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IBM

User Group Urges IBM To Open OS/2 404

Posted by Zonk
from the another-oss-project dept.
axonis writes "A report on Tom's Hardware tells of one of the last active OS/2 user groups, which has announced an initiative to garner support for IBM to release its long-neglected OS/2 operating system into the open source community. IBM announced earlier this month that it will withdraw its operating system OS/2 officially from sale on December 23 this year and will offer support only through 2006." From the article: "Making OS/2 Open Source will benefit all IBM customers that had invested in this OS...Customers that are willing to continue using OS/2 will get the benefits of an open OS that will be continuously developed by individual developers and/or software companies, their ownership fees will decrease and they will have the enhanced security of an OS that will continue to be relevant due to the open-ended nature of open source (following the BSD and Linux examples)."
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User Group Urges IBM To Open OS/2

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  • Is IBM is stupid? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by supercoop (871775) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:45PM (#13105050)
    Either you think IBM hasn't thought about releasing OS/2 or that IBM is missing a business opportunity.

    The cold hard fact is that IBM can't release the source code. So many non-disclosure agreements have sealed the fate of OS/2. The only good thing that can come from OS/2s demise is that people will think very carefully before going into software that has a shelf life with no possibility of saving.
    • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:48PM (#13105084)
      IBM can't release the source code. So many non-disclosure agreements

      Are you saying that IBM doesn't own OS/2 outright? That doesn't sound like IBM at all.

      • Re:Is IBM is stupid? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by AuMatar (183847) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:51PM (#13105116)
        It was originally a colaboration between MS and IBM. So chances are MS owns some of the code.
        • Yep. Microsoft "owns" the TCP/IP stack they stole from BSD.
          • by NekkidBob (807988)
            Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you people? You CAN'T steal something that someone is giving away FREE OF CHARGE to use in ANY WAY you see fit. MS is given permision to use any BSD code they want, without doing a damn thing other than including a Copyright notice SOMEWHERE in their docs (whether it be online or in the distribution). And believe it or not, this is what the BSD folks want.
            • by PaxTech (103481) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @01:19PM (#13105432) Homepage
              Are you new here? It's the slashdot way.

              MS legally using BSD licensed code = "Stealing".

              Downloading a bittorrent of Windows XP = "Not Stealing".

              Violating copyright is viewed as about as serious as jaywalking on slashdot, unless the specific copyright you violate is the GPL, then it's worse than murder.

              This isn't hypocrisy though, because we don't call it that. Hope that clears things up. :)
              • mod this up as +5 informative/insightful.

                I really liked the "unless the specific copyright you violate is the GPL, then it's worse than murder."

                Ain't that the truth.
              • MS-Use of BSD Code (Score:4, Interesting)

                by Jdodge99 (695972) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @01:59PM (#13105933)
                Couple of things: 1. The objection was that BSD requires attribution -- and the claim was the MS was still using BSD code but not giving attribution -- therefore violating the BSD license (which allowed them to use it) therefore violating the copyright. I don't know whether that's true or not -- but that was the claim. 2. You're serously asserting that slashdot posters advocate downloading copies of windows xp? (Legal or not?) I don't think I've ever seen that. I've seen a lot of Microsoft bashing -- and a couple of times I made the suggestion that a very reasonable thing for the Federal Government to do was to refuse to handle ANY Microsoft copyright violation cases while Microsoft failed to comply with antitrust laws - or the consent decree microsoft also completely ignored. The last time I made that suggestion was at least three years ago -- I probably posted as an AC -- I read slashdot, but didn't post much and didn't have an account. So: Criticise slashdot posters for what they really do -- oversimplify the issues and demonize microsoft. Copyright scofflaw'ing has a small amount of support, but it's certainly not the norm. BTW - I think Microsoft deserves much of the abuse it gets -- I just wish more of it was well reasoned, rather than knee-jerk.
              • by runderwo (609077) * <`runderwo' `at' `mail.win.org'> on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @02:34PM (#13106265)
                Good job on the +5, but just to clear it up:

                1) Microsoft using open source code at the same time they are attempting to outlaw open source is hypocritical. Furthermore, they violated the terms (if not the spirit) of the BSD license by not attributing the original copyright holders in their advertisements.

