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Thread: Any DOS program that tests for MS-DOS compatibility? (INT 21 calls)

  1. #1

    Default Any DOS program that tests for MS-DOS compatibility? (INT 21 calls)

    (Was not sure whether to post this question here or in the IBM PC section.)

    Is there a program that can test an alternate DOS for MS-DOS compatibility? Maybe something that exercises various INT 21 calls, and flags the ones that fails? The reason I'm asking is that I want to find some way to test if an open-source DOS project is complete enough to use before running any real programs on it.

    Everyone's heard of FreeDOS, but I'm intrigued by something called "Public Domain DOS", or PDOS. It's at:

    http://pdos.sourceforge.net/

    But it seems to be almost a one-person pet project, and the only sample program is a simple "Hello World." So it's hard to tell if it really is a complete DOS, or if there are major gaps in it, even after glancing through the C source code. There's no list of which INT 21 calls are written and which aren't. (It doesn't help that the latest download version has no binaries, only source code that needs a variety of old 16-bit compilers to build. There are binaries in earlier versions, though.)

    Is there any "DOS compatibility" test suite program in existence? Something that tells you, say, "Memory allocation functions good, network redirector functions unavailable," etc. Or is the only way to find out is throw thousands of programs at it and see which run?

  2. #2

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    the problem isnt int 21h in as much as the problem is all the dos internal tables and lists that everyone uses.

    I am not aware of any compatibility testing programs.

  3. #3
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    Even if there were a generic compatiblity program, it would never really test everything.

    One interesting thing about spelunking through vintage business software is that I come across all kinds of BAD code that was expect to work perfectly under genuine MS-DOS and IBM hardware. Many of these do fall down and go boom under Freedos or certain emulators. And nobody is going to fix these bugs if the software is sitting locked in some collector's safe rotting.

  4. #4
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    I thought there was a tool with Undocumented DOS that identified function calls available.

  5. #5

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    Microsoft came up with a little bit of code to do exactly that, and it ended up costing them $280 million:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AARD_code

  6. #6
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    AARD code was just for detecting DR Dos.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caluser2000 View Post
    AARD code was just for detecting DR Dos.
    Only because DR-DOS was the only non-Microsoft-licensed version of DOS in common use at the time. If PTS-DOS and FreeDOS had been around back then, it probably would've caused the error on them as well.

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