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Russian President Interested In Funding ReactOS

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 years ago | from the reactions-are-mixed dept.

Operating Systems 186

An anonymous reader writes "When Russian President Dmitri Medvedev recently visited a high school where ReactOS developer Marat Karatov happens to study, Karatov took the opportunity to present the open-source Windows-a-like to the President, and got a rather more enthusiastic reaction than might be expected — the President found the project interesting, and would consider funding it." Be forewarned that the BBC article takes a few statements by the developers about boot time and compatibility out of context.

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Hey, big things have started this way (4, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#37398970)

The entire Soviet space program (and, arguably, the American one too) supposedly came out of a brief meeting about ICBM's in 1953 where Sergei Korolev [wikipedia.org] pitched his bigger idea for a space program to Khrushchev.

Re:Hey, big things have started this way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37399586)

Well, sort of, yes. Except that Sergei Korolev was already the Soviet Chief Designer, so he had a fair amount of status and credibility. It's not like he bumped in Comrade Khrushchev in the street and got him to fund space program.

3... 2... 1... (2)

suso (153703) | about 3 years ago | (#37399002)

Be forewarned that the BBC article takes a few statements by the developers about boot time and compatibility out of context.

In other words, prepare to get your nurd rage on.

Re:3... 2... 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37399250)

It would be nice if we were somehow pointed in the right direction to gain proper context. I don't know much about ReactOS and the BBG article is definitely intriguing. It has a direct quote from a developer on the project claiming

"There's absolutely nothing to replace Windows with, and if you decide to switch to a different operating system, you then have to change all the programs as well.

"But in this case you can change the system but leave all the programs intact."

If this is true, this would be a huge fucking deal, but TFS seems to imply that this is false without providing any information to back it up.

Re:3... 2... 1... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#37399328)

I've never heard much about this project until now. But, if it's successful, that would obviously be huge. I'm just surprised that MS hasn't dispatched an elite team of ninjas, lawyers, bribed government officials, angry NYC cabbies, etc. to squash this like a bug. I guess it hasn't been on their radar yet either.

Re:3... 2... 1... (2)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 3 years ago | (#37399370)

The project has been going on for years and years. I wish them luck, but their progress is extremely slow. Wine provides a better solution today for running Windows apps in Linux. Honestly, I think it would make a lot of sense to combine aspects of these two.

To get many apps working in Wine, you end up having to copy over Windows DLLs that ReactOS provides open-source replacements for. And ReactOS provides a desktop shell that Wine does not.

I'm not sure that ReactOS will ever be anything more than a hobbyist project.

Re:3... 2... 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37399600)

Of course, because by the time the ReactOS project gets anywhere, Microsoft leaves it behind again (.NET, DX9/10/11, WinRT).

Re:3... 2... 1... (2)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 3 years ago | (#37400360)

In which case, ReactOS may support legacy programs better than Windows 12 will, eventually.

Re:3... 2... 1... (2)

chthon (580889) | about 3 years ago | (#37400112)

And also for running Windows apps on Apple MacOSX. I installed wine via ports, and then installed ModelSim. Works very good.

Re:3... 2... 1... (3, Informative)

morgauxo (974071) | about 3 years ago | (#37400216)

Actually, ReactOS uses Wine's code. Improvements are ported back and forth between the two too. Wine provides the API, ReactOS porvides the kernel and shell where traditional Wine use is X-Windows and Li/Unix.

Re:3... 2... 1... (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 3 years ago | (#37400408)

Well, they share some code, but it's not as simple as a custom host for Wine. It would be more accurate to say the ReactOS project uses some of the libraries and binaries from Wine, since the essential core parts, like the PE loader, aren't reused. (I think.)

Re:3... 2... 1... (3, Informative)

bhtooefr (649901) | about 3 years ago | (#37400504)

ReactOS's goal is to be a cleanroom engineered OS that at the kernel level is 100% compatible with NT 5.1 or 5.2 (I forget which), and at the userland level is 100% compatible with the latest version of Windows (so NT 6.1, but not for long).

There's some overlap between ReactOS and WINE, and some stuff gets ported back and forth between the two, but WINE takes some shortcuts that ReactOS can't take.

WINE also can't really support hardware that only has Windows drivers, whereas ReactOS can.

And, one development technique that the ReactOS developers are doing is, take a copy of Windows XP, remove a file, and develop a clean-room version. Work on their version until it's stable on XP, then put it in ReactOS. See what broke. Then fix what broke.

