DataFocus Inc has launched NuTcracker, its long-awaited Unix-to-NT scheme, which promises to recompile Unix source code, link it to built-in dynamic link libraries and crank out native Win32 applications that run on NT and Chicago, which will pave the way to get Unix programs into the mass market. DataFocus, whose first acknowledged customer was Informix […]
DataFocus Inc has launched NuTcracker, its long-awaited Unix-to-NT scheme, which promises to recompile Unix source code, link it to built-in dynamic link libraries and crank out native Win32 applications that run on NT and Chicago, which will pave the way to get Unix programs into the mass market. DataFocus, whose first acknowledged customer was Informix Software Inc, which originally used it to convert Informix-SE for NT Advanced Server, says it can do this with C and C++ code from Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, System V.4, Ultrix and XPG4/Posix systems. The firm claims Hewlett-Packard Co and Cabletron Systems Inc are now using NuTcracker and AT&T Bell Laboratories’ David Korn used it to convert the fabled Unix KornShell ’93 for NT. DataFocus has in mind to create a NuTcracker application binary interface, a merging of Microsoft’s Win32 and over time the Unix Spec 1170 and Common Desktop Environment, producing a single consistent application programming interface spanning iAPX-86 and RISC on which it fancies the industry could standardise. To press its effort, the Virginia company – actually a $3m-a-year subsidiary of Convergent Solutions Inc, Laurence Harbor, New Jersey, and apparently very eager to conceal the fact that it is based in Fairfax, Virginia – has teamed up with NEC Technologies Inc to establish NuTcracker and NEC’s R-series NT boxes as the development system of choice for Unix/NT developers, recruiting distributors and resellers for NuTcracker-on-NEC. Currently NuTcracker includes only the 95% of Unix calls that DataFocus reckons are the most used, though what percentage of the Spec 1170 that represents is unclear. The multi-versioned Common Desktop will be added only when, DataFocus president Patrick Higbie aptly observes, they figure out what it is. In the meantime, taking a leaf out of the Unix book, DataFocus claims it has ostensibly formed a consortium of some of the top players in their fields to contribute to NuTcracker. IXI Ltd, now a unit of the Santa Cruz Operation Inc, is expected to kick in its new Win-tif technology to add a Windows look-and-feel to converted Unix applications. AGE Logic Inc is putting in its X/Motif stuff and Mortice Kern Systems Inc the MKS Toolkit with its Posix shell and key Unix utilities like make, vi and awk. Besides the Mortice Kern toolkit, NuTcracker has its own pieces of Unix. NuTcracker will ship first at the end of April as a software developers kit with its System V.4/Posix-based application programming interface and the Mortice Kern Toolkit. It will list for $2,000 but carry an introductory tag of $1,000. At the end of the second quarter, a NuTcracker X/Operating Environment with AGE’s XoftWare/32 for NT PC X Server, IXI’s Win-tif and NuTcracker dynamic link libraries will be available along with a NuTcracker X/SDK that combines the software developers kit and X/OE with libraries for porting X/Motif applications. The product includes AGE’s new XoftHost for NT. Both are unpriced. Higbie says that the run-times NuTcracker creates can be distributed free within an organisation. DataFocus claims that NuTcracker reduces the time needed to convert from Unix to NT by around 60% and also creates a single source code base for both operating systems.