Feedback Search Top Backward Forward

The News

Written by Aram Agajanian




IBM released new printer drivers for HP LaserJet, PostScript, and other printers. They are available at the OS/2 Device Driver Repository.

OS/2 was used at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics for reporting official results, among other things. IBM has created a web page to explain the role that OS/2 and other IBM products played in the competition.


IBM's Network Computing Software Division has formed a new services group to help customers with maintaining OS/2 applications, migrating to Java, Y2K and European currency issues, security, and server-managed clients. (From WarpFM InfoFlash Vol. 3, Flash #1.)

Enterprise Development

On February 18, IBM announced IBM VisualAge Generator Templates version 3 for OS/2 Warp 4.0 and Windows NT 4.0. This product is an automation tool for IBM VisualAge Generator, a tool which builds components to allow modern systems, such as Java clients, C++ clients, and Web browsers, to access legacy data in DB2, VSAM, ISM, and other systems.


An OS/2 version of the V application framework was released on February 24. V supports most standard GUI objects including windows, menus, status bars, tool bars, a drawing canvas, dialogs, and many controls. Printing is also supported. V frameworks are also available for Windows and X (UNIX), so an application written in the V API can compile and run on all three operating systems. More information is available at the V web site.

JMA Software has released some OS/2 and DOS source code to the public. The source code can be used freely but comes with no warrantees.


Back Software and Consulting, Inc. has released Rtf2Ipf version 1.00, a tool for converting help systems from Microsoft Platforms to OS/2 IPF. The tool allows a content author to create OS/2 help files using tools created for Microsoft platforms. A time-limited version of Rtf2Ipf is available.

Software Update Tool

The BinPatch binary patch creation utility can be found at the Kay Hayen Software web site. The latest version of BinPatch is 2.0a.


The 9th International Rexx Symposium will be held from 11-13 May 1998 at Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, USA. Mike Cowlishaw, author of Rexx and NetRexx, is slated to attend and speak about NetRexx. More information can be obtained from the REXX Language Association.

IBM released NetRexx v1.128 and has made it available on the web site at the IBM UK Laboratories at Hursley Park in Winchester, England. NetRexx is a "human-oriented" programming language designed to simplify Java programming.

An alpha release of VisualNetRexx is available for public download at the VisualNetRexx web site. Included in this release are an editor, an interface to the NetRexx compiler, and project and catagory tree views. Additional tools such as a Class Designer, a GUI Layout Editor, a Debugger, and a Hierarchy browser are promised.


Data Representations is starting a beta test of Simplicity for Java, their forthcoming Rapid Application Development tool. Simplicity is designed to allow developers to build Java applications and applets visually. Java classes are executed within the Simplicity environment, so the the visual layout is exactly what should appear in a runtime environment. Those selected to participate in the beta test will receive a free license. Simplicity requires a Java 1.1-level development environment.

The MaxBase database system for Java 1.1 has been updated to version 1.15. Support for printed reports has been integrated into the base product, and other enhancements include performance optimizations. A shareware version of MaxBase version 1.15 is available at BMT Micro.


There are a few updated items in the OS/2 Device Driver Kit since January. There is a driver for Visual Circuits Reel-Time MPEG playback board and an updated version of ALP assembler (version 4.00.005). MASM 6.00 and Microsoft C Compiler Version 6.00A.04 are now also base parts of the DDK.


An IBM spokesman recommended that releases of Netscape Navagator 2.02 for OS/2 obtained from it's Software Choice web site prior to February 14, 1998 should be downloaded again. In a notice on WarpCast, Timothy Sipples said the software has been updated to correct a problem which caused it to hang on certain web pages.

IBM has a 128-bit version available for shipping costs to citizens or legal permanent residents of the US or Canada. Contact IBM at 1-800-513-7043 in the US and 1-800-426-2255 in Canada. (From WarpFM InfoFlash Vol. 3, Flash #1 and WarpCast.)

The Nescape Navigator Unofficial Home Page for OS/2 Warp home page has returned at a new location. It is maintained by yet a different programmer working on Communicator for OS/2, Bill Law.

Snow Storm Software has announced Voyager, a plug-in for Netscape Navigator for OS/2 2.02 that supports most of the VRML 2.0 specification. The product is immediately available and can be purchased on Snow Storm's secure server for immediate download.

IBM has released version 1.1 of its Bamba plug-in for streaming audio and video at the Alphaworks site. Support for Live Protocol has been added in this release.

Recently, there have been numerous signs that Netscape Communicator 4.0 for OS/2 will be released in the second half of 1998. The latest indication comes from WarpFM InfoFlash Volume 3, Flash #1, which reports that the "follow-on Netscape product for OS/2 [to Navigator 2.02 is] targeted for 2H98".


The developers of Virtual Pascal (VP) have stated that they will begin a beta test of a v2.0 release at about the beginning of April 1998. This release is to support OS/2, Win32, and DOS as target platforms and OS/2 and Win32 as development environments. Migration tools from other Pascal environments are also planned. Participation in the beta requires a fee to be paid and entitles the participant to the final product at no additional charge. Orders are being taken at BMT Micro.

Document Technology

GSView 2.5 for OS/2 has been released by Russell Lang. GSView is a graphical interface for Alladin GhostScript, a PostScript and PDF interpreter that is free for end-users. New features include improved user interface and printing controls.


Datarescue has announced the immediate availablility of IDA Pro 3.74, an interactive disassembler with versions for OS/2, Win32, and DOS. New features such as an improved user interface and regular expression searches are added to an impressive feature set including C++ name mangling and unicode support.


PGP 5.0 international version is being ported to OS/2 by William H. Geiger III. A second beta of this port was recently released online at Geiger's home page.

A Response from IBM

Carsten, EDM/2's Editor in chief writes:

Last month's interview with IBM spawned a flurry of responses, many of which I forwarded to Tim Sipples at IBM, knowing that he cares about the perception of IBM in the OS/2 community. Here is Tim's response to one of these letters:

Lotus eSuite is really the first example of a collection of day-to-day business applications for the Internet, designed specifically for those who use core functions (or who wish to embed these functions in other applications). For word processing it's "Write", for example -- very task-oriented, which is what Java is really well suited for.

The question of file formats is a very important one. I think eSuite is taking the right approach. The word processing component ("bean") uses HTML as its common format. That's obviously helpful, since it doubles as a web authoring tool, and just about everything can now import and export HTML. But, more than that, Lotus is working on having the backend server handle file translation chores if needed. (If you're willing to "roll your own" you can use the new Smartsuite for OS/2 Warp 4 and its REXX scripting capability to provide a backend file translation server already.)

Another way Lotus is working with Javasoft is by providing the Infobus technology (now part of Java) to permit exchange of information between Java beans in a common, published way. That should help smooth the file translation issue.

Timothy F. Sipples
IBM Network Computing Software (Chicago)
Sent with Lotus Notes for OS/2 Warp

News items to