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Peter Tattam Of The PetrOS Project Talks To OSNews

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the rock dept.

Programming 198

Eugenia writes: "Trumpet Software is mostly known for their Internet communications software package, Trumpet Winsock, which has been adopted by the Internet world back in 1995, at the times where Windows 3.1 and Win95 did not come as standard with full internet connetion capabilities. But the main product these days for Trumpet Software is PetrOS, a 32-bit Operating System, which has the goal to be compatible by all means (binary and API compatible) with Microsoft Windows. OSNews is interviewing the main architect behind the project, Peter Tattam, who talks in depth about PetrOS, and also there is shown an early screenshot of the PetrOS GUI, which is still under heavy development." And it's been (not surprizingly) under heavy development for a while. Building a Windows-compatible OS from scratch surely isn't easy, but from this interview (including screenshots) they're having quite a go of it.

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Better job. (1, Troll)

Defender2000 (177459) | more than 12 years ago | (#2274948)

Gee, wouldn't it be funny if they ended up making a better version of Windows than Microsoft?

Re:Better job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275031)

3. What kind of GUI PetrOS has? Is there a research going on for a different kind of GUI, or it will be a "traditional" kind of GUI where users may found their way around easier?

huh?

To learn more about Microsoft Windows (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275042)

Visit your local library: gatse.ms [microsoft.com]


For a free pamphlet on talking with your teens about perils of Open Source : gatse.ms/giver.jpg [microsoft.com]


watch out! those links aren't for the faint-hearted or easily offended! They deal with frank discussion of the issues of the day.

Why are they talking?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2274954)

Why are these people talking?!

Don't they realize that they're endangering National Security!?!

But it's a moving target! (4, Informative)

The Wing Lover (106357) | more than 12 years ago | (#2274961)

It's an interesting goal and everything, but it's a moving target, as far as I can tell.

Every few months I get a new copy of the MSDN library (basically documentation for all Microsoft's APIs), and every time it's a bit different from the one before.

Of course I don't want to tell anyone how to spend their time, but if it were me, I'd spend my energy on building something new, rather than just trying to be compatible with something that'll just be obsolete by the time I'm done anyway.

Re:But it's a moving target! (4, Insightful)

bloggins02 (468782) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275152)

This may be true to an extent, but if it were always true, then everytime there was a new version of Windows, notepad.exe would have to be recompiled!

If they stick with providing compatibility for the core Win32API they have a good chance of being able to run most of the programs that are written to run on multiple MS OSes in the first place. Examples are IE, Office, and most of the Windows Accessories and Games that MS doesn't recompile to use new features everytime the API changes.

I question their decision to leave out driver compatibility. In my opinion, that is key to gaining acceptance of a clone OS.

Re:But it's a moving target! (3, Insightful)

kilgore_47 (262118) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275415)

...they have a good chance of being able to run most of the programs that are written to run on multiple MS OSes in the first place. Examples are IE, Office, and most of the Windows Accessories and Games that MS doesn't recompile to use new features everytime the API changes.

OK, so I'm a manager at company X. Do I want to deploy Windows, with corporate support from the well-known M$? Or do I want to use a look-alike OS, WindowsLight if you will, written by some has-been's of the internet revolution who say their project will run "most" windows apps?

Linux offers a lot that windows can't. What does PetrOS offer? A fast startup time and low memory usage aren't enough for most people to buy a new OS.

And why the fsck are they using Pascal?!!! Would it have been that hard to port the old winsock code over to cpp?
And source will be open to "select partners" only? Sorry, peter, but fuck shared source.

I'm not trying to troll here; I read the interview and a bit from the PetrOS official site and I just can't take this too seriously.

Or is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275156)

Microsoft implement new products, and their APIs go into MSDN. They change APIs and the new APIs go into MSDN. But the fundamental WIN32 API doesn't change much, and assuming good enough compatibility, you'll be able to run many of the less fundamental Microsoft products on a rival OS. Surely that's the point, not to rewrite every Microsoft product [as GNU/Linux attempts to do] but rather to provide an alternative platform on which they [and other products] can be run.

Of course, Microsoft are such lousy coders when it comes to seperation of fundamentals and incidentals that this may be technically unachievable, but it's certainly a noble cause.

I tend to agree with you on the cost/benefit analysis, though. But it's certainly a trendy thing to want to do.

Windows is dying. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275190)

We should all keep in mind this simple truth: *Windows is dying. You
don't need to be Kreskin to predict *Windows's future. The hand writing
is on the wall: *Windows faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be
any future at all for *Windows because *Windows is dying. Things are looking
very bad for *Windows. As many of us are already aware, *Windows continues
to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Windows XP leader Bill Gatse states that there are 7000 users of Windows XP.
How many users of Windows 2000 are there? Let's see. The number of Windows XP
versus Windows 2000 posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1.

Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 Windows 2000 users. Windows ME posts
on Usenet are about half of the volume of Windows 2000 posts. Therefore
there are about 700 users of Windows ME. A recent article put Windows 98 at
about 80 percent of the *Windows market. Therefore there are
(7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 Windows 98 users. This is consistent with the
number of Windows 98 Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Microsoft, abysmal sales and so on,
DOS 6.6 went out of business and was taken over by Windows 3.1 who sell another troubled OS.
Now Windows 3.1 is also dead, its corpse turned over to another charnel
house.

All major surveys show that *Windows has steadily declined in market
share. *Windows is very sick and its long term survival prospects are
very dim. If *Windows is to survive at all it will be among OS hobbyists,
dabblers, and dilettantes. *Windows continues to decay. Nothing short of
a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical
purposes, *Windows is dead. "

Re:But it's a moving target! (3, Interesting)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275208)

but if it were me, I'd spend my energy on building something new, rather than just trying to be compatible with something that'll just be obsolete by the time I'm done anyway.

Linus could have said the same thing to himself in 1991. UNIX at the time, as most people seem to forget these days, was in a downward slide that started in the mid 1980s.

Re:But it's a moving target! (3, Insightful)

kilgore_47 (262118) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275430)

Linus could have said the same thing to himself in 1991. UNIX at the time, as most people seem to forget these days, was in a downward slide that started in the mid 1980s.

Linus made a difference by making his OS open source.

To quote the PetrOS FAQ [petros-project.com] :
We are open to selected developers or OEMs having access to source code under suitable licensing conditions. Some selected parts of the user layers will be open sourced.

This is not an open source operating system.
This is a tiny windows compatibility layer on top of a small kernel written in Object Pascal.

Re:But it's a moving target! (2)

abde (136025) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275325)

who says its a moving target? for example, for pure business compatibility, you dont need o match Office 2000, you just need to replicate Office 97. Office 97 runs fine on Windows 98 SE. So, aim for compatibility with Windows 98 SE, and encourage people to reuse their old Office 97 CD's.

its only a moving target if you want to keep up with the Gateses. But it need not be that way.

f1rst p0st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2274962)

heck yes infant

Wine (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2274965)

Are you stealing a lot of code from Wine?

Why not? It has been recently released under BSD license, after all. That's a license to steal.

Almost First (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2274977)

Hey! I am almost first.

TOP POST! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2274981)

just set your setting to 'newest first!' It should work for a whole 20 seconds.!

buhahahaha

oh ya (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2274983)

Now that's really innovative!

Usually these people just try and imitate the look and feel of windows,now they are down to copying the whole thing.

I must say very innovative.

If you want to run Windows binaries... (1)

SumDeusExMachina (318037) | more than 12 years ago | (#2274985)

...and you aren't running Linux or another proven OS, then why not just use Windows? Sheesh, looks like a business plan shakier than VA Linux's

Re:If you want to run Windows binaries... (2, Insightful)

Sir Mix A Lot (218711) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275092)

Not everyone who wants a cheaper (free?) Windows compatible OS has the option of running a pirated copy of Windows. This would be good for large companies who shell out untold millions on Windows licenses to be "compatible" with everyone else. Switching to something like this could save them alot of money, which would clearly go to Trumpet. Seems good to me.

Anarchy Online sucks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2274987)

back to uo for me... ugh...

Competition is good.. well..sorta competition (2, Interesting)

sporty (27564) | more than 12 years ago | (#2274989)

It'd be nice to see how Wine and PetrOS duke it out. YES, I am aware that PetrOS is a standalone OS, BUT they are trying to accomplish the same thing, namely the implementation, from scratch, of the windows api.

Thank GOD they don't implement the kernel at the same. One step at a time. :) They'll either swap ideas or learn from each other's mistakes

Deja Vu (1)

XBL (305578) | more than 12 years ago | (#2274990)

This could turn out to be a reincarnation of the IBM/Compaq scenario of the 80s.

Yet, I wonder which one is technically farther along, PetrOS or WINE?

Re:Deja Vu (1)

Tomun (144651) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275027)

Yet, I wonder which one is technically farther along, PetrOS or WINE?

Well WINE is obviously. I can run Counter-Stike under wine. PetrOS can run a test application.

What language is PETROS® written in? (2, Funny)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 12 years ago | (#2274991)

From the FAQ:

PETROS® is written using an in-house Object Pascal compiler. This enables us to generate machine code with roughly the same efficiency as C or C++, but with very strict type checking. The language is compatible with Borland Delphi Pascal allowing code to be interchanged with many of the existing applications that Trumpet has developed to date.


Aiiiiiieeeieieieieie!

