[MD+F Multimedia News Reader]
1998 Readers' Choice Awards: Internet Software - by OS/2 e-Zine! staff
OS/2 e-Zine!

Go to a Printer Friendly version of this page

The OS/2 e-Zine! Staff are made up of professionals involved in and around OS/2. Many have a long background as supporters of the platform, as programmers, consultants, and sometimes just users.

Blast Back! Send a private message directly to OS/2 e-Zine! staff with your thoughts:

Contact OS/2 e-Zine!

Sponsored links:
The OS/2 Supersite

E-Mail Clients


Winner: PMMail
By SouthSoft, Inc.

There was no question about it, PMMail won the Readers' Choice for e-mail by a very wide margin. It's one of the few dedicated e-mail clients that offers both a Windows and OS/2 version that can share its e-mail database and address books across the gap. Now at version 2.0, PMMail has evened out the feature disparity between it and its Windows brother (called PMMail98).

PMMail has been around for a long time too. It was one of the first serious alternatives to the unpopular UltiMail that came with Warp 3 way back in 1994.

1997 Winner: MR/2 ICE

1996 Winner: MR/2 ICE


Runner-Up: MR/2 ICE
By Knightware Software

It enjoyed the top for a while, but now it's slipped to Runner-Up position. Knightware's MR/2 ICE has long been legendary for its superb level of support from Nick Knight, the author of the e-mail client. So too has its interface been a source of popularity, being unique among e-mail clients.

1997 Runner-Up: PMMail

1996 Runner-Up: PMMail

Web Browsers


Winner: Communicator 4.04
By Netscape Communications

Winner by a crushing majority was Netscape Communicator for OS/2. For so long it was disbelieved that Communicator would ever be ported to OS/2 at all. There was the massively long delays as IBM fixed up Navigator 2.02 instead to better handle Java, and then there were the rumors too.

Communicator isn't just a browser though. It comes with an e-mail client (Messenger), newsreader (Collabora) and HTML editor too (Composer). As such, Communicator vied for all three other spots in our voting, sometimes coming very close to winning a Runner-Up spot.

In addition to votes for Communicator explicitly, many readers also voted for its older version: Navigator 2.02. Enough, in fact, that it would have won Runner-Up position had we considered it separate. But since Communicator was Navigator's upgrade, we had to roll the votes together into one. That left a different and quite surprising Runner-Up instead.

1997 Winner: Netscape Navigator 2.02

1996 Winner: Netscape Navigator 2.02


Runner-Up: Warpzilla
By Mozilla.Org / Warpzilla team

Either way we counted it, Netscape won twice. Warpzilla is the grassroots ported version of the open-source Netscape browser, called Mozilla. Since it was not ported to OS/2 by either Netscape or IBM we considered it separate rather than an upgrade to Communicator. At the moment, Warpzilla (also refered to as NGLayout and Gecko) is still in early alpha stages. The front end, which runs as a graphical PM session, is largely a frame with which to test the guts of the program: the HTML rendering or layout engine. What makes Mozilla exciting is this Next Generation Layout engine, or "NGLayout". It's faster, slimmer and more flexible than the old one.

Warpzilla may find itself transformed into more than one look and feel in the future. Since it's open-source, other OS/2 developers may come and use the guts of it in their own frames, with their own ideas about how the interface may be. Right now, it looks an awful lot like Navigator 4.04.

1997 Runner-Up: StarOffice browser

1996 Runner-Up: Web Explorer


It should be testimony to the sheer quality of a product that even after its parent company seems to disappear, readers still vote it as number one in its category. That's what it looked like with Newsreaders.


Winner: ProNews/2
By Panacea Software

Message to Panacea: You've got a hot one! Whatever problems caused the shareware company to take such a bad hit midway through 1998, it wasn't lack of popularity. Even though their nearest competitor kept plugging away with updates and a whole new major revision, it looks like ProNews/2's basic formula just can't be beat. Choosing to combine article lists and article bodies in a single split window, ProNews/2 is excellent for subject browsing through your favorite newsgroups.

The program also has a superior way of managing tasks and connections. You can change the priority of, or cancel a process (such as retrieving an article or header refresh) without affecting others, and you can kill a dead connection without canceling the process that happened to be using it. ProNews/2 is different from many newsreaders in that you can arbitrarily add more connections to the news server on the fly, without needing to re-start the program to take advantage of them. A few killer features its competition still doesn't have.

1997 Winner: MR/2 ICE w/News

1996 Winner: EmTec News


Runner-Up: PMINews
By SouthSoft / Stardock Systems

PMINews, the next major competitor to ProNews/2, got off to a rocky start when it first appeared in 1997. It suffered from serious bugs and flawed performance that have since been fixed in its most recent revision: 2.0. Southside have also experimented much with the user interface of PMINews, taking out the tabbed grouplists and putting in a tree-based one that resembles their e-mail product: PMMail.

PMINews has certainly struggled, but perhaps its getting into the swing of things at last. It's distributed commercially by Stardock Systems and can be purchased in a bundle with PMMail too. Together they can share the same address book and offer a common look-and feel.

1997 Runner-Up: ProNews/2

1996 Runner-Up: Netscape News

FTP Clients


Winner: FTP Browser
By Jason Rushton

Fast, lightweight memory demands and good Workplace Shell integration are the hallmarks of 1998's FTP client Winner. But not only that, FTP Browser features directory caching, "quick-paths" and file searching too.

1997 Winner: OS/2's FTP Clients

1996 Winner: EmTec FTP


Runner-Up: EmTec FTP
By EmTec.

Once upon a time this used to be called NeoLogic FTP, coming as one of the components in the NeoLogic Network suite. But a couple of years ago EmTec, of ZOC fame, took over the ownership and development. Since then the suite and especially the popular FTP client have been improved with new features and bug fixes. Some of the highlights of EmTec's FTP are easy creation of download lists, support for resuming aborted downloads, and multithreaded multiple connections.

1997 Runner-Up: FTP Browser

1996 Runner-Up: NcFTP

IRC Clients

For so long there weren't any graphical IRC clients for OS/2. You made do with IRCII, or IRC/2, or ran mIRC in a WinOS/2 session. The first graphical clients were Gammatech IRC, NetComber's IRC module, and Internet Adventurer. Then came along another client with all the swank and pose it inherited from the classic IRC culture, and it took our hearts away. This year we had a total of 2 votes for non-GUI chat clients, we guess the character-mode days are over.


Winner: OpenChat/2
By Max Mikhanosha

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is dominated by the hacker culture. In a real-time chatting environment you get the instant feedback and smooth flow of ideas that aren't carried as efficiently by e-mail. It's also a great place to show off gadgets and scripting prowess, be that sometimes to the disruption of the conversation. For features and gadgets, OpenChat/2 is where it's at. Featuring full IRCII script compatibility, this client looks like a character-mode program that got captured and framed in GUI containers. Scroll-bars and menus are the only hint that you're not actually running a program in an OS/2 command-line window.

The client is usually teamed up with a script called Gemz which adds command aliases, macros, features and formatting improvements. This combination gives you a client with attitude, not to mention instant cool.

1997 Winner: OpenChat/2

1996 Winner: GammaTech IRC


Runner-Up: Gammatech IRC
By Gammatech

More conservative in attitude is Gammatech IRC, also know as GTIRC. It was the first graphical client and a significant number of readers still think it's the best. This chat client was also the first to choose Rexx as its scripting language instead of IRCII-script.

1997 Runner-Up: Gammatech IRC

1996 Runner-Up: OpenChat/2

Copyright © 1999 - Falcon Networking ISSN 1203-5696
January 16, 1999