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Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware
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lpino
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21. Re:Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware
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Blonde Guy (05 Oct, 2006 23:32):
OK, so open-sourcing OS/2 is stupid. Don't waste your time.

1. The code is really, really old. Much of the OS/2 kernel (over half of the lines of x86 assembler code) is devoted to processing the config.sys file. Quite a bit more is devoted to handling PS/2 hardware (and I don't mean Play Station). Lots more of the essential code of OS/2, for example the named-pipe code, is 16-bit.

True, the goal shouldn't be to have the source of OS/2 Intel. That would be silly (stupid). None of the Open Source OSs have been ported using the original kernel. They all start from some other kernel.

2. The code is totally compromised. There are something like 300 vendors, most of which are no longer functioning corporations. It would cost millions in legal fees.

True, as I said before that's not the point. The point is to maintain and improve the OS/2 API, to extend it's life (64 bit extentions) and free ourselfs from IBM.

3. The function of the OS/2 kernel is pretty well documented. The point of the open-source OS/2 kernel clones are that it isn't that hard to duplicate the function of the closed-source parts of OS/2.

Very true.

4. I like the Serenity/Mensys/Netlabs approach of replacing one piece at a time until all of the IBM parts are gone. Want a 64-bit kernel? There's one under construction. If it works, and it's correctly licensed, Serenity/Mensys will be including it in eCS.


Had no idea there was a 64 bit kernel being developed with the intention of implementing the OS/2 API on top of it. Can you be more specific?.

Date: 06 Oct, 2006 on 02:02
Blonde Guy
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22. Re:Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware
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OK, two places to look a possible future for OS/2 and eCS.

This is the direction some of the best OS/2 programmers want to take.

http://wiki.netlabs.org/index.php/Voyager_FAQ

This is the reconstruction of the OS/2 kernel, but using open source.

http://www.osfree.org/index.php

---
Expert Consulting for OS/2 and eComStation

Date: 06 Oct, 2006 on 04:21
El Vato
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23. Re:Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware
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Blonde Guy (05 Oct, 2006 23:32):
OK, so open-sourcing OS/2 is stupid. Don't waste your time.

Perspective...when Netscape open sourced its jewel --the Mozilla code base-- back in 1998-99, there were many who thought it "stupid." Yet the code thrived by providing an alternative to the MS IE. And as you know, Mozilla is more than a browser; if pushed a little further it can even become an OS itself, as Netscape had envisioned.


Blonde Guy (05 Oct, 2006 23:32):1. The code is really, really old. Much of the OS/2 kernel (over half of the lines of x86 assembler code) is devoted to processing the config.sys file. Quite a bit more is devoted to handling PS/2 hardware (and I don't mean Play Station). Lots more of the essential code of OS/2, for example the named-pipe code, is 16-bit.

Do not underestimate the open source programmers. The Linux kernel is bigger and the programmmers will handle machine code as well a C modifications. I have met former IBMers who read assembly like reading a children's book.


Blonde Guy (05 Oct, 2006 23:32):2. The code is totally compromised. There are something like 300 vendors, most of which are no longer functioning corporations. It would cost millions in legal fees.

IBM has donated some 500 patents to open source < http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1750358,00.asp?kc=EWNKT0209KTX1K0100440 >; that easily is worth "millions." Hence, if the proper pitch were made to IBM about an angle that would bring the company revenue BUT in line with their current open source approach, "millions" would be petty cash for IBM.


Blonde Guy (05 Oct, 2006 23:32):3. The function of the OS/2 kernel is pretty well documented. The point of the open-source OS/2 kernel clones are that it isn't that hard to duplicate the function of the closed-source parts of OS/2.

It may be well documented and it may not be "hard" to duplicate; notwithstanding, judging from the sites that you referenced further in your post, it is not necesarily peachy to do it --nor the aim of what is to be achieved exactly specific-- that leaves the 64-bit kernel in Limbo.


Blonde Guy (05 Oct, 2006 23:32):4. I like the Serenity/Mensys/Netlabs approach of replacing one piece at a time until all of the IBM parts are gone. Want a 64-bit kernel? There's one under construction. If it works, and it's correctly licensed, Serenity/Mensys will be including it in eCS.

Where in Serenity's roadmap is 64-bit exactly? Is there a link where the company commits to its customers such feature in the futue? And if so, how far is the company from that goal? What proprietary OS/2 system components has the company replaced with open sourced equivalents by now? I am asking because not even the (hidden) OS2BOOT file --needed to modify whether a file system will be bootable or not-- has been made open or replaced.

What does correctly licensed mean? Judging from the links that you provided, there is nothing concretely stated and you are not providing anything better than the "stupid" but concrete petition by many of us to IBM: COME ON, BIG BLUE, OPEN SOURCE EVEN THE POWERPC VERSION OF OS/2.

