VSI licencing policy (again), was: Re: VSI has a new CEO

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Simon Clubley

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Aug 4, 2021, 8:19:24 AMAug 4
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On 2021-08-03, Dave Froble <da...@tsoft-inc.com> wrote:
> On 8/3/2021 1:41 PM, Simon Clubley wrote:
>>
>> Unfortunately, VSI do not seem to show any interest in addressing this.
>>
>> I wonder how much business it has cost them and how much it's going to
>> cost them simply because a customer cannot allow this situation to occur.
>>
>> A business may love VMS and want to stay with it, but they are not
>> going to allow the collapse of a vendor to be the collapse of their
>> own business, even if that means moving away from VMS.
>
> On this we agree 100%.
>

Even when people disagree with me on the other things I say, everyone
still appears to agree with me on this.

Why can't VSI see just how strongly customers feel about this and why
are they not doing anything to address this showstopping problem for
keeping many people as VSI customers ?

Do VSI simply not understand the sheer strength of customer feeling
about this ?

If you have your application source code, there are now solutions for
porting your VMS applications, including its VMS-specific code, over
to another operating system such as Linux.

How many people are now exploring this option as a direct result of
VSI's new time-limited licences policy ?

Simon.

--
Simon Clubley, clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Walking destinations on a map are further away than they appear.

Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)

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Aug 4, 2021, 8:41:31 AMAug 4
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In article <see0k9$km$1...@dont-email.me>, Simon Clubley
<clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP> writes:

> >> Unfortunately, VSI do not seem to show any interest in addressing this.
> >>
> >> I wonder how much business it has cost them and how much it's going to
> >> cost them simply because a customer cannot allow this situation to occur.
> >>
> >> A business may love VMS and want to stay with it, but they are not
> >> going to allow the collapse of a vendor to be the collapse of their
> >> own business, even if that means moving away from VMS.
> >
> > On this we agree 100%.
>
> Even when people disagree with me on the other things I say, everyone
> still appears to agree with me on this.

Right. If Simon and I both agree, then it must be right! :-)

> Why can't VSI see just how strongly customers feel about this and why
> are they not doing anything to address this showstopping problem for
> keeping many people as VSI customers ?
>
> Do VSI simply not understand the sheer strength of customer feeling
> about this ?
>
> If you have your application source code, there are now solutions for
> porting your VMS applications, including its VMS-specific code, over
> to another operating system such as Linux.
>
> How many people are now exploring this option as a direct result of
> VSI's new time-limited licences policy ?

Maybe people should write to VSI, but also publicly state, that they
would stick with VMS if they could get a non-expiring license (even if
it costs more, as long as the additional cost is not absurd), but if not
then they will move off of VMS and never become a VSI customer or, if
they are, will stop being one as soon as they can port stuff.

Arne Vajhøj

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Aug 4, 2021, 8:49:13 AMAug 4
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On 8/4/2021 8:19 AM, Simon Clubley wrote:
> On 2021-08-03, Dave Froble <da...@tsoft-inc.com> wrote:
>> On 8/3/2021 1:41 PM, Simon Clubley wrote:
>>> Unfortunately, VSI do not seem to show any interest in addressing this.
>>>
>>> I wonder how much business it has cost them and how much it's going to
>>> cost them simply because a customer cannot allow this situation to occur.
>>>
>>> A business may love VMS and want to stay with it, but they are not
>>> going to allow the collapse of a vendor to be the collapse of their
>>> own business, even if that means moving away from VMS.
>>
>> On this we agree 100%.
>
> Even when people disagree with me on the other things I say, everyone
> still appears to agree with me on this.
>
> Why can't VSI see just how strongly customers feel about this and why
> are they not doing anything to address this showstopping problem for
> keeping many people as VSI customers ?
>
> Do VSI simply not understand the sheer strength of customer feeling
> about this ?

Good questions.

Maybe too many random people complain in comp.os.vms and too few
paying customers complain directly?

Maybe VSI has not seen a financially attractive alternative?

Maybe VSI is working on something that is just mot ready yet.

Guesswork.

> If you have your application source code, there are now solutions for
> porting your VMS applications, including its VMS-specific code, over
> to another operating system such as Linux.

Such solutions has existed for decades.

> How many people are now exploring this option as a direct result of
> VSI's new time-limited licences policy ?

Probably very few. The remaining VMS world just don't jump so fast.

But if not eventually handled then it will yet another problem for VMS.

And VMS need fewer problems not more problems.

Arne


Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)

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Aug 4, 2021, 8:51:50 AMAug 4
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In article <see2c7$5q6$1...@gioia.aioe.org>, =?UTF-8?Q?Arne_Vajh=c3=b8j?=
<ar...@vajhoej.dk> writes:

> > Do VSI simply not understand the sheer strength of customer feeling
> > about this ?
>
> Good questions.
>
> Maybe too many random people complain in comp.os.vms and too few
> paying customers complain directly?

I resemble that remark! :-)

Seriously, yes, I agree; see my previous post on the topic.

> But if not eventually handled then it will yet another problem for VMS.
>
> And VMS need fewer problems not more problems.

So Arne agrees as well. We are on to the truth!

John Dallman

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Aug 4, 2021, 9:02:56 AMAug 4
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In article <see0k9$km$1...@dont-email.me>,
clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP (Simon Clubley) wrote:

> Why can't VSI see just how strongly customers feel about this and
> why are they not doing anything to address this showstopping problem
for
> keeping many people as VSI customers ?

Has anyone raised this in one of their webinars? That seems like a way to
talk to them directly.

John

Jan-Erik Söderholm

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Aug 4, 2021, 9:29:17 AMAug 4
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Den 2021-08-04 kl. 14:19, skrev Simon Clubley:
> On 2021-08-03, Dave Froble <da...@tsoft-inc.com> wrote:
>> On 8/3/2021 1:41 PM, Simon Clubley wrote:
>>>
>>> Unfortunately, VSI do not seem to show any interest in addressing this.
>>>
>>> I wonder how much business it has cost them and how much it's going to
>>> cost them simply because a customer cannot allow this situation to occur.
>>>
>>> A business may love VMS and want to stay with it, but they are not
>>> going to allow the collapse of a vendor to be the collapse of their
>>> own business, even if that means moving away from VMS.
>>
>> On this we agree 100%.
>>
>
> Even when people disagree with me on the other things I say, everyone
> still appears to agree with me on this.

Please define "everyone".

>
> Why can't VSI see just how strongly customers...

"Customers"? How do you know what (real) customers think?
Maybe you are mixing up c.o.v with the real customers?

> feel about this and why are they not doing anything...

How do you know that they (the real customers) are doing nothing?
Do you really think that everything happening between VSI and its
customers would be copied to c.o.v? Don't think so...

> to address this showstopping problem for
> keeping many people as VSI customers ?
>
> Do VSI simply not understand the sheer strength of customer feeling
> about this ?

You obviously do not know much about how VSI and customres are
communicating. And it is *not* through c.o.v!

When was the last time you had any direct communication with VSI?

>
> If you have your application source code, there are now solutions for
> porting your VMS applications, including its VMS-specific code, over
> to another operating system such as Linux.
>
> How many people are now exploring this option as a direct result of
> VSI's new time-limited licences policy?

If you are one of those customers, do talk to VSI, just as all
other customers are doing that have some thoughts around this.

