8 Replies - 1340 Views - Last Post: 12 August 2009 - 10:13 PM

#1 crazyjugglerdrummer  Icon User is offline

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Do you think windows will get a big rewrite someday?

Posted 11 August 2009 - 05:44 PM

The windows code base is largely written in C, and contains millions of lines of code. It is still written in C and maintained because of the need for backward compatibility, and the fact that they don't want to rewrite anything unless they have to; it works fine now, why fix it? But isn't windows just going to keep getting bigger and uglier as more and more layers of code are added? I know micro$oft would love a nice modular codebase, like one in C# or C++. It would be easier to maintain than one mostly in C.

So will it happen sometime in the future (a big windows rewrite)? Mac OS X did it, but they didn't completely drop backward compatibility, taking more of a "ok we're upgrading our OS, if you want your programs to still work, here's how you can upgrade them" approach toward its vendors.

EDIT: Of course you can't write an OS in C#, as C# needs a VM to run. whoops :)

This post has been edited by crazyjugglerdrummer: 11 August 2009 - 06:07 PM


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Replies To: Do you think windows will get a big rewrite someday?

#2 RudiVisser  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do you think windows will get a big rewrite someday?

Posted 11 August 2009 - 05:55 PM

Probably because there's not much point, the WinAPI is very substantial and not at all a hinderance on development.

It can't be written completely in C# due to the requirement of native code at the kernel level. Since an Operating System is merely a collection of applications, there is of course nothing stopping them from writing core components in C# or related languages, kindof like WMI is now a core part of the operating system, as is PowerShell. Windows 7 could be considered a "big rewrite".

Another thing to justify this point is the integrated role that IE played, it no longer exists.. But it used to be a damn huge (and critical) part of the operating system.

This post has been edited by MageUK: 11 August 2009 - 05:56 PM

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#3 Tom9729  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do you think windows will get a big rewrite someday?

Posted 12 August 2009 - 08:52 AM

I would like to see a rewrite, I just don't think it's very realistic. A better solution I think would be to phase out a lot of the legacy baggage that Windows has been carrying and use some kind of virtualization for backwards compatibility (XP mode?).

An OS could certainly be written in a managed language (C#), but again it would take a lot of work to rewrite with no immediate benefit (and questionable long term benefits).

Apple didn't rewrite Mac OS, they essentially went out and bought a new OS and called it Mac OS X.

Edit: Interesting, I hit quote in another thread about an hour ago and it carried it to this one?

This post has been edited by Tom9729: 12 August 2009 - 08:53 AM

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#4 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do you think windows will get a big rewrite someday?

Posted 12 August 2009 - 10:05 AM

That's exactly what I was thinking Tom.

At some point, they have to cut off backwards support (aside from the virtualization possibility above) simply because it is choking off new innovation, et al.
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#5 Core  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do you think windows will get a big rewrite someday?

Posted 12 August 2009 - 12:11 PM

@crazyjugglerdrummer Of course you can write an OS in C#. What about the Singularity project?

I would assume that Microsoft will steadily change the structure of Windows. They will probably change the kernel, then adapt an updated version of WinAPI to reflect the new capabilities. This is a standard product lifecycle - it gets updated, but it takes time for it to completely replace what once was the main codebase.
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#6 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do you think windows will get a big rewrite someday?

Posted 12 August 2009 - 12:17 PM

I think Windows 7 may be the beginning of a rewrite (not a complete rewrite). I know lots of features of Windows 7 were new from the ground up, and I believe (WIll research this to be sure) that the kernel Windows 7 runs on is a new kernel, different from the kernel XP runs on
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#7 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do you think windows will get a big rewrite someday?

Posted 12 August 2009 - 12:30 PM

Window Vista was the last major rewrite.
It laid the foundations for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008.

Vista: 6.0.6002
Win 7: 6.1.7600.16385

Win7 is a service pack on Vista.
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#8 RudiVisser  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do you think windows will get a big rewrite someday?

Posted 12 August 2009 - 01:53 PM

View PostAdamSpeight2008, on 12 Aug, 2009 - 11:30 AM, said:

Win7 is a service pack on Vista.

lol ^_^
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#9 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do you think windows will get a big rewrite someday?

Posted 12 August 2009 - 10:13 PM

I don't know is Windows will ever have a huge overhawl, I mean, after all they are using files from Windows 98 in Vista. But who knows, maybe that is reason enough for them to go through the trouble of updating the files and everything to increase security (I doubt it).

I think something will have to happen that changes the industry considerably before Microsoft will worry about updating all the OS files.
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