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November 15, 2015 | October 26, 2015 | October 18, 2015 | previous

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Arca Noae has posted their Blue Lion announcement and some FAQs, and there was some nice press coverage on TechRepublic, The Register, and Network World.

The presentations from Warpstock 2015 are available online; they cover Samba, VOICE, Alex Taylor's apps, CUPS, SNAP Graphics, Kerberos, and more. Also, videos of some sessions from Warpstock 2014 are available from the event's Sessions page, in Ogg format (plays natively in Mozilla browsers).

Lewis Rosenthal announced at Warpstock that Arca Noae is now licensed by IBM to create a new OS/2 distribution; it is currently codenamed "Blue Lion" and has a tentative release of Q3 2016. It will be based on OS/2 Warp 4.52 (MCP2) and the SMP kernel, with a new installer which does not require floppies or optical media (USB and possibly network installs), the Arca Noae driver updates including ACPI, USB, and MultiMac, and an updated version of SNAP Graphics. Lewis made it clear that there is no agreement between Arca Noae and XEU (formerly Mensys), and they intend to be a better OS/2 distribution than eComstation. Note that eComstation has been effectively dead since December 2013, despite some vague promises earlier this year that 2.2 would finally be released in October 2015.

The bitwiseworks Firefox fork imported the Firefox 38.2.1esr sources a couple weeks ago, and has been busily working towards a new release. The new version will feature improved HTML5 audio support via ffmpeg. There is also some signs of life on the VirtualBox 5.0 for OS/2 project; VOICE News reports that they are partnering with XEU. VirtualBox is a feature rich, high performance virtualization product, and is the only professional solution that is open source. You can donate to bitwise projects by buying sponsor units via their online shop.

Dave Yeo released (8/8/2015) a build of Thunderbird 31.8.0, based on the Bitwise fork of the Gecko 31 "Extended Support Release" branch. See my Warpzilla Tips page for more information.

There are some calling for the Apache Foundation to acknowledge that OpenOffice is dead, and point people to LibreOffice instead. The IBM Lotus Symphony team quit working on the project a year ago, and it is all but abandoned now. Unfortunately, the OS/2 support was removed from LibreOffice source code long ago.

Dave Yeo has released (7/26/2015) an updated build of SeaMonkey 2.28, based on the Bitwise fork of the Gecko 31 "Extended Support Release" branch. As with the Firefox 31esr build, it now requires libkai; see my Warpzilla Tips page for more information. Note that SeaMonkey 2.28 was skipped on the "tier 1" platforms, so there may be some additional rough edges due to that.

Martin Iturbide from OS2World noted that the OS/2 drivers included in the VirtualBox Guest Additions were updated for VirtualBox 5 (for other platforms). The updated files include gengradd.dll, VBoxControl.exe, VBoxGuest.sys, vboxmouse.sys, VBoxReplaceDll.exe, and VBoxService.exe, and are dated July 9, 2015.

The bitwiseworks Firefox fork has released (7/24/2015) a beta 5 build, based on Gecko 31.8.0esr. KOMH ported the current audio library (libcubeb), so HTML5 audio will function again, using his libkai interface that supports both DART and UniAud. Javascript performance is also improved, with some crashes fixed. However, the IPC plugin support remains buggy, so out of process plugins are still disabled; fortunately, the need for plugins continues to rapidly decline. There are additional external dependencies required now; see my Warpzilla Tips page for more information. The next release will be based on Firefox 38esr, with improved HTML5 audio support via ffmpeg. You can donate to bitwise projects by buying sponsor units via their online shop. From VOICE News.

Bitwise has announced they are still working on porting Eclipse SWT to OS/2, which builds on top of OpenJDK and Odin, although there doesn't seem to be much activity the last couple months. 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. Additionally, they are planning to port OpenJDK 8 to OS/2 later this year. You can donate to bitwise projects by buying sponsor units via their online shop. From VOICE News.

Arca Noae has been working with Paul Smedley to bring Kerberos to OS/2, which will be used for a new Samba client (and NetDrive plugin) based on the latest Samba 4.2.2. The NetDrive plugin will have new settings to enable NTLM v1 or Kerberos 5 authentication, to override the default NTLM v2 authentication. Current builds have been tested against Windows Server 2008 R2 and 2012 R2, as well as Samba 3.5, 3.6, 4.1, and 4.2 servers running on Linux, and against NetWare CIFS and Windows 2000, XP, 7, and 8. Thanks to Lewis Rosenthal for the info.

