Discussion:
What will be the browser for X86 OpenVMS?
(too old to reply)
u***@gmail.com
2017-06-05 11:19:42 UTC
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you want vms to take off give single users an alternative
to windows having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
Jan-Erik Soderholm
2017-06-05 11:45:34 UTC
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Post by u***@gmail.com
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative
to windows having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
Don't hope to much on that. You made me smile anyway, and that
is not too bad, is it? :-)
Simon Clubley
2017-06-05 12:13:09 UTC
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Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
Post by u***@gmail.com
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative
to windows having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
Don't hope to much on that. You made me smile anyway, and that
is not too bad, is it? :-)
Indeed. :-) With that level of understanding of the IT world, Bob has
an excellent career ahead of him in this country's Home Office... :-)

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Microsoft: Bringing you 1980s technology to a 21st century world
Simon Clubley
2017-06-05 12:09:59 UTC
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Post by u***@gmail.com
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative
to windows having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
That comment is so out of touch with reality I don't even know how to
respond to it.

I will therefore simply point out that Linux can do this just fine so
if you want an alternative to Windows for desktop applications then use
Linux instead.

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Microsoft: Bringing you 1980s technology to a 21st century world
u***@gmail.com
2017-06-05 15:54:30 UTC
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Post by Simon Clubley
Post by u***@gmail.com
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative
to windows having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
That comment is so out of touch with reality I don't even know how to
respond to it.
I will therefore simply point out that Linux can do this just fine so
if you want an alternative to Windows for desktop applications then use
Linux instead.
Simon.
--
Microsoft: Bringing you 1980s technology to a 21st century world
linux is garbage. check the certs. so linux is free?
You get what you pay for.

Keep pushing your free garbage OS linux which is son of
windows and watch how your career goes. Hack day for linux
is coming.
Stephen Hoffman
2017-06-05 16:35:43 UTC
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Post by u***@gmail.com
linux is garbage.
The market says you're wrong.
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Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
David Froble
2017-06-05 22:10:29 UTC
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Post by Stephen Hoffman
Post by u***@gmail.com
linux is garbage.
The market says you're wrong.
Not necessarily so. Garbage could be embraced by many people. Note that
neither side of such an argument addresses the question of "garbage". Nor the
definition of "garbage".

:-)

Why "garbage"? Wasn't "snake oil" a good enough description?
u***@gmail.com
2017-06-06 11:49:06 UTC
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Post by Stephen Hoffman
Post by u***@gmail.com
linux is garbage.
The market says you're wrong.
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the certs say I'm right ;)
David Froble
2017-06-06 14:45:36 UTC
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Post by u***@gmail.com
Post by Stephen Hoffman
Post by u***@gmail.com
linux is garbage.
The market says you're wrong.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
the certs say I'm right ;)
And, they produce how much revenue ???
Stephen Hoffman
2017-06-06 16:07:07 UTC
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Post by u***@gmail.com
Post by Stephen Hoffman
Post by u***@gmail.com
linux is garbage.
The market says you're wrong.
the certs say I'm right ;)
If you listen very closely, some of those same CERTs on other platforms
might just whisper to you that OpenVMS is missing more than a few CERTs
for software that (also) exists on OpenVMS.

But then there's the more general market-related discussion, too.
Until OpenVMS runs all of the software that folks want it to, and at a
price they're willing to pay to purchase and maintain, claims of
security aren't really relevant to anything. If OpenVMS can't run the
necessary apps or tools, then pragmatically a brick is equivalently
secure.

I'd like to see OpenVMS get where you believe it to be. Competitive
with Windows Server and RHEL and such. But it's not. But OpenVMS
just can't replace Windows Server or RHEL or such. Not yet. Not
without a whole lot of work from VSI and from third-parties and support
folks.

Overselling a product — as you seem wont — often tends to backfire,
too. But since you don't believe me, go try a few experiments of your
own. Find somebody that knows Windows Server or RHEL or some other
server, hand them an OpenVMS server box and a distro and ask them to
set it up and run it, and then get their opinion.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Steven Schweda
2017-06-06 16:31:16 UTC
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Post by Stephen Hoffman
Post by u***@gmail.com
Post by u***@gmail.com
linux is garbage.
[...]
Post by u***@gmail.com
the certs say I'm right ;)
If you listen very closely, some of those same CERTs on other
platforms might just whisper to you that OpenVMS is missing
more than a few CERTs for software that (also) exists on
OpenVMS.
Exactly. I've grown tired of this oft-repeated nonsense
which says that a large number of security patches on some
non-VMS system proves the inferiority of that system.

For example, in the past few years, Info-ZIP UnZip has
collected a bunch of CVE reports (typically buffer
overflows). These reports typically come from Red Hat, or
Debian, or the like, often with a suggested patch, or a
request for a fix from "upstream" (me, in this case). And
they share those fixes around. If you use one of those
GNU/Linux distributions, then your UnZip likely includes
those fixes. Because of the current release-paralysis at
Info-ZIP, if you use UnZip on VMS, then you're stuck with
whatever you can scrape together on your own. The fact that
neither HP[E] or VSI has provided the fixes reflects only
that they don't provide the defective software, not that the
user is not using the defective software.

The GNU/Linux distributors do supply all kinds of
useful-ware which the VMS distributors do not. They perform
testing which the VMS distributors do not. They provide
fixes which the VMS distributors do not. It's not clear to
me how this makes VMS superior.
Simon Clubley
2017-06-06 18:08:37 UTC
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Post by Steven Schweda
Post by Stephen Hoffman
If you listen very closely, some of those same CERTs on other
platforms might just whisper to you that OpenVMS is missing
more than a few CERTs for software that (also) exists on
OpenVMS.
Exactly. I've grown tired of this oft-repeated nonsense
which says that a large number of security patches on some
non-VMS system proves the inferiority of that system.
I would also be interested in knowing if VMS security issues have
ever been quietly fixed instead of going through the CVE process.
Post by Steven Schweda
The GNU/Linux distributors do supply all kinds of
useful-ware which the VMS distributors do not. They perform
testing which the VMS distributors do not. They provide
fixes which the VMS distributors do not. It's not clear to
me how this makes VMS superior.
Exactly. A good number of those patches refer to products that
either don't exist on VMS or are out of date on VMS.

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Microsoft: Bringing you 1980s technology to a 21st century world
Stephen Hoffman
2017-06-07 15:53:30 UTC
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I would also be interested in knowing if VMS security issues have ever
been quietly fixed instead of going through the CVE process.
Here are some public security announcements that do not reference CVEs.

http://h20564.www2.hpe.com/hpsc/doc/public/display?docId=pdb_na-VMS84I_UPDATE_V0500

http://sciinc.com/remotevms/vms_techinfo/openvms_MUP.asp
http://www1.astadia.com/MasterIndex/cover_letter/cover_letter_00634fd4.txt

Also search the newsgroup archives for discussions among Andrew
Harrison and various other folks including myself.

Finding this data has gotten more problematic as patch announcements
are now hidden behind paywalls. This to the detriment of the vendors'
own efforts to market the value of their own product support offerings,
IMO.
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Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Simon Clubley
2017-06-07 17:43:07 UTC
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Post by Stephen Hoffman
I would also be interested in knowing if VMS security issues have ever
been quietly fixed instead of going through the CVE process.
Here are some public security announcements that do not reference CVEs.
[snip]

Yes, that's what I suspected.

Thanks Stephen,

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Microsoft: Bringing you 1980s technology to a 21st century world
Simon Clubley
2017-06-05 18:19:46 UTC
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Post by u***@gmail.com
Post by Simon Clubley
Post by u***@gmail.com
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative
to windows having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
That comment is so out of touch with reality I don't even know how to
respond to it.
I will therefore simply point out that Linux can do this just fine so
if you want an alternative to Windows for desktop applications then use
Linux instead.
linux is garbage. check the certs. so linux is free?
You may wish to check out all the patches issued for Windows each month.

VMS would also have more patches issued for it if it's components were
kept up to date at the rate they should be.
Post by u***@gmail.com
You get what you pay for.
Keep pushing your free garbage OS linux which is son of
windows and watch how your career goes. Hack day for linux
is coming.
You can get paid support contracts for Linux.

Also, Linux does have some security features which are lacking on
VMS such as MAC security and encrypted filesystems which are
encrypted to current encryption standards.

