Author Topic: A Roadmap for the OS/2 and ArcaOS platforms  (Read 3346 times)

Martin Iturbide

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A Roadmap for the OS/2 and ArcaOS platforms
« on: March 31, 2023, 07:04:33 pm »
Hello

I'm still waiting for ArcaOS 5.1 to get released (I hope they don't release it on April 1st), and I think that 5.1 is an important milestone for the platform. Finally UEFI will be available (spoiler) and after some months the Arca Noe will have to think more about the future of the OS and possible update their roadmap page.

So, should we just let Arca Noae made their roadmap or should we (The community) try to suggest something?

We already discussed two things:
- Hardware Compatibility Wishlist for 2023
- Software Wishlist for 2023

Of course that Arca Noae does not has the resources to make all our wild dreams a reality, but I want to pass a summary of these two discussion threads to Lewis to see if something is interesting for them to do or support. (As a suggestion, not a demand)

What else do you think?

Regards
« Last Edit: March 31, 2023, 11:43:52 pm by Martin Iturbide »
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Neil Waldhauer

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Re: A Roadmap for the OS/2 and ArcaOS platforms
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2023, 04:32:23 pm »
I would like to see modern WiFi on ArcaOS. The WiFi needs to come on automatically. if it can't connect to the last known access point, then it needs to find one from the previously used points. If it can't find one of those, then it can allow the user to do something.

I want to see memory managed better, so that more memory is available to the system. Modern computers seen to have less memory available to OS/2 than 15 year old computers. Virtual Box offers 3.5 GB, better than any hardware ArcaOS that I have. The RAM disk in ArcaOS is admirable. I'd like to see it extended so that programs had some access to it more directly than file i/o to the RAM drive.

I'd like to see support for the laptop button features such as brightness, speaker volume, camera enable and wifi enable.
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Eugene Tucker

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Re: A Roadmap for the OS/2 and ArcaOS platforms
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2023, 06:27:31 pm »
I second Neils posting. Especially the memory issue.

Mentore

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Re: A Roadmap for the OS/2 and ArcaOS platforms
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2023, 08:53:13 am »
I would like to see modern WiFi on ArcaOS. The WiFi needs to come on automatically. if it can't connect to the last known access point, then it needs to find one from the previously used points. If it can't find one of those, then it can allow the user to do something.

I want to see memory managed better, so that more memory is available to the system. Modern computers seen to have less memory available to OS/2 than 15 year old computers. Virtual Box offers 3.5 GB, better than any hardware ArcaOS that I have. The RAM disk in ArcaOS is admirable. I'd like to see it extended so that programs had some access to it more directly than file i/o to the RAM drive.

I'd like to see support for the laptop button features such as brightness, speaker volume, camera enable and wifi enable.

I too think that memory management has become too important to leave it as is. It was fairly good at its times but we are talking about literally an era before now.
Modern WiFi is another milestone that must be assessed ASAP, IMHO.
Mentore

Ibrahim Hakeem

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Re: A Roadmap for the OS/2 and ArcaOS platforms
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2023, 08:42:58 pm »
Quite a few ideas come to mind, but I'll list the ones I believe Arca Noae would be more likely to roadmap, at least in the long-term.

> A new release of OpenJDK: 1.6's time came and went some time ago, with it's LTS period ending just over 4 years ago. Given how many times it's been mentioned in Warpstock events since 2021, I'm somewhat optimistic that we will see this raised as a priority sooner than later.

> Improved memory management: As Neil has mentioned, a big peril of running ArcaOS on modern hardware is the increasing shortage of RAM which the user has access to. Having PAE would be a godsend and a half, but any kind of improved memory management is much welcome.

> An updated version of SNAP with support for more video chipsets: Moving away from VESA(Panorama) would not only help with performance/stability issues related to video playback and 3D rendering - it would resurrect an expansive library of software which hasn't been usable in quite some years due to being only GRADD-compatible. The last item in this list is an example directly affected by this.

> QEMU (or similar): Yes, I'm bringing this up once again. AN has stated their intentions on multiple occasions to address retro x86 gamers as a target demographic - even stating it to be the focus of a subsequent 5.1 update. Since we have WINOS/2 and DOS, adding the ability to run Windows 9x and maybe even early Linux distros would do quite well.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2023, 08:31:53 am by Ibrahim Hakeem »

Martin Iturbide

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Re: A Roadmap for the OS/2 and ArcaOS platforms
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2023, 04:52:31 pm »

Thanks for the feedback. Even that I know that Lewis and other guys from Arca Noae visit from time to time these forums, I don't want to loose the formality to send him an e-mail with our "Wishlist".

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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Martin Iturbide

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Re: A Roadmap for the OS/2 and ArcaOS platforms
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2023, 06:33:40 pm »
Hi

Here goes my first draft. Grammar and spelling suggestions are also welcome, free free to modify the file and upload it.

I kind of think that we are missing more discussion on the "Platform Improvement Suggestion" area. Like what we should see as improvements on ArcaOS GUI and other internal components.

