There's nothing like testing to ensure the HP3000 will maintain its reputation for reliability. But the question is rising from users' lips: How much testing do we need in a transition era?
The enhancements that HP has been crafting for the 3000 are starting to dwindle in number. Part of the reduction of effort is all about a lack of testing from the users. In our June issue we outlined the state of patches stuck in HP's beta program. One of the customers we offered as an example reported back with an update on his patch testing efforts. Dave Powell is wondering what it takes to get a patch sprung from the beta-testing jail.
After correcting my report on what MM Fab does — they are a fabric and garment company, not a component maker — he gives the all-clear on a pair of CI patches to enable a user function to call another script or UDC as a function that would return a value using an enhanced CI RETURN command.
"I installed the patches in question back on April 2," he says, "and posted favorable comments about it on the 3000-L that day.
"I see that the two patches in question, MPEMXP9 and MPEMXQ0, are still on HP’s 'Beta Test patches for MPE/iX C.75.00' page, and I am left wondering how many customers have to test a patch before it goes off beta. I called HP in early April to 'officially' report that those patches were good, and since Donna Garverick had posted favorable comments on them months earlier I would *guess* that she would have notified HP too. I thought I read somewhere that HP only needed one customer to approve a patch. Does it take more or is some positive customer feedback getting lost somewhere?"
Good question. We also heard HP say they'd be satisfied with one site's beta test report, a comment offered when HP engineers discussed the lack of beta-test sites last summer at HP World. All we can surmise, until we hear from HP, is that there's more work to do on maintaining MPE/iX than there are engineers to do it. At least at HP.
Which gives the argument for releasing the operating system source to a third party a little more ammunition. But nobody's really battling, are they? HP wants its homesteading customers to succeed, right?