Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st Jan 2008 23:33 UTC
OS/2 and eComStation IBM pretty much slammed the solid oak door on open sourcing os/2. "As stated in our response to your September 2005 letter we have considered the positioning of os/2 and open source several times in the past, and for a variety of business, technical, and legal reasons we have decided to not pursue any os/2 open source projects."
Order by: Score:
What a pity
by B. Janssen on Mon 21st Jan 2008 23:45 UTC
B. Janssen
Member since:
2006-10-11

But anyway, now that this issue has been cleared up, we can move on to other shores.

Reply Score: 7

Just a guess ...
by tomcat on Mon 21st Jan 2008 23:45 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

but ... IBM co-developed parts of OS/2 with MS, so there are probably contractual restrictions which would prevent IBM from releasing the source code.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Just a guess ...
by jonsmirl on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 00:27 UTC in reply to "Just a guess ..."
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

You don't need to guess. I worked on this project. IBM is never going to be able to open source OS/2 unless Microsoft agrees. OS/2 contains complete details on SMB/CIFS something that Microsoft does not want public. Probability that Microsoft will agree to open sourcing OS/2 = zero.

Reply Score: 13

RE[2]: Just a guess ...
by sbergman27 on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 00:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Just a guess ..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

OS/2 contains complete details on SMB/CIFS something that Microsoft does not want public.


Then what did the PFIF just get from Microsoft for 14,000 euros? This year's Betty Crocker cookbook?

Edited 2008-01-22 00:33 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Just a guess ...
by jonsmirl on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 00:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just a guess ..."
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

There is a big difference between a spec from Microsoft which will be chock full of bugs (maybe on purpose) and a working, tested implementation. Did they get the spec for SMB as well as CIFS, or CIFS only?

There are a bunch of other secret MS technologies in OS/2 too. Remember, this was a joint venture between Microsoft and IBM, not an IBM only project. I worked on OS/2 full time and was a Microsoft employee.

Reply Score: 11

RE[4]: Just a guess ...
by jonsmirl on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 00:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Just a guess ..."
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

MS is not going to want to open the code for the HPFS file system. Has the disk format for HPFS ever been made public? MS wrote HPFS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Just a guess ...
by sbergman27 on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 00:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Just a guess ..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Well, a working and tested implementation would be Samba. Jeremy has already described how they would treat the spec. They'll be checking everything out with formal regression tests to make sure the details of the spec actually work with real clients, and then make any changes within those real world constraints.

I'm not disagreeing with you that MS would be unlikely to OK the release of a FOSS OS/2. I'm just quibbling over that particular reason.

There are a number of things that I can think of off the top of my head that would excite me more than an open source release of OS/2, anyway.

It was a very advanced OS... for its day.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Just a guess ...
by jonsmirl on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 01:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Just a guess ..."
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

You'd be surprised if you saw the source. Half of OS2 is written in x86 assembler. Probably around 2M lines of it. The x86 C compilers weren't very good back then and a decent programmer could easily beat the compiler. RAM was a precious commodity and a lot of work went into reducing the memory footprint. It took about two days to do a complete build. MS didn't even have a network connection to IBM, we mailed floppies to exchange code.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Just a guess ...
by robertojdohnert on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 07:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Just a guess ..."
robertojdohnert Member since:
2005-07-12

IBM doesn't want to Open Source OS/2 for several reasons. Microsoft not even being associated with those reasons. But, with their "commitment" to open source and their inability or desire to even work on this just makes me wonder how deep that commitment runs.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Just a guess ...
by rhyder on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 13:04 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Just a guess ..."
rhyder Member since:
2005-09-28

It would be prohibitively legally complex and expensive and the actual benefits to the open source community are debatable.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Just a guess ...
by psychicist on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 09:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Just a guess ..."
psychicist Member since:
2007-01-27

I didn't know you were a Microsoft employee at the time, but then again I was still in high school. I think this OS/2 thing should be put to rest as a legacy OS. Nice to run on your hardware or in a virtual machine if you can get it or need it, otherwise not really relevant.

I'm actually far more interested in your work on Xorg, particularly concerning Xegl. Will we ever see that completed or in some other way integrated into Xorg?