Re:3... 2... 1... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 years ago | (#37400382)

Wine provides a better solution today for running Windows apps in Linux

This makes as much sense as saying X.org presents a better solution today for running UNIX apps in Linux. WINE provides an implementation of the win32 APIs. ReactOS provides an implementation of the Windows NT kernel. ReactOS includes WINE's implementation of the high-level APIs. Using WINE on Linux does not, for example, let you use a typical piece of Windows scanner software, which includes hooks into a driver. Using ReactOS does. You can typically use Windows drivers as-is: both Windows and ReactOS implement the same API and ABI for drivers.

Re:3... 2... 1... (1)

Denogh (2024280) | about 3 years ago | (#37399506)

It's about 10 years behind MS in terms of features (as far as I've read) and the one time I installed it in a VM it was a crash-fest. It would be nice if they could get it off the ground and working, but I don't see it happening soon.

Re:3... 2... 1... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37400470)

Crash fest? looks like they're doing very well at cloning windows...

Re:3... 2... 1... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37399570)

I've never heard much about this project until now.

You must be new here, how did you get a 6-digit ID?

Re:3... 2... 1... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#37399828)

I think it got drowned out by the noise from the Linux love-fest.

Re:3... 2... 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37399968)

Microsoft's primary strategy against competition is to have an army of programmers churning out new "technologies" that replace older versions one by one, making it insanely expensive for anyone to stay compatible. This is why Wine and Reactos are doomed to be eternally incomplete. When their primary strategy fails, as in the case of OpenOffice, that's when they do employ all of the alternative strategies you mentioned. Interestingly, in the case of phones and tablets they are still using the "churn out code" strategy (plus dispatching an executive to a vulnerable device manufacturer).

Re:3... 2... 1... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 3 years ago | (#37400486)

Not to mention making those technologies as complex as possible so they're more difficult to clone, even if that added complexity causes them other problems (such as large numbers of security holes)...

Re:3... 2... 1... (1)

daedae (1089329) | about 3 years ago | (#37400066)

I don't know if angry ninjas were actively involved, but I remember a few years ago they basically froze development to do a code audit. Something about making sure they were able to prove there was nothing in the code base that had been reverse engineered and that all the code was either freshly written or had been copied from publicly-available sources. http://www.reactos.org/wiki/Audit [reactos.org]

I had the same experience with ReactOS as several other posters... I installed it on a VM, saw all of the screenshots on the site of "look what we can run!" and tried to replicate some of those, and basically had one crash after another

Re:3... 2... 1... (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about 3 years ago | (#37400344)

I've been trying to understand this audit since it occurred. As I read the document you linked to here there is no way to include any undocumented features/bugs from the Windows API. Wouldn't this mean that any software which makes use of them could never be run in ReactOS?

Re:3... 2... 1... (1)

gilleain (1310105) | about 3 years ago | (#37399428)

If this is true, this would be a huge fucking deal,

It would. I also like this pair of statements in the BBC article :

The system's developers say it runs all Windows programs, but is much faster than its Microsoft equivalent

compare with the next sentence/paragraph:

If it gets a financial boost, it could be usable in the near future...

Hey, I can make any number of unusable operating systems that run faster than windows!

Re:3... 2... 1... (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about 3 years ago | (#37400232)

Hard telling without being there but that is probably because of the author quoting or paraphrasing very small pieces of a much larger conversation.

Re:3... 2... 1... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 years ago | (#37399488)

TFA is pretty vague; but (when last I checked) ReactOS was pretty much on par with WINE in terms of program compatibility(not a huge suprise, since they share a fair amount of that code); which meant that its only real advantage was in the hypothetical situation where you had to deal with hardware that wasn't linux supported but did have Windows drivers that cooperated with ReactOS' implementation of the NT kernel's driver interface.

That is what largely scotched my interest in the project. If you need a Windows program to work, it should work more or less equally well in Wine or ReactOS. Unless the ReactOS driver-interface compatibility is pretty much entirely bulletproof(which is hard, just ask Google how much fun NDISwrapper users are having...) and you have some hardware that is useless under linux and still supported under a version of windows close enough to ReactOS, what is the point?