                2) Most people draw the line at commercial/for-profit copyright infringement, whether in the form of ripping off someone's GPL code, or in the form of copying DVDs and selling them. For my part, I draw the line at 14 years since publication.

                • by ChatHuant (801522) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @03:09PM (#13106648)
                  Microsoft using open source code at the same time they are attempting to outlaw open source is hypocritical.

                  It's hypocritical only if you ignore the facts, which are that MS (and quite a few other companies) don't have a problem with BSD-type licences; their objections are specifically against the GPL

                  Furthermore, they violated the terms (if not the spirit) of the BSD license by not attributing the original copyright holders in their advertisements.

                  And can you prove this, or is this more FUD? To help you, are you aware that the advertising clause has been removed [opensource.org] from the BSD licence since 1999?
            • by duffbeer703 (177751) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @01:27PM (#13105505)
              The difference is that executives at Microsoft screech about open-source software being "Communist" and "unamerican", while having no problem taking advantage of open-sourced software. (at least in the past)

        • Re:Is IBM is stupid? (Score:5, Informative)

          by slashdot.org (321932) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @01:18PM (#13105420) Homepage Journal
          It was originally a colaboration between MS and IBM. So chances are MS owns some of the code.

          Exactly. When I worked at MS, I have seen files in the Windows source tree that had comments saying they were part of OS/2. They were also marked as 'Copyright Microsoft' only, which implies that MS licensed their source to IBM, but kept the copyright.
        • It was originally a colaboration between MS and IBM. So chances are MS owns some of the code.

          My understanding is that the collaboration took place during the time that IBM thought the 286 would power PCs for the long term and MS' and IBM's relationship was souring. Bill decided to give IBM what they wanted by having OS/2 written in 16bit ASM while Windoze development continued in C. By the time MS and IBM broke up, IBM was left with a steaming pile of shit that had to be rewritten from scratch.

          I forge

        • Re:Is IBM is stupid? (Score:5, Informative)

          by mschaef (31494) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @01:32PM (#13105601) Homepage
          "It was originally a colaboration between MS and IBM. So chances are MS owns some of the code. "

          In the summer of 1995 [1], I worked at IBM in Austin for the OS/2 Lan Server Enterprise [2]group. OS/2 LAN Server was a direct descendent of the LAN Manager product that shipped with the original joint IBM/MS versions of OS/2 [3]. As a result of its origins, OS/2 LAN Server had huge amounts of Microsoft code baked in.

          In an effort to eliminate the Microsoft code, IBM had divided the development team into two groups: "Clean" and "Dirty". "Dirty" staff being staff that had seen Microsoft code and was not eligible to help in the rewrite. I don't know how far the effort went.

          1] I saw a beta of Windows 95 for the first time running on a Pentium 100 in an IBM FV Test lab.

          2] LS Enterprise entailed the conversion of LS Advanced to use DCE services for authentication, etc.

          3] LAN manager was originally part of OS/2 "Extended Edition".
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:53PM (#13105136)
        If any of you idiots would bother to RTFA, the various code ownership issues are discussed at length. Don't let that discourage you, though...
    • Re:Is IBM is stupid? (Score:3, Informative)

      by sigxcpu (456479)
      I agree, If nothing else it has lots of code written by Micro$oft.
    • by DoctorPhish (626559) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:51PM (#13105112) Homepage
      Yeah, next thing you know someone will start a petition to open source Solaris!
      • Re:Is IBM is stupid? (Score:3, Informative)

        by stiggle (649614)
        Actually OpenSolaris is a good comparison.
        Loads of bits of Solaris were developed by others outside of Sun.

        But they spent the time and effort to either remove them or sort out the licenses and then release.
    • Expire? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Valiss (463641)
      Do non-disclosure agreements expire necessarily? Or is that something that would only happen if it was written into a contract for some reason?
      • Well, one thing is typically NDAs which expire upon release... for example system specs, pricing and so on. But for things like source code, there's no reason for it to expire.
    • Re:Is IBM is stupid? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CptSkippy (793400) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:53PM (#13105142)
      They really have nothing to gain from open sourcing OS/2 and potentially a lot to lose from doing so.

