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Topics - Lars

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Programming / OS/4 kernel - my first impressions
« on: January 08, 2014, 10:29:15 am »

ok I went through it. I tried SVN revision 4160. I copied OS4APIC.PSD and CLOCK03b.SYS to \OS2\boot. I created a custom CONFIG.OS4 file to load OS4APIC.PSD with the /APIC switch.
I enabled "preload=1" in os2ldr.ini

1) both, the OS/4 debug and also retail kernel trapped when they encountered valid CONFIG.SYS statements. In my case, that was the STRACE statement. It's the statement to control performance tracing in OS/2, see \OS2\BOOK\STRACE.INF.
That leads me to believe that the kernel will also trap on other statements it does not recognize and therefore it is incompatible with the existing kernel.
It should also be stated that with the performance tracing, IBM added a bit array to control which strace codes will be active or not (much like the bit array that exists for the trace codes) to the global info segment. I wonder if the OS/4 kernel also has this addition ...

2) I then removed the STRACE statements. The kernel would start to load showing it has initialized 1 CPU at "stage 2". Then it would sit there doing nothing. This was true for both, the debug and retail kernel. I had to power down the system.

3) I then stripped down CONFIG.SYS to the bare minimum. This time the kernel would start to load drivers but would hang when loading IBMKBD.SYS. Again, I had to power down the system.

I had the boot logo turned off via os2ldr.ini but I doubt that that would make a difference.

I have a pretty old box, about 5 to 7 years old, nothing fancy. It has only 1 (Intel) core. It's with MMX and SSE.

From what I can say, I would think that the new loader OS2LDR is ok (this was also true for QSINIT) but the OS/4 kernel is not.

This is my os2ldr.ini (beware of messed up line breaks):
; Kernel number from kernel list section to be loaded by default

; Waiting time (in seconds) after which kernel mentioned in "default"
; will be loaded

; Debug options

; Debug port
; com port address
; no debug output if statment is omited (but log still accessible
; through copy from oemhlp$ - see below)

; Enable Ctrl-C check for kernel debugger. This is optional for kernels
; beginning from revision 2970. Older kernels always have this check enabled.
; This option ignored if no debug port specified.
; Ctrl-C check allows KDB popup when Ctrl-C is passed via serial link but
; adds two problems:
; - frequent serial port reads cause overall performance degradation
; - the serial port can't be used for something else except KDB because these
;   reads destroy data which are received by the port

; You have full COM port link cable (with hardware flow control support)

; Show PC memory table as it reported by BIOS, do nothing if absent
; or defined as 0.
; Warning: this option will make PAUSE on boot!

; Hide from OS/2 one of memory blocks from list above.
; Block specified by start address (>1Mb, block at 1Mb required for OS/2
; boot).
; You can add up to five such keys into [config] section.
; note: OS2LDR ignore too small blocks (<64k) by itself.

; Color values for the startup menu
; byte 0 - text color
; byte 1 - color of selected row
; byte 2 - background color
; byte 3 - border color
; defauls are:

; Show b/w tty style menu with ugly kernel selection by numeric key ;)
; It use BIOS text output only, so suitable for some strange reasons.
;ttymenu = 1

; Reset video mode to default 80x25, before menu output (fix for some
; strange BIOS bugs too)

; OS/4 kernel only (rev>=2075)
; Turn on memory files. Kernel will preload all files, located in:
; - BASEDEV and PSD statements of config.sys
; - os4krnl.ini
; - snoop.lst
; - and predefined list of files: PREVIOUS.DAT, ISAPNP.SYS, ISAPNP.SNP,
preload = 1

[kernel]   =  IBM OS2LDR,RESTART
os4krnl      =  OS/4 dbg kernel,LOGSIZE=4096,PRELOAD,CFGEXT=OS4,DBPORT=0,LOADSYM,CTRLC,ALTF2
os4krnlr     =  OS/4 retail kernel,LOGSIZE=4096,PRELOAD,CFGEXT=OS4,DBPORT=-1,ALTF2


Programming / OS/4 ? QSINIT ?
« on: January 05, 2014, 02:32:06 pm »
I don't doubt that the developers are skilled people. However I doubt that this project will be of any relevance if it continues in the current way. I just want to state my opinions here and I won't go into the "legal/illegal" issue.
I am open to any comment, good or bad:

1) I would have never found the website. Fortunately, one of Martin's comments pointed to it. The project needs more promotion. A good way would be to be present in the most frequented OS/2 newsgroups

2) from the website, it's completely unobvious of what the latest version is for the OS4 core project. I'd go with the SVN revision numbers but I could never be sure. It's also not clear what version was reasonably stable and what version was not. I would also think it would be a good idea to remove all versions that proved to be too unstable for most testers.

3) it's completely unobvious in how far the QSINIT project relates to the OS4 project. Does QSINIT "overwrite" the OS2LDR contained in the OS/4 zips ? What would be the benefit to use QSINIT in favor of the OS2LDR that comes with the OS/4 kernel zip ? Is that the same group of developers of these 2 projects ?

4) there is no FAQ that would collect common problems or such. Also there is about no documentation. All the information is contained in the few postings floating around on the os2world website. Who is going to bother and go through the effort to test the OS/4 kernel if he is more or less completely on his own ? Not too many people I would think ...

5) there is too little feedback back into the developer community. One of the topics has already been addressed: David as the ACPI developer should be taken into the loop. Me might not be inclined to support the OS4 kernel but I'd say it's the OS/4 people's job to get in touch with him. At least that would make sense ...

6) all of the website is in cyrillic (russian, anyway). I know it might be not that easy but at least a bit of english would be helpful (we are not talking about perfect english here). It's just a major hinderance in attracting anybody to try and test and support development of the OS/4 kernel.

For me, 2) and 3) and 4) are the most pressing problems. And they surely have no relation to the "legal" / "illegal" question.

Ok, let the shitstrom begin ...


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