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Operating Systems IBM Open Source

The Return of OS/2 Warp Set For 2016 (techrepublic.com) 262

An anonymous reader writes: We all know the ill-fated history of IBM's OS/2 Warp, while some others may not know about the first OS/2-OEM distribution called eComStation. Now a new company called Arca Noae, not happy with the results of this last distribution, has signed an agreement with IBM to create a new OS/2 version. They announced a new OS, codenamed "Blue Lion," at Warpstock 2015 this last October; this will be based on OS/2 Warp 4.52 and the SMP kernel. The OS/2 community has taken this news with positivism and the OS2World community is now requesting everybody that has developed for OS/2 on the past to open source their source code to collaborate.
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The Return of OS/2 Warp Set For 2016

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  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @09:41AM (#50855243)

    >> The OS/2 community has taken this news with positivism

    WTF is "positivism"? It sounds like a drug advertised during football games.

    • by KermodeBear ( 738243 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @09:43AM (#50855265) Homepage

      positivism
      päztivizm noun
      PHILOSOPHY
      1.
      a philosophical system that holds that every rationally justifiable assertion can be scientifically verified or is capable of logical or mathematical proof, and that therefore rejects metaphysics and theism.
      2.
      the theory that laws are to be understood as social rules, valid because they are enacted by authority or derive logically from existing decisions, and that ideal or moral considerations (e.g., that a rule is unjust) should not limit the scope or operation of the law.

      So Sayeth Google [google.com].

      • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @09:49AM (#50855311)

        So...some company signed a distribution agreement with IBM to revive an old operating system and the OS/2 community reacted by taking up philosophy instead of developing or porting any software? Seems about par for the course to me.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Oh, come on, cite the Marxist definition, it's so much more fun:

        A trend in bourgeois philosophy which declares natural (empirical) sciences to be the sole source of true knowledge and rejects the cognitive value of philosophical study. Positivism emerged in response to the inability of speculative philosophy (e.g. Classical German Idealism) to solve philosophical problems which had arisen as a result of scientific development.

        https://www.marxists.org/refer... [marxists.org]

        See, a bourgeois operating system for a bourgeois

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's some very nuanced shit somewhere between nouveau-modernism and post-primitive relativism that is popular in New York. It has to be viewed through thick black glasses while sipping PBR and smoking American Spirits.

      I'd tell you more about the movement, but at 42, I can't skateboard as fast as I used too.

      Gotta get home!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by FatdogHaiku ( 978357 )
      Introducing New Positivism

      Positivism can help with feelings of negativity, despair, hopelessness and issues arising from low self esteem. Positivism is not for everyone, ask your doctor if they are stupid enough to prescribe Positivism for you. Positivism may cause sudden sexual arousal and should only be used around really good friends. Test subjects also reported uncontrollable urges to lick someone's ear. Other reported side effects include sudden explosive flatulence combined with diarrhea, random r
    • WTF is "positivism"? It sounds like a drug advertised during football games.

      It's taken from the word "to posit", meaning "put forward for consideration", as in "I posit that no-one will give a toss about an attempt to resuscitate a decades-old 32-bit-only non-SMP OS for modern 64-bit SMP hardware".

    • It means someone meant to say 'positivity' and used the wrong word. Perhaps it's because Chrome's spell checker seems to think 'positivity' isn't a word (it's underlined in red as I type this post).

      • by tehcyder ( 746570 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @11:22AM (#50856167) Journal

        It means someone meant to say 'positivity' and used the wrong word. Perhaps it's because Chrome's spell checker seems to think 'positivity' isn't a word (it's underlined in red as I type this post).

        They should just have written "The OS/2 community has reacted to this news positively" which has the advantage of being normal English.

    • Logical positivism holds that "only statements verifiable either logically or empirically would be cognitively meaningful." They reject any metaphysical entities that have no basis in reality, such as "the OS/2 community."

  • OS/2 was great (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I never used anything past Warp 3, but it was great running Win 3 software alongside OS/2. This was also stated as its biggest downfall, although this is really overplayed. I don't think any party not inclined to develop for OS/2 was influenced by this at all.

    The DOS compatibility was exceptional.

    Wine is really good now. I don't see this impacting Linux development in the slightest.

