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ITRC Patch Downloads

George_145
Valued Contributor

ITRC Patch Downloads

And while I'm here....

A lot of the concerns with the ITRC patch page that were voiced at last years BoF, and questions that had come up in forums and to me in email were answered with "this is planned for the next release".

Well, we've had the next release a while ago. Is the ITRC ECO functionality any better? What problems are you still having? What enhancements do you want to see? What were you promised and didn't get?
24 REPLIES
labadie_1
Honored Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

An enhancement I would like to see is that when a patch has a problem, it should be immediately put "ON HOLD", so that it is no longer possible to download it.

Yes I am talking about the patch SYS V1 for Vms 7.3-2, if applied, it is no longer possible to boot. The SYS V2 corrected the problem.

Thanks a lot.

Gerard
labadie_1
Honored Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

It would be great to sort the patches by arrival date (to check quickly of a patch has appeeared since I updarted a customer). It seems that the patch list sorts by criticity, and then by date.
And an image index would be great.
George_145
Valued Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

Gerard,

One of the problems with putting a kit on hold is that there is a timezone lag in when the hold can actually take effect. After the SYS kit problem, I asked the ITRC to look at a way that kit submitters could put kits on hold directly and immediately rather than having to wait for someone to receive and take action on an email. It is being looked at.

As far as sorting by date, there is really no good way to do it right now. The FAQ talks about sorting by date string keywords but that really doesn't work. The best I can suggest is to look at the Master List if one is available. It lists kits by release date (though, right now, only the OS kits are listed.


Where would you like to see an image index? All the images are listed in the first page or two of the TXT file.

George
labadie_1
Honored Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

About the image index, I thought about it for each Vms version, for example, for Vms 7.3-1 or 7.3-2. that would be helpful.
Martin P.J. Zinser
Honored Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

Hello,

I do second the sort by date request. Also a search for layered product patches would be nice. We recently had a thread here
( http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/questionanswer.do?threadId=556397 )
where somebody was looking for the most current ECO for a specific TCP/IP version. There is currently no way to find this easily via ITRC.

Another issue is technical stability of the service. Recently there was an outage of several days where you could not search for 7.3-1 patches (7.3-2 was fine though IIRC).

And yes, the patch service became much better with the new release in my opinion.

As for wishes: Since the site uses cookies anyhow, could you store the info which patches a user already did download and mark them accordingly in the list?

Greetings, Martin
David B Sneddon
Honored Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

George,

The changes have made it better than it was.
As mentioned by others -- sorting by date makes
it very easy to spot recent additions.
Any changes to make it more like the old Sydney
ECO site would be appreciated. (If you could take the old Sydney site and add the ability to
do multiple patches in one download you would
have the perfect combination.)

Regards
Dave
Cass Witkowski
Trusted Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

I would like to be able to search for a fix across multiple versions of the OS. For example If there is a problem and it has been back ported to several versions would be nice to see what all ECOs in the different version have the fix. Some of us support multiple versions of the OS and having to search for a problem with the varied number of versions is slow. DSNlink did it
Willem Grooters
Honored Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

(OT)
Martin,

to be discussed in BoF!
Willem Grooters
OpenVMS Developer & System Manager
Roger_Fraser
Occasional Advisor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

I, too, would like to see sort by date; but I would also like to see "search by date across all versions".
As a member of a very large company with systems at all versions of VMS, I would like to be able to search for all patches which have been released in the last 7 days, 14 days or month.
At present searching by date using a keyword of, for example, 200404* often returns patches released in March as well as April - this is mildly annoying; but I can still only do this for one version at a time.
Regards,
Roger
Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

A clearer link to the master patch list for each version of VMS would be useful.
____________________
Purely Personal Opinion
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

I agree with Martin. Looking up TCP/IP was a problem for me, too. I finally found it tacked to an older VMS release.
.
Willem Grooters
Honored Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

George,

It's improving, but: The missing "Sort by date" has been a request FROM THE BEGINNING of the new site - look (*far*) back in this forum.
I didn't check lately but one remark has been made several times: Have the releasenotes in plain text as well, not only in HTML format. The reason: Some download the releasenotes (FTP) from their VMS server without graphic device to read them on a character cell terminal. (If this has been handled already, please ignore this remark)

One problem I run into is downloading a ZIP by HTTP will fail after some time and redo will start from the beginning. The safest way I foudn so far is getting each separately. It would be nice if I could 'save' my selection over sessions.

Willem

Willem Grooters
OpenVMS Developer & System Manager
Antoniov.
Honored Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

Perhaps may be difficult but try:
User write his system configuration (OS version, patch and eco installed) and can view new patch and/or ECO avaiable.
Also the last two week added marked with "new!".
I just married multiple os version search idea.