>
> Simon.
>

John Vottero

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Aug 4, 2021, 9:58:08 AMAug 4
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On Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at 8:19:24 AM UTC-4, Simon Clubley wrote:
> On 2021-08-03, Dave Froble <da...@tsoft-inc.com> wrote:
> > On 8/3/2021 1:41 PM, Simon Clubley wrote:
> >>
> >> Unfortunately, VSI do not seem to show any interest in addressing this.
> >>
> >> I wonder how much business it has cost them and how much it's going to
> >> cost them simply because a customer cannot allow this situation to occur.
> >>
> >> A business may love VMS and want to stay with it, but they are not
> >> going to allow the collapse of a vendor to be the collapse of their
> >> own business, even if that means moving away from VMS.
> >
> > On this we agree 100%.
> >
>
> Even when people disagree with me on the other things I say, everyone
> still appears to agree with me on this.
>

Not everyone.

VSI is smart enough to know that they cannot expect much revenue from new sales of VMS.

VSI must charge a yearly fee to ensure a revenue stream. If they didn't, many customers would get to a stable x86 version and then stop paying. VSI also knows that if they try to do a yearly fee with just language in the license, they will spend more money trying to collect the fees than the fees themselves. What happens when the VMS administrator leaves a company? Have you ever tried calling a billion dollar company and asking who the new VMS admin is? When the license key drops dead, the new VMS admin will call VSI.

But, IT DOESN'T MATTER because VSI will never just drop dead. If VSI decides they just can't make it work, they will lay off everyone except the one person that sends out invoices and generates new license keys. That would be a multi-million dollar business that only has one employee.

Arne Vajhøj

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Aug 4, 2021, 10:34:18 AMAug 4
to
On 8/4/2021 9:58 AM, John Vottero wrote:
> On Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at 8:19:24 AM UTC-4, Simon Clubley
> wrote:
>> On 2021-08-03, Dave Froble <da...@tsoft-inc.com> wrote:
>>> On 8/3/2021 1:41 PM, Simon Clubley wrote:
>>>> A business may love VMS and want to stay with it, but they are
>>>> not going to allow the collapse of a vendor to be the collapse
>>>> of their own business, even if that means moving away from
>>>> VMS.
>>>
>>> On this we agree 100%.
>>
>> Even when people disagree with me on the other things I say,
>> everyone still appears to agree with me on this.
>>
>
> Not everyone.

I think practically everyone.

> VSI is smart enough to know that they cannot expect much revenue from
> new sales of VMS.
>
> VSI must charge a yearly fee to ensure a revenue stream. If they
> didn't, many customers would get to a stable x86 version and then
> stop paying.

Yes. That is probably VSI's problem with the forever license.

But that does not make the customers problem go away.

It just means that asking for a forever license is unlikely to
happen as it would not solve VSI's problem.

The key is to find a solution that works for both VSI and
the customers.

I gave my suggestion a few months back: an option for annual
extension of a 5 year license. That would give VSI annual
revenue. It would give customer that need assurance 4-5
years to migrate if VSI went under.

> But, IT DOESN'T MATTER because VSI will never just drop dead. If VSI
> decides they just can't make it work, they will lay off everyone
> except the one person that sends out invoices and generates new
> license keys. That would be a multi-million dollar business that only
> has one employee.

Or someone will takeover the remains and do that model.

The problem is if they do not switch to that model in time
and has to file for bankruptcy and the court appoints a lawyer
to run the business and that lawyer will need to spend time
figuring things out - including the contract with HPE.

The basic law of capitalism/greed says that it will be sorted
out - if money is to be made by issuing licenses then licenses
will eventually be issued.

Problem is that such legal matters can take a long time to sort out.

And customers with only a month left of their license could
be having a big problem.

Arne



Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)

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Aug 4, 2021, 11:51:12 AMAug 4
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In article <see4nb$tqq$1...@dont-email.me>,
=?UTF-8?Q?Jan-Erik_S=c3=b6derholm?= <jan-erik....@telia.com>
writes:

> > Even when people disagree with me on the other things I say, everyone
> > still appears to agree with me on this.
>
> Please define "everyone".
>
> > Why can't VSI see just how strongly customers...
>
> "Customers"? How do you know what (real) customers think?
> Maybe you are mixing up c.o.v with the real customers?

There is at least some overlap.

> > feel about this and why are they not doing anything...
>
> How do you know that they (the real customers) are doing nothing?
> Do you really think that everything happening between VSI and its
> customers would be copied to c.o.v? Don't think so...
>
> > to address this showstopping problem for
> > keeping many people as VSI customers ?
> >
> > Do VSI simply not understand the sheer strength of customer feeling
> > about this ?
>
> You obviously do not know much about how VSI and customres are
> communicating. And it is *not* through c.o.v!
>
> When was the last time you had any direct communication with VSI?
>
> >
> > If you have your application source code, there are now solutions for
> > porting your VMS applications, including its VMS-specific code, over
> > to another operating system such as Linux.
> >
> > How many people are now exploring this option as a direct result of
> > VSI's new time-limited licences policy?
>
> If you are one of those customers, do talk to VSI, just as all
> other customers are doing that have some thoughts around this.

I don't think that current customers of VSI are the problem. They
obviously already have a relationship with VSI and have already made
some sort of commitment. The problem is more with those who are waiting
to see what happens before making a commitment to VSI. VMS folks are a
conservative lot; if they were willing to change things on a whim, they
would no longer be on VMS. There are also potential new customers, but
that is probably not an issue for them. What fraction of VMS customers
are now VSI customers? Why are the others not already VSI customers?

calliet gérard

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Aug 4, 2021, 12:18:52 PMAug 4
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Le 04/08/2021 à 15:29, Jan-Erik Söderholm a écrit :
>
> "Customers"? How do you know what (real) customers think?
> Maybe you are mixing up c.o.v with the real customers?
There are been a meeting in France last June. The last point was about
licensing.

There is a report
here:https://www.vmsgenerations.fr/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/compte-rendu-24-juin-2021.pdf
(in french, I hope they will do a translation sometime).

I give an (automatic made) translation of the part of the report that
interests us here:

"""""NEW LICENSING METHOD

The next topic was the discussion with VSI about the marketing of VMS
and the new licensing mode.

After the March 2021 meeting we started a dialogue with VSI to express
the users' reactions on the reservations and blockages introduced by the
by the new VMS licensing mode since May 2020.

This subscription-based licensing mode combining the right to use and
support is based on a time-limited PAK that must be renewed with VSI
otherwise the system will stop working.

The new risks introduced by this model (the need for VSI to be still in
business to renew the subscription, and lack of visibility on the prices
that will be charged at renewal) are considered unacceptable to a
majority of users. The takeover of the future of applications by the
publisher is a profound imbalance to the sole benefit of
VSI.

VSI finally informed us that for certain critical market segments
an exception would be possible, with licenses not limited in time.

But we learned that this was accompanied by a contract that obliges
the customer to renew his subscription with VSI and otherwise shut down
his systems. This "exception" does not change the imbalance introduced
by VSI and the takeover of the applications.

Our action having been visible on comp.os.vms, several contributions
have proposed other licensing modes that would be more acceptable and
would encourage investment in VMS. We have consolidated these proposals
in a message to VSI asking them if these options had been evaluated and
to tell us why they had not been selected.

