Hewlett-Packard Co and its Unix development partner Santa Cruz Operation Inc have delivered an application programming interface (API) specification for their next generation 3DA Unix architecture to some two dozen OEMs and ISVs, including SCO’s key Big E UnixWare acolytes. Their feedback will be incorporated into a new version of the 32- and 64-bit API […]
Hewlett-Packard Co and its Unix development partner Santa Cruz Operation Inc have delivered an application programming interface (API) specification for their next generation 3DA Unix architecture to some two dozen OEMs and ISVs, including SCO’s key Big E UnixWare acolytes. Their feedback will be incorporated into a new version of the 32- and 64-bit API in a couple of months that will be reviewed again before publication by the end of the year. HP and SCO will use the APIs as the basis of new versions of their Unix operating systems which are being designed specifically to run on the Merced processor, the first implementation of Intel Corp’s 64-bit IA-64instruction set. HP and SCO identify 4,185 APIs in the initial spec (up from the 3,500 they had found when they unveiled their 3DA three-dimensional Unix architecture initiative back in February (CI No2,856)). The three dimensions of their 3DA Unix architecture are described as modular functionality, processor optimization and system optimization.75% of the APIs, or 3,153, are common. 2,785 are derived from Unix 95 and other industry standards, and carry no extensions. 292 are unique toUnixWare/OpenServer, 76 to HP-UX. The other 25% of the APIs describe new work, including extensions to Spec 1170, new common functionality and other proprietary work. The first release of the API specification includes definitions for Unix 95, 64-bit extensions (Aspen), Distributed Computing Environment, X11 X Windows, OSF Motif, Common Desktop Environment,Posix.1x, XPG 4.2, network, graphics, management and Internet services. Future releases of the spec will address clustering and security, techniques which will be supplied by HP, SCO or their development partners. HP has already said it will incorporate the spec into the 11.0 release of its HP-UX Unix due mid-1997. SCO will support the spec in its Gemini merged UnixWare/OpenServer Unix release also due mid-1997.
HP and SCO say that all of their 3DA requirement and architecture work is complete and they are now working on three fronts. The first is to port 3DA to Merced and the compilers which will supposedly allow PA-RISC instructions to execute on the chip . Intel is working with HP and SCO onthis. HP and SCO will admit only to be working with Merced specifications.The second task is an ongoing best of breed analysis, or cherry picking of HP-UX and Gemini technologies for 3DA. It includes choosing a TPC /IP implementation installation software for 3DA. HP-UX and Gemini are each expected to contribute 40% each towards these requirements. The other 20%will be built or bought. The third task is development and integration of advanced features, including clustering and high-availability. The two companies claim existing HP-UX and UnixWare/OpenServer applications will be 100% compatible with 3DA, though not all of the 3DA APIs will have been implemented in their respective operating systems by the end of next year. Applications will have to be recompiled for enhanced performance, including 64-bit addressing.
According to the February 1996 roadmap for next-generation Unix technology, the API specification was supposed to have been released by mid-year.There’s no word on the universal developers environment specification of 3DA tools and frameworks, including compilers, linkers and loaders that was due around the same time. They claim the work is still on track but offered no indication of how late UDE will be. The roadmap says a beta of that spec for use by developers targeting the future Unix shou ld be available early next year. Other programming interfaces expected to be detailed for system and builders shown on the roadmap included an SPI, a description of how the three 3DA components interface. It will allow OEMs and ISVs to modify the interfaces to extend functionality but retain compatibility. The roadmap describes SPI as a fourth quarter deliverable. Preliminary ISV developers’ guides are due by the end of the year; preliminary OEM developers’ guides by mid-1997.