OS2 World Community Forum

OS/2, eCS & ArcaOS - Technical => Setup & Installation => Topic started by: Sigurd Fastenrath on February 01, 2014, 10:36:09 am

Title: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Sigurd Fastenrath on February 01, 2014, 10:36:09 am
My Software subscription did expire these days. Before I got to prolongue it I am wondering if this is a good idea or not. Spending more Money or looking for an alternative like the - free of Charge - Linux Mint.

So:

When I look back there is almost no Information about

- the "new" owner XEU.COM
- the stage of eCs development
- what is going on at all


in Addition there is almost no activity in the Bug Tracker anymore, when it comes to Mensys or XEU.COM.

Is it time to consider eComstation to be dead?

I am wondering if there is at least one Person around who does know something and is bold enough to write the truth, what ever it may look like.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Martin Iturbide on February 01, 2014, 01:55:56 pm
hi Sigurd

The platform had died so many times, that possible asking if it is dead or alive does not make sense.

If IBM, Serenity and/or Mensys are working on a new release should not be our prime focus as a community. Our focus should be to try to move forward on an free (as freedom), independent and open source OS/2 clone. With that we finally put to sleep the question is it dead or alive, since open source software only dies when there are no contributors... and with the option to be resurrected on any time.

The new owner XEU.com has not said anything, so I think it will be good to wait for any announcement or new release before buying a subscription, that is only my opinion.

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTH6M1USrKIA-S9WznIP_POLjyf0PErtrgBC0YwygIo1cH0fnEkVg) ...just kidding.

But my I think we need a Plan B as a community and stop depending on single companies.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Greg Pringle on February 01, 2014, 03:28:00 pm
It would seem that XEU bought Ecomstation for business reasons. It would therefore be illogical to immediately dispose of it.
XEU looks to be promoting banking software. Since OS/2 has had a long history in banking it looks like Ecomstation was a strategic buy.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Doug Bissett on February 02, 2014, 08:27:31 pm
Quote
But my I think we need a Plan B as a community and stop depending on single companies.

The problem with that is, that Mensys is currently the only company licensed to do anything with OS/2. I would think that that license would expire if Mensys (or XEU) decided to drop eComStation (unless Serenity still owns the license, in which case it is back in their ball park). Most long time users probably remember the problems with getting that license in the first place. If anything, it will be more difficult this time. It will also be difficult to replace Mensys in the big picture. It has been shown that eCS is not a money maker, and it could very easily become a money sink, so most companies (if not all) would hesitate to get involved, even if the license is still available. I doubt if IBM would allow just anybody off the street to pick it up.

You must also remember, that Mensys is in the business of electronic retail, which includes a LOT more than just eComStation, so it may come down to a business case scenario, which probably isn't good.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Martin Iturbide on February 02, 2014, 09:40:08 pm
Hi

<personal opinion>

- OS/2 first dead was when IBM's Lou Gertstner put in march the strategy to stop investing on OS/2.
- OS/2's second and official dead was on December of 2006 when IBM stopped all support that platform.
- OS/2's third dead was when Serenity System dissapeared, but we have the luck for Mensys to got it.
- OS/2's fourth dead may be on this days that it is moving from Mensys to XEU.
.....I will like to be around for the fifth dead in the future :)

Do we require a company?
I don't know why people think that if it is not a company behind OS/2-eCS we are doom. It is like we have "paradigm" so hard inside us saying that we need big players like IBM, Microsoft, Sony to make the OSes a success. I insist we don't necessary need that. OpenBSD and Linux (kernel) are foundations that maintain their development.

But that does not mean that is bad to have a company behind the OS, and I think that is good to have a company that still sells OS/2-eCS and that bundle it with open source software (Copyleft), so the will be forced to invest on open source bugfixing for the community. I think that is a good retribution for using open source software for commercial use.

But we want to remain in time, and we don't want to depend on a single company or single individual. That's why open source is the path.

Ask yourself this hypothetical question: if Mensys goes bankrupt tomorrow, will you un-install eCS from our system, switch to other platform and stop visiting OS2World at once? or will you remain on the community until you are forced to migrate (lack of drivers, lack of software and .... I don't know... neighbors laughing at you?)

IDEAS
The crazy ideas that shows up as plans, without counting on Mensys and without too much details are:

Option 1 - Keep moving on replacing OS/2 closed source components until we have a full open source OS/2 clone. That will make it legal for everyone to use the clone and will be legal for any company to improve/distribuite/resell it. This is long term.

Option 2 - Use the public OS/2 files (like fixpacks) and recreate some kind "poor's man eComStation", which will be only legal for the people that have an OS/2 license. Create some kind of installer that download the fixpacks files, put it together with the rest of the open source software and create a installable ISO.

Option 3 - Treat everything as abandonware and pray to never get a lawsuit. The problem with this is that we can not grow this way. Abandonware is not understand as "legal to use". Even that there is some kind of legal exception on the US with Abandoware (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abandonware#DMCA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abandonware#DMCA))  it is not enough to make something that can grow and the community will stay as hobbyist toy (which is what is looking today, with the exception that there still some companies that still uses OS2-eCS).


ISPIRATION?

I really think that there a lot of other open source projects that are getting some money and have the collaborative will to keep going without a main company sponsoring them.

1) ReactOS - The already have some VM's, they have supporters and they are starting a Kickstarter campaign to make ReactOS a Cloud OS (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thorium/thorium-core-cloud-desktop). They had raises 22K for the moment.

2) Haiku OS, maybe they got source code donation (or not) from BeOS, but they keep moving. Raised 23K for 2013.

3) There are a lot of little OSes being developed and people gave some money to they.

4) OpenBSD which is a more recognized OS, has raised 111K (goal 150K) for 2014. And told that they require 20K only for the electrical bill, while on this community we will kill for 20K that will represent more software/libs ported. (...but even if we found a millionaire to sponsor us (http://bsd.slashdot.org/story/14/01/20/0348247/romanian-bitcoin-entrepreneur-steps-in-to-pay-openbsd-shortfall), we need a plan)

Just do not say it is impossible, ReactOS is doing it. Just don't say it will take forever, Linux did it and cloned Unix.. and it even became more notorious that moved on replacing Unix.

Action Plan

I insist we need to move on the open source direction and do the following:

1) Build a team of people, developers, testers, documenters, users, supporters and cheerleaders.
2) Build up the plan on how we can reach an open source OS/2 clone.
3) Set the priority on which components to start and which is the effort on each components.
4) Start the fundraising campaign for each component to make this a reality.

If we try to make a 100% clone of OS/2 and we end up cloning only the 70%, 60% or 30% it will still be a success, because we will have more that what we have today.

</personal opinion>
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Doug Bissett on February 02, 2014, 11:54:50 pm
I think you are missing something: IBM owns OS/2 (I will ignore the Microsoft parts). If you include any part of the existing OS/2, in a new distribution, you need a license to do that (Serenity Sytems, or Mensys, has that license today, and I expect that IBM would not allow them to sell it, or even give it away).

Okay, you propose to replace all parts that are still copyright by IBM. The only problem with that, is that you are looking at roughly 100 man years of development to get it all done, and tested. Even if it takes half that time, and you can find 10 developers who are willing to do it, for free, that is 5 years (working around the clock) before anything, except the odd update to the current eCS, for those who already have a license, can be released. 5 years, with no new users (remember that you can only include the stuff that is not part of OS/2), and a loss of those who just can't wait that long, will mean that the user base will be insufficient to support such an effort. Then, there is the question about how long the current PC will exist. I expect that personal devices (tablets, phones, and wrist computers) will replace what we know today, in the near future (5 years). We would also lose a great number of commercial customers, who can't afford to be caught using unlicensed (or even questionable) software. Some of them also require it to pass reliability tests, and other things, so they would be scrambling to find an alternative. They are probably pushing the envelope already, and they likely would not come back.

It is suggested that "Abandon ware" will cover it. I am no lawyer, but I expect that there is a waiting period (starting when Mensys abandons it, and IBM refuses to issue a new license), before it can be considered to be abandoned.

Time is the main enemy, followed closely by the lack of manpower to do the job.

Quote
I don't know why people think that if it is not a company behind OS/2-eCS we are doom.

You have obviously never dealt with IBM. They never really embraced the open source concept, and they are not likely to pay lawyers to clear the way for what you propose. In fact, I am not so sure that they ever got over "the IBM PC is just a toy" concept. If it doesn't make a dollar, they just won't do it. That probably also means that they won't chase an individual, as long as they don't get too carried away, but including copies of an IBM copyright product, with some other package, without paying royalties, forces them to take legal action. If they don't, that would open the doors for anybody to use any of their copyright material, for whatever purpose they like. IBM just can't afford to let that happen.

So, the other option, is to let the user obtain an appropriate version of OS/2, on the open market, then package eCS (I will call it that) as an add on, that does not include the base OS (and that will be completely useless, on it's own). One of the problems could be the availability of fix packs etc. Of course, as the base OS gets replaced, more of it can be included in the new package. After all (or most) parts of the existing OS/2 get replaced, the package will be complete, and the user will no longer need a copy of OS/2 to supply parts that have not been replaced. See my previous time, and manpower, estimates - which are likely on the low side. Meanwhile, time marches on, eCS has gained very little ground, and has probably lost a lot of users, simply because they can't wait for results.

I suggest that we wait, for a while, to see what Mensys or XEU, actually does. It is likely that no decisions have been made, yet, and we should get some sort of statement from them, when a decision is made.

I see three possible scenarios:
1) They will just shut down eComStation, and remove it from internet access.
2) They will shut down eComStation, and make the project available to the public (that may depend on what the contract with IBM says).
3) They will continue as it has been.

If 1), we will need to start over from the beginning.
If 2), somebody will need to pick it up, and run with it. No small feat, and there would be a learning curve to deal with.
If 3), we still have the same problems that we have today.

So, it won't hurt to try replacing parts of OS/2. Some have already been done, but finding someone who would even consider doing the job has proven to be difficult, and a lot of them would want to keep their work closed source. I don't see that starting with the WPS would be a good idea. It is too big, although XWorkplace is a probably a good start. Parts like the TCP stack would make more sense, but that is pretty specialized. CMD.EXE has a replacement in 4OS2, but there are incompatibilities that need to be addressed (perhaps that would be a good place to start though). There are a lot of drivers that could be tackled, but we desperately need new drivers for new devices, and that is proving to be more work than expected, so old device drivers that still work, get ignored. It seems that OS2LDR and OS2KRNL, are under way, and have been for some years, with some success, even with the questions about the legality of the OS4 project.

I guess we need a priority list, that can be picked by those who are willing, and able, to do the job. Some of that has been tried on OS2world, with minor success. Mensys has picked up some of the very important things (ACPI, AHCI, Multimac, Firefox), but there is much more that needs to be done, and soon. Paul Smedley has been looking at Multimac, but there are a few problems to sort out, and he certainly doesn't have the time that is necessary. At the current rate, I figure that 100 man years of work, will take close to 300 years to get it all finished.

Again: Time is the main enemy, followed closely by the lack of manpower to do the job.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Martin Iturbide on February 03, 2014, 12:34:07 am

I think you are missing something: IBM owns OS/2 (I will ignore the Microsoft parts). If you include any part of the existing OS/2, in a new distribution, you need a license to do that (Serenity Sytems, or Mensys, has that license today, and I expect that IBM would not allow them to sell it, or even give it away).

