Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 11th Jul 2005 08:43 UTC, submitted by OS2World News Master
OS/2 and eComStation Many OS/2-eCS users knows that we are currently requesting signatures to ask IBM to open source OS/2 (or at least the OS/2 components that are possible to be opened). We are getting close to send the petition, so if you haven't sign yet, go ahead!
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Not so easy
by Anonymous on Mon 11th Jul 2005 09:03 UTC
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I dont think this will help much. This came up before and somebody mentioned that there is source code in OS/2 that is licensed and IBM cant open source. There is source from Microsoft in there somewhere to (OS/2 was a collaboration all the way at the beginning remember?) and it would cost IBM money to remove those parts.

But hey sign the petition anyway. It might just help.

Reply Score: 0

re: Not so easy
by l3v1 on Mon 11th Jul 2005 09:08 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

Of course it would cost money. But thing is, IBM as already spent quite an amount of money on open source, maybe they'll find this also worth spending. I never really used OS/2, still I signed the petition because I find it [i.e. opening parts or the whole OS/2] would be quite good. IMHO the problem doing it lies not in having too much MS code in it, but that it [OS/2] is still being used in quite a lot of places around the globe [think ATM].

Reply Score: 2

Re: Not so easy
by Anonymous on Mon 11th Jul 2005 09:09 UTC
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"There is source from Microsoft in there somewhere"

most notably parts of the file system. But I think IBM removed the Microsoft bits a long time ago. OS/2 in its current incarnation (Warp 4.52) is as license free as it gets. But some of the large customers (yes they exist - the German "Postbank" for example) could start to look funny.

Still, I signed the petition and hope for the best.

regards,
Stephan

Reply Score: 0

IBM isn't a charity
by Anonymous on Mon 11th Jul 2005 09:33 UTC
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They only support OSS if it's profitable for them. There is no profit to be made by open-sourcing OS/2 and open-sourcing a big closed-source commercial piece of software isn't trivial (many licensed parts, needed clean-ups to protect the corporate image, etc.) either. Also most people who actually know their way around the OS/2 source base no longer work at IBM / have retired.
I think there's no hope.

Reply Score: 0

RE: IBM isn't a charity
by Qetzlcoatl on Mon 11th Jul 2005 10:00 UTC in reply to "IBM isn't a charity"
Qetzlcoatl Member since:
2005-07-06

You are misguided if You think about profit in aspect of direct sales only. ;)
As of IBM, most significant part of its profit came from services not from hardware or software sales, IMHO.
Anyway, not only sales and services affect profit. Do You hear about advertisement, marketing or PR? ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: IBM isn't a charity
by lord-storm on Tue 12th Jul 2005 14:04 UTC in reply to "RE: IBM isn't a charity"
lord-storm Member since:
2005-07-12

I agree with this statement mainly in full. Profit is in many ways directly contributed by sales and service that IBM have become almost bleading edge.

Microsoft products are not the reason IBM are rich they just help contribute. IBM can sell their hardware at a good price because they do so much with Open Source. Sun on the otherhand have just got into the market with open solaris.

Hardware is always going to be needed with bloat of todays software.

What could be enhanced by open source WARP.
*-Linux wine project maybe
*-ReactOS
*-FreeDos based projects maybe?

Maybe a fully GPL based licence is required but one with flexabillity. I personaly dont want to see thousands of WARPOS with mainly non existent changes to underlying code structure this wont promote growth.

Reply Score: 1

On line Petitions
by Anonymous on Mon 11th Jul 2005 09:43 UTC
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RE: On line Petitions
by Rodrigo on Mon 11th Jul 2005 09:51 UTC in reply to "On line Petitions"
Rodrigo Member since:
2005-07-06

Anonymous, although the text you pointed is quite interesting and I agree with pretty much all the points, I think it's worthy a try. It all depends on how well the organizers of this petition forward it to IBM later.

Reply Score: 1

RE: On line Petitions
by Matt Giacomini on Mon 11th Jul 2005 16:34 UTC in reply to "On line Petitions"
Matt Giacomini Member since:
2005-07-06

God Dammit!

You mean I wasted 30 seconds.... I wish I could take it back.

