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RJDOS v0.01a experimental tiny DOS shell - latest news (Announce)

posted by Arjay(R), 05.02.2010, 21:38
(edited by Arjay on 06.02.2010, 01:13)

I have had a few discussions with people re RJDOS recently, so this is a quick note to let people know whats happening. Firstly I'm very busy with life elsewhere at the moment, however since Christmas I have been working on the next version of it but sadly none are ready for general release just yet.

Importantly I have decided that I will continue to evolve RJDOS beyond "experimental" into a fairly flexible shell which I want to ensure supports running under *all* DOS versions/emulators (FreeDOS, DOSBox, XP, RiscOS etc).

At the same time I want to continue to keep the shell small enough to be burnable into silicon. Indeed a serious reduction in size is on the long term cards for the project and it will always remain less than 64k in size.


Still I am going to do several "transitional" releases to get to where I want the code to end up. In terms of firstly creating a more stable basic shell and then working to remove existing hard coding, e.g. supporting multiple languages whilst aiming for a smaller footprint. Sadly this means the next release will be slightly larger (probably about 4k larger) before I then hope to dramatically reduce the size of the main code by way of some tools I'm working on to "remove" the bloat. Still please find below a recap on some of the original issues in relation to the current road map that I am drawing up:

> + Only 8.3 filenames are supported
Yes, I will support long filenames later but "after" the transition releases.

> + RJDOS knows NOTHING about lowercase, UNICODE etc
Likewise.

> + Commands like DIR do *NOT* support any parameters, so DIR /W is invalid
In the unreleased versions - they do now. Concerning DIR; /P now exists in the BETA versions I'm running. /W does NOT yet exist but probably will in an actual release version. I don't plan to implement /A:H etc since RJDOS shows all [hidden] + [system] files anyway. Indeed by design the DIR will also show volume labels as files along with their date. Indeed I'm purposefully adding features such as showing the filesize for directories; "Filesize for directories?" I hear you cry! Yes they can and do exist at times and unlike other shells I actively want to highlight the unusual/broken/data corruption and this is an example of where I'm writing the code so that it will do that.
e.g. when a directory filesize is NOT equal to zero then filesize is shown.


> + Currently DIR does NOT even show the size of files
Fixed but with a 2Gb limit (for now) - main coding efforts still elsewhere.


> + Many standard DOS commands do *NOT* exist, not even stubs exist for them
A few more exist but I'm also doing something different: supporting execution of commands via other shells, e.g. "$:DIR A: /W /S" runs DIR via CMD.EXE.
I'm also working to implement aliasing to external commands/shells/offsets.
In otherwords if you want "copy" to point to code at 9A00:0000 then it will or if you want copy to point to "blart.exe" then it will or you don't want copy at all - then I'm working towards having all of them as possible goals.

Indeed one of my long goals for RJDOS is to be a small shell where you can choose which commands you want to have in the binary and what they are called.
The less commands supported the smaller the binary but with support for calling additional code as when needed. Thus I'm not actually caring too much at the moment about adding certain commands but rather adding code to allow those certain commands to be implemented later or aliased off elsewhere.


> + Other standard DOS commands exist but behave fairly differently, e.g.
> DATE
Some will remain that way for now (or maybe even long term). e.g. I hate the default way that "DATE" asks [ENTER], so I may just keep it that way and add something like "DATE /SET" and get DATE to behave different if I get around to implementing pipes/batch files processing again. Not a priority right now and besides which if someone doesn't like then they can alias off to a DATE program elsewhere if needed or wanted.

I may implement some from of basic BATCH file support early on (none present now) and no promises though on that. For now I'm run some batch files I have via an alias method, e.g. $:blart where blart is blart.bat and the $: tells my shell that I want to run blart.bat via another shell. Not a good idea to run TSR loading batch file via that way but ok for running other batch files.

> + Directory changing is *VERY* different-the CD command does NOT even
> exist!!
I have implemented "CD" and have disabled my own methods - for now.


I hope to put up out a stable "transition" release fairly soon (within a couple of weeks), followed by others on hopefully a fairly frequent schedule.

Note: At the moment I'm running version v0.01c which may become v0.01d soon.

 

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