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Messages - Doug Bissett

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1
Mail-News / Re: Is PMMail still being maintained?
« on: January 13, 2018, 07:58:20 pm »
I will comment that the Migration tool is poorly named. It started as a tool to migrate from older versions of PMMail, but has turned into more of a maintenance tool, with one of the functions being to migrate from older versions of PMMail. Personally, I like the original icon, (it seems to be more appropriate to the actual function) but others may use what they like.

2
Applications / Re: Mouse Pointers
« on: January 11, 2018, 06:56:23 pm »
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The ArcaOS group may want to consider giving ArcaOS the ability to use both 32x32 and 40x40 ptrs.

The group has more important things to worry about, but they may appreciate it if somebody can make it work, and contribute it to the project. Perhaps, open an incident in the bug tracker, so they know what you are working on, but start with the pointers, as available in System Setup-> Mouse. There are already larger pointers available, as well as different colors.

3
Mail-News / Re: Is PMMail still being maintained?
« on: January 11, 2018, 06:43:56 pm »
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Is PMMail still be developed?

The answer is yes, and no. Currently, there is no developer working on it. I, and a few others, tweak it sometimes, when we can, but I am not a programmer, so I can't do much with it.

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No promises, but if it is still being maintained, it would be worth while to try to update the graphics.

The icons were tweaked years ago, and that turned into a bit of a marathon, to try to get them to actually work properly. The original icons, in PMMail before 3.x, were not standard OS/2 icons, and a lot of the code needed to be updated to handle normal icons. Most icons were created from the non standard ones, so they didn't change much. At least they are now proper OS/2 icons.

There is a section in the help, about customizing icons. I suggest that you start there. If you have some success, open an incident in the bug tracker, and I will see if I can get it done. The icons seem to be something that I should be able to work with.

4
Applications / Re: SDL on the Netlabs RPM Repository
« on: January 11, 2018, 06:23:45 pm »
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It should be removed, right?

Apparently not, since it hasn't been resolved. The problem has existed for a few years now. The logic behind it escapes me.  :(

5
Applications / Re: SDL on the Netlabs RPM Repository
« on: January 11, 2018, 03:55:05 am »
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Didn't the sdl package get replaced by the SDL package?

Somebody left 'sdl' (lower case), in the RPM repository (that happened before Arca Noae was more than just a dream). It appears to be an older version, that SHOULD be replaced by 'SDL' (upper case), but the names are case sensitive, so 'SDL' does not replace 'sdl'. To fix the problem, uninstall 'sdl' and then install 'SDL'. It may uninstall other things, so watch what gets uniunstalled, and install all of them, except 'sdl'.

6
Storage / Re: Extended Attributes - OS/2 only thing?
« on: January 07, 2018, 08:14:25 pm »
I don't know about your specific NAS box, but a few years ago, when i was researching this, I found out that most (if not all) NAS boxes run some form of Linux internally. EA support depends on exactly how the Linux has been set up, but most (if not all) only support 4K of EA data, while OS/2 supports 64K of EA data. As you can probably imagine, that can be a bit of a problem, sometimes.

My final solution was to use an old computer (P4 with 1 GB of memory), add a SATA controller, a 2 TB drive, and a gigabit network adapter. Then install eCS (now ArcaOS), and configure the services that I needed, which include PMVNC server (for remote control), Peter Moylan's weasel mail server (including IMAP), Peter Moylan's FTP server, Peter Moylan's Major Major. Web/2, SAMBA server, RSync (server mode), and a few other things. Of course, it supports 64K EAs, and it works with OS/2, windows, and Linux (specifically Mint). It just sits under the stairs, and does it's job. I usually update it about once per month, so I don't really know how long it would run, if I let it.

FWIW, windows 7, and up, seems to support EAs, but I am not sure how big they can be. I am pretty sure that they are less than 64K, and, AFAICT windows never uses EAs. I also don't know much about NETDRIVE. That always seemed to be an unnecessary option. Since the 2 TB disk contains my most recent backups, I could also use the OS/2 based NAS box as my main computer, with minor tweaking, if I ever lost my main computer, for some reason.

The 2 TB drive was the most expensive part of the whole thing (other than ArcaOS), and it has worked better than I had hoped. You do want to make sure that you have a good machine (no bulging capacitors), for reliability. Another advantage is that you have full control over what it runs internally.

7
Article Discussions / Re: ArcaOS Wishlist - 6 months !!
« on: December 30, 2017, 05:43:01 am »
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Yes, USB is necessary since most usb devices are now 3.0.

No, USB  3 is not necessary. USB 3 devices will work with USB 2 cables, hubs, and controllers, at USB 2 speeds. However, a USB 3 driver is becoming much more important now that many new computers don't have USB 2 controllers. This is likely more important than WiFi.