Indeed, many roundtable participants confirmed that
the current licensing model is widely rejected, to the point of
triggering plans to leave VMS. All those who expressed themselves
pointed out the difficulty in the current conditions introduced by VSI
to get a message of sustainability across to the management in order to
obtain the investments."""""

--
L'absence de virus dans ce courrier électronique a été vérifiée par le logiciel antivirus Avast.
https://www.avast.com/antivirus

Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)

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Aug 4, 2021, 12:47:05 PMAug 4
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In article <imvsv9...@mid.individual.net>,
calliet_gérard?= <gerard....@pia-sofer.fr> writes:

> VSI finally informed us that for certain critical market segments
> an exception would be possible, with licenses not limited in time.

That is good.

> But we learned that this was accompanied by a contract that obliges
> the customer to renew his subscription with VSI and otherwise shut down
> his systems. This "exception" does not change the imbalance introduced
> by VSI and the takeover of the applications.

Just so I understand: if one has a non-renewable license, then one has
to keep a subscription with VSI? Subscription for what? Licenses?
Support? Both?

I see the imbalance argument (VSI could, theoretically, drastically
increase prices, knowing that there is a captive market), but it does
address the license issue, assuming that most or all of those who really
want such a non-expiring license would purchase support anyway.

Of course, the whole point is that one can continue to use the system
even if VSI is no longer around, so presumably that is allowed.

Simon Clubley

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Aug 4, 2021, 1:55:04 PMAug 4
to
On 2021-08-04, Arne Vajhøj <ar...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:
> On 8/4/2021 8:19 AM, Simon Clubley wrote:
>>
>> Why can't VSI see just how strongly customers feel about this and why
>> are they not doing anything to address this showstopping problem for
>> keeping many people as VSI customers ?
>>
>> Do VSI simply not understand the sheer strength of customer feeling
>> about this ?
>
> Good questions.
>
> Maybe too many random people complain in comp.os.vms and too few
> paying customers complain directly?
>

Gerard and the French users had a go recently and we all know the
results of that so far. :-(

> Maybe VSI has not seen a financially attractive alternative?
>
> Maybe VSI is working on something that is just mot ready yet.
>
> Guesswork.
>
>> If you have your application source code, there are now solutions for
>> porting your VMS applications, including its VMS-specific code, over
>> to another operating system such as Linux.
>
> Such solutions has existed for decades.
>

The point that VSI are acting as if users do not have alternatives
and will eventually end up doing business with VSI on VSI's terms.

If VSI do actually believe that, I suspect they may be in for a
nasty surprise unless they become more flexible.

Simon Clubley

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Aug 4, 2021, 1:58:18 PMAug 4
to
A group of French users formally discussed this with VSI recently.

They got a very tone deaf response from VSI that basically said
nothing significant was going to change.

Simon Clubley

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Aug 4, 2021, 2:06:13 PMAug 4
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On 2021-08-04, Phillip Helbig (undress to reply) <hel...@asclothestro.multivax.de> wrote:
> In article <imvsv9...@mid.individual.net>,
> calliet_gérard?= <gerard....@pia-sofer.fr> writes:
>
>> VSI finally informed us that for certain critical market segments
>> an exception would be possible, with licenses not limited in time.
>
> That is good.
>

Not good unfortunately. There are only a very few of these segments and
"critical" is defined by VSI and not the user. Your normal commercial
business critical system that keeps your company running does not qualify
based on the last information available.

Based on the last information available, it's more for some safety
critical systems (for example) only.

Simon Clubley

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Aug 4, 2021, 2:10:24 PMAug 4
to
On 2021-08-04, calliet gérard <gerard....@pia-sofer.fr> wrote:
>
> Our action having been visible on comp.os.vms, several contributions
> have proposed other licensing modes that would be more acceptable and
> would encourage investment in VMS. We have consolidated these proposals
> in a message to VSI asking them if these options had been evaluated and
> to tell us why they had not been selected.
>

Did VSI respond to any of the alternative suggestions you put to them ?

> Indeed, many roundtable participants confirmed that
> the current licensing model is widely rejected, to the point of
> triggering plans to leave VMS. All those who expressed themselves
> pointed out the difficulty in the current conditions introduced by VSI
> to get a message of sustainability across to the management in order to
> obtain the investments."""""
>

To Jan-Erik: you have now heard directly from users trying to talk
to VSI about this. Do you still think there isn't a problem ?

Jan-Erik Söderholm

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Aug 4, 2021, 2:21:29 PMAug 4
to
Den 2021-08-04 kl. 20:10, skrev Simon Clubley:
> On 2021-08-04, calliet gérard <gerard....@pia-sofer.fr> wrote:
>>
>> Our action having been visible on comp.os.vms, several contributions
>> have proposed other licensing modes that would be more acceptable and
>> would encourage investment in VMS. We have consolidated these proposals
>> in a message to VSI asking them if these options had been evaluated and
>> to tell us why they had not been selected.
>>
>
> Did VSI respond to any of the alternative suggestions you put to them ?
>
>> Indeed, many roundtable participants confirmed that
>> the current licensing model is widely rejected, to the point of
>> triggering plans to leave VMS. All those who expressed themselves
>> pointed out the difficulty in the current conditions introduced by VSI
>> to get a message of sustainability across to the management in order to
>> obtain the investments."""""
>>
>
> To Jan-Erik: you have now heard directly from users trying to talk
> to VSI about this. Do you still think there isn't a problem ?
>
> Simon.
>

Yes, I know about the french activities, and I have participated in the
on-line discussions about that. Have you?

My point is that does not happen on c.o.v.

Of course there is a problem. France has some issues with there nuclear
power plants and the metro systems. But I'm sure that it will be sorted...

But, that will be sorted outside of c.o.v.

Arne Vajhøj

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Aug 4, 2021, 2:23:28 PMAug 4
to
On 8/4/2021 1:55 PM, Simon Clubley wrote:
> On 2021-08-04, Arne Vajhøj <ar...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:
>> Maybe too many random people complain in comp.os.vms and too few
>> paying customers complain directly?
>
> Gerard and the French users had a go recently and we all know the
> results of that so far. :-(

If VSI hear it from more customers especially large customers
around the globe then it will help get it recognized as a problem.

Arne

Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)

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Aug 4, 2021, 3:04:49 PMAug 4
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In article <seekuj$9pd$3...@dont-email.me>, Simon Clubley
<clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP> writes:

> On 2021-08-04, Phillip Helbig (undress to reply) <hel...@asclothestro.multivax.de> wrote:
> > In article <imvsv9...@mid.individual.net>,
> > calliet_gérard <gerard....@pia-sofer.fr> writes:
> >
> >> VSI finally informed us that for certain critical market segments
> >> an exception would be possible, with licenses not limited in time.
> >
> > That is good.
> >
>
> Not good unfortunately. There are only a very few of these segments and
> "critical" is defined by VSI and not the user. Your normal commercial
> business critical system that keeps your company running does not qualify
> based on the last information available.
>
> Based on the last information available, it's more for some safety
> critical systems (for example) only.

I think that many here are critical of VSI's license policies. Does
that count? :-)

calliet gérard

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Aug 4, 2021, 5:05:01 PMAug 4
to
Jan-Erik it has always a pleasure to meet you, in Sweeden, c.o.v. and
elsewhere on the net.

My question: if users club like in France speak on only little issues
which will be sorted anyway, if c.o.v. is not a place where serious
issues can be sorted, imagine there are serious issues, where can they
be sorted?

