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Old VMS still supported?

by pfaut (Priest)
on Jul 18, 2004 at 14:51 UTC ( #375383=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

For the last few days, I've been trying to build perl 5.8.4 on VAX/VMS 6.2 (stop laughing). I just found Simh, a program that can simulator several machine architectures including a VAX 3900. I have VMS and Compaq C installed on it and tried to build perl. I've run into a few problems that I don't remember having when I built 5.8.0 about a year ago on a real VAX.

First, ext/IO/IO.xs attempts to do an ioctl(SIOCATMARK). VMS (at least on 6.2) doesn't support ioctl() but the same functionality can be achieved using a system service call. I wrote a routine to call the system service and plugged it in. If I can determine that it works properly, I'll submit it as a patch.

Second, Time::HiRes failed to build due to lack of support for several functions including gettimeofday(). These routines are not supported on VMS 6.2. The Time::HiRes tests still attempted to run and failed after I reconfigured without including Time::HiRes in the build.

Third, several tests are failing. t/op/pack.t appears to be failing with a floating point overflow. Several BigInt tests also failed although I haven't yet looked into the reasons.

Is anyone else still using perl on VMS 6.2? Does anyone know if the latset versions of perl should still be buildable on this platform?

I'll be resuming testing tomorrow on a real VAX at the office to see if I run into the same issues.

90% of every Perl application is already written.

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Re: Old VMS still supported?
by Joost (Canon) on Jul 18, 2004 at 20:46 UTC
Re: Old VMS still supported?
by theorbtwo (Prior) on Jul 19, 2004 at 06:46 UTC

    In addition to Joost's fine advice: if you really want to make sure that VAX/VMS support stays working, set up a weekly (or even daily) cron job to do a smoke test. Even if you run it inside the emulator, it's better then nothing, and AFAICS, "nothing" is exactly how much smoke testing under VMS we currently have, from the stats.

    Oh, and ObTrivia: the most successful platform for perl is dec_osf, with a successful make test 89.04% of the time.

    Warning: Unless otherwise stated, code is untested. Do not use without understanding. Code is posted in the hopes it is useful, but without warranty. All copyrights are relinquished into the public domain unless otherwise stated. I am not an angel. I am capable of error, and err on a fairly regular basis. If I made a mistake, please let me know (such as by replying to this node).

      ... if you really want to make sure that VAX/VMS support stays working, set up a weekly (or even daily) cron job to do a smoke test.
      Under VMS, there is no cron. Instead, what you want is a self resubmitting batch job (written in DCL).

      Anyway, the main problem with the testing stats for the VMS platform is that we haven't got CPANPLUS working on VMS yet. (if anyone has achieved this, please drop me a /msg). Once CPANPLUS is up and running, we should be able to run the automated test suites and post the results to cpan_testers, which will get into the stats. This may well highlight general portability issues in the way people write modules, besides exercising (exorcising ??) the VMS port.

      Please note that we should aim to test on different hardware platforms (VAX, Alpha and Itanium).

      Hewlett Packard provide some hardware for general not-for-profit use, for platform porting, under their Test Drive program. I have a test drive account, and I encourage others who have the time and inclination to get one. Note that I use this in spare time. Again, please /msg me if you want to collaborate with me on testing VMS ports on the HP test drive machines.

      I'm Not Just Another Perl Hacker

      Looks interesting but from the total lack of mention of VMS in the stats I wonder if it even supports VMS. It's certainly something to look into. Thanks.

      90% of every Perl application is already written.
Re: Old VMS still supported?
by rinceWind (Monsignor) on Jul 19, 2004 at 10:39 UTC
    I suggest you post to the vmsperl list. This has helpful people such as Peter Prymmer and Craig Berry on it.

    I'm also intersted in this, because I have a client who is running OpenVMS 6.2 on Alpha.

    I'm Not Just Another Perl Hacker

      That looks like a good reference. I just looked through the archives a little and saw an appeal for testers around February. I'll sign up for the list from home tonight. Thanks.

      90% of every Perl application is already written.

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