Re:What language is PETROS® written in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275038)

Better than cobol... and Visual Basic...

Re:What language is PETROS® written in? (2)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275061)

No kidding...Christ, I nearly choked when I read that. Haven't they read Brian Kernighan's article [lysator.liu.se] , or at least The Jargon File [tuxedo.org] ? I mean, geez, I don't know if I would trust an OS written by someone who hadn't at least read the Jargon File...

(Joke! Joke! My precious karma...meltinnnnnnnnng...)

Re:What language is PETROS® written in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275091)

The jargon file is highly gay.

A hacker reading needing to look something up in the jargon file is like a gangsta rapper having to look up some slang in an ebonics dictionary.

It's ridiculous.

Re:What language is PETROS® written in? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275118)

If you read the article, you would notice that they're using Borland's Object Pascal. Go ahead, everyone, read the Brian Kernighan article. Then go and look at the Object Pascal language reference. Go ahead...I'll wait.

Notice anything? Like how almost EVERY SINGLE objection he raised is NOT APPLICABLE to Object Pascal?

Object Pascal should be called "Sensible Pascal". It allows you to break all of the rules, just as C does. It just makes you jump through a few hoops to do it. That way you generally know what you're doing isn't such a great idea.

Pointer arithmetic? OP allows it. It's dangerous though...inexperienced programmers can blow themselves up pretty easily doing it. So...they make you do some castings to get around it. Good idea? Bad idea? Depends on what you're trying to accomplish.

I'm sure all the hard-core hackers here will laugh and snort and generally dismiss anything I say about OP, but those people aren't who OP is aimed it.

OP is aimed at programmers who WANT strong type checking and WANT the safety net the Pascal language provides and WANT a language that allows rapid object-oriented development in a language that is easy to read and understand.

C lends itself to fast, loose code, but is hard to learn and tends to be rather terse to read. It's definately not for learnin'!

OP allows the newbie to step in and test the waters with simple language specific things. However, as you become more comfortable with the language, you can EASILY do just about everything C allows you to do.

The learning curve is a gentle slope, and doesn't have any unexpected drop-offs where the language fails you.

Anyone that dismisses OP out of hand hasn't used it. Anyone that has used a recent OP doesn't use C anymore if they can help it.

Re:What language is PETROS® written in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275139)

No, the first guy had it right with "Aieieieieieieie"

Re:What language is PETROS® written in? (2)

keesh (202812) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275198)

Borland Object Pascal doesn't allow pointer arithmetic without casts.

Re:What language is PETROS® written in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275347)

So what? If you want to do critical optimization (the only reason to use pointers in (modern) strictly typed languages) then you can use in_line_assembly in Delphi.

Re:What language is PETROS® written in? (2)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275262)

Good grief, that Brian Kernighan article is probably older than you are. It applies to Wirth's original definition of Pascal in the 1970s, not successors to the language. Heck, who would listen to C or C++ criticism from twenty years ago? (Note than C wasn't even standardized twenty years ago!)

Guess the dotcom crash didn't deliver a cluetrain. (5, Insightful)

FFFish (7567) | more than 12 years ago | (#2274992)

I can't imagine why anyone would try to base a company on cloning Windows. So I read the interview.

A) Cheap alternative for desktop users -- users say "they wished they had something better without having to pay big big bucks." Win2k is, what, perhaps $200. PetrOS will have to sell for $50 or less, then.

And it'll be obsolete the moment MS changes an API. Or the moment MS makes MSIE crash when it detects PetrOS.

B) Embedded market -- er, no. The embedded market wants Linux, QNX, EPOC and other OSes. They're either free, hard realtime, or extremely small.

C) Servers -- er, no. If you want cheap, then you choose a BSD or Linux. If you want to be able to blame someone, you choose MS. You don't go out and buy some $50 clone of MS.

D) Clustering -- er, no. Not unless you're just goofing around. Kind of money invested in building a cluster, you don't go pick up a $50 clone of Windows to run it!

While this is a pretty cool project, I simply can't see that it's a profitable one...

Re:Guess the dotcom crash didn't deliver a cluetra (2)

torpor (458) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275015)

D) Clustering -- er, no. Not unless you're just goofing around. Kind of money invested in building a cluster, you don't go pick up a $50 clone of Windows to run it!


You think small, cheap, affordable clustering technology is only useful to businesses that have money?

That's pretty snobby. EXPAND YOUR WORLDVIEW, monkey!

Re:Guess the dotcom crash didn't deliver a cluetra (2)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275151)

You think small, cheap, affordable clustering technology is only useful to businesses that have money?

No, it's useful to companies without a lot of money as well. I imagine they will be using Beowulf or Mosix, though, as the cost for standard software with lots of drivers and available programmers and administrators is $0.00. Heck, even big companies like Shell use Beowulf and Mosix.

What about (1)

HoldmyCauls (239328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275102)

E) Pissed-off OEMs that are sick of M$'s influence and demands on their products

and

F) Pissed-off gov't offices willing to learn something slightly different and tired of licensing issues/overpriced upgrades

There's room for anything new in this world, so long as it provides a real change.

Re:What about (2)

big.ears (136789) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275315)

or:

G) Refurbished/Used PC Auctioneers whe want to save a few bucks. They won't have to ship OS-less computers, they just slap the "compatible" PETROS on the Pentium-90 and sell it for $100, and then let the buyer upgrade themselves to Windows if they want it.

Re:What about (2)

FFFish (7567) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275358)

E) -- no. MS will drop their product price or, more likely, offer a reduced-functionality Windows at the same price-point.

F) -- no. That falls under the (C) category: either you purchase MS, with the intent of having someone to blame when things go wrong; or go with Linux, with the intent of saving money.

this rings a bell (2, Informative)

uebernewby (149493) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275334)

A) Cheap alternative for desktop users -- users say "they wished they had something better without having to pay big big bucks." Win2k is, what, perhaps $200. PetrOS will have to sell for $50 or less, then.

And it'll be obsolete the moment MS changes an API. Or the moment MS makes MSIE crash when it detects PetrOS.


you're right. (cough) DR-DOS. (cough)

how much?? (2)

canning (228134) | more than 12 years ago | (#2274994)

I can't help but wonder how much this would cost to develop. I'm talking aobut things such as a programmer's time(if they're paying themselves or getting paid), hardware, power, a structure to house this development, and of course coffee, etc. Could anyone give me a better idea about the team size, location, etc.?

This is great stuff and I would like to learn more about the scarifices made by this team.

early post (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2274995)

this early post is for the ethnic cleansing of niggers, kikes, and muslims everywhere. heil hitler. heil slobodan.

Re:early post (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275029)

Don't forget Arafat, he's down with nukin some kykes to.

Steve Ballmer says.... (-1)

Strom Thurmond (R-SC (310866) | more than 12 years ago | (#2274996)

Developers,
developers,
developers,
developers,
DEVELOPERS!

hey (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2274999)

hey cmdr cockhole why don't you fix that fucked IBM ad you big sellout.

Or is it supposed to be a bloated peice of shit that fucks up the page so it can grab my attention?

Sellouts.

skuzzy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275003)

skuzzy is none@61.78.138.226 * nameless
skuzzy on @#kr-hentai +#babylon5-central
skuzzy using flodder-c.ma.us.dal.net Global NAPs - Quincy, MA
skuzzy has identified for this nick
skuzzy has been idle 2mins 25secs, signed on Mon Sep 10 14:25:13
skuzzy End of /WHOIS list.

Re:skuzzy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275016)

dalnet is the AOL of IRC, nothing but wannabe scriptiods and pron wanks.

All clueless. That guy should be ashamed of himself.

"small is beautiful" (3, Funny)

Ridge2001 (306010) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275004)

From the article:
The fundamental design concept behind PetrOS is that "small is beautiful".
Then why are they copying Windows?

hhmmm wow.. is there a business plan here? (1)

TechnoVooDooDaddy (470187) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275005)

I hope this guy isn't planning on supporting the wife and kids with this thing.

I can't even fathom trying to go up against a company that has a 15-20 year headstart and literaly billions of dollars worth of resources.

sure, it sounds like a neat project, but doesn't sound like a good business strategy imho

I wonder why... (1, Offtopic)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275006)

...they chose to use a diaphragm for their logo... hmm...

Trumpet was nice. (3, Insightful)

Neck_of_the_Woods (305788) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275007)

You know back in the day....well not that far back Trumpet was the best connect software rolling around. What did you have maybe 2 or 3 that did anything worth talking about, that you configure and get working with any consistancy? Cammilion and Trumpet where the best, please correct me if I am wrong, and Cam was sad.

Interesting enough with the os that would be compat with winOS that is free. It would seem that the linux community would have done this years ago if for nothing else to put a funnel on the venture capital. If Linux had become 100% comp with windows software, via a deamon or what have you....things could and would be very different in many ways. Then again part of problem with windows is the software, so Linux would end up bringing bugs in...it is kind of catch 22 sale to the devil....

Re:Trumpet was nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275317)

Trumpet was *not* nice, I remember it being notoriously unstable, often dropping connections and making me redial.

Is it just me? Was everyone else finding it stable?

Woohoo! Delphi makes a dent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275017)

I found it very interesting that they were using Borland tools. Was this a concious choice to avoid anything Microsoft (understandable) or a testament to the greatness of Borland compilers? (Windows-based compilers...I'm sure there are LOTS and LOTS of great Linux pascal compilers out there...I'm only talking Windows here people.)

