OpenMPE's march to source halfway home
November 19, 2009
The treasurer for the OpenMPE advocacy group has announced that the drive to raise licensing fees for MPE/iX source is halfway home. Contributions have been trickling in since Brian Edminster of Applied Technologies kicked in the first $1,000 in September. The money can help connect customers to patches, as shown in the chart, so MPE can continue to serve companies, both those homesteading and those on a long-term migration schedule.
Although the group doesn't have an official deadline from HP to submit its fees for read-only source, the vendor's "Jennie Hou says the sooner the better," reported treasurer Matt Perdue. At September's e3000 Community Meet where the fundraising kicked off, Perdue estimated that about $20,000 would be needed to pay HP as well as manage the licensing process.
OpenMPE has applied for the license, and must be prepared to pay the license fee, upon approval by Hewlett-Packard. "We are now more than half way to the fundraising goal," Perdue said in a note to the HP 3000 newsgroup, "so please consider what you can contribute."
Specifics of the source code license terms are under wraps, thanks to a Confidential Disclosure Agreement that all applicants must sign. HP hasn't announced which companies have been approved and granted licenses. The program was first announced by HP in February.
Donors to the fundraising drive have been technical consultants such a Kevin Miller of 3KRanger who has contributed $500. Perdue said some donors wish to remain anonymous.
Once OpenMPE gains its source license, the group would assemble and administer the resources of engineers who have internal MPE/iX experience. Secretary Donna Hofmeister said at the Community Meet these patch providers "are more like [HP's] lab." The group will nurture and enable business relationships between customers of third party support providers and the patch providers.
The need for MPE/iX patches is both real and funded by HP customers, according to OpenMPE's president Birket Foster. Referring to "a very large aircraft manufacturer who will be on MPE until 2012," he said the customer anticipates changes in 3000 connectivity.
"They want to hedge their bets," he said, "so part of this [patching] is to make sure that if the standards for disk drive writes change over the next five years, or if IPV6 became mandatory, we could engineer to accept those changes." Any company or individual who wants to invest in the OpenMPE license can use the following deposit point to send checks (made out to OpenMPE):
c/o Matt Perdue, Treasurer
PO Box 460091
San Antonio, TX 78246-0091