OS/2 Warp! Warpstock

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Apr 21, 2019 | Dec 24, 2018 | Dec 2, 2018 | previous

Geesh, four months... the dog ate my homework?
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Latest News

Dave Yeo has released "SUa1" builds of Firefox 45.9.0 (4/14/2019), Thunderbird 45.8.0 (4/13/2019), and SeaMonkey 2.42.9 (4/12/2019). These "Security Update" builds have security fixes ported from tenfourfox, a Firefox fork for PowerPC Macs that was forked from 45ESR; there are around 100 security issues patched. Note that there are additional external dependencies required; see my Warpzilla Tips page for more information, as well as mozsupport and mozmedia packages. Note that the SeaMonkey project skipped from version 2.40 to 2.46 on other platforms. Reports on earlier builds suggested that disabling Chatzilla may prevent some heavy CPU usage.

VLC media player version 3.0.6 has been ported (1/11/2019) to OS/2. This is a highly portable multimedia player and multimedia framework capable of reading most audio and video formats (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, DivX, MPEG-1, MP3, OGG, AAC) as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.

Bitwise has made a lot of progress on their port of Qt5; the QtCore (text mode) and QtNetwork components are complete, and they are now working on the GUI and Widgets components. Once complete, they are looking at porting a couple Qt-based browsers: Falkon (formerly Qupzilla), and Otter. Roderick Klein posted a couple updates on the VOICE browser fundraising campaign, indicating that funding is still required. You can see the original Qt5 roadmap, which projected a full year of work on porting Qt itself, and then another 6 months on porting QtWebEngine components. If you want to help with funding, you can contribute to Bitwise directly, via Patreon, or to the VOICE campaign. From VOICE News.

Arca Noae has split their roadmaps into General, ArcaOS, Drivers, Software, and Advocacy & Events. ArcaOS 5.0.4 is in beta, which will include Samba 4.9, and the ability to update from earlier 5.0.x releases. They posted a progress report, indicating updates to Panorama are coming, and ACPI and AHCI had recent updates. They are testing USB 3 support, as well as investigating booting on UEFI systems. A new LVM GUI is in the works.

Bitwise has forked kLIBC into LIBC Next. A fork became necessary because the kLIBC project is not actively maintained. LIBC Next is fully backward compatible with the kLIBC library and may be used as a drop-in replacement. From VOICE News.

The OS/2 Guest Additions for VirtualBox were updated as part of the VirtualBox 6.0.6 update (for other platforms). If you are running OS/2 on a Virtualbox VM, use "Devices - Insert Guest Additions CD Image...", then check the OS/2 CD drive inside the /OS2 directory. From OS2World.

Warpstock Europe 2019 will be the 20th Anniversary event, held in the Netherlands on May 18-19; there is a preliminary schedule available. Registration is 35 Euros per day, which includes lunch. From VOICE News.

OS2World recently celebrated its 19th year online. It continues to be a great resource for the community.

Bitwise has released (12/4/2018) their OS/2 port of Apache OpenOffice 4.1.6. Bitwise took over OpenOffice development from Mensys, but the primary developer on the project remains the same; they allow you to purchase "development units" in their online shop, as a means of donating to the ongoing development, and being offered the download link. Bug reports can be filed in the OpenOffice Bugzilla, and presumably the OS/2 source code continues to be available in the Subversion repository. There were plans for future updates to the WPS integration package, but the previous version from Mensys should continue to function; 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 UniAud sound drivers have been refreshed (11/26/2018). This is based on the GPL ALSA Project from Linux and provides drivers for various sound chipsets, including HDA, AC97, and PCI cards. Note that the cause of repeating system sounds has been found to be a bug in IBM's SND.DLL, and there is a workaround available. For what it's worth, this project has stagnated for quite a while now; ALSA 1.0.24 is from early 2011, while the current upstream version is 1.1.7.

There was a Presentation Manager Programming Workshop held on Saturday, November 3, 2018 in the Netherlands, by the hcc eCS User Group. The documentation used is available online on the EDM/2 Wiki. From VOICE News.

Warpstock 2018 was held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 14-16. You can see the schedule, it was streamed live on YouTube, and the presentation materials are also online. Arca Noae announced that the first beta for 5.0.4, which will finally include an update option, is already in testing. Version 5.1 is scheduled for release in 2019, with a host of new features planned, including NLVs for several popular languages.

