Home > OS/2 > eComStation Roadmap 2005 eComStation Roadmap 2005 Submitted by Eugene Gorbunoff 2005-03-22 OS/2 21 Comments eComStation is an Internet enabled platform for business desktop computing. To keep users informed, Serenity Systems International published their roadmap. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 21 Comments 2005-03-22 12:23 pm HTML version of the roadmap: http://www.os2ecs.org/ecsroadmap2005.html 2005-03-22 12:44 pm the sound of new release makes me happy. i wonder what version number it will be. i wish IBM would just give them the source code entirely and say “go nuts” 2005-03-22 12:56 pm If they don’t have the full OS2 source then I am very impressed with what they have acheived! I seriously would like to try this OS out. Some excellent things coming soon in the roadmap. 2005-03-22 1:04 pm wow, they are still alive ? Wondering how they make money… 2005-03-22 1:32 pm OS/2 is not dead (at least not yet). It is still very heavily used in the German finance sector (banks and insurances). There is still half a million of OS/2 installations in Germany (this is not an exaggeration; this is the total of both workplaces and ATM machines). These companies need support, and this is how eComStation makes money. OS/2 will die soon, I think it will die within the next two years, but until then and until all these companies have finally migrated their businesses, eComStation will exist and offer support to those who pay for it. 2005-03-22 3:10 pm I doubt that Serenuty makes money with bank… They wouldn’t trust a small company distributing untrusted third companies product inside it’s own product. Bank still give money to IBM. Serenity System get money by selling eCS to: – Small niche companies who dos NOT want to move away from OS2, becasue their buisness run well actually and the cost of a migration/reprogrammation/change of hardware would be too expensive. Or simply becauese these niche companies learned how OS2 based system are rock solid and virus safe. For these nich system, eComstation, or OS2 with “Passport Advantage” is the best. – Bastard OS2 enthousiats, like me. – Peoples who want to have a solition easy to install ( Yes, it is actually!), stable and which you can work with. Sadly ( really?) Linux is free. 2005-03-22 3:36 pm I used to use Ecomstation it is very expensive and they do not have access to the source. Most of the stuff they are adding is third party software some of which is freely available. Don’t get me wrong Os/2 was awesome during its time but you are paying a lot for dated software. 2005-03-22 4:16 pm …sign my petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/OS24FREE and check out OsFree: http://www.osfree.org 2005-03-22 5:01 pm I thought they had the source? Yowsers, why would anyone commit to updates from an OS with no source code? That’s madness. 2005-03-22 5:25 pm Derek: A certain amount of expense is worth it for those of us who are long-time OS/2 users, since we already have significant collections of native (or OS/2-friendy) software, and since eComStation is able to install on newer hardware where OS/2 might be a real pain (or might not install at all). I tend to pay about as much for various Linux distros to play around with (at least in total) as I do for the eCS upgrades I’ve purchased, and I think each has provided more than enough value to justify the small expense, at least for me. YMMV, of course. 🙂 Mike: Even though Serenity doesn’t have access to the kernel source, they *do* have access to IBM, which is a plus in itself these days. Also, don’t forget that many key parts of the OS (such as installation routines, device drivers, the network stack, filesystems, and other things) are elements which can be replaced either in pieces or totally. The original source isn’t needed to provide value in those areas, just a lot of work… 2005-03-22 8:25 pm Sounds great – I just hope that the result is full ACPI support and not just something half baked, like we see it on most operating systems now-a-days. Also the bootable JFS sounds intrieging, I love HPFS but it is showing its age and there’s the matter of the Redmond licenses and patents. I’m writing this, using Firefox for OS/2 1.01 on an eComStation 1.2 – and I love every minute of it … seing SSI release these roadmaps every year (Well) gives me a warm feeling. The eCS community is slowly getting stronger – that SSI/Mensys now seems to have the ressources to expand their activities from the pure technical side and to improving the reseller support and web support programs is great. Also the Demo CD is long awaited. 2005-03-22 8:32 pm Mike – the strength of the WPS is that it is build on open classes. You’re able to expand it and switch the old classes with new ones, remove and add. You’re able to add and remove classes with a mere REXX script and thereby change the looks and functionality. And as Rich Steiner said “Also, don’t forget that many key parts of the OS (such as installation routines, device drivers, the network stack, filesystems, and other things) are elements which can be replaced either in pieces or totally.” There’s actually a lot that you can do, fix and change, and IBM still updates the base system, right this minute there are new testcase kernels available – hell my eCS kernel is newer than both my XP and Linux kernels :o) 2005-03-22 8:39 pm They may have access to IBM but what has IBM lately done for OS/2? They are more focused on Linux than anything. Yes I have seen them update the kernal with fixes once in a big blue moon but no real new OS features. I bought Ecomstation hoping that Serenity would find a way to improve on it. But that really did not happen. At one point Stardock was going to do the same thing I wonder if it would have made the difference. 