FreeDOS Environment Library

I was leafing through some old email, and saw this note to me from Aitor, from when I was on vacation (Scotland). Aitor is creating a general library that will allow FreeDOS apps to extend themselves, to do things that DOS normally does not do.

IMO, this is a good idea. DOS compatibility is, of course, important. But this is a reminder that we always need to think "outside the box"of MS-DOS compatibility. Where possible, we should seek to extend the limitations of DOS programming, so that we can make FreeDOS more usefulfor people (general users, and programmers.)


[...] Well, that was my hope. I have a temporary webpage with a couple of explanations here: web page. I will post/create something when I have something decent created.

Next piece to be touched is to create a START program which is somewhat more complete than Joe's. I have started with it, and I am still programming some stuff (see the last link of the previous page).

As for the example programs, I will also include small binary utils (hoping to use same naming convenctions as the whole FreeDOS):
RELATED TO LINKS:
mklinkmake a link
startlnkopening a link with start
RELATED TO START:
start opening a file
convert convert a file from a type to another
lsact list actions available for a file (ex. 'view','edit','print')
findapp looks for the most popular apps for DOS, and configures START accordingly

Sample commandlines:

 C:\>MKLINK EDIT C:\DOS\BIN\EDIT.EXE
 EDIT.LNK created
 C:\>STARTLNK EDIT
 <opens editor>
 
 C:\>START MYTEXT.TXT
 <opens editor with this file>
 C:\>CONVERT C:\MYPROG.EXE COM
 <calls EXE2BIN>
 C:\>CONVERT C:\MYFILE.DVI PS
 <calls DVIPS>
 C:\>LSACT MYFILE.TXT
 Open
 Print
 C:\>START /A=Print MYFILE.TXT
 <calls COPY MYFILE.TXT >PRN>
 C:\>_

[..] I also had another idea: with the basic package, the following directory will be installed:

 C:\DOS\ENV\DOS

containing links to some FreeDOS apps that are always installed, like this:
DOSBox.LNK (pointing to FreeCOM)
Editor.LNK (pointing to EDIT)

This is intended to be a common 'program group' that a GUI designed for FreeDOS would have. This way, you install a new standard utility for DOS, and put a link file there.

Thanks!

-Aitor