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Just a guess ...
by jonsmirl on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 14:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Just a guess ..."
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

The group that controls X.org does not want to make X more 3D oriented. So it is pointless to continue working on XEGL when the core X developers won't support the concept. Apparently X is going to stay 2D only until every child in rural India and Uganda has a 3D card. It doesn't seem to matter what users in Europe and America want.

However, I've recently heard that NVidia may be backing a XEGL type system that would be developed through Khronos. No code yet that I am aware of, but the project is being talked about.

I'm currently working on a Linux based embedded audio project at www.digispeaker.com but it's not ready for primetime.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Just a guess ...
by RawMustard on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 09:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just a guess ..."
RawMustard Member since:
2005-10-10

Then what did the PFIF just get from Microsoft for 14,000 euros? This year's Betty Crocker cookbook?


ROFL ;)

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Just a guess ...
by Lobotomik on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 07:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Just a guess ..."
Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

AND (at least in its day) a complete, better-than-Microsoft's, implementation of Windows. Now talk about MS opposing the publication of THAT.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Just a guess ...
by BluenoseJake on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 19:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just a guess ..."
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

AND (at least in its day) a complete, better-than-Microsoft's, implementation of Windows. Now talk about MS opposing the publication of THAT.


Uh, OS2 used a full version of Windows 3.1 for Windows apps. It wasn't a better Windows than Windows, but it was a better DOS than DOS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Just a guess ...
by dmantione on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 19:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Just a guess ..."
dmantione Member since:
2005-07-06

Almost correct; OS/2 did (does) use a heavily modified Win3.1 kernel which was (is) a lot more efficient than the original. Other than that, it indeed comes with a full Win3.1 package

Reply Score: 1

Open OS/2
by computrius on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 00:01 UTC
computrius
Member since:
2006-03-26

I would be interesting to see someone do the same thing the haiku project is working tword. To make an open source clone of OS/2.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Open OS/2
by DoctorPepper on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 00:17 UTC in reply to "Open OS/2"
DoctorPepper Member since:
2005-07-12

I would be interesting to see someone do the same thing the haiku project is working tword. To make an open source clone of OS/2.


And maybe we can call it:

"Open Source/who"?

Get it? os/2...open source/who?

Aw, never mind!

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Open OS/2
by flanque on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 01:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Open OS/2"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

What a terrible joke! I modded it up it was so bad. Here's another...

Why should you never iron a four leaf clover?

Because you shouldn't press your luck.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Open OS/2
by DoctorPepper on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 11:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Open OS/2"
DoctorPepper Member since:
2005-07-12

My wife laughed so hard at your joke that she almost passed her quiche through her nose! :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Open OS/2
by Dutch_Cap on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 01:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Open OS/2"
Dutch_Cap Member since:
2007-04-10

"I would be interesting to see someone do the same thing the haiku project is working tword. To make an open source clone of OS/2.


And maybe we can call it:

"Open Source/who"?

Get it? os/2...open source/who?

Aw, never mind!
"
I suggest the logo should be a blue police box.

Reply Score: 2

Shame
by Lazarus on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 00:18 UTC
Lazarus
Member since:
2005-08-10

Its a pity, tho I guess I'm happy enough experimenting with OpenSolaris for the time being.

Reply Score: 4

Workplace Shell
by grat on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 00:22 UTC
grat
Member since:
2006-02-02

I'm not so interested in OS/2 itself-- It was a good OS, and much better than Windows 95, but still suffered from 8.3 DLL naming conventions, and the associated "DLL hell" that comes with that. The file system was much better than FAT, but NTFS (which was based on HPFS) has closed that gap. At this point, other than being a study in code optimization, OS/2 the operating system isn't that unique.

However, the Workplace Shell, which was a true, object-oriented desktop environment... That's something I'd like to see picked up by a new project. There was functionality available in WPS that no other desktop environment has touched.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Workplace Shell
by Gryzor on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 10:07 UTC in reply to "Workplace Shell"
Gryzor Member since:
2005-07-03

Maybe nobody wants to implement the Presentation Manager again because they're afraid it may hang up over and over. ;) (sarcasm)

I remember the PM/2 used to hang but the machine kept working perfectly fine (happened on Servers too). It was annoying ;)

I worked for IBM back then. We all had OS/2 2.11 then we moved to 3 (warp) and finaly 4 (Merlin). Later, internal machines started coming with NT 4.0 and those who still needed OS/2 (lots of internal APPS inside IBM were written with Borland C++ for OS/2, REXX, etc.), ran it through virtualization or opening a session on a server.