My opinion - and it not just from today -: VMS ecosystem is lacking real
places where, if there exists some issue, it can be seriously discuted
and evaluated. I know all of us have white hair, but it seems we are a
little bit childish about how the decisions can be made in an ecosystem.
Even Big Blue has ears.

Typically 80s? :)

Dave Froble

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Aug 4, 2021, 7:31:32 PMAug 4
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On 8/4/2021 8:19 AM, Simon Clubley wrote:
This is not going to be decided on c.o.v. This will be decided by
actual customers going to VSI and voicing their concerns, if any. I do
look for this to happen. Whether we port to x86 and take our customers
there might depend on such things.

--
David Froble Tel: 724-529-0450
Dave Froble Enterprises, Inc. E-Mail: da...@tsoft-inc.com
DFE Ultralights, Inc.
170 Grimplin Road
Vanderbilt, PA 15486

Dave Froble

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Aug 4, 2021, 7:55:29 PMAug 4
to
Keep in mind, there is an option. Permanent license. Hey, good enough
for nuke plants, good enough for others.

I really don't want to see this route chosen, because customers could
then go off support. I think all VMS users need to be on support, if
for no other reason, to financially support VSI.

Dave Froble

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Aug 4, 2021, 8:17:37 PMAug 4
to
Part of that problem is that those customers won't be there waiting when
matters get sorted out. So, that's basically suicide for whoever takes
too long to sort matters.

I'll just give one opinion. But before I do, I want to state that I
believe that the only path forward for VSI is to have all VMS users
paying periodically for support. VMS users need VSI to be successful.

Should VSI cease to exist, and there is not a viable path forward for
VMS users, then existing methods, and possibly new methods, of bypassing
the licensing will be used.

Who could justify shutting down all businesses depending on VMS, and all
the employees of those businesses. Surely not interested governments.
I could see a government passing laws/regulations to enable such. I
sure would go to court to stop the destruction of businesses and jobs.

That's what we're talking about here. Destruction of businesses and
jobs. It ain't gonna happen. Yell and scream all you want about
copyright. It ain't gonna happen.

Perhaps part of the support agreement with VSI might be a stipulation
that if VSI is no longer able to support customers, then customers are
allowed to do whatever is required to continue in business using VMS.

This mess needs a resolution. It will happen.

calliet gérard

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Aug 5, 2021, 2:28:26 AMAug 5
to
Indeed.

But very few are doing that. Because they react deciding to quit VMS.
And because it is one by one they quit, VSI cannot understand it's a
general issue they have to cope with.

For decades there has been hemorrhage out of VMS. We were able in 2014
to fight against that with the VSI creation. We didn't stop it, but we
were able to make some of the customers wait. The only message from VSI
had been since that "you'll have x86"... and the x86 horizon walked away
each year. It has been increadable difficult to make wait the customers
who didn't yet abandoned. You add the licensing issue, and everyone I
know has decided to go away. I think it is the real reason why the
customers don't speak with VSI to renegotiate.They are already out.

Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)

unread,
Aug 5, 2021, 4:10:53 AMAug 5
to
In article <sef80i$i74$2...@dont-email.me>, Dave Froble
<da...@tsoft-inc.com> writes:

> This is not going to be decided on c.o.v. This will be decided by
> actual customers going to VSI and voicing their concerns, if any. I do
> look for this to happen. Whether we port to x86 and take our customers
> there might depend on such things.

Right. But some folks might choose not to become VSI customers at all
if the only publicly available information is that there are no
non-expiring licenses.

Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)

unread,
Aug 5, 2021, 4:12:11 AMAug 5
to
In article <sef9de$q8k$1...@dont-email.me>, Dave Froble
<da...@tsoft-inc.com> writes:

> Keep in mind, there is an option. Permanent license. Hey, good enough
> for nuke plants, good enough for others.

Yes, but available to others?

> I really don't want to see this route chosen, because customers could
> then go off support. I think all VMS users need to be on support, if
> for no other reason, to financially support VSI.

My understanding was that the permanent license required a
"subscription" to VSI.

Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)

unread,
Aug 5, 2021, 4:14:55 AMAug 5
to
In article <sefamv$us$1...@dont-email.me>, Dave Froble
<da...@tsoft-inc.com> writes:

> Part of that problem is that those customers won't be there waiting when
> matters get sorted out. So, that's basically suicide for whoever takes
> too long to sort matters.
>
> I'll just give one opinion. But before I do, I want to state that I
> believe that the only path forward for VSI is to have all VMS users
> paying periodically for support. VMS users need VSI to be successful.
>
> Should VSI cease to exist, and there is not a viable path forward for
> VMS users, then existing methods, and possibly new methods, of bypassing
> the licensing will be used.
>
> Who could justify shutting down all businesses depending on VMS, and all
> the employees of those businesses. Surely not interested governments.
> I could see a government passing laws/regulations to enable such. I
> sure would go to court to stop the destruction of businesses and jobs.
>
> That's what we're talking about here. Destruction of businesses and
> jobs. It ain't gonna happen. Yell and scream all you want about
> copyright. It ain't gonna happen.
>
> Perhaps part of the support agreement with VSI might be a stipulation
> that if VSI is no longer able to support customers, then customers are
> allowed to do whatever is required to continue in business using VMS.
>
> This mess needs a resolution. It will happen.

The resolution will not be televised.

Simon Clubley

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Aug 5, 2021, 8:07:03 AMAug 5
to
On 2021-08-04, calliet gérard <gerard....@pia-sofer.fr> wrote:
>
> My opinion - and it not just from today -: VMS ecosystem is lacking real
> places where, if there exists some issue, it can be seriously discuted
> and evaluated. I know all of us have white hair, but it seems we are a
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> little bit childish about how the decisions can be made in an ecosystem.
> Even Big Blue has ears.
>

$ set response/mode=good_natured

Hey, speak for yourself. :-)

Some of us are still a good number of years away from that. :-)

(I hope. :-))

Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)

unread,
Aug 5, 2021, 8:15:01 AMAug 5
to
In article <segk95$jd4$1...@dont-email.me>, Simon Clubley
<clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP> writes:

> On 2021-08-04, calliet gérard <gerard....@pia-sofer.fr> wrote:
> >
> > My opinion - and it not just from today -: VMS ecosystem is lacking real
> > places where, if there exists some issue, it can be seriously discuted
> > and evaluated. I know all of us have white hair, but it seems we are a
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Those who still have hair can be thankful. :-|

Simon Clubley

unread,
Aug 5, 2021, 8:21:32 AMAug 5
to
On 2021-08-05, calliet gérard <gerard....@pia-sofer.fr> wrote:
>
> But very few are doing that. Because they react deciding to quit VMS.
> And because it is one by one they quit, VSI cannot understand it's a
> general issue they have to cope with.
>

Once an avalanche of users start to move away from VSI, then it's going
to be too late for VSI to do something about it.

"The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote."
That's as true in real life for this as it was in the fictional context.

Going back to something I said yesterday, I wonder if VSI really do think
that the only choice for users is to deal with VSI, and hence VSI think
they can dictate to the users the terms on which VSI will deal with the
users.

I do suspect VSI are in for a nasty shock if they do believe that.

