Making 2028 just another year for MPE/iX use

HP 3000s are facing a new world coming in about seven years or so. Date handling will require some revisions on January 1, 2028. The customer base still has plenty of questions about that future. While it’s not easy to believe, MPE/iX has a future that extends into that year for some companies.

For example, customers want to know, what about the compilers for the OS? Well, COBOL 85 uses the newer HPCALENDAR intrinsic. The older COBOL 66 uses the older CALENDAR. There are other nagging issues to consider, but the community seems to have the particulars in hand. Here are some sample questions, along with answers.

What can I do if I don’t have source code for my applications?

Vendors who continue to serve the MPE/iX market can change any call to CALENDAR into a call to HPCALENDAR. A support provider can assist a customer — with the cooperation of the source code holders — in using the newer HPCALENDAR. Alternatively, developers can trap a call to FMTCALENDAR at run time, and the replacement routine can re-map early 1900 years into years starting with 2028.

How about MPE/iX itself? Will that intrinsic ever be repaired? How do I get SHOWTIME running correctly?

Some portions of the OS will continue to rely on the old CALENDAR, which only has 16-bits of range to use. Source code license holders—the eight companies licensed by HP to use MPE/iX source—may have an advantage in bringing some OS internals into line with site-specific patches. The patches are site-specific because HP doesn’t permit a revised version of the OS to be recompiled and distributed. SHOWTIME is likely to remain incorrect, since it uses CALENDAR and FMTCALENDAR.

What about date-dependent work like job streaming?

3000 owners can revise applications to use HPCALENDAR will stream jobs on correct dates. Native job-streaming service in MPE/iX will work if a command uses a request such as “three days from now.” In general, the more closely a piece of MPE/iX software relies on CALENDAR, the less likely it will be to deliver accurate dates starting in 2028.

My third-party software might keep track of the date to keep running. What can I do?

Source code revision will be the most direct solution in this case. Some support companies are considering a certification service for Year 2028 operations.

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