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Old 27 July 2018, 19:28   #21
Gorf
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I think this refers to the fact, that the gui-server in OS/2 is message based like Intuition is.
but being more complicated and less failure-proof than Intuition due to its synchronous behavior, this endet up as a downer:

"Unfortunately, OS/2 had a crucial flaw in its design: a Synchronous Input Queue (SIQ). What this meant was that all messages to the GUI window server went through a single tollbooth. If any OS/2 native GUI app ever stopped servicing its window messages, the entire GUI would get stuck and the system froze. OK, technically the operating system was still running. Background tasks continued to execute just fine. You just couldn’t see them or interact with them or do anything, because the entire GUI was hung."

Arstechnica: half-an-operating-system-the-triumph-and-tragedy-of-os2
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Old 27 July 2018, 21:30   #22
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Well, until I see some solid documentation, or confirming words from people directly involved at the time, I find it highly unlikely that there ever was a "licence deal" between CBM and IBM over arexx and "gui", simply because there is zero reason for such a deal to exist.
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Old 27 July 2018, 23:29   #23
Minuous
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@Gorf:

Yes, Windows has the same flaw too, except that in recent versions there is a separate queue for each process. Still a bad design though.
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Old 28 July 2018, 00:18   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kolla View Post
Well, until I see some solid documentation, or confirming words from people directly involved at the time, I find it highly unlikely that there ever was a "licence deal" between CBM and IBM over arexx and "gui", simply because there is zero reason for such a deal to exist.
ok.
We would have to ask Jeremy Reimer here - the author of this AT article.
In the same series he mentioned this deal:
It had partnered with Apple to work on next-generation OS technologies and licensed NeXTStep from Steve Jobs. While technology from these two platforms didn’t directly make it into OS/2, a portion of code from the Amiga did: IBM gave Commodore a license to its REXX scripting language in exchange for some Amiga technology and GUI ideas, and included them with OS/2 2.0.

but he gives no source or evidence...

he got it even totally wrong in an earlier version of the article, where he claims IBM was licensing REXX from Commodore. Here he is admitting to that on Ycombinator:
"The AREXX error was my mistake. I just read the technology transfer part backwards when I was researching. I've already fixed it in the article and updated it."
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Old 28 July 2018, 00:47   #25
kolla
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His source is probably Steve Wendt who had this written in 1998, at least.

https://web.archive.org/web/19980213...s/OS2Warp.html
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Old 28 July 2018, 02:22   #26
Minuous
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It doesn't sound very plausible so I'm inclined to disbelieve it. The definitive answer would be found in Commodore's (and IBM's) business records, if they still exist. Or an ex-employee could be asked.
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Old 04 July 2019, 21:47   #27
malko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roondar View Post
[...] This is most likely an urban myth. [...] it was written by William S. Hawes back in 1987 and had nothing to do with IBM. Commodore licensed it from him. Don't know what they actually traded with IBM.
Hum... I am quite sure about what I remember from BitD when ARexx was bundled with AmigaOS 2 (source were my friends from the scene but none of them had contact with CBM or IBM - Then it is of course possible that the "grapevine" (word of mouth/hearsay statements) has somewhat "distorted" the initial situation, but it is also not certain).

Today, didn't find details on IBM's site, only :
Quote:
Originally Posted by https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/l-rexx/
[...] Other OS makers, such as Amiga, have also integrated Rexx as an always-available system scripting language. [...]
Wikipedia and some other sites mentions :
Quote:
Originally Posted by http://os2news.warpstock.org/OS2Warp.html
[...] Commodore licensed IBM's REXX scripting language for inclusion in their AmigaOS, and IBM took many GUI design ideas from the AmigaOS for their new GUI. [...]
This last one is interesting because it suggests that Commodore would have been approached when the OS/2 was already done. Afterwards, to port it to other platforms :
Quote:
Originally Posted by https://www.osnews.com/story/26780/what-ever-happened-to-os2/ - icumming
[...] Yes. IBM was in talks with Commidore to port OS/2 to a new as unnamed project, in case bDos didnt work. It did, and the Amiga came with a b based Amiga dos. IBM lost interest, and asked Commidore to pay for the port. Commidore also lost interest, as Amiga Dos was a very good OS. ( better than OS/2 and *much* better documentation. ). Later on the AmigaDos replacement project used a good optimizer on a commercial compiler to replace all the b based commands with a c replacement. Much fun was had. The c stuff proved to be faster. The point is you were right, but didn’t know the backround. [...]
So the question is still open. Better to wait that somebody being involved BiT/knowing more than us give the clue .

Last edited by malko; 24 July 2019 at 13:02. Reason: changed BiT -> BitD
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Old 05 July 2019, 00:11   #28
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Well, when I start RexxMast (i.e. AREXX) I see a small window confirming it was made by William S. Hawes and is copyright 1987. Now, please note: I'm not saying there was no deal between IBM and CBM.

Just that I'm pretty sure CBM didn't get AREXX from IBM.

Screenshot attached for clarity.
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Old 05 July 2019, 01:33   #29
malko
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Don't know how old he may be now but on the ARexx User reference manual there is this address :
Quote:
William S. Hawes
P.O Box 308
Maynard, MA 01754
(508) 568-8695
On page 256 of the AmigaDOS Inside & Out is also mentioned (don't know what it means) :
Quote:
BIX: whawes,
CIS: 72230,267,
PLINK: whawes
Anyone leaving close from there to solve this CBM/IBM mystery ?
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Old 05 July 2019, 12:23   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malko View Post
This last one is interesting because it suggests that Commodore would have been approached when the OS/2 was already done. Afterwards, to port it to other platforms :

Originally Posted by https://www.osnews.com/story/26780/w...ppened-to-os2/ - icumming
[...] Yes. IBM was in talks with Commidore to port OS/2 to a new as unnamed project, in case bDos didnt work. It did, and the Amiga came with a b based Amiga dos. IBM lost interest, and asked Commidore to pay for the port. Commidore also lost interest, as Amiga Dos was a very good OS. ( better than OS/2 and *much* better documentation. ). Later on the AmigaDos replacement project used a good optimizer on a commercial compiler to replace all the b based commands with a c replacement. Much fun was had. The c stuff proved to be faster. The point is you were right, but didn’t know the backround. [...]
I think this is highly unlikely. First, according to Wikipedia OS/2 development was started in 1985, first version released in 1987. Assuming that by "bDos" they mean the BCPL/TRIPOS based AmigaDOS, the time lines do not add up, as TRIPOS was probably integrated into AmigaOS before OS/2 was even in development stage.

Second, OS/2 was never ported to any other CPU than the Intel* ones, in fact it uses some features that are unique to the 286/386 CPU - like the four privilege "rings" instead of only user/supervisor mode like almost any other CPU (OS/2 actually uses only 3 of them).

Third, even if they only wanted the DOS part, it would be a truly bizarre decision to bet the farm on an unfinished product written for an entirely different CPU from a bureaucratic monster corporation like IBM when they needed something working asap. And until 1989 the DOS part was even based on the horrible FAT file system.

My guess about the whole story of AREXX and IBM : Either it's completely made up (I think that's the more likely option), or there may have been some licensing agreement concerning the GUI that IBM took just in case to strengthen its position if there was a lawsuit with Microsoft/Apple. I do not see a major influence in OS/2 from the Amiga GUI, which itself was heavily inspired by NEXTStep from AmigaOS 2.0 on.

*There was an unfinished port to the PowerPC much later, but AFAIK that was based on an entirely different kernel (Mach).

Last edited by chb; 05 July 2019 at 12:29.
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Old 05 July 2019, 13:41   #31
malko
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Seen this exchange. Seems that people are trying to answer this same question for a long time now

But it's not very glorious for C= if what's said there is correct :

Quote:
Originally Posted by https://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=101504&cid=8654707 - by Almost-Retired
ARexx is nothing like a basic IMO. More like a higher level of C thats interpreted rather than compiled. And I've written stuff in ARexx that couldn't be done near as easily in any other langage I've found so far, simply because ARexx isn't a subset of Rexx, its a superset. No other language has a similar concept of an "arexx comm port", where any arexx program can talk to and therefore control or exchange data with, any other arexx program that makes use of this feature.

I have some scripts I wrote in '97, running yet today on an amiga, simply because I haven't figured out a way to do them in any other language that doesn't have this feature. They generate the news archives for wdtv.com's web site by extracting the prompter/CC text from the newsrooms newsserver NT box, and html formatting it for your reading pleasure.

Lots of the amiga's arexx scripts can be run by regina, but the minute you bring in the ports functions, regina is tits up and dead in the water. And when the regina list was asked about "ports", and I tried to describe them, their response was to play dumb. They couldn't envision the utility it represented at all, and couldn't see any usefull reason to even consider adding them to the language.

Now, if William (Bill) Hawes, who wrote arexx, had been paid by commode door, he might have been interested in porting his version to other platforms, but as far as I have been able to find out, he never was able to collect a penny for his efforts in doing it. The only money collection he ever did was by his own marketing efforts, selling it to amiga users whose OS version didn't come with the freebie. I know, we bought 2 copies of it ourselves. I also personally bought a copy of an arexx compiler called rexxplus that turned the scripts into standalone binaries that ran much faster on less cpu.
Quote:
Originally Posted by https://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=101504&cid=8680670 - by jesup
I'm fairly certain (having been on the Amiga OS team at the time, and having worked with Bill a fair bit) that he was not stiffed by Commodore on anything. I don't know what sort of deal there was for including ARexx in the OS - it might not have included money.

Bill did a fair bit of work for Commodore on contract, and also did a lot of testing and tool development for us (evil memory-allocation failure tools, for example). We tried to hire him on multiple occasions, but he preferred to stay in Boston. [...]
Quote:
Originally Posted by https://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=101504&cid=8685595 - by Almost-Retired
In previous public statements, and those are darned rare, he had said as much. When it was included in the OS distro, he was supposed to get a royalty. But that was about the time the exec offices were moved to the beach chairs in the Bahamas. He claimed at the time that no check for royalties had ever been cut, and he was less than ecstatic about it. AFAIK, that was his last public statement regarding Commie. [...]
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