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You can retrieve a copy of this file by anonymous ftp from
`wuarchive.wustl.edu' in directory `systems/msdos/gnuish', as
file `gnuish.tex' for the
Texinfo source and file
`gnuish.inf' for an already formatted
Please help the community by kindly reporting all errors or omissions in this document to the current maintainer. You might also want to contact other authors or contributors: a list of email addresses is given elsewhere in this document (see section Contributors Addresses).
GNUish MSDOS was first organized with small IBM PC's in mind, that is, 8088 and 80286 based systems. Currently, GNUish contains both OS/2 and DOS ports to small machines (most of the OS/2 ports also run under DOS). The work will be called "The GNUish Project" in this document.
For the most part, users of 32-bit systems such as the 80386 should rather take a close look at one of the newer environments based on GNU software (see section Project Mailing Lists).
This document is the work of various people, collected by Darrel Hankerson (current maintainer) and Francois Pinard. The FSF disclaimer (see section Project Definition) has been edited; the original from Richard Stallman appears in the GNUish93 snapshot.
This document contains the following sections:
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is not directly interested in integrating or maintaining ports of GNU software to OS/2 and DOS, because of limited resources. These activities take time away from finishing a complete standalone GNU, which FSF and many in the GNU Project. consider much more important.
However, the organized distribution of such ports started around 1989, under the name GNUish MSDOS. The overall idea is to provide a GNU-like environment for small systems running OS/2 and DOS, easy to get, and easy to install, as far as possible. It contains both ports of GNU software, as well as replacements for non-ported GNU software.
The GNUish Project wants to consider itself as part of the GNU Project, rather than a mere aggregation of binaries. The non-GNU replacements are expected to somewhat comply with the GNU spirit and standards. Ideally, all code should be under the GNU General Public License, should try conforming to the GNU coding standards, and also be fully ANSI. The programs should be such that users can be convinced of the virtues of free software!
The GNU General Public License article 3a) requires that the complete source code be available where programs are distributed in object code or executable form. For convenience, ready-to-execute binaries are also provided for those who do not have the necessary compilers, or do not feel like using them.
When several ports of the same tool exist, one of them has been selected for inclusion in this documentation. This does not means that the selected port is the best possible, it means however that the port seems to be good.
Occasionally, multiple versions of the same program are retained in the collection. Some of this is due to the addition of 16bit OS/2 archives in 1996 (most of these also run under DOS). In addition, authors often implement differing solutions to various limitations of OS/2 and DOS, and it is beneficial to retain these versions.
The GNUish project originated from Thorsten Ohl. It was moderated by Thorsten from its beginning and for a long while. Thorsten originally thought then, giving the project a solid initial impulse, it would bring enough enthusiasm so other programmers will share the porting duties. It now seems that the enthusiasm was more on the users' side than the programmers' side. In these days, many parts of GNUish are almost completely dormant, and most products are quite old relative to the current GNU versions.
The mailing lists associated with GNUish are now completely gone. Fine programming went into GNUish, and the project exists now as a home for the original work (in the `GNUish93' directory) and new work which is GNUish-like. The main interest, as always, is in ports of GNU software to 286-class machines. However, some software has been recently added which users have found essential in the creation of ports. As always, additions to GNUish must meet the spirit of the project.
On the 80386/80486 side, work by DJ Delorie, Michael Johnson, and Eberhard Mattes in bringing GNU C to DOS and OS/2 gave a new momentum for other ports. Besides a variety of libraries, we should especially underline the Manabu Higashida and Hirano Satoshi port of GNU Emacs to MSDOS.
Users with a 386-or-better are advised to consider one of the other environments based on GNU software (see section Project Mailing Lists).