Regards
« Last Edit: April 05, 2023, 06:46:04 pm by Martin Iturbide »
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Andrew Stephenson

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Re: A Roadmap for the OS/2 and ArcaOS platforms
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2023, 03:58:36 pm »
Martin, hi.  I see this topic has been idle for a while.  Still, the process of restoring archived eCS-2 material to my new AOS-5.1 system has suggested a couple of ideas.

1) Icons have switched from *.ICO to *.PNG, meaning it's complicated to re-use old designs I have come to know and like.  PNG is a good format, mind (as it should be, considering its illustrious parentage, NASA &c) but maybe there could be an outwardly simple CLI tool (cf XCOPY, ATTRIB &c) which converts ICO to PNG?  Ok, I once had to write code that generated PNG (of heat flow diagrams, FWIW) but left out compression, using PMView for that if I wanted to keep images, so I realise what I'm asking is not trivial.

2)  I have long felt it'd be handy if chains of open directories could start with the top level header bar being given a distinctive colour which its children would copy.  How about three or four tiny coloured rectangles at one end of the top header: a click activates that colour (temporarily), while a double click invokes a colour palette.

Anyhow, there's some wishing for folks to ponder.  Meanwhile, thanks for sterling efforts invested so far.

Andrew Stephenson

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Re: A Roadmap for the OS/2 and ArcaOS platforms
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2023, 04:51:33 pm »
Drat.  And double drat...   I just realised I posted the above in the wrong section.  Please feel free to ignore it, or move it to where it belongs, or make confetti out of it.   ::)

David Graser

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Re: A Roadmap for the OS/2 and ArcaOS platforms
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2023, 06:18:57 pm »
Martin, hi.  I see this topic has been idle for a while.  Still, the process of restoring archived eCS-2 material to my new AOS-5.1 system has suggested a couple of ideas.

1) Icons have switched from *.ICO to *.PNG, meaning it's complicated to re-use old designs I have come to know and like.  PNG is a good format, mind (as it should be, considering its illustrious parentage, NASA &c) but maybe there could be an outwardly simple CLI tool (cf XCOPY, ATTRIB &c) which converts ICO to PNG?  Ok, I once had to write code that generated PNG (of heat flow diagrams, FWIW) but left out compression, using PMView for that if I wanted to keep images, so I realise what I'm asking is not trivial.

2)  I have long felt it'd be handy if chains of open directories could start with the top level header bar being given a distinctive colour which its children would copy.  How about three or four tiny coloured rectangles at one end of the top header: a click activates that colour (temporarily), while a double click invokes a colour palette.

Anyhow, there's some wishing for folks to ponder.  Meanwhile, thanks for sterling efforts invested so far.
Hi Andrew

I see that you aren’t that familiar with ArcaOS yet. The default is the use of icons.  PNGs can be used if Dynamic icons are selected in the folder properties menu. There is no default PNG for each folder and icon.  You have to manually select a PNG for a PNG to be used for each program object or folder.  Otherwise, an icon is used.  In eCS, you had both icon themes and PNGs themes that could be applied if I remember correctly.  In ArcaOS, only the icon themes can be applied. Presently, there is no way to apply a PNG theme to the WPS.

Rich Walsh

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Re: A Roadmap for the OS/2 and ArcaOS platforms
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2023, 07:22:35 pm »
PNGs can be used if Dynamic icons are selected in the folder properties menu. There is no default PNG for each folder and icon.  You have to manually select a PNG for a PNG to be used for each program object or folder..

David, it's far simpler and "automated" than that. In x\SYS\ICONS\BIGICONS there are over 200 png icons. Their use is controlled by 'bigicons.txt' (also in that directory). It's broken down into categories like WPS class, file type, object ID, etc. Make a backup copy then have at it (you may want to deliver a customized version with your png icon sets).

To get custom icons enabled, goto 'System Setup->Workplace Shell->Icon Size' (it's the very last tab) and check "Use custom icons". On that page, you can also make Dynamic icons the default and set the default size. You have to restart for custom icons to kick in. The other settings are live and happen immediately.

Note: the "default" default size produces icons whose physical size is the same as they would be if you were running your display at 1024*768. For example, at 1920*1080 you need a 56*56 pixel icon to get the same physical size you'd get at 1024*768 using a 40 pixel icon. At UHD (3840*2160), icons have to be 112 pixels to be that size.

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Re: A Roadmap for the OS/2 and ArcaOS platforms
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2023, 03:31:19 pm »
David && Rich:  Thank you for the quick and concise explanations.  Yes, I am still learning -- and am happy to hear I was wrong about ICOns and will investigate what you suggest when I resume putting go-faster stripes on my new AOS setup.  (Mind, I did wonder, slightly, why Icon Editor is supplied, if ICO is history.)  Meanwhile, I should stop posting in the wrong part of the Forum, lest rozzers/beadles/custodians/blokes-with-big-sticks come for me.  8)

Roderick Klein

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Re: A Roadmap for the OS/2 and ArcaOS platforms
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2023, 04:20:41 pm »
Quite a few ideas come to mind, but I'll list the ones I believe Arca Noae would be more likely to roadmap, at least in the long-term.

