Priority Number One - Develop Focus for #OpenVMS Open Source Team(s) 
Sunday, September 20, 2009, 02:38 PM
Posted by Administrator
Seems like the need now is to get those interested in Open Source development and support on OpenVMS to have a point of focus and community. This is probably as difficult as any task within the effort to develop momentum within the OpenVMS community and is typical of all segments within the our community. I will layout where we are first.

Within the community we have people who are exploring new modes of communication and development. We also have people who view the tools at hand (listserv email, newsgroups, VAXnotes) as the tools to use, rather than move to new environments - i.e. social media, blogs. No matter how you look at it we are a relatively small community which needs good communication and a mechanism to facility communications between all our members and to help us focus on developing new momentum within the community as well as to attract new people.

Along these lines I would love to have some magic glue to allow me to post a message once and have it go everyplace we need it to go for effective communications. Anyone want to step in? Well, that current lack not withstanding, I am looking at making it happen the old fashion way for awhile as I cogitate on how to improve the efficiency of my effort. A bit of wandering hither and yon through the hills and dales of the wilderness of the internet.

I will be posting at various spot over the next new weeks to attempt to pull the various parties together so as to work toward developing a consensus on a path to facilitate the porting of open source packages to OpenVMS. The overall belief is that this effort needs active participation in the open source project communities of each package so as to show commitment and facilitate the incorporation of OpenVMS specific code in the main line code for all packages. Resources are another issue at times so we will also be exploring establishing facilities to support current efforts and expand to new packages.

For those that are not aware there is list on OpenVMS.org. We look to grow this list and expand its detail with the help of the community.

I welcome suggestions and comment on this process. I also welcome support - moral, vocal, and otherwise are appreciated.

I have no misconceptions about the project. There is much to do. I have time and can keep the effort up and keep working to pull interested parties together to help build the community and add to the critical mass we require.

Well, time to change channels and move things on...

Thanks,

Bill.
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Integration of VMSblog with Twitter for #OpenVMS Evangelism 
Sunday, August 23, 2009, 12:19 PM
Posted by Administrator
Yes, that's right, now the Subject lines will be automatically posted to Twitter. And will see how we can move this into other portions of our effort to get more buzz and discussion going about OpenVMS.

As mentioned in my last blog I experimented with writing the blog from an Ipaq. While it is not the sort of thing I would recommend it was doable. The newer PDA with their micro keypads are much quicker with data entry but I must admit a certain desire to "stay in the family".

August has long been the "dog days of Summer" and that has been obvious with the slow down in blogs and comments on the web. We continue with our coordination efforts to pull different groups together. Many challenges exist. Some cultural, some geographic, some just people. At present we have the OpenVMS community spread across many different and disparate platforms - DECUServe, c.o.v. Newsgroup, Connect Community, LinkedIN, Facebook, Twitter, OpenVMS.org, OpenVMShobbyist.com and many others. Part of the challenge will be to integrate these platforms so any communication about OpenVMS becomes available to each of us!

Along those lines I have experimented with the implementation of an interface between the blog engine I use here and Twitter. That has now been implemented and this is the first post of confirming its operation.

Looking forward to other progress as we move out of Summer and into a busy Fall season of Evangelism.

Bill.
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Blogging from an Ipaq 
Friday, August 21, 2009, 05:39 PM
Posted by Administrator
Well,it is not a VT420 or WordPress off astandard kb but it is possible to access this blog from an Ipaq and do useful work. Have recently loaded MiniMo for WinCE, Firefox''s abandoned little brother. What an improvement over MS IE!!!

Now I am not saying I would do this all the time I wanted to experiment as I work to understand the 'new' technologies and techiques of accessing the WWW. Yes, it can be done but I am at least FIVE paragraphs behind.

So, next time, more detail and it will be delivered via the normal input method.

Learnng all the way!!!

LATER...

Bill.
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Open Source for OpenVMS 
Wednesday, July 15, 2009, 06:54 AM
Posted by Administrator
In a recent series of posts Stephen Hoffman of HoffmanLabs noted that the current state of Open Source product for the OpenVMS environment is both in a disarray and is seriously lagging the rest of the industry. Hoff equates this current state of affairs as a train wreck or at least a train wreck in progress.

The efforts around open source product by HP and others seem to be too tightly tied to the issue of stability versus the issue of currency. In this day and age we somehow need to balance the issue of stability - OpenVMS is well known for this - with requirement to be on the cutting edge once again. Remember when OpenVMS (actually VMS) was on the cutting edge? It can be done. It was done! It needs to be done, AGAIN!

HP and its OpenVMS predecessors are all guilty of attempting to appease the user community with "open source" while not really embracing the concept. All too often, if not always, there has been the renaming of applications and the slow release and poor support of the application once they have placed their hands on it. You can go off and get Apache just about anyplace you want and you can use it or modify it as you desire. CSWS (aka Apache on OpenVMS) is really only available from HP, even though the product is Compaq Secure Web Server - no mention of Apache - ah the confusion. The list goes on...

