Wednesday, 26 November 2014 20:32

Enjoy the New ReactOS Explorer

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So finally the new ReactOS Explorer has arrived!

The new ReactOS Explorer is much more compatible, stable, and comes with more features than the current (and now old) explorer. We expect it to be a big quality jump in terms of usability, and the rockstar feature of the upcoming 0.4 release. Just keep reading to discover more about it!

Our first paid developer.

As you may know, a year ago, and thanks to an old fundraising supported by all our fans and users, we were able to hire our first developer: David Quintana. His main objective was to finish the explorer-new implementation. Explorer-new was the "codename" of our tries about creating a new implementation of the Explorer in order to improve its usability while being less "hackish" than the current one.

Explorer-new a couple of months ago!

The Shell32 and Explorer

Probably saying that explorer(-old) was hackish is unfair. Explorer, as you already may know, depends heavily on shell32.dll and co, but around 0.2.0 release those components' implementations with regards to Explorer were almost nonexistent. That forced ReactOS developers to squeeze their brains trying to create an explorer implementation able to run in a greenish 0.2.0 ReactOS that lacks most of the needed APIs. A task that probably was a nightmare to get working properly! A task just for a brave guy: Martin Fuchs. Thank you Martin!

Explorer-new development.

However a ReactOS Dev, Thomas Bluemel, realized that the current implementation(at that time), although useful, would have to be inevitably rewritten in the mid/longterm. First because it was preventing alternative shells from working in ReactOS, but also because the workarounds implemented were limiting its own usability.

So Thomas started creating the Explorer-new project with two objectives in mind: Developing Explorer-new against Windows 2003 to ensure perfect compatibility, and splitting correctly the features between Explorer and Shell32 instead the workarounds and glue placed. His work was amazing, and soon he had his baby, the explorer-new, able to work in almost a decent state in Windows.

But as you can correctly guess, the shell32 APIs were (still) not there so explorer-new was not working in ReactOS yet.

Some years later, after Thomas, Andrew Hill went into the Explorer-new project. Several libraries were picked from Wine, cleaned and refactored, and at the same time several new pieces were added to try to support explorer-new properly. This effort was nice, but still a lot of work was needed to even think about having an almost usable Explorer-new in ReactOS.

What a Microsoft mess!

Giannis Adamopoulos come later into scene. He is the man responsible of documenting how Microsoft Explorer was working in Windows. As you can see in the picture Giannis made, the mess of classes is a nightmare. Documenting properly these classes was a hard work but it was absolutly needed. We could have decided to find an alternative implementation but that would have led us towards new incompatibilities such as, for example, incorrect theming support.

And finally, thanks to your donations, David was hired later last year. The objective: Developing any APIs and fixing any bugs needed to have Explorer-new perfectly running. During his work, a lot of bugs were found that vaey from message handling issues to focus and z-order ones. The whole ReactOS Team cooperated with David to fix them. Giannis expertise has been very helpful during these coding months.

Explorer-new waiting to have its tray fixed...

Special thanks to Huw Campbell, the man responsible of developing drag and drop support in explorer-new, and to all the ReactOS Donators, Supporters, Fans, Testers, and Lovers who have been actively helping with their patience, money, code and feedback to make it real.

Bye, Bye Explorer! Welcome Explorer-new!

We've just merged the explorer-new into ReactOS, so from now on, daily build will be using explorer-new as the default user interface. It has been widely tested, however it's pretty normal to find odd bugs happening or potential issues until it reaches the "99% perfection" state. Please report any issues you discover, so we can address them as soon as possible.

We hope you can really enjoy this new "toy".

ReactOS Community Edition is now one step closer ;)

Víctor Martínez

Víctor Martínez is the current ReactOS PR Team coordinator focused in partnerships and win-win strategies. After funding his own strategy company, he has been working as an operations and strategy advisor for several companies based in Russia, USA, and Europe. When he is not transforming Weakness into Revenue Streams, he is messing and breaking ReactOS Code.


  • Comment Link Violated by the Header Thursday, 27 November 2014 12:57 posted by Violated by the Header

    The header on this site is frigging annoying! It's way too huge! And there's an intermediate size before the small screen version where the SHOP menu item wraps under the others and makes the header bar even taller!

    I know a bunch of dumb hipsters things it's "cool" and "trendy" to have these huge color changing fixed headers, but in reality they're just distracting, disruptive, and make it harder to read the actual content of the page.

