Saturday, February 17, 2007

SHARE Session 2845 z390 Portable Mainframe Assembler and Emulator

SHARE was held in Tampa Florida during the past week, and I had the opportunity to present a session on the z390 Portable Mainframe Assembler and Emulator. One question from the session was whether z390 could be run on z Series machines using Linux/390. To date z390 has only been fully tested on Windows and Ubuntu Linux 6.06 LTS and J2RE 1.5.0_10. However since Ubuntu Linux and Linux/390 both conform to the new Linux Foundation core standard and since both support the J2RE 1.5 Java code base from Sun Microsystems, I see no reason why z390 should not run on Linux/390. Although it would be slower than native assembler of course, if the process is I/O bound, then speed may not be an issue. The potential benefit is to have assembler application code that is portable across both OS's and hardward platforms.

I attended several other sessions at the SHARE in Tampa and perhaps the most interesting for me was the session on Linux and Open Source by Jim Elliott with IBM Canada. He presented the results of a recent Gartner survey showing server growth statistics for different OS's. Linux growth was up 31%, Windows server growth was up 12%, Unix server growth was up 4% and all other servers were in decline by 22%. It seems to me that there is a clear message here about the future of Linux and other open source tools such as Java, Eclipse, and z390.