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I am wondering about the encryption that these devices demand that you do.  Don't do the encryption and the drive is useless.

The only device that I have seen with "so called" built in encryption was easily fixed. First, you probably want to use DFSEE to image the drive, so you can put it back to the way that you got it. Then, use DFSEE to wipe the front end of the disk. Now, it is just an empty USB device,waiting for you to put proper partitions on it, and format it. There may be something new, that I don't know about.

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I was also wondering about WIFI.  This is something I have been waiting for a long time.

Yeah, WiFi is about 10 years over due. I do know that most of the project has been done, but other things are taking the developers time.

8
Article Discussions / Re: ArcaOS Wishlist - 6 months !!
« on: December 29, 2017, 07:11:09 am »
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They may have their reasons that with David's Drv32 they can do interesting things (but I haven't noticed that on OS2AHCI), but it is step back in a driver that used to be 100% open source software.

David's DRV32 is available, if you look for it. The IBM DDK is not available AFAIK, and anybody who has it is bound by the IBM license.

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I'm guessing that Arca Noae and the user community are mature enough to get constructive criticism and fell free to express their point of view.

I don't speak for Arca Noae, but it is my view that they have started a project to continue OS/2 into the future. They cannot do that without financial support, and they do a LOT of work to make it happen. There is nothing wrong with charging to build drivers, etc., and that is exactly what they are doing. Plus, they support their work to the best of their abilities (and their abilities are incredible). If you wish to do that for free, by all means do so. You might find that it isn't as easy as you might think. AFAIK, the source is being made available for all open source software. Whether you can build the drivers yourself may depend on a lot of things.

9
Applications / Re: Software Reports
« on: December 13, 2017, 12:46:19 am »
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What programs work well with ArcaOS.

The ones that come with it.

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XIT 2.6 - More desktop fluff- like the scroll and move back to parent folder buttons.

As I recall, this causes problems, if you use XWorkplace, which is far more useful.

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WPSec 2.15  - what a great desktop security program

Well, there really is no such thing as desktop security, on any platform, and I doubt if this one does any better than any other.

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FM/2
FileStar 2  - These are 2 of the most powerful file managers on the planet

FM/2 works pretty well, but there are far too many features for it to be useful. I haven't used Filestar, for years. As I recall, it also has far too many features.

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Smalled 2.0.  One of the best editors I have come across
Pastry 1.06 - a good program for picking and choosing what is copied to the clipboard

Never used Smalled. I prefer the built in Text editor. I never heard of Pastry, and I suspect that you would find DragText (included in ArcaOS) to be far more useful, if you take the time to learn it.

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XfDisk 5.0  - if one needs a virtual floppy for install of some older programs
Ramdisk- if one wants a RAM disk
KillFold-fix - Closes all open folders  - use as a widget in the XCenter
PMdll - a good program for checking exe/dll breakage

I seem to recall XfDisk, but have had no use for a diskette, for many years now. RAMDISK - use the one supplied with ArcaOS, The setup is in System Setup. It will use memory above the 4 GB mark, if you have it. Never heard of KillFold-fix, and I can't even imagine why you would want to do that. PMdll is included in ArcaOS.

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PM123 1.37 - a good music program
PMView 3.79 - version now handles transparent images

PM123 1.41 works well. Nothing is better than PMView.

10
Applications / Re: ClamAV-GUI v3.5.1 (rexx based)
« on: December 03, 2017, 07:55:48 am »
Clamd.exe, from 0.99.2, uses a huge amount of upper shared memory space.  Try increasing VIRTUALADDRESSLIMIT to, at least, 2560, but 3000 might be better.

11
Article Discussions / Re: Large Floppy Support Discussion - USBMSD.ADD
« on: November 27, 2017, 05:44:28 am »
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Actually the most important problem WAS and IS solved.

Actually, it is not. An effective work around has been developed, but the problem has not been solved. In fact, the USBMSD driver should be completely transparent to the file system. The problem exists because the FAT32 support is not properly written (probably not designed properly, in the first place). Some improvements have been made recently, but it is still not a proper file system, therefore it needs some special handling to make it work. No other (supported) file system needs help to make it work with USB.

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And I can not recommend to use JFS in conjunction with non-removable USB MSD under OS/2 for production level at the current state.

That is flat out ridiculous. The current JFS is, IMO, the most reliable OS/2 file system to use with any device (removable, or not), that can use it. I find it far more reliable than HPFS ever was, and the performance is a whole level higher (especially with removable media). Personally, I would never use anything else, if there was no need to be compatible with other operating systems.

