Author Topic: Community Ideas BrainStorm for 2020  (Read 4342 times)

Martin Iturbide

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Re: Community Ideas BrainStorm for 2020
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2020, 04:25:52 pm »
Hi Travis

....Since IBM likes to keep OS/2 in the rearview mirror, our only option is do do something like Haiku has done for the BEOS.

I could not agree more and it had been an ongoing discussion on the past.

I saw BEOS and ReactOS progress and I also dream about that for our community. Finally ditching IBM and embracing open source will finally reduce the risk of getting dump again by another vendor and will allow everybody to download, modify and improve OS/2 (or the OS/2 clone) for profit and non-profit, just like Linux OS is doing today.

But sadly we don't have enough resources like money, people and skills (or even a business case) to pull a full OS/2 open source clone. Resources are basically set on Arca Noae creating drivers to allow OS/2 run on today's hardware. But there is not a longer term strategy to became an open platform and try to clone it to have a high level of compatibility with native OS/2 software.

My personal opinion about OS/4, is that is a research, educational and non-profit project, but it is not open source. The people behind OS/4 has very good skill level understanding the OS/2 kernel, but they do not believe in open source software and copyleft software. They think that if they open source OS/4, they will allow other people make money with it. I see it in a different way, selecting a copyleft license (like GNU GPL) will force the big corporate developer to share the source code with the little developer and both will work with in the same ground.

What about a different crazy dream... what if HaikuOS, ReactOS and an OS/2 clone can share the same microkernel someday and share drivers between them? too crazy :)

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Martin Iturbide
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Sandra Asja Eickel

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Re: Community Ideas BrainStorm for 2020
« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2020, 08:26:27 pm »
But sadly we don't have enough resources like money, people and skills (or even a business case) to pull a full OS/2 open source clone. Resources are basically set on Arca Noae creating drivers to allow OS/2 run on today's hardware. But there is not a longer term strategy to became an open platform and try to clone it to have a high level of compatibility with native OS/2 software.

Don't forget Bitwiseworks http://www.bitwiseworks.com/ - without them we wouldn't have much current software, like OpenOffice 4.1.7, our older FireFox and now QT 5.13 in beta (and GCC 9.2 together with a lot of new or refreshed tools to be able to continue porting Linux stuff - see https://github.com/bitwiseworks) with the goal of a new chromium based browser in the not too far future.

They still need a lot of donations to pay their developer to finish this QT5/Browser project (see the donation meter at the bottom of their homepage - 0.5% of the estimated amount is from me, sadly I couldn't afford more). Most of their software is free, but they ask for the OpenOffice for OS/2 binary money (this more or less allows for keeping the port current, but doesn't generate otherwise income to finance other tasks). All money (except the Austrian VAT) goes into development, the owners have other jobs to generate income for their living.

And unlike some other companies in the past, Arca Noae and Bitwiseworks DO deliver, even if the progress is not as fast as we all wish, but with tight budgets and very few developers, their output and progress is astonishing. Who would have thought it to be possible to run our old Operating System on UEFI systems without BIOS compatibility, /2?

See https://www.arcanoae.com/what-arca-noaes-upcoming-uefi-support-means-for-arcaos/ - I hope that USB 3 (XHCI) support will make it into 5.0.5, because that is even more pressing (USB 2.0 ports on modern board are in reality speed-crippled USB 3 ports with enhanced compatibility for problematic USB devices, not real EHCI ports which would work with our older drivers). Both features work on at least some of the tested environments.

Greetings,
Sandra-Asja

David Graser

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Re: Community Ideas BrainStorm for 2020
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2020, 10:54:06 pm »
But sadly we don't have enough resources like money, people and skills (or even a business case) to pull a full OS/2 open source clone. Resources are basically set on Arca Noae creating drivers to allow OS/2 run on today's hardware. But there is not a longer term strategy to became an open platform and try to clone it to have a high level of compatibility with native OS/2 software.

