VOICE Home Page: http://www.os2voice.org
An editorial view from Mark Dodel, editor of the VOICE Newsletter.
At Warpstock in Toronto this past month Stan Sidlov added a a session for the
last day called "Whither Warpstock?". Someone misspelled this as
"Wither Warpstock?" on the room sign. There is a big difference
in the meaning in those two terms. From my American Heritage Dictionary (for OS/2
of course :-), Wither means "To dry up or shrivel from or as if from
loss of moisture." while Whither is defined as "To what place,
result, or condition". Since Warpstock will continue in one form or another
into at least the next year, the correct term is "Whither Warpstock?".
As OS/2 users, the question we have asked for years is where is OS/2 going? The
word from IBM has been ambiguous at times, but their strategy has always been more
toward the "wither" definition then to "whither".
At Warpstock, IBM has given us the clearest roadmap to date for the end of OS/2.
Oliver Mark, of IBM Global Services Central Region, gave the presentation on "Convenience
Pac 2 ", and laid out what IBM has planned for OS/2 for 2002 and beyond. It
wasn't a pretty sight, but no one was attacking the messenger. I think the crowd
appreciated Oliver's candor. It should also be noted here that no one from IBM US
attended Warpstock 2001. There were several presenters from IBM Europe including
Oliver Mark.Brad Barclay was there from IBM's Toronto Labs giving a presentation
on his Java based Palm compatible synchronization application, ManplatoSync.
IBM has been telling us for years that they wanted to end support for OS/2. It
was still difficult to see the words "final fixes for OS/2" on the screen.
We were told that after 2002, there would be no more "free" updates to
OS/2. They would only work on contracted development after that. I clarified that
this "contracted development" did NOT include Software Choice, and he
agreed that it didn't. If you buy a 2 year Software Choice subscription today, then
unless IBM changes its mind, you will only receive about 15 months of updates.
Oliver made it clear that the plan could change, but as of now there will be
no new features added after the release of MCP2 sometime before the end of the year.
Just some updates, the only ones that looked even remotely enduser oriented were
for the IBM branded browser, a new release of TCP/IP (4.3.3) and updates for Java
1.3(possibly a 1.4 version, or 1.4 features added to 1.3).
Device Driver enhancement and defect support will continue through 2004. Fee
based transition services and product enhancement services as well as warranty defect
support and software stack support will be available through 2006.
OK, that's the bad news. It certainly shouldn't shock anyone that has followed
IBM's strategy of the moment over the years. IBM recommends complete platform transition
before 2007. What that new platform will be is still a mystery. Today it's Linux,
a year ago it was Java, and a couple years ago IBM was the super NT salesman. All
these options are half-baked in my opinion. The best option for me is sticking with
But it wasn't all bad news. Some of the other highlights of Oliver's presentation
included word that Lotus will release a 1.7 version of Smartsuite for OS/2 in October
2001, and as of now a final 1.8 release later in 2002. DVD/UDF 2.0 and several new
USB drivers will be included as well as the latest version of the IBM browser (probably
based on 1.0 of Mozilla) and the latest Flash 4. According to Achim Hasenmueller
of Innotek, Flash 5 will be released in November 2001, but may not be free. No one,
including IBM stepped forward to fund development, so there will be a charge, at
minimum for all commercial licenses. In my opinion I'd readily pay to support this
project and would like to see everyone pay at least something to make Innotek's
continued development a reality.
Included in MCP2 will also be updated Ensoniq and Yamaha audio drivers, something
called Speedstep, and both UHCI and OHCI USB support. New USB drivers for USB-Ethernet
and USB-SCSI as well as support for the USB L240 will be added. The latest kernel
fixes that have been appearing regularly on IBM's testcase will also be included.
These include: Alt-F2 on boot including VDDs and EXEs being displayed; Alt-F4 on
boot single stepping through all DDs and EXEs; ALT-F5 which will be a combination
of Alt-F1 and Alt-F2 on boot. An interesting new feature is that BEGINLIBPATH has
been modified to reload a DLL if it is already loaded and is present in the added
directory. TRAP messages will give a more coherent module name, and process dumps
are 40% or more faster. Also the new CLOCK01.SYS will be included which allows for
a new CONFIG.SYS variable; CLOCKSCALE=x which is supposed to speed up some applications
like Netscape and Java which benefit from a faster system clock tick.
MCP2 will be released in 9 NLVs (Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese -- Simplified,
Chinese -- Traditional (Taiwan), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and
Spanish) and will be tested on 15 OEM desktops(primarily Dell and Compaq). IBM itself
has committed to supporting OS/2 on the x series of small to medium servers, the
A4x desktop series and the T2x mobile series (AKA laptops).
There will never be an IA64 version of OS/2, but the 32 bit emulation mode of
these processors will be supported. Oliver pointed out that the AMD 64 bit CPU gives
even better performance in their testing, then the Intel. IPv6 will not be supported
either, but there is a 9 year phase in of that standard during which 100% compatibility
with the current IPv4 standard has to be preserved.