I'm just joking around. Yes I agree most of these are useless, but it makes me feel like I'm doing something good in this world ;)

Besides I'm too lazy to write a letter.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: On line Petitions
by Anonymous on Mon 11th Jul 2005 16:54 UTC in reply to "RE: On line Petitions"
Anonymous Member since:
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Yet, if you did write a letter you actually WOULD be doing something good. They would know someone cared enough to write the letter. With the petition, they probably just figure most of the signers just saw it, thought it looked cool, and said "Me, too!"

Reply Score: 0

OS/2 money...
by The Lone OSer on Mon 11th Jul 2005 10:23 UTC
The Lone OSer
Member since:
2005-07-11

I guess an argument COULD be made that since the recently won antitrust money IBM got in relation to OS/2 was about OS/2, then some of that money atleast should go back in to OS/2, and prepare it as an OOS project.
However, I think IBM would still rather keep OS/2 on a back shelf somewhere to forever collect dust then have it out in the community again at large (eCS to me is a very closed product meant for a specific userbase of existing customers, the pricing point of this product is pretty much proof positive of this).
And i'm not sure how many people have actually played around with OS/2 as of late, but when I reinstalled it (Warp 4) a few months back just for memory sake, even though I used to love it, it certainly reminded me how dated the OS really is, and I am sorry to say, but I really don't see a need for it any more in the public arena other then for the passionate few.

Reply Score: 1

oh also...
by The Lone OSer on Mon 11th Jul 2005 10:33 UTC
The Lone OSer
Member since:
2005-07-11

I HIGHLY recommend this petition be delivered to IBM in person as it is harder to flog someone off then it is to press delete on an email inbox.
Make several copies, one for PR, another for Project Management, another for CEO etc. get the heads of the different departments attention.. it may only take ONE of these guys to go "Hey, what a great idea" to get the ball rolling... I'd certainly not send it to just one person.
Anyway, best of luck.

Reply Score: 2

Why not just buy the source?
by Anonymous on Mon 11th Jul 2005 10:49 UTC
Anonymous
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It worked for Blender.

<-BBlalock->

Reply Score: 0

RE: Why not just buy the source?
by Ronald Vos on Mon 11th Jul 2005 15:15 UTC in reply to "Why not just buy the source?"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

I always thought Serenity Systems (eComStation) had the source, but they're apparently only bundling it with their own software.

The definitive 'end-of-support' date is december 2006 according to Wikipedia. That means any revenue from support will end by that date...UNLESS interest pics up and becomes lucrative again. Because I can't imagine support being lucrative if it's spread across 3 platforms (GNU/Linux, Solaris for x86 and OS/2) as it is currently.

Reply Score: 1

Does this mean that eCS/OS2 will be free?
by mini-me on Mon 11th Jul 2005 11:35 UTC
mini-me
Member since:
2005-07-06

If it means that - I am all for it ;)
I own warp4 and was looking into eCS as a hobbyist - but the price is prohibitive - I doubt that IBM will Open Source it though...

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I own warp4 and was looking into eCS as a hobbyist - but the price is prohibitive

I own Warp 4 too (I have no idea where I got it from), but it won't install itself on any of my PCs (no, I'm not looking for help, I'm not interested in installing it anymore). I also looked at eCS, but the pricetag is E 205, which I find too high for something just to mess with.

However, look at the pricetag from a business perspective. If a company can revitalize an old computer for E205, it will save them the cost of buying a whole new computer + licences (and no, Linux isn't suitable for revitalizing old machines, get over it). It would give them an OS that's fully supported (unlike Win2000 and earlier versions), which supports things like Mozilla/FF and OpenOffice.

You see, from that point of view, E 205 isn't all that bad.

Reply Score: 5

Knut
by Anonymous on Mon 11th Jul 2005 11:45 UTC
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As I have mentioned often before, there existing the problem with eComStation (eCS).

I don't know, if eCS owns OS/2 Warp or have only lincensed it from IBM.

If eCS have buyed it from IBM, then IBM is the wrong address to ask for make OS/2 OpenSource.

If eCS have lincensed it from IBM, then it would be a unloyal step to eCS if they put it under an OpenSource license.
eCS licensed it, to sell as only one a modern OS/2. So IBM would be betray eCS if they put OS/2 under an OpenSource license. As a result IBM losts of its image to other firms. Because if they lincene products to other firms, the other firms must consider, that IBM put its Software soon under an OpenSource license, where the firm itself have payed money for using it.