> A new release of OpenJDK: 1.6's time came and went some time ago, with it's LTS period ending just over 4 years ago. Given how many times it's been mentioned in Warpstock events since 2021, I'm somewhat optimistic that we will see this raised as a priority sooner than later.

> Improved memory management: As Neil has mentioned, a big peril of running ArcaOS on modern hardware is the increasing shortage of RAM which the user has access to. Having PAE would be a godsend and a half, but any kind of improved memory management is much welcome.

> An updated version of SNAP with support for more video chipsets: Moving away from VESA(Panorama) would not only help with performance/stability issues related to video playback and 3D rendering - it would resurrect an expansive library of software which hasn't been usable in quite some years due to being only GRADD-compatible. The last item in this list is an example directly affected by this.

> QEMU (or similar): Yes, I'm bringing this up once again. AN has stated their intentions on multiple occasions to address retro x86 gamers as a target demographic - even stating it to be the focus of a subsequent 5.1 update. Since we have WINOS/2 and DOS, adding the ability to run Windows 9x and maybe even early Linux distros would do quite well.

1) OpenJDK would need somebody to work on at least 4 to 6 months. This would require somebody to have experience with OS/2 and WIN32 knowledge. Debugging ODIN is more difficult because of the more layers of code.  The ODIN code would be the "fastest" way to port a new version of OpenJDK to OS/2. But the ODIN has not been updated for 15 years or more. So its a big haul up the mountain. If somebody can do this in his spare time I think is not possible. That is my estimate.

2) As mentioned before PAE is game over. All memory structures would need to be patched and all drivers updated.
I am still discussing some suggestions with Dmitry from BWW. But big changes to the kernel are extremely difficult.

3) Based on current expectations SNAP is what it is. And 3D support is not useful, what can use it on OS/2 ?
Have you looked closely how well Panorama these days performs ? The real enhancement would be support for  more then 1 screen. Other then that I do not think SNAP will ever get updated.

4) Why QEMU ? To run as VM on ArcaOS ? Well then you can better use the current build of Virtualbox.

Roderick

Dave Yeo

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Re: A Roadmap for the OS/2 and ArcaOS platforms
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2023, 05:40:22 pm »

3) Based on current expectations SNAP is what it is. And 3D support is not useful, what can use it on OS/2 ?
Have you looked closely how well Panorama these days performs ? The real enhancement would be support for  more then 1 screen. Other then that I do not think SNAP will ever get updated.


All modern browsers expect to have OpenGL available for use.

David Graser

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Re: A Roadmap for the OS/2 and ArcaOS platforms
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2023, 06:01:15 pm »
PNGs can be used if Dynamic icons are selected in the folder properties menu. There is no default PNG for each folder and icon.  You have to manually select a PNG for a PNG to be used for each program object or folder..

David, it's far simpler and "automated" than that. In x\SYS\ICONS\BIGICONS there are over 200 png icons. Their use is controlled by 'bigicons.txt' (also in that directory). It's broken down into categories like WPS class, file type, object ID, etc. Make a backup copy then have at it (you may want to deliver a customized version with your png icon sets).

To get custom icons enabled, goto 'System Setup->Workplace Shell->Icon Size' (it's the very last tab) and check "Use custom icons". On that page, you can also make Dynamic icons the default and set the default size. You have to restart for custom icons to kick in. The other settings are live and happen immediately.

Note: the "default" default size produces icons whose physical size is the same as they would be if you were running your display at 1024*768. For example, at 1920*1080 you need a 56*56 pixel icon to get the same physical size you'd get at 1024*768 using a 40 pixel icon. At UHD (3840*2160), icons have to be 112 pixels to be that size.
Rich, it may be some time before I have anything ready to try.  I noticed all the icons listed are not in the bigicons folder.  The folders are easy.  It is the other icons.  Building pngs I don't see  takes time.  If I am right, I can even add more program icons to the text and these icons won't be available unless the program is installed.  I am also reducing the icons to 80x80.  This is a good middle of the road size to lower or increase.

Here is what I am doing.
Resizing icons
Making new icons
renaming to reflect the size and make icon search more easier
rearranging some of the text to make things easier to find and updating the icon names
Then when finished, I have to hope everything works.  I am a bad typist, mistakes will be made

I backed up the old big icons folder.

The new bigicons folder will contain all the newly updated pngs.  I started with the yellow folder set although I like the red and black also.  Once the icons other than folders are complete, it should be a lot easier make other folder sets.

Question.  There seems to be a lot of repetition on the open office icons.  There are all kinds of different icon names using the same icons.  It seems a lot of these are repetition.  Is it me or is there a reason for this?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2023, 06:08:39 pm by David Graser »