Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 17th Sep 2006 16:57 UTC, submitted by martini
OS/2 and eComStation "OS/2 has many applications that had been created by companies, individual developers and hobbyists. Many of these applications still works under the newest version of eComStation and have demonstrated a good quality. The only issue is that they are turning into abandonware since developers had switched to other platforms, but there is a chance to extend their life with the 'Open Source Long Live Elixir'. Here at OS2World.com we will like to make a call to OS/2-eCS developers and ex-developers to open source their creations. We believe that the software can be expanded for the benefit of the community and allowing a learning experience from the code of these applications."
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RE: Good idea
by rhyder on Sun 17th Sep 2006 18:32 UTC in reply to "Good idea"
rhyder
Member since:
2005-09-28

The idea of OS/2 being open sourced is put forward from time to time.

Firstly, it probably isn't practical - the source would contain code which is copyright Microsoft (and perhaps even Adobe and others). I don't think that that MS would agree to cooperate when such a release couldn't possibly benefit them in any way.

Secondly, it probably isn't desirable - Given that a full release of the source code, which could be used to generate a complete working OS/2, is impractical, what actual technology could be taken from OS/2? In other words, which features of OS/2 could be reused? Does the kernel, for example, have any features that other, freely available and open source kernels do not have? Other features that made OS/2 the OS of choice for so many people in the past such as industry leading DOS support have no real appeal to most users in this day and age.

Similar points can be made about the GUI - it has some nice features but these relate to the *design*, not the implementation. The implementation is flawed as it is based upon a single input queue. The SIQ means, in practical terms, that a single crashing application can make any mouse or keyboard interaction with the OS impossible; in these situations, the OS seems to working and applications seem to be running but you can't interact with them. After such a crash, all you can do is reset the machine.

In it's day OS/2 was a great OS but I just can't see what could be taken from the source and reused now. If some of the GUI ideas are still appealing then it would be easier to add them to other OSes than to recreate OS/2 from whatever bits of source code could feasibly be released.

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