On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 2:53 PM, Rugxulo <rugx...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 9:20 AM, Paolo Vincenzo Olivo <pv...@outlook.it> 
> wrote:
>> Anyway, as clearly stated on FreeDOS home page, the purposes for ever 
>> installing it are in fact
>> legacy softwares, dos-games, and embedded systems. I'm sure this comes from 
>> some sort of
>> survey carried out among FreeDOS users. In light of that, I bet as well that 
>> the idea of making
>> a "modern version" of a MS-DOS\Dr-DOS\CP/M-86 like system (maybe 32 bit, 
>> multitasking,
>> real-mode, with modern software compatibility), was dropped after having 
>> seen what people
>> really needed, which was a true old-school dos, running on newer hardware, 
>> being able to be
>> burnt on a USB flash-drive and to be installed even without a floppy disk.
> There are not enough active developers to make such big changes.
> Multitasking might be nice, but in light of things like DOSEMU, it's
> unnecessary. Also, 32-bit isn't necessary in light of things like
> (CWS)DPMI. Now, that doesn't mean the kernel couldn't (somehow) be
> massaged to build with GCC (as 386+ real-mode), but it "probably"
> wouldn't gain much in speed. The only reason to do that would be to
> remove the dependency on OpenWatcom (which is disliked in the Linux
> and GNU communities).

It's more possible than ever [0] to compile the kernel with GCC.
Skeeto/Chris Wells posted [1][2] an example of compiling 16-bit code
with djgpp/GCC, including a linker script for linking 386+ real mode
code into a 64KB COM.  Chris may have used a pre-4.9.x gcc [3] and/or
pre-binutils-2.18 [4].  It now appears gas is also able to speak
i8086, i186, i286 and can even generate correct, pure 16-bit mode
instructions (no i386 opcode prefixes) [5] if given the correct
directives (which appears to be `.code16gcc` in gas and the argument
`-m16` to gcc).

Yes, it would be a large under taking but maybe a long term worthwhile
goal as OW has seem to lost a bit of steam.

[0] http://www.delorie.com/djgpp/16bit/
[1] http://nullprogram.com/blog/2014/12/09/
[2] https://github.com/skeeto/dosdefender-ld31
[5] https://sourceware.org/binutils/docs-2.18/as/i386_002d16bit.html

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