Author Topic: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?  (Read 17448 times)

Lewis Rosenthal

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Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2015, 04:42:52 pm »
And I consider OS/2 Warp and Warp Server for e-business Abandonware - Please read wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abandonware

"Abandonware is a product, typically software, ignored by its owner and manufacturer, and for which no product support is available. Although such software is usually still under copyright, the owner may not be tracking or enforcing copyright violations. Abandonware is one case of the general concept of orphan works."

OS/2 Warp and OS/2 Warp Server for e-business are abandonware since 2006 December 31. You can not buy OS/2 Warp and OS/2 Warp Server for e-business, you can not get official support. It falls under the definition of abandonware, but that do not mean that distributing abandonware is legal. The issue with Abandonware is that everybody tends to make its own concept about it to their convenience.

But IBM still does sell OS/2 to customers under contract and still sells support contracts (I know this for a fact). "Not actively marketed or updated" does not mean "abandoned." IBM (and others, including Microsoft) may still assert copyright claims over portions of the code, and while "Joe Hacker" may leave off working on his prized REXX script ten years later and forget about it, or XYZ Company may go out of business without selling its intellectual property, IBM and others are still around and do employ people to enforce copyright infringement.

Not speaking as an attorney, but having some experience in the US regarding copyright enforcement (and with a particular patent troll), I can tell you that proving damages is another matter. Considering the amount of money IBM gets for one of their support contracts, however, I would not want to be on the paying end of such a claim.

Risks are what they are. Big Blue probably would not even be aware of someone stealing its IP (on this scale). However, if a tech working at one of their customers decided to advise his superiors not to renew a maintenance contract because he could get the same operating system branded by someone else, including some level of support, such a non-renewal action might prompt people to sit up and take notice.

Thus, regardless Wikipedia's definition of abandonware, I would submit that IBM has not walked away from its copyrights and patents on various parts of OS/2.
Lewis
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Martin Iturbide

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Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2015, 04:52:35 pm »
Hi Lewis.

I'm not saying that Arca Noae should do something or put yourself at risk, and I'm not saying that Abandonware is legal. I agree with you (or anybody) that you can get sue from IBM at anytime if you distribute OS/2 as abandonware (if it is financially attractive for IBM). I agreed that abandonware is a legal risk. For exmaple, at the moment I don't see Microsoft suing companies/individuals for Windows 3.1 and Microsoft Bob, but there is a risk it can happens if Microsoft sees a good amount of money.

But OS/2 is Abandonware according to the concept on Wikipedia, and I haven't see any new IBM OS/2 binary since 2006. If anybody has evidence of a new kernel, or any other binary, please let me know.

Regards. 
« Last Edit: January 08, 2015, 05:14:04 pm by Martin Iturbide »
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Lewis Rosenthal

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Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2015, 03:48:39 am »
Hi, Martin...

But OS/2 is Abandonware according to the concept on Wikipedia, and I haven't see any new IBM OS/2 binary since 2006. If anybody has evidence of a new kernel, or any other binary, please let me know.

Wikipedia also says at the very top of that article:
Quote
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2009)

The talk page is much more revealing concerning the differing points of view as to what actually qualifies as "abandonware." Thus, I don't accept the definition as set forth on the article page, so I would have to respectfully disagree with your characterization that OS/2 is abandonware. People of good conscience may disagree from time to time, and we're still friends.  :)

Your agreement with me concerning IBM or Microsoft asserting claim is reassuring. I do applaud your work on Github (much as I dislike Github itself, which is a topic for another conversation), collecting some great stuff which may prove useful to developers and packagers in the future, and which should be preserved somewhere. I'm glad, too, that you don't actually consider OS/2 abandonware in the sense that you haven't uploaded any OS/2 code to Github!  :D

As for any new binaries from IBM, it is entirely possible that some patched binaries were delivered to support customers since 2006. The fact that such binaries were not made available for distribution to the general public, or whether any such code was actually delivered does not negate my point that IBM still sells support contracts for OS/2, and thus, they haven't abandoned it altogether.

Similarly, just because Microsoft announced EOL for Windows XP, and indeed, that deadline has passed, including the end of public binary updates and fixes, doesn't mean that XP is abandonware, either. In fact, far from it. Microsoft - like IBM - is currently selling (very expensive) support contracts for XP:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2047768/microsoft-will-still-patch-windows-xp-for-a-select-group.html
http://windowsitpro.com/windows-xp/what-expect-windows-xp-custom-support-agreement

So, my argument is "not generally available" and "no public fixes, feature enhancements, or updates" does not equal "abandoned."