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Microsoft: Bringing you 1980s technology to a 21st century world
Stephen Hoffman
2017-06-05 15:59:08 UTC
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Post by Simon Clubley
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative to windows
having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
That comment is so out of touch with reality I don't even know how to
respond to it.
Sure, a browser and an office suite were probably enough to be decently
competitive in the desktop market back early 1990s. DEC had some of
that then, too. DECwrite, DECcalc, DECscan, et al. But DEC and
others were then clobbered in that market by the rise of Microsoft and
of Windows. Which was cheaper, and worked well enough for what most
folks wanted and needed back then.
Post by Simon Clubley
I will therefore simply point out that Linux can do this just fine so
if you want an alternative to Windows for desktop applications then use
Linux instead.
Ayup. Linux, macOS and the BSDs all have this now. Two of those
are free, and the third is giving away a quite-functional and
quite-compatible office suite and related tools with the hardware
purchase.

That's before we start looking at what else Windows offers, and at what
else Linux, macOS and BSDs also offer. That — in various cases —
OpenVMS does not.

That's also before we look at the Windows desktop commercial market —
which looks to be a replacement market and that's been shrinking for a
while, and certainly not a growth market — and before we look at the
explosion of mobile clients and devices over the past decade.

That's also before looking at the infrastructure and the APIs — giblets
beyond the graphics controller support — that's necessary to port
OpenOffice or (probably more likely) LibreOffice over to OpenVMS, too.

VSI has the right strategy here. Servers only, and — beyond keeping
X11 working, and hopefully eventually updated to current X11 — no
desktops and certainly no desktop apps. Get the software updated to
current security, get the compilers and core tools updated, get the
platform ported to x86-64. Get the customers migrated from HPE
releases to VSU releases, and get the revenues stable and preferably
growing. Get more third-parties engaged. Then start building the
server offerings.


UltraDWC...

go try installing and configuring OpenVMS — including adding the
network stack and configuring that — and patching OpenVMS to current —
all from the GUI, without resorting to the command line. There's
way more necessary for a desktop product here than an office suite and
a web browser. Gotta get the box installed and working and networked
and keep it secure, after all. Remote system support via VNC/RDP/ARD,
and remote system management. Provisioning requirements, just as soon
as more than a few client deployments are considered. Remote backups.
Then go try this on Windows or macOS.

Sure, it's possible to hand-roll some of this on OpenVMS, but... it's
either already part of Windows or Linux or macOS or such, or it's
already available from third-parties.

I'd also suggest learning about mass deployments and provisioning and
related tools, about what's involved with end-point security and
network security, and about the level of integration that's
increasingly expected of desktops within corporate environments — what
Microsoft Office did back in the 1990s for uniting writing and
spreadsheets and such into a suite of tools is now happening at far
larger scale with Active Directory and SharePoint and other services as
well as with hosted services that most sites are at least partially
adopting; Office365 is increasingly popular, after all.

If I want an office suite and a web browser, I can buy an iPad tablet
and get all of that, and rather more. And that iPad is a whole lot
easier to use and to carry around than OpenVMS ever was, too. Or I can
get a Microsoft Surface or one of many cheap Windows boxes, if I want
the canonical office suite on the canonical platform. Or I can
acquire a Dell XPS laptop or desktop running factory-installed Ubuntu,
for that matter. Or a Pixel or Chrome OS device, for that matter.
And there are many other competitors.


TL;DR...

We are not in the 1990s. Prices and expectations and features have
changed. Revenues are key. VSI is all about the installed base of
folks already using OpenVMS. VSI seeks to acquire and stabilize the
installed base, and then seeks to build on the installed base. On the
folks that are looking to avoid the costs of porting their existing
server apps else-platform. Folks already on other platforms aren't
inclined to incur similar costs moving over to OpenVMS, either. Over
time, VSI then seeks to add additional folks and new deployments that
are looking for what OpenVMS provides for servers, and particularly
with the updates that VSI provides.

Going directly against Microsoft Office? Or competing against other
commercial and free platforms with LibreOffice, which is already
available for free on other platforms and thus not even remotely close
to differentiating feature? That seems unlikely to be a viable
commercial strategy, and a good way to waste a whole lot of money on
the way. Money that could have been spent making OpenVMS a better and
more competitive server platform.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
u***@gmail.com
2017-06-06 11:52:02 UTC
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Post by Stephen Hoffman
Post by Simon Clubley
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative to windows
having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
That comment is so out of touch with reality I don't even know how to
respond to it.
Sure, a browser and an office suite were probably enough to be decently
competitive in the desktop market back early 1990s. DEC had some of
that then, too. DECwrite, DECcalc, DECscan, et al. But DEC and
others were then clobbered in that market by the rise of Microsoft and
of Windows. Which was cheaper, and worked well enough for what most
folks wanted and needed back then.
Post by Simon Clubley
I will therefore simply point out that Linux can do this just fine so
if you want an alternative to Windows for desktop applications then use
Linux instead.
Ayup. Linux, macOS and the BSDs all have this now. Two of those
are free, and the third is giving away a quite-functional and
quite-compatible office suite and related tools with the hardware
purchase.
That's before we start looking at what else Windows offers, and at what
else Linux, macOS and BSDs also offer. That — in various cases —
OpenVMS does not.
That's also before we look at the Windows desktop commercial market —
which looks to be a replacement market and that's been shrinking for a
while, and certainly not a growth market — and before we look at the
explosion of mobile clients and devices over the past decade.
That's also before looking at the infrastructure and the APIs — giblets
beyond the graphics controller support — that's necessary to port
OpenOffice or (probably more likely) LibreOffice over to OpenVMS, too.
VSI has the right strategy here. Servers only, and — beyond keeping
X11 working, and hopefully eventually updated to current X11 — no
desktops and certainly no desktop apps. Get the software updated to
current security, get the compilers and core tools updated, get the
platform ported to x86-64. Get the customers migrated from HPE
releases to VSU releases, and get the revenues stable and preferably
growing. Get more third-parties engaged. Then start building the
server offerings.
UltraDWC...
go try installing and configuring OpenVMS — including adding the
network stack and configuring that — and patching OpenVMS to current —
all from the GUI, without resorting to the command line. There's
way more necessary for a desktop product here than an office suite and
a web browser. Gotta get the box installed and working and networked
and keep it secure, after all. Remote system support via VNC/RDP/ARD,
and remote system management. Provisioning requirements, just as soon
as more than a few client deployments are considered. Remote backups.
Then go try this on Windows or macOS.
Sure, it's possible to hand-roll some of this on OpenVMS, but... it's
either already part of Windows or Linux or macOS or such, or it's
already available from third-parties.
I'd also suggest learning about mass deployments and provisioning and
related tools, about what's involved with end-point security and
network security, and about the level of integration that's
increasingly expected of desktops within corporate environments — what
Microsoft Office did back in the 1990s for uniting writing and
spreadsheets and such into a suite of tools is now happening at far
larger scale with Active Directory and SharePoint and other services as
well as with hosted services that most sites are at least partially
adopting; Office365 is increasingly popular, after all.
If I want an office suite and a web browser, I can buy an iPad tablet
and get all of that, and rather more. And that iPad is a whole lot
easier to use and to carry around than OpenVMS ever was, too. Or I can
get a Microsoft Surface or one of many cheap Windows boxes, if I want
the canonical office suite on the canonical platform. Or I can
acquire a Dell XPS laptop or desktop running factory-installed Ubuntu,
for that matter. Or a Pixel or Chrome OS device, for that matter.
And there are many other competitors.
TL;DR...
We are not in the 1990s. Prices and expectations and features have
changed. Revenues are key. VSI is all about the installed base of
folks already using OpenVMS. VSI seeks to acquire and stabilize the
installed base, and then seeks to build on the installed base. On the
folks that are looking to avoid the costs of porting their existing
server apps else-platform. Folks already on other platforms aren't
inclined to incur similar costs moving over to OpenVMS, either. Over
time, VSI then seeks to add additional folks and new deployments that
are looking for what OpenVMS provides for servers, and particularly
with the updates that VSI provides.
Going directly against Microsoft Office? Or competing against other
commercial and free platforms with LibreOffice, which is already
available for free on other platforms and thus not even remotely close
to differentiating feature? That seems unlikely to be a viable
commercial strategy, and a good way to waste a whole lot of money on
the way. Money that could have been spent making OpenVMS a better and
more competitive server platform.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
installing OpenVMS is easy, so is tcpware, configuring decnet over IP,
point is the freeware is out there so pay them something to port to
openvms and correct digitals mistake, make a secure os usable for the
avg joe and they will buy it. As sales increase costs come down, thats
called volume. and you point is?
Stephen Hoffman
2017-06-06 16:10:01 UTC
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Post by u***@gmail.com
installing OpenVMS is easy, so is tcpware, configuring decnet over IP,
point is the freeware is out there so pay them something to port to
openvms and correct digitals mistake, make a secure os usable for the
avg joe and they will buy it. As sales increase costs come down, thats
called volume. and you point is?
For you, maybe. Go see if somebody else can do that, get Apache and
TLS security and a commercial certificate chain working for OpenVMS and
for Apache and for some apps, and then get their opinion of the
difficulties involved.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Jason Howe
2017-06-05 18:40:44 UTC
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On Mon, 5 Jun 2017 12:09:59 -0000 (UTC), Simon Clubley
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative to windows having a
browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
That comment is so out of touch with reality I don't even know how to respond
to it.
I will therefore simply point out that Linux can do this just fine so if you
want an alternative to Windows for desktop applications then use Linux
instead.
Simon.
In his defense, having a local browser is handy at times depending on what
you're doing. Maybe you're configuring a piece of software which has a
webconsole you don't want available off the box, for example. In this case a
local browser on a remote X session, tunelled over ssh is not an unreasonable
thing to want for.

