Author Topic: New Browser Delay Discussion  (Read 3613 times)

Paul Smedley

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New Browser Delay Discussion
« on: April 15, 2022, 01:22:04 am »
As I stated a new RPM is being worked on by 2 people to be released via rpm.netlab.org which will be based on the new QT webkit engine...
Its taking somewhat longer to finish the RPM file and the SPEC file.

Is it just me,  or are others  starting to doubt there will ever be a new OS/2 Browser?

In February we we told “in the last week of February or the first week of March.”  there would be a beta of Otter,  then in March  there were  'issues'  and they were  switching  to  a new browser (Dooble?) and something would be available 'soon'. I thought the story was that Dmitry had things  going on and couldn't work on it,  yet  in the github  repository (https://github.com/bitwiseworks/dooble-os2)  the only checkin is by  Dmik  (https://github.com/bitwiseworks/dooble-os2/commits/main).  Something doesn't  smell right here  (IMHO).

Also, we  constantly see requests  for funds  for bww to work on the browser, yet in the regular  bww updates,  we see updates  to projects with little or anything to do with the browser.  Is  the OS/2 community also paying for these projects? The lack of  transparency is concerning.

Meanwhile, Qt 5 is end of life except for 'paid customers' https://www.theregister.com/2021/01/05/qt_lts_goes_commercial_only/

Martin Iturbide

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2022, 02:12:23 am »
As I stated a new RPM is being worked on by 2 people to be released via rpm.netlab.org which will be based on the new QT webkit engine...
Its taking somewhat longer to finish the RPM file and the SPEC file.

Is it just me,  or are others  starting to doubt there will ever be a new OS/2 Browser?

In February we we told “in the last week of February or the first week of March.”  there would be a beta of Otter,  then in March  there were  'issues'  and they were  switching  to  a new browser (Dooble?) and something would be available 'soon'. I thought the story was that Dmitry had things  going on and couldn't work on it,  yet  in the github  repository (https://github.com/bitwiseworks/dooble-os2)  the only checkin is by  Dmik  (https://github.com/bitwiseworks/dooble-os2/commits/main).  Something doesn't  smell right here  (IMHO).

Also, we  constantly see requests  for funds  for bww to work on the browser, yet in the regular  bww updates,  we see updates  to projects with little or anything to do with the browser.  Is  the OS/2 community also paying for these projects? The lack of  transparency is concerning.

Meanwhile, Qt 5 is end of life except for 'paid customers' https://www.theregister.com/2021/01/05/qt_lts_goes_commercial_only/

Hi Paul

I kind of think the same thing. We don't have clarity of what happened.
But in the bright side, we seen some libraries and a Qt5 port had been delivered and that was a lot of work. I can not say anything about how stable is the QtWebkit, I haven't tried it.

The sad part is not only that we don't have a browser yet, it is that we don't have more developers or group interested on creating or porting big projects for OS/2. Bitwise is the only one with will, skill and love to the platform that will take that kind of challenge.  Even if we raise money today for important projects, I don't who will take the task.

But I still think that Qt is current and has a future:
Some Ref: Google Chrome/Chromium Experimenting With A Qt Back-End

Regards
« Last Edit: April 15, 2022, 02:34:45 am by Martin Iturbide »
Martin Iturbide
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Per E. Johannessen

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2022, 03:13:32 am »
Is it just me,  or are others  starting to doubt there will ever be a new OS/2 Browser?

I have my doubts too, and the lack of information/transparency is disappointing.

Paul Smedley

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2022, 03:15:55 am »
Hey Martin,

But I still think that Qt is current and has a future:
Some Ref: Google Chrome/Chromium Experimenting With A Qt Back-End

This will be Qt6 only (I imagine). I took a quick look at Qt6 recently - they've switched to cmake as a build system, so more work todo.

I  note your comments regarding bww and major projects - I'd  narrow this down more - without Dmitry -  there are no big projects. Name one significant project bww has enabled that Dmitry/Dmik hasn't done 90%  of the work? (Happy to be proven wrong).

