EurOS/2 Magazine - Volume 1 Number 2

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EurOS/2 Magazine, Volume 1 Number 2, 15th February 1996
Editor: Martin Brampton

What's New From EurOS/2...

Planned Meetings

The theme for the next meeting will be OS/2 on the desktop, and we hope to include some information about the "Merlin" project - the next major release. Also, we plan to look at some of the installation and software distribution issues in an OS/2 workstation environment. Date is 7th March 1996 at 4 pm, location is Moore Stephens Training Centre, 1 Snow Hill, London EC1A 2EN. For a map, just ask, quoting your fax number. Please come if you can - if possible let us know you're coming, just so that we can plan the numbers (thanks to those that have already confirmed). Another meeting has been scheduled for 3rd April 1996 (same time and location) which is being prepared in collaboration with the Netware Users Association. It will focus on network and server questions in an OS/2 environment - technical strategies, new products, rival suppliers.

For May (date not fixed yet) Marc West of JBA has kindly agreed to put together some interesting presentations on software development matters. More about this later.

If you've any comments or requests concerning meetings or the magazine, we'd love to hear from you - contact details below.

Magazine format

The electronically distributed version has gone completely HTML. Which way do you prefer it? I hope it's still readable with the tags - it looks better when viewed with the Web Browser. Do you have the latest 1.03 version installed? If not, you can download it from our BBS as or it is also obtainable from the Internet. If you're getting the faxed version, you might like to switch to the electronic version - just let me know your e-mail address.

Project Eagle

IBM's project code named "Eagle" is intended to compete with Microsoft's successful Back Office suite. It is designed to cut the time it takes users to implement their software strategies. There is expected to be a series of seven integrated software servers covering communications, database, Internet, Lotus Notes, transaction processing, directory and security services, systems management. We hope to have more on Project Eagle at our EurOS/2 meeting on 3rd April 1996, when the theme will be networking issues for OS/2 users.

Project San Francisco

On the software front, IBM is attempting integration of a number of strands, following the downgrading of the Taligent effort. They are embracing the concept of business objects and looking at the server, not just the workstation. "San Francisco is focused on the server and the enterprise, and looks at the fundamental business logic of IT, not screen icons", said Steve Carter who heads the project.

The project will seek to bring together a number of strands of object development, including Taligent, OpenDoc, DSOM and VisualAge. They are to be used to build objects at a much higher level, such as an invoice or a sales order, which are common across all organisations. Carter believes they constitute the basic "plumbing" of an application. Beta versions are expected by the end of 1996.

As part of the project IBM has signed up leading UK software developers JBA International to provide technology and co-develop the business objects for Project San Francisco.

For the EurOS/2 meeting in May, Marc West of JBA has kindly committed to putting together a programme featuring key issues on software development relating to OS/2.

Visual REXX Programming

Visual REXX programming can be a very good way of achieving quick development of straightforward programs. David Whitford of Forton Systems has tried both VisPro/REXX and VX-REXX, and reports a strong preference for VX-REXX. Martin Brampton of Moore Stephens has used VisPro/REXX for building a login system and found it satisfactory, but has not compared VX-REXX. Does anyone else have a view on the relative merits of these systems? If you've a view on this, drop me a note - contact details below.

Keeping up with Java

Sun have put in place a moderated mailing list for announcements about significant new releases or ports of Java or HotJava technologies. To keep in touch with Java, send the message SUBSCRIBE to

Press Comment on OS/2 matters

In this week's "Computing" there is an interesting analysis of the challenges to total Microsoft domination in the "Billwatch" page. Naturally, OS/2 figures in this, and for once is not treated with the superficiality and prejudice that have become typical. "Billwatch" is written by computer industry analyst Graham Lea, who is also editor of the "Microsoft Monitor" and a participant in EurOS/2.

You may have seen that "PC User" ran an 'exclusive' review of Warp Server on its front page earlier this month. They concluded that "OS/2 Warp Server is more than a re-packaging of LAN Server and OS/2 Warp in one box. It also includes a whole slew of additional products that match and sometimes exceed the capabilities of competitive products such as Windows NT and NetWare." They criticised the installation and the degree of integration achieved in the user perspective, but looked for improvement in future releases.

For a touch of irony, it seems that NatWest, one of the world's biggest users of Windows NT servers, is to contract IBM to manage both NT and mainframe platforms, incorporating the use of SystemView.

Bulletin Board

Despite the technically sophisticated Internet, there is still a role for the good old bulletin board. Please feel free to access Moore Stephens Infoline on 0171-334-0337. There is a selection, by no means comprehensive, of OS/2 shareware, fixes and other items. If you've files you think ought to be there, by all means upload them. You can obtain access to most facilities on the first call, which automatically gives TRIAL user status. Leave me a message to be upgraded to EUROS2 user status.

How do you talk to others through EurOS/2?

If you want to speak to EurOS/2 participants, simply submit your message in computer readable form. Send to or for other alternatives see contact details below. You are free to make offers of help or information where you are willing to share your competence. If you'd like to start a collaborative effort, then begin with an announcement here. Ask other EurOS/2 participants if they have already tackled a problem that is facing you. Once you've started a joint activity, and want to proceed faster than the issues of EurOS/2 electronic magazine can support, set up your own communications scheme to suit your joint needs.

EurOS/2 Contact Information

We would like to encourage anyone working to achieve successful OS/2 implementations to participate in EurOS/2. All communications are despatched electronically, via Internet, Compuserve or fax. To receive regular information from EurOS/2, please let us know your first name, last name, company, job title, address, telephone, fax, Internet e-mail address, Compuserve e-mail address, and indicate which form of communication you prefer.

EurOS/2 can be contacted in the following ways
  • Internet at
  • Compuserve to Martin Brampton 100303,2007
  • Fax to Martin Brampton, Moore Stephens, 0171-246-6055
  • Telephone Martin Brampton, 0171-334-9191
  • BBS Moore Stephens Infoline, 0171-334-0337
  • Mail to Martin Brampton, Moore Stephens, St Paul's House, Warwick Lane, London EC4P 4BN.

Web Stuff

I've been chided for not being sufficiently object oriented in my use of OS/2. Quite right! To use this magazine with the Web Browser, save it with a .HTM extension. You can then drop the file icon on to the Web Browser icon to display it, or if you've established an association between .HTM files and the Web Browser, then you can simply double click on the file icon. Remember, you need also to connect to the Internet for the links below to be live.

It is believed that Merlin will extend security in OS/2, but if you need it now, you will want to look at Stoplight for OS/2 - a package chosen over Windows NT as part of a $332 million contract placed by the US Navy with EDS. For more details have a look at [Safetynet Inc's home page].

For a change from computer systems, you could consider buying wine over the Internet from OS/2 using Sainsbury's! They've an online shopping facility - visit [Sainsbury's Wine Direct]

If you're interested in knowing what is happening as the credit card giants join forces on standards for secure electronic payments across the Internet, these should be published within the next week or so. Keep an eye on the Web sites of Mastercard and Visa.

Although quality is very variable, there have been some first rate software products released as Shareware. To keep in touch, visit the [Association of Shareware Professionals] which has links to news, programs and related sites.

For a visually impressive online magazine about OS/2, take a look at the Australian [OS/2 Zone]. For something almost as good to look at and more topical, browse [OS/2 e-zine].