I can't come up with a good arguemnt for a local office suite at this time. A
on-preem server-based document colab suite (An on Prem Google Docs, if you will)
may have some application however. See NextCloud (nee OwnCloud) in the OSS space
for an example.
--
Jason
Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
2017-06-05 19:56:48 UTC
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Post by Jason Howe
In his defense, having a local browser is handy at times depending on what
you're doing. Maybe you're configuring a piece of software which has a
webconsole you don't want available off the box, for example. In this case a
local browser on a remote X session, tunelled over ssh is not an unreasonable
thing to want for.
Indeed. 99% of the stuff I use a browser for doesn't need any
"advanced" features. 50% works with Mozilla on VMS.
Jan-Erik Soderholm
2017-06-05 21:20:36 UTC
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Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Jason Howe
In his defense, having a local browser is handy at times depending on what
you're doing. Maybe you're configuring a piece of software which has a
webconsole you don't want available off the box, for example. In this case a
local browser on a remote X session, tunelled over ssh is not an unreasonable
thing to want for.
Indeed. 99% of the stuff I use a browser for doesn't need any
"advanced" features. 50% works with Mozilla on VMS.
I prefer to run 100% of my browser work on one environment.
David Froble
2017-06-05 22:19:30 UTC
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Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Jason Howe
In his defense, having a local browser is handy at times depending on what
you're doing. Maybe you're configuring a piece of software which has a
webconsole you don't want available off the box, for example. In this case a
local browser on a remote X session, tunelled over ssh is not an unreasonable
thing to want for.
Indeed. 99% of the stuff I use a browser for doesn't need any
"advanced" features. 50% works with Mozilla on VMS.
I prefer to run 100% of my browser work on one environment.
Or, put another way, a single browser that does 100%, not just 50%, and leaving
you to still need that browser that does 100%.
Hans Bachner
2017-06-06 09:49:03 UTC
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Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Jason Howe
In his defense, having a local browser is handy at times depending on what
you're doing. Maybe you're configuring a piece of software which has a
webconsole you don't want available off the box, for example. In this case a
local browser on a remote X session, tunelled over ssh is not an unreasonable
thing to want for.
Indeed. 99% of the stuff I use a browser for doesn't need any
"advanced" features. 50% works with Mozilla on VMS.
I prefer to run 100% of my browser work on one environment.
I think a reasonable browser is a basic tool for any platform, almost
like an editor.

As OpenVMS patches (at least at HPE) are only accessible through a
browser interface, I prefer to use a browser on a system where I need
those patches.

The requirement for a browser to manage various equipment on the network
has already been mentioned - it is desirable not to need switch
platforms just because you're happen to work on OpenVMS at the time you
need to access one of those widgets.

Hans.
hb
2017-06-06 14:44:14 UTC
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Post by Hans Bachner
As OpenVMS patches (at least at HPE) are only accessible through a
browser interface, I prefer to use a browser on a system where I need
those patches.
I admit, I never had to get patches for VMS from HP(E). So I don't know
how you authenticate yourself to HPE. Or does HP(E) require something
like JavaScript to access the patches? I prefer a command line tool like
WGET or CURL to fetch patches or kits. Both tools are available for VMS.
Stephen Hoffman
2017-06-07 15:20:00 UTC
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Post by hb
Post by Hans Bachner
As OpenVMS patches (at least at HPE) are only accessible through a
browser interface, I prefer to use a browser on a system where I need
those patches.
I admit, I never had to get patches for VMS from HP(E). So I don't know
how you authenticate yourself to HPE. Or does HP(E) require something
like JavaScript to access the patches? I prefer a command line tool
like WGET or CURL to fetch patches or kits. Both tools are available
for VMS.
The whole patch process and patch notification and patch distribution
implementation is an end-to-end ad-hoc disaster, but I'm being polite.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Jan-Erik Soderholm
2017-06-06 15:15:32 UTC
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Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Jason Howe
In his defense, having a local browser is handy at times depending on what
you're doing. Maybe you're configuring a piece of software which has a
webconsole you don't want available off the box, for example. In this case a
local browser on a remote X session, tunelled over ssh is not an unreasonable
thing to want for.
Indeed. 99% of the stuff I use a browser for doesn't need any
"advanced" features. 50% works with Mozilla on VMS.
I prefer to run 100% of my browser work on one environment.
I think a reasonable browser is a basic tool for any platform, almost like
an editor.
As OpenVMS patches (at least at HPE) are only accessible through a browser
interface, I prefer to use a browser on a system where I need those patches.
I prefer to use a browser (that actually works) on one system where I
do all my daily work (inlcuding accessing the VMS systems) instead of
having a halfworkng browser on each VMS system (only for patches?).
The requirement for a browser to manage various equipment on the network
has already been mentioned - it is desirable not to need switch platforms
I never switch platforms. I run my browser *and* my VMS access tools
from the same system, my Windows laptop.
just because you're happen to work on OpenVMS at the time you need to
access one of those widgets.
It is just different windows on the same laptop desktop environment.
I do not understand what you mean with "switching systems".
Hans.
Stephen Hoffman
2017-06-06 15:55:06 UTC
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Post by Hans Bachner
I think a reasonable browser is a basic tool for any platform, almost
like an editor.
It'd certainly be nice, but VSI is stretched pretty thin.
Post by Hans Bachner
As OpenVMS patches (at least at HPE) are only accessible through a
browser interface, I prefer to use a browser on a system where I need
those patches.
Or for that particular case, we move to patches that can be downloaded
using the patch tools, and avoid the whole sequence of hurdles and
complexity that HPE was and is using. RSS would be one of the
simplest options here, but there are other ways to do that.

I haven't used the existing browsers on VMS in some years, though.
All of the browser activity has been on modern and secure browsers, and
the files then pushed to the OpenVMS servers involved via sftp.
Post by Hans Bachner
The requirement for a browser to manage various equipment on the
network has already been mentioned - it is desirable not to need switch
platforms just because you're happen to work on OpenVMS at the time you
need to access one of those widgets.
So we carry around a tablet or a phone, and perform the operation there?

Getting a graphical console hooked up to a server can be entertaining,
unless we're using RDP or VNC or ARD or such. Or getting remote X
configured and displayed somewhere. Until the infrastructure is in
place, the old ways do work.

And if we're using RDP or VNC or ARD or such, or if we're using remote
X, copying patches around via ftp or sftp — which is what many of us
are already doing, because we're forced into this and into the command
line by the "design" of the patch process on OpenVMS — is no great
stretch to deal with.

Would I like a browser? Sure. I can use Lynx in a pinch. But do I
need a browser or a desktop on VMS? No. Would I like a desktop and
GUI management and all the rest? Sure. Am I going to use a graphical
web browser or LibreOffice on OpenVMS? Nope. Nor will most (any?) of
my customers, for that matter. Tablets and mobiles and desktops are
far more capable.

Also when y'all add a modern web browser to OpenVMS, now y'all are
adding more stuff y'all have to secure, too. Then we discuss whether
we want the browser to be sandboxed against exploits, too. Because
folks are not going to restrict their access only the HPE or VSI patch
area. Likely attack path? Not initially. But... eventually.

