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Letters, Addenda, Errata

If you have any comments regarding articles or tips in this or any previous issue of the VOICE Newsletter, please send them to editor@os2voice.org. We are always interested in what our readers have to say.

Another one bites the dust
April 8, 2008

We received the following letter from Stefan Milcke, long-time developer of OS/2 software:

OS/2 is dead. The question is only when the point of “I can't go on this way” is reached for the individual. For me, the time has come.

After years of enthusiastic OS/2 development, I will now apply myself to other systems. I have wasted too much time on OS/2. All for nothing. The community—more of a term for a collective of mavericks—never actually existed. Too many mavericks, too much re-inventing the wheel.

For years I really spent much time and money on OS/2. Several OS/2 and eCS distributions, all completely overpriced. SNAP [video driver]: a shame that one has to buy drivers for standard hardware, and now it's been withdrawn, too. [As has] VisualAge, [and] several other compilers; [also] Moneyplex and other applications. All this caused quite some holes in my budget.

And feedback was—save for a few exceptions—less than lukewarm. All developers were much too self-absorbed. Everybody had to re-invent the wheel himself. Annoyingly, I chose to open all source code of my projects back then. A mistake. Given how most developers behaved I wished nobody would have access.

Last but not least:

  • No current Java implementation [Java 1.4 is available, 1.6 is current]
  • No current GCC version [v3 is available, v4 is current] with ELF support, although I spent quite a bit on that (ELFOMF)
  • No support for current hardware. I needed a new system. For weeks I searched for new hardware that supported OS/2 (without limitations) and was more or less up-to-date. Finally, I obtained rather expensive components and had to spend some weeks more with fiddling around until at least the video adapter worked, albeit without hardware acceleration.

  • 64 bit operating will soon be state of the art. OS/2 will never get there.

This ends now. The data from several applications is going to get migrated and then all OS/2 installations will be erased. The web sites are already deleted. Better a painful ending than pain without end.

OS/2 is dead. Everybody serious developer will have to see that at some point. But as I said, the point of insight comes at different times.

Formatting: Christian Hennecke
Editing: James Moe