The President's Message
by Tony Butka
It's the Year of the Monkey (I know this, being one of course) and SCOUG is hitting its stride with the April Meeting! First, we had Mark Abramowitz do a demonstration of some of the things that you can do with the Innotek Runtime - a variant of the Odin project (remember Odin)? Anyhow, since they have been porting a number of software programs like Acrobat, Java 1.4x, and most recently Open Office 1.1, they have been doing some serious tweaking to make sure that everything is stable, and have managed to create one runtime that works with all of their products.
Mark's take, being Mark, was to see what other Windows programs will run using the Innotek Runtime. For purposes of his demo, Mark took an Acrobat 4 object and cloned it to the desktop. Then he opened the properties setting and emptied out the path parameters and closed the object. Using this cloned object, he then simply used drag & drop to move a Windows Setup.exe program onto the object. The programs would then either install or not install. If the program didn't install, he simply get an error message - it wasn't as if the failure would mess up his OS/2 system.
Mark's challenge is to ask each of you to try this technique yourself. Use it to try and install your favorite Windows program, and then let us know how the installation went, and if you were ultimately able to get the program going. Along the same lines, my challenge to you is that if Mark's technique doesn't work on your favorite program, see if you can get any version of the program to work with any version of Odin. The principles are the same - try any combo of an Odin build with any versiion of your program, and let us know if you can get it running.
I know that there are reports on the Odin site about this, but for most of us our total experience with Odin was to try and do an install and then if it didn't work we quietly wrote Odin off and never tried it again. Why not give this another whirl? I'm going to try some old versions of Quicken like '99 Basic and mabye Real Player...
OK, the second part of our April program had Peter Skye and Bob Blair discussing the state of the SCOUG web server. The concensus of the group was that we need to do something with our e-mail and listserv server programs which are seriously creating problems at the moment. Bob (thank you, thank you) is going to try and get a user group rate on a very robust commercial program, Communigate, backed up by Lynn Maxon. On the web server side, Peter is going to post a list of requirements to the Board list, and a combination of Sheridan George, Steve Levine, and yours truly is going to see about helping. Apache 1.3 itself is running just fine, thank you very much, but a lot of the scripts need modification or rewriting. As soon as we know what is needed, we will put out a cry for help. Please consider joining with one of these two projects; its good karma and good learning as well. Besides, the more members who participate in the Server project, the less work any one person will have to do.
Finally at the last meeting, Lynn Maxon described what I call his perfect programming system, which consists of an editor which can run in either interpreter or compile mode, a 4gl programming language based on an extended version of PL/1, and all hooked into an SQL database, probably MySQL. You operate in interpreter mode to do the logic and try out ideas, and then shift to compile mode when everything is working right. Since all of the 'stuff' you're playing with resides in the SQL database, you have a completely seamless programming environment.
It also has the advantage of being open source in the best sense of the phrase. As Lynn correctly points out, most 'open source' programmers who make any money at it are really being paid by corporations like IBM or SUN to do specific development on something like Mozilla or Java or a specific application. So you're really still a wage slave, albeit an infinitely cooler one than an MS coder. With the 50 to 1 increase in programmer productivity that Lynn claims for his system, the individual programmer can once again play both as an individual and in small groups on a project that they like. I can hardly wait for some deliverables, like the editor component, so we can begin to see the reality of this concept.
OK, enough from me. Stay tuned as we explore some of the exciting new developments for our favorite operating system. I've purchased the shipping version of Open Office 1.1 for OS/2 for some $32 Euros, and should have a review and presentation soon. DFSee continues to amaze. And Jordan Fox has promised a presentation on WarpVision and Z! for the next month or so.
If you have comments or other suggestions, email Tony at
firstname.lastname@example.org See you next month.
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