TL;DR: Concentrate on being a really good server. Not on being a
half-arsed, ill-distinguished and command-line managed "desktop".
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Steven Schweda
2017-06-06 16:08:01 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
At the risk of further extending this sterile argument, ...
Post by Hans Bachner
I think a reasonable browser is a basic tool for any
platform, almost like an editor.
I agree. For fetching files (patches, and so on), having
to run a Web browser on a non-VMS system, and then use some
kind of file-sharing/transfer scheme to get the result to its
(note: not "it's") ultimate destination is more pain than
should be required.
Post by Hans Bachner
[...] Or does HP(E) require something like JavaScript to
access the patches? [...]
Safe bet. You don't use the "Community" forums, either?
Post by Hans Bachner
All the freeware is out there. It is c based. JUST PORT IT
OVER. [...]
If it's (note: not "its") that easy, then what's stopping
you? (In my case, it's often a deficient run-time library.)
John Reagan
2017-06-06 16:42:44 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Steven Schweda
At the risk of further extending this sterile argument, ...
Post by Hans Bachner
I think a reasonable browser is a basic tool for any
platform, almost like an editor.
I agree. For fetching files (patches, and so on), having
to run a Web browser on a non-VMS system, and then use some
kind of file-sharing/transfer scheme to get the result to its
(note: not "it's") ultimate destination is more pain than
should be required.
Isn't cURL sufficient? Seems overkill to have a full-blown browser as a glorified file downloader. They had a run of security issues but I think they've learned their lesson and are quite open about it. You can get curl on OpenVMS today.

https://curl.haxx.se/docs/security.html
Steven Schweda
2017-06-06 16:55:59 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by John Reagan
Isn't cURL sufficient? Seems overkill to have a full-blown
browser as a glorified file downloader. [...]
Does it work for you? As a lowly hobbyist, I can barely
get squat from HPE, not patches through the regular
channel(s), so I know nothing, but I got the impression that
the portal expected a real browser with JavaScript.
Post by John Reagan
[...] You can get curl on OpenVMS today.
I can get Wget, too, (without even leaving the room) but I
didn't think that it'd help.


Some might say that _requiring_ a full-blown browser for
patch access was the original sin in this case. (If it's
true, of course.)
John Reagan
2017-06-06 17:16:46 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Steven Schweda
Post by John Reagan
Isn't cURL sufficient? Seems overkill to have a full-blown
browser as a glorified file downloader. [...]
Does it work for you? As a lowly hobbyist, I can barely
get squat from HPE, not patches through the regular
channel(s), so I know nothing, but I got the impression that
the portal expected a real browser with JavaScript.
Post by John Reagan
[...] You can get curl on OpenVMS today.
I can get Wget, too, (without even leaving the room) but I
didn't think that it'd help.
Some might say that _requiring_ a full-blown browser for
patch access was the original sin in this case. (If it's
true, of course.)
That may be true. I've never had to get patches from the HPE portal.
Kerry Main
2017-06-07 01:58:14 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
-----Original Message-----
Reagan via Info-vax
Sent: June 6, 2017 1:17 PM
Subject: Re: [Info-vax] What will be the browser for X86 OpenVMS?
Post by Steven Schweda
Post by John Reagan
Isn't cURL sufficient? Seems overkill to have a full-blown
browser as a glorified file downloader. [...]
Does it work for you? As a lowly hobbyist, I can barely
get squat from HPE, not patches through the regular
channel(s), so I know nothing, but I got the impression that
the portal expected a real browser with JavaScript.
Post by John Reagan
[...] You can get curl on OpenVMS today.
I can get Wget, too, (without even leaving the room) but I
didn't think that it'd help.
Some might say that _requiring_ a full-blown browser for
patch access was the original sin in this case. (If it's
true, of course.)
That may be true. I've never had to get patches from the HPE portal.
The HPE patch portal was designed for HP-UX a very long time ago.
OpenVMS support was a side bar addon when the big "standardization at
any cost" hype hit HP.

Likely done by a summer college student.

Yet another reason why the separation of OpenVMS from HPE was a good
thing.

Regards,

Kerry Main
Kerry dot main at starkgaming dot com
Steven Schweda
2017-06-07 04:47:02 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Kerry Main
The HPE patch portal was designed for HP-UX a very long
time ago. [...]
If VSI offers some (different) scheme for software
distribution which offers direct-to-VMS capability, then
it'll make a better impression on me. (I assume that that's
a prime goal for the whole organization.)

As annoying as it is to a peon like me, when an
organization depends upon support contracts for income, I can
understand the natural desire of that organization to
restrict access to such material, so anonymous FTP may be a
little too convenient. (Ah, the good old days...) But it's
hard to believe that there's no suitable scheme which can be
made to run on a VMS system without help from, say, Windows.
Jan-Erik Soderholm
2017-06-07 08:38:44 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Steven Schweda
Post by Kerry Main
The HPE patch portal was designed for HP-UX a very long
time ago. [...]
If VSI offers some (different) scheme for software
distribution...
Paches from VSI are available using the FTP information
posted (for OSS download) yesterday. I do not know if they
was ment to be available, but they are. The ISO files with
the LP librarys (both IA64 and Alpha) are there too. I could
not find the dist for the VSI-Alpha kit thought...
Post by Steven Schweda
which offers direct-to-VMS capability, then
it'll make a better impression on me. (I assume that that's
a prime goal for the whole organization.)
As annoying as it is to a peon like me, when an
organization depends upon support contracts for income, I can
understand the natural desire of that organization to
restrict access to such material, so anonymous FTP may be a
little too convenient. (Ah, the good old days...) But it's
hard to believe that there's no suitable scheme which can be
made to run on a VMS system without help from, say, Windows.
Stephen Hoffman
2017-06-07 15:32:39 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by John Reagan
Post by Steven Schweda
At the risk of further extending this sterile argument, ...
Post by Hans Bachner
I think a reasonable browser is a basic tool for any platform, almost
like an editor.
I agree. For fetching files (patches, and so on), having to run a Web
browser on a non-VMS system, and then use some kind of
file-sharing/transfer scheme to get the result to its (note: not
"it's") ultimate destination is more pain than should be required.
Isn't cURL sufficient? Seems overkill to have a full-blown browser as
a glorified file downloader. They had a run of security issues but I
think they've learned their lesson and are quite open about it. You
can get curl on OpenVMS today.
https://curl.haxx.se/docs/security.html
A tool such as curl isn't able to access the HPE patches.

AFAIK, you have to use a web browser to initially acquire the patches.

Though curl or sftp or such can move the files around, once acquired
from the patch server.

Against my own business interests, the whole "design" is just bad.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Kerry Main
2017-06-10 00:12:49 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
-----Original Message-----
Stephen Hoffman via Info-vax
Sent: June 7, 2017 11:33 AM
Subject: Re: [Info-vax] What will be the browser for X86 OpenVMS?
On Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 12:08:02 PM UTC-4, Steven Schweda
Post by Steven Schweda
At the risk of further extending this sterile argument, ...
Post by Hans Bachner
I think a reasonable browser is a basic tool for any platform, almost
like an editor.
I agree. For fetching files (patches, and so on), having to run a Web
browser on a non-VMS system, and then use some kind of
file-sharing/transfer scheme to get the result to its (note: not
"it's") ultimate destination is more pain than should be required.
Isn't cURL sufficient? Seems overkill to have a full-blown browser as
a glorified file downloader. They had a run of security issues but I
think they've learned their lesson and are quite open about it. You
can get curl on OpenVMS today.
https://curl.haxx.se/docs/security.html
A tool such as curl isn't able to access the HPE patches.
AFAIK, you have to use a web browser to initially acquire the patches.
Though curl or sftp or such can move the files around, once acquired
from the patch server.
Against my own business interests, the whole "design" is just bad.
Lets not forget that the current HPE patch site was designed for HP-UX
about 10-15+ years ago.

As part of the whole standardization and "we need to make Cust's pay for
patches" on pretty much all HPE products (incl storage etc.), HPE simply
did the least amount of work they needed to in order to plug OpenVMS
into it.

So, while you are correct that the current HPE patch site is coyote
ugly, it's design was not intended to address anything other than check
for support contract, then allow access to authorized patches using the
simplest of all web interfaces. Imho, likely done by a summer student.


Regards,

Kerry Main
Kerry dot main at starkgaming dot com

Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
2017-06-06 21:21:49 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Hans Bachner
Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
I prefer to run 100% of my browser work on one environment.
I think a reasonable browser is a basic tool for any platform, almost
like an editor.
Indeed.
Post by Hans Bachner
As OpenVMS patches (at least at HPE) are only accessible through a
browser interface, I prefer to use a browser on a system where I need
those patches.
Indeed.
Post by Hans Bachner
The requirement for a browser to manage various equipment on the network
has already been mentioned - it is desirable not to need switch
platforms just because you're happen to work on OpenVMS at the time you
need to access one of those widgets.
Indeed.
Jan-Erik Soderholm
2017-06-07 15:51:51 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Jason Howe
In his defense, having a local browser is handy at times depending on what
you're doing. Maybe you're configuring a piece of software which has a
webconsole you don't want available off the box, for example. In this case a
local browser on a remote X session, tunelled over ssh is not an unreasonable
thing to want for.
Indeed. 99% of the stuff I use a browser for doesn't need any
"advanced" features. 50% works with Mozilla on VMS.
I prefer to run 100% of my browser work on one environment.
I think a reasonable browser is a basic tool for any platform, almost like
an editor.
As OpenVMS patches (at least at HPE) are only accessible through a browser
interface, I prefer to use a browser on a system where I need those patches.
The requirement for a browser to manage various equipment on the network
has already been mentioned - it is desirable not to need switch platforms
just because you're happen to work on OpenVMS at the time you need to
access one of those widgets.
Hans.
I don't really understand why you need to have a direct link
between the source of the software kits (be it patches or anything
else) to the actual target system(s).