Why not get the model back in place of open source? That's right, get it back to where the code is updated and the overall development community for an open source product and then apply its collective skills toward improving it. That is the idea behind open source - you have the COMMUNITY INVOLVED.

HP needs to get its resources focused on making OpenVMS a viable and growing environment. If that it thinks that means involvement in the open source community it needs to really participate on a timely basis. On the other hand, if the OpenVMS community wants to have product then it should stand up and get involved in open source directly and not wait for HP.

I support Hoff in his quest to push the OpenVMS community and HP to move forward more in the spirit of Open Source. Along these lines we are considering how to place a focus on this as well as other issues as we move as a community to centralize information about OpenVMS and related products and services.

Step forward. Comment. Participate. Contribute!
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A Call for Participation - OpenVMS Community needs to rally 
Wednesday, July 8, 2009, 04:27 PM
Posted by Administrator
Just after the middle of June I started a discussion on LinkedIn.com on the following topic:

How do we expand OpenVMS to new environments? How do we attract companies to use OpenVMS? How would you get more young people interested in this environment rather than Windows and *nix?

Click on the above headline to go to the discuss. You will have to join the OpenVMS Community Group on LinkedIn.com but you should find the comments and energy encouraging.

This has been a fairly successful discussion and has reach the point where we are starting to pull things together so we can establish goals and have an action plan and create some real improvements in the OpenVMS Community. This is a copy of a recent post on that discussion:

Like any significant endeavor this program has many different levels of interaction and complexity. Yes, this is a program, not a project. Multiple independent but inter-related projects within the effort as we move forward. Delineating these efforts and breaking them down will then aid us in focusing on moving forward.

I started trying to convince HP their implementation of OpenVMS Evangelism was not properly focused and as I have been pushing this for a while in the background I am willing to take the lead on this. I look to those with close, special relationships within HP and other companies to act as our liaisons and provide either introduction to right people or take on efforts to bring each entity into the fold as we move forward.

As Michelle has pointed out this is multi-leveled in terms of communication. Taking her breakdown and expanding on it:
  1. C level management and Board members
- Primary Goal: name recognition for OpenVMS and its strengths

2. IT management
- Primary Goal: educate on why they should choose OpenVMS

3. ISVs
- Primary Goal: why they should develop and/or
support their products on OpenVMS

4. Open Source Developers
- Primary Goal: why they should include OpenVMS
as a supported platform /
benefits of native OpenVMS operation

5. Practitioners / OpenVMS Enthusiasts
- Primary Goal: education and resources
to be volunteer ambassadors

6. Potential practitioners / OpenVMS Enthusiasts
- Primary Goal: introduction to / hands on OpenVMS

7. Students
- Primary Goal: introduction to /
hands on OpenVMS /
lowering the average age of the OpenVMS Community

That said we need to consider how we move forward with this effort. I have been discussing with some the idea of a need for a centralized site dedicated to OpenVMS that is accurate, up-to-date, thorough, and easy to navigate which presents the following:
	Applications
Commercial
Open Source
Freeware
Utilities
Commercial
Open Source
Freeware
Open Source tools to aid implementation/porting
of open source code to OpenVMS
Services
Training
Consultants
User stories - SUCCESS STORIES
White Papers
Performance
TCO
DR
Best Practices
WHY OpenVMS vs ...
Platforms
Licensing
Marketing communications resources

In other words, create a site that runs entire gamut of what, where, how, who, why, when, why not, which of OpenVMS.

The site that seems to make the most sense as far as a starting point is OpenVMS.org. It already has a certain amount of name recognition and is a perfect starting point.

I am proposing a WIKI oriented approach here. Get the community involved QUICKLY. One difference is we need a mechanism so the owner of the product or service can CLAIM the page and lock it down. The owner can get involved and maintain this resource to most accurately and thoroughly reflect their product or service. ANYONE could go to this site and find out about applications or services on OpenVMS. I have looked at some wiki engines and currently think a good starting point is the TWIKI engine. It has a good structuring mechanism and many extensions/plugins and should be able to be enhanced to fulfill our requirements. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

This site then becomes a mechanism of communication and the focusing of the OpenVMS effort. There is nothing that says the wiki could not also be used to provide coordination on the project. Documentation and coordination are the basis of the wiki anyway.

With this first step we can then start getting an idea of how someone might configure a "base" environment for SMBs using OpenVMS as a foundation - tool for introduction into that spectrum.

We need to start developing the breakdown of how we work to accomplish each of the areas we have identified as areas needing focus. I do not see any specific tool needed here at present.

I would like to keep this as much out in the open as possible. I want to see the support of organizations such as HP Connect and the OpenVMS SIG but I also want to make sure we keep it easy for people to participate. Even LinkedIn.com is a bit of "club" but it offered a forum that was easy to use as a starting point and had a decent exposure. I have started a blog on my website: www.ccsscorp.com/VMSblog. I will cross post this entry as a start.

I personally am working on the education aspects of OpenVMS. More on what we are doing here as we move forward and finish some development and start some new initiatives.

Please keep involved and keep bringing the new, good, ideas to the table!
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