Session S987 - OCO: Survey of IBM Object Code Only Implementation

August 15-19, 1988

For about five years IBM has been distributing more and more products without source code. And for more than those five years, SHARE has complained about it.

IBM wants to not distribute source code in order to 1) protect its trade secrets, and 2) keep systems programmers from modifying it. Users want source code so that they can 1) compensate for the shoddy documentation that IBM sends out with their products, and 2) modify the code as they see fit.

After a conversation in which they discussed the problem, IBM has gone ahead with their plans to distribute object code without source, and SHARE has formed a veritable multitude of committees and task forces to deal with it. The most recent effort has been to compile a survey of SHARE installations, asking each to qualify their satisfaction with various aspects of various IBM products. The results of this survey were released at SHARE 71.

In general, the software that users wanted source code for most was the same as on my personal wishlist: MVS, DFP, IMS and CICS. Assembler "H" was on the other end of the spectrum; people are satisfied with its performance and don't ever look at its source code, and don't care to.

(My opinion: I don't have to conduct surveys or respond to surveys or justify ANYTHING to IBM. I am the customer and IBM is the vendor; I pay great gobs of money to IBM, and IBM damn well ought to give me what I want, because I want it and for no other reason. Period.)

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