Reply Score: 0

Security Issue
by Anonymous on Mon 11th Jul 2005 13:11 UTC
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I don't think it will happen. Here in Canada, a number of the banks and ATMs still use OS/2. I highly doubt that IBM would open source something so critical.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Security Issue
by Anonymous on Mon 11th Jul 2005 13:32 UTC in reply to "Security Issue"
Anonymous Member since:
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I highly doubt it would make a diference. The version in the ATMs would be striped at least, maby even modefied. You have extremly limited input/output and the version of OS/2 used is indetermend.

Reply Score: 0

v Let give it a try
by Anonymous on Mon 11th Jul 2005 13:12 UTC
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

os/2 is licensed to m$. beos is solely the creation of be inc. wouldn't it make more sense to petition beos opensource of palm inc?

Actually, Be used licensed proprietary software as well. That's the main reason it isn't opensourced (considering Palm doesn't do much with it anymore anyway).

Reply Score: 1

why would
by Anonymous on Mon 11th Jul 2005 19:09 UTC
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anyone want to still use OS/2. My lord it has to be the worst piece of interface design ever thrust upon an unsuspecting computing public. I had the misfortune of having to install OS/2 on a machine recently to test browser support for a product our company was working on and I can say without any doubt that OS/2 is down right aweful. The installation process and the usability of the interface was just horrid to say the least. I am not sure why anyone in their right mind would want to still use this piece of junk when there are so many good operating system alternatives out there right now. I think the Open Source community could find better things to do than bring this zombie back to life.

Reply Score: 0

RE: why would
by Sparrowhawk on Mon 11th Jul 2005 19:40 UTC in reply to "why would "
Sparrowhawk Member since:
2005-07-11

You clearly were not running eComStation. IBM's own Warp 4.x certainly has a ghastly installation routine, one of the very worst around in fact.

Compare this to eCS 1.2 which is about as easy an installation as you could wish for.

As for bad UI design? Funny how so many other modern OS's are copying the Object-Oriented approach of the Workplace Shell...

You would use it if your business ran OS/2 software, usually in vertical applications.

Or, like me, because although I love my iMac G5 (what a beauty!) and even enjoy my WinXP laptop, nothing quite beats the WPS for elegance and user-centric power/flexibility.

As I said in a post many months ago, this is not a zombie - Up Java, PHP, MySQL, OOo, Firefox, Visualage Smalltalk, PostrgeSQL, etc, etc

Reply Score: 1

RE: why would
by Anonymous on Mon 11th Jul 2005 21:37 UTC in reply to "why would "
Anonymous Member since:
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anyone want to still use OS/2.

Because it's fast (unlike modern Windows flavors), it has a stable desktop API (unlike modern Linux flavors), and it's relatively user-friendly.

My lord it has to be the worst piece of interface design ever thrust upon an unsuspecting computing public.

Could you be more specific? The installation program for OS/2 itself is text-mode at first and then GUI, and it's quite servicable.

The OS itself offers the WorkPlace Shell GUI which is somewhat ugly by default but easily prettied up, but which is also more flexible than most modern GUIs, and its command line is quite powerful when one realizes that Rexx permeates everything (even the GUI).

I had the misfortune of having to install OS/2 on a machine recently to test browser support for a product our company was working on and I can say without any doubt that OS/2 is down right aweful. The installation process and the usability of the interface was just horrid to say the least.

Please be specific. OS/2 has existed in some form for almost 20 years. Which version?

I am not sure why anyone in their right mind would want to still use this piece of junk when there are so many good operating system alternatives out there right now.

Because there *are* no other alternatives if one wants a lightweight, high-performance single user OS that has a decent level of DOS and Win 3.1 support and a stable native API. BeOS, Windows, Linux, and the BSDs all fail to meet the above criteria -- only OS/2 and its eComStation offspring meet those requirements.

I think the Open Source community could find better things to do than bring this zombie back to life.

Yeah, a desktop API that doesn't change drastically every 24 months would be a nice start...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: why would
by Anonymous on Tue 12th Jul 2005 04:31 UTC in reply to "RE: why would "
Anonymous Member since:
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Because there *are* no other alternatives if one wants a lightweight, high-performance single user OS that has a decent level of DOS and Win 3.1 support and a stable native API. BeOS, Windows, Linux, and the BSDs all fail to meet the above criteria -- only OS/2 and its eComStation offspring meet those requirements.