An OEM agreement with IBM is not impossible. Serenity did it on the past, and IBM will love to get money without costs just like they did with eComStation. But you it will be required to make an interesting offer to IBM and find the right contacts. Also, any other OEM company will have to make a commitment in sales and pay to IBM.

If you include any part of the existing OS/2, in a new distribution, you need a license to do that ...
Not necessary. You can create an OS/2 distro without including OS/2 files with a trick.

Crazy idea - Option 2: It can be possible to create a installer that will download IBM files Warp 4.53 fixpack 3 (http://ftp://ps.boulder.ibm.com/ps/products/os2/fixes/v4.5warp/english-us/xr_e003/) and other and will create an ISO installer for the user. You will not be distributing IBM's files. But that is a crazy idea I don't want to do, it just an idea.
You have obviously never dealt with IBM.

Doug, this are the comments that I want to try to avoid on the forum. Making assumptions on the other. I remember that once I was called "Linux Hater" because I did not liked Linux file system structure implemented on OS/2 RPM, while I like Linux. I worked for IBM for 9 years, I know IBM.

IBM is out of the consumer market and OS/2 is no longer a preferred choice for servers. IBM will only work with a business case and this community or making OS/2 Open Source does not have a business case.  I don't know why when I say "Let's make an open source clone of OS/2" everything thinks that "IBM should allow that", or "IBM will not allow that". IBM does not care about this community because we are not a market for them. IBM is out of the discussion, we are not going to hear from them. (but maybe we should send a letter to Ginni  ;D )

Watching it as 100 man years maybe right. But looking it into smaller pieces to show progress will create traction and show movement outside this community. And also make more people join to help.

Maybe it is wrong to start with WPS, but just imagine if we send a news outside that says: "50% of WPS is open source now !", or "40% of Presentation Manager had been cloned"... that will bring more notability to the community and will  bring more people to help.

I remember that ReactOs was only promoted by Russians on the early years. Now I saw that it has many American contributors, talking on events, showing the software, asking for help, to join, etc.... why we can't do that? they are not genius? they do not have unlimited time or resources? but they have pulled a decent Win32 clone to start with. 

I had seen very good atempts to clone OS/2 in the past, but they keep trying to make everything at the same time, PM, SOM, KERNEL, WPS, MMOS2. So the idea will be to only focus on one components, finding developers for it, and raising money to help.  The components may run stand alone or over eCS, I really don't care, as long as it is open source to allow derivative works.

Presentation Manager?
SOM?

4OS2 can also be good to replace cmd. It will be a good exercise to see what happens if we replace cmd complete with 4OS2, what is missing? what will stop working?
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Martin Iturbide on February 03, 2014, 01:21:37 am
Crazy idea - Option 2: Or make an installer that uses Warp 4.52 CD/ISO as a requirements like UpdCD, that will create a new ISO image.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Doug Bissett on February 03, 2014, 04:09:31 am
Quote
An OEM agreement with IBM is not impossible. Serenity did it on the past, and IBM will love to get money without costs just like they did with eComStation.

There were others who tried earlier. I think that Serenity got it simply because they knew somebody in IBM who was high enough in the company to make it happen. Whether that would, or could, happen again, is highly questionable. Beside that, Serenity may still be the ones who hold that license. That is not clear.

Quote
create a installer that will download IBM files Warp 4.53 fixpack 3

Technically pretty simple, but you still need a license to distribute OS/2 to do it.

Quote
Maybe it is wrong to start with WPS, but just imagine if we send a news outside that says: "50% of WPS is open source now !", or "40% of Presentation Manager had been cloned"... that will bring more notability to the community and will  bring more people to help.

40 or 50% of anything is not going to accomplish much. What good is 50% of a car? You need to start small, with something that can be done, in a reasonable amount of time, and if that attracts enough attention perhaps others will start to help. As I noted, CMD.EXE is relatively small, and a lot of the heavy lifting has already been done. 4OS2.exe does work pretty well, but there are a few incompatibilities that need to be addressed, before it can be called a replacement for CMD.EXE. Start there, and see what happens. Other things that could be done:
ATTRIB.EXE, DISKCOMP.COM, DISKCOPY.COM, EAUTIL.EXE, LABEL.COM, MODE.COM, and MORE.COM. Some of them already have replacements, but they are all part of the big picture.

Quote
Or make an installer that uses Warp 4.52 CD/ISO as a requirements like UpdCD, that will create a new ISO image.

That is essentially what Mensys does. The problem is, that you still need the license for OS/2. If IBM stops selling those, you need to depend on the used market, to do it legally, and, you still have the same old problem about supporting newer hardware. It is not impossible, but it would be very difficult to get that idea off the ground, before too many users leave the game. If this project had been started, the day after IBM announced that OS/2 was "dead", you might have had a chance of pulling it off. Even Serenity, and Mensys, may have started too late, and they had a few corporate dollars to support it. To make matters worse, there are a lot of OS/2 users who have refused to support eComStation, but still seem to think that they should have access to all of the goodies that have been created. Mensys has done a great service to the OS/2 community, and they have made most of what they did available, but they do need to have some reason why users would pay them to do those things, and that ends up supporting further development, along with a couple of people who actually coordinate the whole thing.

Now, assuming that Mensys/XEU does pull the plug, we need a strategy that will show results, almost immediately, just to keep the users that are still here. Then, that strategy needs to expand, as quickly as possible, until there are enough interested, capable, people, to actually start to tackle some of the bigger parts that will take longer. Whether it can be done, remains to be seen, but starting with the WPS, and announcing that you have 50% of it (if that is even possible), after two years, is not going to do what you hope for, especially if we still don't have WiFi support.

Dream big, but start small, if you want to succeed.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Sigurd Fastenrath on February 03, 2014, 08:46:09 am
It is obvious to me that nothing will change nor will I get a serious information from Mensys / Xeu.com.

Just look at the "anual" discussion last year:

http://www.os2world.com/forum/index.php/topic,69.msg467.html#msg467 (http://www.os2world.com/forum/index.php/topic,69.msg467.html#msg467)

It was just a retorical question as the answer is at hand.

But from what the reality looks like nothing happens and as expected the may be new owners are or the ones in charge are not interested in the community, they just want to sell as much eCS as they can. And this is to fit the needs of industrial clients and not waste time with community things.

The conclusion to me is (and was already before I started this thread): eCS is dead for the community.

For those answering:

- we have to wait for the next release and see what.....
- in the next near furture there will be feature... release....

Just go to the records (e.g. above) during the last 3 years.

I would like to see an OS/2 clone come alive, but I doubt this will happen (unfortunately).

I only wonder why none of the developers - wich are in contact with Mensys or who ever - do still keep quit. May be they are forced to as one of the parts of their contracts.  :-X

My intention with this was just to say "Wake up."



Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Andi B. on February 03, 2014, 12:15:20 pm
Quote
I only wonder why none of the developers - wich are in contact with Mensys or who ever - do still keep quit. May be they are forced to as one of the parts of their contracts.
A simple answer maybe they do not have the time/do not want to wast their time in reading and answering all these forums/groups. But of course I can't speak for them.

Another thought I want to add here in the thread - IMHO the OS/2 - eCS community is special compared to others in the way what they expect from there system/apps. An average Linux guy usually tries things out, plays with software, read numerous hours in the net about problems he encounters and sometimes even start to improve the sources. An average OS/2 - eCS guy expects perfect software focused on the task he needs to be done. Without problems, without incompatibilities even to his own brewed centuries old messy hacked scripts ;)

The average eCS guy don't even tell the maintainer about bugs at least not when it comes to fill a ticket and trying to nail it down to reproducibly test case. Yes I know we have some prominent exceptions to this this rule here.

So IMHO it does not make sense to have 50% WPS replacement. You need 99.999%. 99.9% is way to less for being acceptable to the average eCS user. At least that's what I see with the here in this thread mentioned 4os2  ;)
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Doug Bissett on February 03, 2014, 06:00:06 pm
Quote
It is obvious to me that nothing will change nor will I get a serious information from Mensys / Xeu.com.

Unfortunately, that seems to be a result of trying to do a project on a "shoe string" budget. You, and the rest of us, don't get much information, because they aren't even sure about what is going on. They have also learned, finally, that it is best to shut up, until there is some concrete news to tell. Too many times their announcements have failed to materialize. Then, they seem to have ONE guy who does most of the English communication, and he was sick for a while (I hope he is not sick again, we never heard about that, until after the fact).

Quote
And this is to fit the needs of industrial clients and not waste time with community things.

The "industrial" clients are the ones who have been keeping it going. Without them, there would be far less money to work with, and that would mean far less paid development, which would mean that the platform would become unusable even faster. It has always been that way.

Quote
The average eCS guy don't even tell the maintainer about bugs at least not when it comes to fill a ticket and trying to nail it down to reproducibly test case.

This is true, but it also works the other way around. Some of the maintainers seem to expect that only those who can fully debug a problem should have the right to report problems, and they can get very nasty when somebody attempts to report a problem, without the proper supporting documentation (which they usually have no idea about, and maintainers don't want to tell).

Quote
So IMHO it does not make sense to have 50% WPS replacement. You need 99.999%. 99.9% is way to less for being acceptable to the average eCS user.

Actually, it would need to be about 110%, to keep OS/2 users happy. OS/2 started out as an OS that was supposed to be "perfect" (as all the rest claimed). Overall, when IBM was developing, and maintaining, it, it was about as good as it got, and users came to expect that it would be near to "perfect", and if there was a problem, somebody else would report it, and the next fix pack would fix it. The only thing that has changed, is that IBM has been replaced by a dozen, or so, freelance programmers, who are often working without source code, to try to keep it going, never mind make it "perfect". The users still haven't figured out that those programmers need all the help they can get, and part of that is that users need to learn how to properly report problems, and then do the report themselves, because it seems that others aren't going to do it. As noted above, maintainers need to be more user friendly, and patiently explain to a user what they need to know, and how to collect the proper data for a problem report (instructions should be part of the distributed package, and some actually do that). True, that takes away from the time that they are far too short of, but after a while, (some) users will start to catch on, and better reports will be available.

Perhaps that is part of the answer. Before even thinking about cloning any part of OS/2, the users need to have a course in how to properly report problems, and, it would be good to have a group of users, who do have some idea, screen those problem reports, to be sure that they have the information that is required, before it goes to the maintainers. This group could also create instructions, and tools, to be placed in the packages.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: jdeb on February 03, 2014, 08:31:12 pm
My Software subscription did expire these days. Before I got to prolongue it I am wondering if this is a good idea or not. Spending more Money or looking for an alternative like the - free of Charge - Linux Mint.

I think you would like Slackware better Sigurd, with all your technical ability. Mint is super easy but Slackware is rock solid stable. In my opinion, the most stable release of Mint is Mint Debian "Rolling Release" followed by Mint 13 Maya (LTS).
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Neil Waldhauer on February 04, 2014, 12:32:31 am
I don't think it's dead. The new ACPI and driver fixes in eCS 2.2 beta 2 allow easy installation on machines that were out of reach a year ago. This beta is only a few weeks old, and there are a few large pieces to add before the next beta.

Not many people work on eCS business, so they likely have to choose between talking about working, and actually working. I expect we'll find out soon enough how things will go with eCS.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Sigurd Fastenrath on February 04, 2014, 07:38:37 am
I don't think it's dead. The new ACPI and driver fixes in eCS 2.2 beta 2 allow easy installation on machines that were out of reach a year ago. This beta is only a few weeks old, and there are a few large pieces to add before the next beta.

