Hewlett-Packard Co’s recent announcement of programming tools that enable developers to write C++ code that can be deployed on Windows 95, NT and HP-UX called OpenStudio is the first peek at what will eventually become a family of cross-platform development tools also supporting Java and ultimately targeted at the company’s next-generation of Unix and NT […]
Hewlett-Packard Co’s recent announcement of programming tools that enable developers to write C++ code that can be deployed on Windows 95, NT and HP-UX called OpenStudio is the first peek at what will eventually become a family of cross-platform development tools also supporting Java and ultimately targeted at the company’s next-generation of Unix and NT systems built upon Intel Corp’s Merced chip. OpenStudio was unveiled with only a minimal amount of fanfare – so low-key it almost passed us by – because the company’s still in the process of forming a developer strategy to support its next-generation architectures and tailoring its developer products accordingly. HP’s Software Engineering Systems Division in Fort Collins, Colorado, says the obvious target is to be able to support application libraries written in multiple languages across all of HP’s platforms. However for performance reasons it doesn’t think Java’s write once run anywhere execution model will wash with its customers. Moreover, the Fort Collins team – where some of the co- development work with Intel Corp on Merced’s IA-64 instruction set, plus emulation technology is taking place – doesn’t yet know whether it’ll be given the Java work or whether it’ll end up somewhere else in the company. It says no decision’s been taken and that in any case there must also be consolidation amongst HP’s developer activities. The company’s currently gathering support from customers and internally for its plans. HP’s already licensed Sun Microsystems Inc’s Java WorkShop developer suite.
Multi-platform tools will be more important to HP going forward now that it has abandoned the notion of creating a common Unix binary which would have run HP-UX and SCO UnixWare applications under the two companies’ 3DA Unix architecture initiative. HP has halted plans to write a little-endian version of HP-UX to run on Merced. Instead it will continue to support and develop HP-UX on Merced systems configured for big-endian processing. NT will run on the same systems, albeit configured like other Intel vendors’ products for little-endian processing. The little-endian systems will also support other Unixes, including SCO UnixWare. HP has previously indicated it will create tools to help ISVs move application between platforms. The decision to abandon little- endian HP-UX – presumably asking customers to move from its own PA-RISC processor to the Intel Merced chip is a big enough demand in itself – culminated in the recent departure of Rich Sevcik, former VP and general manager of HP’s systems technology group (CI No 3,139). OpenStudio is an add-on to Microsoft Visual C++ plus server-side HP-UX C, C++ compilers and runtime implementation of its Corba Object Request Broker, ORB-Plus. The $1,000 OpenStudio requires the developer to already have a Visual C++ or Visual Studio licence. Applications can be written in Visual C++ can be deployed on Windows and NT clients and HP-UX servers and is designed for organisations with multiple PC clients and Unix servers. Developers can also debug HP-UX and Windows applications in side-by-side views, create single source- stream applications enabling developers to build source code for different target machines and develop and maintain existing HP-UX applications from a PC.