A few weeks ago, I posted a "quick reference" for our new users. This reference showed the most common FreeDOS commands, including a few important notes for new users.
If you're looking to take the next step in FreeDOS, here's a handy quick reference guide to batch programming.
DOS batch programs are simple scripts that "batches up" several commands into one file. Batch programs have some basic flow control that you can use to do loops and jump to different segments of the program. In batch programs, reference variable values by enclosing the variable name with %, such as %PATH%
What do you want to do?
How to do it in a batch program:
Execute another batch script from within a script
Run a command for each file in a list
FOR %%F IN (*.TXT) DO EDIT %%F
or at the command line: C:\> FOR %F IN (*.TXT) DO EDIT %F
The loop variable name can only be one character.
Print a message
ECHO Hello world
Jump to a label in a batch file
:LOOP GOTO LOOP
Test the value of a string
IF %VAR%==Y ECHO Yes
Test if a file exists
IF EXIST TEMP.DAT DEL TEMP.DAT
Test the return value of the previous command
IF ERRORLEVEL 0 ECHO Success
Test the opposite
IF NOT ERRORLEVEL 0 ECHO Fail
Set the shell's search path for programs
or to reference the existing path: PATH %PATH%;C:\MY\BIN
Use ; to separate paths.
Set a variable
Shift the command line options
SHIFT or SHIFT 1 or any n
Reference command line options as %1, %2, and so on.
REM This is a comment
Updating the FreeDOS website
I just wanted to share a quick note that I am planning to update the FreeDOS website. I'm not planning any site redesigns; the website should still look the same. But I am moving to a new web host provider. Among other things, the updated web host will provide and manage https for me.
Dates are approximate, but I'll set up a test site on the new provider in early August, and plan to move the site in mid August. I'll leave the old web host for another week, while DNS changes propagate everywhere. We should be fully on the new web host by late August, and I'll retire the old web host at that time.
The new web host will also include a custom MediaWiki instance for us. Currently, the FreeDOS Wiki runs on a custom MediaWiki hosted at SourceForge. This has worked well, aside from a few unplanned downtimes. Also, the SourceForge-hosted MediaWiki instance doesn't allow outbound emails, which is the main stumbling block to let other users create their own accounts. (Wiki Admins have had to do this, and it's a huge pain; I never remember how to do it.)
I'll plan to move the FreeDOS Wiki in September, well after the website move.
Planning FreeDOS 1.3
We've started planning the FreeDOS 1.3 distribution! We previously decided the next release would be an iteration from FreeDOS 1.2. We wanted the next FreeDOS distribution to remain like classic DOS. For example, we won't "retire" any classic commands utilities from Base. But FreeDOS 1.3 is an opportunity to improve and update several things.
Compatibility remains key. FreeDOS 1.3 will remain 16-bit, and will focus on a single-user command line environment, just like classic DOS. The "Base" package group will still contain everything that replicates the functionality found in MS-DOS, although we plan to promote Zip and Unzip from "Util" to "Base." This is because all FreeDOS packages are really zip files, so it makes sense to include tools in "Base" that let you create and modify your own packages. And Zip and Unzip provide a handy way to backup and restore your system; while not compatible with MS-DOS Backup and Restore, Zip and Unzip provide a modern spin on that functionality.
FreeDOS 1.3 will follow a similar release schedule as used in FreeDOS 1.2. The deadlines are: No new packages after September 30, 2018. No new languages after October 31, 2018. Assuming these deadlines, the expected schedule is: