Author Topic: What is the agenda for OS/2 today?  (Read 5594 times)

Eugene Gorbunoff

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What is the agenda for OS/2 today?
« on: November 15, 2013, 08:46:00 pm »
Hello Martin

What is the agenda for OS/2 today?
IMHO, open-sourcing is the direction, we all agree that the OS should include more open-source components.
But it's not agenda of OS/2.

Agenda for today:
What applications to develop to attract new users, extend the market?
What parts of the OS to improve? to modernize the system.




Martin Iturbide

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Re: What is the agenda for OS/2 today?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 11:41:13 pm »
Hi Eugene.

I splited your topic, because the MenuetOS post was to show how other open source OSes are showing up.

About the agenda.  My suggestion had been posted on this blog http://openwarp.blogspot.com/ since March of this year.
Which is start from "Top to down" on replacing the close source WPS Classes first and moving down (SOM, PM, the rest).

What I can recommend you is to start making your eCo Software open source and really start summing up to have a complete open source operating system in the long term. Choose the open source license you like and start opening the source.

If you need help choosing an open source license I can give you some advice. I'm not a lawyer but I know the basic stuff of how the most common open source licenses works.

Regards
Martín
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Eirik Romstad

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Re: What is the agenda for OS/2 today?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2013, 01:32:58 am »
Dear all,

open source has its virtues (anyone can develop it as the underlying code is freely available etc.), and the success of Linux reminds us that open source is powerful.  However, we must not forget that Linux was the first major open source operating system venture born in a time of increasing "anger" over the way MicroSoft operated and Windows worked (or did not work - sorry, but I could not help it).  The irritation over MicroSoft and Windows is still there, but to a lesser degree as Linux serves as a safety valve for those most disgruntled, and Windows 7 actually works quite well (though it still has its quirks).  Just like OS/2 - eComStation users like the OS/2 feel, Linux users have gotten to used to the Linux feel(s) [recall there are multiple Linux versions out there], and they are hence quite loyal.

But the success of Linux is also a result of customers paying for packaging (RedHat, Suse, etc.): this provides developers with funds to go further.  I think the future of OS2/2 - eComStation lies in being able to develop and maintain an operating system that sufficiently many people are willing to pay for.  Due to historical reasons, OS/2 - eComStation is unlikely to become fully open source as part of the underlying code is proprietary with a mix of IBM and MicroSoft ownership.  I am uncertain if this ownership/those patents are soon to expire (the 20 year lifetime of patents).  If that is the case, we are in a better situation to attract new developers, but also developers need funding.  In Linux that is taken care of by users paying for the packaging.  A bit like what it appears eco Software seeks to do.

But OS/2-eComStation will struggle to attract as many users as Linux has, just because they were the first as an open source operating system and therefore occupy this space.  To support this claim, look at Mozilla - they were the first and there are few other successful web browsers/email clients around.  In other parts of the computer world Open Office has been successful (the first open source office suite), and R is growing as a the first open source statistical analysis software covering most branches of statistics (where two of the strong points are much faster inclusion of new statistical procedures, and a fantastic open support community for users asking questions than any commercial statistical software can provide).  Mozilla, Open Office and R are all successes because they were first, and hence got the disgruntled commercial software users and attracted developers.  They also make it more difficult for other open initiatives in their part of the market because they've already captured these users and developers.

What does this mean for OS/2 and eComStation?
  • It will be very difficult to succeed only sticking to the open source modus operandi, exemplified by OS/2 clones struggling even more than we are.
  • Attempts to make OS/2-clones actually makes it harder to succeed for OS/2-eComStation as it spreads developer resources and reduce the the number of users (which again makes it less attractive to develop software and drivers).

In brief, the future for OS/2-eComStation lies in developing something that is so useful that people want to pay for it.  This development could be helped if the underlying code becomes open source once/if patent rights expire (and I believe they do in 3-4 years as there was little development in the source past OS/2 ver 4.52) as that makes life easier and more fun for developers.  But starting from scratch as Martin suggests is not a good idea as it spreads users who like the OS/2 feel on several operating systems.  While I am displeased with the many of the way Mensys works, we should acknowledge that without Mensys OS/2 would have died a long time ago.  But unless Mensys starts to deliver more and better, the risk is large that OS/2 is dead before patents expire for the important parts of the OS/2 source code.

Eirik


Doug Bissett

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Re: What is the agenda for OS/2 today?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2013, 05:04:13 am »
Quote
This development could be helped if the underlying code becomes open source once/if patent rights expire (and I believe they do in 3-4 years as there was little development in the source past OS/2 ver 4.52) as that makes life easier and more fun for developers.

It will, IF, and only IF, the source code is made available. That could be the reason why IBM hinted that they have "lost" the source code. Once patent rights run out, nothing changes, unless the source code is made available, and I expect that that will never happen.

What it might do, is encourage more people to start deconstructing OS/2, as some of the Russians have been doing. However, I think that Mensys has been doing some of that too, to get to the most serious problems. That was how they came up with those extra fixes that were included with ACPI. As I understand it, they were told, by IBM, to do whatever they thought was necessary.

My view is, that anything that is developed from scratch, needs to be open source. But the WPS is definitely NOT the place to start, for a rebuild project. There are many smaller parts of OS/2 that basically stand alone, that could be reworked, with fewer people required, and a much better chance to show some progress in the near future. Some of that stuff has been started, by porting parts of Linux, but there has been little interest, so far, partly because the parts that have been done (BIND, DHCP) are not understood by most users, and many are afraid to try that stuff, simply because they are afraid to render their systems unusable. Also, there has been little "advertizing" about those things, so many people don't even know that they exist. OS2world does post announcements, which helps, but people don't bother looking at stuff that they don't understand.

One of the more troublesome parts of OS/2 is XCOPY (which may be one of the things that Microsoft still has some code in). The function of XCOPY is pretty well understood, and many people use it, but it is known that XCOPY has trouble with many thousands of files. Trying to fix the original program doesn't make sense, but it should not be too difficult for somebody to map out what it is supposed to do, and write a new program to do it. While they are at it, they might as well use resources that are available, like large memory, and AHCI function, that was not available when the original program was written.

MiniLVM is required to set up disk drives, but it also has some limitations that have not been resolved. Mensys has the code for that program, but I suspect that the faults are in the base LVM code. This will need to be fixed, if we ever hope to support large (>2TB) disk drives. I think that Mensys has done a preliminary evaluation, but I don't think much else has been done.

Then, there is the question of NIC drivers. Mensys has developed the NVETH (NVIDIA), Intel, and Realtek, NIC drivers (wired versions only, so far). They were always supposed to be developed as a template, so that other people could continue the project, and develop more drivers for more devices (RALINK, BROADCOM etc.). AFAIK, nobody has stepped up to do that. The same will be true after Mensys gets a template for wireless devices. There will also be requirements to update the current MultiMac drivers, as newer devices become available. Somebody had better become interested, or we are going nowhere fast.

USB devices: Wim Brule has stepped up to make video cameras work, but I think he is working alone, and I have no idea what license model he might be using (if any). He also did the Canon 4400F (?) scanner thing, and the USBECD driver, which makes it possible to interface with "unknown" USB devices (among other things).

Mensys does, of course, have other things that they are working on (ACPI, AHCI, etc.), but that is only a small part of what needs to be done, in the short term. UEFI is already causing a lot of trouble, with no resolution in sight.

OS/2 today, is so far behind, that it will likely be impossible to catch up. Many, talented, people are working at keeping it going, but little work is being done to make advances. It would take many more talented people to make progress. As noted, if somebody pulls those talented people out of the mix, to do something like rewrite the WPS, there will be nobody left to keep it going in the short term. If the base OS stops working, any work done on the WPS project will be for nothing. Of course, there are still virtual machines, and old hardware, to run it on, but that certainly isn't going to attract serious new users.

So, back to:
Quote
What is the agenda for OS/2 today?

The way I see it, is that the agenda is to work as hard as possible, to extend the life as much as possible, with the resources that we have available. To do that, every OS/2 (eCS) user will need to contribute in one way, or another, and priorities will have to be established. Mensys has established some priorities, but they are subject to the reality that they need to be able to pay for what they do (including pay salaries). It is okay to dream about open sourcing the WPS, but doing it will mean that other areas will suffer. You can have the best WPS possible, but what good is it if you can't even boot OS/2, because it can't figure out UEFI? Those who have avoided upgrading to eCS, for one reason or another, are not helping the cause.

Second agenda: Somebody needs to win a BIG lottery, and donate a good chunk of it to new development. There was a case, recently, where some guy got whacked twice by lightening, in the same storm, and lived, so it may not be impossible.

Eirik Romstad

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Re: What is the agenda for OS/2 today?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2013, 11:58:56 am »
Dear all,

thanks to Doug for extending the analysis I started on.  There are some common threads in my posting and Doug's follow up:
  • Scarcity of resources - both funds and developers - that makes it imperative to have a strong focus.  In brief, while some things are nice to have, there are some bare necessities we must have.  This implies use the existing platform where it works as it is resource demanding to develop new stuff, and those resources have an opportunity value.
  • When developing new stuff from the ground that is essential for OS/2-eComStation to work, seek open source to attract new developers.  It is important to note that the code can be open source, while users still pay for using the product.  While unpopular among some users, attracting revenues is necessary to cover development costs
  • There is uncertainty about the source code ever becoming available.  If this is due to patent issues, it will eventually become available (I think in 2016).  If this is because IBM may have lost the source code (Doug's angle), it is more troublesome, but it would be a major blow for IBM if a software company looses code, someone in IBM will find it if the costs of admitting the code is lost is made sufficiently large.  To sum up: I think this uncertainty will be resolved in a way that spells a future for OS/2-eComStation.
There are also large challenges caused by hardware development and user demands changing.  On the latter, smartphones and notepads make it even more important that communication works between PCs and these new devices work, and that wired and wireless net access.  On wireless, we also learned an open source lesson: we did not secure that the initial code was made available for new developers to continue the good work that initially was done.

Both US and EU competition legislation is quite tough in the sense that hardware developers cannot favor certain software developers.  This implies that hardware developers need to document what they do.  Here, I think that the OS/2-eComStation community can forge fruitful alliances with Linux and other developing environments to improve documentation.

Doug's closing wish is that someone needs to "win big" in a lottery to make more funds available.  Betting on Lady Luck is indeed risky business.  However, if we succeed in resolving the main eComStation challenges, we are more likely to attract investors or donors.  In my book these challenges are:
  • Proper operation on modern hardware (at least for some producers).  Here, ACPI is key, and good work is done
  • Connectivity to other devices (smart phones, notepads, existing and new wireless standards).  Here, much work remains.
  • Key software that "all" users need: office suites, email clients, browsers, flash, and JAVA.  Here, good work is done
So, the future is not that bleak.  But the eComStation community needs to prioritize, and here clearly spelled priorities by Mensys are part of the picture given their central role in the development of eComStation.

Eirik

Martin Iturbide

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Re: What is the agenda for OS/2 today?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2013, 01:21:05 pm »
Hi

Like a told before, I think that Mensys is doing a good job, but they have a long term strategy, which gets hard to attract new members to this community.

We require things like bluetooth, better ACPI, more Wifi device driver, but that is not long term strategy. But adding this things to eComStation/OS/2 will not make people to turn back to us and join us. We still have the disadvantage (compared to Linux) that OS/2 is not free of charge, everybody that wants access to it needs to pay. If eComStation were free for individual use, that will be another history, but it is not.

I still think that we need a project focused on the long term, that it goal will be to get our independence from IBM's source code on an open source model. Please notice that I'm not against that players profit from it on the future with services or custom builds, just like RedHat did with Linux, but with the spirit of sharing the source code and nobody trying to hijack us by creating a "close source" software dependency. This is what we learned when IBM dumped us, this is why open source is important for us, no more dependencies of a single person or company that can die or go out of business.

Every step we made on the open source direction is good, like Paul Smedley, Elbert Pol, David Azarewicz (the open source projects), Mensys, Yudi Dario, Dmik, Silvan... etc. But I think we need a "long term project" that can give outside our community a "STATEMENT" that says that we are fighting for the continuity and independence of this platform and we also need developers.

Funds is interesting, but  I still haven't found anybody that can help me with the WPS development plan. If someone will jump and said: "I had check your WPS UML and it will take XX months to make it and will cost you XX to work with me", it will be starting point for me.

But please do not take is as it is "WPS" or nothing. There are also other components that need to be replaced for example:
1) SOM - http://sourceforge.net/projects/somfree/
2) Presentation Manager - http://frepm.sourceforge.net/

I'm all in for any project that was to replace/emulate any close source component of OS/2 with an open source replacement.

Thanks for your feedback. I'm taking some notes of your comments too so it is very interesting to keep the discussion in this constructive matter.

