Author Topic: IBM`s response to the 2nd petition letter  (Read 26623 times)

kimhav

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 990
    • View Profile
    • My Blog!
Re: IBM`s response to the 2nd petition letter
« Reply #15 on: 2008.01.22, 15:26:13 »
what about os/2 PPC? Was there any MS involvement in that? If it was open source it would allow people to port to Intel if required, ,and there are a number of cheap PPC boards (efika for one) that are crying out for a decent OS and apps.

The PowerPC code was mentioned in the 2nd letter sent to IBM in November but that was forgotten and not mentioned by IBM.

Regarding the PowerPC code the release that I've tried (got it in a drawer somewhere) to use worked kind of ok, but was easy to crash if you knew what to do. But, as I recall it this was in-house developed and by that there shouldn't be any code issues with Microsoft. Also, it only works on specific IBM PowerPC, so doubt that you would be able to install it on any of the mobos available today. But, the entire product was killed 2 month before it was supposed to hit the street and the masses. IBM had already started to get nervous about OS2 and instead of launching PowerPC version they killed to avoid being forced to provide support for the product.

As mentioned in the letter IBM says also that they have thought about open source IBM couple of times and the last time I know this was mentioned, even if it's was far from official internal talk, was Jeff Smith, who mentioned that they had almost convinced the IBM management to port the OS2 Workplace Shell to Linux. That never happened and that might be something that IBM regrets today.
« Last Edit: 2008.01.22, 15:52:22 by kimhav »

teotwawki

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: IBM`s response to the 2nd petition letter
« Reply #16 on: 2008.01.22, 16:21:55 »
My suggestion is that you folks should band together and start an opensource project to reverse engineer (clean room approach) OS/2, and write your own OS/2 variant from scratch. Place it under the General Public License (GPL) version 3, so no one will screw with you.

Now before you say anything, this process is being applied to the ReactOS Project.
http://www.reactos.org/en/index.html

ReactOS is a Windows NT clone written from scratch, but under various open source licenses. (GNU General Public License, the GNU Lesser General Public License, and the BSD License). Because of the way they're "reverse engineering" things, (clean room approach), MS can't do anything to them. Its no different to Wine. (A compatibility layer that allows you to run Windows apps in Linux).

The only way for OS/2 to thrive, is to open source it. To open source it, it must be free of potential legal issues. To be free of them, there is no choice but to start from scratch. While painstaking it may sound, it essentially guarantees OS/2 will live on without legal issues standing in the way.

Well, I did some digging, and you don't have to start totally from scratch. :)

osFree
http://www.osfree.org/doku/

I'm new here so apologies if this has already been suggested ...

ReactOS & Wine have both had to work hard at reverse-engineering just to find out what they need to do.
At least with IBM I'd have thought there's a reasonably good chance that they could be persuaded to release the full details of all the API specs.  That wouldn't tread on any partner's patent issues and would make the job of creating an open source version (as above) much easier.

Separating OS/2s hardware interface, application interface and user interface from it's kernel would also make it relatively easy to create an OS/2 "personality" on top of a Linux kernel, thus saving even more time & protecting IBM's investment in Linux.

You shouldn't need to source code if all the APIs are well documented and available for all to see.

It would also enable different parts to be developed independently so that the code required to make old OS/2 applications run comes first, inheriting the host Linux GUI until the OS/2 GUI gets written.

lwriemen

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
Re: IBM`s response to the 2nd petition letter
« Reply #17 on: 2008.01.22, 18:07:06 »
I'm new here so apologies if this has already been suggested ...
Quote
Separating OS/2s hardware interface, application interface and user interface from it's kernel would also make it relatively easy to create an OS/2 "personality" on top of a Linux kernel, thus saving even more time & protecting IBM's investment in Linux.

You shouldn't need to source code if all the APIs are well documented and available for all to see.
This is the gist of the Voyager project, although not necessarily on a Linux kernel. Some people around here think it's a good idea. I say it's not OS/2 without the kernel, and if I have to move on, I might as well choose something that is more mainstream.

lwriemen

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
Re: IBM`s response to the 2nd petition letter
« Reply #18 on: 2008.01.22, 18:17:39 »
Someone posted on Slashdot (i.e., take with a grain of salt), that NCR had an agreement with IBM that OS/2 wouldn't be open-sourced. (Probably for as long as it's still in use in ATMs.) This possibility and other ones presented make IBM's response hard to argue.