Hi Neil,

yes, the latest USB and ACPI has been a good progress, but meanwhile the hardware platform did move forward as well. So we do have hardware that was not supported a year or more ago but actual hardware is not supported on a reliable way:

- UEFI is a show stopper for a lot of modern hardware
- WLAN - a key feature - is not supported
- Sound is not working on most of modern hardware wich has an HDMI output as well, because there are two soundhardwares then that can not (as far as my experience lead me to) be handeld by UNIAUD
- USB 3.0 is not at hand (Laptops with USB 2.0 stopped to be produced for some time now; some have the possibility to use 3.0 as 2.0 (like my X230t); even most of the now common mainboards miss USB 2.0 support)
- do not want to mention all the other things like Bluetooth, Firewire, Graphic support, outdated LAN support (thanks to Paul there might be some movement here)
- Memory hole at 512 MB and and and

-> therefore for serious, reliable work one have to cut Laptops, Tablets and all portable devices. Whats left are Desktop PCs.

I try to build a maximum warp PC for some time now. As I found a good combination (ASRock 990FX Extreme4 Mainboard, AMD FX 8 core CPU, CMedia 8738 Soundcard and Nvidia 6600 PCie Grafic card) even this has so many limitations with eCS.

And on the other hand - there would be almost NO information about eCs on modern hardware if there would not be a handfull users from the community wich report from time to time.

And again - what is really a joke to read (not adressed to you!) is the argument "The 'developers' - wich is wrong - I mean the Distributor! (misleading post of mine, sorry!)  have to work instead of reading forum news/questions" - that's really something I can not believe being argumented with! It brings tears in my eyes (   :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(  )    ::)

I do KNOW that the ones in charge are reading the forums and taking profit from the reports and tips and tricks on hardware given here - but they do not have 2 minutes to answer - Come on - on wich planet do we live??

I.e. look at the memory hole at 512 MB - for me I mentioned it first while playing around with the Samsung Series 7 Slate in 2011/2012. I do know from answers of "Someone" from that time that this was mostly new for them. I then "presented" one possible solution: using OS4Loader. And Yes, I got a message then that they are working on a solution. Some months later the developer of OS4 Loader mentioned, that someone tried to download his sources.....

I.e. 2: In 2009 I tried to install eCS next to Windows 7. The messages from "some" I got then has been: "This is impossible with OS/2 Bootmanager". As it turned out to be possible as I proofed it (and others as well) I got some new messages from there. Oh man.....

I.e. 3: eCs 2 beta 5 : I was able to test it as one of the first persons - and discovered, that it destroyed my HDD layout. Same goes later on, a beta was released with missing mouse support and so on and so on. That does not look like being tested "on more than 90 PC inside Mensys" - except this PCs are dated till 2002..; the eCs 2.2 beta 4 with that painfull ecs.ru "Modern ui" that disabled i.e. the Drive letters.....

I do not want to show how "Glorious and great I am" - this are just facts to demonstrate why I have so much trust in the "distributors team" there. Just look at ACPI - as long at is has been developed by ecs.ru this was a PITA - it simply did work only on a handfull PC - and did i.e. kill one of my X200t graphic chips due to overheat.

It just changed when (only to mention a few) David, Steven, Lars, Silvan, Herwig, Wim - and of course you, Neil, Doug and others stepped in. Unfortunately they have not enough man power and even if working very hard can not catch up with the hardware demands. We are not talking about a "100% OS/2 or eCS" - it would be nice to have rudimental support. I do have very much respect for their work!!! And I would like to thank them again!!

But, when it comes to Mensys or Xeu.com or whatever - with their policy those are ruining everything the others try to keep alive.
And without the help and testing and reporting of the community - it would have stopped some years before.

P.S: I removed colours and bold.

It is important for me to divide between the "active developers" (wich are making a very very good work!!) and Mensys/xeu.com as the "Organizer/Distributor" (wich in my opinion do make a very bad job).




Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Andi B. on February 04, 2014, 01:38:00 pm
Sigurd, I think there is a few key misunderstandings on your side. At least I've a different view than you ....

eCS is not eCS.ru. You have problems with Eugene and the things he contribute or use. We've read that more than once. You don't have to repeat yourself ever and ever.

eCS is not driven by a huge company. In fact as far as I can see it is more or less an effort driven by hobbyists. People from the community all over the world like you and me and a lot of others. But even Roderick and Joachim invest much more than what they get paid for I think.

Mensys organizes and pays (partially) for a lot of eCS development (ACPI, Java, Flash, OS2AHCI, MultiMac...) and is the central place where some strategic decisions were made and still is the only place where such decisions can be made. Mensys is the only place where you can buy new licenses so it's the only place where money is collected and payed for future development (if any).

Mensys bought some products and development resources in Russia TTBOMK via Eugene (Panorama?). Like it or not.

Mensys can use and make profit from user findings posted in different channels as every other Internet user can do too.

Why do you expect that Roderick knows every aspect of eCS (working and installing beside other systems) better than the rest of the world? Why do you insist on "I've found out that this or that works or works not as expected by others" and blame they others not knowing what you learned by trial and error?

Who do you think is the 'someone' who has tried to download some piece of software from some others site? And why do you promote such rumors? Do you have any benefit bashing Mensys? Guess you do not have any evidence for what you are suggesting here, do you?

I absolutely can not understand why you think "Mensys ruins eCS" while in fact they are the ones who enable users like you and me to use OS/2 this days. Without Mensys no one ever had developed ACPI support or Multimac or Panorama or .... People like me who can't afford or were not willing to invest thousands of Euros in buying Warp Server more than 10 years ago do not have any legal possibility to use this platform since many years without Mensys. And even if I had a WSeB license I could not buy another one for my server without Mensys since more than 10 years.

Do you really think Steven or David will do any development for the few remaining companies still running some OS/2 machine when not directed by Mensys? eCS - OS/2 user base is small compared to *nix or *doze but it would be non-existent if not Mensys enables us hobbyist to use OS/2 licenses and updates (legally).

PS: if you write "developers" you have to respect others read "developers". Smiley's do not help arguing against things you meant but not wrote.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Sigurd Fastenrath on February 04, 2014, 02:27:01 pm
Sigurd, I think there is a few key misunderstandings on your side. At least I've a different view than you ....



->That is OK - never had a problem with different views. What else should lead to a discussion?



eCS is not eCS.ru. You have problems with Eugene and the things he contribute or use. We've read that more than once. You don't have to repeat yourself ever and ever.


-> that has been named as examples for missmanagement of those deciding what have been done with eCS. If eCS would be eCS.ru, well....


eCS is not driven by a huge company. In fact as far as I can see it is more or less an effort driven by hobbyists. People from the community all over the world like you and me and a lot of others. But even Roderick and Joachim invest much more than what they get paid for I think.

Mensys organizes and pays (partially) for a lot of eCS development (ACPI, Java, Flash, OS2AHCI, MultiMac...) and is the central place where some strategic decisions were made and still is the only place where such decisions can be made. Mensys is the only place where you can buy new licenses so it's the only place where money is collected and payed for future development (if any).


-> As far as I know Mensys is not the owner of eCS anymore. It is Xeu.com. Being the only place does not lead to "being out of critics" or doing everything right. Do you have further information about this "take over" that happend sometime in the past?



Mensys bought some products and development resources in Russia TTBOMK via Eugene (Panorama?). Like it or not.



-> If I do not like I might have the right to write about it.



Mensys can use and make profit from user findings posted in different channels as every other Internet user can do too.


-> Why not? But this is not a one direction way.



Why do you expect that Roderick knows every aspect of eCS (working and installing beside other systems) better than the rest of the world? Why do you insist on "I've found out that this or that works or works not as expected by others" and blame they others not knowing what you learned by trial and error?


-> Ha - you may misunderstand what I am trying to say - due to my limited english. It was not "trial and error", the problems with missing things occured right at the first installation trials. What do you think - why did I try to spread almost all my findings if not supporting other users?



Who do you think is the 'someone' who has tried to download some piece of software from some others site? And why do you promote such rumors? Do you have any benefit bashing Mensys? Guess you do not have any evidence for what you are suggesting here, do you?


-> Yes, it might be suprising, but I do have evidence for the things I am writing. This is one reason why I am repeating some things. Not to name "someone" is just because I want to protect "someone". I do not have benefit trashing Mensys. Why should I have promoted eCs in videos? Why do I organize User meetings? Why can you read things like "Installation eCS on modern Laptop"? Is the world only black or white? Why should being critic not be something common? -> Wrong guess.



I absolutely can not understand why you think "Mensys ruins eCS" while in fact they are the ones who enable users like you and me to use OS/2 this days. Without Mensys no one ever had developed ACPI support or Multimac or Panorama or .... People like me who can't afford or were not willing to invest thousands of Euros in buying Warp Server more than 10 years ago do not have any legal possibility to use this platform since many years without Mensys. And even if I had a WSeB license I could not buy another one for my server without Mensys since more than 10 years.



-> Yes, but again, being the only does not include of making everything right. What could or might have been is not important (imagine Stardock would have gained the license and so on). In my opinion those last ten years and at least 5 of them (2006-2010) have been wasted due to Project missmanagement. As far as I remember I am not alone with my opinion, but most of the "others" just moved away.



Do you really think Steven or David will do any development for the few remaining companies still running some OS/2 machine when not directed by Mensys? eCS - OS/2 user base is small compared to *nix or *doze but it would be non-existent if not Mensys enables us hobbyist to use OS/2 licenses and updates (legally).


-> see above


PS: if you write "developers" you have to respect others read "developers". Smiley's do not help arguing against things you meant but not wrote.


-> I could have simply edited my posting before and replaced "developers", but I decided to state it that way. The Smileys are ususally for stressing the "retorical" caracter. My first draft for the post included bold, red and blue caracters, but I decided to return to "usual" format just to avoid to stress things to much.



Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Wim Brul on February 04, 2014, 04:38:19 pm
Hi Sigurd,

You might consider sending a  polite inquiry to Georgina Beels, the Sales and Marketing Manager of XEU.com B.V.

http://nl.linkedin.com/pub/georgina-beels/b/622/642

See attachment for her e-mail address.

She understands German well.

Regards, Wim.

Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Mick Head on February 04, 2014, 10:06:31 pm
I admit to not understanding the question this thread poses. It seems odd, in my opinion.

The heydays of OS/2 occurred when I was in middle school. I wanted to use OS/2 then but it wouldn't run on the hardware I had available. Today, Mensys offers eComStation, making effort to update OS/2. Will eCS perfectly work on the most up-to-date hardware? Obviously not, but it's getting better all the time. I'm willing to pay a reasonable price to support them, and I support the developers when I'm able. I'm not a developer, and I appreciate and like the work they do.

The point of this reply is: why spend time negating what Mensys/xeu.com/developers are doing? Why not just enjoy the operating system? If the company or people is not meeting expectations, goodness knows there are tons of other choiceswww.distrowatch.com (http://www.distrowatch.com).

Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Eirik Romstad on February 04, 2014, 10:54:16 pm
Mick has a very good point.  At the same time it is easy to understand Sigurd's skepticism towards renewing his software subscription - I guess most people dislike paying for something and getting less.  For certain things at work I need to use my dual boot and start up Win7.  Then I realize why I continue to pay my software subscription:
Yes, it is also frustrating to be an eCS user.  Several things (without going into boring details) do not work properly, but I know what those are, and I have found ways of circumventing those problems.  Not as good as having them solved, but ...

As Mick, I therefore send thank you thoughts to developers and others who has put in numerous hours, many without pay, so that I can still use my preferred operating system on modern hardware.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Fr4nk on February 06, 2014, 10:07:34 am
Hi Andi,


IMHO the OS/2 - eCS community is special compared to others in the way what they expect from there system/apps. An average Linux guy usually tries things out, plays with software, read numerous hours in the net about problems he encounters and sometimes even start to improve the sources. An average OS/2 - eCS guy expects perfect software focused on the task he needs to be done.

There is also a core difference in the platforms. While Linux is a free platform and the open source philosophy is one if the important features and the base of all, eCs is a commercial platform! And paying some hundred bucks for a OS results in higher expectations. So easy. An eCs customer thinks his money is used to develop things and he doesn't do it self. On Linux you know you pay nothing so you can ask for or you do it yourself. Linux doesn't owe you anything but when I buy eCs than it owes what is promised. Promises - that is another story....

And eCs has a Os2 history and people don't like it when new versions are not as good working as older ones.

The funny thing is that lot of things working better on the free platform than the closed source commercial platform and at the end Martin is right with his Open Source points.

One problem of eCs is also that Mensys is drawing a picture of this OS in our mind. A picture of a commercial OS compared with Win or OSX - working great and everywhere. The power client for inet generation. They don't talk about what is going on. There is no dialog between users and project leaders, there are no polls to get a clue about what users really want. There is more a feeling that end users better be quiet because there are bigger fishes to catch. There is also deny of technical facts (e.g. Sigurd did things Mensys declared as impossible before and even after he did it).

There is no transparency about the development and progress - what the heck are blogs for.

There is no call for help and there is no statement about to less time or a description of problems to keep the picture of a very good working and selling 'better than the years before' operating system somewhere in our mind but the result is in the contrary.

And actually a lot of things are more like on free platforms. E.g. we have a lot of volunteers working for eCs. So eCs is some kind of mix between open source and commercial platform. This get even more disappointing when users see that they buy a product and it includes wide range of free software. You can do this a company but then you need transparency about the things you develop yourself and clarify what users exactly pay for and expose advantages.



Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Sigurd Fastenrath on February 06, 2014, 11:02:52 am
Hi Sigurd,

You might consider sending a  polite inquiry to Georgina Beels, the Sales and Marketing Manager of XEU.com B.V.

http://nl.linkedin.com/pub/georgina-beels/b/622/642

See attachment for her e-mail address.

She understands German well.

Regards, Wim.

Hi Wim,

thanks for the information. I wrote an email yesterday morning - no reply so far. I will report if there is any.

Sigurd
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Andi B. on February 06, 2014, 12:44:08 pm
@ Fr4nk - there are a lot of valid points in your post which I agreed.

Only want to add another view which I think is valid too - it's completely irrelevant to the working of your product eCS2.1 you paid for if Mensys is now (part of?) XEU. Your eCS work (or not) as before. You did not buy any future feature. Nor I'm aware of any promise made by Mensys (except the more than moderate advertising compared to other companies). Of course a lot of us invested in SS and got in return better ACPI, OS2AHCI, Mulitmac... versions. But is was never promised that board xyz will work within next 12 months or so. I still do not understand what's all this moaning about is good for.

A similar thing which comes to mind - no Porsche driver could anything do against the took over by VW. Useless for any Porsche driver whining about. The Porsche driver does not know the details about the deal in the background and why should he care about? I does not help him paying the service costs nor removing speed limits.

Repeating the myth of project management failures in the past does not write any single line of code nor fix any bug in current available applications. Btw. nearly all people who repeated that myth in the past again and again did not contribute anything useful since years. So again, what's the benefit of this endless discussion? History of the last years learned no one ever will stand up and try to make it better.

You mentioned  -
Quote
that Mensys is drawing a picture of this OS in our mind
This maybe true for some of us. But it was never true for me. Maybe I'm to old or to experienced that I never though that a small company can compete with Linux or MS. Or maybe some of us are simply to blind to see the obvious.

I think I better stop now as I'm not in the position (and do not want to be) to talk for Mensys. Nor do I earn any money for my contribution to eCS. And it's probably better for me going back coding than talking. Only hope others who have problems with a company or an individual solve it directly not in users groups. As the ones involved obviously are not willing to discuss it here.

Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Sigurd Fastenrath on February 06, 2014, 01:16:17 pm
Repeating the myth of project management failures in the past

That is exactly the reason why I am repeating the Facts that make it obvious that it is not a myth but sadly the thruth based on facts.


I still do not understand what's all this moaning about is good for.

For me the reason is: I would like to know what is going on before investing more money. I would just like to have the facts to be able to make a decision if it might be usefull to support Mensys/xeu further on or better to support independent developers direclty. And/or switch to another second OS or try to help Martins Opensource Ideas.


Only hope others who have problems with a company or an individual solve it directly not in users groups. As the ones involved obviously are not willing to discuss it here.

Would be glad if this could work, but I tried several times before to talk direct to the company - even made phone call - and reported the result in this forum as well. The information given to me was close to zero.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: ivan on February 06, 2014, 01:50:43 pm
I agree with Sigurd, the lack of information is not doing the platform any good.

On Tuesday I told a client not to even think about getting eCS because of the uncertainty and gave them pointers as to where they should look foe OS/2 licences instead.  We are only a very small organisation but word does get passed around the industry and when the main supplier does not say what is going on people become very concerned about doing business with them.

The new branch of Mensys appears to be aimed at the banking sector and if they play the same game there they will be told that they are not wanted in no uncertain terms.   
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD? (Reply from XEU)
Post by: Roderick Klein on February 07, 2014, 11:29:28 am
Hello everybody,

I understand its a long ride for eCS 2.2. We however released eCS 2.2 beta 2 at the end of 2013 that fixed some of the bugs.
We are currently working on fixing the bugs left that are needed to fixed for supportable product.

Roderick Klein
XEU
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD? (Reply from XEU)
Post by: Sigurd Fastenrath on February 07, 2014, 12:56:57 pm
Hello everybody,

I understand its a long ride for eCS 2.2. We however released eCS 2.2 beta 2 at the end of 2013 that fixed some of the bugs.
We are currently working on fixing the bugs left that are needed to fixed for supportable product.

Roderick Klein
XEU

With this detailed and full answer this thread is closed for me.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Fr4nk on February 08, 2014, 10:39:49 am
Roderick, for sake isn't it possible to give some more and appropriate informations?

On your side you want to sell support contracts. On the other side ppl are concerned. And as you may noticed over the last 10 years ppl aka your customers are really annoyed by your information policity and non transparency. Isn't it time to change some day? Pulling the "we are working on bugs" joker isn't even a decent answer. There is no word about change to XEU and what it means for the future.  How about get in dialog with your users aka your customers. What are youre priorities, what are the problems, what you working on, and last but not least - where do you need help?
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: wesco on February 09, 2014, 08:02:40 am
at corporate we have relied on OS/2 for multimedia with empoarer tv an important part of our work. it has been annouced that the project has ended.

our equipment needs updating and our attempt to migrate to ECS 2.2 is EPIC FAIL on new equipment. we have wasted 5 thousand dollars in unbillable hours dealing with the problems. beyond doing really basic office work, OS/2 is useless and expensive compared to LINUX which also we can not really use for our video processing. i and the rest of the engineering types tend to not think highly of the bean counters; but, they scored majorly when they got 24 windows 8 incenses for 30 each (we have XP running in virtual pc thus qualifying for the upgrade deal).

we are dumping all our ECS 2.1 machines and replacing them with 6 in house built windows 8 machines. the HD7970 with 4K video is AWESOME. the rest we will replace with the new power macs when the budget allows buying the external multimedia interfaces.

mensys is doing a great job with ECS. if you have an automation system or point of sale, or some other vertical app. then ECS is totally viable and one should continue using ECS til the expense makes no sense.

however, as siguard is wondering, i would not put money into the subscriptions. the years of no real improvements have made the subscription expense exceed what we would have spent on windows (sorry, accounting proved it).

i am glad for those that can carry on with OS/2 they are in good hands. OS/2 is good for hobbyists. otherwise OS/2 is indeed dead.

we quit 16bit for 32 in 1993 and ironically quit 32 for 64bit in 2013. over the years we have spent hundreds of thousands on OS/2 related projects but alas that has ended. if you are on the fence, give up. even siguard in one of his reviews gave windows the nod as better. after six months and a bit of a learning curve, i am ashamed to say as a technical type that i let sentiment blind me to the fact that OS/2 is hopelessly obsolete and completely inferior to OSX and windows.

Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Fr4nk on February 14, 2014, 09:32:18 am
At the end eCs / os2 dies when you can't use it anymore and this depends on what you want to do. When someone claimes eCs or OS2 are dead then it is not dead, it is just dead for him.

I still love the Workplaceshell, Rexx, I still think Mesa is the best spreadsheet application around. I like the performance of eCs on a  fanless 2x2,1 GHz computer - I enjoy the silence. I enjoy the easy use of PMView preparing pictures in seconds using batchmode. I enjoy it to explore crazy things Imagemagick can do. I still use it as a client for my Wordpress blog doing web publishing, and using Maul for desktop publishing. I still use my own ePDF and the great GhostScript to produce first class PDFs files. I also enjoy it to install this system and use it so long without to change the system itself that in meanwhile I forget how I installed and configured it once. :) Its the kind of anachronism I like.

Of course there are also things I hate but you know.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Martin Iturbide on February 16, 2014, 04:22:33 pm
Just checking the news: BareMetal OS gets TCP/IP (http://www.osnews.com/story/27566/BareMetal_OS_gets_TCP_IP) - BareMetal is an open source (BSD 3 Clauses) 64-bit OS for x86-64 based computers.  The OS is written entirely in Assembly

I'm amazed to see how many open source OS projects (that are not Linux based) are available that keep going, I'm not sure, but I think they are a smaller community than us, and have a very good progress.

Other interesting thing (but not related) is that Plan 9 is now released under GNU GPL (http://www.osnews.com/story/27567/Plan_9_released_under_GPL_v2).
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Doug Bissett on February 16, 2014, 06:15:52 pm
Quote
At the end eCs / os2 dies when you can't use it anymore and this depends on what you want to do.

This is the key. Somebody who needs 3D animation (for example) cannot use eCS, or OS/2.

Quote
we are dumping all our ECS 2.1 machines and replacing them with 6 in house built windows 8 machines.

My sympathies.   :'(

Quote
the years of no real improvements have made the subscription expense exceed what we would have spent on windows (sorry, accounting proved it)

Did accounting include all of the expenses to keep windows actually working? Probably not, but they will find a way to hide that since they missed it. I will also argue with you over "no real improvements". That depends on what you mean by "improvements". If you are talking about adding 3D video, you are probably right. If you are talking about supporting new hardware, and fixing a LOT of the basic problems (especially with SMP), you are wrong. Again, it depends on what you are trying to do.

Quote
OS/2 is good for hobbyists. otherwise OS/2 is indeed dead.

