ReactOS 0.3.13 Released

The ReactOS team is proud to announce the release of ReactOS 0.3.13.

This version continues building on the work first previewed in 0.3.12, ranging from memory management improvements to better sound and display control. A Coverity scan also occurred between 0.3.12 and 0.3.13, helping the team clean up potential security holes and also help improve general stability by enforcing more care in memory operations.

Some of the biggest system changes happened with memory management with the introduction of a new heap manager based on the Windows 2003/Vista architecture, significantly increasing ReactOS’ compatibility with advanced memory allocation types and providing proper kernel mode heap management used by win32k. Performance should also see a significant boost for many memory operations even without the addition of optimizations on top of the new heap. The addition of a debug heap manager late in the release cycle also spurred on a series of fixes to memory usage across ReactOS, from the operating system to bundled applications. These changes should significantly improve system stability, moving ReactOS one step closer to being a viable daily use operating system.

Other improvements include the merging in of work done in the yarotows branch for improved display driver loading and dynamic mode changing, significantly increasing ReactOS’ usability.

During the preparation of this release, 282 bugs were fixed, including 50 regressions with the oldest regression being issue #4811 (“comctl32.dll sync broke Abiword toolbar”). The oldest bug fixed is #1567 “Taskmanager still showing processes while they are closed” (almost 5 years old). 382 new bugs were opened since the release of 0.3.12.

Previous releases 0.3.11 and 0.3.12 were downloaded 238 and 526 thousand times, which totals up to an amazing amount of 764 000 downloads, and a significant increase looks very promising.

Some of the most important changes:

  • Implemented dynamic video mode switch and improved graphics drivers compatibillity.
  • Fixed several graphic issues.
  • Completely rewritten heap manager with additional debugging capabilities for detecting out of bounds operations.
  • Improved management of audio mixer lines, preventing application sounds from becoming garbled due to overlapping lines.
  • Heavy bug fixing in user subsystem ( improved handling of user mouse input, messages and timers).
  • Visual artifacts fixed in some apps as Firefox and Thunderbird.
  • Fixed several bugs in the installer.
  • Improved apps compatibility: Stellarium 0.10.2, LHelp, winpcap,FlashPlayer 10.1 and Mono 2.8, OllyDbg 1.10, Xenon 2000, VLC 1.1.5, Foobar 2000, Skype 4.0.0 work now.
  • More SATA devices are supported.
  • Lots of test cases were fixed.
  • Many improvements in the memory manager that fix several bugs and make it more compatible with NT memory manager.

The detailed 0.3.13 changelog is also available.

Aleksey Bragin
ReactOS Foundation President
http://www.reactos.org

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