No NT compatibility ? (2)

tester13 (186772) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275026)

What use does this have if in a couple of years no one is using the old code base? It would seem that implementing NT device driver support in the kernel would be vital to this project taking of.

Or am I missing something?

Re:No NT compatibility ? (1)

Tomun (144651) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275086)

Or am I missing something?

Are you forgetting that WinNT will soon be unsupported ? Everyone will be expected to use XP and that drivers will no longer be NT compatible.

Re:No NT compatibility ? (2)

be-fan (61476) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275194)

According to this page [microsoft.com] WDM (Windows Driver Model, used in 2K+ and 98+)is just a subset of NT's driver model. Thus, if PetrOS is compatible with NT drivers, it will be compatible with future Windows drivers.

Re:No NT compatibility ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275305)

WDM is either a pie-in-the-sky or source-compatible only. Anyway, there's never been a single driver that shipped for more than one version of Windows (excluding things like NT4 sound drivers that run in a compatibility box).

Re:No NT compatibility ? (1)

tester13 (186772) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275196)

I understand that but I assumed that since XP and 2k are the same code base, that it would be almost the same.

Is it alot different?

Dead on arrival (5, Insightful)

Phaid (938) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275036)

I can't decide if this is the work of a sincere person who is sadly deluded, or a marketing ploy to flog a few more dollars out of investors. It's hard enough getting your foot in the door with a pure desktop operating system that is better than Windows (BeOS, OS/2), much less one whose entire goal is to play catch-up to Windows itself. There is nothing here to appeal to people who already know and like Windows, and it's certainly not going to appeal to people who don't like windows either.

Beyond that, the technical feasibility of it is questionable. Microsoft is well known for making its Win32 API, filesystems, etc, moving targets. It's taken the Wine and NTFS teams a long time to get where they have, and even then they're pretty far from complete compatibility. What makes these guys think they're going to get any closer?

Oh well. I guess it goes to show you, there's always someone trying to ice skate uphill.

Re:Dead on arrival (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275170)

Next thing you know someone will be trying to implement the x86 architecture cheaper and better than Intel!

Re:Dead on arrival (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275407)

HAHAHA mod this to funny

Re:Dead on arrival (3, Insightful)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275349)

Are you kidding? I'm not saying that they don't have one huge hill to climb here, but here's my take on the whole OS market right now:

1. I am thinking of starting a custom computer building shop, partly just so I can have my own company, partly to help make some close friends make the right decisions when purchasing new PC hardware and software. After looking online, it is quite apparent that after a monitor, the Windows OS would be the next most expensive component of a custom built computer (not one built by Dell, Gateway or any Windows reseller, mind you).
2. I could put Linux or any other free OS on the system, but most everyone I know with money to drop on a custom built system by yours truly, also doesn't want a new OS to try and learn. They want good old Windows familiarity, and the ability to play games and media software that works on their current system.
3. An alternative Windows OS that may not have all the media bells and whistles of Win2k or WinXP would be great! Not only could I make sure to only install the freeware and OSS apps that my friend's would need (stuff like WinAmp, free email clients, ZoneAlarm, etc), but I also wouldn't have to charge them $200+ for the OS just because I was a small time computer builder.

So yes, I think this OS has promise, just make sure it's fully compatible with today's media that's built for MS Windows.

Targeted market (1)

weez75 (34298) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275046)

If this OS is targeted for servers and embedded devices as the interview points out, I'd give it a go. There are tons of extras heaped on NT that I'd love to get dump. Perhaps it will take a page from the Mandrake install and allow us to install only the components we need through an EASY interface...

Does anyone know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275050)


Help! I want to post a comment but for some reason I cannot login anymore. Every time I enter my nickname and passwd (I asked Slashdot to re-mail it to me to confirm I had the correct combo) into the login boxes, and straightaway it just bounces back to the frontpage without a login. I never had this problem before, and I have both cookies and Referer headers enabled. I know Slashdot's slashcode was updated Saturday 1st September 2001 with the major unpublicised change being it requires your browser/junkbuster to send the Referer header. I won't post off-topic again if I can get a login! Can anyone please say whether there are any known special problems/solutions for logging in to the "new" Slashdot?

None of MS applications will ever work .. (1)

apankrat (314147) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275054)

.. under PetrOS as they all use undocumented APIs. Lots of them. So Trumpet will either have to reverse engineer core DLLs (which may bring MS lawers upon their as*es) or limit this new OS to documented APIs only (which is obviously a poor choice).

Re:None of MS applications will ever work .. (2)

michael_cain (66650) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275321)

Can anyone provide pointers to actual documented examples of the oft-rumored secret APIs, and any cases where MS applications used them? Or is this an "urban legend" sort of situation?

Thanks in advance.