> For decades there has been hemorrhage out of VMS. We were able in 2014
> to fight against that with the VSI creation. We didn't stop it, but we
> were able to make some of the customers wait. The only message from VSI
> had been since that "you'll have x86"... and the x86 horizon walked away
> each year. It has been increadable difficult to make wait the customers
> who didn't yet abandoned. You add the licensing issue, and everyone I
> know has decided to go away. I think it is the real reason why the
> customers don't speak with VSI to renegotiate.They are already out.
>

I know VMS isn't really portable (at least not in the modern sense of
the word), but 7 years (and counting) is still a lot of time for a port.

Simon Clubley

unread,
Aug 5, 2021, 8:25:43 AMAug 5
to
On 2021-08-04, Dave Froble <da...@tsoft-inc.com> wrote:
>
> Should VSI cease to exist, and there is not a viable path forward for
> VMS users, then existing methods, and possibly new methods, of bypassing
> the licensing will be used.
>

What if VSI start releasing signed images for parts of VMS so that you
cannot do that ? (IOW, if you patch the binary, the signature will no
longer match so the image will not load or run).

Arne Vajhøj

unread,
Aug 5, 2021, 8:56:44 AMAug 5
to
On 8/4/2021 8:17 PM, Dave Froble wrote:
> Should VSI cease to exist, and there is not a viable path forward for
> VMS users, then existing methods, and possibly new methods, of bypassing
> the licensing will be used.
>
> Who could justify shutting down all businesses depending on VMS, and all
> the employees of those businesses.  Surely not interested governments. I
> could see a government passing laws/regulations to enable such.  I sure
> would go to court to stop the destruction of businesses and jobs.
>
> That's what we're talking about here.  Destruction of businesses and
> jobs.  It ain't gonna happen.  Yell and scream all you want about
> copyright.  It ain't gonna happen.

You can be pretty sure that federal copyright law and WTO rules
will not be changed to save VMS customers.

I will not rule out that some companies may decide to
break copyright - that happens frequently. But it is not a
general solution to the problem - legal, auditors, senior management,
board etc. will say no.

> This mess needs a resolution.

Yes.

> It will happen.

Hopefully VSI will not go under.

:-)

I hope that VSI comes up with a solution that will
provide some assurance.

Arne

Bill Gunshannon

unread,
Aug 5, 2021, 9:22:20 AMAug 5
to
On 8/5/21 8:07 AM, Simon Clubley wrote:
> On 2021-08-04, calliet gérard <gerard....@pia-sofer.fr> wrote:
>>
>> My opinion - and it not just from today -: VMS ecosystem is lacking real
>> places where, if there exists some issue, it can be seriously discuted
>> and evaluated. I know all of us have white hair, but it seems we are a
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> little bit childish about how the decisions can be made in an ecosystem.
>> Even Big Blue has ears.
>>
>
> $ set response/mode=good_natured
>
> Hey, speak for yourself. :-)
>
> Some of us are still a good number of years away from that. :-)
>
> (I hope. :-))
>
> Simon.
>


I have had white hair since my early 30's.

bill

Chris Townley

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Aug 5, 2021, 9:26:19 AMAug 5
to
I have had white hair since soon after I was born

--
Chris

Bill Gunshannon

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Aug 5, 2021, 9:33:41 AMAug 5
to
And then you have Edgar and Johnny Winter. :-)

bill

chris

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Aug 5, 2021, 6:05:25 PMAug 5
to
Definately must have been the life you have been living :-)...




Bill Gunshannon

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Aug 5, 2021, 7:32:00 PMAug 5
to
I had an aunt who was white by 21. Probably genetics. Not the life
I was living. I was in the Army and that life agreed with me more than
anything else I have done in my life.

bill


calliet gérard

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Aug 6, 2021, 6:39:17 AMAug 6
to
Le 05/08/2021 à 14:07, Simon Clubley a écrit :
> $ set response/mode=good_natured

My bad english is perhaps a cause of a misunderstanding.

I do like children with white hairs - oh, bad response -.

More seriously, I couldn't stand Jan-Erik speaking about little sortable
issues in France, and c.o.v. "being negative as usual".

In France, as an independent consultant for VMS, it seems there is no
future. Every customer we know have decided to go out. I know One
exception, yes.

Perhaps France is an exception, and for sure some big companies are VSI
best friends - or they say that -. And the VSI offer is good for them.
What will be the VMS future if only a small kernel of users continues?
Will not this happy fews being sometimes worried about their loneliness?

Anyway the situation in France is very bad, so it is a little bit
difficult to hear we have in France just some tractable issues.

And what about c.o.v.? A little bit sterile discutions? Not this one,
perhaps. More than that: is it so evident that criticizing VSI is just
empty words?

My summary is we have a cultural problem. VSI redoes the Digital way of
not hearing the customers, we redo the adoration way we had in the 80s.

I recognize in the way we justify everything done by The Company the
very precious and kind loyalty I appreciate in the community. My opinion
is we can be sometimes more loyal committing lèse majesté crimes, when
we think there is a danger in the kingdom :)

calliet gérard

unread,
Aug 6, 2021, 6:57:14 AMAug 6
to
Le 05/08/2021 à 14:21, Simon Clubley a écrit :
> On 2021-08-05, calliet gérard <gerard....@pia-sofer.fr> wrote:
>>
>> But very few are doing that. Because they react deciding to quit VMS.
>> And because it is one by one they quit, VSI cannot understand it's a
>> general issue they have to cope with.
>>
>
> Once an avalanche of users start to move away from VSI, then it's going
> to be too late for VSI to do something about it.
>
> "The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote."
There is still a work for the Saint Bernard dogs (montain rescue dogs) :)

> That's as true in real life for this as it was in the fictional context.
>
> Going back to something I said yesterday, I wonder if VSI really do think
> that the only choice for users is to deal with VSI, and hence VSI think
> they can dictate to the users the terms on which VSI will deal with the
> users.
>
> I do suspect VSI are in for a nasty shock if they do believe that.
It seems VSI is like us: condemned to interpret a chrystal ball. We
think they think we think. *If* they organized strong ways of
consultation, we could abandone the chrystal ball.
>
>> For decades there has been hemorrhage out of VMS. We were able in 2014
>> to fight against that with the VSI creation. We didn't stop it, but we
>> were able to make some of the customers wait. The only message from VSI
>> had been since that "you'll have x86"... and the x86 horizon walked away
>> each year. It has been increadable difficult to make wait the customers
>> who didn't yet abandoned. You add the licensing issue, and everyone I
>> know has decided to go away. I think it is the real reason why the
>> customers don't speak with VSI to renegotiate.They are already out.
>>
>
> I know VMS isn't really portable (at least not in the modern sense of
> the word), but 7 years (and counting) is still a lot of time for a port.
>
> Simon.
>


--

Jan-Erik Söderholm

unread,
Aug 6, 2021, 7:01:02 AMAug 6
to
Den 2021-08-06 kl. 12:39, skrev calliet gérard:
> Le 05/08/2021 à 14:07, Simon Clubley a écrit :
>> $ set response/mode=good_natured
>
> My bad english is perhaps a cause of a misunderstanding.
>
> I do like children with white hairs - oh, bad response -.
>
> More seriously, I couldn't stand Jan-Erik speaking about little sortable
> issues in France, and c.o.v. "being negative as usual".

Hm... I'm sorry if it sounded like I thought that there wasn't some
serious issues in the France VMS community. I fully understand that.

Sorry if I expressed myself in an unclear way. Hard to tell since
I do not know what post from me you are refering to.

Regards,

Jan-Erik.


