[linux-elitists] Re: Linux ports

Dan Wilder dan@ssc.com
Tue Oct 28 16:53:27 PST 2003

On Wed, Oct 29, 2003 at 11:22:44AM +1100, Martin Pool wrote:
> On 28 Oct 2003, Jason Spence <jspence@lightconsulting.com> wrote:
> > So if you write a big iron type application like traffic light
> > arbitration or environmental control on VMS, you can be pretty sure
> > it'll still be running in 30 years or so if there's commercial demand
> > for it (although it might change hardware platforms a few times).
> I heard unofficially that HP has committed to support VMS for some
> defense customers for at least another 20 years.  The new Joint Strike
> Fighter apparently uses VMS for some of its ground support systems,
> and it's not even shipping yet.
> One can only imagine what kind of job security VMS system programmers
> will have in 15 years time.
> > I can't even concieve of Linux, OS X, or Windows continuing to run
> > applications with that kind of backwards code-level compatibility for
> > that period of time.
> If you wrote your application to an LSB standard and were prepared to
> pay a comparable amount of money in maintenance, it might be done...
> In some ways because support can't be killed off by any given vendor,
> Linux is more future-proof.

Practicalities may intervene. 

An acquaintence was looking at one point for some support.

A customer of his, a telecom company, uses Red Hat 7.2 in telecom 
equipment.  They don't want to upgrade to later RH because the QA 
costs are prohibitive, and 7.2 has long since passed end-of-product-life.  

He was looking for somebody willing to undertake full-on RH 7.2 
support including backports of critical patches from later versions
of software including kernel, with full regression testing 
of all changes followed by deployment support.  Imperative that changes 
work correctly the first time deployed.  Some 24x7x365 on-call support 

This possibly isn't much different from the support requirements
for these vaxen you're talking about, except perhaps you're
looking at much lower rates of change, made possible in part by
fewer buffer overflows and so forth in the supported software.

Don't know what sort of $$$ his customer was talking, though it is
possible the money they were talking is comparable.

Last I heard from this gentleman, he wasn't having much luck finding a 
company ('way too much work for one individual) willing to take this on.

Dan Wilder

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