Linked by Robert Gezelter on Tue 18th Jul 2006 11:57 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes In its initial concept, OpenVMS (then VAX/VMS) sought to provide the functionality and capabilities of a mainframe-class system at a small fraction of the size and cost, while at the same time providing higher levels of reliability and integrity. These goals were achieved by what has become OpenVMS' hallmark, an emphasis on integrity and architectural leverage. Note: This is an entry to our OS Contest.
Thread beginning with comment 144236
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
VMS & File Version Numbers
by shotsman on Tue 18th Jul 2006 17:42 UTC
Member since:

I wish you would expand on why file version numbers are a BAD thing.
In my experience of using VMS from 1979 I have had countless experiences where the ability to retrieve older versions of file has been a godsend. I would actually go so far as wanting them in Unix/Linux and dare I say it, even Windows.

Now onto DCL and by implication, the utilities it uses.
DCL is probably one of the earliest scripting languages. I wrote many complicated installers in DCL.
Some of the features of DCL are unrivalled. The Totally tree structured help puts most Unix man pages into total shame.

As other replies have said it is Rock Solid and the OpenVMS Clustering and the clustered filesystem is brilliant. Try doing rolling upgrades on other clusters. Some of my IBM friends put it in the same league as Z/OS for stability.

Ok, I have to declare some interest. I was a DEC Employee for 20 years but left in 1999.

Reply Score: 2

RE: VMS & File Version Numbers
by Cloudy on Tue 18th Jul 2006 20:41 in reply to "VMS & File Version Numbers"
Cloudy Member since:

I wish you would expand on why file version numbers are a BAD thing.

I guess I should have said can be a bad thing.

My first experience with VMS, also in '79, was installing an 11/780 in a small college, which couldn't afford a lot of disk space.

In colleges, the most common operation on a file is "change it", so version proliferation is pretty widespread. (It's the old compile, debug, change cycle.)

So, you run into a couple of situations: either you allow unlimited version numbers and bump quotes up leaving you overcommitted and always on the 'out of disk' edge, or you set some small number of versions, and people always manage to get past that number before they realize they really wanted version N back.

In that environment, version numbers are not your friend.

And yes, I miss DCL's help facility. It was nice.

DCL was really a (good) answer to IBM's JCL, So I'm not sure I'd call it an early scripting language, but it had a lot of nice features.

And yes, VMS was rock solid, even in the early days. I still remember giving a demonstration shortly after we got our first VAX and talking about the recovery facilities. During said demonstration, my boss leaned against the RM80 that had system on it and managed to hit the off-line button. I simply reached over, put the disk back on line and get right on going with the demo.

KO's little company from Maynard is responsible for a significant part of the computer revolution. Pity it didn't thrive longer.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Tuishimi Member since:

Another reason to dislike file versions... a looooong time ago when I was beginning my software engineering career, I was also a system/cluster manager. One day my manager came to me and said "time to clean up the RANGER cluster... engineers are running out of disk space".

So... I sent out a message saying "I will be peforming a $purge /keep=2 tonight, please contact me if that will be a problem." No one contacted. I purged.

Next morning I almost had a fist fight with a guy who, get this, stored ALL OF HIS historical data BY VERSION NUMBER. He had thousands of files from the years he had worked there...

I told him he'd better find a better naming convention and that I would be purging again (after I had to do a restore of all his stuff) in a week.

But to the point... sometimes people get TOO comfortable with file versions and that can lead to trouble, and a lot of wasted disk space.

Reply Parent Score: 2