Regards
Martin

Regards
« Last Edit: November 16, 2013, 01:23:55 pm by Martin Iturbide »
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Doug Bissett

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Re: What is the agenda for OS/2 today?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2013, 09:24:19 pm »
Quote
Like a told before, I think that Mensys is doing a good job, but they have a long term strategy, which gets hard to attract new members to this community.

Mensys has the same long term strategy that you have. The main difference is that they realize that you need to make what you have work, within the parameters of what you have to work with. Mensys does need to be more organized. It is apparent that they have little, or no, quality control for the overall project, and they are in react mode, most of the time. I can understand why that is the case, but it doesn't help the perception of what eCS is all about.

Quote
But please do not take is as it is "WPS" or nothing. There are also other components that need to be replaced for example:
1) SOM - http://sourceforge.net/projects/somfree/
2) Presentation Manager - http://frepm.sourceforge.net/

You sure can pick the hard parts. We have a bicycle, and you want to haul a 30 ton load. Lets start with something that a bicycle can haul, and work up from there.  If nothing else, it should give some people a bit of training in how to do such things, before they try to tackle the big jobs. You can't expect your average apprentice welder to build a suspension bridge, without the proper training. It is easy enough to say "lets build a new suspension bridge", but if you have only one apprentice welder who is willing to help, and no funding, I would suggest that you have a major problem. Any attempt to actually do the project will not turn out well, and would probably convince most people that it is "impossible".

We know that eCS desperately needs a few things, just to be viable, in the short term. Pick one of them, and see how it goes. My first choice would be for somebody to pick up the Multimac project, for wired devices. Once eCS 2.2 gets out the door, wireless devices are supposed to be worked on. Once that is developed, somebody needs to work on more support for them too. It is also evident, that we need more modern development tools. Paul S. has been working on that, but he is only one guy, doing it part time. Without that, it is highly unlikely that much new work, of any kind, can happen.

Quote
We still have the disadvantage (compared to Linux) that OS/2 is not free of charge

Now that is one of the main problems. Unfortunately, eCS cannot be "free of charge", simply because it is a commercial product (IBM's product. Mensys is simply a non profit organization, when it comes to eCS). You must also remember, that Linux is supported by a number of large corporations (including IBM), for both financing, and development, and it has outside funding as well. ECS has commercial, and private, users supporting it. Users are a little different, because few of them contribute anything but a bit of money. Even trying to get people to support something like the Firefox project, or JAVA, has been like pulling teeth. Some people willingly help out. Most simply sit back, and wait for somebody else to do it, then complain when something goes wrong. Much of what is being done today, should have been done 10 years ago, but most people simply sat back, waiting for IBM (or others) to step back into the game. Now, it may be too late to catch up. It may even be too late to keep up, unless everybody starts to help out.

Martin Iturbide

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Re: What is the agenda for OS/2 today?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2013, 11:57:26 pm »
Quote
Mensys has the same long term strategy that you have.
I don't share that. I don't think that Mensys wants a full OS/2 open source that can last in time. They want eComStation to last in time, but only patching it for new hardware. Remember that his business model is based in corporate customers that can not get away from OS/2 and need to run it on modern hardware.

If Mensys wanted to walk fully the open source path, they will open source ACPI. The ACPI code they are using is open source from Intel, but it is under a license that allows that derivative works can or can not be open source. (please notice that using Intel's ACPI code does not take away all the effort that it was porting it to eCS-OS2, I'm not saying that it was easy).


Quote
My first choice would be for somebody to pick up the Multimac project, for wired devices.
Multimac it is interesting and it is needed, but it is not a project to replace a closed source component of OS/2. It is not a project that will help us get recognition that this community is trying to clone OS/2 until we get a complete open source replacement.

I insist (personal opinion) to start on WPS with simple, trying to make a 100% replacement of the basic child WPS class.
- Let's clone WPS Classes that runs on ecs-warp 4.53
- There can also be new features if wanted.
- Lets use the old sc.exe (we don't any other choice) and try to use open source compilers with it.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 12:20:43 am by Martin Iturbide »
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Doug Bissett

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Re: What is the agenda for OS/2 today?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2013, 07:41:09 am »
Quote
I don't think that Mensys wants a full OS/2 open source that can last in time.

Of course they do. They just know that eCS must live within the limits of what it is. You, on the other hand, don't seem to understand what it is you are proposing.

