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Here is a handful of information for programmers interested in developing for OpenDOS.

Developing for OpenDOS is not really different than writing programs for other DOS-es, inluding the-one-and-only MS-DOS. Caldera OpenDOS 7.01 is fully compatible with MS-DOS 6.22 as long as we speak in terms of documented features, APIs etc. The situation will most probably change dramatically when Caldera will make the system source code available for all programmers. From this point on we will be able to develop more robust, compatible and highly integrated with system applicatio ns than for any other DOS available.

Until then, however, there are only a few things that differ OpenDOS from other DOS-es, namely:

  • Integrated networking support with Novell Personal Networking package
    Note that source for Personal Networking will not be released together with the source for other OS components.
  • MultiTasker software shipped with OpenDOS
  • TaskSwitcher software also included in standard distribution
  • Stacker compression software

What tools to use?

You can use virtually every DOS programming tool you have ever used or you wanted to use. These include:

  • DJGPP -- DJ Delorie's excellent DOS port of the famous Unix GCC compiler.
    In short: DJGPP is a 32-bit DPMI programming environment capable of producing 32-bit applications working in i386 Protected Mode using the DPMI interface. It is also possible to create applications for the Win95/WinNT p latforms. DJGPP supports all types of development libraries: graphics, database, games and more. The compiler comes with an extensive set of Unix-compatible tools and utilities. DJGPP/GCC can serve as a front-end for other programming languages. Currently supported are: C, C++, Objective C, Pascal, Fortran. To learn more about it see DJGPP Home Page.

  • DOS ports of GNU tools
    • Debuggers like GDB, edebug32
    • Editors: Emacs - one of the best and most powerful tools for editing any kind of text documents including source code.
    • Script languages
    • Macro processors
    • Other programming languages like ADA, Lisp, SmallTalk and many more
    • Dozens of other tools - see the GNU archives for full list of supported software

  • Borland/Tubo C/C++/Pascal compilers
    A set of programming tools well known to many of us

  • WATCOM C/C++
    One of the best commercial compilers available. The compiler is capable of producing both 16-bit real mode and 32-bit protected mode DOS applications.

  • Symantec C/C++
    Good compiler from Symatec Corp.

  • Microsoft C/C++/Pascal compilers

  • All commercial, shareware and freeware assemblers
    NASM, A86, TASM or MASM and many others

  • All DOS libraries and programming utilities available

Where to find help on programming with/for OpenDOS?

Look for it in one (or all) of these three places:
  • OpenDOS Unofficial FAQ
  • OpenDOS Developers Mailing List
    This list, as well as the other OpenDOS lists, gives you the opportunity to as questions to thousands of programmers around the world. Many of them use DJGPP and you may also want to subscribe to the DJGPP mailing list where many OpenDOS-related questions is also asked.
  • Caldera OpenDOS Pages

In one of these places you will find answers to your questions.

Page Copyright © 1997 Mark Habersack
Graphics Copyright © 1997 Rob Hommel
Any problems with this page should be reported to the webmaster.

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