It was nice. I loved being level 3 tech support, I was in direct contact with some of the developers from time to time. ;) Ahhh.. but I was 20 years old back then :0

Reply Score: 2

Man
by Windows Sucks on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 01:10 UTC
Windows Sucks
Member since:
2005-11-10

Wish Banyan would have been open sourced. :-(

Reply Score: 1

Voyager
by martini on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 02:33 UTC
martini
Member since:
2006-01-23

Well, now I'm looking forward for the Netlabs Voyager development.
http://wiki.netlabs.org/index.php/Voyager

Reply Score: 3

IPR of OS2
by ritesh_nair on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 03:29 UTC
ritesh_nair
Member since:
2007-03-22

I don't think Microsoft will want to agree to open source os2 as then they would integrate linux core and other things to it and then start cannibalising the Microsoft products. Besides codes are IPR, if I was Microsoft i wouldn't for obvious business reasons and security reasons wont disclose OS2 source even if my partner/ex partner for the same !bm wants.

Reply Score: 1

Petition for free download
by A30Guy on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 04:14 UTC
A30Guy
Member since:
2005-07-06

OS/2 is an operating system with a reducing number of users and no reason for new users to try it. Open-sourcing it would not change that in a hurry. Rather than repeatedly petitioning for OS/2 to be open-sourced, wouldn't it be more productive to ask IBM to make OS/2 available for free download? That might increase the user base and draw in more enthusiasts. Maybe a clone project would eventuate, or at least some new development in specific areas. IBM made OS/2 available on a magazine CD (APC) in July 2000, so they might be persuaded.
The ReactOS team didn't rely on Microsoft open-sourcing Windows before their project got underway.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Petition for free download
by rcsteiner on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 04:41 UTC in reply to "Petition for free download"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

This is precisely what I've been interested in seeing from IBM for years.

All of these petitions asking IBM to release the source are engaging in pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking, in my view, but IBM was willing to allow SSI to create a Live CD using OS/2 technology. That was more than I expected. Why not release something along very similar lines -- a stripped down binary-only desktop version with absolutely no support?

Vanilla OS/2 by itself isn't that thrilling anymore, except (as others have mentioned) for its WorkPlace Shell, but when the base OS/2 platform is combined with a selection of freely-available third party tools, it becomes a fairly good lightweight alternative to Linux and other UNIX workalikes and/or derivatives out there.

*Any* decently performing kernel can be made usable given a sufficient selection of drivers and end-user applications, and OS/2 is no exception to that.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Petition for free download
by jonsmirl on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 15:04 UTC in reply to "Petition for free download"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

This would depend on how the royalty agreement with Microsoft was written. At that time percentage based royalties were common. If OS/2 is on a percentage based royalty then it would be possible to distribute it for free. But there may have been a cause requiring a minimum per copy royalty to be paid to Microsoft. I don't remember how it was written. IBM would certainly have had the right to give away free demo copies, which was how they did the magazine cover release.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Petition for free download
by A30Guy on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 19:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Petition for free download"
A30Guy Member since:
2005-07-06

The magazine cover copy was the full working version. I installed it many times and registered it with IBM.

Reply Score: 1

jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

Putting it on a magazine cover was a one shot promotional activity. Did the license on the CD allow the CD to be copied? I doubt that it did.

Microsoft probably would not would view altering the license to allow free, unlimited redistribution as a promotional activity. They would demand a royalty buyout before allowing it.

Reply Score: 1

a bit...slow?
by Soulbender on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 05:35 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

And it only took them more than 2 years to respond.

Reply Score: 2

RE: a bit...slow?
by broken_symlink on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 22:30 UTC in reply to "a bit...slow?"
broken_symlink Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think it actually took them 2 years to respond. I think they were just referring to a letter they sent him in 2005.

