Steve Mastrianni
TITLE: OS/2 2.0 Programming Tools Arrive - Finally
Numerous OS/2 2.0 development tools are finally starting to appear
Now that IBM has released OS/2 2.0, development tools are beginning to emerge.
The 32-bit version 2.0 runs almost every program available for DOS, Windows,
and OS/2. Except for a few installation bugs, OS/2 2.0 works well. It's fast
and easy to use, and it offers a wide range of configuration options never
before supported. Best of all, developers have all the tools they need.
Early Beta Versions
   IBM realized early on that it had to provide development tools for OS/2
2.0. Only 16-bit tools were available, and IBM's only C compiler, C/2, was
based on an obsolete version of the Microsoft C compiler. While the IBM C
compiler was being developed, IBM released beta versions of it, along with a
debugger and development environment called WorkFrame/2.
   For professional developers, the OS/2 2.0 beta program was a nightmare. The
toolkit releases lagged behind the operating-system releases, so developing
software with the latest beta release of the tools meant using an obsolete
version of the operating system. The documentation with the beta toolkits was
full of errors and omissions, and some manuals had references to obsolete OS/2
1.x functions. IBM was beating the 32-bit drum, but it was incapable of
providing developers with timely releases of the tools necessary to develop
new 32-bit applications.
   IBM kept everyone informed through mailings and CompuServe's OS2DEV and
IBMOS2 conferences. The company made no attempt to disguise or hide problems
with the beta version and required no confidential disclosures to obtain the
code. This was a refreshing change that went a long way toward reestablishing
IBM's credibility with developers.
The First Steps
   A few months after IBM released the OS/2 2.0 General Availability (GA)
code, it began shipping version 1.0 of its 32-bit C compiler, C Set/2, as part
of the IBM C Developer's WorkSet/2. Included in WorkSet/2 are the Presentation
Manager debugger (IPMD), the WorkFrame/2 development environment, the kernel
debugger (KDB), sample DLLs, the PMSpy program, the resource compiler, include
files, migration tools, and many well-written source code examples.
   WorkFrame/2 is a plug-in environment that lets you specify the compiler,
assembler, debugger, and linker you will use. It lets you set the compile,
link, or debug options to any value you want. It can generate make files and
libraries. You can configure it through a simple user window. WorkFrame/2
works with projects rather than individual files and directories.
   You establish a project by entering the project parameters in the Project
Control window. You can enter information such as the project name, project
description, name of the make files, and compile/link/run options. Once you've
entered the information about the project, you can build a new version of the
target code by clicking on the "new" button in the Project Control window.
   C Set/2 is a full 32-bit ANSI 1989 optimizing compiler that generates code
for OS/2 2.0. The compiler supports 16- and 32-bit run-time coexistence,
static and dynamic run-time libraries, HPFS (High Performance File System),
and memory-mapped file I/O. It provides migration support for converting
programs from OS/2 1.x to OS/2 2.0. C Set/2 produces tight, fast, and
consistent code. It can't be used to develop virtual or physical device
drivers, but C Set/2 is perfect for developing 32-bit applications.
   The WorkSet/2's IPMD makes debugging 32-bit applications a breeze. However,
the WorkSet/2's initial price of $895 turned off developers. Developers
complained loudly, and IBM dropped the price to $295 until September 1. It
wasn't clear at press time if IBM would extend this policy.
Support Your Local ISV
    IBM has also taken steps to do a better job of supporting ISVs
(independent software vendors), who are critical to OS/2 2.0's success. IBM
technicalsupport personnel have appeared on all major BBSes and conferencing
systems, including CompuServe, BIX, Usenet, and Fidonet.
   Several other OS/2 2.0 support programs are in place as well. The Developer
Assistance Program ((407) 982-6408) helps commercial developers. IBM has a
toll-free order line ((800) 342-6672) for OS/2 software and support material,
and the IBM I.V. League supports authors and publishers. IBM is sponsoring
several OS/2 2.0 tools conferences, where developers can get the most
up-todate information on OS/2 2.0 and associated development tools, and OS/2
migration workshops, where developers can get technical assistance in
converting their applications to run under OS/2 2.0.
The Coming Onslaught
    Some vendors began developing OS/2 2.0 tools before the GA code was
released. Other vendors, noting the overwhelming response to OS/2 2.0, have
announced products or plan to release products for OS/2 2.0 later this year.
Current offerings include languages, CASE tools, debuggers, and other tools.
   In the language area, C and C++ compilers for OS/2 2.0 have been announced
by Borland International, Clarion Software, MicroWay, Symantec, and Watcom.
Watcom also has a 32-bit FORTRAN com-piler, and Clarion has announced OS/2 2.0
versions of its Pascal and Modula-2 compilers. IBM is rumored to be working on
its own C++ compiler, while Arity is shipping a 32-bit Prolog compiler for
OS/2 2.0. Digitalk has released an OS/2 2.0 version of Smalltalk/V PM. Micro
Focus and Liant Software have announced COBOL compilers for OS/2 2.0.
   New CASE tools for OS/2 2.0 PM development have been announced by
Caseworks, the Stirling Group, Guild Products, Guidance Technologies, Gpf
Systems, VZ, Vleermuis Software Research, Software Engineering International,
Enfin Software, ImageSoft, and Intelligent Environments. If you're migrating
Windows applications to OS/2, check out Micrografx's Software Migration Kit.
