OS/2 Feature in Linux Desktops?

By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2008-02-08 Print this article Print

IBM won't open-source OS/2, but one of its best features, SOM, would do fine.

Get over it. We are never going to see OS/2 open-sourced. If you want to run OS/2 today, the closest you're going to get is Serenity System's eComStation 2.0 RC4. But, it just might be possible for Linux desktop users to get one of OS/2's best features: SOM (System Object Model).

IBM, I'm told by developers who should know, still has all of SOM's source code and it all belongs to IBM. It's because IBM doesn't have all the code for OS/2 and some of it belongs to Microsoft that IBM open-sourcing OS/2 has proven to be a futile hope. 

Of course, many of you are asking, "SOM, What's the heck is SOM?" I'll tell you. It's a CORBA object-oriented shared library. Those of you who aren't programmers are doubtlessly staring cross-eyed at the screen right about now. For you: SOM is an easy-to-use universal programming library that both KDE and GNOME developers could use to create programs that would work in any Linux desktop environment.

Read the full story on DesktopLinux.com.

I'm editor-at-large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. That's a fancy title that means I write about whatever topic strikes my fancy or needs written about across the Ziff Davis Enterprise family of publications. You'll find most of my stories in Linux-Watch, DesktopLinux and eWEEK. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, I worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects.

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