Launched in an era when the Internet was new, HP's Jazz lab server for HP 3000 training, technique and tools will go dark on December 31. Third party resources are rising up to replace the hosting point, but HP's has ended its contributed software efforts, the MPE/iX programs which will not find a new home inside HP.
Jazz was named after Jeri Ann Smith, an HP engineer whose contributions and enthusiasm for network tools supplied a spark to the 3000's nascent offerings. By the late 1990s, "It will be up on Jazz" had become a common refrain from HP software engineers when they reported on the location of new tools and technical papers. HP reported yesterday that the documents will be re-hosted on other HP support systems. But the downloadable programs — more than 80 projects created by HP as supported software, or by community members in volunteer efforts — must find a new home by year's end.
HP said that Jazz is going dark because its 3000 labs will end operations on Dec. 31. Since the server is maintained by HP's lab staff, halting the lab's engineering means unplugging the Series 900 HP 3000 which has been running for 12 years. Bootstrap development fundamentals such as the GNU Tools, the open source gcc compiler and utilities ported by independent developer Mark Klein, have had a home on Jazz for a decade. More than 80 other programs are hosted on the server, some with HP support and others ported and created by HP but unsupported.
Fortunately for the 3000 community, OpenMPE is already working on a new home for the treasures on Jazz.
HP reports that the staff-written technical white papers and presentation slide sets hosted on Jazz will be available in the vendor's support system after Dec. 31, although pointers to the new locations have not yet been revealed to the community. HP stressed that 3000 customers should begin downloading what they need from Jazz today.
"Most of the content will be preserved," said HP's Bill Cadier, an HP 3000 engineer who's been managing the server's contents. "After the end of the year Jazz will go away, and some content will remain on other HP internal servers. We're also exploring third parties picking up ownership of the Jazz role."
OpenMPE can make that exploration a quick expedition. "OpenMPE is in the process of making Jazz's contents available on our new server," said OpenMPE director Donna Hoffmeister. The advocacy group is already taking on the duties of hosting a public access development server, the former Invent3k project which is closing up at HP this Sunday night.
HP cannot move the downloadable programs "onto the ITRC servers, nor to doc.hp.com," Cadier said.
"Anything that people will need they should download before Dec. 31, 2008," said business manager Jennie Hou. "That's our recommendation."
A brief list of some of the programs available for downloading from Jazz:
Open source software produced/ported and "supported" by HP:
• Many command files
• Porting Scanner
• Porting Wrappers
• The System Inventory Utility
Open source software produced/ported as unsupported freeware by HP:
Open source software produced/ported by individuals:
• TIFF library
Binary-only software produced/ported and "supported" by HP:
• LineJet Utilities