>
> In France, as an independent consultant for VMS, it seems there is no
> future. Every customer we know have decided to go out. I know One
> exception, yes.

At our site, the expected lifetime for our VMS system is 5-10 years.
After that it is very hard to tell what happens. Have we been able to
continue supporting the factory in an acceptable way? Who knows...

And I have my retirement in 2-3 years, if not sooner, anyway.


>
> Perhaps France is an exception, and for sure some big companies are VSI
> best friends - or they say that -. And the VSI offer is good for them. What
> will be the VMS future if only a small kernel of users continues? Will not
> this happy fews being sometimes worried about their loneliness?
>
> Anyway the situation in France is very bad, so it is a little bit difficult
> to hear we have in France just some tractable issues.
>
> And what about c.o.v.? A little bit sterile discutions? Not this one,
> perhaps. More than that: is it so evident that criticizing VSI is just
> empty words?

Not fully empty, but talking directly to VSI is probably better, IMHO.

ultr...@gmail.com

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Aug 7, 2021, 3:52:31 PMAug 7
to
On Friday, August 6, 2021 at 7:01:02 AM UTC-4, Jan-Erik Söderholm wrote:
> Den 2021-08-06 kl. 12:39, skrev calliet gérard:
> > Le 05/08/2021 à 14:07, Simon Clubley a écrit :
> >> $ set response/mode=good_natured
> >
>
> Jan-Erik.
> >
> > In France, as an independent consultant for VMS, it seems there is no
> > future. Every customer we know have decided to go out. I know One
> > exception, yes.
> At our site, the expected lifetime for our VMS system is 5-10 years.
> After that it is very hard to tell what happens. Have we been able to
> continue supporting the factory in an acceptable way? Who knows...
>
> And I have my retirement in 2-3 years, if not sooner, anyway.
> >

Don't count on it our binary star wormwood in the bible is coming. You may not get to retire.

John Wallace

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Aug 7, 2021, 7:37:50 PMAug 7
to
On 04/08/2021 13:19, Simon Clubley wrote:
> On 2021-08-03, Dave Froble <da...@tsoft-inc.com> wrote:
>> On 8/3/2021 1:41 PM, Simon Clubley wrote:
>>>
>>> Unfortunately, VSI do not seem to show any interest in addressing this.
>>>
>>> I wonder how much business it has cost them and how much it's going to
>>> cost them simply because a customer cannot allow this situation to occur.
>>>
>>> A business may love VMS and want to stay with it, but they are not
>>> going to allow the collapse of a vendor to be the collapse of their
>>> own business, even if that means moving away from VMS.
>>
>> On this we agree 100%.
>>
>
> Even when people disagree with me on the other things I say, everyone
> still appears to agree with me on this.
>
> Why can't VSI see just how strongly customers feel about this and why
> are they not doing anything to address this showstopping problem for
> keeping many people as VSI customers ?
>
> Do VSI simply not understand the sheer strength of customer feeling
> about this ?
>
> If you have your application source code, there are now solutions for
> porting your VMS applications, including its VMS-specific code, over
> to another operating system such as Linux.
>
> How many people are now exploring this option as a direct result of
> VSI's new time-limited licences policy ?
>
> Simon.
>

Subscription-based licences for VMS date back to at least VMS 4.6 (in
1987?) and V4.7, as can be seen from the VAX VMS Software Product
Description of the day which has the part numbers.

Back then they were called Periodic Payment Licences and seem to have
been associated with the then-new VAXBI series of machines.

I don't remember when they stopped being of interest to paying
customers. In fact I don't remember when DEC's introduction of
subscription based licencing *started* being of interest to VMS
customers I knew, but presumably someone somewhere liked the idea, at
least for a while.

Interesting to see that VSIVMS will not only have software licenced by
subscription, there will be "enforcement mechanisms" as part of the OS.

It's a good job such enforcement mechanisms (including the likes of what
used to be called DRM) have never ever in the history of digital
restrictions management or production IT been vulnerable to fail in new
and mysterious ways at the least convenient time possible and across the
whole user base. Well, not very often anyway.

Simon Clubley

unread,
Aug 7, 2021, 7:58:18 PMAug 7
to
On 2021-08-07, ultr...@gmail.com <ultr...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Don't count on it our binary star wormwood in the bible is coming. You may not get to retire.

On what date does it arrive ? It would be nice to be properly dressed
for the end of the world.

On a more serious note, how can anyone actually believe this stuff ?

This is not about believing in some god. (And while I don't believe
in a god, I strongly support the right of others to believe.)

This is actually full-blown doomsday cult stuff and given the casual
way Bob has mentioned this and similar things in the past, he clearly
believes the end of the world is just around the corner and has
integrated that belief into his way of life.

How can someone actually believe something that utterly extreme without
any proof ?

Dave Froble

unread,
Aug 7, 2021, 10:44:09 PMAug 7
to
On 8/7/2021 7:58 PM, Simon Clubley wrote:

Oh my Simon, you need to look at the world around you.

> On 2021-08-07, ultr...@gmail.com <ultr...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Don't count on it our binary star wormwood in the bible is coming. You may not get to retire.
>
> On what date does it arrive ? It would be nice to be properly dressed
> for the end of the world.

Why bother, no one will notice.

> On a more serious note, how can anyone actually believe this stuff ?

Just look at how many people voted for Trump. How many believed that
q-anon junk. How many believed trump won the election.

Belief - fiction with no requirement of proof, and no bearing on reality.

But it still happens.

Just look at those who won't get a Covid-19 vaccination.

Human intelligence is a myth.

> This is not about believing in some god. (And while I don't believe
> in a god, I strongly support the right of others to believe.)

Since nobody knows, or can know, agnostic is the best bet.

> This is actually full-blown doomsday cult stuff and given the casual
> way Bob has mentioned this and similar things in the past, he clearly
> believes the end of the world is just around the corner and has
> integrated that belief into his way of life.

If he truly believes that, why is he still doing anything? Just kick
back and wait.

Just like all those who just can't wait to get to heaven. What's
holding you back I'd ask them.

> How can someone actually believe something that utterly extreme without
> any proof ?

Many do.

It's called religion.

Better to call it superstition.

As mentioned by Jaba the Hut, "weak minded fools".

Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)

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Aug 8, 2021, 4:21:45 AMAug 8
to
In article <sen6mn$6k5$1...@dont-email.me>, Simon Clubley
<clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP> writes:

> > Don't count on it our binary star wormwood in the bible is coming.
> You may not get to retire.
>
> On what date does it arrive ? It would be nice to be properly dressed
> for the end of the world.
>
> On a more serious note, how can anyone actually believe this stuff ?

Tens of millions in the USA; essentially all born-again Christians.

> How can someone actually believe something that utterly extreme without
> any proof ?

It happens. Bill Gates and George Soros invented COVID so that they
could get rich on the vaccine and inject chips into people. Hillary
Clinton runs a pedophile ring out of a pizza place, and she, Obama,
Gates, and Soros drink the blood of children to stay young. Yes,
millions of people do actually believe it, and believe it strongly
enough that it moves them to commit acts of terrorism.

