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Old 24 February 2017, 00:19   #1
eXeler0
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Submit your best idea for the most realistic path to open source Amiga OS 3.x

Amiga OS 3.x could be open sourced if everyone sitting on their respective part would give up the rights and return it to its rightful owner (the community, of course ;-)
But as we ALL already know, there are reasons for this not happening yet in over 2 decades.

Most of the complexity of mixed ownerships is known and has been beaten to death in thousands of other threads. So lets not go into too much detail about that again..
What I'd like to see in this thread is the best ideas about how to go about to make it happen.
That includes simply talking to the right people, persuade them to do the sensible thing, or kickstarter projects to gather cash to buy rights.. (Hey Phil, need ideas for future Kickstart Projects :-) Or if you have a billionaire friend who wants to do something nice for a geeky community. :-) Or if you can persuade Google that it needs to be preserved for historical reasons and can not be in the hands of a pile of greedy optimists ;-)
Whatever it takes, really....

So-- fellow Amigans.. give me your best shot
HOW could this be done.. ?
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Old 24 February 2017, 00:55   #2
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Amiga Inc., A-EON/Hyperion, Haage-Partner and Cloanto to be fired into the sun.

Not joking.
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Old 24 February 2017, 00:57   #3
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1. Don't ever pay for AmigaOS.
2. Wait until those parties who have monetary interests in selling AmigOS lose their interest.
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Old 24 February 2017, 01:55   #4
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While they are still milking money from it they will never give it up for free. Money talks unfortunately and unless a large brown envelope full of it came from somewhere this is a pipe dream Crowd funding is possible but you would have to have an idea of what it would cost to get the current parasites to agree to it.
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Old 24 February 2017, 02:15   #5
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^^ what idrougge said

I think AROS is the only realistic way forward.

I would also like the remaining bits of the AMIX kernel open-sourced...
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Old 24 February 2017, 03:58   #6
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Why would the rightful owner be 'the community' ? It never was in the community... The rightful owners were Commodore, which u can't give back to something that died out.

The OS was never open source to begin wit.. its like saying Apple OS X should be open source and giving to the community..... I don't agree with that either.

Parts of the Amiga OS maybe, but not all of it... I don't think there should come a time where "it's been under licensed for far too long, its time to make this open" That's not for the community to say. As long as someone can take over the license, then u have a deal.. But u can't say "it's time" because no one knows who or if there are others who would take over till it happens.

Once u make something open source, then they start asking for donations to "keep it alive' Something. if its under license, u have no worry about that part.

Last edited by amiga_Forever; 24 February 2017 at 04:09.
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Old 24 February 2017, 04:41   #7
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Enough money to buy out the rights, whatever "enough" is. Waiting only works for vultures, who are experts at it.

Though I still feel like the ownership is wobbly at best and like some kind of Mexican stand-off where those who are shouting the loudest and point at each other have a nervous truce about not challenging each others rights.

Myself, I'd also like to see the work done on AAA made available. If that was ever rescued.
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Old 24 February 2017, 17:50   #8
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Best advice:



(oh yeah and never buy anything from Cloanto again, I can't believe this community still supports those vultures, it's the biggest Amiga scene generated facepalm of history)

amiga_Forever, I have no words for you. I just wonder how your life is having that kind of mindset.
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Old 24 February 2017, 20:23   #9
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Possible solution : rewrite it completely.
This is the AROS way but it is slower than AOS3.x on same hardware. A rewrite in asm, on the contrary, would be faster than the original.
Program after program, rom library after rom library, it is time consuming and a daunting task, but nevertheless doable.

Now who can and is willing to do it, is another story.
Well. Give me enough money to pay my bills for several years and i'll do it
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Old 24 February 2017, 22:13   #10
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Originally Posted by meynaf View Post
Possible solution : rewrite it completely.
This is the AROS way but it is slower than AOS3.x on same hardware. A rewrite in asm, on the contrary, would be faster than the original.
Program after program, rom library after rom library, it is time consuming and a daunting task, but nevertheless doable.
I have considered this also. It makes more sense for the low level stuff and drivers. It would probably be possible for the OS to be at least 20% smaller while primarily optimizing for performance. PeterK's icon.library has accomplished much more but it is has taken considerable concentration. There are much bigger high level libraries which would take much longer to recreate in assembler. It would make sense to do them in C. Heiroglyph had a good idea of allowing every C function to have an optional assembler function which could be used with a switch for easier debugging. I just wish there was a better lightweight Amiga 68k C compiler that did a reasonable job of 68k code output. VBCC had such promise but it seems to have stopped improving and perhaps even declined in the 68k backend. If you were going to pay someone to improve 68k code, paying for improved compiler backends may be more productive. Then again funding good mass produced cheap 68k hardware could spur interest and allow it to happen without funding compilers. People don't want to waste their time developing for something dead. Funding new software development or new hardware gives the chicken and the egg problem with which should be funded first. Certainly funding software and development for a few thousand people has failed (look at PPC efforts).

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Now who can and is willing to do it, is another story.
Well. Give me enough money to pay my bills for several years and i'll do it
You, Don Adan, PeterK, me and maybe Cosmos (unpredictable) could probably cooperate and share code on a new 68k assembler AmiOS, AmigOS, AOS or whatever we would want to call it. Perhaps AROS could be used for the high level stuff with some optimizations. It would be helpful to use similar syntax and formatting which we would have to decide. Target would probably be 68020-68060. Decisions could be made by vote. Probably not much motivation without new mass produced hardware or cash though.
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Old 25 February 2017, 02:57   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meynaf View Post
Possible solution : rewrite it completely.
This is the AROS way but it is slower than AOS3.x on same hardware. A rewrite in asm, on the contrary, would be faster than the original.
Program after program, rom library after rom library, it is time consuming and a daunting task, but nevertheless doable.

Now who can and is willing to do it, is another story.
Well. Give me enough money to pay my bills for several years and i'll do it
Ok, lets play with this idea.. How much would you need for say.. 2 years.. (lets say there was a "Indiegogo" with a certain cash target)
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Old 25 February 2017, 03:36   #12
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Originally Posted by amiga_Forever View Post
Why would the rightful owner be 'the community' ? It never was in the community... The rightful owners were Commodore, which u can't give back to something that died out.

The OS was never open source to begin wit..
Look man, don't wanna be rude, but can we skip the autistic approach? Don't you think everyone here knows that Commodore owned it and that it obviously wasn't open sourced?
Don't you get that we are talking about software that hasn't been developed for 20 years for a platform that died commercially 20+ years ago and the original owners perished 23 years ago. The only reason it hasn't completely fallen of the map is the community that's left. Without it, it has zero commercial value and is of no use to anyone else outside the community. Even $30 hardware can run free Linux adequatly these days, by far outperforming Amiga. So when I say it belongs to the community I'm not being "Rainman" here, meaning it in a literal, legal way, I'm mean "it should belong to the community because we are the only one left using it and therefore the only one left interested in seeing it being improved and the only one that will care if it goes away..."

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its like saying Apple OS X should be open source and giving to the community..... I don't agree with that either.
Really? In case you haven't noticed, Mac OS is still developed and the hardware platform alive and commercially used.
None of the legal holders of OS 3.x are actually developing it.. they are re-releasing the same crap over and over again.. And just recently, Hyperion changed like 2 lines of text and re-sold it as an updated version. ;-) And none of them is even remotely near any sort of hardware dev project even slightly related to 68k.


Quote:
Originally Posted by amiga_Forever View Post
Parts of the Amiga OS maybe, but not all of it... I don't think there should come a time where "it's been under licensed for far too long, its time to make this open" That's not for the community to say. As long as someone can take over the license, then u have a deal.. But u can't say "it's time" because no one knows who or if there are others who would take over till it happens.