Re:None of MS applications will ever work .. (1)

TechnoVooDooDaddy (470187) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275329)


I think you are referring to the "z" classes? the layer ontop of which win32 resides? It's been a few years, but that was the rumor anyway..

Re:None of MS applications will ever work .. (1)

reynaert (264437) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275388)

I know this is ancient stuff, but anyway...

In early versions of MS-DOS, everything related to TSRs was undocumented. People knew however that it was possible, because many standard DOS utilities (PRINT, KEYB) operated that way.

So programmers started to disassemble those programs, and they figured some of the rules out. They could make a program go resident -- but they couldn't make it stable. People liked those TSRs, so Microsoft was pretty much required to document the functions in the next release.

Re:None of MS applications will ever work .. (2, Informative)

Jon Burchmore (6932) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275397)

There has been a whole string of books published since the early 90's with the titles "Undocumented DOS", "Undocumented Windows", etc...

See Undocumented Windows [amazon.com]

I am only really familiar with "Undocumented Windows", but it goes into detail about some of the "reserved" API hooks Microsoft used in its own applications around the Windows 3.1/3.11 days.

Microsoft used these undocumented API features during the early days of Microsoft Word and Excel to crush and consume most of its word processing/office suite competitors. Remember Lotus 1 2 3, Wordperfect, Quattro Pro? In part, they died the death of Microsoft's hidden API.

Check out exports of kernel32.dll (1)

apankrat (314147) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275480)

From a first glance, 50-70% of these functions are documented, while the rest of them (having rather self-explanatory names) are not. Same applies to user32.dll and other core DLLs.

Why this will never work (4, Interesting)

vor (142690) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275055)

Sure sounds like a good idea reading about it but it's totally unpractical. He wants to aim for the desktop, which means he's gonna have to go for the average user. Since windows comes "free" on all mainstream PCs today, the average user will never ever have the need to run a windows clone.

Sure, us geeky people will have fun messing around with it, but we already have our joys in running unixes.

Great (2, Interesting)

Ogerman (136333) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275062)

Just what we need.. another Windows. But on a more serious note, there's virtually no way that a single company can write a perfect replacement for Windows itself. It's just too large a task and Windows is a wavering and fast moving target anyways. Have these people been asleep during the whole beginning of the Open Source revolution? You can't fight Microsoft on their own turf, but you can undermine it. If they were smart, they'd join up with the Wine people and build a business around that instead. Use a business model similar to Transgaming, except for ordinary / custom applications that people want / need to hold on to as they transition to Linux / BSD.

System requirements (5, Funny)

micromoog (206608) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275067)

486 DX processor.
2MB System RAM (4MB recommended).
At least 2MB Hard drive space.
This struck me as funny. I understand the point they're trying to make, but does this mean I'd better go out and get that 2MB upgrade I've been looking at for the past ten years for the 486DX I intend to run this on?

Re:System requirements (-1)

Anonymous Pancake (458864) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275294)

better than the fast pentium2+ w/ at least 128mb of ram required to run windowsXP or Gnome comfortably

and lets not even talk about MacOS X's requirements

Re:System requirements (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275434)

better than the fast pentium2+ w/ at least 128mb of ram required to run windowsXP or Gnome comfortably

and lets not even talk about MacOS X's requirements

Erm... A G3 (which starts at 233Mhz) and 128MB?

Looks exactly like Windows (-1)

CmdrTaco on (468152) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275079)

If it looks like a fuck, walks like a fuck and quacks like a fuck, then IT'S A FUCK!! Geezus, just get Winders and at least have the legendary stability of Microsoft products, plus the quality that comes with the Microsoft name. Just don't get this Windows 3.11 knock off.... I'd rather give my mulah to William Gates so he can turn around and give us a better and more solid pruduct. Now tell the truth: when was the last time you were trully disapointed with a secure and solid microsoft pruduct?

quotes... (5, Interesting)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275080)

"We're well aware of the dominance by the key player in this market - we just want to coexist, not supplant." - Peter Tattam

"I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense -- I deserve it." - Jean-Louis Gassée

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana

Re:quotes... (2)

david duncan scott (206421) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275136)

On the other hand, Peter Tattam is the only one of the three to have operated a successful software company, and he did so by producing a product which coexisted with Windows.

Re:quotes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275193)

And that of course is why he is still selling tons of his software on the Windows platform.

Oh...wait...

Re:quotes... (2)

david duncan scott (206421) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275236)

True, of course. I'm simply pointing out that Trumpet has experienced profit, which is more than can be said for Be.

In other words, Tattam may not have gotten any lately, but at least he's not a virgin.

Re:quotes... (5, Funny)

jimhill (7277) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275241)

Of course, you could argue that his company's product didn't coexist with Windows so much as it provided a functionality that only a few people needed...until the Web came, and then everyone needed it, Microsoft folded it into Windows, and Trumpet was thrown out like a sorority girl the morning after a good party.