OK, I used OS/2 for a couple of days back in the day and quite enjoyed what I saw there but now youre way off base here with this assertion.

Linux CAN meet the requirements that you mentioned:

Windows 3.1 - I believe that WINE has partial support for the Win32 API but 100% support for Win16. Pretty much any app that doesnt depends on some obscure feature of Windows 3.x (youd be surprised on how many of them existed), chances are that it is going to work.

DOS - Dosbox and/or DOSEMU fits the bill here, including reliable emulation of a SoundBlaster 16 for multimedia apps. Even most of those "demanding" games (like those that used DOS4GW) works without hassle.

Small Footprint - Is there a point in arguing about this? One could perfectly setup one of those lightweight window managers and stay fully productive while on Linux, even more than with OS/2 since Linux tends to have more up to date software available. Id give BeOS a slightly advantage on this topic, since the whole shebang is damn fast with all the bells and whistles turned on.

The single user thing, from where Im standing, is a disadvantage. Not a good thing. Ill concede for the API part. The API/ABI on Linux are moving targets and I dont see that changing anytime soon.

Kind regards,

DeadFish Man

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: why would
by rcsteiner on Tue 12th Jul 2005 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: why would "
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

I originally posted (under Anonymous -- sorry, I didn't notice my auto-login didn't take until too late):

Because there *are* no other alternatives if one wants a lightweight, high-performance single user OS that has a decent level of DOS and Win 3.1 support and a stable native API. BeOS, Windows, Linux, and the BSDs all fail to meet the above criteria -- only OS/2 and its eComStation offspring meet those requirements.

and you responded:

OK, I used OS/2 for a couple of days back in the day and quite enjoyed what I saw there but now youre way off base here with this assertion.

No, I'm really not (as you appear to agree at least in part below). :-)

Windows 3.1 - I believe that WINE has partial support for the Win32 API but 100% support for Win16. Pretty much any app that doesnt depends on some obscure feature of Windows 3.x (youd be surprised on how many of them existed), chances are that it is going to work.

While I've heard that Wine is relatively decent at running some Win32 programs (as Odin is under OS/2), Wine simply isn't as easy to use under Linux as WinOS2 is under OS/2. Once I can get a newer distro to install satisfactorily on one of my boxes, I plan on running Wine through its paces again. I have lots of software I can test. :-)

DOS - Dosbox and/or DOSEMU fits the bill here, including reliable emulation of a SoundBlaster 16 for multimedia apps. Even most of those "demanding" games (like those that used DOS4GW) works without hassle.

I've not personally succeeded in getting programs like Executor, New Deal Office, the SEA3 graphics viewer, or the QuickView AVI movie viewer to work under DOSEMU, but all of those run just fine in an OS/2 VDM.

DOSBOX is Yet Another Program that won't run under the slightly old Linux versions that I currently have installed, so I can't comment on it. :-(

Small Footprint - Is there a point in arguing about this?

Yes. Many newer desktop distros require well over a GB of disk space (sometimes two) for a base installation, while a full Warp 4 install plus WinOS2, MMOS2, etc, is roughly 300MB, and while many of the new Live CD distros like DSL don't need any, I've had real problems getting some of them to boot on my ProLiant while OS/2 doesn't have an issue.

The old "mem=exactmap mem=640k@0m mem=63m@1m" trick used to work, but that was before I added a new video card. Now most Linux versions just kernel panic or fail to detect enough memory. Mandrake 8.2 is fine, of course, with just a simple "mem=64m" directive.

For those saying "disk is cheap" -- for some of my older SCSI systems, a GB for a boot filesystem is unacceptable.

Id give BeOS a slightly advantage on this topic, since the whole shebang is damn fast with all the bells and whistles turned on.

BeOS is a very slick system, and I used all of the x86 official releases of BeOS through BeOS 5 Pro, but I finally set it aside because it simply didn't have enough software to compete with OS/2 or Linux. There were too many things I couldn't do. Maybe the BeOS version of DOSBOX would change some of that...

The single user thing, from where Im standing, is a disadvantage. Not a good thing.

In most respects it is. I was just clarifying its single-user nature so folks wouldn't play the "Linux is multi-user" card when I really don't care in my own well-protected single-user LAN context.

Ill concede for the API part. The API/ABI on Linux are moving targets and I dont see that changing anytime soon.

