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  1. Technology
November 10, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

Distributed Management Services ships, Print Management dumped

The Open Software Foundation says that version 1.0 of its Distributed Management Environment services are now generally available. Prices, announced a couple of months ago, are set at $250,000 for source code with full distribution rights or $25,000 with limited distribution rights. Volume discounts apply to binary versions. However, in other news, it is reported that the print management component of the Distributed Management Environment’s distributed services, which was originally to have been supplied by Sterling Software Corp, has been dropped. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Foundation had already delayed the print management service until the second quarter of next year; apparently the delay in getting code from Sterling and the availability of other print managers on the market prompted the Foundation’s decision. Whether it will mow adopt another remains to be seen.

Press was was spun a line – there are no C++ compilers due

Meanwhile, despite the fact that some of its own staff are convinced that the Open Software Foundation will have to provide C++ application programming interfaces, a C++ compiler and other object-oriented technologies under a future Distributed Computing Environment version 2.1, the Foundation tells us that in fact it has no serious plans at all for 1.2. The Foundation says that reports of a C++ compiler for 1.2 were regrettably leaked to the press by a former employee, who knew he was leaving the establishment at the time.

Despite woes, Foundation can boast of boost to its membership

In what looks like a rearguard action against the multitudinous threats to its continued existence, the Open Software Foundation last week issued a press release saying that its membership now exceeds 400 – the largest membership roster since its formation back in May 1988. New members include KnowledgeWare Inc, Wells Fargo Bank, Informix Software Inc, 3M Co, Deutsche Bundespost Telekom, and the National Computer Board of Singapore. The graduated membership fee scale announced in August is credited with generating the recent boost to its rolls. Over 15% of the alternative Unix club’s members have been involved since the start, it says, renewing their membership every year.

Terminal decline looms but backbiting continues, this time over Hewlett-Packard and security…

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As a whole crazy paving of cracks begins showing up in the Open Software Foundation’s monumental edifice, Hewlett-Packard Co, one of the consortium’s original founders, and a sponsor, which means that it is one of the elite that has to put up most of the money, has been seen trying to shore up its own position, according to reports coming out of the consortium’s Super Special Interest Group last week, when it had everyone in town for meetings. Hewlett-Packard’s latest manoeuvrings come amid unconfirmed rumours of a recent falling out between it and IBM Corp inside the tightly-bound COSE Common Open Software Environment alliance: the disagreement is said to have been over Tivoli Systems Inc and Tivoli’s systems management framework. According to Tivoli, IBM has endorsed the Tivoli scheme. The first indication that something was afoot at the Foundation is said to have come at the meeting of the Security Special Interest Group last Tuesday. Sources said that it appears that Hewlett-Packard has given security a whole new meaning and has kidnapped the functional Distributed Computing Environment security specification and its implementation, and will hold them both incommunicado while it develops the code. Contrary to normal practice, which gives the Special Interest Group and early access people at least a look at the spec and a glimpse of the first release, a non-disclosure cordon has been thrown around Hewlett-Packard’s work, apparently with the connivance of the Foundation itself. (Ostensibly the reason for this measure is, appropriately for a security specification, enhanced security, although this will be jeopardised once the Foundation members get the results). Al

so unlike typical procedures, where the spec is done first and then the prototyping, this time they will be done simultaneously. Sour sources say the impact of this move will be to give Hewlett-Packard a leg up on the technology and a six- to 12-month commercial lead in the marketplace.

…as Hewlett pushes Distributed Object Management Facility for Distributed Computing Environment

Meanwhile, it looks as if Hewlett-Packard is also trying to shanghai whatever object-orientation strategy may be left at the Open Software Foundation now that DME, its Distributed Management Environment development effort has gone by the board, apart from the stripped-down version that’s now expected to appear as part of DCE, the Distributed Computing Environment. It is believed that Hewlett-Packard, which early in the week met with Object Management Group personnel, is now trying to get its Distributed Object Management Framework, or DOMF, accepted as the Distributed Computing Environment’s sole Object Request Broker. The Open Software Foundation last Thursday told Special Interest Group people that it would not deliver an object-oriented framework itself and that instead it will pick a reference Object Request Broker and deliver object services for applications on top of that. Sources said that it was clear there would be no formal selection or evaluation process used in picking the Object Request Broker, and that a Foundation management decision would be made – that is due to happen around Christmas time. They said it was also clear that the Foundation was already leaning towards Hewlett-Packard’s Object Request Broker because of the many singular references made to it.

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