In a little more than 40 minutes last week, HP's talked about the 3000 division's future for the remaining work on the system. We reported the math for HP e3000 business manager Jennie Hou at her talk. Less than 41 weeks remain before HP's 3000 development of any kind will end. That's scant time to finish so many tasks, like release of 3000 enhancements long-finished but untested, or HP preparation for turning over the care of MPE/iX to the community.
HP is going to release a PowerPatch 5 to its support customers during 2008. The company will also "provide clear guidelines for performing hardware upgrades." These were the only plans HP announced for the rest of this year. There will be no further PowerPatches for 6.5 and 7.0 MPE/iX releases. (The individual 6.5/7.0 patches can be downloaded by the entire community.) That's all HP plans to do.
Click on the slide at the right to see the sparse plans for the remainer of 2008.
Those unreleased beta-test patches are in limbo, unless HP has confidential plans it didn't share at GHRUG. A pledge to deploy "a very aggressive plan to put together a program for beta test patches" was entirely without details. HP still puts the plan in the hands of customers, a community loath to change much on frozen systems.
Customers and partners in the audience asked if HP would reduce its beta-test requirements to get dozens of fixes and enhancements into the community. Beta-test is a status restricted to HP support customers. No, HP did not report it would do this for the six dozen software projects that it has built and tested since 2004.
Instead, the audience got a repeat performance. Hou, speaking on behalf of HP management, repeated the "virtual" HP 3000 division was "investigating" one need or another. In HP's process of delivering anything to the community, "investigation" is only the first step of a process that includes "funding" and then "planning" and finally "development." Oh, and the testing, if needed. Many HP projects have never gone beyond investigation.
For a list of what's still in limbo, across three releases of MPE/iX, have a look at HP's roundup on what needs to be tested and released in 41 weeks' time.