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TCP-group 1995


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NOS for DJGPP...



NOS for MSDOS may not be dead for a while: Phil Karn is (was?) porting
it to work with DJGPP (Gnu C for MSDOS). That will extend NOS's
usuable life by a few years, since it provides some important basics
that are lacking in real mode MSDOS NOS:

a decent compiler and development environment (GCC)

Borland/Microsoft C etc produce lame code, and they're not free. Give
everyone the SAME tools and people can hack NOS and not have to bugger
around with makefefile hacks for 10 different compilers and libraries.

NOS will be able to use more memory, without hacks like EMS, XMS etc.
I think it's also possible to setup memory protection etc., using
386/486 features enabled by the dos extender GCC uses. 286 users will
be S.O.L. though.


I think NOS still has a niche where it could be really useful, and a
DJGPP version of NOS will keep NOS viable for that small niche.
Personally, I think it's bizarre that people keep cramming features
into NOS when there are UNIX, Win-NT, OS/2 and even DOS+Windows
versions that do it better and with less effort. A DJGPP version of
NOS will extend the featuritis too, but I suspect people will  lose
interest in that.

One thing I don't know if NOS will ever improve on: how it's
developped and maintained. NOS keeps chasing its tail, and could be a
lot more stable than it is now. I still see the same bugs in each of
its mutations.

With Linux or BSD, the development process seems a lot more orderly.

You can track down a bug or report it, and it gets fixed, and everyone
benefits from the bug fix on the next official release. Linux has
been around for three+ years, and the 386 version of BSD less than
that, and they are both solid. I know that an MSDOS version of NOS can
never hope to be as fast as Linux or BSD, but it could at least be
stable by now! Mediocre but rock solid I can deal with.




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