Updates to the Community Program

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imiller
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Updates to the Community Program

Post by imiller » Tue Mar 26, 2024 10:02 am

https://vmssoftware.com/about/news/2024 ... se-update/
Big news about the hobbyist license program :o
Ian Miller
[ personal opinion only. usual disclaimers apply. Do not taunt happy fun ball ].

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arne_v
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Re: Updates to the Community Program

Post by arne_v » Mon Apr 01, 2024 7:13 pm

daemonspudguy wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2024 6:46 pm
It does not help matters that if you want to get a GUI running on VMS for x86-64, well, you can't. Literally, CDE just does not load. Ever. And apparently there are no plans to fix it.
I think VMS is deemed a server OS only. With any GUI running on PC.

VMS IDE runs on PC.

A VMS application could/should implement a web UI accessible from browser on PC/phone/tablet.

Time has changed.

But then I never liked DECWindows.
Arne
arne@vajhoej.dk
VMS user since 1986


pocketprobe
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Re: Updates to the Community Program

Post by pocketprobe » Mon Apr 01, 2024 10:14 pm

As a software company deeply committed to fostering a vibrant community around our products, we continually evaluate and refine our initiatives to better align with our goals and resources. With this in mind, we are announcing changes to our community program aimed at enhancing its efficiency and impact.
  • This is good, and makes sense.
Over the years, we have proudly offered free licenses for non-commercial use of our operating system across multiple architectures. This initiative was born out of our desire to support enthusiasts, hobbyists, and students in their exploration and learning journeys. However, the overwhelming surge in demand has strained our ability to adequately process requests while simultaneously delivering the intended benefits.
  • Running VMS Used to be hard.
The biggest gatekeeper for interest in OpenVMS historically has been rare/expensive hardware for those who like it, or emulation being slow, expensive, or unavailable. Alpha the first two, Itanium the second. Opening the floodgates for x86 lead to an enormous amount of feedback for those who were in early, finding the lock manager bug via the queue manager, or plenty of compiler testing. The slow manual approval process ultimately hampered demand of many who could have participated and reported better. After the initial surge of demand, automating approvals should have been made a priority.
Despite our initial aspirations for robust community engagement, the reality has fallen short of our expectations. The level of participation in activities such as contributing open-source software, creating wiki articles, and providing assistance on forums has not matched the scale of the program. As a result, we find ourselves at a crossroads, compelled to reassess and recalibrate our approach.
  • Open Source Software...
Where is the POSIX userland? Bash? GNU Make? Having CMake run? Python (Which is a major dependency in a lot of open source software that tinkerers or advocates would want to test/see/port)? I see python is now coming in the roadmap and someone in the community had GNU Make start working.
  • Wiki Articles...
Nice to have, sure, a good way to document but VSI already has good documenation. You're the vendor, you should take the lead in documenting things.
  • Providing assistance on the forums
Most questions that people bother to ask do get answered, and the regulars on the forum are quite active. In 2024 a community Discord may be a better idea for actual engagement.
In light of these considerations, we are implementing a strategic shift in our community program. Effective immediately, we will discontinue offering new community licenses for non-commercial use for Alpha and Integrity. Existing holders of community licenses for these architectures will get updates for those licenses and retain their access to the Service Portal until March 2025 for Alpha and December 2025 for Integrity. All outstanding requests for Alpha and Integrity community licenses will be declined. This decision is necessary to ensure a vibrant VMS Software OpenVMS community thrives and adapts to new technologies. Continuation of free licensing for old architectures does not incentivize community members to adapt to OpenVMS x86-64, virtualization, and future technology developments.
  • Discontinuance of Non-x86 architectures.
I get it. It's not going to make VSI money to let people do this. But, for the handful of members that were actually seeing how things would work on x86 versus prior this is a loss. Last year, x86 wasn't in a state that was suitable for general use, especially with the broken compilers. BASIC is still missing(was when i wrote this, but still is for anyone who missed it during the short service portal window), which is still a lynch pin for someone wanting to tinker and get a disengaged customer to reengage... And more importantly for having anyone have interest in doing anything new and generating interest in the platform Python is still missing. Talking about the community not porting open source software to x86 with Python and POSIX Userland being missing, along with an incomplete/buggy compiler suite is disingenuous at best.
  • Virtualization and future technology
I know my bare metal machine was entirely unsupported, but I did my best to provide relevant feedback and my testing various cards would give insights for passing through adapters other than fiber channel. Python is a "new" technology, and without that collecting data from OpenVMS into a modern monitoring stack like Telegraf/Prometheus, or configuration management tools such as Ansible, Terraform provisioners, or even cloud-init could not yet be integrated.
For x86 community licenses, we will be transitioning to a package-based distribution model (which will also replace the student license that used to be distributed as a FreeAXP emulator package). A vmdk of a system disk with OpenVMS V9.2-2 and compilers installed and licensed will be provided, along with instructions to create a virtual machine and the SYSTEM password. The license installed on that system will be valid for one year, at which point we will provide a new package. While this may entail some inconvenience for users, it enables us to continue offering licenses at no cost, ensuring accessibility without compromising our sustainability. You can sign up for this license here. We will also send the link to it to all users who have previously requested an x86 community license, who we would like to thank for their patience.
  • VMDK Distribution
Awesome, this makes it much easier for a newcomer, or as a system to deploy as a template for any other sort of modern technology. Need to test something against a fresh OpenVMS machine? Great. How do I configure it with my automation tooling? If I wanted to put this in a cloud, how would it get provisioned? In a prior blog post VSI mentioned "don't be different" and this combined with a total lack of bare metal support makes it pretty different for any modern IT org using automation tooling. I do see on the roadmap now possible autostart of TCP/IP and OpenSSH for 9.2-3 which is nice.
  • Better distribution
An OVA template would have been better, the serial port could be configured, and a memory minimum could be set as well. VMWare, Virtualbox, and many KVM tools will work with these as they are a "new technology."
We recognize that change can be challenging, and we want to express our gratitude to the community for your understanding and support during this transition. Our commitment to fostering collaboration and innovation remains unwavering, and we believe these adjustments will ultimately serve to strengthen our ecosystem.
  • Change does happen.
Distributing a VMDK or OVA is better for someone who just wants to try it, and doesn't want to deal with the minutiae of setting it up. What I do hope does not happen is having updates completely disappear as the compiler suite are still not complete and/or production ready. I'd also presume this means community members are no longer intended to have any of the other layered products.
By focusing our efforts on areas where we can maximize impact and engagement, we aim to cultivate a thriving community that empowers users and enriches the broader software landscape. Stay tuned for further updates and announcements as we continue to shape the future of our community program. Your feedback and insights are invaluable as we navigate these changes together.
  • A hope for the future
I do hope that the other Layered Products are still available for maximizing learning the platform, but the licenses present in the vmdk suggest that this is no longer the case. Frankly, this sort of change has or will alienate a good portion of the handful that were actually engaged.

P.S. I do hope my reported OpenSSH security bug actually gets a fix published, or the report I made about VGIT not liking directories ending in .DIR gets addressed as that sort of annoyance will annoy someone trying to port busybox.


daemonspudguy
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Re: Updates to the Community Program

Post by daemonspudguy » Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:47 pm

The most insulting thing to me is locking support for layered products and Alpha behind the Ambassador program, which basically requires you to be God to get in from the looks of it. I was genuinely rather angry when I got the email announcing these changes because of how drastic and, in my opinion, unnecessary they are.


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Re: Updates to the Community Program

Post by soutbarr » Tue Apr 02, 2024 10:15 pm

daemonspudguy wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:47 pm
The most insulting thing to me is locking support for layered products and Alpha behind the Ambassador program, which basically requires you to be God to get in from the looks of it. I was genuinely rather angry when I got the email announcing these changes because of how drastic and, in my opinion, unnecessary they are.
There's also the ISV License.
ISV license

If you are an Independent Software Vendor of Commercial software for OpenVMS, you are eligible for a no-cost ISV License and/or reduced-rate access to VMS Support services for OpenVMS on the Alpha, Integrity, and x86 platforms. To learn more about the ISV License program and apply for an ISV license, click here.
I'm pretty sure an opensource record for OpenVMS would get you access to that license. Though I lack that, there are a few projects i'd like to get updated to be current.


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Re: Updates to the Community Program

Post by reinhardtjh » Tue Apr 02, 2024 11:07 pm

soutbarr wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2024 10:15 pm
I'm pretty sure an opensource record for OpenVMS would get you access to that license. Though I lack that, there are a few projects i'd like to get updated to be current.
It has in previous years. No telling about currently. But it wouldn't hurt to apply if you have at least one decent Open Source projects that you maintain. Or perhaps have one in mind. Who can say.
John H. Reinhardt
  • VMS user since 1981


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Re: Updates to the Community Program

Post by noci » Wed Apr 03, 2024 6:53 pm

I am running OpenVMS on a Proxmox host.
Previous attempts to import VMDK disks there failed with some kind of corruption.
Since Sept 2023 i could install from ISO that did work.

I haven't received any mail on this subject (and i do manage the mailfilter..., the mails are not seen.
So no chance they are in quarantine or bounced).
Recent mails were about a survey of Backup and about a webinar. and today about a new version of OpenVMS software with a link that is invalid. (Package list 404 error).


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Re: Updates to the Community Program

Post by thorleif » Sat Apr 06, 2024 10:48 am

When will the pacage area be updated. I have not got the vmdk disk yet

Thanks,
Thorleifur

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cct
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Re: Updates to the Community Program

Post by cct » Sat Apr 06, 2024 12:08 pm

From what has been said, it will not be for CL users
Last edited by cct on Sat Apr 06, 2024 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Chris


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Re: Updates to the Community Program

Post by reinhardtjh » Sat Apr 06, 2024 2:23 pm

thorleif wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2024 10:48 am
When will the pacage area be updated. I have not got the vmdk disk yet

Thanks,
Thorleifur
Access to the new x86 CLP vmdk disk comes through a link in an email. The title of the email is "Your Community License Package". If you were a previous x86 license receiver, then you should have gotten one or will sooner or later. Check your spam and hope you have not emptied it. Mine came the morning of 4/1/2024. The email will contain a link to a page describing how to set up the vmdk using Oracle's VirtualBox. If you use something else you are on your own - interpret the VirtualBox instructions for your choseN VM software. The other link will be to a zip file containing a two-part vmdk file. One file has the internal details of the vmdk and the other has the compressed data. You need both.
John H. Reinhardt
  • VMS user since 1981

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Re: Updates to the Community Program

Post by cct » Sat Apr 06, 2024 2:39 pm

If you use KVM, then do read the link to Virtualbox instructions, as it points out you may need to convert the VMDK
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