Dave Yeo

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2022, 03:36:52 am »
Isn't Dimitry located in Russia? I always assumed so but don't actually know, but if so, there's a war along with all kinds of sanctions making doing any kind of business between Russia and the west much harder.
As for the browser, it always seemed pretty ambitious but there are very few choices left and all the choices are now becoming 64 bit, besides being fast moving targets and as Martin mentioned, we have a shortage of knowledgeable developers.
As mentioned, QT5 seems almost dead, though there is https://invent.kde.org/qt/qt consisting of backported patches from QT6 as it seems QT6 is no where near ready.
QT5 itself seems barely buildable on OS/2, here the OS crashes when trying to link I think, somewhat surprising as previous experience shows lack of memory causing wlink to die with a lack of spill memory error.
As the browsers that have been tried have not been broadly released nor their source, it is hard to say what the problems are. I have the Simplebrowser running somewhat stably here. Dooble itself seems to have died and been resurrected. It targets QT6 but does seem like it also supports QT 5.12 or newer. I tried building it, the build dies instantly as our build system doesn't understand the versionAtleast function/macro and other then the readme, no work has been done on the github code. Quite likely that there are private source trees where work is happening.
It's all opaque with most of the recent work being done by Silvan on a volunteer basis and others working on USB stuff like Joystick and camera support. Meanwhile we have fewer and fewer users, especially users on bare metal.
As for projects, wasn't OpenOffice others besides dmik? Though that's getting on the old side now.

Dariusz Piatkowski

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2022, 04:32:48 am »
Guys...I do not want to be seen as only pouring fuel on the fire, but I honestly think it behooves us to come up with another browser option if the OS/2 platform is to survive in ANY sort of form and/or shape. This is BTW coming from a guy who's been running OS/2 ONLY on bare metal all these years...so you bet your "you know what" that committment is here!

Anyways, I bring back my suggestion to completely off-load the browser chores to a tiny bare metal platform where you can convert the darn box into an App server.

Literally, these things come in the tiniest of formats, some actually will attach to the back of your monitor's VESA bracket/mount and all you basically need is a power cable running to it (most are WiFI based, of course you can run a CAT cable if you want/prefer). Cost here is a couple of hundred USD, wide range of power hardware available, so you can pick something up for as little as $75. It is that cheap b/c it has no powerful GPU, crazy amount of RAM, or big SDD.

Combine that with a RDP solution like FreeRDP and our problems are nearly solved.

Heck, I'b be much happier pouring more money into fixing the current FreeRDP memory leaks than putting that cash into a native browser build.

Further on, we could all probably figure out the best combo to configure for our needs, and such a standard build could become an "off the shelf" solution for our use. Yes, I do literally mean: we should build an App Server image and make that available so that anyone else who wants to stand one of these tiny platforms just orders the hardware, dumps the image on there and installs FreeRDP on his/her current OS/2 box.

As they say: just my 2-cents!

Mentore

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2022, 08:17:14 am »
Guys...I do not want to be seen as only pouring fuel on the fire, but I honestly think it behooves us to come up with another browser option if the OS/2 platform is to survive in ANY sort of form and/or shape. This is BTW coming from a guy who's been running OS/2 ONLY on bare metal all these years...so you bet your "you know what" that committment is here!

Anyways, I bring back my suggestion to completely off-load the browser chores to a tiny bare metal platform where you can convert the darn box into an App server.

Literally, these things come in the tiniest of formats, some actually will attach to the back of your monitor's VESA bracket/mount and all you basically need is a power cable running to it (most are WiFI based, of course you can run a CAT cable if you want/prefer). Cost here is a couple of hundred USD, wide range of power hardware available, so you can pick something up for as little as $75. It is that cheap b/c it has no powerful GPU, crazy amount of RAM, or big SDD.

Combine that with a RDP solution like FreeRDP and our problems are nearly solved.

Heck, I'b be much happier pouring more money into fixing the current FreeRDP memory leaks than putting that cash into a native browser build.

Further on, we could all probably figure out the best combo to configure for our needs, and such a standard build could become an "off the shelf" solution for our use. Yes, I do literally mean: we should build an App Server image and make that available so that anyone else who wants to stand one of these tiny platforms just orders the hardware, dumps the image on there and installs FreeRDP on his/her current OS/2 box.

As they say: just my 2-cents!

Not a bad idea, just a little cumbersome maybe? Dunno. Maybe it's just me and my somehow schizofrenic way of seeing things: from one side, I'm thinking about building a linux eeePC nettop cluster solution just for fun (I've got six of these little boxes), from the other side I'm still attached to a one-box solution. I'm getting old, it seems  ;D

But yes: it's really an interesting idea IMHO. Also, in the current environment shifting to 64 bit there's not much time left.

