X/Open Ltd’s branding policy was unveiled yesterday, complete with details of royalties and licensing, and accompanied by 12 more or less specific commitments by members to produce conformant systems. Suppliers will be able to use the X/Open logo specifying base for base-level compliance, full, for complete support for mandatory Common Application Environment features, component, referring […]
X/Open Ltd’s branding policy was unveiled yesterday, complete with details of royalties and licensing, and accompanied by 12 more or less specific commitments by members to produce conformant systems. Suppliers will be able to use the X/Open logo specifying base for base-level compliance, full, for complete support for mandatory Common Application Environment features, component, referring to specific software extensions, or application; each use of the trademark is accompanied with a date – 88, 87, or 85 – referring to the publication date of the versions 3, 2, and 1 respectively of the guide. Royalties are $8.50 or UKP5 for each shipment of a single user system, $25 or UKP15 for a multi-user system: the maximum royalties payable are UKP275,000 – the cost of membership, should anyone ship such huge numbers of conformant systems – and members effectively can ship royalty-free. Registration fees are nominal – UKP50 per product and UKP50 per licensee, with exceptions to deal with local laws in Canada, South Korea and Taiwan. As expected, branding is conditional on passing the X/Open verification suite. Unisoft Ltd, developer of the suite, will be providing the testing service in-house in London, San Francisco and Tokyo and at suppliers’ offices: fees are UKP3,500 for one machine, UKP2,500 for a second machine tested at the same time. X/Open is also working with the UK National Computer Centre on a combined X/Open/Posix test suite, following their successful bid as part of a consortium to set up European Community-funded Posix testing centres. Bull, DEC, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, ICL, NCR, Nixdorf, Nokia, Olivetti, Philips, Siemens and Unisys all chipped in with commitment to produce conformant systems; Unisys also said it was investing $3.5m in opening 16 X/Open compliance centres round Europe, NCR said all new Tower models would conform and conformance would be introduced progressively for existing models, while ICL’s promise of branding within weeks was restricted to the DRS range, not the bought-in Clan products. Applications compliance remains a trickier area, since X/Open has no test for certifying compliance: vendors will be required to state that their products are fully compliant – requiring only recompilation to move between machines – or partially compliant, in which case porting costs should be reduced. Because of the number of areas still not covered by the Guide, X/Open expects few applications to be initially fully conformant. Uniplex, Informix, Oracle, Unify and Sybase all committed to participate in the branding programme. Portability Guide 3 is due in two stages with the last four volumes due December 1: Guide 4 – no date for this as yet, is aimed to cover enough areas to allow the majority of applications to be fully compliant.