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Operating Systems Education Wine Technology

Russian Univ. Launches Course Based On ReactOS Led By Alex Bragin 90

Posted by timothy
from the wardrobe-by-david-byrne dept.
New submitter jeditobe writes "Aleksey Bragin reported that starting in February he would be a lecturer at the Moscow State Technical University teaching the operating system course. He said that he intends to incorporate ReactOS into the lab work so that students would have the opportunity to work on an actual operating system. He also intends to translate and upload the slides he will use for class for others to see." (Bragin is the Project Coordinator for ReactOS.)
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Russian Univ. Launches Course Based On ReactOS Led By Alex Bragin

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  • Why not use Linux or any OS that actually works? ReactOS is terrible.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      That's why:
      http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/09/14/1438223/russian-president-interested-in-funding-reactos

    • Re:why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @06:08AM (#42842139)

      If the problems are already solved, then it's more difficult to be the one who solves them. If the solutions are already extremely optimized then it's more difficult to be the person who provides a better solution. Sometimes you want to repeat other people's work, but sometimes it's worth trying to be the first person to do something. A less tuned OS like ReactOS might be good for teaching on.

      I'd be more concerned about the question "why use a complex OS like ReactOS rather than a simple one like Minix" since lots of the key teaching points could get lost in the arcane details, but again, there's also plenty to be said for showing the real world from time to time rather than just academic theory and using one thing doesn't stop you using the other.

      The most important thing is probably the quality of the teaching and if ReactOS motivates the professor to be interested in what his students are doing then it's probably going to give them a better course than they could ever have otherwise.

    • Re:why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kthreadd (1558445) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @06:11AM (#42842143)

      Why not use Linux or any OS that actually works? ReactOS is terrible.

      The obvious reason is Aleksey Bragin is a ReactOS developer and thus has intrinsic knowledge about the ReactOS system. Apart from that it could also be claimed that ReactOS is smaller and less complex, making it a good example to study.

    • Re:why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @06:25AM (#42842189)

      Because Aleksey is a clever young fella who was offered a teaching gig. Naturally he'd pick an area of interest that he's expert in.

      I'm sure there are plenty of other OS theory courses worldwide that use Linux, Minix, Hurd, L4, FreeBSD etc - this is one unique course, so why the hate?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Because people that never accomplish anything must heap hate upon those that do to make themselves feel better. That's why you see similar behavior in every single thread. When they cannot attack directly, they target grammar, spelling or just plain pick an amazingly pedantic point and belabor it until all normal people are driven from the thread. The Internet, where people expose their mental illnesses for the world to see.

    • Two reasons:
      1. 1. Study of such a system would give students an idea of how Windows actually works. Unix architectures, including those like Linux & BSD, are very different from Windows.
      2. 2. Bragin himself works on ReactOS and therefore very familiar w/ it

      I think it's a great idea, and I'd like to see it spread. In particular, I'd like to see there be a lot of project assignments to have working the various parts of ReactOS so that you have a system that is up to date w/ Windows 7. In the past, they

    • by unixisc (2429386)
      There is another OS that could be suitable for teaching purposes: osFree. It is a microkernel based OS, like HURD, except that it's built on a more modern microkernel - the L4 microkernel. On top of the microkernel, it has multiple 'personalities' or API's riding on it - a PresentationManager for OS/2, win32, win64 and so on. This would allow different host OSs to live on the same microkernel. From a standpoint of teaching OS principles, this would do the work just as well, while at the same time enabli
  • by burni2 (1643061) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @05:45AM (#42842087)

    I'm fed up with the posts "Why not use .." just shut up, ReactOS works and well it is not without bugs and not matured so it's perfect for
    students to get their minds dirty .. what bugs me more is that an open source develloper turns into Vladimir Putins la(p/b) dog to get funding,

    btw.
    Why not use FreeBSD ? the soruce for kernel & userland is extremly well organized within the source tree
    and well it's a unix, happy now ?

    btww.
    Why not use BananaOS instead ?