Date: 06 Oct, 2006 on 06:17
flywheel
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24. Re:Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware
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There have been some discussing of a 64-bit kernel (Which AFAIR is the way to go), but AFAIR Voyager is going 32-bit and the eCS on-top-of-an-64bit-Opensource-OS discussions seems to have faded away.
Date: 06 Oct, 2006 on 10:36
BigWarpGuy
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25. Re:Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware
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What might be helpful if Serenity Systems signs an agreement with IBM to view the source code of OS/2 with the promise of not releasing/open sourcing it. If possible, Serenity Systems could 'recruit' (unpaid) programmers to work on it and those programmers would sign an agreement not to release/open source the code they are using/seeing of the OS/2 kernel.

The above probably would only work in fiction. It would be geeky version of a covert operation; instead of 'cloak and dagger', it is more 'cloak and coder'.

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Date: 06 Oct, 2006 on 15:01
Martin
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26. Re:Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware
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Blonde Guy (05 Oct, 2006 23:32):

4. I like the Serenity/Mensys/Netlabs approach of replacing one piece at a time until all of the IBM parts are gone. Want a 64-bit kernel? There's one under construction. If it works, and it's correctly licensed, Serenity/Mensys will be including it in eCS.


I also like the approch of replacing one piece at a time. And also like when Serenity puts as much of Open Source (OSI approved Licenses) software on eComStation.

There had been some discussion before on how it had to be open sourced, many said, from down to top, first the kernel, other said lets go from Top to Down, lets make open source replacement of the applications first.

I really don't care about it, as long as we can replace the closed components of OS/2 and eCS. Possible we can build a group that focuses on open source replacements for OS/2-eCS like the NetlabsWiki Idea. That can possible help to anybody to create an Open Source OS/2 (or partially open source) distribution and will help eComStation to keep including more open source replacements.

Date: 08 Oct, 2006 on 16:00
obiwan
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27. Re:Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware
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I might add that we need not panic. We all have been using OS/2 long enough to know what it is, and what it isn't. We've had the same "close to death" prognosis for many many years. There has always been some component we seem to believe OS/2 will never have, and somehow it seems to come about anyway. Yes it takes hard work, and by now we should know that each of us has to put in some work to keep this going. But I think we can be positive and have fun with it. It exists because it works. It will continue to improve because people are working. Relax.
Date: 08 Oct, 2006 on 20:42
El Vato
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28. Re:Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware
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Martin (08 Oct, 2006 16:00):
[quote]Blonde Guy (05 Oct, 2006 23:32):

4. I like the Serenity/Mensys/Netlabs approach of replacing one piece at a time until all of the IBM parts are gone. Want a 64-bit kernel? There's one under construction. If it works, and it's correctly licensed, Serenity/Mensys will be including it in eCS.



Martin (08 Oct, 2006 16:00):I also like the approch of replacing one piece at a time. And also like when Serenity puts as much of Open Source (OSI approved Licenses) software on eComStation.

For a business entity that depends on an open source community a give and take approach is a necessity --and not an option.

Noticing the success with which Red Hat's Fedora and Novell's OpenSuSE have in their business/development model, I see the need for a fundamental change in Serenity's business model (if the open source effort is to succeed) with Serenity remaining a catalyst for OS/2 developers.

I can be more explicit, but it goes without saying that if Red Hat and/or Novell develops a driver, they offer it back to the community that supports them --either company does not tell you: you have to buy a subscription if you want to have it.


Martin (08 Oct, 2006 16:00):There had been some discussion before on how it had to be open sourced, many said, from down to top, first the kernel, other said lets go from Top to Down, lets make open source replacement of the applications first.

The top-down approach will place unecessary restrictions on the specification/choice of the kernel/API for those who will take on the kernel task at a later date.

Hence, instead of tying one arm behind those who will take on the kernel aspect, why not give them some slack for creativity in optimizing the kernel for the 64-bit architecture? And to allow them to implement an API (subset or otherwise) that is most in line with proven and/or modern trends in OSes?

Modern application support should be the focus (if we are to remain OS competitive) instead of remaining whithin an inertial twilight zone by requiring backward compatibility with old applications.


Martin (08 Oct, 2006 16:00):I really don't care about it, as long as we can replace the closed components of OS/2 and eCS. Possible we can build a group that focuses on open source replacements for OS/2-eCS like the NetlabsWiki Idea. That can possible help to anybody to create an Open Source OS/2 (or partially open source) distribution and will help eComStation to keep including more open source replacements.

I, as yourself, like the wiki approach to concretely establish a plan to follow --instead of bringing out notions out of thin air to cover up for special interests. I have no problem with the GPL, notwithstanding. It simply forces companies to share with its contributors what themselves (community) have helped to create.

It is no wonder, though, that those open source communities thrive by developing applications for their OS: they know that the business entity that they support will respond in kind.

...And the business entity will make its profit by architecting the most mature components/applications/etc. released (and tested by the community) into a coherent and funcional package that the company will support for a determined length of time (available to those who buy a subscription).

