ReactOS 0.3.13 Brings Lots Of Improvements
ReactOS, the free software operating system that aims to be binary compatible with Microsoft Windows XP and Windows 2003 while being completely written from scratch, has a new release out. ReactOS 0.3.13 has nearly 300 bug-fixes including several prominent changes that have piled up since the previous 0.3.12 release last October. However, this Windows-like operating system is still considered to be in an alpha state.
In working on some Phoronix Test Suite improvements for Wine / CodeWeavers today and another code push this afternoon, I checked on the ReactOS site only to find that a new release was made last week and hasn't yet received much attention from the web.
ReactOS 0.3.13 carries support for dynamic video mode switching, improved graphics driver compatibility and fixes for several graphics issues, a completely rewritten heap manager, improved management of audio mixer lines, heavy bug-fixing in the user sub-system, improved application compatibility, support for more Serial ATA (SATA) devices, test case fixes, and memory management improvements that make it more compatible with the Windows NT memory manager.
This new ReactOS release is now compatible with Adobe Flash Player 10.3, Mono 2.8, VLC 1.1.5, and Skype 4.0.0, among other Windows binaries.
More of these ReactOS 0.3.13 changes are talked about at ReactOS.org.
Once more of the Wine support and Windows test profiles for Phoronix Test Suite 3.2-Grimstad are merged, perhaps it will be time to do some initial benchmarking of ReactOS to see where its performance stands.
ReactOS is also participating this year in Google's Summer of Code for student developers looking to get involved with the project. Some ideas are mentioned on their Wiki page.
Some of the GSoC ideas for ReactOS that stick out are ACPI HAL support, EFI boot support, an Intel HD Audio bus driver, a native Windows service for SSH, audio mixer enhancements, a performance data registry, support for layered windows, and a GUI installer.
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