@Antoniov

Antonio Maria Vigliotti
George_145
Valued Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

One of the complaints I keep hearing is that new tools get implemented without enough user input as to what is working and what is really needed. I got a call last week from the group responsible for writing and maintaining the patch portion of the ITRC. They are conducting a survey to find out what new tools are needed by internal users and customers. Part of the survey is to find out what improvements can be made to the current tools.

Here are the issues that have been raised here so far and which ones I'll raise at the survey meeting (this came out to be a lot longer then expected, sorry, I was on a roll :-)

- ITRC search mode needs a true search by date function. Not a search that can find all patches issued in February 2004 but rather a search that can find all the patches issued SINCE February 2004, note that if this happens it will probably obsolete the Master Lists.

- Searches need to be able to be conducted across mulitple versions rather than having to do multiple searches. I will also raise searches across multiple architectures but if we could get the multiple versions part that would be a big step. These first two will have the highest priority.

- Need to be able to put a patch on hold immediately.

- today the ITRC sorts patches by rating then date then alphabetically. Can we let the user choose the sort characteristics they want with the current sort being the default.

- there was a request to use cookies to save what patches a user has already downloaded and mark them as such in the search results. Interesting. I will raise the suggestion but I've heard customers fume at having to use cookies, others don't mind. Sounds like a case of damned if you do, damned if you don't.
:-).

- clearer link to the Master Lists. This one is something I have to take a look at. When I issue a new master list, I give it a rating on 1 and name it so that it is alphabetically first. Hopefully this keeps it as the first "kit" listed on a search. Apparently that isn't working. I'll have to see what else can be done.

- release notes in plain text...ah...they are. I'm not sure where this comment is coming from. Maybe it is related to the next point.

- Subscriber's Choice is just plain broken for VMS users. It is all but useless or getting the patch notifications and documentation - it doesn't come out often enough, documentation is HTML format, forces uers to go to another link to get the information, with all the marketing info it looks like something from the Shopping Channel. Customers have repeatedly told me that SC is spam. What is need is immediate notification of patch releases in simple direct format.
(Along this line, OPENVMS.ORG gets notified when a VMS *operating system* patch is released. They maintain a subscription list of users and will send the notices to users as they are received. It's a simple matter to go to openvms.org to sign up for these patch notices...until Subscriber's Choice is fixed. Note that this distribution is NOT a replacement for Subscriber's Choice and customers still need to sign up for that service. That is the official notification channel for HP customers for a lot of information besides just patches.

- layered product patches can not be found easily. I don't really think this is an ITRC issue. I think it is more related to the way patches get to the ITRC. We'll take a look at how it can be better.

- Image Index. Sorry to be dense but I'm still not sure what is meant by this. Do you want to see an index of all images shipped in, say, V7.3-2? Or in index of what images are shipped in each kit. If the latter, it's there in the kit documentation. If the former, what benefit does that give?

George
labadie_1
Honored Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

George

May be I can explain how I understand the image index.

For Vms 7.3, there is an image index at
http://ftp.support.compaq.com.au/pub/ecoinfo/ecoinfo/a73i.htm

and I can see that (for example) the file directory.exe of a customer system can be
1) from a "basic" Vms 7.3 system
2) with the patch DIR V0100, appeared on 15-JUL-2002
3) with the patch SYS V0600, appeared on 12-AUG-2002

I would like an image index for all recents (let's say Vms 7.3 and later) versions of Vms.

Regards

Gerard
Martin P.J. Zinser
Honored Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

Hello George,

I do really appreciate how you try to get some
more direct input on this from the folks in the ranks here.

Two short notes: People get upset if a Website does require Cookies to be usable at all. Having your downloads stored in a cookie would be a nice usability add-on for those who do not mind cookies, but should not pose a problem for those who turn cookies off (OTOH, can you really use the hp sites without having cookies turned on?)

From what I understand, the image index would be a list of all images that have been changed by patches since the base OS release.
I am not exactly sure how useful this really is, since few sites will install every patch I'd expect. I know for sure that we are e.g. tardy with the graphics patches on our server systems.

Greetings, Martin
George_145
Valued Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

I've asked for two enhancements to the ITRC front end and they've been accepted.

- A date search capability. This won't be a "show me all kits issued in May 2004" type search but rather a "show me all kits issued since May 2004", which seesm to satisfy what people are looking for.

- Better visibility for kits on hold. Turns out that when I put a kit on hold, the kit is removed from the ITRC site. What I want is to have the kit still visible on the site but not downloadable and the docs replaced by the hold notice.

Both of these changes *may* be able to be implemented in the next release, scheduled for the August timeframe. Other changes that I am still pushing on are a search across versions and more timely turnaround of getting a kit hold processed.