Re:quotes... (2)

david duncan scott (206421) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275291)

Well, maybe you could, but I certainly wouldn't because it might weaken my point :)

All I'm saying is that we're comparing the business accumen of two men, one of whom has been, however briefly, the head of a successful company, and one of whom has not. I'm not going to dismiss the former simply on the word of the latter.

Re:quotes... (2)

sheldon (2322) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275506)

One writes software because of a desire to solve a particular problem.

If the problem goes away, then it's entirely reasonable that the solution no longer has a market.

We might as well bemoan the loss of buggy whip manufacturers with the advent of the car.

Or passenger trains with the advent of the Airplane.

Or commercial Unix makers like SCO with the advent of Linux.

Legal Problems Too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275087)

Much of the MS Software is licensed to run on MS OS's only. If the OS works, MS could sue them for making it too easy for MS customers to break their license agreements.

Nice initiative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275113)

I have no idea whether this project will succeed. If it would only be less costly than Linux, as explained below, I'm willing to give it a try.

Let's have a close look at the costs involved when running a Linux system.

An important factor in Linux' cost is its maintenance. Linux requires a *lot* of maintenance, work doable only by the relatively few high-paid Linux administrators that put themselves - of course willingly - at a great place in the market. Linux seems to be needing maintenance continuously, to keep it from breaking down.

Add to this the cost of loss of data. Linux' native file system, EXT2FS, is known to lose data like a firehose spouts water when the file system isn't unmounted properly. Other unix file systems are much more tolerant towards unexpected crashes. An example is the FreeBSD file system, which with soft updates enabled, performance-wise blows EXT2FS out of the water, and doesn't have the negative drawback of extreme data loss in case of a system breakdown.

The upcoming 'solution' to this, EXT3FS, is nothing more than an ugly hack to put journaling into the file system. All the drawbacks of the ancient EXT2FS file system remain in EXT3FS, for the sake of 'forward- and backward compatibility'. This is interesting, considering that the DOS heritage in the Windows 9x/ME series was considered a very bad thing by the Linux community, even though it provided what could be called one of the best examples of compatibility, ever. When it's about Linux, compatibility constraints don't seem to be that much of a problem for Linux advocates.

Back to Linux' cost. Factor in also the fact that crashes happen much more often on Linux than on other unices. On other unices, crashes usually are caused by external sources like power outages. Crashes in Linux are a regular thing, and nobody seems to know what causes them, internally. Linux advocates try to hide this fact by denying crashes ever happen. Instead, they have frequent "hardware problems".

The steep learning curve compared to about any other operating system out there is a major factor in Linux' cost. The system is a mix of features from all kinds of unices, but not one of them is implemented right. A Linux user has to live with badly coded tools which have low performance, mangle data seemingly at random and are not in line with their specification. On top of that a lot of them spit out the most childish and unprofessional messages, indicating that they were created by 14-year olds with too much time, no talent and a bad attitude.

I could go on and on and on, but the conclusion is clear. Linux is not an option for any one who seeks a professional OS with high performance, scalability, stability, adherence to standards, etc.

Fair use (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275126)

Quoting a source is fair use, right, but is it fair use to take the introductory paragraph of an article, reword it slightly, and badge it as your own?

Note the similarity between the Slashdot "article" and the introduction to the linked article.

I think we should be told. If Slashdot is violating fair use doctrine like this it can hardly claim to be moral arbiter for other "fair use" rights.

Re:Fair use (3, Funny)

Ridge2001 (306010) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275267)

Note the similarity between the Slashdot "article" and the introduction to the linked article

And what's more, the person who submitted the Slashdot article [slashdot.org] had the gall to steal the name "Eugenia" from the person who wrote the linked article [osnews.com] ! It's not just copyright infringement, it's identity theft as well!

Mod this one up (1)

akintayo (17599) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275376)

There is no reason this post should be given 0

The guy has balls! (3, Funny)

MSBob (307239) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275141)

Whoa! This guy has guts. Not only is he trying to battle William Gates III he's also named Bill's OS after himself! Even Bill Gates himself wasn't arrogant enough to instill a "BillOS" upon us! Sheesh.

BillOS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275332)

Bill Gates himself wasn't arrogant enough to instill a "BillOS" upon us!

Interestingly enough when I look at "BillOS", it seems like it wants to be pronounced "Billows" - which (if spoken in casual conversation) could be heard as "Bellows".. as in those things that blow!

One thing about Windows, is it really does blow!

Re:The guy has balls! (1)

DoctorPepper (92269) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275438)

Hehehe, actually, BillOS should be pronounced:

Bill Us

It shows realy well.. (1)

Axe (11122) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275143)

..It show really well what this click through licenses are worth.

