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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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 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 Parent Score: 5

RE: Petition for free download
by jonsmirl on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 15:04 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 Parent Score: 1

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 Parent Score: 1