I will argue with that too. OS/2 is good for anybody who can find an adequate program to do what they want/need to do. There are very few things that actually require more than what OS/2 does, and some of the stuff that is coming down the pipe will shift that line toward the OS/2 side. Unfortunately, it is taking a long time to get it done, and it is obvious that some things will never get done, and that forces people to decide to go elsewhere. That is partly because of manpower limitations, but it is also partly because of people who seem to think that they don't need to support the project. Because of that, the funds available to do what needs to be done, are reduced, and that means that it takes longer to get things done. Of course, that is like a runaway snowball. As it takes longer to accomplish something more people bail out, and the faster it goes downhill.

I will acknowledge that Mensys has not done the best job of managing the project, but they seem to be learning as they go along. I will also acknowledge that there are a lot of people out there who do not even pretend to help, in any way.

The bottom line is, that eCS is only as dead as the users want it to be. So far, more users seem to want to keep it alive, than want to kill it, but it is getting closer to the edge, every day.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Sigurd Fastenrath on February 17, 2014, 09:00:45 am
Hi Sigurd,

You might consider sending a  polite inquiry to Georgina Beels, the Sales and Marketing Manager of XEU.com B.V.

http://nl.linkedin.com/pub/georgina-beels/b/622/642

See attachment for her e-mail address.

She understands German well.

Regards, Wim.

Hi Wim,

thanks for the information. I wrote an email yesterday morning - no reply so far. I will report if there is any.

Sigurd


Just for the records: There has been no reply so far. And I do not expect to receive some in the future.  :-X
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Martin Iturbide on February 18, 2014, 04:14:01 am
uhm.. I can not longer login on the Mensys.nl site. Was the login box on the main page?

When I try to order eCS clicking "order" it gave me an error "ERROR. The requested URL could not be retrieved"

I'm not sure if it is only me or I can not longer access the Mensys site where you was able to download eCS 2.1 and ACPI.
Can someone else with an active account check on that ?
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Pete on February 18, 2014, 04:43:32 am
Hi Martin

It seems the login page https://shop.mensys.nl/cgi-bin/db2www/mns_ent2.d2w/input has gone missing from the mensys website.

Maybe there is some re-configuration/update under way.


Regards

Pete
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Jan Hvilsted on February 18, 2014, 12:18:06 pm
Hi Martin,

I have no problem logging in - https://shop.mensys.nl/cgi-bin/db2www/mns_ent2.d2w/input?r=1392721874007

Rgds
Jan
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Pete on February 19, 2014, 02:42:07 am
Hi Jan

Yes, working here now as well so I guess the problem was that the webpage simply was not available when I tried.


Regards

Pete
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Martin Iturbide on February 19, 2014, 08:15:12 am
Good, I also see it working back. Thanks for letting me know.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Barbara on July 01, 2014, 11:59:00 pm
Late arrival or it is known that for anyone who has a software subscription there are no more files available?
But end up to provide support for a product in this way? without notifying the customers? And if i need to download a new copy of eCS? or simply i don't remember my serials?
Finally dead then, without warning :-X !!!
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Martin Iturbide on July 02, 2014, 12:22:06 am
Hi

It was new to me.

I just checked and from ecomstation.com the download link brings me a "You tried to download a file that either does not exist or you do not have access to." message. Almost all the link are down, some other works ( eComStation 1.2 downloads ), but almost all are dead links.

The Mensys.nl site is loading very slow from here.  I was able to get the serial numbers (slowly) and the download page loads, but there are no links to get the files.

I'm not sure if it is "the end", but it looks more like a failure of the site.  Let's see if it gets fixed on the next days, otherwise... (http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/adele/skyfall.html) :)

Regards
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Eirik Romstad on July 02, 2014, 03:25:27 pm
Dear all,

in stead of speculating in the absence of news for Xeu/Mensys on these pages, I emailed them asking if there was any reason why I should renew my software subscription.  This is the answer I got:

Eirik,
I can understand your concern. Mensys and Xeu.com are working on these issues, but I can not give you any details yet.
Please renew your subsciprtion, we will not disappoint you!
Regards, Menso (de Jong -- my addition)

... so instead of getting into Kremlinology (the term for speculation about what happened behind the "Iron curtain" in the ol' days before Grobatchev and Perestrojka, and before the return of Mr. Putin), we should just get the news from the source -- it is available.  Me for one, I am willing to risk it, and I will renew my Software subscription.  If more people do, that also sends a signal to Xeu/Mensys that we are in for the long haul as long as they are.  Getting a new platform up and running is no trivial task.

Martin says some new platform even has TCP/IP.  Great, but OS/2 / eCS has a lot more.  For example I can without hazzle connect to the Windows server disks at the university where I work, and I have most of the tools I need for doing my work on my Thinkpad T410.  With expected developments in ACPI/APM I expect OS/2 / eCS to run once my T410 is replaced with a T450? in a years'  time.

Quit speculating, and get around = just do it!
Eirik
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Sigurd Fastenrath on July 02, 2014, 03:49:29 pm
Quit speculating, and get around = just do it!
Eirik

Hi Eirik,

I would suggest the best one can do is to wait what will happen with the new company by Lewis Rosendahl.

Mensys failed with eCS 2.2, almost no information came from XEU since, I remeber only one posted by Menso de Jong at the ecomstation news portal that later has been deleted (post on 28th May) "We apologize bla bla bla , working hard on bla bla bla... " The reason was obvious - some discussed the same thing - should we need to get money back for existing SSS?

Unfortunately there are almost no new news about the new organisation since it was announced, so no evidence wether it  and what will happen or not. eComStation IS DEAD and if the new organization will not start to work this will be the end for OS/2 at all.

But it seems to me much better to save the money and spend it to the new organisation than giving it to XEU, as 

- frequently the servers are down at Mensys/XEU
- information is ZERO from there
- there has been nothing new published since...

Do not waste your money, keep it for something hopefully better.

Even though - one has for sure to decide where to spend his money  8)


Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: BigGoofyGuy on July 02, 2014, 05:27:09 pm
I have been watching the developement of ReactOS and OSFree as backup in case eCS goes away. I believe they are actively working on ReactOS and OSFree.  8)
http://www.reactos.org (http://www.reactos.org)    8)    http://osfree.org. (http://osfree.org.)

I think it would be neat if IBM decided to take back OS/2 - eCS and continue developement of it. I think it would be an alternative to Windows (especially the direction Microsoft seems to be taking it). It might never happen but one can dream.  ::)
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Barbara on July 02, 2014, 07:28:10 pm
Golden words, maybe! Too smart. A chance to redeem himself and get rid of the competition with a single blow! Would be the hit of the millennium and the rebirth of IT! How to say "Okay Gentlemen, cheating until now, you won all, now, with your permission ... this card wins all and cleans also the flat .. I'm sorry ... but this is what I wanted from the beginning ... OS/2 Warp 5!!"
This spot says much more than any words
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5Vtd1VRQx0
Wonderful when she says to be quiet and then take away both with one shot!!
God times  ;D
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Andreas Schnellbacher on July 02, 2014, 10:28:48 pm
I think it would be an alternative to Windows
Man, you're 20 years late. ;-)

People, please either post stuff that adds info to a subject or create a new thread.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Martin Iturbide on July 02, 2014, 10:34:08 pm
Martin says some new platform even has TCP/IP.  Great, but OS/2 / eCS has a lot more.

Hi Erick. My comment was to point out that it is possible to make an open source operating system, and that even the small ones (like baremetal) are in the road of open development. Just to point out that an assembly made open source OS is making progress and that it is possible for us to also start replacing the close source components of the OS. I didn't tried baremetal, it was just some news.

Regards
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Eirik Romstad on July 03, 2014, 09:02:43 am
Hi Martin,

open source is great: in times when things go well, many contribute (and things go even better).  But the truth is that  in the long haul (and the nitty-gritty of tedious work is required), someone must be paid to do the work.  Let us look to Linux and Android. Linux is mostly still run on a voluntary basis, but with important commercial partners/off springs like Suse, RedHat and Mandrake, that all have helped advance Linux.  For Android it is even more clear - Android had not been where it currently is without the vast resources put in by Google.  The Android business model is a bit different from that of Linux -- the "economics" of Android is based on making other software (like Chrome) more palatable, and by lowering costs to consumers for buying Android devices, which in turn increases traffic, including the use of Google's services.

eCS is in a different situation.  There are probably less than 100 K private eCS users left in the world.  Open source routes, like those of Linux or Android, are unlikely to create the revenues needed to fund the boring polishing work (I assume many computer interested people enjoy working (and succeeding) on the fun parts, like cracking problems like ACPI etc.), but documenting and making stuff available for other hardware than one's own, is not fun.  And to undertake "not fun" tasks (or tasks that are not rewarding in other ways), people usually require some pay.  This is where licensing is important. 

Licensing is also the same business model applied by academic societies (where I am member of many, and have been president of one): membership fees cover for costs.  To keep the membership base (and preferably to increase it), the expected benefits of the membership must exceed members' costs.

This is where eCS (Xeu/Mensys) currently struggles.  Too little progress, uncertain deliveries etc. make users doubt the future. For me, and many other eCS users, it would be a loss if eCS were to vanish.  Therefore, we gamble (hoping sufficiently many others also gamble) by paying the modest license  fee to create revenues that cover the costs of keeping eCS operational, and by being a good platform, attract new users.

I wish I were wrong, and that it would be possible to keep eCS for free.  But I doubt it.  Somewhere, there must be some revenues to cover for the boring, but necessary part of making software run on hardware different from ones own. 

Have a thoughtful day
Eirik
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Roderick Klein on July 03, 2014, 01:47:30 pm
Hi Martin,

open source is great: in times when things go well, many contribute (and things go even better).  But the truth is that  in the long haul (and the nitty-gritty of tedious work is required), someone must be paid to do the work.  Let us look to Linux and Android. Linux is mostly still run on a voluntary basis, but with important commercial partners/off springs like Suse, RedHat and Mandrake, that all have helped advance Linux.  For Android it is even more clear - Android had not been where it currently is without the vast resources put in by Google.  The Android business model is a bit different from that of Linux -- the "economics" of Android is based on making other software (like Chrome) more palatable, and by lowering costs to consumers for buying Android devices, which in turn increases traffic, including the use of Google's services.

eCS is in a different situation.  There are probably less than 100 K private eCS users left in the world.  Open source routes, like those of Linux or Android, are unlikely to create the revenues needed to fund the boring polishing work (I assume many computer interested people enjoy working (and succeeding) on the fun parts, like cracking problems like ACPI etc.), but documenting and making stuff available for other hardware than one's own, is not fun.  And to undertake "not fun" tasks (or tasks that are not rewarding in other ways), people usually require some pay.  This is where licensing is important. 

Licensing is also the same business model applied by academic societies (where I am member of many, and have been president of one): membership fees cover for costs.  To keep the membership base (and preferably to increase it), the expected benefits of the membership must exceed members' costs.

This is where eCS (Xeu/Mensys) currently struggles.  Too little progress, uncertain deliveries etc. make users doubt the future. For me, and many other eCS users, it would be a loss if eCS were to vanish.  Therefore, we gamble (hoping sufficiently many others also gamble) by paying the modest license  fee to create revenues that cover the costs of keeping eCS operational, and by being a good platform, attract new users.

I wish I were wrong, and that it would be possible to keep eCS for free.  But I doubt it.  Somewhere, there must be some revenues to cover for the boring, but necessary part of making software run on hardware different from ones own. 