They still need a lot of donations to pay their developer to finish this QT5/Browser project (see the donation meter at the bottom of their homepage - 0.5% of the estimated amount is from me, sadly I couldn't afford more).

Hi Sandra

Five percent is good.  I thought I was doing good at 2-1/2 percent of the $48,000.  My plan was to donate a $100 a month.  Unfortunately, my plant blew up right before Thanksgiving turning my life upside down.  I am still waiting to see what the company does about my truck which is still in the plant.  I still have a job, but my income has been reduced by half.  I have started donating again, but may not be able to donate every month.  I am grateful for Bitwise continued support.

Martin Iturbide

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Re: Community Ideas BrainStorm for 2020
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2020, 12:52:26 pm »
I think it is time for a good old fashion summary.
These are the ideas on what the OS/2 community can do to support and help with the platform on 2020

1) Support Arca Noae and Bitwise works.
2) More reports and list of supported hardware.
3) Articles, reviews and reports of useful OS/2-ArcaOS applications. Like "Suggested Programs for ArcaOS" article.
4) More documentation on installing ArcaOS (USB stick) and features of every new release.
5) Keep improving EDM/2. More software development related articles.
6) More Instructions, articles on how to build a development environment.
7) RPM installers for OS/2-ArcaOS software. Maybe a campaign to also distribute OS/2 software on RPM packages on available or new servers for the community.
8 ) Supporting any open source cloning of OS/2 close source components.
9) Porting open source software to OS/2-ArcaOS.

I just included 9, since it was kind of obvious.   :)

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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... just share the dream.

Sandra Asja Eickel

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Re: Community Ideas BrainStorm for 2020
« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2020, 09:20:48 pm »
Hi David!

[Bitwiseworks]
They still need a lot of donations to pay their developer to finish this QT5/Browser project (see the donation meter at the bottom of their homepage - 0.5% of the estimated amount is from me, sadly I couldn't afford more).

Five percent is good.

I thought I was doing good [...]

Five percent would be REALLY good (that's about a month of development time). It's five per mil, a tenth of that, so you are doing good, even when you had to slow down in the last few months. Sorry about your truck and the companys plant ...

It really wish, that a lot more people would donate regularly (or could spend a larger sum once), because Dmitriy needs to be paid for his full time development job. We can't afford him to have to look for another job to finance his family, as that would drastically reduce the amount of time he could spend on developing for us.

And with the new GCC 9.2 port including many things in the toolchain, porting (or maintaining) other tools and applications has become a lot easier, because now it's "only" needed to fiddle with OS/2-specific things instead of having to do a lot of hacks to get the newer sources to compile at all with the old version 4 of GCC.
A compiler is not an end user tool like OpenOffice, but it's essential for providing such applications - you can buy a sponsor unit dedicated for GCC if you want.
And a library like QT5 is also not an end user tool, but a lot of applications are built using it, so it's essential, too.

I'll go to miss SeaMonkey in the future, but even on other platforms it massivly lags behind FireFox, as there are so many breaking changes coming in ever faster release cycles, without huge manpower it simply wasn't feasible to try to keep somehow up with them.
To be able to provide a new browser for OS/2 without so much hassle, a webkit/chromium based browser like falcon became the new target. As this required a current QT5 (we had QT4) and also could provide us with a lot more current end user software, the port was started.

For an IT project it is good in time, but there were several other things to do beside just porting QT5 itself, like porting current versions of GCC and other tools, as they are prerequisites for being able to finish QT5. More time means more money is needed, best in form of a steady flow.

So I absoluetly agree with Martins #1: Support Arca Noae and Bitwise works.


With the upcoming USB 3 support (and later UEFI) from Arca Noae, a lot more modern hardware can be used, so there will be enough stuff to add or update Martins #2: More reports and list of supported hardware.

I like #6: More Instructions, articles on how to build a development environment.
It's probably never been easier to turn an end user system into a development machine.
Install all those development stuff via ANPM onto your PC.
Do some magic ...
And with luck, it is just a git clone and a make ...
That would be a dream and #9: Porting open source software to OS/2-ArcaOS.