ArcaOS 5.0.3 has been released (8/19/2018). This refreshed install contains various updates, including an updated Samba client, and the ability to install from a bootable USB stick. Note that the ArcaOS installer does not support upgrading a previous install, so if you are already successfully running 5.0.x, it is recommended that you simply apply any updates that get released separately, rather than do a fresh install. You may also like to read my earlier mini review.

XWorkplace version 1.0.12 has been released (7/31/2018). A recent new feature is Xview, an improved version of the split folder view. It includes all the features of XFolder 0.85, virtual desktops using xPager (formerly PageMage), a replacement for WarpCenter (XCenter) with lots of widgets, a trash can, most of the NPSWPS and WarpEnhancer features, object hotkeys, lots of new settings pages, and more. XWorkplace is an open source project at netlabs.org.

The presentation files from Warpstock Europe 2018 are available online; of particular interest are Lewis Rosenthal on the ArcaOS Roadmap where some details about 5.0.3 and 5.1 are shared, and Silvan Scherrer on Bitwise projects.

VOICE News posts are now posted to Twitter, in addition to the mailing list and newsgroup feed. In other VOICE news, they are testing a remote support tool, which is essentially VNC over SSH.

The bitwiseworks Firefox fork has released (5/20/2018) a "GA2" build, still based on Gecko 45.9.0esr. Note that 45esr was long ago obsoleted by 52esr, which in turn was obsoleted by 60esr, with 45esr not getting security updates since April 2017. This build has more bugfixes, but the "GA" releases have generally been worse than the earlier "beta" releases. Also, native printing support other than Postscript was dropped, although printing to PDF is possible. There are several additional external dependencies required now; see the README file for more details. Note that Bitwise has abandoned the ZIP packaging for an RPM package (which is not publicly available), and instead offers an archive based on the RPM package. It is unclear if there will be any releases based on 52esr, but that will be the end of the road, as newer versions require the Rust compiler, which is unlikely to be ported to OS/2. Note that the SeaMonkey project is also undecided on how it will proceed beyond 52esr (on all platforms), as Mozilla long ago stopped caring about anything other than Firefox. You can donate to bitwise projects by buying sponsor units via their online shop.

Sigurd has been successful in getting OS/2 running on the 25th Anniversary ThinkPad.

The currently available RDP client (remote desktop protocol, for remotely controlling Windows desktops) on OS/2 is RDesktop, ported by Andrey Vasilkin. However, RDesktop is being superseded by a more active project called FreeRDP. Andrey proposes porting FreeRDP to OS/2, but needs support from the OS/2 user base; sponsoring units for this work may be purchased in the Arca Noae store.

Ryan C. Gordon, of icculus.org fame, spent a bit of time hacking on "'2ine,' pronounced 'twine,' which emulates OS/2 binaries in the same way that Wine emulates Windows binaries." He managed to get quite a bit of command line OS/2 apps running on Linux (including compilers), as well as some bare bones Presentation Manager windowing support (just enough to draw a rectangle on the screen). It's unlikely that he will spend any more on it, but the source code is available for anyone else to play around with.

There is a nice 45 minute YouTube video celebrating 30 years of OS/2. It goes over some history, as well as how it can be used today.

VOICE has been organizing IRC chats (VOICE SpeakUp) with developers and organizations supporting the OS/2 community. The first two events were with Arca Noae: Saturday, February 17th, and Sunday, February 25th. The third was with Bitwiseworks, the company that works on ports like OpenOffice and Fiefox, on March 3rd. For these events, you can use an IRC client, or the webchat channel #os2voice. From VOICE News.

Lars Erdmann and Wim Brul continue to improve the USB drivers; the latest features are support for 24-bit audio, and sample frequencies greater than 64KHz, on USB audio devices (speakers and headphones) that support such features in hardware. Hopefully, someone can take that work and extend it to UniAud as well. In other USB news, Arca Noae has begun converting some of the USB code to 32-bit, in anticipation of USB3 support, and Lars has expressed concern that the driver interfaces will become incompatible with third-party USB driver work, such as the work that he and Wim continue to invest.

Last September, Adrian Gschwend wrote a retrospective article for the 20th anniversary of netlabs.org. He also did a remote presentation for Warpstock 2017 in Canada. He would like to replace the aging netlabs.org server, and is looking to raise $3000 in sponsorships.

Intel announced in November that they would be removing legacy BIOS support from their platforms by the year 2020. Arca Noae is researching the best way to handle UEFI booting and GPT. In other Intel platform news, there is the potential for exploits of some processor flaws, dubbed Meltdown and Spectre; Arca Noae posted a policy statement.

