The Shell Game: Update

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by Monte Copeland

In The Developer Connection News Volume 3 (also on the Developer Connection for OS/2 CD-ROM), we ran an article on alternative shells for OS/2. The article describes several ways to shell OS/2. Use the Browser to view the article.


Anyone programming the Workplace Shell should delve into the new Developer's Toolkit for OS/2 Warp, Version 3, which is on The Developer Connection for OS/2 Special Edition. The Workplace Shell in OS/2 Warp, Version 3 uses SOM 2.x and is DSOM enabled. Now you can invoke methods on Workplace Shell objects from processes other than the Workplace process! See Sheila Harnett's article in The Developer Connection News Volume 5 on this subject.

Here are some follow-up notes to using and programming alternative shells for OS/2...

MShell, a RUNWORKPLACE shell, came with source code on The Developer Connection for OS/2. Recall that MShell on OS/2 2.1 needed an undocumented API, SplQmInitialize, to start the spooler. As of OS/2 Warp, Version 3 this API is no longer needed. Now the spooler is started by PMSHELL.EXE running as the PROTSHELL process. Calling SplQmInitialize when the spooler is already running returns 0x4FFD.

TShell is a character-only shell that removes Presentation Manager from OS/2. On OS/2 Warp, Version 3, TShell works as it did on 2.1 and 2.11. Read the article on TShell in IBM's Personal Systems July/August 1994 issue. The article describes OS/2 and TShell in a production environment. It is complete with CONFIG.SYS and required-DLL listings that show the slimmest OS/2 possible. The article also explains an installation technique that uses SYSINSTX.EXE.

OS/2 LAN Server is now shipping Version 3.0.1. This version removes some dependencies on Presentation Manager from the LAN requester code. Now, you can run the requester on OS/2 and TShell. You might have to remove PMSHAPI.DLL, PMSPL.DLL, and PMWIN.DLL from your LIBPATH, because LAN Server uses these DLLs as a test of whether or not Presentation Manager is running.

Reprint Courtesy of International Business Machines Corporation, © International Business Machines Corporation