Having said that, I do use HPFS with the ARcaOS, or QSINIT, RAMDISK.  The reason is that the RAMDISK can be created with HPFS format, and I can turn the cache size down to minimum (64 KB), which helps performance (it would be better if it was zero, but that is not allowed by HPFS). I also use FAT32, to be able to interface with windows, which is still a necessary evil. I do turn off EA support to avoid problems caused because the FAT32 file system, in windows, does not know about them, and it causes nothing but problems, for very little gain. FAT (12 and 16) still has some limited use, but I try to avoid them, except for special things. The new addition of ExFAT support to the FAT32 driver, is interesting, but I don't know how useful that will be in the long run. I do know that there are serious questions about the legality of doing that, which is the reason why Arca Noae.removes that feature from the FAT32 driver that they distribute. There has been some discussion about porting the EXT file system to OS/2. I don't know much about that, so I won't comment, but word is that it is much like JFS. I also don't know much about HPFS386, but I suspect that JFS is more than a suitable replacement.

12
Article Discussions / Large Floppy Support Discussion - USBMSD.ADD
« on: November 24, 2017, 08:20:13 pm »
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As I said multiple times this issue is already solved with my USBMSD.ADD driver.

Actually, it is not totally solved, and I know that that is the reason why AN has not picked up your changes for large floppy support. As I understand the problem (and I could be wrong), you wrap the contents of the drive in a software wrapper, but that doesn't include the MBR that is written on the device.  That works fine, until you decide to wipe the device, and recreate it, or even format it to a different file system. Since the "virtual MBR" is in memory, such changes modify the contents of memory, and not what is on the media. That works fine, until you eject it, and try it in another system. Then, the contents of the stick don't match. In other words, your approach does not allow an OS/2 user to properly manage media on USB sticks, because part of what needs to be on the stick, is only in memory (but only for FAT32 formatted sticks).

I think you have developed a "work around" for the real problem, but a "work around" that requires using some other OS, just to wipe the media, or even reformat it to some other file system, isn't up to the job.

Nothing wrong with what you did, but it is an incomplete solution, and not ready for prime time.


13
Article Discussions / Re: ArcaOS Wishlist - 6 months !!
« on: November 24, 2017, 05:26:26 am »
First, I will state that I do NOT have any interest in ArcaOS, other than as a satisfied customer. I do some software testing for them, on a totally voluntary basis. Most of what follows is only my view of what is going on, and I do not have any sources, other than what I need to know to be able to test software.

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But: as it turns out ArcaOS is getting more and more closed source, so - even if these Drivers will be available those may be only licensed for ArcaOS I fear - may be not.

Actually, that isn't entirely true. Arca Noae is adding value (sometimes by removing unproven, unstable , or legally questionable, features from some things) to most of their drivers etc. and they are building them, with some support available. Those drivers are available, for all "current" versions of OS/2 (warp 4, and up, AFAIK). through subscriptions. The base code is shared with the open source repositories, when it is possible to do it, but somebody else needs to build, and support, that code. I think the Arca Noae build system is kept private, and probably has patches etc. that public sources won't have. When you purchase a subscription, you support Arca Noae in making better drivers (and other things).

Note, that modifications to the kernel are not likely to be made available, unless you have a license for ArcaOS. That is, apparently, part of the deal with IBM, and isn't likely to change.

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Unfortunately I can not get this LAN Compnent Update as well, as the 6 months of ArcaOS Subsrciptions just shortly dissappeard before these LAN Update was released. My other SSS expires at 31.12.2017 and seems not to have this LAN Update included. Even if I could - it would not be licensed for OS/2.

Perhaps you should have renewed your subscription. From what I know about the LAN update, it happened in the last couple of weeks, and I don't know if it will be released to the non-ArcaOS subscription (but I am inclined to think that it just hasn't got there, yet). Every subscription will run out, just before something gets released. That is one of the chances that you take when you fail to renew a subscription. It is not too late, just renew your subscription. Personally, I did let my SSS run out, because I have almost completed my conversion to ArcaOS, and I will use the ArcaOS subscription for updates.

UPDATE: On reading the announcement, it is obvious that the LAN Component Update can only be available as part of ArcaOS. Arca Noae is not licensed to make such changes to other versions of OS/2.

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I'm also experiencing some frustration with the time frame of the driver releases. I was expecting to see ArcaOS released (which I don't doubt it was a very hard work) and once that milestone was completed I was hoping that Arca's resources can be focused on releasing new drivers faster since they finished the hard work of putting the whole "installation package" together.