Obviously, it's the dev's time, and they can do as they please, more power to them; but I just never really understood the point of trying to clone the kernel/driver side of Windows. The userspace side has massive value for legacy software purposes; but the degree of effort required to achieve binary compatibility with Windows drivers seems greater than just avoiding windows-only hardware...

Re:3... 2... 1... (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 3 years ago | (#37399266)

Be forewarned that the BBC article takes a few statements by the developers about boot time and compatibility out of context.

In other words, prepare to get your nurd rage on.

I've already selected my angry font. Now to send them a strongly worded email!

Re:3... 2... 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37399314)

I've already selected my angry font. Now to send them a strongly worded email!

Comic sans?

Re:3... 2... 1... (1)

gilleain (1310105) | about 3 years ago | (#37399510)

I've already selected my angry font. Now to send them a strongly worded email!

Comic sans?

That's a font to make people angry. GP is talking about a font to be angry in.

Re:3... 2... 1... (1)

recrudescence (1383489) | about 3 years ago | (#37399388)

Be forewarned that the BBC article takes a few statements by the developers about boot time and compatibility out of context.

No WAY!!! The BBC subtly miswording news items to promote a particular agenda? Impossible! </sarcasm>

Re:3... 2... 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37400220)

The BBC subtly miswording news items to promote a particular agenda?

I don't know about that. More likely it's just a slightly weird story about something the reporter doesn't properly understand and they just picked the most exciting sounding quotes and carefully separated them from any qualifiers or conditions, as is standard journalistic practice.

It'd be hard work using this story to push any kind of agenda beyond painting a Russian political leader as a bit loose with the purse strings. Anyone who gives a rat's ass about the finer details of operating system design already knows more about this topic than the author.

Recapturing the glory days? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 years ago | (#37399032)

Luckily, Russia has a good deal of experience with producing largely functional clones of western computer systems, so ReactOS could be a perfect fit for them...

Re:Recapturing the glory days? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37399084)

Oh shit Russia, you just got pwned pretty hard. You may want to sit down for a while.

Re:Recapturing the glory days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37399462)

Russian economy has big enough to actually get such a project of the ground and commercially viable. Microsoft might be in for a treat if ReactOS would gather enough supporters to introduce it globally.The only question that would remain is, will the chinese try to copy it or let it be licensed in China.

Re:Recapturing the glory days? (2)

rubycodez (864176) | about 3 years ago | (#37399840)

it's open source and free as in freedom and beer (GPL), anyone can copy, distribute, sell or not sell, modify, etc in accordance with the GPL

Re:Recapturing the glory days? (2)

Squiddie (1942230) | about 3 years ago | (#37399366)

Well, first they start switching to Linux, then they want to fund ReactOS. I think I'm starting to cheer for the Russians. Meanwhile, the US and UK want to police your internet so you don't download stuff.

Re:Recapturing the glory days? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 3 years ago | (#37399836)

Well, I think ROS is a good idea and if crazy-assed Medvedev wants to fund it that's a good thing. They're starved for developers, so this can cold-boot the project.

Re:Recapturing the glory days? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37399926)

It was a good idea in the past, but at this point they're at least 3 versions of Windows behind all but ensuring that they're not going to catch up any time soon.

Ultimately people that are willing to try it would probably be willing to try Linux + Wine.

Re:Recapturing the glory days? (2)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 3 years ago | (#37400332)

It was a good idea in the past, but at this point they're at least 3 versions of Windows behind all but ensuring that they're not going to catch up any time soon.

If that was as big an issue as you think it is, I wouldn't be forced to write code that runs properly in IE6 so cubicle drones with decade old machines can access it.

Re:Recapturing the glory days? (1)

Canazza (1428553) | about 3 years ago | (#37400080)

And I'm sure the Russians want to get in on the ground floor of an OS for purely altruistic reasons, and not in order to impose THEIR will on it.

Re:Recapturing the glory days? (1)

Kozz (7764) | about 3 years ago | (#37399894)

Yep... consider that the ReactOS roadmap shows that the earliest releases were in 1998. 13 years later, the project is now version 0.3.13 in ALPHA. By the time ReactOS is out of beta, half the world will be using Windows 14. Now I'm not saying that it's not a worthy goal, but if their project doesn't get some muscle behind it (like Russian dollars), I don't really see it being more than a tool for developers to learn, rather than a project for consumers to actually use as an OS.