      If Solaris is any example, it costs money to open source code. You have to pay someone to scour the code for inappropriate or confidential information.

      Lawyers need to work through any licensing agreements with third parties and so forth.

      They're potentially exsposing themselves to lawsuits by showing their knickers to the world. I mean for all we know OS/2 could be filled with stolen UNIX source code and the last thing IBM wants is to actually validate SCO's claims!

      Bottom line is that IBM has nothing to gain from spending (wasting?) money to open source OS/2. It's a shame, but that's life.

    • Re:Is IBM is stupid? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by yorugua (697900)
      Maybe that's why the article wants IBM to release "as much OS/2 code as possible", so maybe we have an OS/2-Lite version, (sucn as the 4.4BSD-lite Unix version without the AT&T code) so that the community can fill in the blanks later.
    • by Omega (1602) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:55PM (#13105165) Homepage
      Yeah, it would never happen, because, as you mention, there are too many NDAs, restrictive licenses and copyrights tied up in OS/2's code.

      Which is a shame, really, because releasing the source would not only give eternal life to OS/2, it would also vastly improve the other free software out there by allowing them to integrate (or at least port) portions of OS/2 to their systems. Linux might be able to add support to run OS/2 binaries or learn how its scheduler handles pre-emptive or realtime tasking.

      Unfortunately, since OS/2 is closed source, the product will eventually die off when the hardware that can run it becomes obsolete. This is one of the real unfortunate sides to closed source software -- when its owner abandons it, it's dead.
      • Well, IBM could clean it up. The best way would be to rewrite all portions that can't be licensed under an open license; the easiest way would be to simply rip out the offending parts and tell the community "this and that is what the parts we had to remove did, so you'll have to replace them before you get something usable again". Obviously, the former would be better for the users and those still interested in OS/2, but the latter would be a very good starting point, too - remember that in projects like Op
    • Re:Is IBM is stupid? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Pope Raymond Lama (57277) <gwidion@mpc.c o m .br> on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @01:28PM (#13105531) Homepage
      Yup. Actually they really can't.

      The local IBM's LTC (Linux Technology Center) had even started working on a OS/2 emulation layer for Linux - about one month later the project was pulled by the internal lawyers.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:46PM (#13105055)
    Just what Linux needs...

    Competition!

    • Uh... old news. Linux already "competes" not only within itself (in the form of distrobutions), but also against Solaris/OpenSolaris and the BSDs. If another operating system turns open source, it's a good thing: then,from a Stallmanistic, ideology-based point of view, more people are using Free/Open Source Software (without even thinking about it--everyone who uses OS/2 automatically now uses an open source operating system), which advances the cause.
  • Please, IBM! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ucahg (898110)
    Another open source OS would be welcome. At the very least ideas and features can be examined and possibly implemented in the bigger players (Linuxes). But diversity is always good, and what does IBM have to lose?

    Unless of course they are making a successor, but that doesn't seem very likely.
    • Re:Please, IBM! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by garcia (6573) * on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:50PM (#13105107)
      But diversity is always good, and what does IBM have to lose?

      Nothing. It's all the other companies (i.e. Microsoft) that have IP bundled with OS/2 that will lose.

      Thus it's pointless to dredge up this discussion again and again (yes, I believe this is at least the third time in many years).

      No matter how much IBM would love to open it up to us, they just can't. Go whine to Microsoft and the 100s of other code contributers first.
      • They could re-code the parts that are from other parties. Or just strip those parts out and open it up for the OSS community to redo the missing parts (with IBM letting people know how the interfaces were used). Imagine all the great documentation they could release as well...
        • They could re-code the parts that are from other parties.

          No they can't. The "new" codebase would be tainted by previous exposure to IP owned by other companies.

          Or just strip those parts out and open it up for the OSS community to redo the missing parts (with IBM letting people know how the interfaces were used).

          a) too much work/money with too little end benefit for IBM.

          b) see my first point -- they cannot "let people know how the interfaces were used" as it would be tainted and thus open them up to
          • Re:Please, IBM! (Score:3, Insightful)

            by BoomerSooner (308737)
            I have to disagree. Opening the source and documenting how the overall O/S interfaces with parts that are missing wouldn't "taint" OSS developers who had never seen that code. For example, I call X routine (which contains MS code) and returns Y data. Let the OSS people figure out how to get the expected results. This is the very reason software patents are bullshit. Granted if IBM signed IP agreements it's on them, however they can find a way around it if they so desire*.

