Posted by Kim Haverblad - Sunday, 02 December 2007
It is known that OS/2 isn't well supported by companies that make software or by individual developers, and OS/2 faces a high possibility of being replaced and/or withdrawn from the market. Hence this petition to IBM so the much-loved OS/2 Technology can be freely distributed and developed around the world. We understand that making OS/2 Open source will be beneficial for the IBM customers as well as for IBM, if the hurdle of third-party supplied code can be overcome. To this end we are willing to contribute our own efforts.
Making OS/2 Open Source will benefit all IBM customers that had invested in this OS. Customers that are willing to continue using OS/2 will get the benefits of an open OS that will be continuously developed by individual developers and/or software companies, their ownership fees will decrease and they will have the enhanced security of an OS that will continue to be relevant due to the open-ended nature of open source (following the BSD and Linux examples). Also customers choosing to migrate to other platforms will find it beneficial to have OS/2 open source, as it will be easier to adapt their programs or make an OS/2 interpreter or emulator for the transition.
We know that IBM faces a problem of making OS/2 Open Source because of the private sources from third party companies. What we ask of IBM is to release as much of the source as possible and list the OS/2 components that need an Open Source replacement. With a list of components that need to be replaced companies interested on OS/2 or individual developers can create Open Source software to fill this "holes" in the OS.
IBM will surely benefit from the open sourcing of OS/2 as the OS/2 Community will freely develop Open Source software as it has with BSD and Linux. IBM can take advantage of this and have less expenses on the maintainance due to contributions of developers around the world.
We are very pleased that IBM has moved to embrace open standards and we whole-heartedly agree that the benefits of Open Source software are many. We believe IBM understands that open source software is directly beneficial to the customers, as IBM is supporting a 110% Linux.
For customers that want to keep OS/2 or for those long-time users who are considering migrating to another OS the open sourcing of OS/2 makes perfect sense.
We also have an OS/2 community of developers that has produced several open source software for OS/2 and many are willing to continue doing so.
First petition round
More than two years ago on September 25, 2005, we sent you a letter with a petition that contained 11,613 signatures requesting IBM to release the source code of Operating System 2 (OS/2 Warp) - or at least release the source code that IBM owns - to the public under an open source license. More information about the first petition can be found here.
Second petition round
On November 19, 2007, we sent a second letter to IBM where we insisted on implementing the stipulations contained in this petition because we believe that OS/2 is an important part of the history of the Operating System, and furthermore, it still contains values that the computer science field considers unique.
More information regarding the second petition round, please check following news posting from the 2nd December, 2007.
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