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December 25, 2016 | November 13, 2016 | October 23, 2016 | previous

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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 announced some updates on ArcaOS 5 (code name Blue Lion). It is scheduled for GA release on March 31, 2017, and is planned to include: 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.

Arca Noae has been working with Paul Smedley to bring Kerberos and Samba 4.4 to OS/2. Paul had a presentation at Warpstock (YouTube video, slides) on the topic, and has made available some initial binaries for testing, which requires manually updating an existing installation of the Netdrive plugin. See the OS2World forum thread for all the details, including the latest (12/22/2016) update based on Samba 4.4.8.

The bitwiseworks Firefox fork began working on a port of Firefox 45.5esr at the end of November, and hopefully will have a working build out before it is obsoleted by 52esr, which is currently scheduled for early March. The 45esr branch will get the last security updates in mid-April. In semi-related news, the SeaMonkey project finally released a new version, after struggling for most of the year (they skipped from 2.40 to 2.46). This means that 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.

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.

The first issue of OS/2 Lab Notes has been made freely available as a PDF file. Printed issues are available for purchase; licensed users of PAF and/or OWPZip are entitled to free issues. From VOICE News.

Dave Yeo has released (7/17/2016) a second build of SeaMonkey 2.35, based on Gecko 38.8esr, and including the latest patches from the Bitwise fork of Firefox. There are additional external dependencies required now; see my Warpzilla Tips page for more information, and updated mozsupport and mozmedia packages.

Dave Yeo released (7/10/2016) a build of Thunderbird 38.8.0. Note that it has the same limitations as the current Firefox build; notably, printing support is broken. See my Warpzilla Tips page for more information.

Warpstock Europe 2017 will be held May 20-21 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, with a possible social event on Friday evening. Registration will be 50 Euro, and there will be a video stream for those who cannot attend in person. From VOICE News.

Lars Erdmann gave an interview about USB driver development at Warpstock Europe.

Arca Noae is asking for community assistance to gather as many MACHINE.CFG files from eComStation installations as possible. This will allow them to optimize the installation of Blue Lion for the types of hardware actively in use. From VOICE News.

VLC media player version 2.2.4 has been ported (6/6/2016) 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.

The bitwiseworks Firefox fork has released (5/27/2016) a new build, based on Gecko 38.8.0esr. This version fixes the problems with saved passwords, features support for downloadable web fonts, and enables MP4 video playback, but printing support is broken; printing to PDF is still possible. There are several additional external dependencies required now; see the README file, or my Warpzilla Tips page for a support package. You can donate to bitwise projects by buying sponsor units via their online shop.

Lewis Rosenthal's presentation at Warpstock Europe was covered in a TechRepublic article, where it was revealed that the new OS/2 distribution code named Blue Lion would be called ArcaOS 5.0, and is expected to be released before the end of 2016. Version 5.1 will provide additional language support, and is tentatively planned for a 2017 release. There will be a Commercial Edition with 12 months of updates and priority support, and a Personal Edition with 6 months of updates and support, offered at a lower price; pricing is not yet finalized. From OS2World and VOICE News.

bww and Arca Noae are actively seeking one or more developers to work on the Eclipse SWT project (also used used by SmartSVN and SmartGit) and ultimately, the next OpenJDK build. This is funded development work, while the end product will remain freely available to all. Previous efforts included improving the Odin32 library to support needed functionality; presumably, that would still be a part of this project. Thanks to Lewis Rosenthal for the info.

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.

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USB drivers build 10.213 have been released (12/22/2016); 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.

Paul Smedley has released (12/22/2016) a test build of the GCC 6.3 compiler, and would appreciate feedback from anyone who can test it. Also available (9/25/2016) is GCC 6.2.

Paul Smedley has released (12/19/2016) an OS/2 build of PMBitchX version 1.2.1. BitchX is an IRC client with a PM interface, with features that include: multiwindows, resizable windows, fonts configurable on the fly, scriptable pulldown menus, and full BitchX script compatibility.