Yes, and neither do I. I understood the need for the libc -> glibc change a few (several?) years ago, but the gtk+1.x -> gtk+2.x change has frankly pissed me off. It has resulted in bloat and some key compatibility issues for very little functional gain, at least that I can see as an end user. People need to THINK when designing their APIs in the first place and do it right the first time...

Reply Score: 1

isn't beos more advance than os/2?
by Anonymous on Mon 11th Jul 2005 19:16 UTC
Anonymous
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isn't beos the most advance os desktop out there for common uses like multimedia, games, web, application programming etc.? so why bother with os/2?

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous Member since:
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> isn't beos the most advance os desktop out there for
> common uses like multimedia, games, web, application
> programming etc.?

No, of course not.

> The API/ABI on Linux are moving targets and I dont
> see that changing anytime soon.

LOL? KDE 4 will be 100% incompatible with KDE 3, both on binary and even source level.

Reply Score: 0

I'm all for it.
by Anonymous on Mon 11th Jul 2005 20:37 UTC
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Except that it can not be done.

IBM has way too many contract, patent and copywrite issues that are involved. They'd never be able to just open source it.

Reply Score: 0

re beos
by Anonymous on Tue 12th Jul 2005 00:14 UTC
Anonymous
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now that you mention it, what has palm done with beos/beia source code? what became of palm os that had beos code in it?

Reply Score: 0

I use OS/2 every day
by Anonymous on Tue 12th Jul 2005 02:19 UTC
Anonymous
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Amazingly enough, OS/2 (eCS 1.2) is still my main OS to this day. I often use BeOS for doing small & quick graphics work, but it's usually OS/2 that I spend my time in. If there's something I really need, like on occassion Quickbooks, I just use it in VirtualPC in OS/2. I use OpenOffice for documents now. Firefox and Thunderbird are standard fare, although I'm still debating moving from Mozilla, as I use the whole suite anyhow. Firefox and Thunderbird just LOOK so much better, even with themes.

Admittedly though, I have a machine for each OS I use. I just happen to spend more time on the OS/2 one, with BeOS a close second. My linux machine runs gnome as it feels more WPS-like (and XFCE sometimes). This machine I'm on now is my wintendo (XP). Linux just tends to have small things that piss me off. Each day I find something new to hate about it. Sure, free is good, and the attention it's getting generates more interest, which means more devs, etc, etc. Just doesn't feel finished-ever. And yes, I have a few distros on my Linux box - LinSpire (even used Lindows), Ubuntu, Fedora Core 4 (tried all of em!). Others that have graced the box are Slack, SuSE, Novell, Mandrake, etc etc. Just ALWAYS something.

Currently the machine OS/2 is on is a 1.8 Ghz P4, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB HD, ac97 audio, Intel nic, etc. The machine is an IBM NetVista X41 (those all in one IBMs). http://www-5.ibm.com/se/news/archive/images/computers/netvista/NetV...)_side_view.jpg I've run it on almost anything though. It fares pretty well, and most people don't realize how much HW support it actually has. I used to use it on my Thinkpad T21 (wirelessly!) but gave that to my dad since I hardly used it. I think the only machine I couldn't get it going on is this Acer Veriton FP2 (another all in one) and it lacks any PS/2 ports, so it doesn't generate INT13 requests (I think that's the KB one) so OS/2 doesn't get past boot, as it's looking for that. I could modify the bootloader, but it wasn't important at the time. I just wanted it on this machine as it has front mic/headphone ports for my VoiceType. Between that and the TouchStream, I could probably never type again. Very Happy

The newest incarnation of OS/2 is eComStration (eCS). http://www.ecomstation.com It's currently at version 1.2, and is basically Warp Server for e-Business 4.5 with a ton of patches, and a lot of niceties thrown in. Many of the small apps that I've purchased throughout time are now included. Boots from CD and all. Most people think it hasn't evolved much, but there is a lot available for it. IIRC the latest update was released about 2 months ago, although things are added to it daily (drivers and the like). Hobbes is still active http://hobbes.nmsu.edu although it's future is in the air atm due to a faculty change there.

FWIW Serenity doesn'town the code, IBM still does. They work with each other. Basically Serenity is IBM's coding crew now. I very much enjoy OS/2. It would be nice, though if Komodo was available for it...

Reply Score: 0