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."
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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 Parent Score: 11

RE[4]: Just a guess ...
by jonsmirl on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 00:48 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Just a guess ...
by sbergman27 on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 00:52 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 Parent Score: 4

RE[5]: Just a guess ...
by jonsmirl on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 01:05 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 Parent Score: 5

RE[4]: Just a guess ...
by robertojdohnert on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 07:48 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 Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Just a guess ...
by rhyder on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 13:04 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Just a guess ...
by psychicist on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 09:27 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 Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Just a guess ...
by jonsmirl on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 14:56 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 Parent Score: 1