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October 26, 2014 | October 13, 2014 | September 28, 2014 | previous

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Latest News

The Arca Noae website has started getting some content, outlining some of their projects and services available, as well as an on online shop where you can purchase various OS/2 software. This new company plans to be the driving force behind further development and maintenance of the OS/2 platform for some time to come. It is backed by Lewis Rosenthal, David Azarewicz, Steven Levine, and others, and is partnered with other OS/2 players including bitwise and netlabs.org. Upcoming announcements will include new applications and updates, and new device driver developments. An announcement regarding Warpstock Europe is also expected.

Warpstock 2014 is currently in progress, featuring presentations by David Azarewicz (currently working on ACPI, MultiMac, etc.), Lewis Rosenthal (announcing Arca Noae, the new OS/2-focused company), Paul Smedley (porting software from the open-source world), Lars Edrmann (USB stack development), Jan van Wijk (DFSee, and file systems), and Menso de Jong (founder of Mensys). There is video streaming from the event on ustream.tv (requires newer Flash than what works with Odin). Thanks to Andy Willis and VOICE News for the info.

Martin Iturbide continues on his quest to get unmaintained OS/2 programs to be released as open source; he has created over 1200 public repositories of OS/2 open source projects on GitHub, created a wiki index for them, and published an EDM/2 article discussing how to use Git on OS/2. He has gone through the Hobbes archives, extracting the available source code, and making it easily accessible. He welcomes assistance in uploading more source to github, and any other suggestions, and will gladly provide repository administration rights to anyone interested. From OS2World.

Some highlights from relevant open source projects: SeaMonkey 2.30 and Firefox 33 will be released on tier one platforms this week. Gecko 31 is the current ESR branch, having replaced Gecko 24esr a few months ago. Qt version 5.3.2 is the current release, with version 5.4 due out later this month; since 5.x is not ABI compatible with Qt 4.x, it's more likely we will see a port of 4.8.x before we see anything for 5.x. LibreOffice 4.3.2 (and Apache OpenOffice 4.1.1) are available on "tier 1" platforms, with features from IBM's Lotus Symphony merged in. OpenJDK 8u20 is the current release, with development on OpenJDK 9 underway.

The bitwiseworks Firefox fork has released (9/26/2014) a new beta, based on Gecko 24.8.1esr. Compared to the previous 24esr beta, the spellchecker has been fixed; however, sound support is broken, while the IPC plugin support is still buggy and some users report having to disable it completely. It is unlikely there will be any further 24esr security updates, since Mozilla switched over to 31esr several weeks ago. You can donate to bitwise projects by buying sponsor units via their online shop. From VOICE News.

Work has begun on updating the IcedTea-Web Java Browser Plugin to version 1.5.1; the previous version never really worked properly, so here's hoping that major progress will be made as part of this update.

Peter Flass scanned some old OS/2 promotional material, including promoting gaming on OS/2, and WordPerfect 5.2. I got a kick out of seeing these nicely done pre-"Warp4 nuns" ads. From VOICE News.

Martin Iturbide continues on his quest to get unmaintained OS/2 programs to be released as open source; both HTML Wizard and Styler/2 are available under open source licenses now.

Bitwise has released (8/27/2014) an update for the OS/2 port of OpenOffice 4.1.1 RC3, which enables the spellchecker and a few other modules. Bitwise took over OpenOffice development from Mensys earlier this year; the primarily developer on the project remains the same. Mensys discontinued their OpenOffice subscriptions some time ago, so this should not affect anyone who previously paid for it; Bitwise allows you to purchase the software in their online shop, as a means of donating to the ongoing development. At least for this early release, there is no installer available, and there are some dependencies you may need to resolve; check this OS2World forum thread for helpful hints if you have trouble. Previously planned features included support for high memory and Java; it's unclear if those goals have been fully achieved. Bug reports can be filed in the OpenOffice Bugzilla, and presumably the OS/2 source code continues to be available in the Subversion repository. It's unclear if the WPS integration package previously available from Mensys will continue to get updates; it extends the WPS data file class to recognize OpenOffice.org document files, has integrated support for WPS-Wizard hint and folder info area, and provides Rexx hooks for reading document properties. From VOICE News.

The QSINIT loader is a replacement for OS2LDR; it allows 3.5GB of RAM to be used on certain systems where OS2LDR prevents using more than 512MB due to "memory holes". It also allows using memory above 4GB as a RAM disk, which otherwise is useless on a 32-bit operating system that does not support PAE (such as OS/2). It is now fully compatible with the official ACPI drivers, and has lots of other features, including PXE support, VESA video support, disk editor, reading, writing and formatting drives in FAT32 or FAT16, general partition managing capabilities, including GPT partition support, LVM support, general boot manager features, and more. The source code is also available. From OS2World.

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Top version 2.13 has been released. This VIO application monitors CPU usage by process. The process list can be sorted according to various criteria (including CPU percentage, name, threads), and any process from the list can be selected to be killed.

RSSGuard version has been ported (10/24/2014) to OS/2. This Qt4 app is a RSS and ATOM feed reader.

x264 version 0.142.x has been ported (10/23/2014) to OS/2. This is a H.264 (MPEG4 AVC) encoder library, and is used in software like MPlayer.

Bison version 2.7.91 and GNU AWK version 4.1.1 have been ported (10/23/2014) to OS/2. These are programmer's tools that are prevalent on Unix platforms.

Some developer libraries have been ported (10/23/2014) to OS/2: gettext version 0.19.2 helps with internationalization, libiconv version 1.14 is for converting between different multi-lingual character codes, GNU MP version 6.0.0 is for for arbitrary precision arithmetic, GnuTLS version 3.3.9 is a secure communications library implementing SSL and TLS, and Nettle version 2.7.1 is a cryptographic library.

Qupzilla version 1.8.3 has been ported (10/22/2014) to OS/2. This is a Webkit-based browser, which uses the Qt4 libraries.

Synkron version 1.6.8 has been ported (10/22/2014) to OS/2. This is a directory synchronization tool with a Qt4 based GUI and many options.

qBittorrent version 3.1.10 has ben ported (10/21/2014) to OS/2. This Qt4 app is a Bittorrent client.

PHPMyAdmin version has been released (10/21/2014). This is a set of PHP scripts to administer MySQL over the web.

yagodu version 2.3 has been ported (10/20/2014) to OS/2. This Qt4 app is a password management tool.

FreeCol version 0.11.0 has been released (10/18/2014). This is a turn-based Java strategy game based on the old game Colonization, and similar to Civilization. It requires Java 1.5 or higher.

ChessX version 1.2.2 has been ported (10/17/2014) to OS/2. This Qt4 app is a chess database, for analyzing chess games.

GeoGebra version 5.0.19 has been released. This is software for learning and teaching math, from elementary school to university level; it requires Java 1.5 or higher.

An automated installer for the Microsoft ClearType Font Collection has been updated (10/16/2014) to version 1.1. It will download the fonts Calibri, Cambria, Candara, Consolas, Constantia, and Corbel from Microsoft, and install them on your OS/2 system.

OpenSSL version 1.0.0o has been ported (10/16/2014) to OS/2. This is a robust, commercial-grade, full-featured, and Open Source toolkit implementing the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL v2/v3) and Transport Layer Security (TLS v1) protocols, as well as a full-strength general purpose cryptography library.

TEA version 38.0.0 has been ported (10/15/2014) to OS/2. This Qt4 app is a text editor.

BiblioteQ version 6.72 has been ported (10/14/2014) to OS/2. This is a library management suite, which uses the Qt4 libraries.

Jmol version 14.2.7 has been released (10/14/2014). This is a Java molecular viewer for three dimensional chemical structures; it requires Java 1.4 or higher.

SMplayer version 14.9.0 has been ported (10/13/2014) to OS/2. This is a GUI frontend for MPlayer, based on the Qt4 graphics toolkit. Also available is SMTube version 14.8.0, which is a GUI front-end for passing YouTube videos to SMPlayer (or another video player).

Arachnophilia version 5.5 build 2872 has been released (10/13/2014). This is a web page editor and development tool, which requires Java 1.5 or higher.

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