    Ditch the fixed header! I know where I can find the teal one: at the top of the page!

    Please, always put usability over hype and "trends"! Please!

  • Comment Link kad77 Thursday, 27 November 2014 13:22 posted by kad77

    Kudos on the release. Totally agree with the first comment about the header on the page. I could not even see the entire screenshot at once b/c of it! I'm using a typical Windows 7 / Firefox setup, which the typical 1366x768 screen. What use case are you designing for? 1080p???

    If you are going to keep the bar, think of the users for God's sake and shrink it 50% vertical. Please. Thanks again for volunteering your time on this fantastic and pioneering project.

  • Comment Link nicoalta01 Thursday, 27 November 2014 13:25 posted by nicoalta01

    good really good if I grow up I want to add to reactos dev

  • Comment Link bonbonboi Thursday, 27 November 2014 14:57 posted by bonbonboi

    1st Congratulations! 2nd For kad77, Violated by the Header: There is no any issue with this site layout, please fix your system.

  • Comment Link Zfreeze Thursday, 27 November 2014 16:12 posted by Zfreeze

    Awesome release. Gotta try this out!

  • Comment Link Zalando Thursday, 27 November 2014 18:50 posted by Zalando

    Well done. Looks and feels more like MS Windows.

  • Comment Link SineWave Thursday, 27 November 2014 20:01 posted by SineWave

    It's funny to see Linux icons on a ReactOS desktop. :) Great move!

    Explorer looks great!

    Keep up the great great work, guys!


  • Comment Link Chrisanthos Thursday, 27 November 2014 20:01 posted by Chrisanthos

    Lovely!!! I hope one day to can say, BYE BYE Windows!!!

  • Comment Link E.Z. Duzzit Friday, 28 November 2014 04:55 posted by E.Z. Duzzit

    Awesome news! R.I.P. old explorer.

  • Comment Link Michael Friday, 28 November 2014 09:25 posted by Michael

    Awesome work guys! I ll try this asap

  • Comment Link CSRedRat Friday, 28 November 2014 10:41 posted by CSRedRat


  • Comment Link falde Friday, 28 November 2014 13:35 posted by falde

    Does it work on Windows 8?

  • Comment Link wejick Friday, 28 November 2014 14:58 posted by wejick

    Great congratulation guys for this milestone :D , you all are awesome

  • Comment Link Adam Evil Saturday, 29 November 2014 22:31 posted by Adam Evil

    Tested r65521 in virtualbox. A massive improvement.
    I thought explorer_new was going to stagnate; boy time flies fast!
    Congratulations to the ReactOS team.

    Not far from ReactOS 0.4.0 I guess? ;)

    - Evil

  • Comment Link Ade Malsasa Akbar Sunday, 30 November 2014 16:46 posted by Ade Malsasa Akbar

    I was waiting for React OS final since 2008. Yes, I am curious as always and will wait until the end. It is awesome to have a free OS with 100% compatibility with Windows drivers and applications. Thank you, React OS and community!

  • Comment Link x Wednesday, 03 December 2014 10:33 posted by x

    Is there a link to download the latest explorer new by itself or do i have to download the whole iso again (just grabbed it about a week beforehand)?

  • Comment Link castarco Sunday, 14 December 2014 22:40 posted by castarco

    There aren't news about memory management or about the Oracle's JVM support? :p . Anyway, what's stopping me to use ReactOS is the lack of support for modern filesystems u.u , I need to handle "big" partitions and "big" files. Meanwhile I'm using Wine and CrossOver to fill the gap.

    May the force be with you.

  • Comment Link E.Z. Duzzit Tuesday, 16 December 2014 04:56 posted by E.Z. Duzzit

    I wouldn't expect it to happen for a long time.... the work on the memory management has apparently halted and that is absolutely essential for filesystems support to happen. Once that is complete there will also be the extra bonus of the whole OS running better and more apps will run too :)

  • Comment Link castarco Friday, 19 December 2014 09:57 posted by castarco

    The last two comments (before this comment) are clearly spam. You should improve the spam filter ^_^U .


  • Comment Link ¿Spiced Ham? Tuesday, 23 December 2014 20:43 posted by ¿Spiced Ham?

    Holy CRAP!
    This article has become quite the Spam Magnet.


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