Let the patent war begin (2)

hAckz0r (989977) | about 3 years ago | (#37399080)

So far Microsoft has ignored ReactOS, and they have kept plodding along gut have been no threat to the Monopoly. If ReactOS gets enough publicity, and funding, then that equation changes drastically. You can bet that Microsoft will have their lawyers dusting off the patent archives to see what can be used to hold them back from being a serious Windows-like competitor. Only in Russia, they don't care about the US legal system except for any International agreements that they can not ignore. It will be interesting to watch, and I'm hoping the best for the ReactOS folks.

Re:Let the patent war begin (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | about 3 years ago | (#37399180)

So far Microsoft has ignored ReactOS,

And so has everyone else, including Vladimir Putin, the real leader of Russia, since it works no better than Wine. Is it not based on Wine?

Re:Let the patent war begin (3, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 years ago | (#37399254)

Parts of the application-facing side of things are shared with WINE(since both projects aim at having a working win32 land, as far as programs are concerned); but ReactOS goes to the additional effort of attempting to duplicate the NT kernel sufficiently closely as to be compatible with Windows drivers as well...

Re:Let the patent war begin (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#37399750)

Great, we can now have low quality closed source drivers that are killed off only to get you to buy a new printer on an open source OS. That really sounds like a worthwhile effort.

Re:Let the patent war begin (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 years ago | (#37400358)

Any printer that doesn't speak Postscript or PCL is just a stepper-motor donor waiting to happen...

Re:Let the patent war begin (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about 3 years ago | (#37400398)

Quite the opposite actually, an open source OS would probably continue to run those older drivers for a very long time.

Re:Let the patent war begin (1)

WorBlux (1751716) | about 3 years ago | (#37400046)

It shares a lot of the code for the dll's to implement the api, but a lot of the code is unique (kernel-level stuff)

Re:Let the patent war begin (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about 3 years ago | (#37399200)

Good thing Microsoft does not have nuclear weapons

Re:Let the patent war begin (2)

North Korea (2457866) | about 3 years ago | (#37399304)

Only in Russia, they don't care about the US legal system except for any International agreements that they can not ignore.

You seriously think Russia can't ignore international agreements if they want to? US does all the time, Russia can too. Even if just to show off to USA. What will the rest of the world do if Russia ignores the agreements? Stops buying energy from them? People in Europe better get used to having no electricity, and prepare for a cold winter.

Re:Let the patent war begin (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 3 years ago | (#37399424)

This is really just so dull. Okay we now have Linux, BSD filling in the free Unix and Unix like OS space. We have OS/X as the consumer Unix with a really nice UI+API added, and now we have Windows and maybe a Windows clone getting some traction.
We are down to Unix and Windows still in the Os space.
This just so dull. Why not support something different or new. Maybe an OS build on VMS with a good UI and graphics layer? Why not the haiku?
Why not something new instead of let's make a clone of X.

Re:Let the patent war begin (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 3 years ago | (#37399562)

It take a lot of time and work to develop a mature OS, so why write the whole thing from scratch unless you need to? Even if you want to create a new OS, it probably makes sense to scavenge what you can from existing open source projects.

Re:Let the patent war begin (1)

timepilot (116247) | about 3 years ago | (#37399622)

There are OS projects that are not clones of existing systems, but they never gain any traction because the applications are just not there. The whole point of ReactOS is to come up with something that will allow the use of a big chunk of existing applications.

The only chance of getting a new OS off the ground is to start it on a new type of platform, and even that is dicey at best. WebOS hasn't exactly taken off.

Re:Let the patent war begin (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 3 years ago | (#37399626)

And yet you ignore MenuetOS, which has the potential to make all of the above OSes look like pure garbage.

Re:Let the patent war begin (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 3 years ago | (#37400058)

Proprietary real-time OS supporting only low-level assembler programming on only the x86 and x86-64, and closed source license for 64 bit??!!

You're funny.

Re:Let the patent war begin (3, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | about 3 years ago | (#37400394)

And yet it does every thing I've asked it to do. I'm even rocking some Quake, and I can post on slashdot, I can boot instantly, I have no issues with multiple programs open, and it just so happens to be the interface OS for my research station at home.

Proprietary, but its FREE and it comes with tools to let you do things.

Is nobody a child at heart any longer? What happened to that drive to tinker?

Re:Let the patent war begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37399638)

Because there would be no software for it, so no-one would use it, so no-one would write software for it, so no-one would use it...