    • I remember being so blown away by OS2/Warp's ability to multi-task so many applications at once, with such a clean UI. That was in the Windows 3.11 days, before Win95 changed everything. I had a friend who migrated to OS2, and I was seriously considering it myself. But in the end, I decided to wait for Win95. I think if OS2/Warp had come out just a little earlier and gotten more promotion in non-geek circles, it may have become the dominant OS and we would be looking at a very different desktop landscape to

      • OS/2 Warp was, if anything, then a bit too early. It had steep hardware requirements (8 megabytes of RAM to run properly) when memory was very expensive.

        • OS/2 Warp was, if anything, then a bit too early. It had steep hardware requirements (8 megabytes of RAM to run properly) when memory was very expensive.

          Even Windows 95 recommended 8 megabytes, although it would theoretically run on 4, if you weren't bothered about speed, usability or anything like that. The hardware wasn't really the issue.

          • Well, the point is that Windows 95 was released a year later when RAM prices were lowered. And it certainly ran faster on the same hardware, even though not nearly as stable.

        • It should work OK now....
        • I think it was more due to really bad advertising from IBM. I remember OS/2 Warp Commercials, I was computer savvy enough to know OS/2 was an Operating system. Others at that time had no idea what they were trying to sell. Just a bunch of psychedelic colors and people looking amazed at the screen... Without actually showing the OS or its features.
          Microsoft actually showed the product and what new features it could do, although many of such features were inferior to what OS/2 can do, people actually could s

      • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @11:25AM (#50856195) Homepage Journal

        I remember being so blown away by OS2/Warp's ability to multi-task so many applications at once, with such a clean UI.

        As an older programmer, let me suggest one ought to be reticent about saying things like that. I know that by any reasonable standard it should make you sound experienced and therefore worth listening to, but if you have any gray in your hair it's bound to have a very different effect. Like the time I sat next to a guy at a banquet who was reminiscing about when his department got an IBM 701. "Yep," he said with evident satisfaction, "that was a stored program jobbie."

        Employers are looking for programmers who were in diapers while you were being blown away by OS/2, so ixnay on that kind of alktay. Instead practice saying things like "Node.js is so 2015." And when someone asks you what you mean, turn to them, raise one eyebrow, then literally turn your back on them.

      • For me, Warp was a love-hate thing. I loved it compared to Win 3.11 for how it ran multiple programs and made good use of memory. I hated it because of the Matrox video card driver and having so many problems with networking. Hand editing net.cfg was so fun! I worked at HP at the time, and running OS/2 at work was an exercise in courage.
      • OS/2 need windows 32bit working MS broke win32's with updates to hurt os/2.

        Also maybe a better way to install fixpacks / updates as well.

        A real safe mode.

        Better config.sys

        etc

    • by xdor ( 1218206 )

      The OS/2 UI was completely unusable.

      Mouse movement stuttered and input regularly stalled as foreground and background processes took over. While you could occasionally get the same effect in Windows 95 or Windows NT – on OS/2 it was normal operation. Hair pulling frustrating.

    • I remember that WordPerfect ran faster under OS/2 than it did under Windows. This would have been in 1994 so I don't remember what version of OS/2 that was. I always liked OS/2 but thought the UI lacked a lot of polish.

    • was is the key word here. OS/2 has been out of commission for so long. That I don't see any benefit of starting it back up again, other than for fun. But I wouldn't expect there will be any wide acceptance. Because it will behave a lot like the old version, and be dated, or if it were updated it wouldn't be distinguished as OS/2. Compare Windows 3.1 with Windows 10 or try to release a major Desktop Linux distribution with FVWM as the default Windows manager.

    • OS/2 Warp was great. Windows at the time was junk. OS/2 would have been Windows if Microsoft hadn't abandoned the partnership and gone their own way. True, IBM wasn't the greatest of companies at times but they did have a better grasp of the big picture beyond a simplistic "make it run applications".

  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @09:43AM (#50855273) Journal
    Draconic, fascist Windows 10 comes out and Microsoft proceeds to try to force it down everyone's throat, and out of left field comes, after what seems like a geologic age, a new version of OS/2. Wow. Not sure what to think of that timing.
    • Draconic, fascist Windows 10 comes out and Microsoft proceeds to try to force it down everyone's throat, and out of left field comes, after what seems like a geologic age, a new version of OS/2. Wow. Not sure what to think of that timing.

      This was prophesised in Revelations.

      Lo, and the huge and evil beast with 10 horns was smote by the small usurper, bent over twice in rebirth, and cast out of the heavens into the fiery pit.

      Yea and verily, not until this comes to pass shall the chip be righted, and a thousand years of peace come to pass.