Cheers
Lewis
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Martin Iturbide

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Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2015, 02:55:13 pm »
Quote
People of good conscience may disagree from time to time, and we're still friends.  :)
Sure, but I still disagreed :)

I understand that your point is that declaring OS/2 as abandonware is the same as telling people to go home and stop working on this platform, which is not what anybody on this community wants. But it does not mean that. Maybe the word "abandonware" is perceived as a bad thing, but that are only personal perceptions.   

Abandonware is just a concept, if it is good or bad is just a way to see it. If for political reasons you don't want to accept that OS/2 is abandonware it is ok. Wikipedia does not says "Abandonware = Waste of Time" or "Abandonware = Get out of it FAST", no at all.

To me it is abandonware, since IBM is not marketing it, is not selling it, special contracts for IBM support are very, very expensive and hard to get. And we may think that IBM had updated some binaries since 2006, but we don't have any evidence. Why if Serenity/Mensys/XEU has a OEM contract with IBM didn't packaged on eCS any of those supposedly updated binaries?

General Question: If we agree that OS/2 is abadonware will you drop the community?, my answer is no. (and also remember that eCS is not abandonware).

Lewis, I don't want to waste your time, you are doing a more important job and I don't want this discussion take away time from you. I think it is abandonware, you don't, that's is.

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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Greg Pringle

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Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2015, 05:07:44 pm »
I find the discussion of abandoneware and copyrights amusing.

When I purchase a License from Xeu for eComstation then IBM and potentially Microsoft get a cut.

Seems if a product is still being sold it is an actual product.

Martin Iturbide

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Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2015, 05:46:41 pm »
Hi Greg.

But you are not getting OS/2 (Brand) you are getting eComStaiton brand. 

I don't think that Microsoft is getting a cut on each eComStation license. I can not be sure about it, but from what I read on the "IBM/Microsoft Jointly Development Agreement" , there is IBM Code, MS Code and Jointly Code.  It seems to me that MS gave a royalty-free right to distribute his code, but that is only my reading and more information is missing, since some Annex (Phase II documents) can say a different thing.

I always wanted to discuss this document, and if there is someone with more IP experience that can comment on it, but sadly there is no much public interest to  understand the document.

Regards

Added Note: By the way, the document does not mention OS/2, but according to what it is being said this is the agreement that cover also OS/2, but there are missing the docs with the OS/2 specifics.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 06:14:03 pm by Martin Iturbide »
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Andreas Schnellbacher

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Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2015, 06:32:59 pm »
When I purchase a License from Xeu for eComstation then IBM [...]

Maybe - it depends on their contract.

[...] and potentially Microsoft get a cut.

Don't mix license and copyright up. IBM uses externally copyrighted code, but owns the license to sell code out of the Microsoft days, IIRC.

Dave Yeo

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Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2015, 07:12:17 pm »
As I remember, Microsoft was getting a cut for Winos2 before Warp V4 which is why there were red and blue box versions of OS/2 with different price points (redbox V3 was being sold at the drugstore for $50CDN at one point) and didn't have to pay royalties on Warp V4 and newer. They also got paid for HPFS386 which was part of the reason for JFS.

Eugene Tucker

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Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2015, 10:41:14 pm »
Here is the text from an email from Joachim Benjamins...


Hi Eugene,

thanks for your interest. Best wishes for 2015 for you and your loved ones!

We probably will not release another beta but will go straight to eCS 2.2 GA. Currently this release is pending amongst others on negotiations with Arca Noae about inclusion of the required updates and drivers. When available we'll obviously share the news!

Best regards,
Joachim Benjamins

Fahrvenugen

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Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2015, 10:16:04 pm »
As I remember, Microsoft was getting a cut for Winos2 before Warp V4 which is why there were red and blue box versions of OS/2 with different price points (redbox V3 was being sold at the drugstore for $50CDN at one point) and didn't have to pay royalties on Warp V4 and newer. They also got paid for HPFS386 which was part of the reason for JFS.

Yup!  One of the Warp 3 (red) boxes that I have on the shelf still has the original price stickers on it - $49.95.  I actually found that copy in a bargin-bin in the end of 1996 when it was marked down to $14.99 not long after Warp 4 was released (seems the store wanted to purge the old product).  I'd mainly bought it to have an additional spare OS/2 license for V3.

Interestingly enough - a year later I set up a Warp 3 box for a customized task that just needed to work, and for that box I used that red-box license that I bought for $14.99.  Although all the hardware with the exception of the case has been replaced (new motherboard, hard drive, sound card, memory, power supply, etc), there is still a system running that same task on V3 with that same license.

As far as the abandonware discussion goes, I do not consider OS/2 to be abandonware, and I find there are a lot of difficulties and assumptions with the wikipedia definition.  I've got some industry-specific code that I wrote years ago and have not done updates for in years.  It still works and does exactly what it was designed to do.  I admit that I don't actively enforce copyright on it, however I continue to hold copyright on all my code.  Just because I have not done anything with my code in years does not mean I consider it to be abandoned - if someone came to me with additional requirements and a proposal that made sense to me, I'd consider the possibility of a change / update.




Martin Iturbide

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Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2015, 06:11:51 pm »
It seems that in this case we can not define abandonware since nobody trust wikipedia :)

In that case these are the facts:
- There is no new version of OS/2 by IBM since 2002 when 4.52 was released.
- There are no new fixpacks since 2006. No binaries had been showed to exist prior that date.
- Individuals (Community members) can not acquired OS/2. They can only acquire the eCS brand.
- IBM discontinued all OS/2 part numbers. There are not OS/2 part numbers on their software offerings (Price lists).
- IBM give OS/2 support and new licenses to big corporate customers, which we don't know the name and haven't produce any updated binary since 2006. (There is no evidence of a newer binary).

Maybe it is a eCS sales pitch to make think people that IBM is behind eCS, but it is not. There haven't been any IBM updated binary since 2006, that is what the evidence told me. If somebody has see, and can share some screenshots, bldlevel of some IBM updated binary please let me know.

By the way, there is no need to label me as person that don't like eCS, I like it and use it, but there had been no progress in one year and very, very, very bad communication to the community.

Regards
« Last Edit: January 11, 2015, 06:16:22 pm by Martin Iturbide »
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Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2015, 06:13:54 pm »
But I still think that we should have another alternative.

Plan B: Create an community OS/2 distro that requires original OS/2 ISO (or even from eCS) and license to be build.
Even that (as it had been said) it is doomed to fail, it can be a good first step to move forward on cloning other parts of the OS.

I still insist that the long term strategy should be try to clone the IBM components with open source alternatives. The first versions will suck and will have a lot of bugs, but we will have something that can be evolved, and not like close source software.

Regards
« Last Edit: January 11, 2015, 06:16:46 pm by Martin Iturbide »
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Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2015, 08:31:36 pm »
But I still think that we should have another alternative.

Plan B: Create an community OS/2 distro that requires original OS/2 ISO (or even from eCS) and license to be build.


Forgive me if I am misunderstanding, but isn't that what UpdCD currently does?  I can take an IBM ISO for Warp 3, Warp 4, or eCS and run it through UpdCD - which will add in newer device drivers, fixpaks, community-built device drivers, additional software (both GPL and non-GPL but still freely available), and end up with an updated ISO that I can install containing the latest IBM provided code for that particular release plus the various community-based additions/updates that I chose to add.

I'm not sure how that differs from what you're suggesting.

Thanks

Lewis Rosenthal

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Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2015, 09:03:27 pm »
It seems that in this case we can not define abandonware since nobody trust wikipedia :)

 :)

Quote
In that case these are the facts:
- There is no new version of OS/2 by IBM since 2002 when 4.52 was released.

No new publicly-available version, no.

However, I've written things for clients which have never been released to the public (see more discussion of similar situations, above). That doesn't mean I've abandoned them or that I would want someone else to pick them up and start selling them as his (or her) own.

Quote
- There are no new fixpacks since 2006. No binaries had been showed to exist prior that date.

Again, it is entirely possible that IBM supplied fixpacks to/for specific customers, and did not make these available either to the general public or to Mensys. This doesn't mean that IBM abandoned the code (abandoning the "code" is different than abandoning the "project," BTW).

Quote
- Individuals (Community members) can not acquired OS/2. They can only acquire the eCS brand.

True.

Quote
- IBM discontinued all OS/2 part numbers. There are not OS/2 part numbers on their software offerings (Price lists).
- IBM give OS/2 support and new licenses to big corporate customers, which we don't know the name and haven't produce any updated binary since 2006. (There is no evidence of a newer binary).

