Author Topic: Visual FoxPro 3.0 on OS/2 Warp 4 and Arca OS  (Read 606 times)

Rick C. Hodgin

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Visual FoxPro 3.0 on OS/2 Warp 4 and Arca OS
« on: May 24, 2017, 06:56:15 pm »
I'm wondering if anybody knows the legal ramifications of reverse engineering the OS/2 win32 support?  There are some APIs that Visual FoxPro 3.0 requires that cause it to not run on OS/2, though it would run on a full version of Windows 3.11 by Microsoft.

I am considering creating a wrapper DLL which would embrace some of those Win32 1.1 specs, initially just those which are used by Visual FoxPro 3.0, but ultimately any that would be required for other apps, so that we could get more modern Win32 apps up and running (at least many that would work on Win95).

If it's legal, I may consider investing some time on this as I program in Visual FoxPro daily, and I would gladly leave Windows forever if I could get this environment up and running.

Thank you,
Rick C. Hodgin



Martin Iturbide

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Re: Visual FoxPro 3.0 on OS/2 Warp 4 and Arca OS
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2017, 07:37:25 pm »
Hi Rick.

I think that the word "legal" may depend on how you choose to make that wrapper DLL.

If you grab the API documentation and create a DLL that behaves exactly the same as the API is documented with your own code, I think there will no legal issues.

But if you are grabbing a binary portion of the IBM's DLL to create your own, or if you are de-compiling (which sometimes it does not even work) an IBM binary it may not be legal.

What I suggest first is to start with the API documentation and see what specific parts of the  API do you need for your goal. Also, if it some Windows API, I think it will be interesting to see the Wine project and see what had been ported to Odin too, just to don't make any duplicated efforts.

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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Rick C. Hodgin

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Re: Visual FoxPro 3.0 on OS/2 Warp 4 and Arca OS
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2017, 08:03:31 pm »
If you grab the API documentation and create a DLL that behaves exactly the same as the API is documented with your own code, I think there will no legal issues.

I would be an intermediary.  I would replace the other DLL with my DLL, but I would essentially pass-thru everything that's not part of my extensions

Quote
But if you are grabbing a binary portion of the IBM's DLL to create your own, or if you are de-compiling (which sometimes it does not even work) an IBM binary it may not be legal.

Any idea on the legal ramifications of not actually decompiling, but just single-step debugging into kernel DLLs?

Quote
What I suggest first is to start with the API documentation and see what specific parts of the  API do you need for your goal. Also, if it some Windows API, I think it will be interesting to see the Wine project and see what had been ported to Odin too, just to don't make any duplicated efforts.

I'll have to figure out how the win32 1.1 api is arranged in code.

My first goal would be to write a completely transparent wrapper, so that everything passes-thru without error.  After that, I'll start attempting to add extensions based on what I see the code doing in a full version of Win95.

BTW, Visual FoxPro 3.0 is able to be installed on OS/2 Warp 4.  The installer completes and the application even starts to launch.  It just fails when it gets to that win32 part.

Thank you,
Rick C. Hodgin

Andreas Kohl

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Re: Visual FoxPro 3.0 on OS/2 Warp 4 and Arca OS
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2017, 08:23:31 pm »
I'm wondering if anybody knows the legal ramifications of reverse engineering the OS/2 win32 support?  There are some APIs that Visual FoxPro 3.0 requires that cause it to not run on OS/2, though it would run on a full version of Windows 3.11 by Microsoft.

I am considering creating a wrapper DLL which would embrace some of those Win32 1.1 specs, initially just those which are used by Visual FoxPro 3.0, but ultimately any that would be required for other apps, so that we could get more modern Win32 apps up and running (at least many that would work on Win95).

If it's legal, I may consider investing some time on this as I program in Visual FoxPro daily, and I would gladly leave Windows forever if I could get this environment up and running.

I have no problems running FoxPro 2.5a for Windows here under OS/2. It installs without any complaints. Only the executable had to be patched. But that has to be done under later Windows NT also.

There are other reasons why Microsoft Visual products not run under Win-OS/2.

I would simply ask Microsoft software support.

Rick C. Hodgin

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Re: Visual FoxPro 3.0 on OS/2 Warp 4 and Arca OS
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2017, 08:35:10 pm »
There are other reasons why Microsoft Visual products not run under Win-OS/2.
I would simply ask Microsoft software support.

I came across this page from 1998 today as I was researching it:  http://computer-programming-forum.com/2-vfp/4be30d5bd45af167.htm

One of the posts says:
Quote from: Tim Wito
Just talked to Microsoft tech support after trying to run VFP in WinOS/2 under OS/2 Warp unsuccessfuly.  They assured me that VFP WILL NOT RUN IN WARP due to it's specialized 32-bit needs.  Warp's Windows support provides Win32s 1.1 compatibility, but VFP ships with and NEEDS a brand new Win32 driver to thunk like it wants to.

