OS/2 and the past year 2002

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By Martin Iturbide

Well, I decided to sit for a while and write some thoughts about what happened with OS/2 on this 2002. So I tried to describe the how the 2002 year was for OS/2, talk a little bit about the OS/2 software releases and the important news of this year that has ended. Well, I decided to sit for a while and write some thoughts about what happened with OS/2 on this 2002. So I tried to describe the how the 2002 year was for OS/2, talk a little bit about the OS/2 software releases and the important news of this year that has ended.


Contents

Software Releases on 2002

On 2002 there had been good software releases for OS/2, some new products and some important updates too. For example on this year we had finally see the 1.0 version of Xworkplace and WarpIn (Nov. 26) after several years that the authors are working on it.

On the commercial software are an important update had been by Innotek/Connectix to Virtual PC, version 5.0 was releases on September 29. On January 21 Innotek releases flash player 5 for Mozilla and Netscape and updated also at Sep. 26 giving us a nicer way to see the web.

Lotus had made an update to the SmartSuite 1.7 for OS/2 to version 1.7.1 showing us that Lotus keep supporting their great suite applications under OS/2. And Domino also by Lotus had been updated to version 5.0.11, sadly there is not going to be a Domino Server version 6 for OS/2, but while version 5 still be supported by Lotus we are going to keep seeing updates for the OS/2 server version.

IBM released good stuff also this year also. The Convenience Pack fixpack 3, kernel updates, the 1024 cyl limitation driver (which I haven't see work yet), USB drivers updates, an update to printerpak and other drivers that I'm forgetting.

Well Serenity Systems didn't release any major software for eCS, but on this year they showed us they care for it. I remember posting news at OS2World.com all the times that Serenity System updated the eCS Maintenance tool and there had been a lot this year. Plus Serenity Systems show us picture of the next installer for eCS 1.1 and looks very good, I think that eCS 1.1 will be one most waited releases for 2003. And as a big surprise for this year at the very end of 2002 (dec. 31) they released the preview version of eCS 1.1 for download to registered customers.

Netlabs.org

Netlabs showed us a great progress on this year. They had reorganized the all the open source projects and sort them in groups. Netlabs has become the best site for developer to put their OS/2 open source software and get visibility and support for the project. Netlabs offer the CVS service as source code repository so developers around the world can join together in a single project and update the code easily.


Did we get a direction on this year ? Is it Open Source ?

I think that on 2002 many of us understand the power of open source software inside the OS/2 community. We had witness on this year the continue development of open source project like WarpIn, Xworkplace, Ghostscript, Newview, Mozilla, Odin, and many..many more.

Many developers started to release their OS/2 software as Open Source/Freeware/Public Domain as a way to improve their software. Many developers like to get feedback on the code too (not only on the compiled files) and its more easy to more people to help on your project while it is open. Also many project from Linux had been ported to OS/2 and the source code of Linux projects are also used in some OS/2 software too.

With the reorganization of Netlabs and the many software open sourced on this year I think that the direction for 2003 will be to keep supporting Open Source projects. Open source show us this year that good software can be produced if the developers are willing to join in a single project.


The Buzz of OS/2 Withdraw

This really hit us hard at the end of the year. IBM released the EOF dates (end of life) of some OS/2 products and announced a change in Software Choice Subscription as we know it. And it was logical that this was going to produce negative press for OS/2. It had became almost mandatory for the press to post the negative issues about OS/2, when was the last time we see positive press about OS/2 ?

Even that several news sites start posting that "IBM finally pull the plug" or "Obituary for OS/2" the OS/2 users were not surprised with this at all. IBM announced that there are going to be changes on how OS/2 is being sold. Now the Convenience Packs for OS/2 Warp Client and Server, and the "password" to download SWC software will be sold as a yearly subscription with IBM's Passport. The bad news is that the position of IBM supporting OS/2 is not better than the last two years, but it is good that we still going to have support from IBM and I'm almost sure that we are going to keep seeing new OS/2 fixpacks and drivers update the next year.


Conclusions & Recommendations for 2003

This 2002 had been good year for OS/2 software released. We need to thanks the developers for their efforts on every piece of code that was released and updated on this year. Let just see all the files that were uploaded to hobbes on 2002. So if you know the developer of your favorite OS/2 software, lets write them an e-mail and just say thanks.

My humble recommendation for OS/2 developers of open source projects next year is to stick up with Netlabs. Lets try to work together with other open source projects and with other developers. There are many great projects that need more help on Netlabs that are waiting for more developers to join.

Lets keep having "hobbes" as our main OS/2 files repository on 2003. OS/2 developers are used to upload their new software releases and this is good for us (the users) because we love to check hobbes daily to see what's new. (I heard that some users started calling it "hoppes" ; ) ) Also if we find any OS/2 software (shareware/freeware/open source/demos)that hobbes is missing, let's upload it there too, no matter how old it is.

Next year recommendation for OS/2 users is to keep on using OS/2 and eComStation. Let's follow the OS/2 news updated daily on OS2World.com, OS2.org or eComStation.com for new software releases and important site updates.

Why keep using OS/2 or eComStation on 2003 ?

It's very simple, because it is our choice. We believe that OS/2 or eCS is the best OS for us and that reason enough to keep on.

Martin Iturbide


Links

  • VirtualPC for OS/2

www.innotek.de/products/virtualpc www.connectix.com/products/vpcos2.html

  • Innotek site

http://www.innotek.de

  • Xworkplace & WarpIn

http://www.xworkplace.org

  • Netlabs.org

http://www.netlabs.org

  • Hobbes

http://hobbes.nmsu.edu

  • Software Choice

http://www.ibm.com/software/os/warp/swchoice/

  • Serenity Systems

www.serenity-systems.com