I honestly haven't had a look at RosAsm or ReactOS or SpAsm in a few years due to private matters. (Kids, Work.)

I just revisited RosAsm and found a page saying that due to the scandal of ReactOs implementing code from the leaked windows source betov won't consider it anymore.

How come ReactOs is still in business if that's true? How's ReactOS ? Anyone actually tries it every now and then?
Posted on 2009-02-01 21:10:47 by JimmyClif

I honestly haven't had a look at RosAsm or ReactOS or SpAsm in a few years due to private matters. (Kids, Work.)

I just revisited RosAsm and found a page saying that due to the scandal of ReactOs implementing code from the leaked windows source betov won't consider it anymore.


Well, the thing is that Betov (SpAsm/RosAsm) and ReactOS have nothing to do with each other.

Betov probably believed that ReactOS stood the first and best chance of "crushing" Microsoft/Windows. He most likely had hopes that the ReactOS team would take the revamp/rebrand of SpAsm to RosAsm as a "blessing" and official sign that the Anti-Microsoft/Pro-GPL global movement was officially underway.

However, the real relationship between the two entities is more like the "ex-girlfriend that just doesn't get it", except there is no ex-girlfriend in this scenario... more like an obsessed stalker.

Betov's barrage of "appeals to authority" accomplished nothing more than an assurance that the ReactOS team wants nothing to do with him.

I am not sure if it was a poor attempt at a "smoke and mirrors" operation as a result of the shutout, or just a "purist" reaction as a result of potential contamination, but Betov pulled a 180 and is now against ReactOS.


How come ReactOs is still in business if that's true? How's ReactOS ? Anyone actually tries it every now and then?


That "scandal" put ReactOS at a halt, while they performed an audit. IIRC, everything relevant checked out to be consistent with "clean room reverse engineering" practices.

As for ReactOS itself, I haven't tried it for some time. When I did, it seemed like they had a long long long way to go. With the virtual loss of Alex Ionescu, and the mind-numbing pace of Windows development by Microsoft, I only see the road to ReactOS as drop-in replacement for Windows getting progressive longer.

However, for the attempt, they are on the right track... which is a nice thing to witness among OS development crowd.
Posted on 2009-02-02 11:06:21 by SpooK
I have never agreed that ReactOS was anywhere near a Chinese wall, they have published posts to their forum that demonstrated it for years. Where someone disassembles a Microsoft DLL in violation of the EULA then publishes his findings and stops work on that aspect of the project while continuing with others. I remember I linked to one such thread on the alt.lang.asm forum but can't find it anymore, perhaps because it is a clear violation of the law they ReactOS deleted the thread from their forum. I seem to remember even Alex had a bit of a problem explaining that one away, though my memory is a bit foggy on it since it was quite a few years ago. It has always been an attempt to rip off the intellectual property of Microsoft (as is Wine IMHO) and I have always hoped that the lawsuit would be long and costly for the thieves.
Posted on 2009-02-02 12:54:58 by donkey
(I hope this doesn't start a flame war) Anyway...

I'm not sure about the legal implications of reverse engineering Microsoft code, mainly because such restrictive EULAs do not always apply to all countries. Also, I'm pretty sure Alex must have looked it up real close, or he wouln't have been in that project. ;)

In any case, I don't find anything wrong with it. Reverse engineering should always be allowed, as well as publishing the findings - for the same reason you can buy, say, a TV set, then take it apart, see how it works, and publish your findings. Once you buy it it's YOUR TV and you can do anything with it...

...except duplicate it and buy cloned TV sets yourself, if the technology is patented. That makes a lot of sense - if I come up with a new way to build TV sets, I wouldn't like Donkey reverse engineering it and starting a competition. :)

Then again, there's quite a discussion on if, why and how should patents be applicable to software, and I'm not who to claim to know about such topics. :S

There's also something else to consider. Microsoft happens to have quite a unique position. For one, if no Windows-compatible OSs existed, then buying Windows software would turn you into a captive consumer of Windows - stop using Windows and you lose all your purchased software. Also, most computers nowadays come with Windows because Microsoft can make deals with hardware manufacturers that most companies can't. So, while there's clearly nothing illegal about all this, it's also understandable that many people want an alternative OS that is Windows compatible, so Microsoft can have some kind of competition. (Linux doesn't really count, because it doesn't replace Windows fully - you still lose your purchased software). That's where ReactOS and Wine come into play - one as a full-blown OS and the other as an API wrapper.

BTW, I have to disagree with you on one thing, Donkey... ReactOs may be seen as questionable alright, since they're duplicating Windows, but Wine is just an API wrapper. I can't find a way to see that as theft. The Wine API is implemented quite differently than Windows itself, because it's translating operating system calls to Linux rather than providing an OS kernel. Plus there is no need to reverse engineer Windows for that - just reading the documentation is enough (Wine doesn't support most of the undocumented stuff anyway).
Posted on 2009-02-25 05:29:18 by QvasiModo
Oh, and I wonder, how come I also had had this impression before too, that Betov was somehow related to ReactOS? Did he ever claim such a thing? :D
Posted on 2009-02-25 05:30:45 by QvasiModo
I tried ReactOS recently and it seems like a very bad version of Windows 95. Maybe Windows 90? Many years behind what a modern operating system should be and I think by the time they get to do what XP (not even Vista) does, it will be year 2020 maybe? No reason why somebody would want to duplicate Windows while Windows does what it is supposed to do. And ReactOS being free doesn't mean, to me, enough reason for trying to duplicate MS Windows since it is not doing a good job of duplication anyway.
Posted on 2009-02-25 08:49:17 by XCHG
XCHG, bear in mind it's a public alpha, not the finished product. The webpage of ReactOS clearly says it's meant to replace Windows... in the future. It also says this version is not suitable for everyday use, only for testing and development of ReactOS itself.

And it's true, I couldn't (and wouldn't) use ReactOS for anything other than reading it's sources for information or poking around with it for fun in VirtualBox. :)

The UI does look a lot like Windows 98, and the consoles are so primitive yet they don't event support scrolling. It also tends to bluescreen a lot, so it's a good idea to take snapshots of the VM once in a while.

Anyway, I think the reason to try to replace Windows is it's cost. For you and me, common users, there is no difference - Windows comes shipped with our computers so it's cost is effectively zero, or at least neglectible (true, you COULD ask the manufacturer to give you a computer with no OS and save some money, but who does?). But for small, start-up companies it *does* make a difference when buying workstations to set up an office. That's why many small companies are turning to Linux, for example. The thing is, sometimes it's imperative to use Windows to support some specific software the company needs.
Posted on 2009-02-25 10:14:20 by QvasiModo

Anyway, I think the reason to try to replace Windows is it's cost. For you and me, common users, there is no difference - Windows comes shipped with our computers so it's cost is effectively zero, or at least neglectible (true, you COULD ask the manufacturer to give you a computer with no OS and save some money, but who does?). But for small, start-up companies it *does* make a difference when buying workstations to set up an office. That's why many small companies are turning to Linux, for example. The thing is, sometimes it's imperative to use Windows to support some specific software the company needs.


I completely agree. The reason that I keep developing for Windows is just that I have all my favorite development environment set up here and I don't even have some of them on Linux for example, such as Visual C++ Builder 2009. Back to the main subject, I don't want to say that developing Operating Systems is bad (I was doing so, myself) but I think there should always be a really good reason for trying to duplicating another Operating System and for me, cost, is not a good reason. Maybe if there was an Operating System that could mix both operating systems and fix what the end users don't like about the two, that would be a good idea.
Posted on 2009-02-25 10:42:59 by XCHG