But the funniest reply was when he replied to a poster who asked what OS/2 was:
Quote from: tim Wito
Quote from: Chris Kem
What's OS/2 Warp??? :)
Dear sir, at dawn tomorrow, you will be unceremoniously hung by the earlobes till dead.

LOL! :-)

-----
In any event, if it's possible to intercept the things that are missing and code around them in some way, it would be worth my time to give myself a Visual FoxPro developer environment that's not based on Windows or WINE.

Thank you,
Rick C. Hodgin

Dave Yeo

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Re: Visual FoxPro 3.0 on OS/2 Warp 4 and Arca OS
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2017, 06:14:22 am »
I'm wondering if anybody knows the legal ramifications of reverse engineering the OS/2 win32 support?  There are some APIs that Visual FoxPro 3.0 requires that cause it to not run on OS/2, though it would run on a full version of Windows 3.11 by Microsoft.


Do you mean WIN32s support? As far as I know, the API's are/were supplied by Microsoft in the WIN32s package. OS/2 supports up to  Win32s 1.25 and partially 1.30, which IIRC was the last one. The problem is that MS went out of their way to break WIN32s on OS/2 by force loading some DLLs in high memory where OS/2 couldn't access them
There is also ODIN, which is reverse engineered WIN32 support, partially based on WINE, which is also reverse engineered Windows support. Never heard of any legal problems with WINE, which I assume is a clean room implementation.

Rick C. Hodgin

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Re: Visual FoxPro 3.0 on OS/2 Warp 4 and Arca OS
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2017, 04:09:11 pm »
Do you mean WIN32s support? As far as I know, the API's are/were supplied by Microsoft in the WIN32s package. OS/2 supports up to  Win32s 1.25 and partially 1.30, which IIRC was the last one. The problem is that MS went out of their way to break WIN32s on OS/2 by force loading some DLLs in high memory where OS/2 couldn't access them.

Correct.  I misread the original article.

Quote from: Dave Yeo
There is also ODIN, which is reverse engineered WIN32 support, partially based on WINE, which is also reverse engineered Windows support. Never heard of any legal problems with WINE, which I assume is a clean room implementation.

I looked into ODIN this morning.  I'm going to start there.  Thank you to Martin and you for that nudge.

It also occurred to me this morning, I have my Visual FreePro, Jr. project, which is basically a port of Visual FoxPro and a few other XBASE languages into a new product.  It might be worth me trying to get it up and running in OS/2.  It still needs development, but if I could get a solid source-code compatible Visual FoxPro open source project working in OS/2, it would be of benefit to the community.

Thank you,
Rick C. Hodgin

Dave Yeo

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Re: Visual FoxPro 3.0 on OS/2 Warp 4 and Arca OS
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2017, 04:30:36 pm »
One drawback with Odin is it is only Win32, no 16 bit support. Generally 32 bit programs will run, if the API is there but some programs targeted at Win 3.x have a 16 bit installer. It is possible to change the installer to 32 bit but it has been a long time and I forget the steps.

Rick C. Hodgin

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Re: Visual FoxPro 3.0 on OS/2 Warp 4 and Arca OS
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2017, 04:43:02 pm »
One drawback with Odin is it is only Win32, no 16 bit support. Generally 32 bit programs will run, if the API is there but some programs targeted at Win 3.x have a 16 bit installer. It is possible to change the installer to 32 bit but it has been a long time and I forget the steps.

I appreciate your support.  I don't know your background, so I apologize if this is an obvious question.  Have you been able to install Arca OS and begin developing in it?  I plan to buy a copy this weekend and install it on a desktop machine I have.

Thank you,
Rick C. Hodgin

Dave Yeo

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Re: Visual FoxPro 3.0 on OS/2 Warp 4 and Arca OS
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2017, 05:07:02 pm »
I've been running the betas for a couple of months. It's basically OS/2 and works the same once the environment is set up correctly, hard to do here when re-installing the OS weekly  :)

Rick C. Hodgin

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Re: Visual FoxPro 3.0 on OS/2 Warp 4 and Arca OS
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2017, 05:13:53 pm »
I've been running the betas for a couple of months. It's basically OS/2 and works the same once the environment is set up correctly, hard to do here when re-installing the OS weekly  :)

I'm trying to get a license issue worked out with Lattice Semiconductor.  If I'm not able to get it sorted by this weekend, I may devote Saturday to trying to get the developer environment setup and see what changes I have to make to get some of my apps to compile in OS/2.  I use a lot of Windows-specific functions.  When I went to port to Linux, I began working on a translation for straight-forward compilation in Linux, called Lin2Win:  http://www.libsf.org:8990/projects/LIB/repos/libsf/browse/utils/common/cpp/lin2win

I may write something similar for OS/2.  If I can get it compiling, it would be great to get my IDE up and running to have it working for general development.

Thank you,
Rick C. Hodgin

UPDATE:  It appears Lattice Semiconductor will not accept input from a gmail.com email.  I have to use another name.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 07:01:52 pm by Rick C. Hodgin »