EDM/2 (Electronic Developer Magazine/2) has had another batch of updates to the wiki; as a wiki, it is possible for everyone to add or edit articles. From VOICE News.

The experimental OS/4 kernel now has support for AVX instructions, as found in newer CPUs. This means potentially better performance in software that supports it, such as ffmpeg, firefox, and others.

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Latest Files

Quick 'n' Easy Finances version 1.15 has been updated (4/17/2019). It is a personal finance program which requires DB2 or PostGRE. There is also a Yahoo Group discussion list.

Jmol version 14.29.37 has been released (4/17/2019). This is a Java molecular viewer for three dimensional chemical structures; it requires Java 1.4 or higher.

DFSee version 16.0 has been released (4/16/2019). DFSee is an FDISK, display, analysis and recovery tool for disks and filesystems, including HPFS, NTFS, FAT, JFS, EXT2, EXT3, ReiserFS, EXFAT, ISO9660, and APFS. It includes the ability to resize partitions, cloning and imaging, undelete files, and more. It now allows browsing the contents of compressed images and VirtualBox disk images, and has full support for the GPT partitioning style. There is also a support forum available. From VOICE News.

Testlog version 3.25 has been updated (4/16/2019). This program collects data about your system and the driver under test, and puts it into a log file for diagnostics. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

Find files version 1.0 has been released (4/16/2019). This utility allows wildcards in specifying the files to search for, and optionally specifying that the files must contain a given character string. From VOICE News.

Agena version 2.14.9 has been released (4/14/2019). This is an interpreted language suited for sophisticated procedural programming, with syntax like simplified Algol 68, with elements taken from Lua and SQL.

Paul Smedley has released (4/13/2019) a Samba NetDrive plugin and client, based on Samba 4.10.1. The older (2/26/2014) Samba client version 2.2.0 beta 4 is based on Samba 3.5.21. This allows you to mount SMB or CIFS shares on OS/2 without the need of NetBIOS (IBM LAN Manager or IBM Peer).

ProjectLibre version 1.9.1 has been released (4/11/2019). This is project management software with support for Gantt diagrams, which requires Java 1.6.

Links version 2.19 has been released (4/4/2019). Links is a small and fast WWW browser that supports graphics, Javascript, font smoothing, tables and allows for considerable customization of the cache, character set, and more. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

Zippy version 1.03.02 has been released (4/3/2019). This is an archive manager, which allows extracting files from various formats, including zip, rar, 7z, tar, bzip2, arj, and more. It allows you to create zip, 7z, tar.gz, and a few others. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

FTP server version 2.75 has been released (4/3/2019). 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. From VOICE News.

GenINI version 1.7 has been released (4/2/2019); this is a pair of programs to back up OS/2 INI files in human-readable form, and to restore an INI file from the human-readable form. GenINI is freeware and open source.

Another OS/2 port of VNC Server and VNC Viewer has been updated (3/31/2019). It provides a VNC server and client for OS/2 Presentation Manager, has UltraVNC compatible chat and file transfer, and WPS integration. The latest version can be found Hobbes.

MyIP version 0.7 has been released (3/31/2019). This is a simple utility for querying the current system's IP address as seen from the Internet.

The OS/2 build of DOSBox 0.74 has been updated (3/30/2019). This is a DOS emulator that uses SDL; it emulates XMS, EMS, CGA, EGA, VGA, VESA, SoundBlaster, Gravis Ultra Sound, and more, for excellent compatibility with older games. You can find additional information about the port on the Netlabs Wiki. From VOICE News.

Weasel version 2.55 has been released (3/29/2019). This is a "lightweight" SMTP/POP server that has multi-domain support, and is now open source under the GPL. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

The SATA AHCI disk controller driver has been updated (3/28/2019) to version 2.06 for Arca Noae subscribers. The GPL source code (based on the Linux kernel) is available from the AHCI project site.

libdvdread version 6.0.1 has been ported (3/28/2019) to OS/2. This library handles low level DVD access.

BIND version 9.11.6 has been ported (3/28/2019) to OS/2. BIND is the Berkeley Internet Name Daemon, an implementation of DNS protocols.

An OS/2 port of FreeRDP has been updated (3/27/2019). This is a client for Remote Desktop Protocol, commonly used by Windows. This is a test version, which requires a CPU with AVX support and the OS/4 kernel. In the OS2World forum thread, you can see a screenshot of the WPS class for configuring all the settings.

