(Free)DOS development wishlist

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This article doesn't necessarily relate strictly to FreeDOS, but presents rather a general list of things that the FreeDOS community needs nowadays.

Creating/maintaining FreeDOS packages

  • Cyclically making sure that all we have packaged so far is still up to date.
  • Creating packages for FreeDOS software that are not packaged yet.
  • Porting existing non-DOS software to DOS.
  • Nagging old shareware authors to open their ancient source code to the community under an OSI-approved license.

Developing user tools

  • An http/https browser that works with today's web pages (CSS3, HTML5, JavaScript, etc.).
  • Picture viewer/converter, similar to the (non-free) SEA DOS Viewer.
  • Extend one of the existing network stacks to support IPv6.
  • Create a FreeDOS installer that can be used for FreeDOS v1.2.
  • Inter-connectivity tools to transfer files between a FreeDOS box and another PC. For example MSDOS had INTERLNK. Maybe an NFS browser. Or a free connectivity tool similar to the old LapLink tool (or File Maven, which is not free).

Developing low-level drivers and kernel improvements

  • First of all, take a look at existing bug reports and feature requests.
  • Drivers for modern, unsupported hardware:
    • Sound: Most modern sound cards (especially PCI ones) do not have DOS drivers. An option could be to have drivers that provide a VBE/AI interface that new apps could use.
    • Network: Many current Ethernet cards and WiFi cards do not have a packet driver for DOS. (This is especially a problem for WiFi.)
    • SATA drives in AHCI mode: Currently, FreeDOS only supports IDE or SATA in 'legacy' mode, but newer PCs may not include a legacy option.
    • Support for booting from UEFI BIOSes.
  • Support for GPT partitions within the FreeDOS kernel and associated tools (such as Format, Fdisk, Chkdsk, etc.)
  • Wider/better/easier USB support. Especially for mass storage, an open-source driver would make it possible to mount any USB fob drive as a DOS drive. (This would be very useful these days.)
  • Add support in the kernel and associated disk tools for sector sizes different than 512 bytes (at least in the range 512-4096).
  • Implementing something better than FAT32 in the FreeDOS kernel, that supports journaling (such as ext3?).