DFSee version 14.0 has been released (12/18/2016). 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.

Lucide version 1.4.0 RC4 has been released (12/17/2016); 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. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

Jmol version 14.8.0 has been released (12/17/2016). This is a Java molecular viewer for three dimensional chemical structures; it requires Java 1.4 or higher.

rdesktop 20161215 has been ported (12/15/2016) to OS/2. This is a free RDP client which you can use to connect to a Windows machine.

Iron Spring PL/I beta version 0.9.9a has been released (12/15/2016). This is a compiler for the PL/I programming language, although it is currently missing some features. From VOICE News.

Weasel version 2.3 has been released (12/14/2016). 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. From VOICE News.

bitwise works has ported (12/13/2016) git version 2.11 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 OS2World.

Samba server version 1.3.0 has been released (12/7/2016), based on Samba 3.6.25. This allows you to share your files without the need of NetBIOS (IBM LAN Manager or IBM Peer). It is faster than previous releases, and is the first OS/2 implementation of the SMB2 protocol. The Samba Server Control Center (SSCC) was updated to 1.1.0, Samba User Management (SMBUsers) was updated to 2.0.0, and Samba Status Monitor (SMBMon) was updated to 2.5.0. From OS2World.

PHPMyAdmin version has been released (12/5/2016). This is a set of PHP scripts to administer MySQL over the web.

Amouse version 3.01.01 has been released (12/4/2016). This scroll mouse driver has USB support, improved Logitech support, an XCenter widget, and more. Updates to this driver are available to Arca Noae subscribers. From VOICE News.

Lars Erdmann has released (12/4/2016) 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.

Stendhal version 1.22 has been released (12/4/2016). This is a multi-player online adventure game / MMORPG, which requires Java 1.5 or later.

The Arca Noae MultiMac project has released (12/2/2016) updated NDIS drivers for subscribers: Intel Pro/1000 Legacy mmlem version 0.0.4 and Pro/1000 e1000b version 0.1.5 and mmigb version 0.0.3, Realtek mmre version 0.0.5, Atheros mmalc version 0.0.5 and mmale version 0.0.5, SysKonnect mmsk version 0.0.3, Attansic mmae version 0.0.3, Broadcom BCM4401 mmbfe version 0.0.2, and Marvell Yukon II mmmsk version 0.0.2. Also available (9/3/2015) are Nvidia nveth version 0.1.15, Intel e1000e version 0.2.8, and Realtek r8169 version 1.0.2. The latter two are considered deprecated, as they have been superseded by e1000b and mmre. Older source code (based on the Linux kernel) is available from the MultiMac Trac site. From VOICE News.

Beebeep version 3.0.9 has been ported (12/2/2016) to OS/2. This Qt4 app is a secure network chat, which doesn't require a server.

PMMail/2 version 3.22 has been released (11/25/2016). 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. From VOICE News.

UniView version 0.2 has been released (11/22/2016). This tool queries the file type of the opened help file (OS/2, Windows or plain text) and opens the file with the appropriate program.

DjView version 4.10.6 has been ported (11/21/2016) to OS/2. This is a viewer for DjVu documents, which uses the Qt4 libraries.

QXmlEdit version 0.9.5 has been ported (11/20/2016) to OS/2. This is a tree-based XML editor, which uses the Qt4 libraries.

kLIBCum version 1.0.10 has been released (11/18/2016). This is a kLIBC user management utility, built with VX-REXX.

Arachnophilia version 5.5 build 2922 has been released (11/18/2016). This is a web page editor and development tool, which requires Java 1.5 or higher.

Zippy version 0.09.00 has been released (11/15/2016). 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.

Some developer libraries have been ported (11/13/2016) to OS/2: GNU MP version 6.1.1 is for for arbitrary precision arithmetic, GnuTLS version 3.4.16 is a secure communications library implementing SSL and TLS, and Nettle version 3.3 is a cryptographic library.

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