EComStation - OS/2 and the past 2010
This article is about the OS/2 and eComStation community on 2010 and I will try to resume the high points of the past year. Of course that this is my point of view and I’m listing the projects that I liked more. If you have something you think I’m missing go ahead and reply on the forum.
Software Releases and Updates.
We had seen several software new releases and updates this last 2010. Here I list some of them:
Firefox and Thunderbird are versions are up to date. It is incredible to see that we have the last version of Firefox ported to OS2-eCS and even have the beta of Firefox 4 ported. The Firefox eCS-OS2 developer community makes a great work keeping the browser updated.
Lucide turned open Source on April of 2010. I have always liked Lucide and I loved to see it open source and available for the whole community for download. Before Lucide we used to have Acrobat Reader 5 (Odinized version) to read PDF. Since Lucide is open source now it will be easier to extend the functionality of it.
GCC, PHP, Samba, eCUPS also gets regular updates and are very important projects at the moment. Paul Smedley have done a hell of a job to keep all his eCS-OS2 projects updated.
VLC (Media Player) and Arora (Web browser) showed up to be well received surprises this year. VLC is a project I’m following with interest, since it is a very important media player in the open source world. Arora came to me as surprise since I didn’t know about that project at all. Since Arora uses a Webkit based engine I was very interested to test it out.
eComStation 2.0 was released on May of the past 2010, after I don’t know how many years. I recall that eCS 2.0 beta program started on 2005. So this was big news for eComStation and the community. This release was made possible by Mensys. The ACPI driver was the crown of the jewel of this eComStation release. Thanks to this driver it was possible to run eComStation on modern hardware.
OpenOffice.org 3.2 was also released on 2010 by Mensys. OpenOffice.org has become almost a standard on every non-Windows operating system and we cannot be left behind without a good and modern office suite running under this platform. After the release of eComStation 2.0 I consider it the best software release from Mensys on 2010.
Another important thing accomplished of the 2010 inside the eCS-OS2 community was the release of QT4 port . The version 4.5.1 was released on early 2010, it has been keept up to date and now it is on version 4.6.3. This port was lead by Silvan Scherre and developed by Dmitry A. Kumino. This port was very important as the QT library allows several QT based software to be ported also.
After the QT4 port I started to see a flood (positive flood) of QT4 based software ported to eCS-OS2. There was an excellent job from Elbert Pol porting small but useful pieces of software based on QT4.
As part of the OSFree project I found the release of FreeLDR very interesting, allowing OS/2 to be booted from a CD and USB drive in a very flexible mode. It was not big news on 2010 but I think it was a very important milestone for the OSFree project.
Uniaud was also updated this year and it keeps working well enough for me. I’m my case I have an Intel mainboard with an i5 processor running eCS 2.0. Even that Uniaud got criticized from time to time I found the efforts to keep it current very worthy.
The Mensys open source Intel network drivers were a positive news that allow all that have (including me) a newer Intel mainboard to connect to the wired network. This released was also a very important for the Intel mainboard I’m using and I guess several people inside of the ecs-os2 community found it very useful too.
xAta: It surprised me to see that netlabs.org hosted this project which is the evolution of Danis506, this driver allow us to access modern hard drives. There has been some updates to Danis506 this year, but I really hope this project can keep evolving on 2011.
As a surprise on December I saw the release of the USB driver from Lars Erdmann. I read on that chat that there was some work going on with the USB driver and it was good to see a release out there. I haven’t tested it yet but I’m putting my hopes on this project.
Developers and Open Source
Taking with someone at the community I hear a phrase like “Don’t expect too much from open source pizza box developers, they cannot deliver important projects”. Even ought his words were well explained from his point of view, this 2010 showed me that he was not completely right.
In this year I have seen many developers delivered good, open source and important tools to the community as a hobby. Sure it will be desirable that developers get money even for their free time development, but currently it is not happening because of the size of the community and the operating system relevance on the market.
Sorry if I cannot list all the community of developers on this article but I would like to say to all of them that they have overpassed all the expectations on this 2010 and I congratulate all of them. As the OS2World.com NewsMaster I have seen new software updates almost on bi-daily bases uploaded to hobbes or as reported news.
What to expect on 2011?
We never know what can happen on 2011 on this community. We don’t have big corporation betting on eCS-OS2 , but I want to list what’s seems to be more probable. Even that for the moment some are just speculation.
I think OpenJDK port (Java 6) is the most important promise for 2011. They gave us a good surprise on the release of the first beta on 2010 (30th december). When the GA released gets available it will allow several Java applications to run under OS2-eCS again. This is a necessary port because the last java port we have is version 1.5 and it getting very old. Plus OpenJDK is open source and can be further improved by community efforts.
I hope to see on 2011 Mensys release of the stable Flash 10 plugin wrapper for eCS-OS2 (even that some people say the word “stable” and “flash” do not belong together on a same sentence ;) ). I personally don’t think of it as a vital thing, but it is a plus to be able to see Flash content on the web. But many other disagreed with me on this subject since they think for web surfing flash is a must.
The USB driver will mature ( I hope so) to replace completely the IBM one. Hopefully this driver will be the access door to have an USB 3.0 driver for eCS-OS2 one day.
GL/2: As an OS/2 gamer (and owner of OS2World.com Gaming Site ) I will like to see how this project evolves on 2011, and see if some GL games get ported to eCS-OS2 like QuakeGL.
More QT4 applications ported and hopefully more Java applications will be reported to be running on eCS-OS2.
What I wish for 2011
I always wish peace to all eComStation and OS/2 users on earth. But what I wish for OS/2-eCS platform on this 2011 is keep adding and porting more open source replacement for closed IBM components.
Maybe one day the platform can be complete open source to be independent from any kind of vendor.
What do you expect/hope/wish/dream for eCS-OS2 on 2011?
Let’s have fun throwing ideas on the forum.