SVARDOS HELP SYSTEM [20230825][history]

SvarDOS origins (history from the point of view of its creator)

Mateusz Viste says: In the years 2005-2015 I used to perform packaging work for the FreeDOS project. I wasn't pleased with the packaging tool that FreeDOS used back then (FDPKG), so in 2012 I started working on a new package manager, with network support, automatic updates, etc - I named it FDNPKG. Later I also devised a scripted way of generating an "always up to date" FreeDOS CD that I unimaginatively called "all_cd.iso". This CD included FDNPKG and all the FreeDOS packages available at the given moment. I still wasn't satisfied with how FreeDOS clings to its notion of "releases" and that it cannot include some software because of licensing issues, so in 2016 I decided to create my own distribution, that I called Svarog386 (there was also a Svarog86 project that I had created a couple months earlier, dedicated to 8086 machines). Svarog386 naturally relied on the FreeDOS kernel and used the FDNPKG package manager. Then, in 2021, I found it increasingly annoying to look after two separate distributions. Over time, FDNPKG also became a huge piece of protected mode code, and although it was magnificent code, I was no longer happy with it: too many features, too much data processing, too much memory required... In a word: too much fluff. I longed for something simpler, that would do perhaps less, but with more transparency towards the user - and something that would work in real mode with not much RAM, so it could run even on ancient 8086 machines. The result of these thoughts was SvarDOS: a distribution that replaced both Svarog86 and Svarog386, and that came with its own package manager - a much simpler (and in my opinion much more elegant) tool than FDNPKG.