OS/2 and the past 2003

Another year has passed, but it was holding some good developments for the OS/2 users. In my opinion OS/2 is in really good shape these days. The most things happend to the community can be divided in two groups, these are programs and drivers. Another year has passed, but it was holding some good developments for the OS/2 users. In my opinion OS/2 is in really good shape these days. The most things happend to the community can be divided in two groups, these are programs and drivers.

The year 2003 has also shown that the continued support of OS/2 is depending more and more depends on the user base and not the companies. It also have to be the goal to cut of important depencies of companies and replace them with free and open software.

We all know that OS/2 itself isn't open source but IBM has continued the limited support of OS/2 by the release of new or updated drivers along with important fixpaks. There were also some service updates for Lotus Smart Suite 1.7.x and finally a Adaptec U320 SCSI driver.

Furthermore we have seen press rumours about OS/2 withdraw but this was only the truth for selected part numbers of OS/2. Serenity Systems released their long awaited version 1.1 of eComStation with lots of changes and additional value over the standard OS/2 package. IBM stopped the developing of an updated OS/2 Java Runtime with version 1.3 but Innotek and GoldenCode jumped in by porting the the 1.4.x version of Java from Sun.

Innotek also released important products ported with the help of the ODIN libraries, these were the Acrobat Reader 4.05, VirtualPC V5 and Java 1.4.1. Additional programs were the Font Engine for OS/2 (powered by Freetype 2) and the supported GCC v3.2.1 compiler package.

Looking on the driver side we have seen a continued development of the Dani IDE driver, Scitech SNAP Graphics and UniAud. The later one uses sources from the AlSA project, some OS/2 programs have also been open sourced in 2003: 4OS2 v3.0x, PM123 v1.21 and VirtualPascal v2.1. The open version of the Watcom Compiler went GA the last 2003 year: Open Watcom 1.0.

At the beginning of the year 2003 XWorkplace 1.0.1 along with WarpIN was released,hopefully we see an updated version in the next year. The development of the one and only OS/2 video player (with DVD support) WarpVision GUI and Cli is also ongoing. The WPS can now play MP3/OggVorbis files itself with the help of MMAudio Pak. In december the first beta of Xine video player for OS/2 was released. Unfortunatelly the development of CWMM Classes has stopped due user complains. The Warpzilla Team kept the best browser for OS/2 current: the Mozilla browser suite and its redesigned components Thunderbird and Firebird. The OpenSSH port to OS/2 has produced an additional component called Security/2 (SSES), this enables OS/2 to be multiuser (a GUI front end/shell is planed). In the speak of security we had big virus attacs this year, but everyone could be happy if they ran a OS/2 box and not Windows.

These were the major news/software releases this year but there is even more, have a look at the hobbes file server or just browse the net.

A big thank goes to all volenteers, programmer and other supporter of OS/2.

Happy New Year!

Michael J. Snadaker


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