Re:Let the patent war begin (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about 3 years ago | (#37399724)

Yep. That's what killed Android and iOS.

Re:Let the patent war begin (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 3 years ago | (#37399864)

uh, those are a Linux based unix-like OS, and a Darwin based unix-like OS

Re:Let the patent war begin (1)

NotAGoodNickname (1925512) | about 3 years ago | (#37399928)

But Android apps and iOS apps are not linux apps. So the argument that no one would use a new OS because no-one would write software for it has been debunked. It is entirely possible to introduce a new OS and have tons of people use it. For example: Android and iOS. Chasing after Windows is pointless. Microsoft already does Windows better than anyone else.

Re:Let the patent war begin (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 3 years ago | (#37400434)

The iPhones basically kickstarted the platform, and we all know that Apple logic defies reality.

Re:Let the patent war begin (2)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 3 years ago | (#37399908)

Why not something new instead of let's make a clone of X.

Because drivers.

Hardware manufacturers only release drivers for Windows, Mac, and usually Linux, and they are very rarely open source. Applications are not the problem, especially if it's meant as a desktop UI, as long as you provide a C compiler. But you have to clone one of the major OS's driver interfaces if you want it to work on a wide range of hardware.

As someone pointed out above, Android and iOS did not have this problem, because they were targeted on specific and controlled hardware. As a desktop OS, you can't afford that.

Re:Let the patent war begin (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 3 years ago | (#37399990)

Plan 9 is available if you want to develop for that; it's even used commercially

VMS has a GUI, DECwindows Motif on top of OpenVMS's X11. most of your Unix/Linux stuff can run on OpenVMS anyway thanks to GCC running there and the POSIX libraries

Re:Let the patent war begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37400014)

Why not something new instead of let's make a clone of X.

Because Windows has the vast majority of user share (people are used to it... go figure).
Because one could finally have a decent bloatfree version of the OS most of the world uses.
Because of the huge amount of software available (both commercial and free).
Because of the tons of (many times poorly coded) professional programs exclusively made for Windows.
Because we could finally have official drivers in a free OS.
Because it revive legacy machines (quite preposterous that the minimal specs of the hardware MS requires keeps growing... some guys got ROS running in a P2).
Because running code natively is much more efficient than emulating (either VM or Wine). ...The list would go on...

I get you're point. But ultimately an OS without a huge userbase will wither and die... Devs will steer away because of the low number of users and user will steer away because there are either few programs or they can't use the ones they like (just look at WebOS... MeeGo is going the same way... ok to be fair the fact these were somewhat brand specific lead to their downfall... I'm pretty sure there are currently too many Mobile OSes and that the ecosystem will support only the 2-3 most popular but I'm getting too offtopic).

Point is Windows won the PC race and good luck trying to make people (both user and developers) ditch it. A good free, open source Windows clone would be a godsend.

The main problem ROS had so far is lack of funding (there is no real funding... this project has ZERO paid developers... or any other member for that matter), lack of publicity (there's no PR team... very few people knew anything about it...) and lack of developers (not many have the needed skills, others have seen the leaked Win2000 source which makes them legally unable to help, and the ever so popular MS hate which I feel that eve extends to this project).

So why aren't you wearing the ribbon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37399516)

I guess we are just going to have to teach Marat Karatov to wear the ribbon!

http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/TheSponge.html

Good for him (2)

Spunkee (183938) | about 3 years ago | (#37399134)

Good for this guy. I know nothing about ReactOS, but I'm happy for him. I dare say a lot of us are working on various pet projects that would get all sorts of funding and support if they were discovered by someone(s) capable of giving funding. As it's always been, it's about being in the right place at the right time and/or knowing the right people.

Re:Good for him (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 3 years ago | (#37399700)

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Obligatory (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 3 years ago | (#37399140)

Why not follow China's example and develop your own official Linux distro?

Re:Obligatory (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about 3 years ago | (#37399224)

Because Russia is already developing a "National OS" whis is yet another linux distro, but who cares as long as the government funds can be stolen that way.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37399336)

Windows compatibility?

Re:Obligatory (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 3 years ago | (#37399492)

Except how compatible is ReactOS?

How compatible will it be in the future?

How long will it take to get it sufficiently compatible for whatever Windows programs the Russian government absolutely must use?

How long would it take to write Linux equivalents of those app(s) that would do the same job that would have guaranteed compatibility?