No evidence, no.

Quote
Maybe it is a eCS sales pitch to make think people that IBM is behind eCS, but it is not. There haven't been any IBM updated binary since 2006, that is what the evidence told me. If somebody has see, and can share some screenshots, bldlevel of some IBM updated binary please let me know.

The OS/2 components in eCS are fully licensed by Mensys from IBM, to the best of my knowledge. I don't know that people think that IBM is "behind" eCS. Certainly, there is OS/2 code in eCS.

Quote
By the way, there is no need to label me as person that don't like eCS, I like it and use it, but there had been no progress in one year and very, very, very bad communication to the community.

I would never label you as such, Martin. You do a tremendous service for the Community, and I know you are an avid fan of the operating system and the philosophy behind it, and wish only for it to succeed.  :)

Quote
I still insist that the long term strategy should be try to clone the IBM components with open source alternatives. The first versions will suck and will have a lot of bugs, but we will have something that can be evolved, and not like close source software.

This was the goal of the Warpicity Proposal of Lynn Maxson:

http://www.scoug.com/pastpresentations.html
http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/VNL0699H/vnewsf2.htm
http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/VNL0699H/vnewsf3.htm

Interesting reading, particularly in today's context.
Lewis
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Doug Bissett

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Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2015, 02:24:26 am »
I would remind you, that IBM employs some of the best lawyers on the planet. If IBM lost control of anything that they own, a number of them would be in BIG trouble. I am also pretty sure that Microsoft is in the same boat. On the other hand, IBM, doesn't bother with small indiscretions, that don't really cost them money (Microsoft may be a different matter, but it would still have to be worth their time and expense). I would not like to be the person who steps over the line. If nothing else, you would need a few million, just to pay your own lawyers.

OS/2 is still being sold to Serenity Systems (and possibly others), who have subcontracted Mensys to sell it for them. Therefore, OS/2 is far from "abandon ware", it is still a current product, even if it has not been updated "forever".

Quote
Quote

    I still insist that the long term strategy should be try to clone the IBM components with open source alternatives. The first versions will suck and will have a lot of bugs, but we will have something that can be evolved, and not like close source software.

This was the goal of the Warpicity Proposal of Lynn Maxson:

http://www.scoug.com/pastpresentations.html
http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/VNL0699H/vnewsf2.htm
http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/VNL0699H/vnewsf3.htm

Interesting reading, particularly in today's context.

There have been a number of things that have been updated by Mensys, and now Arca Noae (among others). Some of it is based on IBM's work, and some is original. The idea has been around for a long time. Some of it has already happened, but only in small steps. As time goes on, there are fewer people who have the knowledge to even attempt the small steps.

Martin seems to want to clone the WPS, but there is no need to do that, because XWorkplace has already expanded the WPS capabilities, and shown the path to do more (if anybody really wants to tackle it). QSINIT has already made a new OS2LDR, that works well, and as a bonus, it provides a RAMDISK that uses memory above what OS/2 can normally address. That has also shown the way to use that memory for other things (if anybody wants to do it). The OS/4 project is working on a kernel replacement. Unfortunately, there are some legal questions about the way that is being done. Those questions need to be cleared up before OS/4 can be considered to be a replacement kernel. JFS has been changed from the IBM version to an open source version (also from IBM, I think). It has also been updated so that OS/2 can boot from it. There are other things either done, or in the works, to update the OS (including drivers) itself. Then, there are the porting projects, which supply a lot of new application software, and IBM has little to do with them. Unfortunately, there is very little new "native" development, which should be the backbone of any OS. One of the main "problems" is that everybody insists that new software needs to be "compatible" with software on other OSs. I look at a product like PMView (still being maintained), and I see something superior to what other OSs have (although PMView is available in a windows version).

It seems that the "dream" is under way, but if you want to kill OS/2, try to do too much with those who can do it. Small steps are the only way to do it, and those small steps need to be targeted at the most important parts (currently WiFi, and USB 3.0.IMO). User software (Firefox, Seamonkey, Thunderbird, OpenOffice, etc.) also need attention, because the OS needs software to be useful (although older software generally gets the job done). One of the BIG problems here, are the tools required to do the job. Many of them are stretched to the limit already.

The main problem today, is availability of knowledgeable programmers. There are far too few, and they are working way too hard to get some of this stuff done.