Sandra-Asja

Dave Yeo

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Re: Community Ideas BrainStorm for 2020
« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2020, 10:10:50 pm »
What would be nice is meta-packages, which I see on deb based systems. Could have a gcc-devel-meta package that consists of a bunch of dependencies which when installed would pull in the whole development environment.

Travis Thoms

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Re: Community Ideas BrainStorm for 2020
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2020, 11:50:01 pm »
But sadly we don't have enough resources like money, people and skills (or even a business case) to pull a full OS/2 open source clone. Resources are basically set on Arca Noae creating drivers to allow OS/2 run on today's hardware. But there is not a longer term strategy to became an open platform and try to clone it to have a high level of compatibility with native OS/2 software.

I understand that the lack of resources is a real obstacle, and I think the fact that we can't make a business case for OS/2 at this point says a lot.  If we hope for growth I think the OS/2 community has to decide what niche OS/2 is going to fill, and how it is going to be better (or at least more enjoyable) than the alternatives.

Random thoughts:
How does the Amiga crowd do it?  I was watching some footage of a conference they had, and there was a surprising amount of young faces there, considering how old the platform is.

I am in awe of the dedication that the programming efforts currently ongoing to make OS/2 useful, and I think the idea to move a lot of the current software to yum is a great idea, as are the efforts to solidify the development packages for the platform.  Thank you all!

If I was to advocate for conversion of the os to an opensource format, I'd do it the same way the haiku folks did it.  Start with the Desktop.  Tracker was rebuilt as Open tracker.  Heaven knows the WPS could use some updates.

Martin Iturbide

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Re: Community Ideas BrainStorm for 2020
« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2020, 01:24:58 am »
Random thoughts:
How does the Amiga crowd do it?  I was watching some footage of a conference they had, and there was a surprising amount of young faces there, considering how old the platform is.

I also think it is good to make friends with other communities, like Amiga, Qt communities, or even general open source development communities. Like when Roderick went to REXX LA to find a common ground between the two communities (Since in OS/2 we use REXX a lot). Maybe we should always try to get a little space to talk on different communities on how we use OS/2 and ArcaOS.


If I was to advocate for conversion of the os to an opensource format, I'd do it the same way the haiku folks did it.  Start with the Desktop.  Tracker was rebuilt as Open tracker.  Heaven knows the WPS could use some updates.

I like both approaches, if someone want to make a kernel and try it with the IBM's close source compoments on top (like PM, SOM, WPS) is great (Like from bottom to top). Or the other approach, trying to clone things from the WPS and going down (something like a top to bottom approach). Both ways are good to me while they produce open source things.

Maybe it can apply some crazy idea to try evolve XWorkplace into a full WPS class replacements instead of a child of IBM's WPS classes. (or at least go little by little with that goal in mind)

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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David Kiley

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Re: Community Ideas BrainStorm for 2020
« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2020, 07:14:12 am »
Honestly, I think emulation is probably the most viable future for os/2.
There is only so much hardware that a company can make compatible and it takes a lot of resources - not to mention having to constantly take software like firefox to make a new os/2 version.
Running OS/2 in a virtual machine on a linux host seems best to me - since linux is stable and has very good native support for things like Java and web browsers, (not reinventing the wheel) but I can still enjoy the OS/2 WPS and my favorite OS/2 native/Dos/ and Windows 3.1 programs.

For example I use a java program called MuCommander - it runs flawlessly without bugs on my version of Suse, whereas the last time I tried it on the OS/2 Java it would crash constantly.
Doesn't make sense to put more work into an inferior solution when you can just use all the work already done by the large linux community to make the best java experience.