Reply Score: 1

Hm
by Phuqker on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 06:37 UTC
Phuqker
Member since:
2005-07-17

I was a big OS/2 enthusiast in the 90s, but its technology is so old and clunky now that I just don't have any interest in it. I'm sure a lot of people feel the same way.

Reply Score: 3

In case you want to develop something
by fithisux on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 06:59 UTC
fithisux
Member since:
2006-01-22

OpenSolaris/AROS/SYLLABLE/MIDNIGHTBSD/ReactOS/Haiku need help. Create a health OS-ecology, we do not need OS/2.

We need drivers AHCI/Bluetooth/Firewire and APPS

Reply Score: 2

they still make money from it
by simo on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 08:44 UTC
simo
Member since:
2006-01-09

thats why they won't opensource it, half the airline industry still uses os/2.

Reply Score: 2

RE: they still make money from it
by Gryzor on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 10:15 UTC in reply to "they still make money from it"
Gryzor Member since:
2005-07-03

I'm not sure about that assertion, but what I know is that in spain, BBVA Bank used to use OS/2 less than 3 years ago. And I haven't been in the bank lately (hate it), but last time I checked, they had newer boxes with Windows 2000 and a TN/3270 or similar connected to OS/2 Lan Manager or whatever... because of their "legacy" application ran under OS/2.

Replacing a Bank's IT infrastructure and backend is by no means a simple task.

If there are Airlines and other "big" companies using it, I highly doubt they'll open source it. It would be very irresponsible. There may be bugs and security holes that are best left covered under obscurity and lack of interest. Given that IBM is unlikely to release a new fixpack for those, IMO is best to leave OS/2 where it is, slowly fading into history and replaced by new stuff.

I've seen dozens of ATMs with OS/2, although now most of those have some sort of Windows.

Madrid Barajas' Airport uses Windows NT/2000 and/or Novell on some of the displays. The Check-In terminals are Windows now and so on...

It takes time, but eventually legacy things get replaced. (sarcasm-> tell that to AIX/Cobol) ;)

A pitty that Microsoft won the race there. Those terminals could be perfecly using some variant OS. I guess they went for the support.

Edited 2008-01-22 10:17 UTC

Reply Score: 1

SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

(sarcasm-> tell that to AIX/Cobol) ;)


I don't know where you get the idea from that AIX is some kind of legacy platform but for your information, it's nothing of the sort. There is not a single large banking facility here in Luxembourg that does not run AIX for at least it's DB infrastructure. Couple that with the fact that there is not a single large financial institute on this planet that does not have a branch in Luxembourg and you have got to be joking when your saying that AIX is legacy.

Reply Score: 2

RE: they still make money from it
by raver31 on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 19:21 UTC in reply to "they still make money from it"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Not just the airline industry, there is a vast sway of atm machines that run OS/2.

They are the ones that will deliver money to me while the Win2000 ones are blue-screening !

Reply Score: 2

OLPC
by Laurence on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 11:56 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

It's a pity OS/2 isn't being pushed on the OLPC instead of XP.

Reply Score: 2

RE: OLPC
by Tim Locke on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 12:44 UTC in reply to "OLPC"
Tim Locke Member since:
2006-03-23

Where is the corresponding iPhone reference?

Reply Score: 1

And AIX ?
by shiva on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 12:48 UTC
shiva
Member since:
2007-01-24

In my opinion open the source code of OS/2 is not useful when now there are many other unix-based operating systems more powerful, more compatible with standards, more advanced in hardware support, etc available as free softwares.

And I don't believe that linux needs something of OS/2 code because wine can run more windows programs now than OS/2. And we are in the virtualization era and linux is perfect to run windows in virtual machines if you need it.

It would much more useful if IBM's AIX would become free software, like OpenSolaris.

It's too late for OS/2 and any other operating system not unix like or windows.

Edited 2008-01-22 12:51 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: And AIX ?
by sbergman27 on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 13:06 UTC in reply to "And AIX ?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

It would much more useful if IBM's AIX would become free software, like OpenSolaris.


A FOSS AIX would probably be of limited usefulness. As I understand it, insanely tight integration with the hardware is one of its greatest strengths.

Rather than going through the intensive effort that opening AIX would require, I would prefer to see IBM invest the resources in adding some of AIX's more useful capabilities to existing FOSS OSes.