    PRO:
    a.) it's virtually non existent
    b.) the architecture is highly adaptable due to it's virtuallity
    c.) the memory footprint is rather low (8 bytes!!)
    d.) it can virtually do everything
    e.) has a nice gui it appears of the OS tast the user likes! ...
    CON:
    it really does only exist in ones mind

    • by Pentium100 (1240090) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @05:56AM (#42842107)

      ReactOS would be extremely useful if it was ever completed. A free OS compatible with Windows, that would allow users to drop Windows but continue to use their software and hardware as normal (after all, Linux/FreeBSD is a very different OS, most Windows software does not work on it).

      If ReactOS was ever completed it would be a big problem for Microsoft....

      • by muuh-gnu (894733) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @06:11AM (#42842145)

        If Reactos ever threatens to get into an usable state, Microsoft can simply outspend them by moving on and letting Reactos always play costly catch up.

        The effort invested into Reactos would make much more sense if invested into Wine instead.

        Using Reactos still means using Windows and writing Windows apps in the first place, so it benefits the Windows overall ecosstem. If the effort were spent on Wine instead, people would be able to run their Windows apps, but would have to switch to Linux first, and Linux would be their new primary environment while Wine would be just a compatibility layer. Nobody would directly write apps for Wine, it would be just a way to run old apps until they are ported to your new native environment, Linux.

        Reactos is not the necessary step away _from_ Windows, it _is_ Windows with all the usual downsides of Windows, but without the benefit of a company like Microsoft supporting it.

        • by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @06:34AM (#42842223)

          The effort invested into Reactos would make much more sense if invested into Wine instead.

          Perhaps, but ReactOS does borrow code from Wine. There's cross-pollination of ideas/code(license permitting) between the developers of each project. Wine benefits by having their implementation battle-hardened on a non unix-like foundation.

          Anyway, some folks prefer the Windows XP paradigm to, say, Unity or Gnome 3. Each to their own...

          • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

            There is no point directing effort into Wine instead. If the developers wanted to make Wine work, they would work on Wine. If you made them switch, they would probably lose interest and move to something else.

            Something you may not be aware of - Wine is extremely reluctant to take patches from ReactOS, because of accusations that someone copied leaked Microsoft code into ReactOS. It was an off-hand comment that I think was ultimately retracted, but not after an extensive code freeze and audit. Sourcing/a

            • It was an off-hand comment that I think was ultimately retracted, but not after an extensive code freeze and audit.

              It was a malicious accusation made by a crazy french guy named `Betov'. ts;dr version: It was a malicious accusation made by a crazy french guy named `Betov'. He was a notorious shitposter on alt.lang.asm and comp.lang.asm.x86, where he frequently got into flamewars with the guy who wrote the `High Level Assembly' book and the guy who removes MASM from VS and distributes in the vain attempt that it be useful. He had some pretty strange ideas, which I shan't go into, but eventually he made his own `assembl

        • by ByteSlicer (735276) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @06:40AM (#42842235)

          The effort invested into Reactos would make much more sense if invested into Wine instead.

          ReactOS uses the higher level libraries and services from Wine, so any improvements they make in those will improve Wine too (and vice versa).

          Besides that, everyone is free to invest their time and efforts in whatever they want.

          • by miknix (1047580)

            Besides that, everyone is free to invest their time and efforts in whatever they want.

            I choose to invest my time and efforts in useles$%#&%_%%%

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The most dangerous time for a software company is when it breaks continuity because it is easiest for customers to switch to a competitor and the newer offering is often immature. The move from OS 9 to OS X, then from PowerPC to Intel were challenging for Apple, though they did a decent job of using emulators to reduce pain. The move to BB10 nearly killed RIM. The move from XP to Vista was really bumpy Microsoft.

          This is why MS can't break continuity in such a way as to stymie a "complete" ReactOS. If th

          • by jbolden (176878)

            Microsoft has introduced the .NET framework and updated it multiple times. They've already created an operating system to transition people away from WInXP applications, Windows 8. Windows 7 had an XP as a VM built in and Windows 8 has Hypervisor standard. So the solution for Windows XP only applications is just to run XP as a guest OS on Windows 8, and later 9, 10, 11.... If ReactOS replaces the guest OS for legacy support, why would Microsoft even care?

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          If Reactos ever threatens to get into an usable state, Microsoft can simply outspend them by moving on and letting Reactos always play costly catch up.