The difference being: if you violate Microsofts one - they will sue a jail you (if it was some copyright protection one)

But if THEY violate YOURS: they will sue YOU again, since this license ain't worth crap in court.

So no matter what you do - those who lined establishment and law firms with money (that YOU paid them, for products, to start with) - you are fucked, screwed and ain't worth shit.

Sad.

Something wrong with Slashdote.. (1)

Axe (11122) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275169)

..I am POSITIVE I was making this reply to the other thread. How this ended up here..? Strange..

Language / Openness (2)

revelation0 (164235) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275189)

This project is quite interesting, to say the least, but I found it even more interesting that they are writing it in Object Pascal:

11. What language is PETROS® written in?

PETROS® is written using an in-house Object Pascal compiler. This enables us to generate machine code with roughly the same efficiency as C or C++, but with very strict type checking. The language is compatible with Borland Delphi Pascal allowing code to be interchanged with many of the existing applications that Trumpet has developed to date.

Also, they aren't planning on opening the code to everyone, so I'm not sure what incentive anyone would have to purchase this OS over a true MS one which it is trying to duplicate. Oh well, my $0.02.

Revelations 0:0 - The beginning of the end.

Glad Linus didn't listen to all these naysayers (3, Insightful)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275225)

The two primary objections I see here could both have been raised when Linus decided to write a UNIX clone in 1991:

1. "Nobody could possibly write his own UNIX kernel! It's too huge of a system!"

2. "UNIX has been dying since the mid 1980s. Who would want to start writing a system that will be dead on arrival?"

Right on! (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275381)

I think you're quite right. The following observation struck me:

2. "UNIX has been dying since the mid 1980s. Who would want to start writing a system that will be dead on arrival?"

It seems to me that we expect software to modernize much faster than it actually does. I think it's quite likely NT will be around (and big) in 20 years, while much better software architectures will be hanging on the fringes.

As of today, the newest Microsoft home user OS released still has DOS inside. And how old is that?

Maybe the problem is that no one tries to send a life raft to the poor people trapped in an old OS. Everybody says: Come swim to my new, fancy one, or fuck off. The result is that the old OS lives on.

If Trumpet don't need money fast and have a few years to get the bugs out, they just might build the life raft many Windows users are hoping for. The Windows API isn't changing THAT fast; if you catch up to it as it was 6 years ago, you're doing great! (Very few people dare write programs that break in Win95. I expect it will be 10 years before a significant number of Windows binaries won't run on XP.) I'm not saying compatability will be easy; just that they have plenty of time to do it.

Of couse, I don't expect them to succeed. Trumpet are greedy bastards, they'll run out of money soon, and their closed-source code will just vanish. Whatever. I'm much more interested in WINE anyway, who don't need to write new device drivers (the real eternal uphill battle) and don't need to worry about running out of corporate money. Sure, it seems they're moving forward at a snail's pace, but if in 3 years WINE runs everything that you can run on Win95, it will still be the #1 reason why people will be comfortable switching to Linux.

There is an embedded niche for this OS (1)

Belly of the Beast (457669) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275313)

I can see many embedded folks who require a W*n compatable OS, but want better company to work with. Not just for price, but service. Often time an embedded product will be spected with a W*n requirement fro the customer to support some legacy application. I just released a project that runs in a DOS box under Win3.1 as an embedded system. I'll let you guess how much support we got from M$

Negative Feedback (2, Insightful)

atathert (127489) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275390)

Perhaps it is more a case of the following. The best way to motivate a great many geeks is to say that something cannot be done. There are so many negative comments here saying it is impossible, making it all the more fun (challenging) to work on. How many times has it been said that it is impossible to build a tranistor smaller than "X", only to have it happen a short time later.


It definitely will be difficult, but there's nothing wrong with "fighting the good fight"

attention (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2275410)

Stop wasting your time coding shitty little operating systems.
These operating systems only contribute to the pile of shit open source ones already out there.
I mean come on, do you really think a bunch of open source nerds are going to produce something as successful and popular as Windows?
No, because they arent backed by a multi-billion dollar company, plain and simple.

Contributions to WINE (1)

CtrlPhreak (226872) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275423)

These guys are going for full compatability with win32 binaries. With all this experience with hacking away at them, could the knowledge they gain be wrpaed into the wine project? I know it wouldn't be the profit minded thing to do, but if the OS goes flop as most people here seem to think so, then why couldn't it be spread around?

P.S. - I'm all for this project. Complete compatability with win32 binaries is a great edge. A fast stable OS that still can run ALL of your programs? Why not?

PetrOS (1)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 12 years ago | (#2275449)

Finally an OS that can be usefull. Maybe I'll try it when the GUI is ready.

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