Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education
VOICE Home Page:
July 2002

[Newsletter Index]
[Previous Page] [Next Page]
[Feature Index]

OS/2's Dysfunctional Development Environment

An editorial view from Jason R Stefanovich.

If you've heard the conversation once, you've heard it a hundred times. In one of the many OS/2 forums across the Internet and around the world, a conversation takes place about the lack of some essential piece of software. It usually starts out with a user saying something like "I really wish we had a widget for OS/2, all the other major OS's have it". Then follows a long, and often heated, battle between different parties on whether there is actually a need for a widget beyond a singular user. At some point during all this, a developer usually chimes in with "OK, who's going to pay for widget development"?

Several years ago, a developer may have been greeted with silence when throwing this question into the fray. Today though, the case is different. Often dozens of would-be users bark out sums anywhere from tens to thousands of dollars. In some instances, web campaigns have been started with hundreds of users signing on to support a project. Remembering that the most vocal users are often only a small percentage of the base, it's obvious that users today have learned their lesson from the mistakes of the past. All the commotion is usually for naught though. The developers have already made up their minds. Whether for financial reasons or lack of personal interest in widgets, would-be users never get the chance to put their money where there mouth is. Opportunity lost.

After years of disappointment, OS/2 developers have become so risk adverse that they won't even consider writing a widget unless the financial gains are guaranteed. Thus denying users of their much clamored for widgets and developers of the money that's quite nearly being thrown at them. It's high time to change this dysfunctional development environment and try anew. In the coming months I'll write about why things are so screwed up and hopefully put forth some educated ideas on how we can turn things around.

VOICE Newsletter Update: The planned page for free small advertisements by freeware authors and OS/2 users is going to become part of the VOICE home page soon. Its delayed as our webmaster has just relocated and isn't as yet back up to full speed yet. If you are interested, please contact us at

We are always interested in your thoughts and views on subjects related to OS/2, and would like to see opinion/editorial pieces as well as hardware/software reviews and HowTo articles. If you can help by writing an article please contact me at

Our Newsletter team is in need of backup. A few people have joined after we published a call for help last month, but we could do with some more. To be able to help you don't have to be a very good translator or HTML programmer. If you have good knowledge of English or German spelling and grammar, you can also help with editing the articles. Some hints on translation activities are also available in the FAQ.

Warp Doctor: Have an idea for Warp Doctor? You can send your comments directly to the Warp Doctor web guy Jeremy at or better yet attend one of our Warp Doctor Team meetings, weekly on IRC.

Everyone's help is required to keep this project going. The team meets every Sunday at 3PM EST (19:00 GMT), on IRC in the #warpdoctor channel on the WEBBnet IRC network. For more information on attending online IRC meetings please see the VOICE Meeting Information page -

VOICE Online Update: This month the general member meetings are scheduled on July 8 (do to the holiday weekend in Canada and the US) and July 15 at 8PM EST (00:00 GMT). Everyone interested in OS/2 or eComstation is invited to attend either or both of these sessions. For more information on attending online VOICE IRC meetings please see the VOICE Meeting Information page -

If you have an idea for a Speakup event, please submit it to, and we will try to schedule something. As always, please be sure to check out the updated VOICE Future events Calendar in this newsletter or on the VOICE website at for more details on future VOICE events.

This month Walter Metcalf starts with BackAgain/2000 Server Edition version 3.0 - A Review, Part 3. Walter continues with his multipart series on CDS's latest version of their backup/restore program for OS/2.

Don Eitner is excited about the latest video player software being developed for OS/2. He takes a look at WarpVisionGUI in Keeping Up With the Gates Part 3 - WarpVision and WVGUI -- OS/2 Video for a New Generation.

We've been promising more wireless networking reviews for a while and Darrell Spice delivers with a review of the ARtem ComCard wireless network card. This gives OS/2 users yet another choice in 802.11b compatible wireless network hardware.

Remember when Warp was billed as the onramp to the Information Superhighway? Lately OS/2 has been a bit long in the tooth in regard to a web browser that meets the latest internet standards. Mark Dodel brings us some information on the latest web browser for OS/2 which meets the current standards and provides an open source avenue to meeting future standards as well, in Mozilla for OS/2 1.0.

Finally Eric Baerwaldt is back with Tools in the harddisk sector - Part 3. Eric looks at alternatives to PowerQuest's Partition Magic which has dropped HPFS support in its latest version.

Finally we have the VOICE Newsletter OS/2 Tips page and the Letters, Addenda, Errata page. If you have any OS/2 or eCS tips you've uncovered, please send them to If you have any comments or suggestions about the newsletter or articles in it, please send them to

That's it for this month. Upcoming is also an article about using the Internet Movie Database with OS/2 by Christian Hennecke and a review of GPhoto/2 by Dominik Chmaj.

Mark Dodel, Christian Hennecke and Jason R Stefanovich
VOICE Newsletter editors

[Feature Index]
[Previous Page] [Newsletter Index] [Next Page]
VOICE Home Page: