Internet Applications

Now what if you heavily work with XFree86/OS2 and you don't want to switch back and forth between X and PM to read your mail, browse the net etc.? See if you can use one of these applications... It's been much longer than I intended since the first part of this column, but I had lots of pots burning on the stove. Anyway, let's not waste any more time and dive right into the new topic:

Internet Applications
What do you do if you are heavily working with X applications and you don't like having to switch back and forth between X and PM to read your mail etc.? Or your X app comes with documentation in HTML format that you would like to be able to refer to while you actually use the software? There are quite some internet applications for XFree86/OS2 out there and some even offer more than their PM counterparts.

Note: Unless stated otherwise, required libraries can be obtained from Christoph's pages. If there is no special home page for the OS/2 port, I have referenced the original home page and provided an extra download link.
  • Gnapster is the tool for the MP3 hunters of XFree86/OS2 users. It is a powerful client for the Napster online mp3 community. Currently, Gnapster supports all major features of the protocol including many opennap extensions. Unfortunately, I can't tell you much more, since I don't use any kind of today's file sharing clients myself. This program shows what can be done with small code, the executable is only 56K in size. By the way, note that this is Gnapster, not the abandoned Gnome-napster.

    Requirements: Gimp Toolkit (Glib, GTK).

    Download: gnapster.exe from Christoph's pages

     

  • LICQ is an ICQ client clone with many features that has been ported by Alex Galkin. LICQ makes heavy use of a plug-in architecture and requires the Qt widget library from Trolltech. Be sure to use the version from the home page at Sourceforge, the one at birdy.hpage.net is outdated.

    LICQ supports message sending via the server or directly between clients, chat (single and multi-party), file transfer, auto-replies, showing availablability modes (visible, invisible, etc.) depending on userlists, and online user notification, for instance. In contrary to some other clients for OS/2 LICQ also supports registration of new users, so you won't have to reboot to another operating system. Those of you who are not so familiar with the English language will be glad to hear that LICQ provides full localization of the interface. And if you are in for eye-candy, you can choose from a myriad of available skins to change the interface's appearance.

    Now this looks very nice, doesn't it? Well, it all comes at a price. Unpacked, my LICQ tree is about 2,8MB in size and the required Qt-DLL itself adds another 2,5MB. More than 5MB is a bit much for a simple thing like this, especially compared to about 1MB other clients need, though you can remove some of the skins. If you can live with this, the software does a nice job and seems very reliable.

    Requirements: Qt widget library from the LICQ home page.

  • If you don't need fancy graphics, then the Links textmode browser is for you. It runs very well in both a normal OS/2 window and an xterm under XFree86/OS2. You just need to adapt the codepage (and don't forget to start a larger xterm...). Links, while being quite small, has an impressing set of features. It renders pages very fast and even supports color, tables and frames. Navigation is possible with both keyboard and mouse. Downloads via HTTP and FTP can be started and then sent into the background. HTTP and FTP proxies are supported. The interface is available in over 15 languages. You can bookmark your favourite pages, call your favourite e-mail or telnet client from Links, and associate helper applications to certain file types - just like with Netscape. Links is also available for several other platforms, including Unices, BeOS and MacOS X.
    Requirements: none.
    Download: linksWPS - latest version is 0.95, a set of scripts for WPS integration is available from Hobbes

     

  • Pavuk is the Russian word for spider and, as you probably already guessed, a web mirroring tool. It can be used both from the commandline and with a GUI using the GTK+. Pavuk supports file retrieval via protocols like HTTP, FTP, gopher, and HTTPS.

    The feature list includes support for continuing interrupted downloads, CSS and HTML4, HTTP/1.1, multiple proxy servers, HTML link translation, limiting the choice of links to follow by several criteria, setting minimum and maximum limits for transfer rates, and localization. A highlight is the support for drag and drop of URLs from other GTK applications and URL fetching from the clipboard. Drag and drop is said to work well with XWarpzilla.