And do we really *need* another FOSS Unix? I'm all for 'coopetition' between multiple developer communities. But beyond a certain number of major players, the benefits of the competition become overshadowed by the fragmentation of developer resources.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: And AIX ?
by signals on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 14:53 UTC in reply to "RE: And AIX ?"
signals Member since:
2005-07-08

As I understand it, insanely tight integration with the hardware is one of its greatest strengths.

Really? I just left an IBM shop last year, and while I did not work as the sysadmin, the guy who did lead me to believe that modern IBM machines run AIX in a virtual machine called an LPAR.In fact, he told me that IBM's "best practice" for a machine that is only going to run one instance of AIX, is to run it inside an LPAR, and not on the bare metal.

I was under the impression that virtualization was IBM and AIX's big strength, not tight integration with the hardware...

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: And AIX ?
by sbergman27 on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 01:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: And AIX ?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Well, I'm basically repeating my interpretation of what another member of this forum, for whom I have great respect, has said in the past. And you know how screwed up interpretations can be. So I'll defer to anyone who has more actual experience with AIX than I. ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: And AIX ?
by macrules on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 14:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: And AIX ?"
macrules Member since:
2006-02-07

IBM AIX and Linux do run on bare metal on RS/6000-pSeries-System p and they call the hypervisor ( some kind of enhanced firmware ). AIX nor Linux is not hosted within another OS.
IBM ported AIX to another hardware platform ( Intel IA64 Itanium ) but canceled it.
AIX is tightly integrated with the HW for good reasons. The firmware is Open Firmware ( not PC BIOS nor EFI ).
You can dynamically load device drivers and configure them w/o rebooting. AIX is a POWER (POWER4, POWER5) RISC based OS. It's a vertical integrated platform not unlike the Apple Macintosh platform.

Reply Score: 1

Workplace Shell for Windows
by Tim Locke on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 12:48 UTC
Tim Locke
Member since:
2006-03-23

I don't know if this would have any relevance to the Voyager or OSFree projects but IBM did release Workplace Shell for Windows under a public license on October 23, 2007.

http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/forums/dw_thread.jsp?nav=fals...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Workplace Shell for Windows
by galvanash on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 20:59 UTC in reply to "Workplace Shell for Windows"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

I don't know if this would have any relevance to the Voyager or OSFree projects but IBM did release Workplace Shell for Windows under a public license on October 23, 2007.

http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/forums/dw_thread.jsp?nav=fals...


Ha! I used to run that a LONG time ago and it was great. But it wasn't really WPS... It just fudged with the window decorations, fonts, and a few other things (the main useful one being adding right-click context menus). It just made Windows 3.1 _look_ sort of like WPS, but it was mostly just cosmetic.

It was valuable for OS/2 users because it at least gave the illusion that their windows programs were running in WPS windows (i.e. visual consistency). Hell, I ran it on plain old Win3.1 for a while (i.e. no OS/2) - just cause I liked the way it looked.

So it was just lipstick on a pig so to speak. It would be of no use to Voyager or OSFree.

Reply Score: 1

Hmm...
by Almafeta on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 13:44 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

About as interesting as mentioning any of the other hundreds of thousands of products that are not going open source.

Reply Score: 1

Not Open Source
by Andre on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 14:05 UTC
Andre
Member since:
2005-07-06

OS/2 not going open source. The OS/Free project also seems dead. eComStation is rather expensive for it's rather outdated features.

Reply Score: 1

IBM isn't obliged to...
by melkor on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 00:09 UTC
melkor
Member since:
2006-12-16

This is IBM's proprietary technology, they're not obliged to open source it, and contractual wise, they probably cannot anyways, even if they did want to.

That said - IBM, like all large corporations is using open source for its own needs. Contrary to popular belief, IBM is not a friend of open source. No large business is, they all have ulterior motives.

Dave

Reply Score: 2

come off it
by cozby on Fri 25th Jan 2008 20:58 UTC
cozby
Member since:
2006-03-08

People have got to stop with this. It takes a lot of time and money to open source once commercial software, especially software like OS/2. There's got to be numerous legal and contractual reason they can't open it. Finto, done. Move on.

Reply Score: 1