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ReactOS Traffic #4 For 24 Dec 2004

By Zach Tong

Table Of Contents

1. Working Applications


People: Art Yerkes

AbiWord has been reported to run fine under ReactOS by several developers (although it did do some strange things to Explorer). Here is a screenshot of it running under ReactOS, on real hardware.

Art Yerkes reports that Lynx is now working under ReactOS: "You can now use lynx from reactos. I've been doing some browsing with it and it makes me quite happy. I'm still targeting Jan 1 for enough support to make a graphical browser go." Gerard has succesfully been able to access the CVS repository (in real hardware) via his DSL router and Nic Realtek8139. Both he and Art were able to access their mail box using the e-mail client "Jbmail".

Networking applications that are close to working: zIRC, bitchx (IRC Client), PuTTY (SSH)
Planned: Firefox, Pegasus Mail, xircon
Currently working on: Problems with real hardware

Firefox was reported to have "run". It's not usable yet, as the GUI itself does not show (due to some code problems in ReactOS GUI that will be fixed soon). Firefox, however, does not crash anymore, which is a positive sign. There are still issues with networking. Firefox uses sockets for synchronization, which is still being worked on.

In DirectX land, dinput.dll, dsound.dll (Has to be merged with Wine.), and dxdiagn.dll are all working. Devenum.dll is close to working.

2. Console Window Problem identified

Sat Dec 18 (6 posts) Archive Link: "[ros-dev] console window problem"

People: Hartmut Birr

Hartmut Birr encountered a problem when starting cmd.exe in GUI mode. He got a very large (height) console window where the background used to be, and a debug message of: (objects/bitmaps.c:454) got bad width 560 or height 421075580, please look for reason.

It was later decided that GetTextMetricsW doesnt work correctly, which indicated that it was merely allocated, but never initialized or assigned.

3. Version Info, Visual Basic Applications

Wed Dec 15 - Mon Dec 20 (11 posts) Archive Link: "[ros-dev] Version info"

People: Joseph GalbraithGe van Geldorp

Ge van Geldorp decided to tackle the problem of Visual Basic not running under ReactOS. GvG decided that it was due to bad version numbers being returned by ReactOS. The VB runtimes depend on certain system version numbers to run. Here is a list of version number returned by ReactOS:

dwMajorVersion = 4
dwMinorVersion = 0
dwBuildNumber = 0
dwPlatformId = 2
szCSDVersion = "ReactOS 0.2.5-CVS (Build 20041216)"
wServicePackMajor = 6
wServicePackMinor = 0
wSuiteMask = 0
wProductType = 0

Apparently, the VB runtimes want at least NT4/SP3. ReactOS fails this check at dwBuildNumber (needs to be at least 1381) and the service pack check. It wants szCSDVersion to be "Service Pack x". dwBuildNumber can easily be changed, but it is the szCSDVersion field that is causing the problem.

Currently, that field is the only way to determine the version of ReactOS that is being run, and is needed by some applications (such as cmd.exe). GvG suggested that szCSDVersion be changed to a valid service pack, then packing in the ReactOS version information after it (by using a null byte as a delimeter). Another option would be the registry, but this could cause synch issues.

Joseph Galbraith suggested a cleaner idea that avoids stuffing extra data into the szCSDVersion field and hoping applications don't notice. He suggested a "seperate API (RosGetVersion) to query the 'Reactos Native' version, and let GetVersion() and GetVersionEx() query the emulated 'Win32' version. Applications that want to use RosGetVersion() and still run on windows can easily use 'GetProcAddress' on 'RosGetVersion()' to tell if they are running under ReactOS, and if GetProcAddress() succeeds, they can then call the RosGetVersion() API to find specific version information."

4. Moving to Subversion

Wed Dec 15 - Thu Dec 16 (16 posts) Archive Link: "[ros-dev] Subversion Migration Plan"

People: Jason Filby

Jason Filby has announced that ReactOS is migrating away from CVS and to SVN (Subversion). Starting Wed Dec. 15, SVN will be tested for two weeks. On the 30th of December 2004, the CVS will be frozen and imported into SVN. On the 1st of January 2005 SVN will be used for all source control.

For bug reports, account requests or anything SVN related, contact Casper Hornstrup. A wiki page detailing how to use SVN is here. And lastly, many thanks to Rex for maintaining the CVS for so long.

5. Changes to the Changelog

Wed Dec 15 - Thu Dec 16 (3 posts) Archive Link: "[ros-dev] Changelog for 0.2.5"

People: Steven EdwardsJason Filby

Jason Filby suggested a new system for the Changelog. For previous releases of ReactOS, Jason would crawl through the mountains of CVS commits and manually create a Changelog for the release. He is now requesting that developers add their own "Changelog worthy" additions to the Wiki (located here). This request brought up the idea of using an automated script to "scrape" the CVS commits for changelog information. It was tossed around that identifiers (such as "@changelog Included Notepad on the bootable CD") could be used. Another idea was to use a central file on CVS to record the changes.

This also brought up the question of when to release 0.2.5. The release date (now or later) was split among the dev's. Richard Campbell thought that it should be released on Christmas. He reasoned that many people would be at home and (of course) browsing Slashdot. Steven Edwards also thought that ReactOS 0.2.5 should be released soon: "We have put off a release for far too long and networking will not be stable for at least another month. Having a new release will attract some attention and help make things a little more stable. We can't keep telling people to download nightly builds that may or may not boot."

It was decided that 0.2.5 will be released on December 31, 2004.

6. Invitation to LinuxWorld

Tue Dec 14 (3 posts) Archive Link: "[ros-dev] LinuxWord Boston"

People: Art YerkesSteven EdwardsAlex Ionescu

ReactOS was invited to the LinuxWorld convention in Boston on February 15-17, 2005. Steven Edwards, Art Yerkes, Richard Campbell and Alex Ionescu will all (probably) be going. If anyone else is interested in attending, contact Steven.

7. Recent CVS Activity

Mon Nov 24 - Wed Dec 8 

This section contains nothing more than interesting CVS comments that I personally like. There are more CVS comments then listed here, and many more actual commits.

Quote of the day:







Sharon And Joy

Kernel Traffic is grateful to be developed on a computer donated by Professor Greg Benson and Professor Allan Cruse in the Department of Computer Science at the University of San Francisco. This is the same department that invented FlashMob Computing. Kernel Traffic is hosted by the generous folks at All pages on this site are copyright their original authors, and distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2.0.