3D LaunchPad has been updated (3/26/2019). This is a WPS object launcher, with PNG icon support.

Paul Smedley has released (3/24/2019) an OS/2 build of GCC 8.3. Also available (1/26/2018) is GCC 7.3, which was the first to contain features to help combat the Spectre CPU flaw. This compiler is required to build numerous open source projects.

SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy) version 1.0.27 has been ported (3/21/2019) to OS/2. Many SCSI and USB scanners from Microtek, Epson, HP, Mustek, Umax, and more are known to be working with this package; if yours works and isn't on the list, let Paul know the details.

Sigma version 3.0 has been released (3/21/2019). This is a PM program that reads and creates MD5 and SHA256 checksum files, compatible with the GNU MD5SUM program. It provides a clear visual indication of checksum status (error's etc.) as well as error sorting and comprehensive logging facilities. It is useful for verifying that CD ISO images are valid prior to burning them to disc.

The Netlabs EPM Distribution version 1.20 has been released (3/21/2019). It extends the functionality of EPM with new features and countless bug fixes.

BiblioteQ version 2019.03.15 has been ported (3/20/2019) to OS/2. This Qt4 app is a library management suite.

Lars Erdmann has released (3/20/2019) a PSD (Platform Specific Driver) for the Warp4 kernel (single core). It handles floating point exceptions via trap 16 instead of IRQ13, which uses the native CPU exception handling.

NewView version 2.19.5 has been released (3/12/2019). NewView is a rewrite of OS/2's View.exe. It reads INF and HLP files. Improvements include a new UI, remember size/position, select and copy from the window, and more. The latest version can be found on Hobbes.

rdesktop has been ported (3/12/2019) to OS/2. This is a free RDP client which you can use to connect to a Windows machine. The latest version requires a CPU with AVX support and the OS/4 kernel.

USB drivers build 10.226 have been released (3/11/2019); included are the base USB host controller drivers, USB HID drivers (keyboard and mouse), USB printing driver, USB serial driver, USB audio driver, USB ethernet driver, and USB MSD driver. The latest work is focused on much improved USB audio support (including USB audio 2.0), as well as USBMSD supporting non-partitioned USB sticks (usually formatted as FAT32 for Windows); unlike the last official IBM version, it does not (yet) support multi-LUN devices such as card readers with multiple slots. These USB drivers also feature support for isochronous devices, such as webcams, and improved hardware compatibility, including proper PCI PM (power management) support. This allows USB ports to be used when warm booting from Windows, which can sometimes leave them in a powered down state.

David Azarewicz has updated (3/10/2019) Drv16/Drv32, a "development kit to make developing new device drivers very easy." These contains header files and a library that contains all of the system related things necessary to build a device driver on OS/2; Drv32 also has the thunking modules necessary. The latest MultiMac drivers are based on this kit. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

The ACPI driver has been updated (3/9/2019) to version 3.23.11 for Arca Noae subscribers. Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) is a replacement for APM, PnP, and related hardware features. It features support for multiprocessor systems (SMP, Dual Core, and HyperThreading), there is an APM driver, and an ACPI Setup tool that replaces the Power object. There is an ACPI Tools web page as well, which includes a battery monitoring widget for XCenter.

IMAPD for Weasel has been updated (3/5/2019). This IMAP4 server for the Weasel mail server features disk quotas, and a POP3 server with SSL/STLS support.

PM Printer Manager version 0.85 has been released (3/1/2019). This is a graphical printer management tool for creating standard OS/2 printers (local and LAN), creating CUPS-based printers, upgrading or downgrading IBM 'PrinterPak' driver packages, and creating new PostScript printer drivers by importing PPD files. Also available is cupswiz version 1.18, which is specifically for creating CUPS-based printers.

Archive Viewer version 2.24 has been released (3/1/2019). This is a GUI tool for viewing and extracting archive files of various types.

Night Vision version 5.1 has been released (3/1/2019). Night Vision is a "planetarium" astronomy program, which requires Java 1.5 or higher. From OS2World.

IMERJ version 2.0.1 has been released (3/1/2019). This is a a "poor man's" Japanese input method editor, which allows you to enter Japanese by typing romanized text in the edit window. It is intended primarily for use on non-Japanese systems where a proper IME is not available.

mksh R57 has been ported (3/1/2019) to OS/2; also available (1/23/2017) is pdksh version 5.2.14 r7. These are clones of the Korn shell, which can be useful when porting Unix software.

