Saturday, June 29, 2019

FreeDOS is 25 years old today!

Twenty-five years ago, I had an idea that we could write our own version of DOS and give it away for free. I shared the idea on Usenet newsgroups (the "social media" of the 1990s) and the response was an overwhelming "You should do that."

So on June 29, 1994, I announced a free DOS project that would soon become "FreeDOS":
ANNOUNCEMENT OF PD-DOS PROJECT:
A few months ago, I posted articles relating to starting a public
domain version of DOS.  The general support for this at the time was
strong, and many people agreed with the statement, "start writing!"
So, I have...

Announcing the first effort to produce a PD-DOS.  I have written up a
"manifest" describing the goals of such a project and an outline of
the work, as well as a "task list" that shows exactly what needs to be
written.  I'll post those here, and let discussion follow.

If you are thinking about developing, or have ideas or suggestions for
PD-DOS, I would appreciate direct email to me.  If you just want to
discuss the merits or morals of writing a PD-DOS, I'll leave that to
the net.  I'll check in from time to time to see how the discussion is
going, and maybe contribute a little to what promises to be a very
polarized debate!  :->

I am excited about PD-DOS, and I am hoping I can get a group started!
And twenty-five years later, FreeDOS is still here!

On this 25th anniversary, I wanted to thank all the FreeDOS developers who have helped make FreeDOS happen, and to everyone who keeps FreeDOS going today.

There are too many of you to name, but FreeDOS wouldn't have got off the ground if not for Pat Villani (who wrote our kernel) and Tim Norman (who wrote our FreeDOS command.com shell) and Morgan "Hannibal" Toal (who set up our first website). And I have to recognize John Price, Jim Tabor, Bart Oldeman and Jeremy Davis, who each took their turn as kernel maintainer. Also Steffen, Tom, Blair, Brian, Joe, Bernd, Eric, Florian, Shane, Paul, Raster, Gregory, Alain, Arkady, Mike, Imre, Gregory, Aitor, and Russ for your early and ongoing contributions.

So many people have contributed to FreeDOS in one way or another, especially in recent years as we released FreeDOS 1.0, FreeDOS 1.1, FreeDOS 1.2, and now prepare for FreeDOS 1.3. I'd like to thank Tom Ehlert for his excellent contributions and advice, Eric Auer for his continued work, Rugxulo for his help and conversation, and Jerome Shidel for his outstanding work on rewriting the FreeDOS installer and package system.

I know I could go on forever, so I'll just list a few more names by way of saying "Thank you." Wilhelm, Jack, Dale, Kevin, rar4, Lucho, Charles, and everyone else - you are awesome!

There are lots more people to recognize, and I apologize that I have missed some of you. There are literally too many people to name. FreeDOS is really a community effort, and we would not be here without you.

Thank you to everyone!

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