I keep a repository of everything that I need for the systems that
I come across, everything from the ISO images of the VMS distrubution
media to some ZIP/UNZIP kits or whatever, on my laptop. And I can
easily transfer any of these to whatever target system I'm working
with, when I need it. I have a "dist/vms" directory with currently
approx 40 subdirectories with everything from ISO files for VMS
to all kinds of freeware and opensource kits. And I always carry
them with me...
Hans Bachner
2017-06-07 16:31:13 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
Post by Hans Bachner
Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Jason Howe
In his defense, having a local browser is handy at times depending on what
you're doing. Maybe you're configuring a piece of software which has a
webconsole you don't want available off the box, for example. In this case a
local browser on a remote X session, tunelled over ssh is not an unreasonable
thing to want for.
Indeed. 99% of the stuff I use a browser for doesn't need any
"advanced" features. 50% works with Mozilla on VMS.
I prefer to run 100% of my browser work on one environment.
I think a reasonable browser is a basic tool for any platform, almost
like an editor.
As OpenVMS patches (at least at HPE) are only accessible through a
browser interface, I prefer to use a browser on a system where I need
those patches.
The requirement for a browser to manage various equipment on the
network has already been mentioned - it is desirable not to need
switch platforms just because you're happen to work on OpenVMS at the
time you need to access one of those widgets.
Hans.
I don't really understand why you need to have a direct link
between the source of the software kits (be it patches or anything
else) to the actual target system(s).
I keep a repository of everything that I need for the systems that
I come across, everything from the ISO images of the VMS distrubution
media to some ZIP/UNZIP kits or whatever, on my laptop. And I can
easily transfer any of these to whatever target system I'm working
with, when I need it. I have a "dist/vms" directory with currently
approx 40 subdirectories with everything from ISO files for VMS
to all kinds of freeware and opensource kits. And I always carry
them with me...
My main repository of kits/patches etc. is on a VMS system, where I can
easily browse/access it from other VMS systems via simple DIR- and
COPY-Commands via DECnet. And have all the files in a format that VMS
expects and understands without tweaking file attributes or the like.

Hans.
Steven Schweda
2017-06-07 18:50:56 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
I don't really understand why you need to have a direct link
between the source of the software kits (be it patches or
anything else) to the actual target system(s).
I don't recall anyone saying that there was a "need", only
that it would be helpful.
Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
[...] on my laptop. [...]
Which is always available?
Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
My main repository of kits/patches etc. is on a VMS system,
[...]
I'm with him.
Jan-Erik Soderholm
2017-06-07 21:11:40 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Steven Schweda
Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
I don't really understand why you need to have a direct link
between the source of the software kits (be it patches or
anything else) to the actual target system(s).
I don't recall anyone saying that there was a "need", only
that it would be helpful.
Slightly helpful, maybe. But not enough to spend money
and development resources on it.
Post by Steven Schweda
Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
[...] on my laptop. [...]
Which is always available?
It is more available when I'm at customer "b" then what the
VMS systems of customer "a" are.
Post by Steven Schweda
Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
My main repository of kits/patches etc. is on a VMS system,
[...]
I'm with him.
The files needed for customer "a" are in the VMS systems at the
customer "a" site. Same for customer "b". All are on my laptop.
Craig A. Berry
2017-06-08 17:35:58 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
Post by Steven Schweda
Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
I don't really understand why you need to have a direct link
between the source of the software kits (be it patches or
anything else) to the actual target system(s).
I don't recall anyone saying that there was a "need", only
that it would be helpful.
Slightly helpful, maybe. But not enough to spend money
and development resources on it.
The development resources required to create a shopping cart /
download-wizard contraption like the HPE patch access are massively
greater than setting up a simple sftp server, as VSI has done. Though I
haven't tried it yet, it should be pretty simple with the latter to
construct a command with curl or wget or just:

$ sftp ***@hostname:remoteFileName localFileName

that retrieves a single file of interest without having to click your
way through a lot of junk to get to it.

If there are resources to be spent on any of this, I hope they would go
into integrating this into PCSI and teaching PCSI to handle the
dependencies. In other words, make PCSI more like yum or rpm or npm or
pip or maven or cpan or any of the many package managers that have
already solved this problem.
Stephen Hoffman
2017-06-08 18:03:34 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Craig A. Berry
If there are resources to be spent on any of this, I hope they would go
into integrating this into PCSI and teaching PCSI to handle the
dependencies. In other words, make PCSI more like yum or rpm or npm or
pip or maven or cpan or any of the many package managers that have
already solved this problem.
Ayup. This is already a solved problem. If resources permit it, I'd
certainly prefer to see this whole area overhauled. Whether it's
patch notifications acquired via RSS or via push notifications or
otherwise, we should not still be putzing around with anything
approaching the HPE patch management implementation and PCSI as
implemented. For VSI, there's also some good data to be had on the
other side of the whole process, such as version and configuration
information, app and system crashes, etc. Maybe some up-selling, too.
Potentially also room for third-parties to use the tools with either
the same or a parallel patch infrastructure, too.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
2017-06-06 21:20:31 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Jason Howe
In his defense, having a local browser is handy at times depending on what
you're doing. Maybe you're configuring a piece of software which has a
webconsole you don't want available off the box, for example. In this case a
local browser on a remote X session, tunelled over ssh is not an unreasonable
thing to want for.
Indeed. 99% of the stuff I use a browser for doesn't need any
"advanced" features. 50% works with Mozilla on VMS.
I prefer to run 100% of my browser work on one environment.
Same here, which is why I would like a good browser on VMS. :-)
David Froble
2017-06-07 04:27:48 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Jan-Erik Soderholm
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Jason Howe
In his defense, having a local browser is handy at times depending on what
you're doing. Maybe you're configuring a piece of software which has a
webconsole you don't want available off the box, for example. In this case a
local browser on a remote X session, tunelled over ssh is not an unreasonable
thing to want for.
Indeed. 99% of the stuff I use a browser for doesn't need any
"advanced" features. 50% works with Mozilla on VMS.
I prefer to run 100% of my browser work on one environment.
Same here, which is why I would like a good browser on VMS. :-)
Except that you don't seem to want to implement it, and apparently, neither does
anyone else.

Got a bit of a problem there ....
Kerry Main
2017-06-06 00:10:56 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
-----Original Message-----
Jason Howe via Info-vax
Sent: June 5, 2017 2:41 PM
Subject: Re: [Info-vax] What will be the browser for X86 OpenVMS?
On Mon, 5 Jun 2017 12:09:59 -0000 (UTC), Simon Clubley
Post by Simon Clubley
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative to windows
having a
Post by Simon Clubley
browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
That comment is so out of touch with reality I don't even know how to
respond
Post by Simon Clubley
to it.
I will therefore simply point out that Linux can do this just fine so if you
want an alternative to Windows for desktop applications then use
Linux
Post by Simon Clubley
instead.
Simon.
In his defense, having a local browser is handy at times depending on what
you're doing. Maybe you're configuring a piece of software which has a
webconsole you don't want available off the box, for example. In this case a
local browser on a remote X session, tunelled over ssh is not an unreasonable
thing to want for.
I can't come up with a good arguemnt for a local office suite at this time.
A
on-preem server-based document colab suite (An on Prem Google Docs, if you will)
may have some application however. See NextCloud (nee OwnCloud) in the OSS space
for an example.
--
Jason
I agree because most of the arguments against OpenVMS on the client are based on past technologies (thick client) and issues (graphic cards).

Now, I am certainly not saying it is a priority or consideration for OpenVMS V9.*, but in the V10+ (2022+?) era, we should keep in mind:
- world is moving to thin clients (again), where the thin client is primarily a decent browser with local storage and access to more open products like Google Docs
- graphic card drivers are moving to open standards like Vulkan, so the traditional graphic card issues will become much less of an issue

- the browsers being developed today are very much standards based and multi-platform independent (Java in some cases)

"Do not let the challenges of yesterday shape your views of tomorrows opportunities."

😊


Regards,

Kerry Main
Kerry dot main at starkgaming dot com
a***@yahoo.com
2017-06-06 08:26:19 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Kerry Main
- the browsers being developed today are very much standards based and multi-platform independent (Java in some cases)
Really?

