Frustrating, Busy Times
By Jon Backus
It has been a busy time since HP World. There was a renewed since of urgency and focus. As most of you know, the entire OpenMPE Board of Directors is made up of volunteers. In addition to our OpenMPE efforts we all have full time jobs. This can cause things to happen slower then anybody would like, which leads to frustration all around.
On the other hand, we felt we needed to produce a body of work before we could ask the membership to increase dues from zero dollars a year to some reasonable number. Recently we conducted a QuickPoll to make sure our efforts on the board matched up with the desires of the user community. The results showed that 89.47 percent of the members wanted us to be working on a community-funded emulator. 78.95 percent of the members wanted us to be working on general advocacy issues with HP. And, 63.16 percent of the users wanted us to be working on the vLab: The project to gain access to the MPE operating system and subsystem source code for a select group of highly skilled members of the community, the vLab, for bug fixes and possible enhancements.
On the advocacy front we have successfully created a body of work. Early on, working with the community, we defined a group of concerns that became known at the Gang of Six and presented them to HP. We then worked with HP to come up with resolutions for them, and continue working with HP to refine the resolutions. There have been presentations about these results at the 2002 and 2003 HP World conferences
On the other two fronts (emulator and vLab) we have had varying degrees of less success because of time constraints. To address this problem we have decided to identify resources that could be contracted to provide the needed focus time. Once we have identified the resources and costs associated we plan to present this use of money (along with our past and on-going advocacy) to the user community as we ask to increase the membership dues to what is needed to cover that expense.
It is our belief that a person, or persons, with the dedicated time and board oversight will be able to move the OpenMPE effort forward much quicker and more effectively.
This is just another example of how we are trying to make sure that OpenMPE is doing what the user community wants us to do. After all, OpenMPE is the user community. Please make sure you get involved, even if its just a couple minutes a week to complete a QuickPoll.
In addition to being Chairman of OpenMPE, Jon Backus (JMBackus@TechGroupMD.com) is President of Tech Group, a Maryland-based consulting company located that specializes in project management, contract programming, system management, training, and all things MPE.
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