Have a thoughtful day
Eirik

I understand Martin his drive for open source. But when it comes to large projects I told him many times it takes time to develop something. And large projects mostly requires paid people.
And do not take my word for it. This guy has presented at LNFW (LinuxFest Northwest) for some years he did so already http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh-cnaJoGCw.
I think it was this video I watched... The presenter mentions somewherre in that video that Linux has big money behind it. If its for the kernel or the different graphic user shells.
Its far from just volunteers that develop code in spare time.

So while open source does a lot for OS/2 and would be dead without it. Open source has primarly allowed a lot of people to work and port stuff from primarly Linux to OS/2.
But the work is mostly (big projects) done by paid or low paid people.

So I understand the will to see stuff have open source as so much nice OS/2 software died because it was closed source. But open source is not a warranty to keep OS/2 alive.
Just like with Linux (which I recently looked into more), more and more money flowed into the product over the years. A lot of critical mass came from large cooperate funding.

As for eCS I can not state much. I like OS/2 a lot and type this message on my laptop running eCS. But as you can see on my linked in profile and have possibly heard I have left Mensys.
I am still president of VOICE and will remain so. I will also be in the forums.

What Mensys is currently doing with eCS I do not know. I have seen messages from Lewis Rosenthal popup he is starting a new company. What will happen from here I do not know.

I am staying tuned to forums and mailing lists.

Roderick Klein
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Martin Iturbide on July 03, 2014, 02:27:16 pm
Hi

I think that sometimes we are running under the false premise that Open Source = No charge / Free of charge / Hippie love. Please forget about this.

Open source does not mean getting paid with air, open source means that you need to change you business model from selling licenses (which does not have a future for a commodity software like an OS) to a service business model. I understand that it is not as easy as selling licenses, but there are companies making money and having sustainability for their projects.

I insist that we need to keep moving on open sourcing OS/2 close source components, keep growing the user base, find a niche and grow with a service business model with the OS.
It does not mean to be drastic like throwing everything we have and stop supporting the companies that sells OEM OS/2 licenses at once. It can be progressive path but the final goal will be to have an open source OS so we don't depend on a single vendor anymore.

The issue that I find right now is that "OS/2's niche" are:
1) Corporate customers that have an OS/2 app that cost too much to migrate to other applications
2) Individual users that like the platform and want it for its PC.

This niche is not allowing us to grow the user base. Corporate customers will keep buying license until they migrate to other software (it is just a matter of time). And we have more individual users leaving the platform because of the limitations.

The very long term road I see is making OS/2 accessible to the public and vendor independent (which means open source), that is the first step to have the possibilities to attract developers, grow the user base, find a new niche, create an ecosystem and became a market (can be little or big). I understand that are steps that will take a long time and we don't have to think about all steps right now.

If we want to do something for the platform today, we need to support open source and move in that road.  If we are still here today is not because we care about the market, it is because we want to use and have the best OS that fits our needs and taste.
 
Regards
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Jan Waliszewski on July 03, 2014, 10:03:26 pm
There is one point not discussed here: to sell eCS the vendor requires an OEM agreement with IBM as OS/2 code owner... As far as I know the only licensee is still Mensys. All the work done to improve eCS is still based on OS/2 licence. So, eCS-OS/2 community in any case is bound to Mensys...

Greetings - Jan
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: ivan on July 03, 2014, 10:44:13 pm
Jan, as far as I know the eCS product is OS/2 with addons and an improves installer.  I don't think that Mensys has access to the source code for any of the base OS/2 because if they had that should have their first priority to update.

Based on the above there is no reason why the product couldn't be split into its two parts, OS/2 and addons/installer.  In fact I think there would be a number of people interested in the addons/installer as a stand alone product.  Also, as I understand it, most of the addons are open source which only leaves the installer to be opened.

Yes, that does mean that a source of the base OS/2 would need to be found but that is not insurmountable - we manage to pick up licences when we need copies for our clients even if it does require a little detective work to find them.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Martin Iturbide on July 03, 2014, 11:25:46 pm
You both are right.

If you need a new license of OS/2 you can only buy it on Mensys today, and that is key to grow the user base.

But, lets remember that eCS is OS/2 Warp 4.52 with open source software, ACPI and other close source software. (plus all the effort to put that together on the installer).  If you have a license of OS/2 Warp 4.52 there is no limitation on you creating your own version of a modified OS/2 for your use.

That why I think it is a good idea to create an UpdCD package that uses the OS/2 iso (not included on the package) to create an new OS/2 distribution.

Regards
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Eirik Romstad on July 04, 2014, 08:46:29 am
Hi all,

Martin is right that open source does not necessarily imply that things are free (as most of us probably already were aware of).  Unfortunately, in discussions that is linked to the Xeu/Mensys issue, where again I agree that they have not delivered well enough, there appears to be a grudge against Xeu's/Mensys' licensing policy.  I hope we can drop that ball.

The key issue is insufficient progress on important aspects of eCS, which erodes the user base.  Here, I agee with Martin --some of the problems eCS faces is because parts of the additions are kept as close source, which limits how members of the eCS community can help. Which in turn would mean faster progress (and more satisfied users).

Open sourcing key components of eCS (the installer, ACPI etc) can be combined with a licensing policy quite similar to the one today -- those contributing to development could get the subscription for free.  Not a big prize, but at least a reward.  The number of "developers" would probably still be small (though considerably larger than today), so that the revenue stream from licenses would not be reduced in a noticeable way.  In the long run revenues would most likely increase as eCS would be better.

In academia where I work, similar arrangements are well established where reviewers for scientific journals in some cases gets lower subscription fees and other perks. As more journals are openly available through publishing consortia deals with libraries, this business model is challenged, which poses major challenges for journals and academic organizations.  How to resolve this is yet not solved.

The parallel development of key components that some people argue for resembles the issues facing journals and academia. In addition to established journals that is made available through library agreements, there is a growing number of on line journals that offer publication outlets for academics (who need to publish not to perish).  Many of these journals are of low quality, and the fact that it is published no longer means that the work is quality tested (by serious peer review).

I fear that open source parallel development of key eCS components could be bad news for eCS users as development resources (human capital) is spread thin in a setting where there already are too few developers.  It is therefore time for the limited number of eCS developers to approach Xeu/Mensys to pool resources.  That does not imply that for example the OS/4 kernel is dead (in due time we need 64 bit and more processing power), but that arrangements are made to secure that development initiatives are compatible and point forward.

Have a thougthful day / Eirik
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: OS4User on July 04, 2014, 09:15:45 am
That does not imply that for example the OS/4 kernel is dead (in due time we need 64 bit and more processing power), but that arrangements are made to secure that development initiatives are compatible and point forward.

Indeed, OS/4 is not dead and is still developing. But this will by no means help with 64 bit. OS/2 (OS/4) will always be 32 bit. Of course, unless one day someone decides to recompile all software including drivers and write a new kernel.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Martin Iturbide on July 04, 2014, 02:26:31 pm
... there appears to be a grudge against Xeu's/Mensys' licensing policy.  I hope we can drop that ball.

Sorry to not drop the ball. I think that it is ok for XEU/Mensys to sell licenses. But licensing selling it just a temporal business model that will end on the future when corporate customers migrates their old OS/2 applications. That why it is important to evolve into a services offering business model. It is a good idea to keep selling licenses while it keep giving some money, but thinking about what you are going to offer in the future and offering a roadmap for the product too.

But my personal opinion is that Mensys deserves all criticism they are getting. I personally think they had the chance do more with eCS in past. I had criticized that they didn't have a "long term strategy" (and got some heat to do that). People had been told for years under the table "wait for the next release", "something good is going to happen" and they are still waiting. And lately they rebranded everything to XEU there was not any kind of formal announcement since December 2013 until today(six months).  Should we just wait in silence and see what happens?

I even remember that once I was being such a dick about criticizing Mensys/eCS that I thought "lets see if wrote something more constructive and if Mensys can hear me" and I wrote this article: "Comments and Suggestions about eComStation User Experience (http://www.os2world.com/wiki/index.php/Comments_and_Suggestions_about_eComStation_User_Experience)". I send them over on 2011, they thanked me and that was all.  I was hoping at least some open discussion, some feedback...at least told me that I was wrong....nothing.

Many other members of the community (including someones that are not still here anymore) posted here "be thankful of Mensys because without them OS/2 will be dead", everytime Mensys got a little criticisms on this forum. I'm thankful for what they acomplish but I just want to remember, the position of OS2World is not to be a "Mensys defense group community", neither a "I hate Mensys community".  I really hope that on this forums we can have an open discussion and be able to be critic about what is happening. What joins us on this community is our love for the platform and not our like or dislike for Mensys.

I really hope that XEU slaps me back in the face with a long term strategy for the platform, with community leaders collaborating in the forums, open source development and with better driver short term support.  I urge Mensys/XEU to do something and announce something, because it is waist of resources to discuss about them speculating.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: ivan on July 04, 2014, 05:17:43 pm
Quote
I really hope that XEU slaps me back in the face with a long term strategy for the platform, with community leaders collaborating in the forums, open source development and with better driver short term support.  I urge Mensys/XEU to do something and announce something, because it is waist of resources to discuss about them speculating.

Martin, I think you will be waiting a long time for any response from them.  I get the impression that they have absolutely no idea about what they are going to do with OS/2 or eCS.  I doubt they will continue to support it in any way - they don't have the OS/2 source code so that is out and I don't see them doing any support for multimac or any of the other efforts or we would have heard about it before now.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Martin Iturbide on July 04, 2014, 05:55:01 pm
Quote
Martin, I think you will be waiting a long time for any response from them.

I hope (or maybe the right word is "dream"), but I will not be sitting waiting for it. We don't have to expect miracles from Mensys or IBM. We need to keep open sourcing OS/2 software and support the open source developers that we have.

Regards
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Jan Waliszewski on July 04, 2014, 09:30:14 pm
In my previous post I wanted to tell you that any reasonable development of eCS requires the ability to sell new licenses. As you think of eCS as the extension of OS/2, it is based on Warp 4.52, not 4.0. You cannot legally buy a licence for Warp 4.52 the other way like buying eCS via Mensys, because originally Warp 4.52 was only the subscription to Warp 4.0 via Passport Advantage and bound to its original Warp 4.0 licence (I doubt whether Passport Advantage agreement was transferrable). So, in my opinion, the ability of Mensys/XEU to sell new licences of eCS is the necessary condition to further existence of OS/2 development. You may be right in some opinions about Mensys activity in the field, but this is the cornerstone of the situation.

Greetings - Jan
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Sigurd Fastenrath on July 29, 2014, 04:09:26 pm
This anouncement:

Warpstock is pleased to announce a presentation by Menso de Jong,
founder of Mensys, who will speak on the future of eComStation.


may bring some light in this, or just may let us look at it in a different (funeral) light.

If this Presentation will (ever?) happen - I personally not expect to hear some concrete information, it would be nice to have at least some more information than the ususal "We are working hard.... soon there will be...."

This is even more interesting as there is no more information coming from the "new" company as well.

Would be nice to have some more information to spread or discuss at the coming OS/2 user meeting in Cologne in the end of November, wether there is a future or not.

Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: David Kiley on August 02, 2014, 08:22:31 am
So I understand the will to see stuff have open source as so much nice OS/2 software died because it was closed source. But open source is not a warranty to keep OS/2 alive.

I totally hear what your saying that big open source projects are usually commercially funded, but I also agree with Martin that if os/2 computing experience has a future it is with open source.
These closed companies can only keep us on a life support path.