[implementation languges]
AFAIK, all modern graphical browser layout and scripting engines are developed in C++*.
There was one high profile attempt to develop browser in Java (google for Sun HotJava), but the project was abandoned something like 15 years ago.


[multi-platform]
Modern browsers are multi-platform as long as the color of platform is black,
Oh, sorry, that's a different quote, but I suppose you got what I meant.

[standards based]
Browsers are standards based in a sense that they implement (constantly evolving) W3C standards rather than is a sense that browsers themselves are somehow implemented in a standard way.

-----
* - Strictly speaking, C++ and JavaScript, but JavaScript engine is by itself written in C++. Small parts of Gecko are written in Rust. In context of VMS Rust is probably much bigger problem than C++.
Simon Clubley
2017-06-06 13:46:51 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Kerry Main
"Do not let the challenges of yesterday shape your views of tomorrows opportunities."
Do not forget why the challenges of yesterday existed in the first place.

While I approve of new ways of doing things if it makes things better,
it's important to remember why a system ended up with the functionality
that it did and that the replacement covers all those requirements.

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Microsoft: Bringing you 1980s technology to a 21st century world
Simon Clubley
2017-06-06 13:40:33 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jason Howe
In his defense, having a local browser is handy at times depending on what
you're doing. Maybe you're configuring a piece of software which has a
webconsole you don't want available off the box, for example. In this case a
local browser on a remote X session, tunelled over ssh is not an unreasonable
thing to want for.
The problem is that you are likely to need a full blown and up to date
browser in order to use most of those web consoles. The days when the
likes of Dillo were good enough are probably long gone.

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Microsoft: Bringing you 1980s technology to a 21st century world
David Froble
2017-06-05 22:07:51 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Simon Clubley
Post by u***@gmail.com
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative
to windows having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
That comment is so out of touch with reality I don't even know how to
respond to it.
I will therefore simply point out that Linux can do this just fine so
if you want an alternative to Windows for desktop applications then use
Linux instead.
Simon.
The question is not "alternative to weendoze", it is "desire for VMS".

If you want to answer the question, embrace it with "reality" ..
Simon Clubley
2017-06-06 13:51:55 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Froble
Post by Simon Clubley
Post by u***@gmail.com
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative
to windows having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
That comment is so out of touch with reality I don't even know how to
respond to it.
I will therefore simply point out that Linux can do this just fine so
if you want an alternative to Windows for desktop applications then use
Linux instead.
Simon.
The question is not "alternative to weendoze", it is "desire for VMS".
If you want to answer the question, embrace it with "reality" ..
My answer _is_ embraced with reality.

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Microsoft: Bringing you 1980s technology to a 21st century world
David Froble
2017-06-06 14:52:50 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Simon Clubley
Post by David Froble
Post by Simon Clubley
Post by u***@gmail.com
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative
to windows having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
That comment is so out of touch with reality I don't even know how to
respond to it.
I will therefore simply point out that Linux can do this just fine so
if you want an alternative to Windows for desktop applications then use
Linux instead.
Simon.
The question is not "alternative to weendoze", it is "desire for VMS".
If you want to answer the question, embrace it with "reality" ..
My answer _is_ embraced with reality.
Simon.
Really?

That must mean that you get to rearrange the question. If the question was
"alternative to weendoze", fine, but it wasn't, it was "desire for VMS", and you
ignored that question. Perhaps you were on your soapbox?
Simon Clubley
2017-06-06 18:01:38 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by Simon Clubley
Post by David Froble
Post by Simon Clubley
Post by u***@gmail.com
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative
to windows having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
That comment is so out of touch with reality I don't even know how to
respond to it.
I will therefore simply point out that Linux can do this just fine so
if you want an alternative to Windows for desktop applications then use
Linux instead.
The question is not "alternative to weendoze", it is "desire for VMS".
If you want to answer the question, embrace it with "reality" ..
My answer _is_ embraced with reality.
Really?
That must mean that you get to rearrange the question. If the question was
"alternative to weendoze", fine, but it wasn't, it was "desire for VMS", and
you ignored that question.
I didn't ignore it; I told Bob he was completely out of touch with reality
for wanting to turn VMS into a viable desktop alternative to Windows.

I then told him Linux was available today for that role. BTW, if Linux
hasn't made major headway into that role, then what chance do you
think VMS has ?
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Perhaps you were on your soapbox?
I'm not fully sure if that's about the VMS stuff or about the IPA stuff.
However, the answer is the same in both cases:

It is far better to care enough about something that you are willing to
think about various possibilities and then speak out than it is to remain
silent simply because you either don't care or for some other reason.

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Microsoft: Bringing you 1980s technology to a 21st century world
Stephen Hoffman
2017-06-06 22:27:19 UTC
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Post by Simon Clubley
Post by David Froble
Post by Simon Clubley
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative to windows
having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
That comment is so out of touch with reality I don't even know how to
respond to it.
I will therefore simply point out that Linux can do this just fine so
if you want an alternative to Windows for desktop applications then use
Linux instead.
Simon.
The question is not "alternative to weendoze", it is "desire for VMS".
If you want to answer the question, embrace it with "reality" ..
My answer _is_ embraced with reality.
Ayup. Ignorance of what's available on the market seldom serves any
endeavor, nor the furtherance of one's own career in this business.
Look around. Learn. Even where OpenVMS is the best and most capable
choice, you'll still get ideas that are useful while supporting or
developing for OpenVMS.

Any desire for OpenVMS itself or for "security" or the rest has to
tempered by whether OpenVMS can do the particular jobs required
effectively, and preferably without having to disrupt or retrain users
or port code around, and all at a price folks are willing to pay.

Neither LibreOffice nor an HTML5-complaint web browser is any sort of a
platform differentiator. It — along with a very number of other
details — are table stakes for client-facing computing.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Dirk Munk
2017-06-05 14:09:45 UTC
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Post by u***@gmail.com
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative
to windows having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
Yes, would be nice, but it will remain a fantasy.

Three reasons:

1. You would need drivers for graphics cards, very complicated, it would
take a lot of resources to write them, keep them up to date, and produce
new ones when new cards appear.

2. Browsers are very complicated pieces of software, the same problems
as with the drivers.

3. OpenOffice, or better LibreOffice, also is a very complicated piece
of software.

You can do all these things with a Windows or Linux PC, or a MAC, and
have OpenVMS as a client OS, or use a VM where you can use two or more
operating systems at the same time, incl. OpenVMS.
Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
2017-06-05 19:54:46 UTC
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Post by Dirk Munk
1. You would need drivers for graphics cards, very complicated, it would
take a lot of resources to write them, keep them up to date, and produce
new ones when new cards appear.
The on-chip graphics, which VSI said they will support, is probably good
enough for 99% of people who want a good browser on VMS.
Post by Dirk Munk
2. Browsers are very complicated pieces of software, the same problems
as with the drivers.
Much software is complicated. If it is properly written, it could be
compiled. More complicated than Rdb?
Post by Dirk Munk
You can do all these things with a Windows or Linux PC, or a MAC, and
have OpenVMS as a client OS, or use a VM where you can use two or more
operating systems at the same time, incl. OpenVMS.
Sure. Any Turing-complete system can emulate any other one. But that
doesn't mean it is always practical. "Desktop to datacenter" should
still be the motto.
Jan-Erik Soderholm
2017-06-05 21:19:32 UTC
Permalink
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Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Dirk Munk
1. You would need drivers for graphics cards, very complicated, it would
take a lot of resources to write them, keep them up to date, and produce
new ones when new cards appear.
The on-chip graphics, which VSI said they will support, is probably good
enough for 99% of people who want a good browser on VMS.
Post by Dirk Munk
2. Browsers are very complicated pieces of software, the same problems
as with the drivers.
Much software is complicated. If it is properly written, it could be
compiled. More complicated than Rdb?
Right, if people are willing to pay the same amount of money for
a browser as they do for Rdb, they can have it, I guess...
Simon Clubley
2017-06-06 13:50:22 UTC
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Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
More complicated than Rdb?
Yes. A modern browser is very complicated indeed.

Please read the HTML 5 and CSS 3 specifications to get an idea of how
complicated.

