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April 19, 2005

Open source MPE/iX subsystems are already available

Some parts of the HP 3000’s operating system modules are based on open source projects — and one HP engineer suggested that makes that part of MPE already open-sourced. Mark Bixby, who ported the Apache Web server to the HP 3000 and manages Internet and interoperability projects for HP, told customers in a 3000 newsgroup that perl represents the face of OpenMPE.

“Still waiting for OpenMPE?” Bixby asked. “You already have it for these open source apps ported from Unix.” He went on to add that moving such programs along to newer versions is homesteaders’ work, not HP’s.

“It’s not that difficult to update these open source apps yourselves if somebody else like me or Mark Klein or Lars Appel or whoever has already done the hard part by performing the initial port,” Bixby added. “Anybody who is going to be using these Unix open source apps on MPE beyond 12/31/06 seriously needs to become self-sufficient and develop the necessary porting skills to keep the apps fresh if you have a need to stay on the leading edge.”

Customers had asked HP, when it solicited ideas for a possible 2005 Systems Improvement Ballot, to update perl and make it a program that can be run instead of compiled and then executed. Bixby noted that perl 5.8.1 is available on the HP Invent public access development Web server, but perl has already moved forward to version 5.8.6.

“If I then proceeded to port 5.8.6 on HP time, then what? Newer versions of the source would still flow forth from, and you’d be back where you are today with ‘old’ Perl binaries for MPE,” Bixby said.

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