I still have to finish a bare metal box (just found an used i3 machine which may be of use somehow) but time is short and chores increasing - plus, my wife gave birth to our son Gabriele 20 days ago, so I really don't know if/when I will be able to contribute again to software solutions on OS/2 platforms.

But HECK, how I miss working on the WPS.

Mentore

Jan-Erik Lärka

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2022, 09:06:50 am »
Congratulations Mentore, proud father one can presume  :)

Paul Smedley

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2022, 10:00:41 am »
Hey Dave,
As for projects, wasn't OpenOffice others besides dmik? Though that's getting on the old side now.

My recollection is that OpenOffice was based on Star Office - and the core OS/2 code was still present. As I recall, Yuri did the original work- at some point, Yuri came in to the BWW fold...

Paul Smedley

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2022, 10:02:21 am »
I still have to finish a bare metal box (just found an used i3 machine which may be of use somehow) but time is short and chores increasing - plus, my wife gave birth to our son Gabriele 20 days ago, so I really don't know if/when I will be able to contribute again to software solutions on OS/2 platforms.

Congrats on the new member of the family!

Mentore

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2022, 10:19:42 am »
Congratulations Mentore, proud father one can presume  :)

Proud and happy I dare say :)

Mentore

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2022, 10:20:23 am »
I still have to finish a bare metal box (just found an used i3 machine which may be of use somehow) but time is short and chores increasing - plus, my wife gave birth to our son Gabriele 20 days ago, so I really don't know if/when I will be able to contribute again to software solutions on OS/2 platforms.

Congrats on the new member of the family!

Thanks a million Paul, I'll let him into OS/2 ASAP :D

Roderick Klein

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2022, 11:28:23 am »
I did send out a news message via OS/2 VOICE why the browser was delayed. Its because of the events surrounding Ukraine. Dmitry has not been able to work on the browser for close to 6 weeks. Another team of volunteers has worked on an RPM package that contains the Dooble browser.
This will use the latest port of the QT to OS/2. That RPM package is being build right now. That should be released this week or beginning next week in rpm.netlabs.org. A news item will be send out when its ready.

Best regards,

Roderick Klein
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« Last Edit: April 15, 2022, 11:31:01 am by Roderick Klein »

Martin Iturbide

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2022, 02:11:01 pm »
FYI: I slip the topic since it didn't fall on the other thread.
Martin Iturbide
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Roderick Klein

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Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2022, 03:29:48 pm »
Isn't Dimitry located in Russia? I always assumed so but don't actually know, but if so, there's a war along with all kinds of sanctions making doing any kind of business between Russia and the west much harder.
As for the browser, it always seemed pretty ambitious but there are very few choices left and all the choices are now becoming 64 bit, besides being fast moving targets and as Martin mentioned, we have a shortage of knowledgeable developers.
As mentioned, QT5 seems almost dead, though there is https://invent.kde.org/qt/qt consisting of backported patches from QT6 as it seems QT6 is no where near ready.
QT5 itself seems barely buildable on OS/2, here the OS crashes when trying to link I think, somewhat surprising as previous experience shows lack of memory causing wlink to die with a lack of spill memory error.
As the browsers that have been tried have not been broadly released nor their source, it is hard to say what the problems are. I have the Simplebrowser running somewhat stably here. Dooble itself seems to have died and been resurrected. It targets QT6 but does seem like it also supports QT 5.12 or newer. I tried building it, the build dies instantly as our build system doesn't understand the versionAtleast function/macro and other then the readme, no work has been done on the github code. Quite likely that there are private source trees where work is happening.
It's all opaque with most of the recent work being done by Silvan on a volunteer basis and others working on USB stuff like Joystick and camera support. Meanwhile we have fewer and fewer users, especially users on bare metal.
As for projects, wasn't OpenOffice others besides dmik? Though that's getting on the old side now.

Yes Dmitry was located in Russia, until recently. But he has moved out recently...
I know 2 people that next to Dmitry can work with QT 5.12 and can compile it on there system.
So if you have an issue then describe how it fails ? Elbert Pole I think can compile QT 5.12 and possibly also Gregg Young.

I understood it correctly from Dmitry updates of QT 5.X is still supported another for QT webkit updates. Or maybe longer.

Roderick
« Last Edit: April 15, 2022, 04:36:58 pm by Martin Iturbide »