One problem is, that the installer is not completed (and probably never will be, There is always something new to work into the mix), and the same guys who do that are the ones who do drivers, and other things. There are only so many hours available, and they can't do everything.  It is true, that USB 3, and WiFi, are high on the user's wish list, but neither one is as critical as being able to install the base system. Many new systems don't have CD/DVD drives any more, so that is part of what they are working on. USB stick install has proven to work very well, when the machine will properly handle it. Very few machines will do that, and a lot of effort has been put into making it work on most machines. We should be testing that soon.

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USB 3.0 and 3.1 are needed.

So is GPT, and whatever that new one, for SSD, is. WiFi is also critical, but not as critical as some other things. Only a couple of people have any idea how to go about doing those things, or they are sitting back, and not contributing.

Speculation on what is being done, and what needs to be done, is not productive. If you need something, that isn't being done, make a business case for it, and see how many people support it. If only one person thinks they require something like punched card support, I doubt if they can make a business case for it, and they are even less likely to get others to support it. On the other hand, if a lot of people need USB 3 support, it may get bumped up the priority list. I do know, that those who are doing these things are working flat out, and they aren't about to release anything, until it is finished, and properly tested.

The scary part, for me, as a tester, is that I can sense that a number of things are coming down the pipe, and there will be a LOT of testing required, probably all at the same time that Christmas is coming.

I guess that I am trying to point out that griping isn't going to help. If you have some talent in software development, donate your time to a project. It doesn't need to be directly connected to ArcaOS, Many things need work. If you aren't a programmer, do testing for some project that somebody is working on. Help out with documentation (especially translations). Arca Noae has a group of people who are working on the project, at different levels. If you have a talent, that may be useful, make sure they now about it, but don't think you will step in, and run the project. It may also be possible that they already have enough people with your talent. Don't get discouraged, find another thing that you can do, that they may need. If Arca Noae can't use your talents, move on to some other project. There are lots of opportunities.

One thing, for sure: sitting back, and waiting for somebody else to do it, is simply going to prolong the wait.

I will point out, that not buying subscriptions is likely to make the time frame longer than what might be possible otherwise, but ArcaOS has no control over what a customer decides to do. Financial support can come quickly, or it may not come at all. Without support, not much will be accomplished.

14
Applications / Re: DBEXPERT crash with thunderbird open and firefox
« on: November 23, 2017, 10:35:50 pm »
C:\OS2\EXECMODE.EXE will also mark binaries s MPUNSAFE, and it is included in all current versions of OS/2.

15
Polls / Re: Compatibility with OS/2
« on: November 07, 2017, 04:21:21 am »
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ES/2 won't only be a 64-bit kernel.  It will be able to boot into both 32-bit mode and 64-bit mode depending on settings, or boot-time overrides.

That really doesn't make sense. If a user needs to reboot to use older software, why would you need a new kernel? There are many options to do that already, and there are probably very few OS/2 programs that could be converted to 64 bit programs. In a lot of cases, the source is not available, so it would require a complete rewrite to make those programs work. Programs like OpenOffice, and Firefox, already run better in other operating systems.

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I intend to write a full driver suite, and to create tools to help others port drivers to support as much hardware as is possible from published sources.

Why don't you start with drivers, and make it possible to convert to 64 bit, when/if that feature becomes available. Today, we need a lot of new drivers. If we don't get those drivers, there won't be any need for a new kernel because the platform will be long dead (unusable), before the kernel becomes available. There are very few people, spending long hours, trying to keep OS/2 viable, and that doesn't include even dreaming about a new kernel. Today, we desperately need USB 3. eMMC,  GPT, WiFi, (although this one is under way), and more.

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As I understand it, there is a legal barrier in what we're able to do with the existing OS/2 kernel and drivers.  We are not allowed legally to reverse engineer anything, or to perform binary patches.  Arca Noae was able to get a license to do that for their new release of OS/2, but for the rest of us it's out of bounds.

It is true, that you cannot reverse engineer the kernel (legally), however OS/2 is designed to be enhanced by simply replacing parts with new parts (Object oriented). Doing so is not going to cause legal problems, as long as you don't copy what somebody else did. Patches are a gray area. From what I understand, you are not allowed to patch something, then distribute the patched file (Arca Noae has an exemption, for OS/2 itself, but not for other things). It seems to be okay, if you distribute a patch that a user can apply to the original file.

As i understand it, one of the biggest problems with drivers, is that they need the device driver development package, from IBM (the DDK), and that is no longer available. Some people do have that package, and they can develop drivers, using it. If that package could be replaced, drivers would be easier to develop. In addition, I expect that there are more than a few DDK licenses, sitting idle, and those could be put to good use, if those who have them would donate them to somebody who can/will use them.

There isn't any point in putting a modern gas/electric hybrid engine in a model T Ford, if the tires are going to wear out next month, and they cannot be replaced. Better to find a way to reliably replace the tires, then worry about replacing the engine.

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