Written by Oscar Gustafsson
Yet More News
With the release of Merlin, Prominare Inc has released new versions of their development tools Prominare Designer and Prominare Validator. Prominare Designer is a GUI development tools that allows OS/2, Windows and Windows NT development from an OS/2 PM based environment. The new release 5a is an update from release 5 and now offers support for the new Merlin notebook, push button and MLE styles. General features includes capability of importing and converting resources from Windows to OS/2 and from OS/2 to Windows, support for custom controls and PM Control Extensions (PMCX) and capabilities to modify the source generation rules so that the source conforms with individual companies' programming standards. A demo is available at ftp://prominare.com/pub/prominare/pdd.zip (2,240,930 bytes). Prominare Validator is a monitoring tool that mointors an applications API calls and reports source module and line number of errors as they occur. It compares every parameter in an API call with its OS/2 Technical Reference definition and returns information what is wrong, It also monitors the API returns so that not only the expected error returns will be detected. Everything can be viewed in real-time as the executable is running. The update adds support for the new APIs found in Merlin. A demo is available at ftp://prominare.com/pub/prominare/valdemo.zip (1,639,548 bytes).
As most of you probably already know, Netscape has released the first beta of their Netscape Navigator for OS/2. More interesting for the developers are the possibility to develop plug-ins for different types of data. The plug-in SDK, the Navigator beta and more information are available at http://www.internet.ibm.com/browsers/netscape/warp/.
Documentation of 331 Win APIs are now available via http. Its not the OS/2 API project that has got a major updat,e but Quarter House Publishing that has put the entire Win section of their book The OS/2 Warp Programmer's Sidekick on their site at http://www.teleport.com/~qhorse. The OS/2 API project has by the way got updated with approximately 20 new pages, but still needs submissions, so if you are really into an API, why not write some documentation for it and share with the rest of the OS/2 community. Check it out at http://www.iqpac.com/edm2/os2api/.
Increasing the speed of your programs by decreasing the pages needed to run it. That is what Functional Softwares LXOPT claims to do. By analysing your program during runtime it typically decrease the number of pages loaded by 50 percent, something that is important in low memory situations, where the CPU can do better thing than page. With version 1.21 it is released as freeware, when used on programs or DLLs smaller than 256 kbytes. So it may be worth to check it out. A fully functional demo is available at ftp://ftp-os2.cdrom.com/pub/os2/demos/lxopt121.zip (472,559 bytes).
Would you like to run your OS/2 command line programs in DOS? If then Laserstars Technologies may have the solution for you. LSxPower is a toolkit that allows command line programs to be run not just in OS/2, but in any major 32-bit DOS platform, including Windows, UNIX and DOS memory mangers. It supports Virtual Pascal. More information at Laserstars Technologies.
The Shareware Author Index mentioned in the last news column has added the possibility to add a link to a ZDnet review and to online registration forms. Available at http://mini.net/sax.
Also out this time is IBMs new source-level debugger, Remote Interactive Code Analysis Tool (Remote ICAT). It is only available on DevCon 11 (and on). You need Warp 4.0, Warp Server SMP 4.0 or Warp 3.0 with at least fixpack 24 for it to work. You can debug IFS, device drivers and sub-systems in addition to ordinary applications. It was presented at ColoradOS/2 so more information will probably follow.
IBM are also releasing new versions of Visual Age for Basic now and then. To get a test version go to http://www.software.ibm.com/ad/vabasic/, just be prepared for the fact that the OS/2 client package is about 27 MB... It seems like cross-platform basic will be a reality now as it is also available for Windows 3.1 and Windows 95/NT (the server is also available for AIX).
There are three (or four) new database tools available. First we have RexxGDB2, programmed by Simon Husin. This is a DLL for use with REXX to access DB2 databases. The new version includes support for long SQL questions and result strings, and safe multi-threading. Availability is unclear right now but check hobbes and ftp.leo.org. The second one is a DLL for REXX as well, RexxBase from American Coders. This one is for dBase III and IV databases and has over 40 functions to manipulate the databases. You can contact Joe McVerry for more infomation. RexxBase is available from hobbes at ftp://hobbes.nmsu.edu/os2/dev32/rexx/rxbas2220.zip. The last one is the Bullet Database Engine Toolkit 2.11 from 40th Floor. It is a toolkit for dBase files and is available not only for OS/2, but for DOS and different Windows flavours as well. It also includes Bullet/REXX which is free. Fully functional evaluation versions are available from the 40th Floor home, hobbes or cdrom.
Two updated version of editors have also seen the light. Preditor 3.0 from Compuware, whose new features include Java syntax highlighting. Preditor is also available for Windows 95 and Windows NT with cross platform support for all customizations made to the editor. For more information check out http://www.compuware.com/products/iad/preditor/preditor.htm. A demo is available at ftp://compuware.com/pub/iad/preditor/demos/. The second one is Mr Ed 1.14 by Matt Pfersdorff. New features include HTML and Modula-2 syntax highlighting and a new section search function which will search the current buffers and the current directory for function declarations. The English version is available from cdrom at ftp://ftp-os2.cdrom.com/pub/os2/editors/mred114e.zip and the German version from leo at ftp://ftp.leo.org/pub/comp/os/os2/editors/mred114g.zip.
Source Mapper is a tool which generates a map of your C code. The map includes information which functions are called where and from where a function is called. The information generated can help when documenting a program or when you have to understand a program written by someone else. It is available for both OS/2 and DOS from http://home.sn.no/~leilarse.
Do you need to disassemble programs? Then Data Rescue's interactive disassembler IDA PRO 3.5 might be something for you. It is a multi-operating system, multi-processor, auto commenting disassembler and includes a native OS/2 version. More information at http://www.datarescue.com/ida.htm where an evaluation version is available.
A port of Holger Veit's fastio$ I/O device driver is now available for use with the Watcom compiler with the name wfastio.sys. Look at http://avenger.mri.psu.edu/os2page.html under the writing your own device driver-section.
fPrint UK Ltd have updated their Virtual Pascal demo to version 1.1 which is the current version of their compiler. Available at http://www.fprint.co.uk/vpascal.
Finally, it seems like the TCP/IP toolkit is available on the net. It is included in the MPTS 5.0 upgrade for Warp 3.0, available at ftp://ps.boulder.ibm.com/ps/products/mpts/fixes/english-us/wr08210. In the toolkit directory you will find various headers and DLLs for all the supported protocols including IP. If you do not have Warp 4.0 you will also need ftp://ps.boulder.ibm.com/ps/products/tcpip/fixes/v3.0os2/un00067 which will make IP work with the new MPTS. I do not know how legal it is to use this, it may be a new freetcp, where you use updates you are not allowed to use. Check this out before you use it!
If you have any comments, corrections or OS/2 development news that will not be in the regular newsgroups, then please send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.