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Petition: Sent 2007

The Open Source Petition letter to IBM

Posted by Kim Haverblad - Sunday, 02 December 2007

On November 19, 2007, we sent a second letter to IBM where we insisted on implementing the stipulations contained in this petition because we believe that OS/2 is an important part of the history of the Operating System, and furthermore, it still contains values that the computer science field considers unique.

More than two years ago on September 25, 2005, we sent IBM a letter with a petition that contained 11,613 signatures requesting IBM to release the source code of Operating System 2 (OS/2 Warp) - or at least release the source code that IBM owns - to the public under an open source license - this is why we sent a second letter to following at IBM:

  • Sam Palmisano, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Steve Mills, Senior Vice President and Group Executive IBM Software Group
  • Nick Donofrio, Executive Vice President Innovation and Technology
  • Bob Sutor, Vice President of Open Source and Standards
  • Johan Ekesiöö, Chief Executive Officer, IBM Sweden

We would like to insist on implementing the stipulations contained in this petition because we believe that OS/2 is an important part of the history of the Operating System, and furthermore, it still contains values that the computer science field considers unique. Open sourcing OS/2 will be the best option for customers who want to retain their investment in this platform and it will ensure the platform’s continued development into the future, especially in light of the fact that it’s "End of Support" passed by in December 2006.

After talks with the OS/2 development community, we have found that the following three important components will be basic to the continued development of OS/2:

  • SOM (System Object Model) Core. This will also be a good contribution to the open source community in general and to the computer science educational area.
  • Workplace Shell (WPS). According to press documentation, the OS/2 graphical user interface (GUI) was developed 100% by IBM. There are no third party restrictions to open sourcing it.
  • OS/2 Kernel.

A good starting point can be utilization of the source code of OS/2 for PowerPCs. This OS/2 beta version was developed by IBM, and it can be a good springboard toward open sourcing the components because it does not involve third parties.

We would like to courteously and amicably insist on adopting the open source request for these components, or otherwise, at least release the code that can enable it to become public. These components will be an important contribution to the general open source community as well as to the Computer Science educational area. Open sourcing these components will also allow the developers’ community to keep supporting OS/2, and it will allow the Operating System industry to make innovations with a higher level of integration.

With Kindest Regards,

Kim Haverblad
Webmaster & Founder
OS2 World Foundation
Sweden
www.os2world.com
Adrian Gschwend
Administrator & Founder
Netlabs.org
Switzerland
www.netlabs.org



Netlabs: netlabs.org was founded in 1997 by Adrian Gschwend with the goal of creating a center for free OpenSource Software for OS/2 and also eComStation (eCS). Today netlabs.org is one of the largest developers of OS/2 software outside of IBM itself. With its many ground-breaking projects, netlabs.org has won a name for itself in the great OS/2 and eCS Community.

OS2 World:
Launched in May 2000 by Kim Haverblad, the site is now the best source for news about OS/2 & eCS. As an international collaborative community, the Internet site also gives the OS/2 & eCS community a common platform upon which they can interact with each other. Having grown from modest origins into a powerful resource for OS/2 & eCS, it is now one of the major OS/2 & eCS sites available.

Note:
the original letter sent to IBM can be found here. Since we received a lot of e-mails from people that missed out to sign the first petition, we have decided to open up a second petition round with the primary purpose to show IBM that there is a big interest of getting OS/2 open sourced.

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