2005-03-22 9:56 pm Well, they developed and then allowed Serenity to bundle stuff like the SMP kernel, JFS, and various other things with the OS/2 client, they’ve developed a full set of USB drivers for OS/2 and eCS, they were the ones who (until recently) continued much of the porting activity of Mozilla, Firebird, and Thunderbird to OS/2 (Mike Kaply and friends are now doing it on their own time), and I think they’re also the ones mainly responsible for SciTech’s SNAP being available for free to OS/2 users. Yes, they’re focused on Linux, and rightly so in their view, but the contributions they’ve made to OS/2 in the past few years are decidedly nontrivial. Heck, the fact that eCS exists at all is due to IBM being willing to let a third-party distribute it in the first place. Many companies would simply have let it die. I’m not sure Stardock could have done more, but we’ll never know. It’s too bad both parties couldn’t have had a shot. 2005-03-23 12:32 am IIRC it is not possible for IBM to open source OS/2, this question has been tackled before by other people and the concensus from people in the know was that Microsoft still retains copyright on parts of the OS/2 source code, and IBM cannot easily replace that with compatible open source capable code without breaking NDA’s and possible patents that Microsoft has held since their OS/2 venture together. Of course, I’m all going from memory here and could be 100% out… you are not the first person to ask IBM to open source OS/2, and probably won’t be the last 2005-03-23 3:59 am Warp Server for Ebusiness was released in 1999. ECS is based on WSEB. In 6 years the core of the operating system is pretty much unchanged. Installation routines, device drivers, the network stack, filesystems, and other things sure you can change these things but the underlying code wont ever be updated. Sure the workplace shell is great but its old technology. As an OS X user I look forward to all the core updates and new features. When I purchased Ecomstation it was disappointed all we got was java updates from a third party software company because IBM stop port the java runtime to OS/2. Are they even commercial software companies creating ECS software anymore? 2005-03-23 11:34 am Derek – IBM has stopped doing real ports for most platforms, there most likely won’t be an IBM Java 1.4 for neither OS/2 nor AIX, instead a 1.3.2 that is mostly 1.4.x compatible. The core of eCS (eCS 1.2 is baed on the OS/2 4.52 (MCP2)) still runs parallell tasks more smoothly than WinXP. 2005-03-23 2:22 pm eComStation came with a “hobby” license that cost substantially less than the full release. I used OS/2 2.11 and 3.0, and loved them both, and I would love to experiment with eComStation, but my accountant (read wife) will not let me part with the $$$ required to by a license. 🙁 2005-03-23 3:56 pm Warp Server for Ebusiness was released in 1999. ECS is based on WSEB. In 6 years the core of the operating system is pretty much unchanged. Why is that an issue? Even the ten-year-old stock Warp 4 kernel at least as advanced (from a single-user OS design perspective) as its newer Linux or Windows counterparts, and except for the lack of a true “kill -9” equivalent, it isn’t lacking much. Besides, Scott G of IBM has been releasing OS/2 kernels on testcase on a fairly frequent basis, so the core of the OS has been far from static. I don’t use them (the stock OS/2 and eCS kernels are fine in my context), but I understand he’s fixed a lot of specific issues. Sure the workplace shell is great but its old technology. No, it’s an old implementation, but many of the concepts underlying the WPS are far more advanced than most of the “newer” desktop implementations out there. I think you mean “it’s static”, not “it’s old”… As an OS X user I look forward to all the core updates and new features. As would I, at least if Apple would port the OS to hardware I actually own. 🙂 When I purchased Ecomstation it was disappointed all we got was java updates from a third party software company because IBM stop port the java runtime to OS/2. I don’t use Java under OS/2, so for me it’s a non-issue, but I also wish IBM had continued to port things ad infinitum. That isn’t realistic given their corporate focus, though. Are they even commercial software companies creating ECS software anymore? I’m not aware of too many. SciTech, Innotek, Blueprint, and Sundial might be it (besides IBM and Serenity) except for a couple dozen shareware companies (PMView, DFSee, etc.) and a pile of freeware projects. I dunno… How many software sources does one user need? 🙂 2005-03-23 5:12 pm IMHO: One thing that is always missing in these kinds of discussions is *what* the operating system/computer is to be used for. From my perspective many, many people fall into the following category on how they use a computer. Mainly: ~ Surfing the web … ~ Reading/sending email … ~ Viewing/reading various documents … ~ Viewing assorted graphic types … With these parameters, OS/2 and eCS fits the fill perfectly. We have the latest builds of Firebird/Mozilla/Thunderbird for all internet related functions. IBM’s Lotus SmartSuite and the Odin-ized port of OpenOffice.org 1.14 take care of any document viewing requirements. PMView and other programs can handle all graphic formats. For these types of users eCS is a *perfect* choice. Not having to worry about spyware and viruses is a major plus, considering that all the major security companies rank spyware as the number one problem facing computer users, more so than even viruses. Granted, if you don’t fall into this category of user eCS wouldn’t suite you. But what Rich touched upon is very true. Just how many different options does one need for certain programs, specifically basic functions ? And finally, in spite of a previous poster’s asertion, while the WPS is old, age-wise, its OO functionality still hasn’t been met by any of the major competitors. I really like KDE and Gnome, and even the windows shell run in classic-mode isn’t too bad. But IMO they don’t even begin to compare with the power of the WorkPlace Shell … chekmarx 2005-03-23 6:51 pm ~ Surfing the web … ~ Reading/sending email … ~ Viewing/reading various documents … ~ Viewing assorted graphic types … You could do this on Linux and for free. I guess I just don’t get why today anyone would use it today. I used to see why but with the new linux distributions and OS X I don’t anyomre . I used OS/2 because it was robust and multitasked well. Today most non microsoft os’s do this well, are being actively improved with new features and have new applications coming out all the time.