Where do you think you are going to get a team of at least 5 very competent programers to do the job, for free? You can't take them from the current pool, or eCS will be long gone before your team even maps out what it is you ask of them. Better to expand the XWorkPlace project, if you can find volunteers. After all, whatever gets done there will be applicable to anything further that eventually gets done by your WPS project, should it survive long enough to be useful.

Quote
If Mensys wanted to walk fully the open source path, they will open source ACPI.

You must realize, that Mensys has paid for that development, and they do need to make some return on the project. As you note, the original source is available. Go ahead and make your own. They have made most of what they have paid for available to the whole OS/2 community. Some of the community, on the other hand seems to think that they should get it all, for free. I, for one, don't agree. I have supported eCS from the time I heard about it. Others still seem to think they don't need to contribute to get the benefits of other people's work. Sorry, but it seems that Mensys needs a carrot to dangle in front of the rabbit. I think they have been more than generous in sharing what they develop.

Quote
I insist (personal opinion) to start on WPS with simple, trying to make a 100% replacement of the basic child WPS class.

Well, my personal opinion is, that doing that would be about the fastest way to finish off eCS, but go for it, as long as you don't take away from what is already being done. If you do, eCS will wither, and die, long before any progress is made. 10 years ago, you might have had a chance. Today, I doubt it, unless you have a small fortune to sink into the project.

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Re: What is the agenda for OS/2 today?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2013, 01:18:08 pm »
Sorry Doug.  Again the conversation is going to the side if Mensys is doing a good job or not. I don't see Mensys doing a job to open source OS/2, I don't see it on Roderick conversations and I don't see it the eComStation web site. I don't see "Open Sourcing eComStation" on Mensys long term strategy, not even hiding between lines. Plus Mensys is another player just like IBM, when it stops being a good business they are going to leave. That is the normal thing to do for a company, but we are community of users, that's why we need to look to remain with the platform in time.

Why do you do something about Multimac? Why do you start finding developers and try to set and raise a money goal for that project, maybe something similar to what Silvan is doing. If it is going to be an open source project we are going to support it.

I need to do the same thing about WPS Classes and I never said that is going to be absolutely free. It seems that nobody read the http://openwarp.blogspot.com/ before criticizing. I want to set a goal for the WPS development but I haven't find a developers that wants to help on this yet.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 01:40:14 pm by Martin Iturbide »
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Re: What is the agenda for OS/2 today?
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2013, 07:58:05 pm »
Quote
I don't see Mensys doing a job to open source OS/2, I don't see it on Roderick conversations and I don't see it the eComStation web site.

Well, I do see it happening. Do a Google search on "eComStation open source svn", and you will find a list of what is available, as OPEN SOURCE. Check those packages, and they will tell you where to find the source, including for ACPI and MultiMac. What you don't find there, are the binaries. They are in Software Subscription, until they are released in a new version of eCS. So far, everything, that I know about, has been included. There are also a few packages that Mensys has contracted to include in eCS (DragText), that are NOT there, but they are available to everybody on the shareware model. I also think that Mensys has been collecting source code for those packages, but will not make that available, because of a contract with the developer, that includes a way to open source it, under certain conditions.

Mensys has NOT been silly enough to try to rewrite OS/2. After all, it took IBM, with a large team, many years to get OS/2 to the state it was in when they quit, and they had the source code. What Mensys has been doing, makes a LOT more sense than what you propose. If eCS lasts long enough, and finances permit, Mensys will do more, and that may include rewriting parts of the OS. Meanwhile, they are being realistic about the whole thing, while you are not.

Quote
Why do you do something about Multimac?

Actually, I have been doing something about MultiMac. I have been attempting to keep Genmac going, while we wait for MultiMac. Unfortunately, it seems that Genmac has come to an end (what works, still works, but newer stuff does not). I have also been testing new releases of MultiMac, and doing what is necessary to help the current developer(s) to fix the problems, that I find, although supplying them with hardware seems to be most effective at getting it to work (Mensys has been doing that). What MultiMac needs, is a developer to buy a new device that doesn't work with the current support. Perhaps they would be interested enough to go to the source, and figure it out. If we expect users to fund it, we might as well tell Mensys to do the funding model, and have them collect the money. Of course, that would mean that they would need to sell the final product, rather than supply it for free (like they did with OpenOffice), simply because those who did fund it would feel cheated if others got it for nothing. I think that is the main reason why it is so difficult to get funding for projects like Firefox.

