[Lazarus] Lazarus, ReactOS etc.

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[Lazarus] Lazarus, ReactOS etc.

Mark Morgan Lloyd
A few weeks ago somebody mentioned ReactOS as an alternative to MS
Windows, and I think I said that I'd take a look and report back when I
had some spare machines in my workroom.

I downloaded 0.3.12 which is their last "official" release, it's marked
"Alpha" but quite frankly doesn't deserve to be. The installation
program worked, except that to use the commodity Compaqs that I've got
here I had to tell it to use VGA resolution/colours- otherwise I'd get a
BSOD. It couldn't see the LAN using either the inbuilt NIC or a
Compaq/Intel PCI card, however during early installation it tried to
download a missing component (Gecko) from an unspecified location which
resulted in a lockup. Leaving aside the lousy display, there were
repeated examples of poor UI implementation, e.g. radio buttons with no
item selected, or a login box for an unspecified user which still left
the windows behind it accessible.

A minimal test of FPC (2.4.2) installed from the binary release worked,
in particular the Unicode handling appears to be complete (i.e. I wasn't
seeing the issue I reported for NT4 a few weeks ago 0018803).

Lazarus quite simply didn't run: it displayed the splash and sat there
without console messages or error dialogue then eventually terminated.

I've spent a lot of time using, selling and supporting OSes that were
attempting to play "catch up" with Microsoft, and quite frankly going by
what I've seen I'd not say that ReactOS is in the race. I'd not suggest
that anybody lose any sleep over the fact that Lazarus doesn't run on it.

I was interested to note that the ReactOS developers apparently blame an
OS called Sanos for contributing files or techniques which are too
similar to MS's original for comfort. On investigating, I found that
Sanos is a minimal Win-32 text-mode OS with kernel, networking including
ftpd and so on- and that's just on the first floppy. I thought at that
point that it was worth investigating further since it could provide a
useful upgrade path for anybody still using a DOS extender (GO32 etc.).

Unfortunately it turned out to be rather picky about what hardware it
supported, in particular the model of IDE drive. Having got it installed
I found it stable, but it refused to run FPC or FPC-generated binaries
for reasons that were unclear. If it didn't require MS Visual Studio I
might rebuild it with debugging code enabled, but right now I've got far
more important things on my plate.

So to summarise: not very rewarding, but at least we know.

--
Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus, ReactOS etc.

Sven Barth
Am 16.03.2011 11:12, schrieb Mark Morgan Lloyd:
> A few weeks ago somebody mentioned ReactOS as an alternative to MS
> Windows, and I think I said that I'd take a look and report back when I
> had some spare machines in my workroom.
>
> I downloaded 0.3.12 which is their last "official" release, it's marked
> "Alpha" but quite frankly doesn't deserve to be.

Do you mean this in a positive or negative way?
If you mean it in a negative way, then I must tell you that they marked
it Alpha exactly because it's not fully working (this is also written on
the front page).

> The installation
> program worked, except that to use the commodity Compaqs that I've got
> here I had to tell it to use VGA resolution/colours- otherwise I'd get a
> BSOD. It couldn't see the LAN using either the inbuilt NIC or a
> Compaq/Intel PCI card, however during early installation it tried to
> download a missing component (Gecko) from an unspecified location which
> resulted in a lockup.

The request to download Gecko comes from Wine's MSHTML version. You can
simply cancel that. As long as you don't use an application that makes
use of IE's backend, you shouldn't need it.

> Leaving aside the lousy display, there were
> repeated examples of poor UI implementation, e.g. radio buttons with no
> item selected, or a login box for an unspecified user which still left
> the windows behind it accessible.
>
> A minimal test of FPC (2.4.2) installed from the binary release worked,
> in particular the Unicode handling appears to be complete (i.e. I wasn't
> seeing the issue I reported for NT4 a few weeks ago 0018803).
>

After all ReactOS is designed to be a NT5.2 ;) (aka Windows 2003)

> Lazarus quite simply didn't run: it displayed the splash and sat there
> without console messages or error dialogue then eventually terminated.
>
> I've spent a lot of time using, selling and supporting OSes that were
> attempting to play "catch up" with Microsoft, and quite frankly going by
> what I've seen I'd not say that ReactOS is in the race. I'd not suggest
> that anybody lose any sleep over the fact that Lazarus doesn't run on it.
>

Now that I have a machine that's better suited for VMs I'll need to
investigate a bit more here :D

> I was interested to note that the ReactOS developers apparently blame an
> OS called Sanos for contributing files or techniques which are too
> similar to MS's original for comfort. On investigating, I found that
> Sanos is a minimal Win-32 text-mode OS with kernel, networking including
> ftpd and so on- and that's just on the first floppy. I thought at that
> point that it was worth investigating further since it could provide a
> useful upgrade path for anybody still using a DOS extender (GO32 etc.).
>

May I ask you where you read that about Sanos? I'm reading around at the
reactos.org forum and mailing lists quite a bit and have not yet read
anything about that OS.

