How Many 3000s, Once More
Let Open Source Open 3000 Doors

3000's CSL bounty bounds into new view

SwapTape89 After more than five years of obscurity and outright disappearance, the Contributed Software Library will make its debut on a server in plain view of the community. CSL utilities will come online from an Sereis 959 system hosted by the Austin-based Support Group inc. But the re-emergence of these classic, tested tools is the result of a complete team of companies and volunteers.

This is community in action: Client Systems provides the A-Class HP 3000, the ultimate-generation small system. It's installed in a rack at the Support Group, while OpenMPE treasurer Tracy Johnson, aided by OpenMPE director Jack Connor of Abtech, arrange for the correct software to be installed on the server. A disaster recovery version of the server is hosted at Measurement Specialties, where Johnson manages 3000 resources.

Connor said the CSL is among those community-created assets that needs to resurface. "Invent3K, the CSL, Jazz, and other tools and collections of works by folks for the past four decades should be available to the community," he said. "It seems as we've formed a sort of ad hoc group to move ahead on getting done today what is realistically doable."

Paul Edwards, formerly of the OpenMPE board and currently working on a 3000 education contract, has delivered a CSL disk from the year before HP canceled its 3000 futures. Now it's up to the rest of the community to pitch in, so the hidden gems of the CSL can shine for the first time since the Interex user group scuttled its assets including the library. Edwards has the most complete version that's out in the open -- and since he's a former Interex board director as well, has as much right as anyone to share what the community created.

But the contents of the tape need some documenting. "Each CSL edition has its own way of accessing the catalog of programs." Edwards explains. "So getting a list of programs is not trivial in some cases. I believe most of the editions have an abstract or notes for each program." (Above, a sample of 3000 programs from a swap tape, the open source beginnings of the CSL shared at user group conferences. Click for a larger view.)

Some customers have already offered reports on what's working in their environments. "We still use a bunch of CSL programs," said Ken Thompson, including Bouncer, SOOT, Dirk, Conslog, Scanlog (I would love to see an updated version of that one), UDCUtil and Allowme."

Steve Thompson, IS Manager for Electronic Tele-Communications, reports, "We have been using SLEEPER to stream jobs at scheduled times of the day, week and for special occasions ever since the early 1980s. I would hate to have to replace it!"

"We would be totally lost without FINDTEXT  for identifying COBOL programs which contain certain stringsof code or data elements or verbs," said Neda Bahrani, IS/IT Manager at Superior Dental Care.

If you're using a CSL program and can share a note on the name and what it does, you can help restore the contributed library to its former status. Send your summary to me at the NewsWire via email, or to the Support Group's David Floyd -- so they can verify your CSL program is on the contributed disk collection that's going back to the user community.