Quote
I want to set a goal for the WPS development but I haven't find a developers that wants to help on this yet.

I wish you luck. Perhaps it would be easier, if you would start with a less ambitious project, that some developer might actually know something about. Most, if not all, developers know that what you propose is going to tie up, at least 5, programers, for many years. Most of the first year will be to figure out what they are actually trying to do. Until they figure that out, it would be impossible to quote any numbers, like how much, or how long. So, you are likely looking a half a million dollars, just to get some realistic numbers to do the project. No developer will put that into a project for an OS that can't even do accelerated video, or WiFi. Users are not likely to fund it, because there is a good chance that the numbers will come back at an impossible amount, and there will be nothing to show for what has been spent already. Users are reluctant enough to fund Firefox development, where some progress has been demonstrated.

The only hope that you have, would be to find retired programers who actually worked on the project for IBM, and are looking for something to do. There should be lots of them who worked on small parts of the WPS, but I suspect that those who did the initial design are not going to be interested, and you would need a few of them, just to map out what it does (if anybody can remember all, or most, of it).

Quote
but we are community of users, that's why we need to look to remain with the platform in time.

I hate to say it, but you are dreaming in technicolor. There are too few users to support anything more than what is being done today, and Mensys is funding a lot of what is being done (volunteers do the rest). It is also obvious, that Linux has caught up to windows, and will soon pass OS/2. Some say that it has happened already, and it has, in many ways. The WPS, on it's own, is not going to save eCS. More important would be to get the Kernel updated to 64 bit code. I would assume that that would also cure the memory space restrictions. Of course, doing that would mean that most other parts of eCS would also need to be updated. Drivers, for instance, are still 16 bit code, and, from what I hear, 16 bit code simply will not run on a 64 bit system. Prognosis: Not likely to happen, but that would probably be a requirement to make a new WPS actually worth the time, and effort. Patching up what we already have (the SMP patches), and adding parts (ACPI, MultiMac) that are essential to being able to actually use OS/2, is the only way to prolong the life of the product (short of the lottery scenario). You, Mensys, or even Microsoft, will never be able to stop progress in Linux,  and once the users get to the point where eCS can no longer do the job, they will be forced to switch to something else. Even if you had a new WPS today, it would only delay the inevitable by a short period of time. It is equivalent to putting a new convertible top on a rusty old Nash Rambler, with bald tires. It would make more sense to replace the tires, and get more life out of it, but doing either one, would not increase the value of the car, and it is only a matter of time, until it stops working.

Martin Iturbide

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Re: What is the agenda for OS/2 today?
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2013, 11:43:07 pm »
Hi Doug.

You have your opinion, but I don't share that.  Do I have to reply to your post? or it will not make any difference on your way to see it?

The same thing "Why do you do something about the 64bits kernel? Why do you start finding developers and try to set and raise a money goal for that project, maybe something similar to what Silvan is doing. If it is going to be an open source project we are going to support it. "

I will focus on keep updating the EDM/2 Wiki, the OS2World Wiki, trying to organize more open source code at github.com/os2world and sharing the news at OS2World.com. You are free to help like everybody here.

Regards
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 12:03:54 am by Martin Iturbide »
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Doug Bissett

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Re: What is the agenda for OS/2 today?
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2013, 08:18:33 am »
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You have your opinion, but I don't share that.  Do I have to reply to your post? or it will not make any difference on your way to see it?

How can I change my view? My view is supported by facts. Your view is  only a dream. I would like to see your view come true, BUT, I do NOT want to see you destroy what is left of OS/2, by sucking the life out of what is left of it. You will not find a developer who is willing to take on the job, for the funds that you will be able to attract (unless somebody wins the lottery, and donates the funds to the project). All of that effort could be put to much better use.

IF eCS can ever catch up to the basic expectations of a new user, we might get enough momentum to take on larger projects. Meanwhile, forget the 64 bit kernel, and the WPS, we need WiFi, Bluetooth, a complete USB stack (including USB 3.0), accelerated video, an up to date browser, and some other things. All of them are possible, and some are in the works, at Mensys, but it is difficult to find developers who can do the job, never mind those who will work for small compensation, simply because they also want to see eCS succeed.

