OS/2 is Dead.....again.... - OS2

This is a discussion on OS/2 is Dead.....again.... - OS2 ; Wrote this in December 2003 for a VOICE editorial. Don't think it ever was posted, but still as applicable now as it was then. Honest and rational comments and criticisms welcome. -Jason Stefanovich The plain and simple fact is that ...

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Thread: OS/2 is Dead.....again....

  1. OS/2 is Dead.....again....

    Wrote this in December 2003 for a VOICE editorial. Don't think it ever
    was posted, but still as applicable now as it was then. Honest and
    rational comments and criticisms welcome.
    -Jason Stefanovich

    The plain and simple fact is that OS/2's obituary has already been
    written, the tombstone carved and the plot set. All that's left now
    is to lay the tired body into its final resting place. All possible
    treatments for its terminal illness have failed. In 2006, OS/2 will
    finally, and irrevocably be laid to rest. Doubtless many long time
    users will hold out till, and beyond, the bitter end...cursing IBM and
    Microsoft all the way. The rest will move on to whatever version of
    Windows is being spewed out of Redmond, a flavor of Linux that suits
    them, or possibly go off the deep end entirely and into "Steve's
    World".
    There have been several halfhearted attempts to clone OS/2, in part or
    whole, but all of them have suffered from lack of interest and
    manpower. Generally, these attempts have been too ambitious and lacked
    the core group of dedicated, skilled and normally unemployed group of
    programmers needed to get the project to the 75% or 80% complete level
    that triggers a flood of contributors.
    I've witnessed or been involved in every public debate on this topic
    in OS/2 forums on the Net and at a couple Warpstocks. The conclusion
    I've come to is that there is only one way to save OS/2, and that is
    to redefine what OS/2 is. When asked what OS/2 is, I believe most
    users would say, "An operating system". At it's core, OS/2 is
    the kernel and associated technologies owned or licensed by IBM.
    Digging deeper though, this translates to the environment that users
    are familiar and comfortable with. The Workplace Shell, PM, command
    line tools and applications. So the question for OS/2 users is how to
    wrest control of the environment from IBM. IBM is unwilling and unable
    to let go of much of the OS/2 code, forget the question of who to sell
    it to. The solution is to recreate those most visible portions of OS/2
    on top of another operating system. Those users who have followed
    Stardock since it's transition to Windows can see evidence of this in
    their Object Desktop and Desktop X products. Much of these products
    functionality is brought over from or an enhancement of what was done
    with OS/2's WPS. Apple made a similar transition when it introduced
    OS X, putting their famous user experience on top of a completely new
    core OS. Now I'm not suggesting that's a possibility for the small
    core of OS/2 programmers who are willing and capable of doing so. What
    I am suggesting is that something similar, but a little more within
    reach, is possible.
    Programmers have been bringing Linux applications, drivers and other
    software to OS/2 for years. In fact, a user can practically run an
    entire Linux environment on top of OS/2. How hard would it be to
    reverse this process and start porting parts of OS/2 and it's
    applications to Linux? Many of OS/2's non-OS specific applications
    already exist on Linux. Utilities share commonalty of purpose, if not
    function. Drivers are not even a concern. What's really missing is
    the desktop, nothing on Linux measures up to the PM and WPS
    combination. Sure, Gnome makes some passing references to objects, but
    it stops short of wholly embracing the paradigm. Bringing the OS/2
    desktop and CLI to Linux would certainly not be easy, but it is an
    obtainable goal (or at least more so that previous stunted attempts).
    It would virtually eliminate almost every problem plaguing OS/2 today,
    from IBM's deadbeat dad syndrome to lack of drivers and popular
    support.
    Regardless of what solution, if any, OS/2 users and programmers finally
    agree upon, the groundwork needs to be laid now. Some people say
    software is a living entity, and like all living things software will
    eventually die. But living things also have offspring, which carry on
    their parent's traits and heritage. Will OS/2 be a daddy or a mule?
    It's up to us to decide.


  2. Re: OS/2 is Dead.....again....

    On Sun, 11 Dec 2005 18:27:48 UTC, stefanovj@gmail.com wrote:

    [snip]

    > The conclusion
    > I've come to is that there is only one way to save OS/2, and that is
    > to redefine what OS/2 is. When asked what OS/2 is, I believe most
    > users would say, "An operating system". At it's core, OS/2 is
    > the kernel and associated technologies owned or licensed by IBM.
    > Digging deeper though, this translates to the environment that users
    > are familiar and comfortable with. The Workplace Shell, PM, command
    > line tools and applications. So the question for OS/2 users is how to
    > wrest control of the environment from IBM. IBM is unwilling and unable
    > to let go of much of the OS/2 code, forget the question of who to sell
    > it to. The solution is to recreate those most visible portions of OS/2
    > on top of another operating system.


    This is pretty much what Adrian Gschwend suggested at Warpstock Europe
    2005 in Dresden: Take an existing kernel and driver architecture and
    transfer the things we like about OS/2. Linux doesn't seem to be his
    favorite though. :-) His presentation is available at the Warpstock
    Europe homepage at http://www.warpstock.net/wse2005/index.html.
    --
    "I smell blood and an era of prominent madmen." - W.H. Auden

  3. Re: OS/2 is Dead.....again....

    On Sun, 11 Dec 2005 Christian Hennecke wrote:

    > This is pretty much what Adrian Gschwend suggested at Warpstock Europe
    > 2005 in Dresden: Take an existing kernel and driver architecture and
    > transfer the things we like about OS/2. Linux doesn't seem to be his
    > favorite though. :-)


    It might be helpful if IBM is willing to pass the source for SOM/DSOM 3.0
    which exist(ed) for OS/2, AIX, and Windows.

    An (OO)Rexx-enabled WPS-like GUI using an existing widget toolkit (Qt?)
    for FreeBSD (license!) would be a great thing, and wouldn't require that
    much resources of other starts, IMHO.

    /Olli/
    --
    WarpUpdates International/Deutschland
    http://www.warpupdates.mynetcologne.de/


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