Call to Action: Open Source OS/2 Abandonware

Martin, the OS2World.com NewsMaster, has made a little article calling to action to all OS/2 developers and ex-developers. The mission, try to open source the OS/2 abandoware. OS/2 has many applications that had been created by companies, individual developers and hobbyists. Many of these applications still works under the newest version of eComStation and have demonstrated a good quality. The only issue is that they are turning into abandonware since developers had switched to other platforms, but there is a chance to extend their life with the "Open Source Long Live Elixir".

Here at OS2World.com we will like to make a call to OS/2-eCS developers and ex-developers to open source their creations. We believe that the software can be expanded for the benefit of the community and allowing a learning experience from the code of these applications. Personally I believe that the efforts of the developer or developers involved on creating this software should be wasted allowing the software to became abandonware, while their life can be extended by sharing the source code with a community.


A Quick Intro
Well, we all had heard about the Open Source software on these days. For the one that doesn't have heard about this is mostly to give away the recepy (the source code) of a program, so everyone else can build it on its on way and distribute it too.

Of course that for Open Source software there are also legal license to follow. The licenses can be found at http://www.opensource.org. The most likable license for open source artists/developers are the "GNU General Public License" (GPL). There are also another open source licenses modified by companies to have more commercial options over of the code like "Mozilla License" and the "Common Public License" (CPL) but with common qualities that keep them OSI approved.


Open Source and OS/2
Open Source software is expanding on a good speed under OS/2 and eComstation and we had seen a lot of examples of good open source software. OS/2-eCS developers are joining forces and making better software while they share the code and gain knowledge and enhance their programming skills.

The OS/2-eCS community had ported several Open Source projects. Between the most common projects we have available for OS/2 and eComStation versions of Firefox, Thunderbird, Open Office.org, PSI instant messaging client, MySQL, Apache, Libc libraries, SDL libraries between others.

And there are also another OS/2 and eComStation exclusive projects like the OS/2 WPS enhancer know as Xworkplace, that has included other Open Source software on it like PageMage and several Xcenter widgets. Also there is what we know as the new OS/2 default software installer called WarpIn. And I can not forget to mention ODIN that had succeeded running several Win32 applications under OS/2 and the list keeps going....... Warpvision, Doodle ScreenSaver, audio CODECs, etc.

And also there are groups and individuals that keep developing and maintaining OS/2 software. I had posted some links to the groups at the end of this article. There is also Serenity System, that commercializes the new version of OS/2 called eComStation, that is also including and supporting open source software.


Developers: What to do with your OS/2 application?
If you have developed an OS/2 application and you haven't updated in a long while, or you just don't have the time anymore to improve this development, it will be a good time on thinking to open source it. If you want to open source your software, the steps to follow are easy:
  • Select an OSI Approved Open Source License:Check the OSI web site and find the open source license that you will like for your project. (www.opensource.org/licenses ).
  • Pack the Source Code: Make a zip file with the source code of your application, put inside a txt file of the open source license you choose for it. You can also include the source code zip file inside another zip file that contains the Binaries. With that you have a single zip file with the binaries and source code.
  • Upload the File: Upload your file in the file sharing web site for OS/2 and eComStation users. This site is Hobbes. (hobbes.nmsu.edu ).
  • Read the upload policy (hobbes.nmsu.edu/uploadpolicy.html ), you require making a little text file to identify the file you are uploading there.
  • Promote it: You need to announce the OS/2-eCS community that your program is now open source, and that the source is available for download. The easiest way to is to send a news to several site using the "Os2World.com News Submition page"
In conclusion there still a chance for the OS/2 abandonware to keep being useful for the community, there is now an alternative for don't letting the software die in a drawer. Developers that do not code anymore under OS/2 can open source their creations to allow them grow in the hands of an open community.

If you need any kind of help on how open source your OS/2 software you can drop me some lines.

Martin Iturbide


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