Henry Crun

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Aug 8, 2021, 11:08:06 AMAug 8
to
REMEMBER!! 50% of any population are below average!!
(And the avarege isn't all that high, either)

--
Mike R.
Home: http://alpha.mike-r.com/
QOTD: http://alpha.mike-r.com/qotd.php
No Micro$oft products were used in the URLs above, or in preparing this message.
Recommended reading: http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html#before
and: http://alpha.mike-r.com/jargon/T/top-post.html
Missile address: N31.7624/E34.9691

Arne Vajhøj

unread,
Aug 8, 2021, 1:55:11 PMAug 8
to
On 8/8/2021 11:03 AM, Henry Crun wrote:
> REMEMBER!! 50% of any population are below average!!
> (And the avarege isn't all that high, either)

50% are below median.

Whether 50% are below average depends on the distribution.

Arne


Simon Clubley

unread,
Aug 8, 2021, 8:51:22 PMAug 8
to
On 2021-08-07, Dave Froble <da...@tsoft-inc.com> wrote:
>
> If he truly believes that, why is he still doing anything? Just kick
> back and wait.
>
> Just like all those who just can't wait to get to heaven. What's
> holding you back I'd ask them.
>

Maybe their god isn't all that keen on having them join him. :-)

Dave Froble

unread,
Aug 8, 2021, 9:25:37 PMAug 8
to
On 8/8/2021 8:51 PM, Simon Clubley wrote:
> On 2021-08-07, Dave Froble <da...@tsoft-inc.com> wrote:
>>
>> If he truly believes that, why is he still doing anything? Just kick
>> back and wait.
>>
>> Just like all those who just can't wait to get to heaven. What's
>> holding you back I'd ask them.
>>
>
> Maybe their god isn't all that keen on having them join him. :-)
>
> Simon.
>

Maybe they are not so sure of what they claim to believe.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro

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Aug 8, 2021, 11:41:15 PMAug 8
to
On Friday, August 6, 2021 at 12:21:32 AM UTC+12, Simon Clubley wrote:
> On 2021-08-05, calliet gérard <gerard....@pia-sofer.fr> wrote:
>
>> The only message from VSI
>> had been since that "you'll have x86"... and the x86 horizon walked away
>> each year.
> >
> I know VMS isn't really portable (at least not in the modern sense of
> the word), but 7 years (and counting) is still a lot of time for a port.

This just reinforces my impression that proprietary software is very hard to make portable. Windows NT was supposedly designed from the beginning to be portable across more than just x86, and look at what a failure that was.

I suggested on one of VSI’s YouTube videos that they rearchitect VMS on top of a Linux kernel. That should simplify the job immensely, since Linux already runs on essentially every major processor architecture still in existence.

John Dallman

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Aug 9, 2021, 12:27:34 AMAug 9
to
In article <c4f936d9-317d-4ce3...@googlegroups.com>,
lawren...@gmail.com (Lawrence D_Oliveiro) wrote:

> Windows NT was supposedly designed from the beginning to be portable
> across more than just x86, and look at what a failure that was.

It was initially shipped on MIPS, PowerPC and Alpha, and the dropping of
those platforms was because they weren't much used, rather than because
they didn't work. It then shipped on Itanium, which was dropped because
the market preferred x86-64, rather than because it didn't work. x86-64
is now dominant in the market, but ARM64 is shipping and working.

My employers have shipped Windows NT software on x86, Alpha, Itanium,
x86-64 and ARM64. I did the Itanium, x86-64 and ARM64 ports. Other
engineers did porting work for MIPS and PowerPC, but both of those
platforms were abandoned before being shipped, because their prospective
customers lost interest.

> I suggested on one of VSI's YouTube videos that they rearchitect
> VMS on top of a Linux kernel. That should simplify the job
> immensely, since Linux already runs on essentially every major
> processor architecture still in existence.

That might have been a good idea several years ago, but given they have
it working now, changing would be foolish. The unusual difficulties with
porting VMS seem to have been the need to create BLISS and MACRO-32
compilers, the out-of-date C compiler, and a much smaller team than DEC
had for the Alpha port, or HP for the Itanium port.

John

Dave Froble

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Aug 9, 2021, 12:56:14 AMAug 9
to
The Macro-32 and Bliss compilers would have been needed regardless,
unless VSI was going to give up some customers. Don't know how many,
but, it could be significant.

I seem to recall that some of the real work was different memory
management and a few other things.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro

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Aug 9, 2021, 7:06:41 AMAug 9
to
On Monday, August 9, 2021 at 4:27:34 PM UTC+12, John Dallman wrote:

> [Windows NT] was initially shipped on MIPS, PowerPC and Alpha, and the dropping of
> those platforms was because they weren't much used, rather than because
> they didn't work. It then shipped on Itanium, which was dropped because
> the market preferred x86-64, rather than because it didn't work.

All of which were supported on Linux, and continued to be supported on Linux long after Microsoft had abandoned them. So you see, it wasn’t just a matter of the popularity (or not) of those architectures.

Alpha is an interesting case. In spite of it being a 64-bit architecture, Windows NT only ever ran on it in 32-bit “TASO” mode. OpenVMS got as far as a hybrid 32/64-bit port, but I don’t think it ever managed to go full 64-bit.

The only two fully-64-bit OSes to run on Alpha were DEC’s Tru64 Unix ... and Linux.

Jan-Erik Söderholm

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Aug 9, 2021, 7:16:34 AMAug 9
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Den 2021-08-09 kl. 13:06, skrev Lawrence D’Oliveiro:
> On Monday, August 9, 2021 at 4:27:34 PM UTC+12, John Dallman wrote:
>
>> [Windows NT] was initially shipped on MIPS, PowerPC and Alpha, and the dropping of
>> those platforms was because they weren't much used, rather than because
>> they didn't work. It then shipped on Itanium, which was dropped because
>> the market preferred x86-64, rather than because it didn't work.
>
> All of which were supported on Linux, and continued to be supported on Linux long after Microsoft had abandoned them. So you see, it wasn’t just a matter of the popularity (or not) of those architectures.

I read Johns comment such as "they weren't much used [*by Windows users*].

And also "the [*Windows*] market preferred x86-64..."

Not the possible popularity of the platforms as such...

John Dallman

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Aug 9, 2021, 7:50:13 AMAug 9
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In article <ser2qf$bjk$1...@dont-email.me>, jan-erik....@telia.com
(Jan-Erik Söderholm) wrote:
> Den 2021-08-09 kl. 13:06, skrev Lawrence D_Oliveiro:
> > On Monday, August 9, 2021 at 4:27:34 PM UTC+12, John Dallman
> > wrote:
> > All of which were supported on Linux, and continued to be
> > supported on Linux long after Microsoft had abandoned them. So
> you see, it wasn_t just a matter of the popularity (or not) of
> those architectures.
>
> I read Johns comment such as "they weren't much used [*by Windows
> users*].
>
> And also "the [*Windows*] market preferred x86-64..."
>
> Not the possible popularity of the platforms as such...

Indeed. The Windows market popularity of those architectures is only
vaguely connected to their popularity in other markets.

Windows on PowerPC was a Microsoft/IBM co-production, and the only
supported machines outside Japan were rs/60000 models that were extremely
expensive. There was a plan to support PowerMac machines via the Common
Hardware Reference Platform, but since that would have opened the MacOS
market to hardware competition, Apple were less enthusiastic in practice
than they claimed in public, and it never went anywhere.

Windows on MIPS suffered because there were disagreements within SGI
about supporting it, or shunning it. Then the Intel Pentium Pro made the
contemporary MIPS processors look really slow, and NetPower, the company
that ex-SGI people had set up to do Windows MIPS high-end machines
switched to Intel.

