VOS will not be able to proceed as an open source project because of all the proprietary tools and libraries I have had to buy in order to build the infrastructure.
You may be interested in knowing how I plan to write three different versions of Vault OS and have them all run interchangeably using the same data files and communications standards.
DBase III/DBF for the Database. File Sharing under DOS for global archive access. IPX for serverless, decentralized network communications over any Ethernet interface. I2C 1-wire serial protocol for sensing, control and automation. It won't matter if the terminal workstation is running in DOS, Windoze or Linux/BSD. The protocols and standards will remain the same. All embedded units will connect using Ethernet and IPX or else simple I2C master/slave protocols.
There is no server. There are only individual workstations that answer and transmit messages. A terminal looks up the service registry and finds a terminal that has advertised itself as an inventory datastore. Or a weather station. That's where the service comes from on the network, including on the same machine. The .NET Windows version of the terminal edits, searches and updates the same record database for inventory that the text mode version does, all over the common network in Ethernet.
I am currently working on Vault OS implementations in three forms:
1. Rock Solid Text Mode Application (w/occasional X-Mode window) in Powerbasic For DOS using the PB/Vision library. This runs anywhere, on anything, even using a terminal VDU on top of DOS 3.2. Any cheap hardware in the world that could be described as a "PC" and just about any configuration will be able to run this text mode version and it will likely look good on any of them. This is a real mode application that will use EMS and XMS if available, so it could theoretically run on a 286/XT ... or even a PocketPC?
2. A version for .NET in C# using the VG.NET vector library. When I say this thing looks good, you will have to see the screen shots of my Vault OS desktop running to know what I mean. It looks absolutely beautiful. I put their clock sample application (you can download it from the link) as the default clock in the upper righthand corner of the VOS desktop with a few changes. This interface scales to any resolution sized LCD or monitor with anti-aliasing and looks exactly the same at any size.
3. I am getting the SDK and development tools together for this absolutely awesome multithreading OS called BreadBox Ensemble, an environment for DOS that will run on anything over 386 in true color with a complete modern windowed user interface. This port will wait until last but it may end up being the "definitive" version I run in my own shelter. Note that the text mode version listed above will not have the capacity to browse HTML or PDF files without some real jimmyrigging. This is one of the major shortcomings of the text mode version because the ability to search and view a megagigabyte library of PDF files is one of the big attractions of a unified archive of data. For this reason I consider Breadbox to be the "target" port of the Vault OS when I have completed #1 and #2 and have tested them for a while in my own Vault. Note that a slightly older version of New Deal Office 3.2A may be "available" for Vault dwellers who are not ready to shell out $99.00 at the current price for Breadbox.