Arca Noae has licensed the SNAP Graphics for OS/2 source code from Alt Richmond Inc., the company that bought the SciTech SNAP technology several years ago. Mensys previously licensed it as well, but never utilized it in any way (at least, no fixes or updates were ever released publicly). Arca Noae hopes to add support for additional hardware, starting with newer Intel graphics chipsets. From VOICE News.

VLC media player version 2.2.1 has been ported (4/25/2015) 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.

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Clipgrab version 3.5.5 has been ported (11/14/2015) to OS/2. This Qt4 app allows you to download Flash videos from various web sites, including YouTube.

SDLMAME version 0.167 has been ported (11/13/2015) to OS/2. This is an SDL version of the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator.

Qupzilla version 1.8.9 has been ported (11/13/2015) to OS/2. This Qt4 app is a Webkit-based browser.

WPSClassEdit version 1.6.1 has been released (11/13/2015). This is a utility to easily manage WPS classes, it can register, deregister, and create instances of WPS classes. It is based on VClassed, which was released under the GPL.

PMMail/2 version 3.20 has been released (11/12/2015). Features include support for a new spell checker (aspell), and the use of XML for message indexing. VOICE purchased the rights and source code for this popular email client; VOICE sponsorship is required as part of the registration, but the demo version can be used for one account, and some other limitations. The project is looking for additional volunteer programmers. Thanks to Neil Waldhauer for the news.

Jmol version 14.4.0 has been updated (11/7/2015). This is a Java molecular viewer for three dimensional chemical structures; it requires Java 1.4 or higher.

Agena version 2.9.2 has been released (11/4/2015). This is an interpreted language suited for sophisticated procedural programming, with syntax like simplified Algol 68, with elements taken from Lua and SQL.

Universal Port driver version 1.0 beta1 has been released (11/3/2015). This will eventually become the universal successor to smb.pdr, cups.pdr, ecups.pdr, eRedMan, PrintMon, lpr32.pdr, and quePDF. It will take data coming from a printer port and pass it as a temporary file to a program as a parameter.

WarpIN version 1.0.21 has been released (11/2/2015). This is an open source PM installer / uninstaller, that can also install quietly through environment variables. It also offers self-installing executables. The latest version can be found on Hobbes.

hwman version 4 has been released (11/1/2015). This is a WPS class replacement for the OS/2 Hardware Manager, which features dynamic updating.

Texmaker version 4.5 has been ported (11/1/2015) to OS/2. This Qt4 app is a LaTeX editor.

A third unofficial pre-release of XWorkplace version 1.0.10 has been released (10/30/2015); the readme indicates changes for ACPI shutdown and sliding focus exclusions. 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. It requires WarpIN for the installation. XWorkplace is an open source project at netlabs.org, and has a bug tracking system. From OS2World.

BiblioteQ version 2015.10.28 has been ported (10/28/2015) to OS/2. This Qt4 app is a library management suite.

Beebeep version 3.0.0 has been ported (10/27/2015) to OS/2. This Qt4 app is a secure network chat, which doesn't require a server.

Xplanet version 1.3.0 has been ported (10/27/2015) to OS/2. This is a renderer for planetary and solar system images based on the NASA SPICE Toolkit.

texstudio version 2.10.4 has been ported (10/25/2015) to OS/2. This Qt4 app is a LaTeX editor.

NZBGet version 16.2 has been ported (10/25/2015) to OS/2. This is a binary newsgrabber, which downloads files from usenet.

AVxCAT (formerly FFMPEGCA) version 1.3.5 has been released (10/24/2015). This is a GUI front-end for ffmpeg and other tools, which allows converting audio and video between formats. From OS2World.

exceptq version 7.11.2 has been released (8/29/2015); there is a WarpIn package of just the runtime. This adds a comprehensive trap reporting facility to your app with just 5 lines of code. Reports include: the call stack, disassembly of the faulting instructions, a stack dump, a listing of dlls loaded, and more. It features support for the XQS symbol file format, used in Mozilla apps and other newer software.

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