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Enhanced DOSKEY 2.5 (Announce)

posted by Rugxulo(R) Homepage, Usono, 01.11.2014, 22:41

> > > 1. Enhanced DOSKEY 2.5 support DBCS (double-byte character set),
> > > whereas CMDEDIT does not;
> >
> > Dare I ask the obvious, but are you able to test such things? Most of us
> > apparently cannot. Hence why I'm pretty sure (among other reasons) that
> > FreeDOS does not currently (properly? if at all?) support DBCS languages
> > (which? CJK?).
> Yes, since I can speak Chinese natively, and also have some basic
> understanding of the Japanese script (both are DBCS languages). In fact I
> have put many hours of effort to make Enhanced DOSKEY's DBCS work on actual
> Chinese/Japanese/Korean (CJK) DOS/Win9x systems.

I'm fascinated by foreign languages but have no training, certainly not for difficult things like CJK. Still, I'm impressed that you took the initiative to support this.

> FreeDOS, of course, does
> not support DBCS natively. However, like MS-DOS, there are third-party DOS
> tools available in order to display DBCS characters in DOS.

I don't know why FreeDOS doesn't support it. My experience with i18n in DOS is limited, mostly just curiosity in the past few years. FreeDOS surpasses most DOSes in codepages and keyboard layouts, but I guess the kernel developers (7-/8-bitters? heh) traditionally weren't passionate enough to try supporting DBCS. Maybe it was too undocumented and difficult, I have no idea.

> > > 5. Enhanced DOSKEY will complete command or file names into the actual
> > > names saved on the disk, but CMDEDIT always changes everything to
> lower
> > > case.
> >
> > Again, isn't this related to FUCASE in the kernel (and supporting
> files)?
> > Does that even work on MS-DOS 7? And does this mean that (LFN) filecase
> > isn't being preserved properly for your preferred language without this
> > feature?
> The LFN feature is, of course, requires the existence of LFN API. Win9x or
> DOSLFN for example provide such APIs (Int21/AX=71xx). What I meant in my
> original post is that Enhanced DOSKEY will use the actual names provided by
> the API (which in turn reflect the actual names saved on the disk) , but
> CMDEDIT will forcely change everything to lower case without any options to
> prevent this.

I was thinking of the (untested by me) FUCASE bug in MS-DOS. But is this downcase (normalization??) just inconvenient or does it actually corrupt the filenames? Because, as you well know, forcing to lowercase isn't a (practical) problem in 7-bit English, even in LFNs. Is this a serious problem with others or just a minor nuisance?

> > To be honest, I haven't tried this tool. Mostly because I'm not even
> > sure it would work with FreeDOS' FreeCOM.
> Unfortunately, it indeed will not work with FreeDOS's FreeCOM, since
> FreeCOM's built-in DOSKEY will take over the job. There is currently no way
> to turn its built-in DOSKEY off (unless probably making a patch by
> ourselves). That is why I have not even tried to actually mirror this
> Enhanced DOSKEY to iBiblio for FreeDOS.
> But of course, you are right that Enhanced DOSKEY is GPL, which is a great
> bonus by itself.

The built-in version is good enough for light use, just not really strong nor flexible enough for anything heavy. Also, there is no proper maintainer since a long time, so lots of feature requests, bugs, patches aren't integrated at all (not that many exist). I'm not sure I'm really up for improving it myself.

I've (rarely) rebuilt FreeCOM before, but it just felt ultra brittle and annoying. (BTW, the OW port was never finished, so you still need TC, IIRC.) I'm vaguely curious whether disabling the built-in history would allow it (or Toddy) to work at all. Even then, it might just choke due to no DBCS support. I have no idea. Unfortunately, FreeDOS (and worse, semi-noobs like me) just isn't organized enough to do much these days.

You'd almost do better to just modify a different shell (Centroid?), but those are always worse, esp. for .BAT support (which is somewhat important but an entirely separate issue). If I knew how, maybe I'd just rewrite the whole thing from scratch, but it's not necessarily that easy.


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