Author Topic: eCo Software Runtime Packages - benefits???  (Read 1676 times)

Dariusz Piatkowski

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eCo Software Runtime Packages - benefits???
« on: April 08, 2017, 07:39:55 pm »
So in the process of re-newing my ArcaNoae Subscription package today I noticed that they also show the "eCo Software Runtime Packages" as available for download.

Having reviewed the latest changes/log entries it appears to me that these were intended to bring the newer user interface type improvements to our OS/2 platform. Certainly the FOC alone is ripe for a lot of changes which would benefit us all...and it certainly appears that some of these options have been addressed. For example the log for the WIN runtime states the following:

foc
  25.12.2016 Dmitry A.Steklenev
   - Now WC_PREVIEW formats date and time according to the current locale.
   - Added standalone preview plug-in for JPEG files. This plug-in can work on
     systems without MMOS2 installed.
   - The context menu of the file dialog and of the directory selection
     dialog now have a "Properties" menu item.
   - By default, the file dialog remembers last 10 of selected files and
     directories. This number can be redefined via ULONG value of the
     MaxRecentItems key of the PM_ControlPanel section of the user profile
     (OS2.INI). The maximal possible value is 128.
   - Settings of the WPFOCSystem WPS class now splitted into two pages.

Sooo...before I take a stab at installing these can anyone tell me/or provide feedback on just how "usuable" these enhancements are? Meaning, is the implementation intended to re-direct the standard FOC calls to these enhanced versions, or is it that only apps re-written to take advantage of the new APIs can actually use these features?

Thanks!



Dave Yeo

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Re: eCo Software Runtime Packages - benefits???
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2017, 08:47:35 pm »
Quote
Sooo...before I take a stab at installing these can anyone tell me/or provide feedback on just how "usuable" these enhancements are? Meaning, is the implementation intended to re-direct the standard FOC calls to these enhanced versions, or is it that only apps re-written to take advantage of the new APIs can actually use these features?

The implementation redirects the standard FOC calls so most all applications use it. For example if I save a file with SeaMonkey, I get the new FOC to choose where to save the file.
Personally I like the new save as dialog, at least as implemented in ArcaOS.

Dariusz Piatkowski

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Re: eCo Software Runtime Packages - benefits???
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2017, 08:50:42 pm »
Hi Dave!

...I get the new FOC to choose where to save the file. Personally I like the new save as dialog, at least as implemented in ArcaOS...

I have not seen the ArcaOS yet, but is it relying (maybe in part?) on these runtimes they show? Seems like it would make sense to deploy something that's been already developed and tested over some time...

Dave Yeo

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Re: eCo Software Runtime Packages - benefits???
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2017, 09:27:30 pm »
Hi Dave!

...I get the new FOC to choose where to save the file. Personally I like the new save as dialog, at least as implemented in ArcaOS...

I have not seen the ArcaOS yet, but is it relying (maybe in part?) on these runtimes they show? Seems like it would make sense to deploy something that's been already developed and tested over some time...

Yes, the ArcaOS ISO has ecobase.wpi, econet.wpi and ecowin.wpi (these may be customized) that are installed.
Much of ArcaOS are packages like this that are independently available and by looking at various changelogs, you will see a flurry of recent development. Of course Arca Noae has done a lot of work to get all these packages to coexist in a pleasing way (we hope). Sometimes just small changes like not automatically installing the eCSBall when doing a virgin install of the screensaver.

Martin Iturbide

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Re: eCo Software Runtime Packages - benefits???
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2017, 09:56:26 pm »
Hi

For what I know, only apps that has been created with that API in mind can take advantage of it.It will be interesting to have more documentation of the library on the EDM/2 Wiki.
 
The only issue that I found with that library is that it is close source freeware. Even that there if there is a compromise to be freeware in the future it is not the same as being open source.

On the other hand I'm looking with good eyes the other open source libraries that has been ported to the OS/2 platform like libc, cairo, sdl, etc, etc.

I think that today if someone wants to develop software on OS/2 they have two choices:
1) Using all the native-IBM API to reference CPI, PM, SOM, WPS
2) To use APIs based on open source software that will also make your applications portable to other platform. Libc, Cairo, SDL, Qt are very interesting.

Here it is where we tried to document all the APIs that the platform has: http://www.edm2.com/index.php/The_OS/2_API_Project

(help to improve it is also welcome)

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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Doug Bissett

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Re: eCo Software Runtime Packages - benefits???
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2017, 09:59:07 pm »
Quote
I have not seen the ArcaOS yet, but is it relying (maybe in part?) on these runtimes they show? Seems like it would make sense to deploy something that's been already developed and tested over some time...

In the past, I have seen nothing but problems with that stuff. However, I haven't seen those problems with ArcaOS (after some fixes). That may be just because I haven't stumbled over them, yet.

FWIW, ArcaOS does include a feature called PNG desktop (Sunny Icons).  This version works a lot better than what was in eCS 2.2b2. It also includes FOC (File Open Control), which was also in eCS 2.2b2. I think it has also had some updates, but I am not impressed with the whole concept, and I don't use it, other than to see if it causes problems (so far, no problems).