Also, I have changed the characteristics of the master lists so that they will be the first "kit" seen on a general browse and you can search for them using patch ID "Master".

As far as the image list, when you go to the ITRC search page, if you search by image you can see all kits that changed that particular image. For instance, if I search Alpha V7.3 for DIRECTORY.EXE I come up with
VMS73_DIR-V0100, VMS73_SYS-V0700 and VMS73_UPDATE-V0300. The same kits Gerard shows in his example (except that the SYS kit is the latest one). In view of this search capability, I'd need more justification before I put the effort into compiling, and creating the tools to maintain, a general image list. How many people would find such a list useful and why, given that it is going to change every time a kit is issued.

George
Jan van den Ende
Honored Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

George,


How many people would find such a list useful and why, given that it is going to change every time a kit is issued.


You can increment that count by one.

Thanks for your efforts!


Jan
Don't rust yours pelled jacker to fine doll missed aches.
George_145
Valued Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

Jan,

Ok.......but how is it usefull?

George
Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

George - thank you for the change so that the master list appears when browsing for patches for a specific version. It's proved its value today!
____________________
Purely Personal Opinion
Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

small (?) request. Can there be a link from the VMS forum page to the page to search for patches for vms?
____________________
Purely Personal Opinion
Craig A Berry
Honored Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

George,

Thanks for your good work on this. I have some comments about the e-mail notifications rather than the download site.

Yesterday I received 4 messages, all having a subject line of "Your HP Driver, Patch, Security, and Support Alerts." Since these are all the same, there's no way to know what they're about without reading through them. Compare this with the pre-HP e-mail notifications, which had subject lines like "OpenVMS VMS722_LAN-V0500 Alpha V7.2-2 LAN ECO Summary." If I'm not on 7.2-2, then I know I don't need to bother with it. On the other hand, if I'm on 7.2-2 and my LAN is giving me grief, then I know to jump on it immediately. All e-mail that is not SPAM should have a subject line that is uniquely relevant to its content.

The notifications are categorized by OS, but this information does not appear to be used in a meaningful way. I've only ever chosen OpenVMS as my operating system of interest, but the majority of the mail I get is for something else, and I waste a lot of time trying to figure out what's relevant and what's not. One of yesterday's messages was for "HPSBGN01004 - SSRT3614 rev.1 HP OpenCall Multiservice Controller (OCMC) DoS." The OS category says "ALL," but when you go to the page it says it only applies to to HP-UX. To Windows, Linux, Tru64, NonStop, MPE/iX, and yes, OpenVMS customers, this is just SPAM.

One of yesterday's four messages contained eight notifications of MPE/iX patches, and the OS category was clearly and correctly marked, but of course I have never clicked an MPE/iX checkbox in my OS preferences. In the past I've gotten a lot of Tru64 notifications even though I've never selected Tru64 as a preference, but I haven't seen as much of that lately. Why is it so hard to send OS-specific patches only to people who have selected the applicable OS?

One of yesterday's messages had firmware updates (not that the subject line gave any indication of this). There was one rx2600 update and the rest were for hp9000s. It should be possible to select hardware platforms and only receive relevant notifications.

One of the four messages I got did have OpenVMS-related information in it. There were ECO titles and links to the ITRC site for 10 ECOs. I would much rather have gotten 10 separate messages with relevant subject lines and the full text of the readme. In other words, I would much rather have exactly what we had before ITRC was involved.
George_145
Valued Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

Regarding the patch and alert noifications there is not a lot I, or the ITRC patch people can do (the notifications come out of a different group). Every chance I get I tell people that they are all but useless to our users and they are considered SPAM.

What I could do is come up with a different notification method. When a VMS OS patch is released a copy of the release notice and the docs is sent to openvms.org. That site maintains a mailing list and sends out the notice and docs, and only the notice and docs, to subscribers to that list. You can subscribe by going to openvms.org and clicking on the "Subscribe to Mailing Lists" link. Using this notice method you should get kit release notices a day beore the kit actually appears on the ITRC.

Note that this is for VMS OS kit notices only. Any other notice still come out of Subscribers Choice so you need to still sign
up for that.
Cass Witkowski
Trusted Contributor

Re: ITRC Patch Downloads

George,

If you can not get the group who provides the notification to make them more useful then give us the email of that group's boss and we will let the boss know how we feel.

As a DSNlink user we run a batch procedure every night that scans the different database of interest (e.g. OpenVMS, DECnet, TCP/IP, Storage, etc.) for new articles and or patches. We get a list with one line per article or patch. From this we can quickly see what we want to investigate further.

The ITRC could use the preferences in our profile to scan the different databases for new information and send us one email a day.