    • The chances of OS/2 achieving a significant binary compatibility with Windows NT, or even make a dent in Windows 10's usershare, is unlikely. If you want that to happen, contribute to ReactOS. OS/2 will likely just be used to replace a few ATMs.
      • 'contribute'

        I think I'm done paying for any OS, and I have no interest in 'donating' money either, as if I have any to spare anymore. I've got an old P4 laptop I got for free that's still running XP, I think I'll be picking out a Linux distro of some sort and learning how to use that, then when I build a new desktop finally I'll be all ready to load it up with that. The one or two pieces of software that I need to use that only have Windows versions will run just fine under WINE, from what I'm told.

    • Don't get too excited, it probably means, like Windows 10, GNOME, and Unity, they're going to graft a hybrid tablet+desktop UI onto OS/2 as well...

  • by grimmjeeper ( 2301232 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @09:52AM (#50855333) Homepage
    I remember 2.0 back in about 92 or 93 and it was alright but not really special. And then it pretty much died. I can't imagine there are any significant projects still using it. Though I'll probably be told about several who never gave up on it. After all, there are still projects running Motif...
    • Yeah, I used 2.0 about that time. I liked it, and REXX was very powerful, a very good scripting language. But, yeah, time to move on I think. OS/2 is relegated to neckbeard's still maintaining their Amigas and C/64 machines playing block/character graphics games.
      • OS/2 is relegated to neckbeard's still maintaining their Amigas and C/64 machines playing block/character graphics games.

        I really don't think so. The commercial interest in OS/2 isn't in desktop use or retro computing, but embedded and industrial appliances where OS/2 thrived years after the general public had forgotten it.

        This new release is about protecting investments in such OS/2 based equipment.

      • by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @10:27AM (#50855621)

        Amigas and C/64 machines playing block/character graphics games.

        Amiga, block/character games? You obviously haven't grown up with computers from that era, because the C/64 had graphics that were way ahead of the other similar 8-bit computers and the Amiga had the best graphics of them all. The competition at the time was the Color Computer 2, the TI-99/4A, the PC with either Hercules, CGA or EGA graphics, the Mac with black and white graphics or the Atari ST with much fewer colours on the screen.

        Both the C/64 and the Amiga were king of their own class of computers. That is, until Commodore sat on their asses and everybody passed way ahead of them.

        Fight for your bitcoins! [coinbrawl.com]

      • <quote>Yeah, I used 2.0 about that time. I liked it, and REXX was very powerful, a very good scripting language. But, yeah, time to move on I think. OS/2 is relegated to neckbeard's still maintaining their Amigas and C/64 machines playing block/character graphics games.</quote>

        You mean like Minecraft?
    • by Jahta ( 1141213 )

      I remember 2.0 back in about 92 or 93 and it was alright but not really special. And then it pretty much died. I can't imagine there are any significant projects still using it. Though I'll probably be told about several who never gave up on it. After all, there are still projects running Motif...

      Well quite a few big companies bought into and built their own apps on it. And IBM of course continued to ship apps for OS/2. And there has also been a loyal geek user base which has ported a fair amount of open source projects to the platform. It is Posix compliant so porting isn't that difficult.

      I must say, I liked OS/2 - especially Warp. It ran well on the hardware of the day and was way better than Windows. But IBM weren't as smart at marketing as Microsoft!

      • I liked OS/2 - especially Warp. It ran well on the hardware of the day

        As long as it wasn't Enterprise-grade Dell or Compaq running their proprietary disk controllers.

        But some day the scars will heal, I know they will.

    • My school had some systems that ran on it in the mid-90s. It also, after the member of staff who brought it in left, had nobody who knew how to use it. Our IT "teachers" were elderly Catholic priests teaching from a series of worksheets that basically had step-by-step instructions on "how to save a document in Word" and so on. There were no dedicated IT support staff, only an off-site support contractor.

      I ended up teaching myself to use it and doing a few admin-type jobs for the school, in exchange for a ta

    • Well, yeah, it really didn't catch on.

      And that was pretty much Microsoft changing their core APIs to ensure OS/2 broke as much as possible. I think the old saying was "Windows aint done until Lotus won't run", even if it was just a myth.

      Which is really a shame, because while Windows was a still a crappy OS without real hardware-level preemptive multi-tasking, crap resource management, and an inability to actually use all of its memory, OS/2 was a pretty solid operating system which didn't let a single cras

      • I think the old saying was "Windows aint done until Lotus won't run"

        I had heard the "Windows ain't done until Novell won't run" as well. Microsoft went out of their way to build in incompatibilities that broke all of their competitors. There's no myth about that. It just gets swept under the rug.

        • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

          Guys, the actual quote was 'DOS ain't done until Lotus won't run' and that was in reference to Lotus 123.

    • OS/2 1.3 used to run a lot of ATMs, until machines running Windows began replacing them in the 2000s. Coincidentally, that's when a lot of hacks to steal money from the ATMs started.
  • by Aethedor ( 973725 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @09:59AM (#50855379) Homepage
    Cool! Hopefully they change the interface to a more modern one. Because no matter how good the underlying kernel and system is, it will totally ruin the overall experience for sure.
    • by fnj ( 64210 )

      Perhaps your recollection isn't very good at all, because OS/2 2.0+'s user interface with the object-oriented Workplace Shell was a triumph, with superlative user and programming documentation. I can't think of anything modern that betters or even equals it. OS X? Not even close. Windows XP, 7, 8, 10? Bah. GNOME? Sorry Charlie.

      • That's fine, but it still looks like Windows 3.11. Only OS/2 diehards will accept such an interface. I tell you: stick with this Windows 3.11-like interface and it will fail, again.
      • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @10:47AM (#50855797) Homepage Journal

        Perhaps your recollection isn't very good at all, because OS/2 2.0+'s user interface with the object-oriented Workplace Shell was a triumph,

        What? I used 2.1, 3.0, and 4.0, and all of them had shit UI. The defaults were all insane and made you use more buttons for no reason. The GUI elements were all oversized, too, so they wasted screen real estate. OS/2 was contemptuous of computing resources, because it came from the IBM mindset that anything worth doing is worth spending a lot of money on. When Open Source Unixlikes became a thing, it had no more reason to exist.

      • It may have been technically great but it looked terrible and clunky even compared to Windows 3.1. I'm not a fan of Windows (any version) because I'm constantly fighting with the interface. I didn't have that problem with OS/2 but it really needed some polish.

  • Surely the submitter meant "positively", because the actual word printed in TFS indicates that the OS/2 community is taking this news in by interpreting the sensory phenomenon of its announcement using deductive logic.
  • I liked OS/2 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Peter H.S. ( 38077 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @10:04AM (#50855419) Homepage

    The release is probably mostly for embedded use where OS/2 had quite some use since it was so much better and stable than contemporary MS Windows.

    I quite liked OS/2 in its time and found it very superior to contemporary Windows versions.

  • by Tempest_2084 ( 605915 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @10:09AM (#50855461)
    I work for one of the big three car companies, and OS/2 Warp was just recently retired. It may still be in use at a few plants for specific tasks though. PC-DOS is still going strong though.
    • Yeah, me too, the only place we use OS/2 is for the emissions test detection system code we embed in each car's computer so we can adjust engine performance during emissions testing.

  • by NostalgiaForInfinity ( 4001831 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @10:12AM (#50855485)

    RTFA, this isn't IBM releasing a new version of OS/2, it's a small company that has gotten a license for OS/2 and is making a release. OS/2 is still as dead as it has been for years.

    if the production value of the YouTube announcement linked to above is any indication, this is a tiny company run by people who are a little out of touch with current tech.

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @10:13AM (#50855487)
    IBM chief: Microsoft killed OS/2 [bbc.co.uk]

    The deposition and testimony provided by Garry Norris - IBM's chief negotiator with Microsoft before and after the introduction of Windows 95 - has provided a cornucopia of fascinating evidence in the Microsoft trial. Much of it was previously unknown or unconfirmed. His evidence showed how Microsoft effectively controlled IBM's PC hardware and software businesses by making the price of Windows considerably higher than for other comparable PC makers. Mr Norris described in detail to Philip Malone, counsel for the Department of Justice, five cases where Microsoft had succeeded in modifying, or had attempted to influence, IBM's choice of ...

    • Interesting read. That is also (more) proof that hardware without software is essentially useless.

      --
      Microsoft Windows 10: A 64-bit compilation of 32 bit extensions and a graphical shell for a 16 bit patch to an 8 bit operating system originally coded for a 4 bit microprocessor written by a 2 bit company that can't stand 1 bit of competition with 0 bit of understanding good UI.
      (Yes, I know Windows 7 is WinNT 6.1. Windows 8 is WinNT 6.2, Windows 8.1 is WinNT 6.3, and Windows 10 is WinNT 10.0, all which have b

  • Rejoice, power companies! Your crappy old OS/2 systems can be supported again!
    • Rejoice, power companies! Your crappy old OS/2 systems can be supported again!

      What do you mean, again? The place I worked dropped OS/2 because didn't get any support even back when it was still a mainstream product.

  • I used OS/2 for a few years, from 1995 to around 2001, it was a lot of fun. A lot of the technologies were interesting, but now antiquated. If it was open source, it could be something fun to run in a VM and tinker with.

    • I was able to run OS/2 Warp 3 and 4 from retail copies I had just fine in VMWare Fusion.

      Installing this from 36 floppies sure brought back memories.

      • by dryeo ( 100693 )

        VirtualBox was actually written to run OS/2 and ended up being the killer OS/2 app that everyone had to have, just backwards as it ran OS/2 rather then ran under OS/2. And of course, as OS/2 used parts of the x86 system that other OSes didn't, any virtual machine that can run OS/2 can run any x86 OS

        • I believe that you're thinking of Virtual PC (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Virtual_PC), which I think VirtualBox may be descended from (?)

          • by dryeo ( 100693 )

            The AC has it right. First there was a Russian company (forget the name) contracted to write a virtual machine to run OS/2. Eventually that became Parallels for OSX. Then Innotek partnered with Connectivx to add OS/2 support to Virtual PC and port Virtual PC to OS/2. No sooner then they did this, that MS bought Connectivx and killed the OS/2 port. Then Innotek wrote VirtualBox, based partially on QEMU and released it as GPL (probably had to as it used GPL source) with propriety additions for things like USB

  • Started my career with OS/2, and IBM's C++ compiler. Worked on some really nice systems in the 90s that used OS/2: automated trains, banking systems, robotics. But I was burned by IBM: first when they killed OS/2, then when they killed off OCL and their C++ suite for both Windows and OS/2. Jumped to linux in 2001 and haven't looked back since. But lesson learned: I'd have a hard time trusting an IBM OS or compiler suite.

    What does bringing back OS/2 do today? Nothing. It would need something really innova

    • by dryeo ( 100693 )

      OS/2 uses GCC mostly now, current version is 4.9.2 along with a pretty good libc, sort of between mingw and cygwin in capabilities. Package manager uses RPMs though Linux (and some Windows using Odin, sort of like WINE) binaries need to be recompiled.
      It'll never be 64 bit (unless IBM open sources OS/2 for PPC) and can't handle memory above 3.5 GBs except as a RAM disk.

  • Just imagine, if you could get OS/2 running on an Amiga and call it BeOS, all the "positivism" that would ensue.

  • IIRC, IBM used their compiler to compile Microsoft's Win 3.1 code and the resulting product ran much faster and more reliably in OS2 than DOS. Also, I'm not sure exactly what the controversy was, but did Microsoft develop NT in parallel with IBM's and MS's co development of OS2? Did NT have any OS2 code? Comments, anyone.
    • As with DOS, IBM contracted with Microsoft to develop OS/2, so it actually started off as Microsoft's code. Both partners were on board for a while and told the entire industry DOS (a CLI running programs in real mode) was going to be replaced by OS/2 (a GUI though it could run DOS in a window using the 80286's protected mode, so a crashed DOS app wouldn't hang the entire computer), so a lot of companies began porting their software over to OS/2.

      Then there was some sort of falling out. Most people poin
  • by nickweller ( 4108905 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @11:10AM (#50856033)
    July 1991: 'SteveB went on the road to see the top weeklies, industry analysts. The meetings included demos of Windows 3.1 (pen and multimedia included), Windows NT, OS/2 2.0 including a performance comparison to Windows and a "bad app" that corrupted other applications and crashed the system".'

    'The demos of OS/2 were excellent, crashing the system had the intended effect -- to FUD OS/2 2.0. People paid attention to this demo and were often suprised to our favor. Steve positioned it as -- OS/2 is not "bad" but from a performance and "robustness" standpoint, it is NOT better than Windows.' ref [gotthefacts.org]
  • Arca Noae just posted his formal announcement about the project: https://www.arcanoae.com/blue-... [arcanoae.com]
  • OK this is a little off topic, but what the funk is "...with positivism..."?

    Maybe you meant "happily" or "is pleased"?

    Is editor just a synonym here for 'monkey trained to cut, paste, and hit 'post to page'"?

  • If yes, this could potentially be interesting. Microsoft has thoroughly turdified Windows since Windows 8.0. Windows 10 is a huge putrid bag of Don't Want.

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