            * This is the question.
            • This is the very reason software patents are bullshit.

              So what? IP issues are a real problem these days and IBM has enough bullshit to deal with regarding SCO. Do they really need to get into a tiff w/other IP owners because the OSS community wants free access to software they spent millions of dollars and hours creating?

              I doubt it.
      • Re:Please, IBM! (Score:2, Informative)

        by nbritton (823086)
        AFAIK IBM has full rights to the Win16 API and Microsoft has full rights to the OS/2 API. That was part of the deal way back when IBM and Microsoft parted ways.... Microsoft whent with chicago and IBM delivered OS/2, unfortunately the rest is history....
    • Like the JFS [sourceforge.net] filesystem and IBM's OMNIPRINT [sourceforge.net] driver?

      IBM has already raided the OS/2 code base for projects that it felt would be helpful to be released as open source. While it would be neat if they could release the WorkPlace Shell or the OS/2 2.1 SMP kernel as open source, if they haven't done it by now, there is probably a good reason such as the code being tainted with third party licences.

  • by eln (21727) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:46PM (#13105063) Homepage
    I would imagine that OS/2 may contain proprietary code that IBM is still using in products that it still supports. If that's the case, the chances of OS/2 being open sourced are pretty much nil.

    If OS/2 truly contains nothing but obsolete code that IBM no longer has any use for, then they might do this to throw a bone to the Open Source community, but it might not be of much use to anyone but OS/2 zealots.
    • it might not be of much use to anyone but OS/2 zealots.

      If I may clarify, are you implying here that anyone who thinks OS/2 is a good enough operating system that it would be worthwhile to maintain and update it, is automatically a "zealot"? That's bizarre.

      So are you suggesting then that anyone who isn't totally neutral about OSs is a "zealot"? What kind of behavioural manipulation is that --- or is it just strange, twisted mutation of the notion of political correctness? These aren't religions or races

  • by N8F8 (4562) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:47PM (#13105073)
    I've heard of it and used it a little back in the day but wan't too up on the history: Wikipedia to the rescue! [wikipedia.org]
  • dupe? (Score:2, Informative)

    by doofusclam (528746)
    Isn't this a dupe? I seem to recall the reason they don't open-source it is because Microsoft still owns some bits of it and banks who still use OS/2 wouldn't be happy for people to go look for holes in the code.

    I've definitely told the story on slashdot before of the support line for a german company (Heilersoft?) who pronounced the name like 'Oh Ess Half'.
    • ... a german company (Heilersoft?) who pronounced the name like 'Oh Ess Half'.

      Every geek did.

      CC.
  • pointless (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:48PM (#13105078)
    This has been covered a million times. Due to all the code they share because it was a joint project with Microsoft, it'll never be opened. Pieces probably could be, but I doubt IBM will spend the time or effort to decide what's theirs and whats microsofts and rip it apart.
  • Would the effort be better spent on improving more contemporary open source OS projects?

    For example (I admit, I don't know), but does OS/2 support:

    USB?

    High End Video Cards?

    Wireless Networking?

    If not, then why???

    • Do you really need all these for a server/atm configuration ? Obviously, no.
    • by AtariAmarok (451306) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:55PM (#13105179)
      For example (I admit, I don't know), but does OS/2 support: USB? High End Video Cards? Wireless Networking?"

      Aw, come on. No-one really needs anything other than a 25-pin RS-232 serial interface and 16-colour VGA. Wireless networking? Dangerous, man! The waves will cook you. Also, you should really be happy only with a single-speed CD-ROM drive. Anything faster, and the disk melts from the centrifugal force. Cd Burner, yeah right. You really have to pay a lot more in homeowner insurance for that. I won't even touch "firewire", not without asbestos gloves anyway.

    • USB is definitely supported.

      It supports current video through a unified graphics driver coded by SciTech Software [scitechsoft.com]. This replaced the GRADD drivers IBM was coding "back in the day." Its basically an OS/2 version of their SNAP graphics.

