ArcaOS 5 (code name Blue Lion) first went into beta testing at the beginning of February, and was originally scheduled to be released at the end of March. It has had some delays, with the latest news being that a final beta is going out to beta testers shortly. There will be two levels of pricing: a personal license is $129, with an intro price of $99 for the first 90 days of release, while a commercial license is $229. The former includes 6 months of support and maintenance updates, while the latter includes one year. An earlier announcement detailed some of what to expect: XWorkplace with ArcaOS branding and exclusive features (such as a new Removable Device widget); new apps including DVD Tools, Archive Tool, Dynamic Icons, ArcaBar, Lucide Document Viewer, and much more; new network filesystem connectivity (Samba 4?); updated kernel, with fixes and enhancements to better handle modern memory-hungry apps; new loader, allowing use of RAM above 4GB as a RAM disk; brand new installer; updated SNAP accelerated video driver; and more. To tide you over until then, they have released a free screensaver module. From VOICE News.
Rich Walsh has been working on an updated and improved version of PNG icon support (Sunny Icons), which will be included in ArcaOS as "Dynamic Icons". It has had a lot of bugs fixed, the user interface has been revamped, and you can dynamically enable or disable the custom icons. Rich notes that Dynamic Icons are incompatible with the split view feature of XWorkPlace.
The UniAud sound drivers have been refreshed (4/3/2017). 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 1.1.3. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.
The bitwiseworks Firefox fork began working on a port of Firefox 45.5esr at the end of November, and has made more progress on it the last couple weeks, but did not get a release out before it was obsoleted by 52esr. The final security update, 45.9esr, was released on April 18th. Note that the SeaMonkey project skipped from version 2.40 to 2.46, so an OS/2 build against 45esr would be equivalent to 2.42, which was never released on other platforms, and thus may have some extra problems.
Warpstock Europe 2017 will be held May 20-21 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, with a social event on Friday evening. Registration is available from Arca Noae, and there will be a video stream for those who cannot attend in person. You can expect the latest news from Bitwise and Arca Noae, as well as an OS/2 quiz. Thanks to Roderick Klein for the info.
XWorkplace version 1.0.11 has been released (12/14/2016); the primary 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. It requires WarpIN for the installation. XWorkplace is an open source project at netlabs.org. From VOICE News.
Bitwise has released (11/30/2016) their OS/2 port of Apache OpenOffice 4.1.3, which again reduces the memory footprint. Bitwise took over OpenOffice development from Mensys, but the primary developer on the project remains the same; they allow you to purchase the software in their online shop, as a means of donating to the ongoing development. 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 are plans for future updates to the WPS integration package, but reports indicate the previous version from Mensys continues to function with this release; 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 OS2World.
Arca Noae has been working with Paul Smedley to bring Kerberos and Samba 4.x to OS/2. Paul had a presentation at Warpstock (YouTube video, slides) on the topic.
Martin Iturbide from OS2World did live streaming from Warpstock, and the videos are available for viewing on YouTube. There are also some photos from the event. The sessions included: recent progress and future plans for device drivers, a live installation demo of Blue Lion aka ArcaOS 5.0, Samba 4, NetDrive, and Bitwise projects.
Roderick Klein wrote an article describing how VOICE has been spending donations, as well as where it plans to invest going forward. Most money came from PMMail licenses, and it has been spent on os2.org, Netlabs.org, funding BitWise Works to port Qt 5.5, hardware for webcam drivers, improvements to XWorkplace, and Warpstock events. There are plans to host an RPM repository, get the VOICE Newsletter going again, and perhaps run a YouTube channel. From VOICE News.
A year after the open letter for the Apache Foundation to acknowledge that OpenOffice is dead, there is discussion within the project to retire it, due to a lack of developers. The IBM Lotus Symphony team quit working on the project years ago, and it has been mostly abandoned for some time. Unfortunately, the OS/2 support was removed from LibreOffice source code long ago.
FAT32.IFS version 0.10 r242 has been released (4/23/2017). The latest work on this filesystem driver has focused on improving the format and chkdsk functions, VFAT support for FAT16, and early exFAT support.
Lucide version 1.4.0 has been released (4/21/2017); 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. You can find the latest version via FTP.
mksh R55 has been ported (4/21/2017) 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.
Jmol version 14.14.1 has been released (4/20/2017). This is a Java molecular viewer for three dimensional chemical structures; it requires Java 1.4 or higher.
Weasel version 2.35 has been released (4/17/2017). This is a "lightweight" SMTP/POP server that has multi-domain support, and is now open source under the GPL. There is also an IMAP extension available, which has some limitations.
AVxCAT (formerly FFMPEGCA) version 1.4.2 has been released (4/17/2017). This is a GUI front-end for ffmpeg and other tools, which allows converting audio and video between formats.
Logical Config.Sys Sort version 0.5.0 has been released (3/31/2017). This sorts the CONFIG.SYS file into logical sections.
PHPMyAdmin version 4.7.0 has been released (3/29/2017). This is a set of PHP scripts to administer MySQL over the web.
DFSee version 14.4 has been released (3/26/2017). 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. 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.
The eCo Software runtimes have been updated (3/20/2017). These are libraries and PM controls used by programs written by eCo Software. The latest updates are available via FTP. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.
WPA Supplicant version 2.6 has been ported (3/19/2017) to OS/2. This is a backend component for controlling the wireless networking connection. An older version of this program is included with XWLan. The latest build is not officially posted yet, pending testing.
Paul Smedley has released (3/17/2017) a test build of a Samba NetDrive plugin and client, based on Samba 4.6.0. 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).
PMView, the indispensable graphics viewer, has been updated (3/16/2017) to version 3.79. Version 3.x has several new features, including EXIF support, scripted batch conversions, lossless JPEG rotation, and flyover image info; see the full list of what's new for more info. Registered users can get their updates by following the download instructions received with their original purchase. From OS2World.
USB drivers build 10.216 have been released (3/12/2017); 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 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.
mchnchk version 2 and syscall version 1 have been released (3/12/2017). These are base device drivers to enable and handle machine check exceptions, and to allow execution of arbitrary code in ring 0.
Stendhal version 1.24 has been released (3/10/2017). This is a multi-player online adventure game / MMORPG, which requires Java 1.5 or later.