Author Topic: OS/2 - ArcaOS and the Year 2020  (Read 1736 times)

Martin Iturbide

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OS/2 - ArcaOS and the Year 2020
« on: December 08, 2020, 08:55:34 pm »
Dear Community.

I always like to take some time to share some thoughts about OS/2-ArcaOS and the community when the year is close to end, or on the early days of the new year. This year had been a personally stressful year at work because of the lifestyle changes that produced the COVID19 pandemic, but let’s keep that aside and focus on the OS/2 community, right?

Arca Noae is the one with the IBM OEM deal to keep selling OS/2 today. They had accomplished great things like USB 3 and UEFI support. The next 2021 they have the challenge to finally release ArcaOS 5.1 with multiple language support. I see this as an important milestone, because I'm hoping that from that point Arca Noae can focus in a long-term strategy to not only make OS/2 running on modern hardware, but to start improving the OS with more features. My final word about Arca Noae will be, let's keep supporting them, let's help them, because the delivered what was promised.

Bitwise Works. They are the only development company and group we have on this community. They took the hard task to get a modern browser based in a modern engine to render webpages, and it is taking a lot of efforts on porting extra libraries and Qt5. I really hope they can have more developers for the OS/2 platform, but we need to keep in mind that they need resources (money) to pull this off. I also think we need to keep supporting them and they have their Patreon page for that.  The issue here is that they need regular income to keep paying the developers and I think  Patreon is a good way to support them.

Individual Developers. There are also individual developers that keep developing new software and port software from other platforms. I will never get tired of thanking them for the love to the platform and their selfless work. They are awesome and I like that a majority like to share their knowledge on the forums. Sometimes it is not only about being a good developer, but also having a great attitude, and these guys have it.

So that was the easy part, it is just a quick summary of what is happening today with the platform, but the hard part will be always to look into the future. We still have different needs in drivers and applications for ArcaOS, and Operating Systems market are no longer in war for huge profits and money opportunity.

What do you think is needed today and maybe on the long-term future? Even if it just drivers, software or even a different strategy to have a more representation in the Operating Systems  space.

Regards
« Last Edit: December 08, 2020, 09:04:36 pm by Martin Iturbide »
Martin Iturbide
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Martin Iturbide

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Re: OS/2 - ArcaOS and the Year 2020
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2020, 09:04:06 pm »
From my side I'm still a believer of this 2001 Fernando Cassia's article "Open Source as OS/2's long life elixir". The article may have some outdated things, but the idea remains, we had been using and porting open source software to keep running OS/2 today. Developers of this community does not have the resources to create everything from scratch and using open source software as a base of doing things is working, not only for us but to all operating systems.

Fernando wrote:
Quote
And if 2004 proves Forrester Research wrong and open source fades away, I will eat this column (after printing it, of course - bytes are almost impossible to chew.)
Fernando was right and didn't need to eat his article. Open source may not be as "fancy" or "sexy" was it was some years ago, but today it is baseline of a lot of important developments that runs the world.

I will keep trying on 2021 to get more OS/2 knowledge and more OS/2 related source code to be available for the public. Knowledge should be the base to build things that can endure in time and open source is a good way to keep that knowledge available.

Regards
« Last Edit: December 08, 2020, 09:08:53 pm by Martin Iturbide »
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Mentore

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Re: OS/2 - ArcaOS and the Year 2020
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2020, 08:14:08 am »
Dear Community.

I always like to take some time to share some thoughts about OS/2-ArcaOS and the community when the year is close to end, or on the early days of the new year. This year had been a personally stressful year at work because of the lifestyle changes that produced the COVID19 pandemic, but let’s keep that aside and focus on the OS/2 community, right?

Arca Noae is the one with the IBM OEM deal to keep selling OS/2 today. They had accomplished great things like USB 3 and UEFI support. The next 2021 they have the challenge to finally release ArcaOS 5.1 with multiple language support. I see this as an important milestone, because I'm hoping that from that point Arca Noae can focus in a long-term strategy to not only make OS/2 running on modern hardware, but to start improving the OS with more features. My final word about Arca Noae will be, let's keep supporting them, let's help them, because the delivered what was promised.

I generally second your statement, Martin. Being part of the Italian NLS team I have to admit I'm not making good efforts (work and family take up all my time), but we're doing anything we can to work on it.

Quote
Bitwise Works. They are the only development company and group we have on this community. They took the hard task to get a modern browser based in a modern engine to render webpages, and it is taking a lot of efforts on porting extra libraries and Qt5. I really hope they can have more developers for the OS/2 platform, but we need to keep in mind that they need resources (money) to pull this off. I also think we need to keep supporting them and they have their Patreon page for that.  The issue here is that they need regular income to keep paying the developers and I think  Patreon is a good way to support them.

I'm supporting Bitwise since one year and think it's a good thing to do. Sadly my income has decreased badly this year since I can't work into theatres :( but surely BWW developers are earning their money.

Quote
Individual Developers. There are also individual developers that keep developing new software and port software from other platforms. I will never get tired of thanking them for the love to the platform and their selfless work. They are awesome and I like that a majority like to share their knowledge on the forums. Sometimes it is not only about being a good developer, but also having a great attitude, and these guys have it.

I've been a part-time OS/2 software developer and will get at it again as soon as I have a working setup ready... Alas, too little free time.

Quote
So that was the easy part, it is just a quick summary of what is happening today with the platform, but the hard part will be always to look into the future. We still have different needs in drivers and applications for ArcaOS, and Operating Systems market are no longer in war for huge profits and money opportunity.

What do you think is needed today and maybe on the long-term future? Even if it just drivers, software or even a different strategy to have a more representation in the Operating Systems  space.

Regards

From my point of view:
  • drivers - USB 3 is good and hope it will come GA ASAP as we badly need it. But also Wi-Fi drivers are a must for all those who want to use ArcaOS on a laptop.
  • disks: we still have our share of troubles using thumb drives or external USB disks due to LVM needing to be used. I remember having almost destroyed an old Creative Zen MP3 player trying to make it work under OS/2 since it used an incredibly strange partitioning scheme. But also other devices have problems if LVM is used on them (like cameras and video cameras).
  • A different and more pervasive communication: this is, I fear, the most difficult thing to do, because it requires resources and manpower in order to spread a message regarding affordability, safety and stability of ArcaOS.

And yes, in my dreams I still think about a 64 bit recompiled OS/2 kernel :)

Mentore

Lars

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Re: OS/2 - ArcaOS and the Year 2020
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2020, 05:14:13 pm »
1) that is why I added large floppy support to USBMSD.ADD. The media is not touched. Fake partition and LVM info are generated in RAM, no OS, in particular Windows will complain as long as it accepts large floppy format. I don't know why AN never picked up on that. But of course, large floppies have a size limit (imposed by the file system).

2) 64-bit is never going to happen. There are multiple places in kernel and drivers that assume that linear and/or physical addresses are 32-bit, left alone that the memory management in whole is not compatible with 64-bit. And then, each and every app is 32-bit, and even worse, some are either 16-bit or call 16-bit parts of the OS.
But it's fun to hack along. Tools are abandonware or for free :-).