          A working copy of Windows XP would let people run Windows XP software without Microsoft, now and in the future. Many people will never need any significant body of software newer than what they have now, but they are forced to buy new software anyway because their operating system stops getting security updates and their old software won't run on their new OS eventually. I mean, even windows doesn't have perfect backwards compatibility. You can't run Civilization 2 on Windows 7, or in XP mode! Both just cau

        • Or they could sue ReactOS away. Even though the devs go to great lengths to ensure legal safety, I have no doubt there are plenty of software patents Microsoft holds that could be applied. The only reason they allow ReactOS to exist is that it poses no threat to them.

      • by burni2 (1643061)

        Yes, you are right.

        But then they should instead teach Wine and not ReactOS ;) because of "arwinss" (see older news for ReactOS)

      • This leads to another "usability" question. Why not make a "compatibility standard" that IDEs can provide to users?

        Produce an XML spec for describing the supported API features of a given Windows compatibility layer (whether that be Wine, Crossover or ReactOS) that IDEs can simply import to allow developers the option of coding for cross-compatibility in all systems. Ideally it would use RSS to keep up to date with changes.

        I import Wine, Crossover and ReactOS and tell my IDE that to warn me if my software

      • If ReactOS was ever completed it would be a big problem for Microsoft....

        It would never be completed, because:
        1. Most of the code in Windows are the device drivers. MSFT has literally thousands developers writing and maintaining the drivers.
        2. MSFT keeps updating and changing secondary APIs very often.

        Wine IMO is the only sensible approach to simulating Windows, because it reuses the device drivers of the host platform.

        But as topic goes, the only thing wrong with ReactOS in academia is that it gives the VMS-isms another life lease.

        • One goal of ReactOS is to be binary compatible with Windows (emulating a baseline of XP/2003 server NT 5.2) - including at the driver level. So if you have an old piece of hardware like a scanner or a printer that has a driver for XP, that same driver will (eventually) run with ReactOS.

          That same piece of hardware might not have a driver for Linux nor Windows 8.

          As for 'completion' well probably never simply because it doesn't have the manpower. But if these guys are having fun, who are we to criticise?

        • by xiando (770382)

          It would never be completed, because: 1. Most of the code in Windows are the device drivers. MSFT has literally thousands developers writing and maintaining the drivers.

          What do you mean by "completed"? ReactOS aims to be binary compatible with Windows drivers, so ReactOS will be as "complete" as Windows in this regard. But version Windows versions are not "complete" if your requirement for "complete" is to have drivers for everything. There are a lot of older devices who are drivers for XP but not newer Wintendo versions like Bista or 7 or 8. There are also a lot of newer devices who only have just for 7 or 8. Yes, this will present a problem since ReactOS will not be able

          • What do you mean by "completed"? ReactOS aims to be binary compatible with Windows drivers, so ReactOS will be as "complete" as Windows in this regard.

            Windows itself isn't always compatible with the 3rd party drivers.

            And the stability of XP and W7 is largely attributed to the fact that MSFT has taken over device driver development and maintenance from many 3rd parties.

            In other words, ReactOS isn't going to have an easy time with the drivers, even if it is 100% compatible with Windows. Many drivers are not accessible because they are (c) MSFT. 3rd party drivers are often of piss poor quality and wouldn't work well on ReactOS for the same reason they ar

      • by jbolden (176878)

        Once you start talking people who are a decade behind you are talking customers who don't want to pay for software or services at all. How is losing them a threat to Microsoft? Even if we assume that React follows a disruptive pattern and is able to reduce that time from a decade to say 3 years ReactOS would be in the same situation as OS/2 just starting from further behind. Or Wine. And that's best case. The APIs can move much faster than a compatibility layer.

        Microsoft win Windows 8 is starting to

        • by unixisc (2429386)

          You are assuming that only the Russians would want it. But elsewhere in the world, wherever it's not illegal, it will easily replace Windows, since who wants to pay Microsoft gobs of cash when they can get this completely compatible (that will be the key) OS for free? If it's not banned in the US, it'll take over here as well. The only reason to buy Windows then would be that people want Microsoft services. But OEM vendors, now facing competition from Microsoft, would be more than happy to sell their bo

          • by jbolden (176878)

            No I'm not just assuming the Russians. Assume everyone who wants to be 10 years behind is fine with it.

