FOSSIL is a standard protocol for allowing serial communication for telecommunications programs under the DOS operating system. FOSSIL is an acronym for Fido Opus SEAdog Standard Interface Layer. Fido refers to FidoNet, Opus refers to Opus-CBCS BBS, and SEAdog refers to a Fidonet compatible mailer. The standards document that defines the FOSSIL protocol is maintained by the Fidonet Technical Standards Committee.
Serial device drivers
A "FOSSIL driver" is simply a communications device driver. They exist because in the early days of Fidonet, computer hardware was very diverse and there were no standards on how software was to communicate with the serial interface hardware. Initial development of FidoBBS only worked on a specific type of machine. Before FidoBBS could start spreading, it was seen that a uniform method of communicating with serial interface hardware was needed if the software was going to be used on other machines. This need was also apparent for other communicat