After a couple months of working on other projects, work has resumed on the the Bitwise fork of Firefox. The codebase has been updated to the Gecko 24.8.0esr release, which is likely the final security update for 24esr, since Mozilla switched over to 31esr several weeks ago. They intend to have a new beta release out soon, and presumably will switch over to 31esr once they have stabilized the current version. You can donate to bitwise projects by buying sponsor units via their online shop. From VOICE News.
Warpstock 2014 will feature a presentation by Lars Edrmann regarding USB stack development, including his new work on USBMSD. He will accept hardware donations of currently incompatible USB mass storage devices, so that he can use them in his efforts to improve the drivers. There will also be two presentations by Jan van Wijk: an overview of the functionality in the DFSee disk analysis and recovery tool; an overview of disk partitioning, including OS/2 LVM and GPT style, and a summary of the on-disk structures of several file systems. The annual event will be held Friday, October 24th through Sunday, October 26th, in St. Louis, Missouri. Thanks to Lewis Rosenthal and Andy Willis for the info.
After Tomas Hajny reported that the OpenSSL project was planning to drop OS/2 support after version 1.0.2, Lewis Rosenthal chimed in on the mailing list expressing interest on behalf of our platform. Apparently that was enough to keep it supported for now, but it will certainly help tremendously if the OS/2 ports submitted patches upstream.
Elmar Stellnberger reports that Mark Harvey's 20-year-old MultiUser program for giving different users different desktops continues to work well, and can be used in conjunction with the Security/2 sses package from Nickk. In addition to Hobbes, the software is available from Elmar's site, which also offers collections of icons and fonts.
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.
Bitwise has issued a newsletter outlining their recent and current projects. Their future plans include updating Java to the latest OpenJDK, and porting Qt5, which will include a newer QtWebkit. You can buy sponsor units from their online shop if you wish to contribute funds to their projects. From VOICE News.
Martin Iturbide continues on his quest to get unmaintained OS/2 programs to be released as open source; he has created well over 1000 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.
Bitwise has announced they are now working on porting Eclipse SWT to OS/2, building on top of OpenJDK and Odin. If you check out the github commits, you'll see that the primary contributor is Ben Rietbroek aka "rousseaux", which seems to imply that the Bitwise team is growing in size - certainly a positive sign. The impetus for working on SWT is driven by developer desire for good GUI tools for source code control, such as SmartSVN and SmartGit, which require SWT support in recent versions.
Lewis Rosenthal announced that Arca Noae, LLC was chartered in Delaware at the end of July; this new company plans to be the driving force behind further development and maintenance of the OS/2 platform for some time to come. An official website should be coming soon; planned announcements include new applications and updates, and new device driver developments. An announcement regarding Warpstock Europe is also expected. From VOICE News.
The second annual OS/2 User Meeting in Cologne, Germany will be held at the end of November, and there is an open call for presenters. There are a few pictures from last year's event, and there is a lengthy report describing all that happened.
PHPMyAdmin version 184.108.40.206 has been released (9/13/2014). This is a set of PHP scripts to administer MySQL over the web.
RSSGuard version 220.127.116.11 has been ported (9/13/2014) to OS/2. This Qt4 app is a RSS and ATOM feed reader.
FFMpeg version 2.1.5 has been ported (9/11/2014) to OS/2. This is a complete (command line driven) solution to record, convert, and stream audio and video. Note that WarpVision, KMP, and MPlayer all use this library. This build includes libx264, libxvid, libmp3lame, libvorbis, libtheora, libvxp, and libopus.
Lua version 5.2.3 has been ported (9/11/2014) to OS/2. This is a powerful, fast, lightweight, embeddable scripting language used in various scientific and commercial applications (and some games).
TV-Browser version 18.104.22.168 has been released (9/11/2014). This program downloads the daily TV programming information, and displays it for viewing; it requires Java 1.6.
texstudio version 2.8.4 has been ported (9/11/2014) to OS/2. This Qt4 app is a LaTeX editor.
DFSee version 12.1 has been released (9/10/2014). DFSee is an FDISK, display, analysis and recovery tool for disks and filesystems, including HPFS, NTFS, FAT, JFS, EXT2, EXT3, ReiserFS, and EXFAT. It includes the ability to resize partitions, cloning and imaging, undelete files, and more. There is also a support forum available. At one point, version 12 was going to have an optional Qt-based GUI, but it looks like that did not happen. From VOICE News.
Logical Config.Sys Sort version 0.4.5 has been released (9/10/2014). This sorts the CONFIG.SYS file into logical sections.
bitwise works has ported git version 2.0 to OS/2; if you have configured yum you can use "yum install git", otherwise it is available in a ZIP package from rpm.netlabs.org. git is distributed version control software, used in software development and popularized by GitHub. From VOICE News.
dos2unix and unix2dos version 7.0 have been released (9/9/2014). These command line tools convert plain text files from/to DOS and UNIX formats. The latest version can be found on Hobbes.
SDL version 1.2.15 OS/2 port has been updated (9/8/2014). Simple DirectMedia Layer is a cross-platform development library designed to provide low level access to audio, keyboard, mouse, joystick, and graphics hardware; it is used by video playback software, emulators, and popular games. This new OS/2 port features updated VMAN, DIVE, and DART support. An older port of version 1.2.14 is also available (11/6/2009).
lzip version 1.16 and clzip version 1.6 have been ported (9/8/2014) to OS/2. lzip is a lossless file compressor using LZMA that is almost as fast as gzip, and compresses better than bzip2.
Agena version 2.3.0 RC1 has been released (9/8/2014). This is an interpreted language suited for sophisticated procedural programming, with syntax like simplified Algol 68, with elements taken from Lua and SQL. The OS/2 version is currently missing the net, gdi, fractals, and xml packages.
FTP server version 2.1 has been released (9/7/2014). Compared to the standard ftpd in OS/2, this one has better security controls, together with extra features such as symbolic links. The source code is also available under the GPL license.
More Qt4 apps were ported (9/4/2014) to OS/2, including: hotshots version 2.2.0 is for taking screenshots and making annotations on them; and diffimg version 2.2.0 is a simple image comparison tool.
QuiteRSS version 0.17.0 has been ported (9/3/2014) to OS/2. This Qt4 app is a RSS/Atom feed reader.
Jetty version 8.1.16 has been released (9/3/2014). This is a web server and javax.servlet container, which requires Java 1.6 (version 9.x.x requires Java 1.7).
INIServe version 2.5 has been released (9/2/2014). INIServe is a tool for remote configuration of OS/2 applications. Application developers are explicitly permitted to distribute INIServe as part of their own applications.
More Qt4 apps were ported (9/1/2014) to OS/2, including: Clipgrab version 3.4.7 allows you to download Flash videos from various web sites, including YouTube; and iQPuzzle version 0.8.1 is a pentomino puzzle game.
GeoGebra version 4.4.44 has been released. This is software for learning and teaching math, from elementary school to university level; it requires Java 1.5 or higher. Since they now provide OS-specific downloads, you probably want one of their "portable" versions.