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Microsoft: Bringing you 1980s technology to a 21st century world
Dirk Munk
2017-06-07 21:26:05 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Dirk Munk
1. You would need drivers for graphics cards, very complicated, it would
take a lot of resources to write them, keep them up to date, and produce
new ones when new cards appear.
The on-chip graphics, which VSI said they will support, is probably good
enough for 99% of people who want a good browser on VMS.
Are you sure about that? Server CPUs don't have on-chip graphics, only
desktop and mobile CPUs have them. VSI isn't developing OpenVMS for
those chips.......
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Dirk Munk
2. Browsers are very complicated pieces of software, the same problems
as with the drivers.
Much software is complicated. If it is properly written, it could be
compiled. More complicated than Rdb?
That could be, and browser software changes very fast. Besides that,
add-ons should be converted as well.
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Dirk Munk
You can do all these things with a Windows or Linux PC, or a MAC, and
have OpenVMS as a client OS, or use a VM where you can use two or more
operating systems at the same time, incl. OpenVMS.
Sure. Any Turing-complete system can emulate any other one. But that
doesn't mean it is always practical. "Desktop to datacenter" should
still be the motto.
Why not? The Windows / Linux / MAC system could be used as a graphics
terminal for OpenVMS as well.
Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
2017-06-08 08:17:49 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Dirk Munk
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Dirk Munk
1. You would need drivers for graphics cards, very complicated, it would
take a lot of resources to write them, keep them up to date, and produce
new ones when new cards appear.
The on-chip graphics, which VSI said they will support, is probably good
enough for 99% of people who want a good browser on VMS.
Are you sure about that?
No. I am not a hardware guy. But...
Post by Dirk Munk
Server CPUs don't have on-chip graphics, only
desktop and mobile CPUs have them. VSI isn't developing OpenVMS for
those chips.......
...the whole point is to get VMS on a "commodity" chip. Surely most
chips have (some sort of basic) on-chip graphics. Whatever, VSI said
that they would support on-chip graphics, so presumably they know.
Post by Dirk Munk
Why not? The Windows / Linux / MAC system could be used as a graphics
terminal for OpenVMS as well.
I am typing this on an LK411 in a DECterm on an Alpha running CDE. Yes,
I have a VT220 emulator on my iPad (same difference on a Mac) and also
an external keyboard (the smart-cover--style keyboard, really nice) and
can and do log in remotely to my VMS cluster. But it is nowhere near as
comfortable, especially because I have saved months or even years of my
life by using the pre-defined keys and having keys defined myself not
only in EDT but in various other applications. This doesn't work
without a proper keyboard.
Jan-Erik Soderholm
2017-06-08 08:25:43 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Dirk Munk
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Post by Dirk Munk
1. You would need drivers for graphics cards, very complicated, it would
take a lot of resources to write them, keep them up to date, and produce
new ones when new cards appear.
The on-chip graphics, which VSI said they will support, is probably good
enough for 99% of people who want a good browser on VMS.
Are you sure about that?
No. I am not a hardware guy. But...
Post by Dirk Munk
Server CPUs don't have on-chip graphics, only
desktop and mobile CPUs have them. VSI isn't developing OpenVMS for
those chips.......
...the whole point is to get VMS on a "commodity" chip. Surely most
chips have (some sort of basic) on-chip graphics. Whatever, VSI said
that they would support on-chip graphics, so presumably they know.
Post by Dirk Munk
Why not? The Windows / Linux / MAC system could be used as a graphics
terminal for OpenVMS as well.
I am typing this on an LK411 in a DECterm on an Alpha running CDE. Yes,
I have a VT220 emulator on my iPad (same difference on a Mac) and also
an external keyboard (the smart-cover--style keyboard, really nice) and
can and do log in remotely to my VMS cluster. But it is nowhere near as
comfortable, especially because I have saved months or even years of my
life by using the pre-defined keys and having keys defined myself not
only in EDT but in various other applications. This doesn't work
without a proper keyboard.
A market that can be counted on one hand, probably, in particulary
in the commercial/professional segment. I do not think that market
can pay the costs to keep that platform running or to update it to
modern expectations and standards.
David Froble
2017-06-08 15:40:15 UTC
Permalink
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Post by Dirk Munk
Are you sure about that? Server CPUs don't have on-chip graphics, only
desktop and mobile CPUs have them. VSI isn't developing OpenVMS for
those chips.......
Well, if the usage is desktop, why use a "server" CPU?

I don't think we know what VSI is going to support. Good chance they don't know
yet either. But if they end up doing development on VMS on x86 they just may
decide to support on chip graphics.
IanD
2017-06-05 18:59:03 UTC
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Many years ago I would have agreed with the OPS post but not now

The world has moved on, the desktop has given way to the browser and mobile has moved in

Microsoft has not abandoned mobile and will revisit it again and they have offerings that will work across the entire spectrum

Hate Microsoft as much as you like but they are still strong on the corporate space and Linux has failed to take the desktop despite years of banter to say otherwise

Soon our organisation will move across to a cloud based office environment with the driver being security and cost. The enterprise wants to lock down people even further and thinks ultimately taking away thick desktop clients is the answer :-/

VMS surrendered any hope of a desktop win years ago and the market is away from that as a direction now anyhow, except in gaming, which is seeing a resurgence and VMS is no gaming beast (but I do remember seeing people play countless hours of Empire when I was a teenager and used to hang around the local university)

VMS as a desktop, forget it, VMS has it's work cut out just surviving at this stage IMO
David Froble
2017-06-05 22:05:57 UTC
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Post by u***@gmail.com
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative
to windows having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
Business case:

Will the graphics available on VMS for x86 be good enough for most users? I|T
all starts there.

Browser, OpenOffice, and such, got to wonder whether OpenOffice will run under
VMS? Will a "modern" browser run under VMS? If not, then that's some possibly
significant work for someone, such as VSI.

Sales? Just what sales is being discussed? Hardware? A cheap PC can be had for
several hundred dollars. Sale of VMS? Bad idea. Support for VMS? Good idea,
but most likely not for the suggested market? So, perhaps be a bit more
specific about what "sales" is being suggested.

I will admit, without those, and more, VMS is not going to be a good choice for
the desktop (whatever that is).

Technical case:

What would it take to run the mentioned software on VMS on x86? Who is going to
pay for the work?

I could go on, but my fingers are tired. Bottom line is, why would anyong
change to VMS on the desktop, unless there was some significant advantage.

Price?

Performance?

Capabilities unavailable elsewhere?
u***@gmail.com
2017-06-06 12:09:22 UTC
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Post by u***@gmail.com
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative
to windows having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
case in point. I started writing internal apps for my company
with purveyor since externally purveyor dcl dibol scripts worked
so well and was so easy to set up.

When I did, everyone had to have a pc for web access then purchase a powerterm
license for vms access to replace the vts terms.

Why?

Why not be able to buy an rgb decwindows monitor style screen
to run both browser and internal dibol apps?

would have saved a ton of money having the browser, spreadsheets
all on one box.

All the freeware is out there. It is c based. JUST PORT IT
OVER. Heck, mozilla used to have a vms based browser.
Maybe your getting a little to old to remember that? :)
David Froble
2017-06-06 15:02:58 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by u***@gmail.com
Post by u***@gmail.com
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative
to windows having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
case in point. I started writing internal apps for my company
with purveyor since externally purveyor dcl dibol scripts worked
so well and was so easy to set up.
When I did, everyone had to have a pc for web access then purchase a powerterm
license for vms access to replace the vts terms.
Why?
For one reason, the PCs are pretty much commodities. That brings the price down
quite a bit. Plus, they allow the use of additional software that will never be
available on VMS.
Post by u***@gmail.com
Why not be able to buy an rgb decwindows monitor style screen
to run both browser and internal dibol apps?
This raises the question, would each user have a VMS desktop system, or, are you
planning on running multiple copies of a browser on a multiuser VMS system? If
the latter, then keep in mind that most browsers are resource hogs. really
serious resource hogs. Might not work so well.

IS your RGB DECwindows monitors commodities? If not, they may be much more
expensive. Perhaps much more than the commodity PCs.
Post by u***@gmail.com
would have saved a ton of money having the browser, spreadsheets
all on one box.
Perhaps not ....
Post by u***@gmail.com
All the freeware is out there. It is c based. JUST PORT IT
OVER. Heck, mozilla used to have a vms based browser.
Maybe your getting a little to old to remember that? :)
Are you offering to do the porting? It's a non-trivial task. Probably expensive.
t***@glaver.org
2017-06-06 19:19:32 UTC
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Post by u***@gmail.com
All the freeware is out there. It is c based. JUST PORT IT
OVER. Heck, mozilla used to have a vms based browser.
Maybe your getting a little to old to remember that? :)
And I used to be able to tell you what the current version of Firefox was, before they moved to the rapid (frenetic) release cycle. I just looked at their site and they offer pre-built versions for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android and iOS. All but the last 2 seem to be Intel-only (try getting an official Firefox build for a Raspberry Pi - of which I note there are many more than there are VMS systems).

