Like any healthy legacy community, OpenVMS counts on avid users. Even when they leave active employment, these veterans help the community. Some answer technical questions for free on newsgroups. Others push toward testing of new open source assets.
Hobbyist licenses for OpenVMS made these community advocates fly. However, HP Enterprise is ending its hobbyist licensing program. The licenses have been an extraordinary asset. It’s hard to find another enterprise-grade OS, working as an active product in a vendor’s lineup, which includes a free option.
VMS Software, Inc. is developing a replacement. VSI’s Community License Program is gaining processes to deliver PAKs and kits to members of the program. “The kick-off date will to an extent be decided by the community,” VSI’s website reports. “If there is enough demand, we can get things started soon after the delivery mechanism is sorted out.
No more VAX hobbyists
The HPE hobbyists’ licenses for OpenVMS/VAX run out on December 31, 2020. “We cannot deliver any VAX/VMS versions under this program,” VSI explains. “VAX/VMS is still an HPE product, and under the terms of our agreement, we cannot deliver this product.”
A shadow test cohort for x86 OpenVMS
OpenVMS 9.1 will be available to Community License Program members. In the interest of getting a wide testing cohort, the CLP members are getting 9.1 release. “We are already trying some very interesting (but secretive) stuff in-house with the early versions of 9.0,” VSI reports. “CLP members will find even more ways of exploiting 9.1.
VSI notes that 9.1 will not be a “full-fat version of OpenVMS. We will not have all the functionality normally found in the OS—that will be there in 9.2.”