There are a few more things that use the runtimes, and they seem to be okay, so far.

Sergey Posokhov

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Re: eCo Software Runtime Packages - benefits???
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2017, 05:10:53 pm »
It's widely known that they will never release it as open source.

Andreas Kohl

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Re: eCo Software Runtime Packages - benefits???
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2017, 02:43:51 pm »
It's widely known that they will never release it as open source.

Thank goodness! Nobody needs this crappy stuff. It consists mostly of open source libraries repackaged into a larger DLL. The libraries are of no earthly use.

Andreas Kohl

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Re: eCo Software Runtime Packages - benefits???
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2017, 02:53:21 pm »
FWIW, ArcaOS does include a feature called PNG desktop (Sunny Icons).  This version works a lot better than what was in eCS 2.2b2. It also includes FOC (File Open Control), which was also in eCS 2.2b2. I think it has also had some updates, but I am not impressed with the whole concept, and I don't use it, other than to see if it causes problems (so far, no problems).
"PNG desktop" a "feature" - that looks very pathetic. Neither any application nor any known device driver is using this so-called feature. It's only a Potemkin village. Why not simply using OS/2's own icon format? It seems ArcaOS will only be eComStation with a new background image.

Sigurd Fastenrath

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Re: eCo Software Runtime Packages - benefits???
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2017, 03:07:03 pm »
Yes, the ArcaOS ISO has ecobase.wpi, econet.wpi and ecowin.wpi (these may be customized) that are installed.

Hopefully these wpi's can be deselected during Installation process - I have to admit that Andreas Kohl is right - these files have been of no use at all for me so far. Quite the contrary: while tailoring my own "up to date OS/2 Version" I avoided these files and I do not (may be not realised so far) see any usefull application for me that needs this runtimes. I hope, that the "new" Interface parts of ArcaOS do not rely on this files.

But - please proof me wrong - for what applications (besides sunny Icons) these are needed? Can the FOC Application be compared with the "Object Navigator" that was included in Object Desktop?
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 03:16:03 pm by Sigurd Fastenrath »

Martin Iturbide

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Re: eCo Software Runtime Packages - benefits???
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2017, 04:25:32 pm »
"PNG desktop" is an interesting feature (but I don't mean it is implemented right). It solves the problem that you need better resolution icons for higher resolution screens. The OS/2 icon format is old and it is very limited for people trying to create icons on the platform. If someone is happy on his 800x600 screen using OS/2, there is no reason for this, the rest of the 90% of OS/2 users wants/uses a higher resolution.

The bad thing about "PNG desktop" is that is close source, so it has a high risk on becoming "future abandonware". Maybe an alternative can be to try to improve WPS-Wizard icons functions to be more stable.

Regards
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 04:46:10 pm by Martin Iturbide »
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ivan

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Re: eCo Software Runtime Packages - benefits???
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2017, 06:00:28 pm »
Martin,

What do you class as higher resolution monitors?  Our 28" 1920 x 1200 are using the standard OS/2 icons and most people comment about how clear they are compared to some of the win rubbish icons.

Maybe if we managed to get video drivers that would drive the 4k monitors we might need icons with a little more colour depth.

Unfortunately, many of these 'enhancements' are answers looking for problems rather than being the answers to problems.
   

Martin Iturbide

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Re: eCo Software Runtime Packages - benefits???
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2017, 07:41:01 pm »
Hi Ivan

I can not discuss things with people that are just fine with what they got.

In my case with 16:4 monitors at a higher than 1024 x 768 resolution (and 23" or more) requires to increase the size of icons. Some people does not have great vision, and when you increase the resolution of the screen the icons and text get smaller and smaller. It is required "something" to increase the size of the icons on OS/2. When you get "that something" that increase the size you also notice that the OS/2 standard format (and OS/2 standard icons) has it's limitations compared to modern standards.

When you see this picture and think it looks fine, we may have a disagreement.


If you are fine with little icons and you have a nice vision , maybe it does not apply to you.

Regards
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 07:44:34 pm by Martin Iturbide »
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Martin Iturbide

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Re: eCo Software Runtime Packages - benefits???
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2017, 07:54:26 pm »
Hi

I also think that we need an standard and modern format for Icons and Pointers (PNG or SVG) but there are people with so much fear to change that will complain to it by just suggesting it.

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Martin Iturbide
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Andreas Kohl

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Re: eCo Software Runtime Packages - benefits???
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2017, 10:17:16 pm »
Neither PNG nor SVG are Icon formats. Even newer Window releases use an (different) ICO format which is also a bitmap array and can also store PNG images inside of it. Or take a look at Apple Icon Image format (*.icns) which additionally can include JPEG 2000 images.
It's the task of the Presentation driver to select a suitable size for displaying icons. Otherwise there will be a fallback to device independent format. No reason to use this buggy hacks.