Re:Obligatory (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 3 years ago | (#37399774)

How much easier would it be to convince people to switch from Windows if they could run all their software on a different OS?

I believe ReactOS is about as compatible as Wine. Some people may be satisfied with similar software but the majority seem to want the software they already have to just work on a system they're comfortable working with. If ReactOS is another step in making that happen, I say good on them.

In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37399148)

ReactOS endorses you! (sorry it had to be done).

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37399208)

Operating system boots you!

Interesting news, really (2)

Rennt (582550) | about 3 years ago | (#37399196)

But it has got to be one of the worst articles ever posted to /.

Obligatory II (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37399198)

In Post-Soviet Russia, OS develops you!

Re:Obligatory II (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | about 3 years ago | (#37399818)

I thought "In post-soviet russia, the president is interested in you!".

Russian President? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37399202)

That's not Putin.

Re:Russian President? (1)

sxpert (139117) | about 3 years ago | (#37399502)

Medvedev is just Putin's puppet anyways

Re:Russian President? (1)

twmcneil (942300) | about 3 years ago | (#37399670)

And Medvedev can't ask Putin for permission because Putin is out hunting bears and wrestling tigers.

And yet another summary gone wrong. (4, Interesting)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about 3 years ago | (#37399248)

Really? Enthusiastic? President said that it is a very good and promising thing (considering a hight school student told him they were developing a free OS that could replace windows and keep old windows programs working) and made a joke that he does not have a million dollars in his pocket, but "he will think about it". You all know what this means/

Re:And yet another summary gone wrong. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 3 years ago | (#37399526)

A way to get better prices from Microsoft? ("If you don't lower the price, we fund ReactOS!")

Re:And yet another summary gone wrong. (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 3 years ago | (#37399686)

First we fund alternative operating system, then we keel moose and skwirrell!

Re:And yet another summary gone wrong. (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37399976)

They already have that, it's called piracy.

Government's funding of projects (2, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | about 3 years ago | (#37399436)

Governments funding of projects, any projects, is mis-allocation of resources. If the project in question has any reason to exist, then there would be private funding for it, private lending, private interest.

Government can push agenda [go.com] , but they can't make it work [usatoday.com] nor should they try [washingtonpost.com] .

Either there is a reason for something to exist in the market or there isn't. Government commanding reasons does not work.

Re:Government's funding of projects (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37399674)

You seem to be confused. Private interest comes from the potential profit, not need. Suggesting there's no need for a free alternative to Windows that users will have an easier time switching to than Linux is outright false. Suggesting there's no money in it, however, would be correct. There are lots of things we have need of, such as alternative energy sources like solar and wind power, but there isn't a lot of funding for those projects (compared to more profitable ones) because right now, there's no money to be made there.

Re:Government's funding of projects (1)

CadentOrange (2429626) | about 3 years ago | (#37399742)

While my political views lean towards the right, I think you're taking the "Government should not fund private enterprises" thing a tad too far.

Capitalism is only interested in maximising short term profits. You can argue whether that's the "correct" interpretation of the tenets of capitalism, but that's how it works out in reality. Private investors are keen on ROI and the quicker and larger the ROI, the more interested they will be. In my experience, the majority of these investors are only interested in products that are on the cusp of being market viable. They basically want to come in, pump some money into marketing, tweak the product a bit and then reap a windfall.

A project like ReactOS that has been underway for years, which will still require significant time and capital investment before being commercially viable will not get the interest of any private investor. However, it's pretty hard to deny that an alternative operating system that's fully compatible with Windows applications will not be commercially viable. Additionally, if it challenges Microsoft's monopoly on PC operating systems and eventually provides a cheaper computing experience for all, you could argue that the government has a moral obligation to invest.

The big issue with failures like Solyndra is that there was no transparency and no accountability. That says a lot more about the Obama administration than it does about government involvement in backing startups.

Re:Government's funding of projects (1)

ilguido (1704434) | about 3 years ago | (#37399832)

For Yuri Gagarin it worked. Even for Neil Armstrong. And for nuclear energy too... both fission and fusion. Not to mention ENIAC!

Re:Government's funding of projects (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about 3 years ago | (#37400426)

By the way, my original comment was in no way a 'flamebait', but again, /. moderation is broken.

To reply to your comment: Yuri Gagarin and the entire space race was funded by using basically what amounts to slave labor in the former USSR. I should know, I was born there. Most of the country's resources was directed to military spending, space race, and whatever dust that could be thrown into the people's eyes, just to make it look like something worked.