Windows on Alpha lasted until the end of NT4. There was a 64-bit port,
used at Microsoft for development, but never released, because Itanium
was going to be the thing.

Itanium's only lasting markets were for HP-UX, VMS and NonStop, all of
which were HP proprietary operating systems at the time. A fair number of
customers did abandon them to get away from Itanium.

Windows on ARM64 has real potential, and I hope Microsoft are willing to
let it grow out of the niche they've allocated for it in their plans.

John

Simon Clubley

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Aug 9, 2021, 8:14:54 AMAug 9
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On 2021-08-09, Lawrence D?Oliveiro <lawren...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Monday, August 9, 2021 at 4:27:34 PM UTC+12, John Dallman wrote:
>
>> [Windows NT] was initially shipped on MIPS, PowerPC and Alpha, and the dropping of
>> those platforms was because they weren't much used, rather than because
>> they didn't work. It then shipped on Itanium, which was dropped because
>> the market preferred x86-64, rather than because it didn't work.
>
> All of which were supported on Linux, and continued to be supported on Linux long after Microsoft had abandoned them. So you see, it wasn?t just a matter of the popularity (or not) of those architectures.
>
> Alpha is an interesting case. In spite of it being a 64-bit architecture, Windows NT only ever ran on it in 32-bit ?TASO? mode. OpenVMS got as far as a hybrid 32/64-bit port, but I don?t think it ever managed to go full 64-bit.
>

The lack of pure 64-bit mode for VMS on Alpha was nothing to do with
Alpha, but was to do with the VMS architecture and choice of implementation
languages.

Unlike with other operating systems where the lowest supported language
is C (with a bit of assembly thrown in for architecture-specific things),
_way_ too much would have broken in VMS code if they had tried to make
it a pure 64-bit environment.

Dan Cross

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Aug 9, 2021, 8:37:04 AMAug 9
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In article <608dc068-5afe-4f04...@googlegroups.com>,
Lawrence Dâ Oliveiro <lawren...@gmail.com> wrote:
>On Monday, August 9, 2021 at 4:27:34 PM UTC+12, John Dallman wrote:
>> [Windows NT] was initially shipped on MIPS, PowerPC and Alpha, and the dropping of
>> those platforms was because they weren't much used, rather than because
>> they didn't work. It then shipped on Itanium, which was dropped because
>> the market preferred x86-64, rather than because it didn't work.
>
>All of which were supported on Linux, and continued to be supported on Linux
>long after Microsoft had abandoned them. So you see, it wasn't
>just a matter of the popularity (or not) of those architectures.

FTR, NT first booted on an in-house i860 workstation built by
microsoft.

But porting VMS to run "on top of" Linux would likely be far more
work than just running directly on bare hardware. Linux's internal
kernel architecture is very different from that of VMS; a non-trivial
translation layer would have to be implemented.

>Alpha is an interesting case. In spite of it being a 64-bit architecture,
>Windows NT only ever ran on it in 32-bit 'TASO' mode. OpenVMS
>got as far as a hybrid 32/64-bit port, but I don't think it ever
>managed to go full 64-bit.

Running on the bare hardware, in a lot of respects, is not the
hard part. I imagine drivers and compilers are a much bigger
issue than booting, page tables and context switching. As others
pointed out, you need the compilers anyway to support customers.
Given the system call differences between VMS and Linux, it's
unclear how much you could really leverage Unix drivers, but
there's no reason those couldn't be ported if they can be used.

>The only two fully-64-bit OSes to run on Alpha were DEC's Tru64
>Unix ... and Linux.

I found that doubtful. NetBSD claims full 64-bit support on Alpha.
I imagine so does OpenBSD. I don't know what the status of
FreeBSD was, but I imagine they were full 64-bit. The plan 9
kernel on Alpha was a 64-bit kernel, though admittedly pretty
much a 32-bit API.

- Dan C.

Arne Vajhøj

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Aug 9, 2021, 11:36:49 AMAug 9
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On 8/8/2021 11:41 PM, Lawrence D’Oliveiro wrote:
> I suggested on one of VSI’s YouTube videos that they rearchitect VMS
> on top of a Linux kernel. That should simplify the job immensely,
> since Linux already runs on essentially every major processor
> architecture still in existence.
But would VMS userland on top of a Linux kernel
be VMS?

And is the porting effort really mostly kernel?

I suspect NO and NO.

Arne


Bill Gunshannon

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Aug 9, 2021, 12:20:37 PMAug 9
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On 8/9/21 11:36 AM, Arne Vajhøj wrote:
> On 8/8/2021 11:41 PM, Lawrence D’Oliveiro wrote:
>> I suggested on one of VSI’s YouTube videos that they rearchitect VMS
>> on top of a Linux kernel. That should simplify the job immensely,
>> since Linux already runs on essentially every major processor
>> architecture still in existence.
> But would VMS userland on top of a Linux kernel
> be VMS?
>

I agree. If you're going to run on VMS run on VMS. If you're
going to run on linux, run on linux.

> And is the porting effort really mostly kernel?

Mostly is a matter of opinion. Without the kernel none of the
layered products really matter. Linux already has a userland
that does all the stuff necessary to run an IS. The advantage
VMS is in VMS.

>
> I suspect NO and NO.

bill

Arne Vajhøj

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Aug 9, 2021, 1:15:22 PMAug 9
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On 8/9/2021 8:14 AM, Simon Clubley wrote:
> On 2021-08-09, Lawrence D?Oliveiro <lawren...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Alpha is an interesting case. In spite of it being a 64-bit architecture, Windows NT only ever ran on it in 32-bit ?TASO? mode. OpenVMS got as far as a hybrid 32/64-bit port, but I don?t think it ever managed to go full 64-bit.
>
> The lack of pure 64-bit mode for VMS on Alpha

As states before there is no 32 bit mode in VMS.

But VMS compilers and API's support both 32 and 64 bit pointers.

> was nothing to do with
> Alpha, but was to do with the VMS architecture and choice of implementation
> languages.
>
> Unlike with other operating systems where the lowest supported language
> is C (with a bit of assembly thrown in for architecture-specific things),
> _way_ too much would have broken in VMS code if they had tried to make
> it a pure 64-bit environment.

I suspect that DEC could have rewritten VMS itself to all
64 bit pointers.

VMS applications out at customers would be a a bigger problem.

Arne


Simon Clubley

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Aug 9, 2021, 1:32:11 PMAug 9
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On 2021-08-09, Arne Vajhøj <ar...@vajhoej.dk> wrote:
> On 8/8/2021 11:41 PM, Lawrence D?Oliveiro wrote:
>> I suggested on one of VSI?s YouTube videos that they rearchitect VMS
>> on top of a Linux kernel. That should simplify the job immensely,
>> since Linux already runs on essentially every major processor
>> architecture still in existence.
> But would VMS userland on top of a Linux kernel
> be VMS?
>

The third party porting kits that allow you to port VMS applications
to run on top of Linux already do this to some extent.

So the question becomes: What _is_ VMS ? Is it the APIs ? Is it the
underlying design ? Is it something else ?

I think the APIs are part of it, but not sufficient by itself.

So while you can run some VMS applications on Linux with the help
of these tools, I don't think of that as being VMS on Linux.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro

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Aug 9, 2021, 8:14:37 PMAug 9