Fate of OS/2?
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Thread: Fate of OS/2?

  1. #1
    Senior Member problemchild's Avatar
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    Fate of OS/2?

    As I was writing my post in this thread, I started thinking about the good old days when OS/2 was king. Linux was new and strictly for the eggheads, and Windows was an unstable piece of crap.... uh.... well, some things never change.

    I always loved OS/2, and even today I think it could still be a real player if somebody (ahem.... NOT IBM) handled it properly. I always thought Apple was reinventing the wheel with OSX - a Mac face on a Unix kernel is a great idea, but IBM did it 10 years ago. Why spend the R&D?

    So here we are in 2002, and the last version came out in 1996, presumably the end of the road for OS/2. I don't think IBM even supports it anymore. At least if they do, it's nominal. I've often found myself wishing that Gnome or KDE were as intuitive or polished as OS/2's Workplace Shell. (For those who have never seen it, it's VERY Macintosh-like). And since OS/2 was always a close relative of AIX as far as the kernel went, I've often wondered about the possibility of releasing at least the WPS (if not the entire OS) under the GPL so it can be ported to Linux and/or incorporated into Gnome and KDE.

    IBM has made it clear that they don't know what to do with it, so why not? It's not a new idea, and it's been discussed for years, but I wonder if the climate in 2002 is right for it. They've already released JFS to the Linux community, and IBM is the biggest backer of Linux out there right now. I found this editorial by Chris Wright on the subject. Everything he says is absolutely true, but that was 4 years ago. Has the climate changed enough that it might be possible? If it happened, would anybody care now? Would the Gnome and KDE projects accept the WPS code, or would they reject it as being a Johnny-come-lately?

    What do you think?
    Do what you want with the girl, but leave me alone!

  2. #2
    PHP/PostgreSQL guy
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    OS/2 had superior network capabilities and overall was a better product than Windows was. Unfortunately, maybe being linked to IBM was it's downfall as well as the lack of marketing. I would love to have the ability to choose more than just Windows or Apple for the desktop (using linux as server-side only until games are made for linux...Loki went out of business a while back, damn...) but now, the market's saturated with windows and it's not going anywhere.

    If anything, I'd integrate it with linux and package it for free...that's just about the only way it'd make it off the launch pad, but I could be wrong...
    We the willing, led by the unknowing, have been doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much with so little for so long that we are now qualified to do just about anything with almost nothing.

  3. #3
    Shadow Programmer mmelby's Avatar
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    We have about 30 OS/2 machines still running in our organization and eventhough the operating system is outdated compared to some we have NO problems with them. They just keep running. We will be phasing them out in the next 4 to 6 months... I will miss them.
    Work... Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints...

  4. #4
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    OS2 was beatuiful. Like somebody said, it's outdated, probably not supported any more, but it just works. I'd like to see it moved to GPL. I never had the opportunity to really learn it, but the few times I used it, I liked it.

  5. #5
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    Re: Fate of OS/2?

    Originally posted here by problemchild
    And since OS/2 was always a close relative of AIX as far as the kernel went, I've often wondered about the possibility of releasing at least the WPS (if not the entire OS) under the GPL so it can be ported to Linux and/or incorporated into Gnome and KDE.
    Sorry for taking a while to response, but I just found these.

    Apparently some people has already started it with osFree :
    http://www.os2world.com/cgi-bin/news...&id=1014066683

    Another similar project is FreeOS/2 (more serious I guess...) :
    http://www.freeos.cjb.net/

    Also, unixos2 and os2ports develop ports of open source apps for OS/2 :
    http://www.unixos2.org/
    http://os2ports.com/

    mmelby, maybe you don't need to phase them out just yet...

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