Sunday, November 11, 2007

FreeDOS 1.1?

It's been over a year since our 1.0 (Sep 2006) release, and many of our packages have been updated since then. I'd like to see us create a "1.1" release sometime soonish. Blair is interested in rolling our 1.1 distro, but I think he'd like some help. If there's anyone our there who'd be willing to assist, please let us know.

We should set some timelines for this, if we're all going to make it work. A "soft" and "hard' freeze worked well for the 1.0 release ... so let's us that again.

A number of us have holidays coming up, and I don't expect to see much happening until they are over. Let's set the target dates like so:

Soft freeze
begins 30 Jan 2008. In the soft freeze, the software list is considered frozen (no new packages accepted) but any bug fixes or improvements to existing packages will be fine.
Hard freeze
begins 1 Mar 2008. That means that we need to finalize the distro, so only *high-impact* bug fixes to packages will make it into FreeDOS 1.1. Minor bug fixes or user interfaces updates to existing packages will not be included in FreeDOS 1.1.
Our target for release should be around 15 Apr 2008. That gives us enough time to make test releases of FreeDOS 1.1 (based on hard freeze) before the final release.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Send me a photo

Both Dell and HP sell PCs that include a copy of FreeDOS. I've asked them, but no one at Dell or HP will send me a copy of the FreeDOS CD. I'd kind of like to see one. If you have a Dell or HP kit with the FreeDOS CD, take a digital photo and post it on your blog for me. If you don't have a place to post, go ahead and email me. I'd love to see one!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

On to FreeDOS 2.0

… or 1.1, or whatever label we eventually give it. I have been giving some thought lately to the next version of FreeDOS. I was, obviously, very thrilled when we finally released 1.0. But it's been a while, and we really should think about what comes next.

Post "1.0", I'd also like to see more utilities to make it possible to replicate some of the advanced features we take for granted in modern operating systems, such as Linux. I want to revive GNUish and replicate a modern UNIX-like environment under DOS. I want DOS to be usable by everyone, not just DOS geeks. Linux users should feel at home.

I'd like FreeDOS to appeal to Windows and Mac geeks, but for that we'd need to have a strong GUI. GEM is already out there, and is a fine, stable GUI for DOS.

The installer also needs work. When I first wrote the installer, it was text-only, very basic, text scrolling up from the bottom of the screen. But it did the job, and it was our first installer. By version 3 of the installer, I'd added a simple TUI, but it was still a pale imitation of where I wanted to go with the installer. The installer we have in 1.0 is basically the same look-and-feel as the original installer. The updated installer should be built with TurboVision or another standard TUI toolkit.

For features, Blair and I had put together a small "wish list" for the updated installer:
  • Embed a scripter (like LUA?) to allow for specific tweaking of installer
  • Support for the same install config files as the Text Installer
  • Built-in library to handle zip files without using unzip as a lib (adds a lot of unnecessary code to the installer).
  • It should also be able to handle packages compressed with other archivers as well if the archiver is available in executable form on the install medium.
  • If the installer turns out to use a TUI toolkit, it should be a viable replacement for the existing text installer.