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Confusion about how Win95 and namespaces worked | 113 comments | Create New Account
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Confusion about how Win95 and namespaces worked
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 28 2012 @ 12:50 AM EST
In your reply above your statements regarding x86 CPUs and
Win95 are flatly wrong.

The needed enforcement features were added to Intel CPUs
with the 80286 found in IBM PC/AT, with many improvements
(including enough for partial virtualisation) was added in
the 80386, which was the minimum CPU required for Win95.

Windows 95 was based on an enhanced version the Windows/386
VMM modular virtualisation kernel, which is able to share
the hardware between multiple DOS environments and one
multi-process Windows environment.

As a DOS descendant, VMM does not try to enforce any
security and does not prevent 32 bit code from commanding
arbitrary changes to kernel mode code, deliberately or by
accident.

Now all this is irrelevant to the Namespace API, which
exists entirely in user mode. The namespace API is/was a
plugin API similar to GNOME's gstreamer API, but more about
filenames, icons and file properties than about the
individual files.

The namespace API talked to the explorer.exe menu/shell/file
browser process via configuration files, shared memory and
other IPC mechanisms and resided in one or more DLLs used by
both explorer.exe, the system common dialogs DLL (to
implement the common open dialog) and by applications that
need to deal with it directly, such as the predecessor of MS
Outlook (Marvel) and PerfectOffice.

The kernel and its VMM/VxD syscall interface knows nothing
about this GUI abomination, which keeps getting in the way
of users who actually know what a directory and file name is
(at a user level). This is still true (as far as I know) of
the namespace API in Windows 7 and probably Windows 8 too
(Windows 5 and later runs exclusively on the newer NT kernel
created around the same time as Linux, but using VMS concept
rather than UNIX concepts).

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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