Personally I think we need to think outside the box.
Like, the core linux kernel is already mature, with 90% hardware support and support for existing technologies (64 bit etc).
Why not make a new linux distribution, using the already existing technology - and then focuse on specific things that could make it more like os/2.
For example if we the community created a linux distro with a WPS like desktop experience, it would effectly become a new os/2.

So then instead of having to create a completely new os, now you can just focus all the effort on the desktop experience, since os/2 has a very unique WPS interface that has never been replicated.

And who knows, as we get more users, then you could futher add features, like an os/2 "classic" emulator that can run native os/2 & dos apps - similar to what apple did with os/x.

So yeah.. I think we could aim for a new os called Lin/2 :).

With that kind of strategy we wouldn't be constantly reinventing the wheel, trying to get virtualbox, flash, firefox etc running on the old closed source software.
But could instead focus all that limited effort into creating something new that we the community own.

Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: David Kiley on August 02, 2014, 08:31:25 am
So I understand the will to see stuff have open source as so much nice OS/2 software died because it was closed source. But open source is not a warranty to keep OS/2 alive.

I totally hear what your saying that big open source projects are usually commercially funded, but I also agree with Martin that if os/2 computing experience has a future it is with open source.
These closed companies can only keep us on a life support path.

Personally I think we need to think outside the box.
Like, the core linux kernel is already mature, with 90% hardware support and support for existing technologies (64 bit etc).
Why not make a new linux distribution, using the already existing technology - and then focuse on specific things that could make it more like os/2?
For example if we the community created a linux distro with a WPS like desktop experience, it would effectly become a new os/2 at least from the user gui experience.

So then instead of having to create a completely new os, now you can just focus all the effort on the desktop experience, since os/2 has a very unique WPS interface that has never been replicated.

And who knows, as we get more users, then you could futher add features, like an os/2 "classic" emulator that can run native os/2 & dos apps - similar to what apple did with os/x.

So yeah.. I think we could aim for a new os called Lin/2 :).

With that kind of strategy we wouldn't be constantly reinventing the wheel, trying to get virtualbox, flash, firefox etc running on the old closed source software.
But could instead focus all that limited effort into creating something new that we the community own.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Barbara on August 02, 2014, 09:58:11 am
Well, in fact it was not a bad idea, instead of wasting time and resources to bring an endless supply of software, which is never 100% working and we always have something wrong, 10 years ago we simply could choose a good alternative hybrid kernel, with a basic structure based on Linux, BSD, or perhaps better yet, the software already exists, no hot water to rediscovery, and we would be limited to just clone the workplaceshell with all its features, SOM included, the sources of which are now available for both software (yes, even the wps, see hobbes!). A team of programmers really motivated, with that code as start-up, probably since 2001 had already made a lot of steps forward (Cinnamon on Linux has a few years of life), including also a layer of compatibility for older OS/2 applications (a kind of OS2Wine)! We will have solved our problem long time ago, we were ready for 64-bit and the new hardware and then we calmly could wait for an OS/2 open source clone without begging to ibm or others. Not to mention that these steps in the meantime, could accelerating the development OSFree. Surely it would have been much less effort than trying to float a boat that was already doomed. Sorry for the outburst, but seeing how things are gone​​, perhaps it would have been much better!
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Eugene Gorbunoff on August 02, 2014, 12:55:08 pm
Today OS/2 is valuable because it can run on real hardware. There is flow of money, there are developers because it is running on real hardware, there is demand on this alternative OS.

If settle OS/2 to Virtual machine or create WPS for Linux then it will become unnecessary. All developers will go away and .. only the developer of WPS front-end will stay alive.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Boris on August 02, 2014, 01:29:36 pm
the workplaceshell with all its features, SOM included, the sources of which are now available for both software (yes, even the wps, see hobbes!)

The source code of WPS is not available, and has never leaked.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Barbara on August 02, 2014, 02:18:22 pm
I was talking about Windows 1.0 sources, Boris:
http://hobbes.nmsu.edu/download/pub/os2/dev/wps/wpsfwin-build-source.zip
Surely as start-up could be usefull, I doubt that really motivated programmers don't know what to do with this code, it was for MS Windows, yes, but it certainly derived from the original OS/2 code, so a clone would have been possible years ago, let's say that perhaps lacked uniformity of views on the matter, however I was talking about an alternative transition until OSFree would not have seen the light, but now they are just words in the wind, too late.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Martin Iturbide on August 02, 2014, 03:22:10 pm
Hi Barbara.

Maybe I'm wrong, but WPS for Windows was only a mask to make Windows 3.1 looks like WPS. I think that there are not SOM Classes or WPS classes on it. Please correct me if you think I'm wrong. For example, on the little that I know, I understand that WPS classes source code has .idl files, on this case I don't see any of those on the source code of it (https://github.com/OS2World/WIN16-Worplace-Shell-for-Windows).

In general, my main reason to support open source is that it reduced the risk. Which risk? to be left "High and Dry". Open source does not mean it is going to be developed and improved by air, but it reduced the risk of depending in one single individual or company. Will it be better to be close source abandonware or open source abandonware? At least with open source we have a chance that anybody else can improve it in a legal way and distribute it. Open source it is just the tool and methodology, we still need the collaborative spirit to work together in a single goal.

Now, on WPS, what I learn about it, it that it is so cool, because being close source it can be expanded. And since it is composed by single classes, it can be very structured to make a "one by one class replacement" for it, until we get a complete open source WPS clone. But sadly the idea does not have much traction between the developers I talked about it, since WPS is on top of other close source software (SOM and Presentation Manager), so we never end the discussion if it is better to start "top to down -> WPS - SOM - PM" or down to top "PM - SOM - WPS". But there is also no resources to start from any of this points.

But there are some half-baked projects that can help:
- PM Clone - FreePM (http://frepm.sourceforge.net/) , OSFree (http://www.osfree.org/)
- SOM clone - Somfree (http://sourceforge.net/projects/somfree/)
- WPS clone - ??? - Some open source wps classes, XWorkplace, etc.

The short term project are always drivers, and yes, we need drivers. Some people always complain to me why focus time on fixing what is is working like this components?. But I think that the long term project will be to start on PM, SOM and WPS (on any order). This components are part of the soul of OS/2 GUI and having them open sourced will create a favorable wave for our goals inside the open source community.

Regards
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Barbara on August 02, 2014, 04:31:24 pm
I totally agree with you, Martin, but I repeat, just a start-up, if motivated programmers wanted to understand how WPS was structured, with or without SOM, perhaps to integrate also after, I do not think that they would had problems, especially Mensys/SSI, without resorting Netlabs programmers, that miracles they have done really a lot!!
I only say that with a different point of view we do not waste time and resources.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Boris on August 02, 2014, 05:54:02 pm
Well, let me share my opinion about Linux/2: please, no.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: David Kiley on August 02, 2014, 08:02:20 pm
Today OS/2 is valuable because it can run on real hardware. There is flow of money, there are developers because it is running on real hardware, there is demand on this alternative OS.

If settle OS/2 to Virtual machine or create WPS for Linux then it will become unnecessary. All developers will go away and .. only the developer of WPS front-end will stay alive.

Sure, today it's "valuable" in a limited way because there are banks and other enterprise companies trying to run os/2 on legacy systems, or upgrading to more modern systems so they can run old os/2 software. That's why serenity was in the business, so they can sell hundreds of enterprise licenses.

But if you stick to that path then it will only lead to the death of the os , because eventually all of these companies are going to abandon os/2 and there will be no market.

On the other hand i've watched more than one open source project grow, such as freedos, reactos and even linux since I originally booted slackware on a floppy in the 90's..
And one thing i've noticed is that while it always starts little, tons of people are curious about alternatives and eventually join the army.

So right now we only have a few people that care about os/2..
But if we abandon this path of holding onto the old, and instead focus on creating something new - then we will soon have a lot of friends to help us since people are inspired by creation :).

My 2 cents anyway..
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: David Kiley on August 02, 2014, 08:09:18 pm
Well, let me share my opinion about Linux/2: please, no.
Well, certainly linux is just my suggestion for the base kernel, but if you have something against linux specifically, other alternative bases could be considered.
The point is currently a huge amount of effort is being spent patching software to run on old closed source os/2..

Whereas we could instead focusing on creating NEW os/2 software on the back of an already modern os, be in a BSD or Unix, or whatever base the community feels inspired... therefore no need to spend time making drivers that have already been created, and no need to recreate software like firefox that already runs on those OSs.

Instead you could put all your effort into a new os/2 desktop experience, which lets be honest is where most of us are spending our time on os/2 :).
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: David Kiley on August 02, 2014, 08:24:33 pm
I suppose we could consider hitching our wagon to the freedos people instead of a unix based kernel I suppose.
It would be closer to the true os/2 under the hood but it would require a lot more coding as far as creating a whole new gui, and all of the apps.

We would have to start from ground zero in that direction but it's better then holding on to a dead path.

Maybe there would be some way of using the x-server gui source code and getting it to run on a dos based system so we could use at least some of the linux development work?

I was recommending a linux/unix core since it would require a lot less work.

On the other hand people would be very intrigued by it and I could see getting a lot of people joining our flag with that move :).


Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Dave Yeo on August 02, 2014, 08:41:52 pm
I'd think that reactos would be a better kernel to start out with. Being a clone of NT and NT having started life as OS/2 NT v3, running OS/2 v1.x binaries natively up until W2K and at one point MS running 32 bit Presentation Manager natively on NT in the lab, it is closest to OS/2.
At that I understand at the beginning of Reactos development they reached out to OS/2 developers to join in. Of course back then the OS/2 developer community resembled a herd of cats and many did not like the GPL so it was never followed up with.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Boris on August 02, 2014, 08:44:06 pm
I've written quite a lot of text, but then deleted it (here you may thank me you don't need to read me), becuase realized that arguing here makes completely no sense.

I support Martin's point of view.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Barbara on August 02, 2014, 08:45:38 pm
Exactly what i was trying to say, David, especially at the point where we arrived, it was worth waiting 14 years? also paying for a software subscription? for what?  if I install the last port made by Qt4 and I'm missing something I do not have maybe type rpm install update reinstall etc.. etc?
Was necessary Mensys/SSI?, sure not!
What changes if under a WPS completely rewritten and identical to the original, if not improved, there was BSD/UNIX or something similar using instead an hybrid kernel only for our OS? Is not this always a solution linux-style?
The user experience would not been changed of course, and in addition we would not have had so many problems, certainly curiosity would attracted many users and programmers, and when the new OSFree would be ready, all this time and this software certainly would have been useful.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: David Kiley on August 02, 2014, 09:43:17 pm
becuase realized that arguing here makes completely no sense.

I support Martin's point of view.
Honestly your arguing is useful since it got us considering alternative kernels such as reactos which actually makes a lot of sense.
So if you have some thoughts feel free to share :)
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Boris on August 02, 2014, 09:55:05 pm
becuase realized that arguing here makes completely no sense.

I support Martin's point of view.
Honestly your arguing is useful since it got us considering alternative kernels such as reactos which actually makes a lot of sense.
So if you have some thoughts feel free to share :)

Touché.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Alex Taylor on August 03, 2014, 04:52:41 am
Like, the core linux kernel is already mature, with 90% hardware support and support for existing technologies (64 bit etc).
Why not make a new linux distribution, using the already existing technology - and then focuse on specific things that could make it more like os/2?
For example if we the community created a linux distro with a WPS like desktop experience, it would effectly become a new os/2 at least from the user gui experience.