Date: 09 Oct, 2006 on 03:28
El Vato
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29. Re:Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware
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obiwan (08 Oct, 2006 20:42):
I might add that we need not panic. We all have been using OS/2 long enough to know what it is, and what it isn't. We've had the same "close to death" prognosis for many many years. There has always been some component we seem to believe OS/2 will never have, and somehow it seems to come about anyway. Yes it takes hard work, and by now we should know that each of us has to put in some work to keep this going. But I think we can be positive and have fun with it. It exists because it works. It will continue to improve because people are working. Relax.

Since the creation of OS/2, the underlying architecture (fabric of the specific universe where OS/2 was designed to exist/compete) has remained a fairly constant variable. But that medium is about to experience a drastic change as we approach this transitional phase to 64-bit: the resources available to an OS will have multiplied (a parallel universe will be detected by other OSes).

If the OS/2 can not take advantage of the newly available resources, it will find itself in the ship(s) of DOS/Windows during the dawn of 32-bit computing some years back. Notwithstanding, the similararities end there when one realizes that OS/2 does not have the marketing Borgs to massively brainwash others into submission --nor the marketing power to impose conditions upon computer manufacturers.

And there the reason that I advocate the creation/adoption of 64-bit kernel as a priority --someone suggested the L4Ka::\Pistachio microkernel with a malleable API < http://l4ka.org/projects/pistachio/ > (I think)-- around which system developers will effectively focus their efforts; rather than have (higher level) application developers guessing what the kernel/API will be made available to their creations.

...and no, my dear Chewbacca fan, I can not relax...quite possibly you are experiencing the black hole effect: everything appears "normal" when you are caught by their powerful effect --what you have not realized is that the very fabric of the (OS) universe has even been warped

Date: 09 Oct, 2006 on 07:30
Ben Dragon
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30. Re:Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware
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Since we're all delving into what if's and speculating on what would be good for an enchanced or supplanted OS/2 based system, then we might as well get right to it and stop playing patti-cake.

That is to say, why waste time on a 64-bit system? OS/2 was reknown for being double the bit rate of its nearest competitor. Why not jump to the forefront once more and shoot for a 128-bit OS?

By the time it gets done 128-bits will be the standard anways.

Let's plan to rob the limelight from whatever other inferior OS claims the spot? Jump the queque I say, and return to the glory days and make OS/2 shine once more!

One has to think ahead or we'll forever be suckin' on the hind tit.

* sits down and lights a cigarette *

Just my thoughts on the matter...

---

Date: 09 Oct, 2006 on 16:20
obiwan
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31. Re:Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware
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last updated at 05 Dec, 2006 18:33 (1 times)
El Vato.

If you want an open-source 64-bit kernel, GNU-licensed software, the RedHat/Novell business model, no compatibility with legacy OS/2 applications, disassociation fom IBM, and no upgrade fees, why not just use Linux?

Forgive me if I read you incorrectly. You seem to be dissatisfied with OS/2 as it stands in late 2006, and want its universe to transform immediately to this ideal.

There clearly is work to be done on OS/2, as we all have noted, and avenues have been referenced where we can contribute where we are most interested. Your passion for a 64-bit kernel is laudable, and one would hope it moves you to work on it.

However, it will not meet your deadline. Serenity will not fundamentally change its business model. No-one will instantaneously invent a new, free-of-charge, open-source, fully mature and stable, 64-bit OS/2, to dominate the desktop market in 2007.

So we all need to decide if that is acceptable, and worth investing in. One day, when it is possible, the L4 kernel could conceivably replace the old IBM kernel.

Edit: Removed wordiness and rudeness, while preserving the message. It's bothered me how I said this since I wrote it. My overexuberance was sparked by a desire to quell any panic about an end to OS/2. However I likely offended El Vato, and brought down the friendly atmosphere of the forums. My apologies to everyone who read it.

Date: 09 Oct, 2006 on 23:14
El Vato
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32. Re:Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware
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My dear fan of Chewbacca,

You are "...read[ing me] .. incorrectly..."

We are not on the same page...

Man is in love with ephemeral creations,
What else is there to say???

Date: 10 Oct, 2006 on 06:44
obiwan
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33. Re:Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware
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last updated at 12 Oct, 2006 07:20 (1 times)
I think perhaps I understand you now, El Vato.

So Martin, did your article have anything to do with the release of the source of DrawIt/SketchIt, and (imminently) SIO?

Date: 12 Oct, 2006 on 07:19
Martin
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34. Re:Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware
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Well, I think Ray Gwinn had plans to open source their development before I posting my article. (BTW - SIO is not open source yet, if anybody is willing to help Ray to remove some propietary dependancies on the code is welcome)

About Drawit, I contacted Jasper to know how the development was going and suggested to turn it open source. He replied me that he was willing to public the source, and later turn it GNU GPL in his website. But I'm not sure if he read my article.

I only can thanks them to open source their OS/2 software and give it away to the community.

Date: 13 Oct, 2006 on 01:31
Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware
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