So you have to build it yourself (as the various non-x86 Linux distros do). Now, devote a developer full-time to track the nightly changes, so you can built / test / release updates within a day or two of the official Firefox release. Don't forget, you'll also need developer time to track changes to the pre-requisite packages, which are numerous and large, both for CVEs and for changes in Firefox that require updated versions of the pre-requisites.

Now you have something you can release, but you're not getting paid for, even though it is costing you money (at least one FTE developer's salary). And the first thing you hear from your customers is "I can't play Flash video!" or "Why can't I install the <whatever> plugin?"

And all of that ignores the work needed to get the build / runtime infrastructure set up so that you have a compiler that understands the source code you're trying to port, and library routines that know what a non-blocking Unix select against multiple sockets is, etc. You'll probably be adding some of that stuff just to make your own developers less miserable, but the things your developers need are not necesarily the things needed to get some 3rd-party code working.

Everyone making suggestions like "it is C, just port it" should go read Brooks' Mythical Man-Month, particularly the differences between a program / product / programming system / programming system product.

I was involved in porting various Unix / C packages to VMS "back in the day", and there were lots of pitfalls, many of which still exist. And that was before the "GNU anything requires GNU everything", where building one package involves building many packages the build procedure depends on.
Stephen Hoffman
2017-06-06 22:36:57 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by u***@gmail.com
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative
to windows having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
case in point. I started writing internal apps for my company with
purveyor since externally purveyor dcl dibol scripts worked so well and
was so easy to set up.
When I did, everyone had to have a pc for web access then purchase a
powerterm license for vms access to replace the vts terms.
Why?
Why not be able to buy an rgb decwindows monitor style screen to run
both browser and internal dibol apps?
would have saved a ton of money having the browser, spreadsheets all on
one box.
All the freeware is out there. It is c based. JUST PORT IT OVER. Heck,
mozilla used to have a vms based browser. Maybe your getting a little
to old to remember that? :)
Out of curiosity, what does that Purveyor configuration receive for a
grade from the SSL Labs TLS tests? It's been a ~decade since I've
worked with that web server, and don't have one handy to test with.

https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/

This is a good test for anybody concerned with security, and this tool
will find the same sorts of things that auditors will flag.

As for the "just port it over", that's increasing difficult, as the
dependency chains are getting longer, and various of the ports are
approaching rewrites. That, and there aren't enough people doing the
porting, and there are more than a few abandoned ports. I've not
re-ported libxml2, and really should get around to doing that again.

As for saving money with the web browser and a spreadsheet tool and the
rest all on one box, that's already happened for many folks. That's
Microsoft Windows, maybe macOS or Linux, or iOS or Android/ASOS or
such. Figure out how to pry those folks off of Windows or macOS or
iOS or such and in enough numbers to matter — enough to offset the
costs of development and support and the rest — and you might have a
viable business case.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Mark Daniel
2017-06-07 07:10:30 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Stephen Hoffman
Post by u***@gmail.com
you want vms to take off give single users an alternative
to windows having a browser and openoffice and watch sales take off.
case in point. I started writing internal apps for my company with
purveyor since externally purveyor dcl dibol scripts worked so well
and was so easy to set up.
When I did, everyone had to have a pc for web access then purchase a
powerterm license for vms access to replace the vts terms.
Why?
Why not be able to buy an rgb decwindows monitor style screen to run
both browser and internal dibol apps?
would have saved a ton of money having the browser, spreadsheets all
on one box.
All the freeware is out there. It is c based. JUST PORT IT OVER. Heck,
mozilla used to have a vms based browser. Maybe your getting a little
to old to remember that? :)
Out of curiosity, what does that Purveyor configuration receive for a
grade from the SSL Labs TLS tests? It's been a ~decade since I've
worked with that web server, and don't have one handy to test with.
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/
:-)

Good luck getting anything (outside a museum) to connect to it.

IIRC (from ~2007) Purveyor supported only version 1 compliant X509 certs
and SSLv2. Was built on SSLeay 0.5.1 (~'95?) I looked into it for
Instantwhip (or at least for RAC).
Post by Stephen Hoffman
This is a good test for anybody concerned with security, and this tool
will find the same sorts of things that auditors will flag.
As for the "just port it over", that's increasing difficult, as the
dependency chains are getting longer, and various of the ports are
approaching rewrites. That, and there aren't enough people doing the
porting, and there are more than a few abandoned ports. I've not
re-ported libxml2, and really should get around to doing that again.
As for saving money with the web browser and a spreadsheet tool and the
rest all on one box, that's already happened for many folks. That's
Microsoft Windows, maybe macOS or Linux, or iOS or Android/ASOS or
such. Figure out how to pry those folks off of Windows or macOS or iOS
or such and in enough numbers to matter — enough to offset the costs of
development and support and the rest — and you might have a viable
business case.
Stephen Hoffman
2017-06-07 16:23:44 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Mark Daniel
Post by Stephen Hoffman
Out of curiosity, what does that Purveyor configuration receive for a
grade from the SSL Labs TLS tests? It's been a ~decade since I've
worked with that web server, and don't have one handy to test with.
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/
:-)
Good luck getting anything (outside a museum) to connect to it.
IIRC (from ~2007) Purveyor supported only version 1 compliant X509
certs and SSLv2. Was built on SSLeay 0.5.1 (~'95?) I looked into it
for Instantwhip (or at least for RAC).
Ayup. That's why I asked. I definitely expect a failing grade on the
ssl test of any Purveyor server. I'd expect an increasing number of
web clients won't even deign to connect to Purveyor, too. All but the
most recent HPE SWS V2.2-1 (2.0.65) Apache port won't load the current
SHA-2 certs that are now required from all certificate authorities, and
the TLS support is down-revision in the available HPE SWS Apache ports.
VSI's Apache V2.4-3 (2.4.12) port is much better here, and I'm working
to get customers migrated up to that. But even that's down-revision;
Apache 2.4.25 is current. That more recent Apache version includes
security fixes and CVEs, too:
http://www.apache.org/dist/httpd/CHANGES_2.4
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
u***@gmail.com
2017-06-07 17:19:18 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Stephen Hoffman
Post by Mark Daniel
Post by Stephen Hoffman
Out of curiosity, what does that Purveyor configuration receive for a
grade from the SSL Labs TLS tests? It's been a ~decade since I've
worked with that web server, and don't have one handy to test with.
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/
:-)
Good luck getting anything (outside a museum) to connect to it.
IIRC (from ~2007) Purveyor supported only version 1 compliant X509
certs and SSLv2. Was built on SSLeay 0.5.1 (~'95?) I looked into it
for Instantwhip (or at least for RAC).
Ayup. That's why I asked. I definitely expect a failing grade on the
ssl test of any Purveyor server. I'd expect an increasing number of
web clients won't even deign to connect to Purveyor, too. All but the
most recent HPE SWS V2.2-1 (2.0.65) Apache port won't load the current
SHA-2 certs that are now required from all certificate authorities, and
the TLS support is down-revision in the available HPE SWS Apache ports.
VSI's Apache V2.4-3 (2.4.12) port is much better here, and I'm working
to get customers migrated up to that. But even that's down-revision;
Apache 2.4.25 is current. That more recent Apache version includes
http://www.apache.org/dist/httpd/CHANGES_2.4
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
who cares about the current ssl status of purveyor?
I referenced it as an example. We know it has not
been updated.

The point is vms can be updated with a browser
and open office, and a rgb type monitor so
you can through away windows as a insecure
client and run solely on vms which is secure.
Stephen Hoffman
2017-06-07 18:39:14 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
who cares about the current ssl status of purveyor? I referenced it as
an example. We know it has not been updated.
You're running it, and you cited it, and you clearly want security.
Run the test. Find out what shows up as the grade. BTW, more than
just Purveyor hasn't been updated.
The point is vms can be updated with a browser and open office, and a
rgb type monitor so you can through away windows as a insecure client
and run solely on vms which is secure.
A web browser and LibreOffice or OpenOfficeorg suite is very far from
sufficient support to draw anybody off of Microsoft Windows. Very
far. It's also insufficient differentiation from what Linux and
OpenBSD or otherwise already offer, for that matter. Any marketeer or
sales rep that tries that desktop sale with an OpenVMS product offering
— even with a hypothetical web browser and LibraOffice or the
OpenOfficeorg suite port — will get ignored, or will get laughed at and
ignored. Anybody that does try running OpenVMS as a desktop — once
they slog through the installation and configuration — is going to
start running into problems accessing what they need, too. A whole
lot goes into a modern desktop. And that's before considering access
to cloud storage or other hosted services or to specific apps the users
want, even if it's just a favorite solitaire game or some other
Windows-only app.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
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