            There are a lot of things they need to do go from XP to Vista. They are working on .NET 2.0. To get to VIsta and more modern stuff they have to do .NET 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5. That's years and years of work. They have to build Aero, which is on the order of the complexity of building all of Windows XP. They have to rebuild the entire drive system to work with flash drives. They have to rebuild their

            • by unixisc (2429386)

              I was assuming that there will be different teams working on the XP and 7 OSs - like I suggested, it should be 2 separate OSs. The XP one being 32-bit, but no 64 bit, and the 7 one being 64 bit, but not 32. Targeting the 32-bit ReactOS at systems b/w 32MB to 2GB, and the 64-bit one at systems from 4GB and above.

              I'm not getting one thing - why would they need all versions of .NET - aren't they all compatible? The 32 bit team could work on .NET 2.0, and the 64-bit team could work on .NET 4.5 - why would

              • by jbolden (176878)

                I'm not getting one thing - why would they need all versions of .NET - aren't they all compatible?

                No. AFAIK from a program perspective each version of .NET is independent. I know for certain that .NET 3.0 and .NET 4.0 must both be present on an XP system to run applications compiled against 3.0 and 4.0 respectively. You can see that React themselves are tracking the different frameworks as separate sub-projects: http://www.reactos.org/compat/?show=entry&id=646 [reactos.org]

                Oh, and as far as Networking goes, sup

              • by jbolden (176878)

                BTW here is a pretty good diagram that shows an example of what I was talking about in terms of each version building on the previous.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DotNet.svg [wikipedia.org]

                This is rather typical for the move from XP to 7 and specifically address the .NET issue.

    • by drolli (522659)

      what bugs me more is that an open source develloper turns into Vladimir Putins la(p/b) dog to get funding,

      That is a little harsh. Being a lecturer in your home country at a public university does not necessarily make you a lap dog of the government.

      • The comment refers to a demonstration of ReactOS put on for Putin. Unsurprisingly, he is not at all happy about most of the computers in Russia running an OS under effective US control, for much the same reason the US is concerned about using Chinese hardware: It provides an invitation to industrial espionage and results in giving a lot of money to a country that could one day become an enemy. A few other Russian politicians have also expressed interest, presumably as an option for when the vast number of X

        • Actually, the president in question was Medvedyev, not Putin. Of course, now their roles have switched, until the next election, when they play musical chairs again
        • by drolli (522659)

          Yes. Even presenting your research/development results to the elected (yes, there are problems with the election) leader of your country in order to present your research project does not make you his lapdog.

          I know many russian academics and research in russia has a comparatatively big freedom.

  • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortexNO@S ... t-retrograde.com> on Saturday February 09, 2013 @10:00AM (#42842819) Homepage

    What would Linus do? Do you think, if you were involved in an OS project and you were to teach folks about OSs, you would use some other OS you're not very involved with as a teaching implement?

    When my little brother wanted to learn about programming I didn't teach him C or Java or Lisp, or JavaScript, or Perl... I taught him about the LanderScript language, named after our family name. It's one of my toy languages that I created on a whim to teach myself how to write compilers, when I was 11. Why? Because I wanted to teach him how to build programs with logic, and outgrow his 1st language instead of getting deeply mired in the complexites of a full featured language. If he wanted to learn of OS design I'd have taught him with a toy OS of my own creation too.

    If the ReactOS course work were going to be beginner stuff I might suggest other simpler OSs first. If the course covers more advanced stuff then it's probably better that the instructor to know all the ins and outs more intimately, so ReactOS would be the optimal choice for him.

    • "It's one of my toy languages that I created on a whim to teach myself how to write compilers, when I was 11"

      Even by Slashdot standards, that's geeky.

    • by rev0lt (1950662)
      This,
      Having a teacher that is capable of teaching the inner workings of any given operating system in detail is good. Having a teacher that is capable of doing that and explain the pitfalls on the design, the compromises taken, the optimization process, the decisions taken and why they were taken is gold. Most OS-related courses/classes I've seen are pure and utter crap, even on the rare cases that the teacher knows the stuff. Very few are capable of having both a birds-eye view of the system as a whole a

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