      As for the other stuff, I am not entirely sure. I am pretty confident, though, that it has some wireless support provided through the more recent service paks.
    • Of course given that most of the kernel was written in assembler gives it limited practicality, but it would be an great exercise in kernel design to look at OS/2's SMP engine that was so wickedly fast.
    • A lot of information about OS/2's USB Support [os2warp.be] can be found on the web, and as others have said a lot of video support is being provided by Scitech [scitechsoft.com]. Compare the numbers between the OS/2 and Linux versions. :-)

      Don't know about wireless networking, but some info can be found here [os2warp.be].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:52PM (#13105132)
    "oh, shit, how are we going to explain that it's just a bunch of cats taped together?"
  • Question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cached (801963)
    Tell me if I am wrong, but to me it looks like the same thing as many windows users asking to see the source code of, say, windows 95? There is almost 0% chance of this occuring, so why bother posting it on /.?
  • by Rinisari (521266) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:53PM (#13105146) Homepage Journal
    Surely the code contains proprietary software that IBM doesn't want to open source, but that doesn't mean that they can't open up the rest. Part of the magic of open source is that people will write the necessary software to fill those gaps.

    However, I can't see IBM releasing the source until after December 23rd. It's not until that point that OS/2 becomes immediately unprofitable. If IBM holds up its promise to support OS/2 through 2006, then the source will hit the ground running and be able to get help from its parents while the teachers begin to take over, thus the transition from closed to open goes well and is supported by the original developers, even if only for a year.
  • No Need (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ssj_195 (827847) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:54PM (#13105160)
    I'm sure that as I type a hundred people will have posted the reasons why IBM could not open the code even if they wanted to (Microsoft co-own it, etc), but I personally think opening it would not really benefit many people. The code-base is years old and an attempt to getting it running on newer hardware would probably be doomed to failure so, since a lot of the reasons people like it was the GUI design of the thing, why not just clone it and re-implement all the great ideas? I wouldn't be at all surprised if a re-write of the shell on top of Linux/ BSD wouldn't take a lot less time and effort than dragging an ancient code-base into the 21st century and torturing it into something that works well on current hardware.
  • by Bazuul (561189) * on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:56PM (#13105184)
    IBM has been championing Linux for servers for quite a while now. By creating demand for Linux based servers, IBM creates a customer base that excludes the MSFT/DELL alliance and creates a base for their lucrative service contracts. Any success an open-sourced OS/2 would have would distract from this.

    It's very important for companies' initiatives to be well-focused. If IBM released OS/2 to the community, they will dilute their Linux marketing campaign and further fragment the customer base they are trying to build. If OS/2 took off like mad, that would be yet another OS that IBM has to qual test it's servers with. While I have fond memories of using OS/2 and realize that many of its innovations are standard features in today's operating systems, I wouldn't want it polluting the OS base for all time to come. And apparently, neither does IBM.
  • Never Gonna Happen (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Old VMS Junkie (739626) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:56PM (#13105190)
    I was at an ATM in a convenience store last summer during a thunderstorm. The power went out and when it came back on, I watched the ATM boot. Guess what? OS/2. There is no way that IBM's lawyers are going to let that code loose so that people can pick it apart. Just the suggestion probably gives them visions of a pony-tailed hacker going from ATM to ATM and filling his Volkwagon mini-bus with cash.
  • IBM has open sourced about as much of OS/2 as it is going to. OS/2's file system (JFS) was opened up as well as IBM's Omniprint driver. So it isn't like we can really claim that IBM is entirely opposed to opening up OS/2. They've already opened large swaths of it to be rewarded by constant complaints that what they've opened isn't enough.

    The balance is probably so tainted by third party licensed code (and not only from Microsoft) as to make separating out the IBM code from the third party code an expensive
  • In the same way Linus was tired of the closedness of UNIX (think VAX, AIX, etc); freeBSD from BSDI, OpenDOS (and many DOS variants) from DOS- rebuild OS/2 if it has such advantages.

    I used to love OS/2 back in the day, but if certain elements prevent IBM from releasing it all, either (a) get them to release parts and fill in the gaps with open-licensed code, or (b) start from scratch.

    I'd agree though- it's a shame to see thousands and thousands of lines of code head over to /dev/null.