I believe that Serenity will continue to develop their branded version of OS/2
for several years to come. That is something we can no longer expect from IBM. The
time has come to stop expecting IBM to care anymore or do anything. We need to become
even more self-developing then we already are. If we want DVD multimedia support
the OS/2 community is going to have to fund it ourselves. The same goes for any
other new features. Over all I feel that my decision to purchase three eComStation
licenses was a good one. The question will remain "Can Serenity keep us reasonably
current as IBM completely disengages support?". How do you feel about all this?
Are more people going to flee OS/2? If so where do you go? For me, there is no other
viable alternative. Microsoft is morally bankrupt, so even if their latest and greatest
windoze actually worked, I wouldn't use it. Linux and the other *NIXs are just still
too server oriented and still too complicated to manage as a desktop. Write me at
and let me know.
For more on the happenings at Warpstock 2001, see my article Warpstock
2001 - an OS/2 Odyssey.
VOICE Newsletter Update: We are also planning on adding
a new page to the VOICE Newsletter to allow small Freeware and OS/2 User advertisements.
This has been delayed a bit do to our involvement with Warpstock. Hopefully we can
have something together for December. But we need your help. If anyone is interested
in this concept please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This would allow developers of freeware apps to advertise their products by having
a free banner ad on this page. Also OS/2-eCS users and OS/2 user groups could place
text ads seeking other OS/2-eCS users in their geographical area to start/promote
a user group or maybe just find someone to help them with a support problem or have
We are also revising our sponsorship levels to make it more affordable to sponsor
VOICE, and have banner ads on some pages of the Newsletter for shareware and commercial
OS/2 developers. You can view the status of that on our Sponsorship
page - http://www.os2voice.org/sponsorinfo.html.
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 email@example.com.
The Guidelines for Article Submissions to the VOICE Newsletter
page has been updated with the addition of some ideas for articles. Please take
a look and see if you can help us with an article for an upcoming issue. Some folks
find they enjoy telling about their OS/2 experiences. :-)
VOICE Server Update: Our SysAdmin has updated our mail
server to Weasel 1.23. This has improved the throughput on our VOICE News List posts,
but there is still a problem with occasional hangs. This is still being worked on.
The VOICE News list is now up to 780+ subscribers.
The Warp Doctor site: Have an idea for Warp Doctor?
You can send your comments directly to the Warp Doctor web guy Jeremy at firstname.lastname@example.org
or better yet attend one of our Warp Doctor Team meetings, weekly on IRC.
Please note that since September 2, the team now meets every Sunday at 2PM EDT
(18:00 GMT), on IRC in the #warpdoctor channel on the WEBBnet IRC network. For more
information on attending online Warp Doctor IRC meetings please see the VOICE Meeting
Information page - http://www.os2voice.org/meetinginfo.html.
VOICE Online Update: This month we have general member
meetings on November 5 and 19 at 8PM EST (01:00 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 - http://www.os2voice.org/meetinginfo.html.
If you have an idea for a Speakup event, please submit it to email@example.com,
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 http://www.os2voice.org/calendar.html
for more details on future VOICE events.
This month's issue we start with an article on Using
Watcom C/C++ 11.0c on OS/2 by one of the OpenWatcom Development team, Michal
After that Timothy Sipples, another OS/2 stalwart, gives us an Choosing
the Best Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.
Next follows Michal Necasek with the fourth part of his OS/2
History Lesson: OS/2 2.0, which deals of course with version 2.0.
As noted above in our editorial, we cover some of the highlights from this past
month's Toronto Warpstock event in Warpstock 2001 - An
Herwig Bauernfeind again has some useful hints in the third part of Manual
Installation of Win32-applications using Odin. In this installment Herwig
looks at how to get everything in the right place.
In the last article of this month, Eric Baerwald returns with Partitioning
harddrives under OS/2 - Part 2. this month Eric has tips on how to best
partition your drives.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any comments or suggestions about the newsletter or articles in it,
please send them to email@example.com.
That's it for this month. In December we have the fourth part of Herwig Bauernfeind's
series on installing Win32 applications with a focus on the registry. Michal Necasek
will return with an article on OS/2 2.1 in his series on OS/2 History. Jeremy Workman
has an article on using OS/2's Audio Editor and we have an Interview with Serenity
Systems Bob StJohn by Jason Stefanovich. Some more articles are in the works, e.g.
a detailed review of Xact 7.x by Stefan A. Deutscher and a review of Artem Wireless
LAN-card by Karlheinz Schmidthaus, and hopefully a review of the Cisco/Xircom wireless
networking card by Mark Dodel. The date of publishing hasn't been determined yet.
Mark Dodel and Christian Hennecke
VOICE Newsletter editors
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