   I doubt that you'll need more debugging tools than the ones IBM provides.
However, you might want to consider Periscope's OS/2 2.0 version of the
Periscope debugger and Soft & GUI's Error Manager debugging tool. SourceLine
Software is shipping a hypertext source code browser for OS/2 2.0. Personal
Systems Software sells a C-callable toolkit for writing OS/2 2.0 device
drivers. Intersolv has announced OS/2 2.0 versions of PVCS, PolyMake, PolyAwk,
and the Sage Professional Editor. Hamilton Laboratories has a 32-bit version
of its C shell. GammaTech has a 32-bit version of its HPFS utilities. And
Parallel PC's is shipping an OS/2 2.0 version of the Synectics SDK (Software
Development Kit).
   For those on a budget, several good public domain and shareware tools are
available for OS/2 2.0. The public domain GNU C/C++ compiler for OS/2 2.0 is
available on BIX, CompuServe, and other BBSes. You can also download several
GNU utilities (e.g., rcs, make, awk, grep, and diff) and the GNU emacs editor.
The Written Word
   IBM has announced the OS/2 Technical Library, a set of manuals for OS/2
developers that's priced at $295. The manuals are a necessity for anyone
programming for OS/2 2.0. For an in-depth technical overview of OS/2, get The
Design of OS/2 by H. M. Deitel and M. S. Kogan (ISBN 0-201-54889-5) from
   Van Nostrand Reinhold has published several new books, including
Client-Server Programming with OS/2 2.0 by Robert Orfali and Daniel Harkey
(ISBN 0-44201219-5), Writing OS/2 2.0 Device Drivers in C by Steve Mastrianni
(ISBN 0442-01141-5), and OS/2 Presentation Manager GPI by Graham Winn (ISBN
0-44200739-6). Van Nostrand also offers a library of six books at a special
The Timing Is Right
   Interest in OS/2 2.0 is growing by leaps and bounds. Even its most stubborn
opponents have been impressed with its capabilities. The old OS/2 1.x
supporters are still around, and they have been joined by an even larger group
of users and developers eager to tap the multitasking and multiplatform
support offered by OS/2 2.0.
   IBM's aggressive pricing has prompted many Windows users to upgrade to OS/2
2.0 for only $49.95; DOS users can upgrade for only $99. Interest in OS/2 2.0
is also evident by the many messages that appear in public electronic
   Have the tools arrived to develop the new-generation 32-bit software for
OS/2 2.0? You better believe it. The time is right to begin development. Sure,
you'll want to keep some of your DOS and Windows applications around, but you
can realize the full power of OS/2 only with new 32-bit OS/2 2.0 applications.
As PC users become more demanding, they'll begin to appreciate the power and
flexibility of OS/2 2.0. The ability to download a file over the telephone
while simultaneously updating a database, printing several files, and editing
a document should convince the most skeptical user that OS/2 2.0 represents
the best solution for desktop software applications.
Arity Corp. (Prolog/32) (508) 371-1243
Borland International, Inc. (C++ for OS/2 2.0) (408) 438-8400
Caseworks, Inc. (CASE:PM 2.2, CASE:PM VIP (CUA 91)) (404) 399-6236
Clarion Software, Inc. (TopSpeed C, C++, Modula-2, Pascal) (305) 785-4555
Digitalk, Inc. (Smalltalk/V PM) (310) 645-1082
Enfin Software Corp. (Enfin/2) (619) 549-6606
GammaTech (GammaTech Utilities) (405) 359-1219
Gpf Systems, Inc. (Gpf 2.0) (203) 873-3300
Guidance Technologies, Inc. (Choreographer) (412) 231-1300
Guild Products, Inc. (Guild) (415) 593-3200
Hamilton Laboratories (C shell) (508) 358-5715
ImageSoft, Inc. (CommonView) (516) 767-2233
Intelligent Environments, Inc. (AM (Applications Manager)) (508) 640-1080
Intersolv (PVCS, PolyMake, PolyAwk) (503) 645-1150
Liant Software Corp. (RM/COBOL-85) (512) 343-1010
Micro Focus, Inc. (Micro Focus/2 COBOL) (415) 856-4161
Micrografx, Inc. (Software Migration Kit) (214) 234-1769
MicroWay, Inc. (NDP FORTRAN 386/486, C-C++ NDP 386/486) (508) 746-7341
Parallel PC's (Synectics SDK) (215) 670-1710
The Periscope Co., Inc. (Periscope/32) (404) 875-8080
Personal Systems Software, Inc. (C-Callable DevHlp Driver Library) (203)
Soft & GUI, Inc. (Error Manager) (718) 769-8017
Software Engineering International (Primary Window Class) (407) 241-3428
SourceLine Software (SourceLink) (619) 587-4713
The Stirling Group (TbxShield, InstallShield) (708) 307-9197
Vleermuis Software Research (GUI Master) fax: 31-30-32-49-44
VZ Corp. (VZ Programmer) (801) 595-1352
Watcom (C 9.0/386, FORTRAN 77/386 9.0) (519) 886-3700
Steve Mastrianni is president of Personal Systems Software in Bloomfield,
Connecticut. He specializes in device drivers, operating systems, and realtime
applications for OS/2 and Windows NT. You can reach him on BIX as
"smastrianni" or on CompuServe at 71501,1652.