Once u make something open source, then they start asking for donations to "keep it alive' Something. if its under license, u have no worry about that part.
I'm asking everyone for good ideas, because I think it would be nice to have all the clever thoughts collected in one place/thread.
In case you didn't notice, Kickstarter was mentioned in original post, obviously I was toying with the idea to raise cash to *buy* the source from the holders. I'm not saying they have an obligation to give it to us for free (even if they should ;-) - its about understanding the value of a product in relation to its users.
We, are a limited bunch and not getting any younger.. There are still a lot of skilled Amiga coders out there, but they are getting older and interest for the platform fades slowly if you're stuck with the same old thing.
Those selling it to squeeze out the last few cents really should understand this situation better. If they cared about the platform, they should not take pride in holding the source hostage in order to squeeze out a few more bucks. They should take a good look in the mirror and ask themselves what the hell they are really doing ;-)

[I also think Hyperion has some twisted idea that if OS3.x was open sourced it would put their life-long project that is PPC based OS4 in jeopardy but that's just plain crazy. They have been putting themselves in jeopardy for many years by not seeing the obvious. PPC is a dead end and has been for many years.. Only way to stay relevant in the future is to port OS4 to ARM so that ppl can run it on Raspberry Pie or something like that. Then maybe there is a market for new software.]
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Old 25 February 2017, 10:50   #13
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Ok, lets play with this idea.. How much would you need for say.. 2 years.. (lets say there was a "Indiegogo" with a certain cash target)
I doubt 2 years are enough to finish the work, i'd rather plan for 3 or 4, but that's something like 50000 EUR per year - i.e. enough to pay the bills (and taxes !) while working on it full time, and provide some security margin as it's not job security at all. May look a lot, but for the work it represents that's quite cheap.
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Old 25 February 2017, 12:07   #14
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Are there any lawyers in the community, in the right field who would work pro-bono (+crowd fund?) to untangle the licensing/copyright issues?

Then perhaps a reasonable offer could be made to obtain it and release it?

Other than a ground-up rewrite, there's always the release it (I'm sure the full os 3.1 source is out there *somewhere*) and see who sues method? (Anyone in a country where copyright is largely ignored?)

Beyond that I'm not sure that there are any other realistic options?
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Old 25 February 2017, 20:45   #15
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None of the legal holders of OS 3.x are actually developing it.. they are re-releasing the same crap over and over again.. And just recently, Hyperion changed like 2 lines of text and re-sold it as an updated version. ;-) And none of them is even remotely near any sort of hardware dev project even slightly related to 68k.
A-Eon has the Megamix sound card which is classic (68k) Amiga only. A-Eon has sent mixed signals about classic Amiga support though. It is not clear if they are just trying to portray an image of classic Amiga friendliness to enlarge the pool of possible PPC AmigaOS 4 converts or actually would like to develop for the classic but with such a low priority that the attempt is negligible. I had communicated my recommendations to Matthew@A-EON (originally about W3D and Reaction back ports) which included porting parts of the AmigaOS 4 back to the classic 68k to standardize APIs and make programming easier between AmigaOS 4 and the classic Amiga (resulting in new classic AmigaOS updates obviously). I suggested Olsen and ThoR (who fixed his Amiga and is now active on amiga.org because of me) could and should be the developers or at least consultants due to their past experience developing the AmigaOS. I was banned for a week from amiga.org for making other suggestions on the forum there and did not return. The arrogant AmigaOS 4 fanboys persist there even as Hyperion required saving from bankruptcy and PPC declines to '90s features and performance. I did not return to amiga.org (or amigaworld.net) as I know where I am not wanted. So much Amiga talent is wasted and they have done little to change it. Of course Hyperion is hostile to the classic 68k Amiga, Cloanto is just milking a dead horse and Amiga Inc. are criminals. I'm ready for a change but I don't think it is as easy as a buyout or Kickstarter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eXeler0 View Post
I'm asking everyone for good ideas, because I think it would be nice to have all the clever thoughts collected in one place/thread.
In case you didn't notice, Kickstarter was mentioned in original post, obviously I was toying with the idea to raise cash to *buy* the source from the holders. I'm not saying they have an obligation to give it to us for free (even if they should ;-) - its about understanding the value of a product in relation to its users.
We, are a limited bunch and not getting any younger.. There are still a lot of skilled Amiga coders out there, but they are getting older and interest for the platform fades slowly if you're stuck with the same old thing.
Those selling it to squeeze out the last few cents really should understand this situation better. If they cared about the platform, they should not take pride in holding the source hostage in order to squeeze out a few more bucks. They should take a good look in the mirror and ask themselves what the hell they are really doing ;-)
Buying out the AmigaOS does not bring new younger talent or programmers. The only way to do that is with new mass produced affordable Amiga hardware.

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[I also think Hyperion has some twisted idea that if OS3.x was open sourced it would put their life-long project that is PPC based OS4 in jeopardy but that's just plain crazy. They have been putting themselves in jeopardy for many years by not seeing the obvious. PPC is a dead end and has been for many years.. Only way to stay relevant in the future is to port OS4 to ARM so that ppl can run it on Raspberry Pie or something like that. Then maybe there is a market for new software.]
New Amiga ARM hardware would have trouble differentiating and competing with the already super cheap ARM competition. A software only Port of AmigaOS to the Raspberry Pi gets lost in the multitude of OS options their too. A software only Port to x86_64 hardware has to support too many drivers for all the cheap commodity hardware and AROS is already way ahead but still not complete enough. Developing the 68k may cost more up front but it loses the least amount of Amiga users compared to a CPU switch, the good code density and small 68k AmigaOS allows a tiny foot print smaller than ARM (1 GB of memory sounds like heaven), the 68k is a great educational programming tool at the hardware level and there are many games available not just from the Amiga/CD32 but also other 68k based systems like the Sega Genesis, NEO-GEO and x68000 which could be easily supported appealing to the retro crowd. From my research, the 68k is no slouch in single core performance (close to x86) and could be very energy efficient (close to OoO ARM). Development costs have come down to the point where it is feasible to own, develop and customize an Amiga SoC.

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I doubt 2 years are enough to finish the work, i'd rather plan for 3 or 4, but that's something like 50000 EUR per year - i.e. enough to pay the bills (and taxes !) while working on it full time, and provide some security margin as it's not job security at all. May look a lot, but for the work it represents that's quite cheap.
I knew living expenses were expensive in Europe but I figured France would be a little cheaper. I could live off half that here and that is not even counting other investment income. I guess it is all relative. My investment income is more than many people in poor countries make so I consider myself blessed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Flibble View Post
Are there any lawyers in the community, in the right field who would work pro-bono (+crowd fund?) to untangle the licensing/copyright issues?

Then perhaps a reasonable offer could be made to obtain it and release it?
I know a lawyer with good patent knowledge who is an ex-Amiga user and friend. I don't know if his government job would allow him to do it. You would need a very good game plan for me to bother him and we would need to take care of his expenses at the very least (Bahamas family vacation?). It would still be a disadvantage not to have a company and cash behind certain actions unfortunately, even if some improper (no quid pro quo) transfers of ownership were made. I would prefer a company to own copyrights and trademarks to an updated AmigaOS and set standards (with community input) also even if the source was freely distributed (which I do prefer and without a NDA where possible).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Flibble View Post
Other than a ground-up rewrite, there's always the release it (I'm sure the full os 3.1 source is out there *somewhere*) and see who sues method? (Anyone in a country where copyright is largely ignored?)
Gulliver of the unofficial BoingBags lives in South America .
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Old 26 February 2017, 05:23   #16
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I agree with Matthey. If we could come up with a game plan or really a business plan for a company to acquire everything needed I'd help back it. I doubt though some would let things they own go for a reasonable price. Greed is unfortunately everywhere and I'm not saying the owners are greedy since I honestly don't know much about them since I am relatively new back into the Amiga World so will not call anyone out on this. I will say there are a lot of awesome people still developing hardware for the classics. If they'd come on board as well with their existing knowledge from the hardware side as well as those who know the OS side then this company would I think stand a chance.

