Dec 11 2007

What if IBM actually had ported the OS/2 WPS code to Linux?

Published by under Operating System

Referring to the ongoing OS/2 Open Source Petition at OS2 World there is an interesting story from inside of IBM that goes back to 1998 when I worked at IBM in Stockholm and had the opportunity of meeting Jeff Smith who at that time had the short and consist titel as Director of OS/2 Business Line and Network Computing Software.

Jeff mentioned that there actually had been quite a bit of discussion if IBM should port the OS/2 WPS to Linux environment or not. Problem was that the top management wasn’t that convinced about this little project and felt that they already stretched check book enough with the WorkSpace On-Demand (remote boot of DOS, OS2 and Windows 98). Saddly, as he stated it; it was and still is a great piece of code.

Porting it to Linix might well have been a commercial activity for IBM; question if they had done that; I would guess that they would open-sourced that code sooner or later to the Linux community. So one way or another IBM could open-source parts of the code that both the OS/2 and as well the Linux community can benefit from and they have already done that earlier with the open-source of the JFS-code that came from OS/2 portion. Of course the OS/2 community gained by this by moving the open-sourced code back to OS/2 again.

Kim Haverblad

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