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OS/2 Warp Compatible Hardware List Web site: Introduction

OS/2 and FireWire (IEEE1394): Project Introduction.
Listing of tested and reported FireWire devices


1. Introduction
The goal of this project is to write an open source OS/2 IEEE 1394, or short Firewire, controller driver and mass storage layer. The initial version of the driver will support PCI attached Firewire controllers build around the VIA Technologies Inc. VT6306 chipset. A hard drive connected via a Firewire case will be supported by the sbp2 protocol.

2. People Involved in this Project
This project is a joint effort of netlabs.org, the OS/2 User Group Dresden and Alexandr Charkaev. netlabs.org, Adrian Gschwend, will provide the infrastructure for the software development as well as funding for the project. The OS/2 User Group Dresden, Björn Hennig and Robert Henschel among others, will provide documentation and technical guidance for the development as well as funding. Alexandr Charkaev will be the main developer of the driver. He will create an open source, well documented Firewire driver for OS/2 and provide support for this driver.

2.1 netlabs.org
netlabs.org was founded in 1997 with the goal of creating a center for free OpenSource Software for OS/2 and also eComStation (eCS). Today netlabs.org is one of the largest developers of OS/2 software outside of IBM itself. With its many ground-breaking projects, netlabs.org has won a name for itself in the great OS/2 and eCS Community.

2.2 OS/2 User Group Dresden
The OS/2 User Group Dresden was founded in 2001 and supports OS/2 users in and around Dresden, Germany. In this project, the major goal for the User Group is learning OS/2 driver development. To achieve this goal, the User Group will work together with Alexandr Charkaev to create a Firewire driver for OS/2. The main responsibility of the User Group is project management, documentation and support for the driver development. The User Group will also provide test equipment.

2.3 Alexandr Charkaev
Alexandr Charkaev will write the Firewire driver and the mass storage layer. He is a very skilled software engineer and uses OS/2 since version 2.1. The last 5 years he worked on ATM technology of IBM/Diebold, Siemens/Winkor and NCR ATMs. He wrote lots of commercial ATM - related and card processing code, including drivers for ATM specific hardware. Currently, he is the maintainer of the netlabs.org Warpdriver project and developer of TVShow, a software to use TV cards build around the bt848/849/878/879 chipset. He has experience in writing OS/2 device drivers as well as knowledge about the Linux driver architecture.

3. Features of Version 1 of the Driver
Version one of the Firewire driver will enable the usage of an external Firewire hard drive cases under OS/2. The driver will contain support for one chipset and one hard drive in a hard drive case connected to one controller. The driver will be freely available to all OS/2 and eComStation users. It will be open source under the GNU public license (GPL) and documented in English.

3.1 Basic Features of the Driver

  • the driver will support resource manager
  • used resources will be displayed during the boot process
    • by adding a /Q switch to the driver in config.sys, this can be disabled
  • the driver and the mass storage layer will be structured similar to the USB driver architecture
  • version one may not support hot plug of the hard drive case, but the driver will use an architecture that makes it possible to enable hot plug later
  • APM may not be supported in version one

3.2 Hardware Support

  • controllers build around the VIA Technologies, Inc. VT6306 chipset
  • PCI attached
  • sharing IRQs will be supported
  • one hard drive case connected to any one of the Firewire ports on the controller

3.3 Software Support
The driver should run on any OS/2 version of MCP, ACP or higher. It will be tested on MCP1, eCS 1.0 and eCS 1.1. It will most likely also work on Warp 4 and WarpServer for e-business, but this will not be tested. Compatibility with OS/2 version 2.1, 3.0 and WarpServer will not be tested.

4. Driver Development
The source code will be stored in a netlabs.org CVS repository. It is open to anyone at anytime during and after development. All documentation will be available via the netlabs.org web pages of this project. As far as possible, only freely available development tools will be used. This should guarantee that everyone is able rebuild the driver in the future. netlabs.org will host a website dedicated to this project. The User Group and Alexandr Charkaev will try to keep this website up to date. Detailed information about the current state of development will be added to the website frequently. The User Group will provide feedback and answer questions about the driver at any time during and after development.
If you want to contact the User Group you can do this here.

4.1 Who does What?
netlabs.org:
netlabs.org will provide a public CVS repository and a webpage hosted at netlabs.org with a webinterface for administration. The binary releases will be available at the netlabs.org FTP server. Alexandr Charkaev will get a user account at netlabs.org and the required access.

OS/2 User Group Dresden:
The User Group will create documentation for the driver. It is important to create end user documentation that helps users to install and use the driver. In addition to that, documentation for developers will be created. This documentation should enable other developers to enhance the driver in the future. The User Group will create a webpage that informs users about the progress in driver development. The webpages will be hosted at netlabs.org and can also be mirrored at the website of the OS/2 User Group Dresden. Furthermore, members of the User Group will learn as much as possible about the Firewire driver and the mass storage layer. It is the intention of the User Group to enhance the driver after it's initial release. End user questions concerning the driver or the development will be answered by the User Group. The User Group, together with Alexandr Charkaev will provide support for the driver after its initial release for a reasonable time. Bugs can be submitted to the User Group or to Alexandr Charkaev.

Alexandr Charkaev:
Alexandr will write the initial version of the Firewire driver and the mass storage layer. He will work closely with the User Group and help members of the User Group to understand the architecture and implementation of the driver. It is his responsibility to document the driver in a way that other developers can enhance the driver in the future.

4.2 Components
The following components will be created:
  • Driver
  • Test Utility
    • tests if the controller and hard drive case can be used with this driver
    • creates information about the devices, so that a "supported devices" database can be created
  • Readme
  • Installer
    • maybe just a simple DDINST script or a real installer
  • Documentation

4.3 Proposed Time Frame
The driver will be developed in three phases:
  1. Writing a simple test driver and test application.
  2. Creating one big driver. It will work with the controller but only implement the really needed routines and the architecture will not be final.
  3. Rewriting the driver to implement all features and use the final architecture for the driver.
Update:(29. June 2004)
Due to the size of the driver, it is not possible to deliver "one big driver". We have decided to move to phase three now and skip phase two. This will delay the first release of the firewire driver.



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Last modified: 2004/08/30, 16:06 | This site is sponsored by Mensys B.V.