Icecast version 2.04.99 has been ported (2/27/2019) to OS/2, along with IceS-ne and IceS2. This is a server and clients for streaming in MP3 and Ogg Vorbis formats. It can be used to create an Internet radio station, or private jukebox.

FluidSynth version 2.0.4 has been ported (2/25/2019) to OS/2. This is a software real-time synthesizer based on the Soundfont 2 specifications.

Potrace version 1.15 has been ported (2/25/2019) to OS/2. Also available is another port of version 1.10. This tool will generate vector graphic files from bitmap images; several output formats are supported, including SVG and PostScript.

EA Cleaner Utility version 1.2 has been released (2/23/2019). This is a command line utility that displays and cleans EA litter from files. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

Wireless LAN Monitor / XWLAN version 3.14 beta 10 has been released (2/16/2019). It is available as a XCenter widget as well as a standalone program, and features connection monitoring, multiple connection profiles, generation of WEP keys, and more.

The eCo Software runtimes have been updated (2/14/2019). These are libraries and PM controls used by programs written by eCo Software. The latest updates are available via FTP.

Major Major version 2.7 has been released (2/14/2019). It is a mailing list manager for OS/2 that lets you create multiple mailing lists on your machine, and is now open source. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

Paul Smedley has released (2/3/2019) an OS/2 port of Apache version 2.2.34, as well as a test version of 2.4.38. Apache is the premiere web server of the Internet.

Stendhal version 1.29 has been released (2/1/2019). This is a multi-player online adventure game / MMORPG, which requires Java 1.5 or later.

Paul Smedley has released (1/28/2019) an OS/2 build of PHP 5.4.45; also available are PHP 5.6.12 and PHP 5.5.28. Modules supported include bz2, curl, dbase, exif, filepro, gd, gettext, mbstring, mysql, mysqli, openssl, pdo_mysql, pdo_sqlite, pgsql, and sqlite. It features a module for Apache 2.2, as well as CGI and CLI versions. For more info on PHP, see the PHP web site.

PHPMyAdmin version 4.8.5 has been released (1/26/2019). This is a set of PHP scripts to administer MySQL over the web. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

NCurses version 6.1 has been ported (1/25/2019) to OS/2. This is a text-mode programming library from the Unix world.

BS_FF version 2.4 (1/23/2019) allows you to search for files with many different criteria, and perform various actions on them. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

eSchemes version 2.01.00 has been released (1/18/2019). This replaces the original eComStation Scheme editor and gathers the functionality of Window Themes, eStylerLite, Icon Themes, Sound Schemes, Pointer schemes, and other look & feel settings into one place. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

GNU Tar version 1.31 has been ported (1/18/2019) to OS/2. This is an archiving tool from the Unix world.

Google Droid fonts version 1.002 have beeen packaged (1/17/2019) for OS/2. This is a family of high-quality fonts originally designed for Google Android, and includes Droid Sans, Droid Sans Mono, and Droid Serif.

Btrieve Commander has been updated (1/17/2019). This is a Btrieve file viewer / editor. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

Stunnel version 5.50 has been ported (1/13/2019) to OS/2. This is a program that allows you to encrypt arbitrary TCP connections inside SSL (Secure Sockets Layer); you can secure non-SSL aware daemons and protocols (like POP, IMAP, LDAP, etc).

Lucide version 1.4.1 RC4 has been released (1/8/2019); this is a multi-purpose document viewer, using plugins for different formats. It currently supports PDF, DjVu documents, and JPEG files; additional formats can be added by third party programmers. The program is open source, and distributed under the CDDL and LGPL. The latest version can be found on netlabs.org FTP.

TZSet version 0.9 has been released (1/2/2019). This puts a valid timezone value into the record returned by the API call DosGetDateTime, and adjusts that value when summer time starts or ends. From VOICE News.

mozturbo version 0.5 has been released (12/25/2018). This package contains files to preload Mozilla DLLs, which will keep them loaded even when the program is closed and reopened; this is especially useful if loading the DLLs high, as due to a kernel bug, memory is not released when unloading DLLs that have been loaded into high memory.

Gilbert and the doors version 2.2 has been ported (12/24/2018) to OS/2. This is a 2D platformer game with 22 levels.

MySQL version 5.5.58 has been ported (1/13/2018) to OS/2. The MySQL database server is the world's most widely used open source database. The OS/2 port features named pipes, data replication, >2GB databases, and more. There is a mailing list for discussion.

PPWizard has been updated (11/5/2017). This is a generic preprocessor with specific support for HTML and REXX. This can be used to generate advanced web page designs.

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