    Requirements: Gimp Toolkit (Glib, GTK), GNU gettext.

    Download: ftp://ftp.os2.ru/incoming/pavuk-0.9pl27os2.zip

     

     

  • If you need an X e-mail client, have a look at Spruce. The interface looks similar to that of Netscape Communicator, but is a lot more responsive. And Spruce is much smaller and more flexible.

    Features include mail retrieval via POP3 (POP3, APOP, and POP with CRAM-MD5 authentification), IMAP (also with support for CRAM-MD5 authentification) and mbox (standard Unix mail format). MIME is supported as well as multiple user accounts. E-mail addresses can be kept in an address book. The OS/2 port is at the level of version 0.5.4 while the current stable version is 0.6.

    Requirements: Gimp Toolkit (Glib, GTK).

    Download: http://pluto.spaceports.com/~os2/files/spruc054.zip from Christoph's pages

  • Xchat is by far the best Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client around. Period. The interface is organized very well, it's very userfriendly, extensible and flexible but lean. It comes without superfluous kick scripts the kiddies may like. I really like this program.

    Xchat comes with a list of IRC servers that is well-organized into a tree. You can assign certain channels to different servers and open them automatically. Each server/channel is given its own window which are normally organized into tabs you can switch between. But each tab can also be "torn off" the main window. Xchat shows a list of users you can perform actions on, an URL list (especially interesting for the web grabbers mentioned here) and much more. For me the killer feature that makes it better than other clients certainly is the ability to automatically assign different colours to people in a channel. This makes it much easier to follow a conversation. Xchat supports scripting via Perl and Python. The interface has NLS.

    Requirements: Gimp toolkit (Glib, GTK), GNU gettext.

    Optional: Perl or/and Python for scripting.

    Download: http://pluto.spaceports.com/~os2/files/xchat-1_6_1os2.zip from Christoph's pages

     

  • X-Downloader is a web downloading tool with a nice, userfriendly GTK interface. In contrary to Pavuk, it is not aimed at mirroring whole sites, though it is capable of recursive downloads. It's more like PM Download Center with a queue of files to download etc.

    X-Downloader supports both FTP and HTTP protocols, auto-reconnecting and resuming of interrupted downloads, reordering the download queue, stopping the running download of certain URLs and resuming it later, FTP and HTTP proxies, setting password and username for any host, file masks for FTP download, localization and much more.

    Requirements: Gimp Toolkit (Glib, GTK), GNU gettext.

    Download: ftp://ftp.os2.ru/incoming/nt-1-25-b-os2.zip

     

  • XWarpzilla, the full fledged Mozilla browser for XFree86/OS2, has been made available by Henry Sobotka, contributor to the Warpzilla project. Henry compiled version 0.8 from the Mozilla Un*x sources using the GTK for the GUI. This resulted in the X version running faster than the PM one. The latest version now also runs in 16 bpp color depth.

    Of course this is still software under heavy development, so don't expect miracles. There are still a lot of bugs. You should be able to drag and drop URLs from XWarpzilla to the web grabbers mentioned here.

    Requirements: Gimp Toolkit (Glib, GTK), pgcc library, JPEG, PNG, Z libraries. Note that the README contains a wrong link to the libraries.

    Download: xwarpzilla-0.8.zip

 

Please think about writing a detailed review for OS/2 eZine or the VOICE Newseltter, if you like one of the packages above. And I cannnot stress the following enough: Please remember to submit your wishes and bug-reports to the ones who ported the software. If an application works well for you, tell them that, too. It is extremely important that they get some feedback from users so they know that someone is actually using the ports. Otherwise they won't see any good in continuing their work.

 

That's it for now. The next issues are going to deal with scientific software (not very strictly seen) and GAMES! Speaking of games, there is one more thing to add: The May issue of the VOICE Newsletter has a review of the nice strategy game FreeCiv for XFree86/OS2.


Christian Hennecke

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