    -M
  • by Shadow Wrought (586631) <shadow,wrought&gmail,com> on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @12:58PM (#13105226) Homepage Journal
    Is the one that goes unasked, right?

    So here goes: After reading the first wave of posts it seems that there are other entity's source code in OS/2. So is it possible for IBM to make available its source code for OS/2 only? If they provide the code with gaps, couldn't those in the Open Source Community fill them in? My gut tells me that to do so would be far too complicated for the benefits, but not being a Software Engineering type I don't know for sure.

    • Yes, just like in Jurassic Park, when they filled in the dino genome with frog DNA, Open Source folks could fill in the OS/2 code with Linux, thus creating OS/2nix (pron. Oh-Ess-Tunics). This idea can't fail!
  • Some people in this discussion might be interested
    to know that there is a project underway to create a "from scratch" clone of OS/2, under an open-source license.

    See http://www.osfree.org/index.php [osfree.org] for more details.
  • by Doc Ruby (173196)
    Opening the OS/2 source code is a great idea [slashdot.org] ;).

    Would the OS/2 source code, integrated into WINE, help it to run 32-bit Windows apps? Does OS/2 support for Windows apps require any approval from Microsoft? Could OS/2 finally create a real competitor to Windows with its death rattle?
  • Why would IBM want to do this? It would make business sense to kill OS/2 dead and start sales on its replacement.

    Whatever ideology it is we delude ourselves with what IBM has morphed itself into these days, they are first and foremost a business

    And besides, is OS/2 really that great? Some things deserve to die. I'm not saying OS/2 *does* (i've never actually used it myself).

    Is it wonderful or is it crap? This is something that needs to be considered as well.
  • by kangadru (853564) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @01:19PM (#13105427) Homepage
    Is that you can't Open Source the entire Operating System, and at this point it would cost more to perform the code audit and legal audit to make this happen that it would to simply take the black eye of killing it. If you think about it, it makes sense. OS/2 is, and never was, just the operating system. Think back to installing OS/2, especially in the pre 4.0 days. You didn't just install OS/2, you also installed LAN Server (or LAN Manager in earlier days), TCP/IP for the Internet, eventyually you got MMPM and others, but these are all seperate packages that are more or less bolted onto the core. It's probably reasonable to release parts of OS/2, but you can't release all of it, particularly the parts licensed from third parties. That's the real kicker. In order to Open Source OS/2 in the sense that most people want is a logistical nightmare that would encompass years and a cost that IBM would have no hope of ever recovering. So what is the next best option? release the source for the important parts. SOM ? can't because of Microsoft licensing. WPS? can't, Adobe PostScript font rendering engine. Those are just items from the top of my head, and I haven't used OS/2 in close to 10 years now. It's a nice dream, but it's unlikely to ever happen. kanga
  • by afstanton (822402) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @01:28PM (#13105522) Homepage
    it has SCO code in it!
  • This was already discussed on slashdot not too long here [slashdot.org]. As others have said, this is a stupid idea and it's never going to happen. You can see my specific response and some follow-ups here [slashdot.org].
  • by dacarr (562277) on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @02:19PM (#13106109) Homepage Journal
    I emailed Eric Raymond [catb.org] a while back on this when ZDnet first reported the impending doom of OS/2, and he pointed out the exact same thing as everyone else - licensing issues. Remember that this was a joint venture between IBM and Microsoft, so there are legal issues on that front.

    In short, this pretty much nails OS/2's coffin closed.

    Regardless, there isn't much I can think of that OS/2 offered that the Linux distros don't by way of the GUI. Toolbox? Use GNOME panels and drawers. Fixpaks? Don't need to download and install - Mandrake has URPMI, Debian (and debian based) has APT, and Gentoo has emerge, and all three do that for you. Workplace shell? Nautilus does a good job.

    I'm going to miss the old half-an-OS, though - it was a damn good product that didn't crash without a good reason, and would've beaten Windows 95 if it weren't for poor marketing.

  • by SWroclawski (95770) <serge.wroclawski@org> on Tuesday July 19, 2005 @02:35PM (#13106277) Homepage
    Nader asked IBM to do this years ago: http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=98/06/08/213122 7&tid=136 [slashdot.org]

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