back to article ReactOS hits a milestone – actually hiring a full-time developer. And we've got our talons on the latest build to see what needs fixing

The open-source ReactOS project has marked a "major milestone" by hiring a developer "full time at near-market rates." Victor Perevertkin will work for three months on developing the storage stack, which the team says is “a long neglected piece of ReactOS.” The aim is to fix kernel plug and play bugs, improve SCSI support and …

  1. Khaptain Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Very negative approach

    That really was quite a scathing review....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Very negative approach

      It was also correct

      1. Lon24

        Re: Very negative approach

        I did try it once and retired hurt. Very hurt.

        Will ReactOS ever be more stable and able to handle more stuff than Windows 2000 running as a VM guest under Linux? That's my legacy lifeboat with no activation issues. All installed from genuine MS CDRoms (remember them) so legal in Spirit but probably not in Redmond.

        I hope the answer isn't written on the back of his P45.

      2. HildyJ Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Very negative approach

        I dabbed with it once, years ago, unsuccessfully.

        At the time it seemed like more of a vanity project or a University OS writing course.

        From what I've read it still seems like that.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Very negative approach

        ReactOS is the OS that I _WANT_ to succeed at doing what it is designed intended to do. When can I have it [working]?

        Looks like I should download the latest again, see what's been fixed, what hasn't. The thing that irritated me the most before was the LACK of ability to turn OFF "auto arrange" on the desktop icons. 2nd to that, SAMBA support that actually WORKS. (I want to use the NET command from the CMD shell and work with samba shares the way I would in XP or 7)

        As I recall networking worked well enough to be able to web surf and download things. but that was about it.

        I shall remain cautiously optimistic.

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Trollface

    It may have taken 24 years and progressed no further than alpha, but it is still going.

    Well it is trying to recreate Windows, which is at least ten orders of magnitude more complicated than it needs to be. Should have gone for AmigaOS.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      I've been re-visiting Amiga-land via FS-UAE recently and it's still impressive what it could do that Windows never was and still isn't able to do. Once you get the uaegfx and picasso96 drivers sorted, it's remarkable usable even today. From what I've been reading, AmigaOS has been improved with a number of releases since the WB3.1 I've been reminiscing with. I especially like the way and device or directory can be ASSIGNed a name and referred to by that. Something Windows now tries to do and something *nix-land does in a different and less convenient way.

      Anyway, all that aside, I shall be downloading the latest ReactOS to see if it's now usable. ISTR it was very fast last time I looked at, just a bit unstable and not quite ready. I don't have great demands of a Windows OS so it might well be good enough for the few things I'd like it for.

  3. Arbuthnot the Magnificent

    It's interesting...

    But in the last few years I've tried it about half a dozen times on different machines, and I've yet to be able to get into the desktop. I hope they get it running though, it could be fun!

    1. JassMan

      Re: It's interesting...

      Totally agree. Until they get the install process sorted they aren't ever going to get a user base. I wasted severaldays trying to get it it to even boot the installer on my 2 remaining BIOS PCs having discovered that UEFI was no go. I don't understand why they haven't used GRUB2 instead of rewriting their own

  4. Anonymous IV
    Unhappy

    Full-time developer to work on ReactOS

    They have quite some way to go before they employ the thousands of Microsoft programmers used to write Windows NT m.n (choose your version).

    Even if this ReactOS programmer was Extremely Agile (yes, it is a joke). I can't see that s/he could make much of a dent in the mountain of work required.

    Still, hope springs eternal in the human beast...

  5. trevorde
    Trollface

    2020 ...

    ... will be the year of the ReactOS desktop

    /troll

  6. Roopee
    Thumb Up

    Here’s Hoping...

    ...that it reaches stability before the inevitable day when Micros~1 pulls the plug on their last Windows 7 activation server, because I for one will be in the queue, assuming I can afford the large price tag that ReactOS will be able to command!

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Re: Here’s Hoping...

      No need to worry about MS turning off activation servers for 7, Vista or XP. Just use royalty OEM activation by adding a simple line to the VM config files and a relevant OEM SLIC cert in windows which means no activation is required as the OS thinks is running on a Dell, HP, Lenovo system which don't require activation by the end user.

      1. Blackjack Silver badge

        Re: Here’s Hoping...

        Heck in XP just editing a bit of the registry to insert a valid Windows XP key works no matter the version.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here’s Hoping...

      ...that it reaches stability before the inevitable day when Micros~1 pulls the plug on their last Windows 7 activation server,

      Well, you *could* set up a raspberryPi to run a pyKMS "authentication server" for your MSWin Enterprise installs... Or so I've heard...

      But the real benefit of ReactOS is the ability to install an actually-minimized configuration, without all that unneeded/unwanted bloat. It would be far more customizable than MSW itself. But if Wine could devise a module to redirect the otherwise non-redirectable low-level functions (simulating the actual hardware itself) maybe you wouldn't need ROS at all (some module that you can hang MSWin drivers on, maybe a pared-down version of QEMU? I'm not an OS engineer, I can only make wild speculations)

  7. Elledan Bronze badge

    Hope springs eternal

    I have been aware of ReactOS since the late 90s, around the time that they changed the focus from Win9x to WinNT (now Win2k3). Back then I would regularly play around with alternative OSes, as well as Wine on Linux. Over the intervening years, Wine has progressed from barely being able to run a simple Windows text editor, to giving most Windows apps a fair shot.