I think crowd funding would be an option as well. So if the company was incorporated correctly then those would help crowd fund the company would receive stock awards as well as ability to stay up to date on the items released then people might go for it.

Just some thoughts to throw out there. I maybe way off base, but it would be nice to see the Amiga brand truly rise from the ashes like a Phoenix.
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Old 26 February 2017, 11:03   #17
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This all came up before with my own rage and of course ended pretty badly when I finally saw this site and started contacting around to verify what I was reading:

https://sites.google.com/site/amigadocuments/

Can any competent people here give a semi-realistic assessment of what it would take to get AROS into shape *on par, native hardware*? Really, I would like someone who knows the ins and outs of this to tell us. And after that, @meynaf if you are really willing to do that, I am pretty close to being willing to pay someone (I suppose, a small team) just to have it done and over with.
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Old 26 February 2017, 11:04   #18
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EDIT: Just to be clear, I am speaking about man-months, man-hours. @meynaf's first bid is 2 years, 1 man, 100K EUR. I'll bet that is not enough. EDIT2: I am also a fan of the "update the leaked 3.1 sources and see who sues" approach, but who is brave/real enough to take it on? If someone could get/wants to get a working GCC toolchain built for the *whole thing as it is*, I would also be happy to reward that; seems like a big enough task already.
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Old 26 February 2017, 18:09   #19
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Can any competent people here give a semi-realistic assessment of what it would take to get AROS into shape *on par, native hardware*? Really, I would like someone who knows the ins and outs of this to tell us. And after that, @meynaf if you are really willing to do that, I am pretty close to being willing to pay someone (I suppose, a small team) just to have it done and over with.
The AROS build system is not friendly. It uses GCCisms and macros which make it a pain and it requires a fairly new version of GCC which needs special support and has bugs and for the 68k. The AROS code itself introduced some new concepts, APIs and kludges to the AmigaOS (some of questionable value) and the code did not need to be as efficient when it was on the x86. There is also the problem of some code being unfinished and not ready to be optimized yet. GCC compiler code generation for the 68k does seem to be improving finally after many years of sadness but there is still work to be done to get a cross compiler environment working fully. This alone could make a big difference. I am no expert on AROS.

Quote:
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EDIT2: I am also a fan of the "update the leaked 3.1 sources and see who sues" approach, but who is brave/real enough to take it on? If someone could get/wants to get a working GCC toolchain built for the *whole thing as it is*, I would also be happy to reward that; seems like a big enough task already.
The reality is that most of the telecommunications lines in the world travel through the U.S. Big brother has considerable influence (and is listening) and can often persuade internet providers in remote areas to obey their law. Brazil is planning to disconnect from the U.S. infrastructure by building a fiber optic cable directly to Europe after the U.S. spying which included government and private businesses .

http://www.as-coa.org/articles/after...communications

The reality is that content which is deemed illegal (illegal=what rich entity with expensive lawyers want) in the U.S. is likely to be taken down in remote locations. Remote locations do make it more difficult to sue as does someone with little money.

I have heard that the AmigaOS 3 source code released is incomplete, the build systems old and for old and specific compilers like SAS/C and Green Hills compilers (intuition.library) and the code itself could be more maintainable and readable.
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Old 26 February 2017, 22:33   #20
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Note that anyone who has seen AmigaOS sources is tainted and cannot legally develop a clean room reimplementation like AROS.
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