuickView, Mpxplay),
but again nothing is perfect.

> A GUI ZIP or Totalcommander might be nice, but DOS file
> managers with GUI and ZIP also exist in many versions.

DOS Navigator? Doszip?

> PS: There is a Blinky FreeDOS thing for Super Tux Cart?
> For Linux? Sounds interesting! Where did it come from?

I doubt it's there already. He probably wants us to add it.

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