What I don't understand is why Serenity Systems or Mensys couldn't get a non-disclosure agreement with IBM to allow further development of OS/2. Their changes can be confined to eComStation releases, so IBM has no commitment for support. (This would probably also mean that IBM wouldn't have to provide support to Serenity Systems, which might not be desirable.)

miturbide

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1154
    • View Profile
    • OS2World
Re: IBM`s response to the 2nd petition letter
« Reply #19 on: 2008.01.22, 20:02:47 »

The Voyager project is currently trying to recreate OS/2.
Some work in progress is on Netlabs SVN.
  • Voyager: Desktop - (recreate OS/2 WorkplaceShell)
  • Voyager: NOM - (recreate OS/2 SOM)
  • Voyager: Triton - (recreate OS/2 Multimedia Subsystem)
  • Voyager: Documentation - (well, every OS needs this)

I think this are the projects we must support and help mature.

Martin
Martín Itúrbide
OS2World.com NewsMaster
Open Source Advocate

Skype - martiniturbide
Google Talk - martiniturbide@gmail.com

kimhav

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 990
    • View Profile
    • My Blog!
Re: IBM`s response to the 2nd petition letter
« Reply #20 on: 2008.01.23, 15:21:03 »
Agree, while we can do what we can to get what ever the Voyger project needs to succeed and as well I think it was really great the the link to Voyager project page was included in the posting at Slashdot as well.

El Vato

  • Guest
Re: IBM`s response to the 2nd petition letter
« Reply #21 on: 2008.01.25, 01:17:16 »
[...]
http://www.osfree.org/doku/

I'm new here so apologies if this has already been suggested ...

[...]
At least with IBM I'd have thought there's a reasonably good chance that they could be persuaded to release the full details of all the API specs.  That wouldn't tread on any partner's patent issues and would make the job of creating an open source version (as above) much easier.

Separating OS/2s hardware interface, application interface and user interface from it's kernel would also make it relatively easy to create an OS/2 "personality" on top of a Linux kernel, thus saving even more time & protecting IBM's investment in Linux.

[...]

It would also enable different parts to be developed independently so that the code required to make old OS/2 applications run comes first, inheriting the host Linux GUI until the OS/2 GUI gets written.

Your suggestions are appreciated.  Those roughly might further suggest an OS/2 aim with a virtual instruction set feature (Technology Independent Machine Interface or TIMI ) existing in IBM's System i.  The benefit would be an improved OS/2 with no hardware affinities.

Best.

kimhav

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 990
    • View Profile
    • My Blog!
Re: IBM`s response to the 2nd petition letter
« Reply #22 on: 2008.01.25, 01:34:19 »
Overall there has been made quite a few interesting suggestions regarding how we can present some suggestions to IBM and this will be done. More information will be posted and we'll set up a SIG-board for this as well.

El Vato

  • Guest
Re: IBM`s response to the 2nd petition letter
« Reply #23 on: 2008.01.25, 01:41:54 »
First of all, my OS/2 experience was many years ago, with OS/2 Warp, I think it was. (back when Windows 95 was released, a friend let me try it for a few hours).[...]

Is there anything that you remember about your experience ???  Have you played with OS/2 lately ??? 

If you are interested and want to have a feeling for OS/2 in your Linux machine, under Debian (for instance) and if you have hardware with an CPU that supports the hardware virtualization extensions, you can install Innotek's VirtualBox and subsequently install a version of OS/2.

My specific suggestion of the above virtualization application is due to Xen not properly supporting the OS/2 and VmWare making it difficult to achieve.

Regards.

RobertM

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2034
    • View Profile
    • A.I.BuiltPC - using OS/2 Warp Server & eComStation for Custom Web and Database Solutions
Re: IBM`s response to the 2nd petition letter
« Reply #24 on: 2008.01.25, 01:46:19 »
...What I don't understand is why Serenity Systems or Mensys couldn't get a non-disclosure agreement with IBM to allow further development of OS/2. Their changes can be confined to eComStation releases, so IBM has no commitment for support. (This would probably also mean that IBM wouldn't have to provide support to Serenity Systems, which might not be desirable.)

It could be because there are so many contributors - both freeware (or really cheap) and otherwise - who have been working on updating eCS. They may feel that Serenity may not be in a position to guarantee confidentiality due to the diverse, worldwide programming group. There also may be issues with releasing certain portions of the code to programmers in certain countries overseas - which with how spread out the eCS development team is, would be an issue if that were the case.

It could also be that IBM simply responded with the "Migrate, provide your own service, call IBM for paid support as long as it isnt new features" line (paraphrased) from here:
http://www-306.ibm.com/software/os/warp/

Followed by echoing the concerns we advised them we were aware of (third party code, etc), all while skipping the fact that we provided them examples of OS/2 technologies that we thought would be exempt from such concerns... which simply may have been their way of saying "We dont want to spend the money digging through the code to make sure all legal encumberances are cleared"

Add to that your point - as referenced on Slashdot, that there still are numerous banks that use OS/2 for ATMs, and have support contracts for it (IBM's bread and butter), and various ATM vendors who have not been able to migrate their customers off OS/2 because there are still many customers who refuse to - and I think that all of the above explains IBM's answer - even if they didnt spell it all out for us.