So then instead of having to create a completely new os, now you can just focus all the effort on the desktop experience, since os/2 has a very unique WPS interface that has never been replicated.

And who knows, as we get more users, then you could futher add features, like an os/2 "classic" emulator that can run native os/2 & dos apps - similar to what apple did with os/x.

So yeah.. I think we could aim for a new os called Lin/2 :).

This has been proposed many times, and in fact was attempted at least once: IIRC this was basically what the Voyager project was about, although I think they went with another OS kernel rather than Linux.

I've never been a fan of the idea... at least, not if it takes the approach of simply creating a WPS on top of a whole Linux OS.  I think it's sad to imply that what makes OS/2 special is nothing more than the GUI experience. 

You can take a Ferrari's chassis, dash and seats, and stick them onto the innards of a Volvo... but what you end up with will not be a Ferrari. It might be a nice car, but neither Ferrari lovers nor Volvo lovers would likely be impressed.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Barbara on August 03, 2014, 08:24:58 am
Certainly respect all your points of view, but also do some considerations, and evaluate them without the devotion and love of the passionate, partly because I too am an OS2 fan:
If I plan a project that resembles a complete rewrite of an operating system (based on which model, open or closed source is of little importance) and I have only two programmers, I know that in the best case the first goals reach them in 15 years, probably, if I have, instead, 500 programmers, I reach the goal in 5 years. Users want to continue to use this system because bla .. bla .. bla .. What should I do if I only have 2 programmers in the meantime? tries to answer yourself.
Mensys/SSI has not pursued any similar project that would point to a definitive resolution of the problem by rewriting from scratch essential parts of the operating system (if I have not the original source code what should i do? Have to rewrite it from scratch, are you agree?) but aimed only to take IBM OS/2's users-park and maintain it, okay, a small software house, requires short-term goals .. bla .. bla .. bla, well, corporate policies, that's fine, but You have totally missed the goal.
A team of programmers led by engineers really motivated would have
dealt with the problem looking forward and with a lot of breath, a visual much more extensive, they would have to figure something reliable in short-term (achievable goal even with few resources) and then after 14 years (help me to say many!!!), collaborating with the OSFree team, given that the resources were few, they would given you at least the first tenderly child of a new, fully regenerated OS2. They would not waste time to adapt, try to configure, a patch here, another there .. blah blah blah, does not give me the code? well, I'll rewrite alone, but it takes the time it takes, and to not lose my clients, they would study a valid alernative, knowing that this alternative tomorrow will be useful.
I want to express this concept when I say that with a different point of view we would not have wasted time and resources.
Again, forgive the outburst.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Andi B. on August 03, 2014, 12:54:56 pm
Quote
You can take a Ferrari's chassis, dash and seats, and stick them onto the innards of a Volvo... but what you end up with will not be a Ferrari. It might be a nice car, but neither Ferrari lovers nor Volvo lovers would likely be impressed.
I like this statement very much. :) Well done Alex.

Even if someone could find and pay the manpower to program a WPS like GUI on top of Linux nearly no one will use it. Cause even in 15 years it will be by far not as stable and bug free than all the other *nix frontends already available. Nor will it be able to transfer the look and feel of the *nix apps to OS/2.

I get the feeling most of the people here do not have any clue hwo the different parts of an OS works together to generate the typical 'feeling' of these system. It is a dream to only port some GUI on top of another kernel + drivers to continue working the way we did lets say the last 20 years.

If I ever came to the point where I've to use another base OS on my private systems the smallest part will be to learn to live with the different GUI. Users of other GUIs will ROFTL when knowing the restrictions and bugs of the WPS. Come on, we use OS/2 - eCS cause we are used to it as a whole. We like the stability (ahm, this is not true anymore, other systems are more stable now, only try to compile some stuff or heavy use the WPS or...), the lack of viruses, the antique look and feel, but mostly cause we are used to it and know every single config.sys line and os2.ini entry by heart. If you change the base there's only a small additional step to use another GUI.

Long term plan - IMHO Mensys (to be more specific Roderick cause who else has worked on eCS there?) did have sort of long term plan. But his plan was based on a little more realistic estimation of what can be done with the little to non existent developer and user base than on big dreams we read ever and ever again. If you ever have written some code or contributed to some open source project you would know who much effort it needs to only improve some small parts and bring it at least to a quality level users start to try it out and give feedback instead keep silent or even worse vague complaining about although they not even looked at the readmes. Moreover even if people work a long time on some stuff and get paid for it, there's no guarantee to get some useful output. Only think about the crappy ACPI before David took over.

What I want to say can be summed up as stop dreaming of 'warme Eislutscher' (maybe someone can translate this ;)) and get of the ground and support the few people who invest hours and hours of there private time and money to let you run your system on some new hardware still today. Even if it costs you a ridiculous amount of money like OpenOffice SS, Java/QT4 sponsoring units or Injoy/PMView/Mesa/.... license. If these few developers leave it's finally over. And trust me, if these few active developers decide rpm is a necessity today then start using it. Write articles how to use it for dummys or fill tickets instead endless discussing why you dislike this non native OS/2 way of doing things. Other options are to use some sort of rpm on *nix or get used to stupid WIn behavior not storing window size an position any more or....
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Martin Iturbide on August 03, 2014, 07:28:07 pm
Hi

I can not think if making an OS/2 clone over Linux is a good or bad idea, because we need to have first PM, SOM and WPS. If we ever have an open source clone of this three components it will be interesting to see if there is resources from the Linux community to make that port.

OS/2 is more than the GUI (having a mask that looks like WPS on Linux GUI it is not porting OS/2 to Linux), I think what I like is the whole architecture. On the kernel side, (things that I don't understand complete) I started to like more the "Microkernel" architecture more than the "Monolithic kernel". why? Because I found out that for "Monolithic kernel" (Linux) you need to compile the kernel every time you have a new driver that is not supported by the kernel, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Regards
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Dave Yeo on August 03, 2014, 08:08:22 pm
Linux has modules, which are basically device drivers that can be dynamical loaded and unloaded at any time. As an example, when the read/write HPFS driver was first released, it was as a module (actually 2, one for kernel 2.0.x and one for kernel 2.2.x) which you could copy to the right spot under /lib and load. Forget the actual commands now :). This is true of many device drivers, they're modules that are only loaded when needed by your system. IIRC to build a module only needs the kernel headers installed as well.
Unluckily Linux shows a possible flaw in the open source paradigm. Namely that they don't bother to keep the ABI compatible as everything can just be recompiled. This means that modules need to be rebuilt regularly and breaks binary blobs such as some of the closed graphic  drivers.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Andreas Schnellbacher on August 03, 2014, 08:11:09 pm
OS/2 is more than the GUI
What OS/2 makes unique is:
Most people tell that OS X is the modern OS that provides most of the needed features (and look and feel). Note that it's not any Linux distro which these people prefer.

BTW, about the car comparison: What is the gain of welding new Ferrari parts with ancient Volvo parts together, while the Volvo replacement parts are not available any more and the available parts are too rotten to be of any use? Wouldn't it be more useful to find a Volvo driver who wants to drive it until it breaks apart and save the money for the Ferrari parts?

(Car comparisons usually don't work.)
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Andi B. on August 03, 2014, 08:26:25 pm
Quote
Wouldn't it be more useful to find a Volvo driver who wants to drive it until it breaks apart and save the money for the Ferrari parts?
That's the way I do it although I fear I can not save enough money for the Ferrari during the rest of my lifetime :) But honestly the Volvo (eCS) isn't that bad...

Quote
(Car comparisons usually don't work.)
That's true as I can not see any OS which compares to the Ferrari.
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Ian Manners on August 03, 2014, 08:56:18 pm
I drive and own a 1994 Volvo 850 T5 as well as use OS/2, what does that say about me :-)
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Andi B. on August 03, 2014, 10:37:30 pm
I memory serves me well Ian you're the guy who even read Austrian newspaper. I've got the feeling we share some quirks...
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Pete on August 04, 2014, 03:12:23 am
Hi All


You can take a Ferrari's chassis, dash and seats, and stick them onto the innards of a Volvo... but what you end up with will not be a Ferrari. It might be a nice car, but neither Ferrari lovers nor Volvo lovers would likely be impressed.


Just to add a touch of humour to this discussion:

Sometime around 1980 a friend purchased a Reliant Robin - a fairly cheap lightweight 3 wheel car(?) with a fibreglass body; often the butt of British comedy - and we customised it somewhat by changing the radiator grille for a radiator grille that originated on a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow.

Rolls Royce sales agents would foam at the mouth if my friend drove across their car sales/service forecourt but Rolls Royce owners often behaved the same as the rest of humanity and were amused to see a "Roller" grille on a beat up old "plastic pig" (fairly common uk slang at the time for the Reliant 3 wheelers) and often asked how much work had been involved. No Roller owner was that interested in playing Swapsies though...


With regard to the rest of this discussion: I think I would be amused to see a good working clone of the WPS on linux
and interested in how it had been achieved. I doubt I would want to use it though as I am simply not that keen on linux and doubt that putting a WPS clone on linux will change my mind about linux - somewhat similar to Roller owners looking at a Roller grille on a Reliant 3 wheeler but not wanting to swap vehicles I guess  :-)


Regards

Pete



Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: Martin Iturbide on August 04, 2014, 04:04:26 am
Sander Nyman made a funny joke about some of the last rumors at: http://os2news.warpstock.org/ (http://os2news.warpstock.org/)
I needed to surf on the web to known which was the "the third movement of Frederic Chopin's Piano Sonata No.2".... at the end it was some classic hit I heard on the past :)

Sander's comments may be funny, but I think he touches something interesting. What is going on since December of 2013 with XEU? Why all this secret? Why we haven't hear anything about it?
Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: David Kiley on August 04, 2014, 06:00:11 am
You can take a Ferrari's chassis, dash and seats, and stick them onto the innards of a Volvo... but what you end up with will not be a Ferrari. It might be a nice car, but neither Ferrari lovers nor Volvo lovers would likely be impressed.

I understand your position but personally don't think the analogy fits.. since it would actually be turning volvo into a Porsche :)..
Since we would have an awesome wps experience without buggy usb, firefox constantly crashing, buggy flash etc.

Using a better engine under the hood would mean things would just work, instead of constantly struggling to patch a proprietary code to get something that sorta works.
 
Like I said previously iv'e watched many open source projects grow small to big so i'm not sure what makes you think the same couldn't happen. You could have said no one would be interested in ReactOS or Freedos (I mean, there are plenty of dos versions out there), but people are.

Linux maybe wasn't the best choice though.. it probably does make sense to use a closer relative like reactos, which maintains some of the linage to the nt system history.


Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: David Kiley on August 04, 2014, 06:12:44 am
Most people tell that OS X is the modern OS that provides most of the needed features (and look and feel). Note that it's not any Linux distro which these people prefer.

That is about to change :), at least in my area since i'm going to be setting up linux desktops for people.
It's true it takes a lot more work than a mac to get it setup, but it runs very smooth once it is, and with a long release distro like centos you don't need to reinstall the OS for 10 years at a time if you don't want to.
Not saying linux is the best per say.. just saying I think people underestimate it and its possible future effect on technology.

Title: Re: Is eComStation DEAD?
Post by: guzzi on August 04, 2014, 10:39:34 pm
It's all so familiar.... Not just for eCS. Maybe someone should adapt this image to suit the topic)