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News Archive | In The News
New SEAL coming soon

posted Feb 25 2001 by jhall
Callum Lawson writes to announce: there is a new distribution of seal coming around. it wis called starseal and is written by me - Neptune28487. It has a KDE interface and is quite a small distribution. Downloads will be available soon at BadSeal's Homepage.

Microsoft Clarifies Jim Allchin's Statements

posted Feb 25 2001 by jhall
If you are a regular reader of Slashdot, you saw earlier this week that Microsoft has attempted to clarify Jim Allchin's statements about how Open Source Software is bad. The article is on Yahoo! and says (summary): Microsoft representatives assert that Platforms Group Vice President Jim Allchin was "misunderstood" when he expressed concerns last week about the long-term industry effects of open-source software. ... Allchin's concerns, eWEEK was told, stem from GPL paragraph (2B), which states, "You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License."
In other words, Microsoft representatives warned, "anyone who adds or innovates under the GPL agrees to make the resulting code, in its entirety, available for all to use ... [which] might constrain innovating stemming from taxpayer-funded software development."
Allchin, according to the company, does not have the same concerns about all open-source approaches in general. "There are other kinds of open-source licenses that encourage third-party development but without the same constraints, including the BSD license," Microsoft representatives said.

Again, I think Allchin is full of hooey. RMS's response (see also this) is as you'd guess - the delineation between Open Source and the Free Software Movement, and what the differences are, as well as his non-opinion of "intellectual property".

Menu-driven navigator for FreeDOS?

posted Feb 25 2001 by jhall
Bill Bernauer has expressed interest in writing a kind of 'shell' for FreeDOS, along the same lines as X-Tree and DOS Navigator. Here is Bill's email, and a few replies. If you are interested in helping with this project, please email Bill. I have been lurking here for a while, and wonder if you are interested in a project I have just started. I have a client using MS-DOS 6.22 who would like a (kind of) shell integrating several of the external dos commands, such as attrib, defrag, scandisk, format, etc. These will be intgrated into the program, rather than shelling out to run the version that comes with dos. So the versions that come with dos could be deleted. I'm seeing this now as kind of like the old X-TREE on steroids. It seems to me that it wouldn't be difficult to write this as generic to run on just about any version or flavor of dos. Thus my question: If there is an interest, I would be willing to make it completly available to be included as a part of FreeDos. ... So let me know what you think!

Beta6 update (and FreeDOS Install Program)

posted Feb 25 2001 by jhall
I had promised a few weeks ago that I would try to get the Beta6 distribution out there by the end of February. And that's just around the corner here. The bottom line: I'm not going to be ready by the end of the month - I've barely started. Expect it in March.
What has been keeping me away from the Beta6 is the FreeDOS Install program. I have been struggling since the start of the year with how to cleanup the code in the Install program. I have taken apart several components of the Install program, scraped away some of the mess, and put things mostly back into order. This leads to an announcement: Version 3.7 of the Install Program has been released! This was a long time in coming, and contains lots of cleanup. There are no new features in this release. I am currently debating whether I should re-write other portions of the Install program, to make this more modular and easier to maintain. If you have any recommedations, please Email me. Otherwise, I'll start tackling the other bugs now. But not until after the Beta6 is out, I promise! :-)

Technote: FAT integrity

posted Feb 25 2001 by jhall
Arkady posted this interesting bit of information to the mailing list about checking the FAT integrity. What I thought was great is that Arkady posted it in pseudo-code format, which I am attempting to reproduce in html: Technote115.

fdsmtpop 0.32

posted Feb 23 2001 by jhall
Yury writes: Finally I tuned everything to run dosppp under dosemulator, so debugging will be more easy :)... Of course, as I promised, it is impossible to debug fdsmptop only in theory, without testing. And fdsmtpop 0.30 and 0.31 contained a lot of small and foolish bugs. These bugs I've fixed today. I hope that theo and anybody who have authenication CRAM-MD5 supported by their esmtp servers will help me to debug this program, because I have not such possibility (my ISP don't use esmtp authentication at all - them simply use two separate smtp servers for ppp users and external calls). is available from:

FreeCOM v0.81 beta 0 is out

posted Feb 19 2001 by jhall
Steffen Kaiser has this important announcement: a new epoch in FreeCOM history has arrived! Now it can be compiled with OpenSource products completely! Requirements: + TC++ v1.01 + NASM v0.98 (yes, that was NASM). And we need testers!! Changelog (vs. v0.80): add: FDDEBUG may redirect output into file add: Swap Support add: command WHICH add: interactive command flag bugfix: "copy 1 + 2 + 3 target" copies first & last file only bugfix: CB_CATCH: In DEBUG mode: recursive test fails always bugfix: KSSF: restore parentPSP on exit bugfix: STRINGS resource length value counts 1. string twice bugfix: if ENHANCED_INPUT && !HISTORY, CurRight falls through to CurLeft chg: moved all assembly files to NASM chg: using STRINGS resource for all non-interactive messages fix: BUILD.BAT and accompanying makefiles for TC++ v1.01 sub: enumResources() won't check secondary files no longer.
This implementation is experimental currently. ... I have created a file release and on anon FTP: ... The pre-compiled variants include a FreeCOM with some sort of swapping support, which is a spin-off of two other ongoing development trees. The way it works and how it shallt be used is explained in K-SWAP.TXT. This Swapping is an experimental function and shall gather information about the already implemented techniques. It will be disabled by default in the final 0.81 release. Besides that, the other functions must be tested, too!

See also Newsitem093 for more details.

Cats 3.9.2

posted Feb 18 2001 by jhall
I have applied several suggestions by Jeremy Davis to the Cats library: The latest in Cats 3.9.2 fixes the leading dot problem in the extension. In rules #2 and #3, Cats tries to use an extension for the catalog file. On some compilers, the method used does not prepend a missing "." to the extension, and the lookup will fail. Version 3.9.2 fixes this. If you don't know what Cats is: it is an implementation of UNIX catgets() for DOS programs. This provides the ability for your program to support many different languages at once.

MS Wants To Outlaw Open Source

posted Feb 18 2001 by jhall
I don't know how many of you read slashdot on a regular basis, but this item was recently posted there. It concerns comments made by Jim Allchin (head of Microsoft's operating systems group) about Open Source Software, an issue that concerns us greatly. Read the quotes from Jim Allchin to see for youself. I personally don't think the U.S. government will take any action to discourage Open Source development (our First Amendment protects freedom of expression, and I think the freedom to distribute one's code falls squarely under this) but these kinds of comments concern me.

New improved News Archive

posted Feb 18 2001 by jhall
Feel like you've missed some important news announcement on the FreeDOS web site? Been away from the 'Net for a few days, and suddenly discovered a slew of news items on FreeDOS? In the past, you likely had missed them for good. But with the new site redesign, the News Archive feature actually prints an archive of news, not just 15 of the most recent news articles. You still only see 15 news items, but they are onces that have dropped off the bottom of the FreeDOS web site. Hope it helps!


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