> Unfortunately it turned out to be rather picky about what hardware it
> supported, in particular the model of IDE drive. Having got it installed
> I found it stable, but it refused to run FPC or FPC-generated binaries
> for reasons that were unclear. If it didn't require MS Visual Studio I
> might rebuild it with debugging code enabled, but right now I've got far
> more important things on my plate.
>
> So to summarise: not very rewarding, but at least we know.
>

Regards,
Sven

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus, ReactOS etc.

Mark Morgan Lloyd
Sven Barth wrote:

> May I ask you where you read that about Sanos? I'm reading around at the
> reactos.org forum and mailing lists quite a bit and have not yet read
> anything about that OS.

On the ReactOS Wikipedia page- which I accept is hardly an authoritative
reference:

"In a separate incident, RosAsm developer Betov claimed that the most
suspect files were missing from the list of files selected for the
audit. However, ReactOS asserts that the disputed files were sourced
from Sanos.[10] In the meantime, since the initial lockout, the source
code of ReactOS has remained available and open for inspection."

Otherwise I'd not heard of it, but it definitely does have its
interesting points. http://www.jbox.dk/ but note my comment about it
being very picky about the type of IDE drive.

--
Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus, ReactOS etc.

Sven Barth
Am 16.03.2011 13:16, schrieb Mark Morgan Lloyd:

> Sven Barth wrote:
>
>> May I ask you where you read that about Sanos? I'm reading around at
>> the reactos.org forum and mailing lists quite a bit and have not yet
>> read anything about that OS.
>
> On the ReactOS Wikipedia page- which I accept is hardly an authoritative
> reference:
>
> "In a separate incident, RosAsm developer Betov claimed that the most
> suspect files were missing from the list of files selected for the
> audit. However, ReactOS asserts that the disputed files were sourced
> from Sanos.[10] In the meantime, since the initial lockout, the source
> code of ReactOS has remained available and open for inspection."
>
> Otherwise I'd not heard of it, but it definitely does have its
> interesting points. http://www.jbox.dk/ but note my comment about it
> being very picky about the type of IDE drive.
>

Thanks for the clarification ;)

Regards,
Sven

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus, ReactOS etc.

Sven Barth
In reply to this post by Mark Morgan Lloyd

Just if someone is curious:

I have now installed the ARWINSS variant of ReactOS in a QEMU VM and
installed Lazarus there. This worked without problems and I then started
Lazarus. A command line window appeared two times (maybe when the
compiler was started) and then Lazarus was there. As the graphic
subsystem of ARWINSS is based on the Wine one the bug mentioned here
http://bugs.freepascal.org/view.php?id=17299 applies and all
(transparent) icons are displayed upside down. I then tried to just run
(F9) the empty project. A console window appeared (again the compiler)
and built the project in the temp directory (that worked). Then the
application was started and BAM bluescreen. Nice one.
I restarted the VM and tested again with a disabled debugger and it
worked. So the debug API of the kernel does not seem to work correctly. ;)

Otherwise Lazarus seems to work with that variant of ReactOS.

Regards,
Sven

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus, ReactOS etc.

Mark Morgan Lloyd
Sven Barth wrote:

> Just if someone is curious:
>
> I have now installed the ARWINSS variant of ReactOS in a QEMU VM and
> installed Lazarus there. This worked without problems and I then started
> Lazarus. A command line window appeared two times (maybe when the
> compiler was started) and then Lazarus was there. As the graphic
> subsystem of ARWINSS is based on the Wine one the bug mentioned here
> http://bugs.freepascal.org/view.php?id=17299 applies and all
> (transparent) icons are displayed upside down. I then tried to just run
> (F9) the empty project. A console window appeared (again the compiler)
> and built the project in the temp directory (that worked). Then the
> application was started and BAM bluescreen. Nice one.
> I restarted the VM and tested again with a disabled debugger and it
> worked. So the debug API of the kernel does not seem to work correctly. ;)
>
> Otherwise Lazarus seems to work with that variant of ReactOS.

I suspect that there's a lot of difference between "bleeding edge"
ReactOS or ARWINSS and the last "official" ReactOS release. I definitely
note your positive experience and when time permits (i.e. definitely not
for a few days or weeks) will take another look.

--
Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]

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