:(

-Robert
|
|
Kirk's 5 Year Mission Continues at:
Star Trek New Voyages
|
|


RobertM

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2034
    • View Profile
    • A.I.BuiltPC - using OS/2 Warp Server & eComStation for Custom Web and Database Solutions
Re: IBM`s response to the 2nd petition letter
« Reply #25 on: 2008.01.25, 01:55:27 »
...As mentioned earlier I did during the first petition round receive information from both WPS and kernel developers that had another view on what could be released and not. Even if I agree with that IBM closed the door, once again...

What worries me on that front is that the WPS is STILL the most advanced Desktop Shell around. The only "features" it is lacking are non-rectangular skinning (a-la WindowBlinds in Windows) - but I am sure that would not be impossible with access to the source - enough GUI components already are not rectangular, but work just fine (if even to a limited extent in comparison to WindowBlinds - such as tabs), and with things like Cairo and WPS-Wizard added to the mix, modifying the code to suit such "needs" shouldn't be impossible. But back to the topic at hand... and I hate to say this... but if I were IBM, I would realize the worth of such an intellectual property as the WPS - just based off the fact that no one has managed to duplicate it's functionality and flexibility yet. Sadly, I hope that realization has NOT set in there - otherwise our chances of ever seeing the code are probably none - or less than none. IBM does have a track record on sitting on valuable technologies - often until the end of time - or until someone else duplicates it and has to make a royalty arrangement with them.
|
|
Kirk's 5 Year Mission Continues at:
Star Trek New Voyages
|
|


Saijin_Naib

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Birdie Num-Nums
    • View Profile
    • Synperz Domain
Re: IBM`s response to the 2nd petition letter
« Reply #26 on: 2008.01.25, 02:00:55 »
Luna is a little bit more forgiving of non-rectangular elements (the skin engine built into XP), and I agree, the WPS could use some pretty-ing up. Will Cairo be able to carry the weight of GUI beautification like compviz-fusion? I think we need to address the whole no hardware acceleration issue first :C

RobertM

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2034
    • View Profile
    • A.I.BuiltPC - using OS/2 Warp Server & eComStation for Custom Web and Database Solutions
Re: IBM`s response to the 2nd petition letter
« Reply #27 on: 2008.01.25, 02:13:28 »
Luna is a little bit more forgiving of non-rectangular elements (the skin engine built into XP), and I agree, the WPS could use some pretty-ing up. Will Cairo be able to carry the weight of GUI beautification like compviz-fusion? I think we need to address the whole no hardware acceleration issue first :C

When Stardock worked with MS's underlying technologies behind it, I wonder if it was just a kludge on top of the desktop manager, or a replacement for a bunch of components? If it was something more viable, then I wonder if Brad Wardell (or whoever is top boss at Stardock these days) still has a soft spot in their heart for OS/2 and would contribute some ideas on how to update those features in OS/2...
« Last Edit: 2008.01.25, 02:25:09 by RobertM »
|
|
Kirk's 5 Year Mission Continues at:
Star Trek New Voyages
|
|


Troll

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: IBM`s response to the 2nd petition letter
« Reply #28 on: 2008.01.25, 02:44:03 »
I wonder if the board of IBM is more worried about their shares in Microsoft than IBM, IBM is going down, not because of their products but because the board of IBM.
Future in "data" will be open source. Data safety is not a locked code, but a correct code.
Windos is locked and leaks, because bad code.
I'm somewhat frustrated, OS2 wonderfully coded, blocked because somebody don't see, it's a loss. 

lwriemen

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
Re: IBM`s response to the 2nd petition letter
« Reply #29 on: 2008.01.25, 15:03:27 »
...What I don't understand is why Serenity Systems or Mensys couldn't get a non-disclosure agreement with IBM to allow further development of OS/2. Their changes can be confined to eComStation releases, so IBM has no commitment for support. (This would probably also mean that IBM wouldn't have to provide support to Serenity Systems, which might not be desirable.)

It could be because there are so many contributors - both freeware (or really cheap) and otherwise - who have been working on updating eCS. They may feel that Serenity may not be in a position to guarantee confidentiality due to the diverse, worldwide programming group. There also may be issues with releasing certain portions of the code to programmers in certain countries overseas - which with how spread out the eCS development team is, would be an issue if that were the case.

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a legally binding contract (as I understand it, IANAL) between the owner of the intellectual property and the provider of the contracted service. A knowledge worker employee of a company has an implicit (or maybe it's explicit) NDA with the company. The risks you detail are certainly not any more than what IBM is already assuming due to outsourcing for lower cost knowledge work.

If Serenity Systems establishes a NDA with IBM for OS/2 source, then they are assuming liability (again IANAL) for the security of the intellectual property represented by the source. This may be more risk than SS wants to handle, and like I stated above, it may void some support from IBM.