Benefits of the Porting Assistant


Porting Assistant

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The Porting Assistant will make you more productive as you port your application to Tru64 UNIX. The features in the Porting Assistant that make you more productive vary depending on your software development background and needs.

» New to Tru64 UNIX Alpha...
» New to UNIX...
» Need to be more efficient...

New to Tru64 UNIX Alpha...

Tru64 UNIX is one of the most compatible UNIX standards compliant systems on the market today.  Tru64 UNIX complies with BSD, System V, POSIX, and X/Open standards. Consequently, many ports are straightforward.

The Porting Assistant is knowledgeable about Tru64 UNIX, the Alpha architecture and other vendors' UNIX systems. It can help you examine your application and identify parts of code that could be problematic. Think of the Porting Assistant as your personal knowledge expert on porting code to 64-bit Tru64 UNIX.

The Porting Assistant locates problems in your code, explains the problems using clear diagnostic messages, and can even suggest necessary changes via links to the online Help. For example, the Porting Assistant can diagnose that the -temp option in the Sun C compiler is not available on Tru64 UNIX and that you can achieve the same effect by using the environment variable TMPDIR. It will let you know that LIB$PUT_OUTPUT is not available in the Tru64 UNIX run-time libraries. However, if you need a replacement for the OpenVMS function of that name, it will suggest the alternative printf family of functions.

The information provided is not all at the detail level. If endianism (byte ordering) is a concept you'd like to know about, the Porting Assistant can explain it. If you want to know how Solaris threads and DECthreads compare, that's in the HyperHelp system as well.

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New to UNIX...

If you've been asked to port some software to Tru64 UNIX, you probably already know:

  • How to program in the language used to implement your application
  • How to work with Motif or Windows style interfaces

What you most likely need some help with is:

  • UNIX runtime routines and system
  • UNIX utilities for program development
  • UNIX command line syntax

The Porting Assistant has a Motif interface to many of the UNIX utilities. You point and click and the tools deal with UNIX. For example, lint is the base tool that scans your code for any 32-bit dependencies or functions that don't match the prototypes on the system. The interface to the tool is not obvious:

lint [-abchlnpuxv] [-cpp] [-dpath] [-Dname[=definition]] [-Idirectory][-lkey] [-olibrary] [-MA] [-Msuboptions] [-stdn] [-Pppoptions][-Qsuboptions] [-Ndnumber] [-Nlnumber] [-Nnnumber] [-Ntnumber][-Uname] [-wclass...] [-Xdollar] [-XEnum] file...

... followed by twenty screens of description.


The Porting Assistant interface is considerably simpler Click to view a larger image of the Porting Assistant.

Two interesting examples that take your knowledge of your existing system and map it to DIGITAL UNIX equivalents are

  • Function Finder Click to view a larger image of the funcition finder

    This tool takes function names and describes equivalent Tru64 UNIX functions.

  • Makefile Check

    This tool analyzes the commands in your makefile for options and arguments that have a different syntax on Tru64 UNIX.

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Need to be more efficient...

You may already understand UNIX and the unique features of the Alpha architecture. There is still the need to do the port.

The Porting Assistant provides a proven methodology for doing your port. It steps you through the process, finds many of the problems, and can automate much of the tedious work -- much like a tax program helps you with your taxes.