Quote
The same thing "Why do you do something about the 64bits kernel?

Simply because, the kernel would be an even bigger job than the WPS. Do YOU know anybody who has the skills to build a new kernel, that will do what the OS/2 kernel does?  I know that I don't. Therefore, we are back to borrowing software from Linux. If we do that, we might as well use Linux. There is the Russian group who are messing around with the kernel, but it has been a LOT of years, with little result. Then, there is the problem of all of the other things that would need to be updated to be able to actually use a new kernel. The full IBM development team would be required to get the job done in our lifetimes (especially if they really don't have the source). Despite what others seem to think, I still believe that the whole desktop platform (including laptops, as we know them), will be finished in the next few years, and it is very unlikely that OS/2 will survive as an OS that runs in a real machine. If it runs in a virtual machine, there would be no need for a lot of the ported software, because it would run better in the host machine.

Quote
I will focus on keep updating the EDM/2 Wiki, the OS2World Wiki, trying to organize more open source code at github.com/os2world and sharing the news at OS2World.com. You are free to help like everybody here.

This is all good. It helps those who are doing, or learning, development, and it doesn't take away anything from what is being done, to extend the life of OS/2, today. Some of it may even be new enough, that some people might be able to learn a bit about programing from it.

Alex Taylor

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Re: What is the agenda for OS/2 today?
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2013, 10:37:47 am »
If I can interject my own thoughts.

I wholeheartedly agree with Martin's long-term objectives, and even the broader aspects of his strategy.  I do think it's unwise to try and start with the WPS, however, for several reasons.

First of all, the only way this project can get off the ground is if it attracts developer enthusiasm from the OSS community outside OS/2. That means, practically speaking, that the project needs to start with something that can actually be tangible and useful to the wider OSS community.  A new kernel is useful because it has no dependencies on lower-level OS/2 software.  Non-OS/2 users can actually do things with it.  Even a replacement for PM is potentially useful because, being itself the lowest-level graphics environment, it only depends on the underlying OS services – meaning that if it's well (i.e. portably) written, it could in theory be built and used on other OSes like *nix.  Again, it's something tangible for the OSS community to get behind.  But a replacement WPS that starts out by depending on the existing Presentation Manager... if you go and ask a random open source developer if they'd be willing to help out, they're just likely to respond "As a non-OS/2 user, exactly how do I benefit?"

In other words, what pitch is more likely to attract developers right off the bat?
1. "Let's create a new, open operating system based on the architecture of OS/2"
or
2. "Let's write some OS/2 software that only runs on existing OS/2 systems"

Second, and related, is that the necessary toolchain is so obscure that even if we can attract these outside developers, we'll have real trouble equipping them and keeping them engaged.

Third, and this is mainly a philosophical argument that I freely acknowledge many people will disagree with, is that I've long been opposed to the idea that the WPS is "the one indispensible feature" of OS/2. OS/2 is so much more than that, and I'm afraid that focusing straight away on the WPS above all else risks obscuring all the other parts of the operating system as equally important objectives.

Martin Iturbide

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Re: What is the agenda for OS/2 today?
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2013, 03:50:56 pm »
My suggested plan is based that on that the projects to clone OS/2 that had tried to start "down to top" had lost traction, and none of the generated components are being used by the OS/2 community and are not included on eComStation.

While the open source projects that had been developed to run over OS/2 like XWorkplace and WarpIn had been included on the platform and seems to have more recognition on the community. But I also want to focus on replacing the close source components that are working on OS/2.

Sometimes when starting a development "down to top" the developer gets too tempted to fix what is wrong in OS/2, and to fix that it generated components that incompatible with OS/2. If we generate today a PM replacement that will turn incompatible with IBM's SOM and IBM's WPS will it be included on eComStation? Will it be used for the community?

Even that I want PM, SOM, WPS open sourced (cloned) in the long term (technicolor dreaming), starting with the three at the same time will not be possible - just see all the flame just by suggesting to start with one :)  I can agree and support to start with PM, but we need to make it sure that it will 100% compatible to what we have today and make IBM's SOM and WPS to run over it.

For example, if we start with a PM clone, I think that "FreePM" for "OSfree" is a good starting point. But sadly I can not asset how far away or close are from the goal.  I noticed that FreePM/OSFree generated some DLL replacements that worked on OS/2 but it was not a big part of PM yet.
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