I think Arca Noae should be offering a VirtualBox image with the os pre-installed as a new product.
VirtualBox has a very intuitive import/export system - so they could sell a  pre-made VirtualBox image with the optimal settings preset.
And the focus of development should be working with future versions of VirtualBox on multiple platforms instead of reinventing the wheel on software like firefox, java, openoffice etc.
A bunch of current effort used to make separate os/2 "open source" apps could instead be put directly contributing to virtualbox opensource project - but a sub community dedicated to just OS/2 compatibility.
Those same resources could be, for example, put into making the best future os/2 virtualbox additions to support things like shared folders, usb, video drivers, sound etc - to be most compatible to the latest ArcaOS .

It would also fit well with the "enterprise" market - since if a company has old OS/2 software that would be expensive to re-purpose - they can run a virtual machine on any modern hardware and they can also move the VirtualBox image to any other future host hardware that comes out (effectively becoming a forever OS) since you can just import and export at will on any new host OS. Therefor ArcoOS could focus more resources on enhancing the experience of the OS with new features instead of patching old software to work on new hardware.

I'm not trying to cast shade on any work Arca Noae has done - just the way I see the best path forward for os/2.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 08:00:07 am by David Kiley »

Dave Yeo

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Re: Community Ideas BrainStorm for 2020
« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2020, 07:56:11 am »
My understanding is that a lot of the Enterprise customers, or at least the ones who haven't already moved to a virtual system, are tied to real hardware and they're the main customers of ArcaOS rather then us regular users.

David Kiley

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Re: Community Ideas BrainStorm for 2020
« Reply #40 on: February 14, 2020, 08:03:37 am »
My understanding is that a lot of the Enterprise customers, or at least the ones who haven't already moved to a virtual system, are tied to real hardware and they're the main customers of ArcaOS rather then us regular users.
There's no reason Arca Noae couldn't instead sell them on new hardware with a stable enterprise host OS installed and a virtual machine instead. They could make money on three fronts - selling the hardware, reselling an enterprise linux like Suse Enterprise Desktop, and selling the ArcaOS license. More profit for them since they would have more products to sell and more resources were it would count for the best ArcaOS.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 08:14:51 am by David Kiley »

David Kiley

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Re: Community Ideas BrainStorm for 2020
« Reply #41 on: February 14, 2020, 08:30:21 am »
Although I do have to admit maybe some enterprise companies need it to run natively - like if they integrate with specialized hardware or something.

Mathias

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Re: Community Ideas BrainStorm for 2020
« Reply #42 on: February 15, 2020, 11:32:12 pm »
True indeed. ; ) Getting hardware connected is hard enough on today`s hardware (in the lack of hardware connectors... like RS232 or Centronics connectors onboard (or even hard to get find expansion cards for PCIexpress).. but connecting these hardware into a virtual machine can be quite a challenge.

First of all the hardware itself needs to be connectable via bare metal, then needs to be forward`ble into such a virtual machine.. and that in a way the virtualised software can understand the input.

Currently our electrican has the problem that his old printer died.. physically. Now he could of course virtualise his computer and try to get a new USB printer and ``somehow`` via USB forward connect this new printer into a virtual machine... then somehow translate and inject this in the virtual LPT1... but WHO could possibly do such a thing... not an electican. And I also do not know how to solve this.

Or of course he could try to remain on bare metal.. and get a used old school printer (maybe even the same model as his old one)... but as time goes on, even these might show first sings of failure.. atleast this is not a solution that works forever, as the Centronics port already died many years ago.. and hardware makers do not implement that stuff anymore.. nor drivers for his old DOS 6.22/Win 3.1 machine.
So I thought, he could maybe change to ArcaOS, since OS/ 2 has better DOS than DOS, and a Windows 3.1 also! :D  -But  still.. not sure how DOS software would talk to today`s USB printers in ArcaOS... so maybe(?) also not a solution for him..

So.. maybe brainstorming for what`s needed in 2020... are translation drivers (wrappers?) to translate between the old and the new world.. sound cards, printers, scanners, etcetc..
For retro gaming I`d wish for something for OS/2 DOS sessions to (software based) fake an SB 16 or AWE32 (used to be ISA cards) and translate the stuff to the actual installed audio driver which connects to the actual sound chip. Luckily Lewis said, such a thing is already in development... atleast for audio..