As to Neil Armstrong - SS fund was raided for that and to what purpose? How much private enterprise innovation was stifled and diverted to this waste of resources, putting a man into orbit, when it is in fact clear that we don't need people in space at this time because we don't have a purpose for them being there.

Nuclear energy has been subverted by government agenda, I talked about it here [slashdot.org] . It should be done privately to search for cheaper, more efficient ways of generating power.

As to ENIAC - there is always an argument that other priorities must be put on hold, when important wars are fought, and then all of the nation's resources are diverted to that. Unfortunately we fight these wars, but we fight them specifically because governments destroys free market and prevent economies from working, and then there are too many unemployed, which can be diverted by some perverted "leaders" to fight bloody wars. This is NOT a good endorsement of government power AT ALL.

I donated (1)

ePlus (1041568) | about 3 years ago | (#37399590)

I can happily say that I have donated whatever money I had spare in my PayPal account that I was unable to withdraw at the time.

Hopefully Medvedev can go ahead and sponsor this project and give it a much needed boost!

Though a couple of years ago ReactOS had to be suspended due to stealing code [googleusercontent.com] allegations.

But does it run... (2)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 3 years ago | (#37399614)

all the viruses, worms and other malware?

Sheesh (1, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 3 years ago | (#37399736)

Putin left the back door open, and Dmitri got out again.

No one's said it yet?. Apologies in advance. (1)

Beorytis (1014777) | about 3 years ago | (#37399794)

In Soviet Russia, operating system funds YOU. For once it's actually true, since the operating system was communism...

Re:No one's said it yet?. Apologies in advance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37400420)

I so hoped nobody would say this "Soviet Russia" stupidity for once!

Hmmm (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 3 years ago | (#37399936)

I think ReactOS is in the same boat as WINE and Mono, forever chasing Microsoft, wherever they lead them. And in many cases the open source effort simply CANNOT provide 100% emulation because parts of Windows are so complex and esoteric it would be impossible to implement them perfectly. Internet Explorer and .NET would be two major examples of functionality which will never be emulated perfectly which impacts the kinds of software ReactOS can run.

I also think that the article hugely embellishes where ReactOS is today and how long it would take to be production ready. ReactOS has a very long way to go. Charitably, it's alpha status and likely to stay that way for a while yet. I still think it deserves funding however. The biggest benefit to Russia / China / whoever of funding the project is they can use it as a stick to threaten Microsoft in any contract negotiations. I don't think it is likely they'd follow through with their threats but obviously the more viable ReactOS is, the more impact the threat could make.

Re:Hmmm (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37400050)

Not being able to run Internet Explorer is a feature.

Re:Hmmm (1)

WorBlux (1751716) | about 3 years ago | (#37400090)

Well I think catching XP is a possible goal (since xp is pretty much dead a.k.a static now.), but i agree that they'll never catch up to the latest version.

Re:Hmmm (1)

spasm (79260) | about 3 years ago | (#37400266)

At the moment I have an XP virtual machine in Virtualbox which I use about every two or three months for those rare occasions when I need to run some odd piece of windows-only software which doesn't work in WINE (or doesn't work without more tweaking than I have time to waste on it). To have this virtual image, I either need to pay the $100+ that a legal copy costs these days, which is a bit steep for something I rarely use, or use a pirated copy, which I also don't want to do. If ReactOS works with those last couple of pieces of software I occasionally need to use, it'll let me save that $100. This actually seems to be at least part of their intended market - three of the five download options on their downloads page are for virtual machines preinstalled with the OS. In short, I don't really care if they're playing 'catch up' to current versions of windows, and won't until or unless the software I use suddenly won't run on an XP clone, which is unlikely.

Re:Hmmm (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 3 years ago | (#37400464)

.NET would be two major examples of functionality which will never be emulated perfectly

you mean they can't add Mono to it, or that Mono doesn't implement 100% functionality or .NET (I'm sure the Mono guys said it did) :)

I thought they gave up on ReactOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37400072)

I remember reading a while ago that they were shifting their focus from a whole Windows clone to be something more like crossover office, instead of recreating all of windows from the ground up.

ReactOS vs Wine (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 3 years ago | (#37400386)

I think Wine in Linux has better compatibility than ReactOS.
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