    ReactOS, however, they seem to have relegated themselves to a Win2k replacement and little else. No x64 support forthcoming, no functioning sound support, and trying out new releases and the occasional nightly it's still far too easy to reach a point where the system becomes unstable. For one, never install VirtualBox Guest Additions, because these are not compatible and will break a lot of things.

    That said, I still love the idea of ReactOS, and I wish that it got more love, the way that Linux and the BSDs get. As a life-long Windows user, I would love nothing more than to see an open source version of Windows 7, made possible by ReactOS. With the current way that MSFT is moving Windows, it's long past time that such a thing happened.

    Either that, or we either accept that our Windows 10 PCs are terminals for the MSFT mainframe, or we struggle to pretend that the year of 'Linux on the Desktop' has already happened and we can just take our professional Windows-based apps and run them on our Linux-based workstations.

    I rather miss how 'boring' Windows used to be, I guess. Whatever happened to MSFT around Windows 8?

    1. MacroRodent Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Hope springs eternal

      I'm actually 7 months into the Year of the Linux desktop, having switched my company-supplied laptop to 100% Linux... (before that it was Windows 7 and Linux-in-VirtualBox).

      Still, I see one use-case for ReactOS, if it were compatible enough: running those pesky devices for which no Linux driver exists, in my case some scanners. That is the biggest deficiency with Wine: it handles normal Windows programs, but the lowest-level layers of Windows obviously are not there.

      1. Chris the bean counter Bronze badge

        Re: Hope springs eternal

        Maybe easier to get new scanners?

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: Hope springs eternal

          Depends what type of scanner (i.e we have the usual barcode scanner, barcode verifiers, document scanners but then we have the production stuff for checking packaging, checking ingredients etc...), whether they have some stupid hardware license.

          1. MacroRodent Silver badge

            Re: Hope springs eternal

            My main problem is a PlusTek OpticFilm 8100 film scanner that "Sane" does not support. It cost enough that I would prefer not to throw it away yet. But... Breaking News: checking the status while writing this, I noticed support is now listed in the unstable development version (http://www.sane-project.org/lists/sane-mfgs-cvs.html). Got to check that out.

  8. sebacoustic

    Windows re-write

    I remember, back in the mid-00s we had a supplier who shipped a machine to us (a glorified microscope for photomask linewidth measurement) and it came with a Windows application. Only, windows (3.x) was too bad so the company's IT director and clever code genius actually re-wrote a whole ABI compatible windows replacement to ship with the tools. I worked fine on the hardware they shipped, and was more stable than MS's offering, but it was a bit ugly on the graphics side. Also, they still shipped their kit with and actual MS Windows license, just in case MS' legal department got upset.

    They later moved to NT or 2000 or whatever.

  9. Robert Grant Silver badge

    I'm amazed at the incredible determination displayed by some software engineers. Remarkable!

  10. BGatez Bronze badge

    If it ever works the stampede away from MS will thunder world 'round

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @BGatez - The minute MS sees them in the rearview mirror

      they're toast. Even the least competent lawyer in Microsoft legal team will transform them into fine dust in no time.

      1. drewsup

        Re: @BGatez - The minute MS sees them in the rearview mirror

        M$ has been watching ( and amusingly so) , as one guy tries to make a OS that’s comparable with their now 5 generations old deprecated OS, if they wanted to stop him, they could have by now, but they also know by the time a stable release hits the streets, no one will care, time is on their side.

        Besides, any fule know cloning Win 7 is real target someone needs to aim for . I would actually pay good money for that!

    2. Martipar

      Actually i can see Microsoft hitting the same problems as SCO vs Linux. If they don't actually copy any code i don't see why there would be an issue.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        But can they defend against an army of MS sharks lawyers? As we have seen time and time again with patent trolls, it's often easier and cheaper to "settle" than to fight.

  11. JDX Gold badge

    Seems a bit of a waste of time

    OK sure I can see that running legacy software is a legitimate use case, butat the rate this is going by the time it's actually anywhere near usable on a specific version of Windows:

    a)Everyone's lost interest in the legacy software or replaced it

    b)MS has open-sourced that version of Windows

    I'm sure it's really interesting to work on but this seems in reality an educational experience. If you have really genuinely mission-critical legacy apps, are you going to trust them to an untested Windows clone? I love that people do this kind of project, don't get me wrong.

  12. mego

    Personally...

    It's not ready until it either looks more modern - right now it looks like the bastard child of Windows95 and Windows for Workgroups - or has significantly better architecture than the current Windows10 offers.

    Win10 is extremely stable at this point, ironically more stable than macos if by macbook is anything to go by....

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Personally...

      what is "modern"? I hope you don't mean the current MS idea of "Modern" :-p

      1. mego

        Re: Personally...

        How about looking as good as any system from, oh the last 20 or so years? I recently retired an old Macintosh from pre-2000's running MacOS 7.x that was light years ahead of ReactOS in looks

  13. Blackjack Silver badge

    So... How about Wine?

    Using it with Playonlinux Wine works quite well.

    Is not perfect but definitely gets you better results than ReactOs.

  14. Sanguma Bronze badge

    All of which goes to show

    Microsoft has persistently misjudged a good part of its installed base, the hobbyists. They did manage to get the Visual [name your poison] Express, later Visual Studio Community edition, right, but they still haven't got the hobbyists lined up on the Operating System part of it.

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