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June 6, 1990

OPEN SOFTWARE FOUNDATION ISSUES REQUEST FOR ATTENDANCE IN BRUSSELS TO JUSTIFY DECORUM

By CBR Staff Writer

Giving the strong impression of making a further attempt to justify an announcement made two weeks previously (CI No 1,423), the Open Software Foundation was in Brussels last week to declare that the choice of technology for its Distributed Computing Environment was not an issue of Remote Procedure Call and Unix Wars mentality – a claim that Sun Microsystems, which unsuccessfully offered its Network File System in conjunction with Netwise Inc’s RPC compiler tool, will find hard to swallow. Nevertheless, the Foundation blithely followed its best of available technologies line, with vice-president of operations Chuck Reilly’s address pronouncing DCE a vision comparable to John F Kennedy’s dream of men on the moon before the end of the 1960s – the point of comparison being that in both cases, risks were incurred. For the moment, however, the Foundation is still vague on the finer touches of its vision: compliance to Open Systems Interconnection standards is naturally something it pledges commitment to, but specific plans – such as at which layers and within what timescale OSI will be incorporated into DCE – had not been formulated. Talks had been going on with Apple Computer for its support of DCE, Reilly continued, but so far no concrete agreement had been reached; Reilly also stated that the Foundation was particularly interested in taking Lotus Development and Computer Associates on board as well. A brandname for DCE has now been chosen, but it was apparently once used as a trademark for a now defunct product – the legal formalities associated with this are likely to be cleared up within the next two weeks. Applications based on the DCE technology are expected to be available no earlier than into 1991; in the meantime, the next Open Software Foundation Request for Technology call will be made in either July or August and it will be in the area of systems management. – Mark John

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