Fwd: [simh] Announcing the Open SIMH project
clemc at ccc.com
Fri Jun 3 14:56:31 CDT 2022
Announcing the Open SIMH project
SIMH is a framework and family of computer simulators, initiated by Bob
Supnik and continued with contributions (large and small) from many others,
with the primary goal of enabling the preservation of knowledge contained
in, and providing the ability to execute/experience, old/historic software
via simulation of the hardware on which it ran. This goal has been
successfully achieved and has for these years created a diverse community
of users and developers.
This has mapped to some core operational principles:
First, preserve the ability to run old/historically significant software.
This means functionally accurate, sometimes bug-compatible, but not
Second, make it reasonably easy to add new simulators for other hardware
while leveraging common functions between the simulators.
Third, exploit the software nature of simulation and make SIMH convenient
for debugging a simulated system, by adding non-historical features to the
Fourth, make it convenient for users to explore old system environments,
with as close to historical interfaces, by mapping them to new features
that modern host operating systems provide.
Fifth, be inclusive of people and new technology. It's serious work, but it
should be fun.
Previously, we unfortunately never spent the time to codify how we would
deliver on these concepts. Rather, we have relied on an informal use of
traditional free and open-source principles.
Recently a situation has arisen that compromises some of these principles
and thus the entire status of the project, creating consternation among
many users and contributors.
For this reason, a number of us have stepped up to create a new
organizational structure, which we call "The Open SIMH Project", to be the
keeper and provide formal governance for the SIMH ecosystem going forward.
While details of the structure and how it operates are likely to be refined
over time, what will not change is our commitment to maintaining SIMH as a
free and open-source project, licensed under an MIT-style license as shown
on the "simh" repository page.
It is our desire that all of the past users and contributors will come to
recognize that the new organizational structure is in the best interests of
the community at large and that they will join us in it. However, this
iproject as defined, is where we intend to contribute our expertise and
time going forward. At this point, we have in place the following,
although we foresee other resources being added in the future as we
identify the need and execute against them:
A Github "organization" for the project at https://github.com/open-simh
A Git repository for the simulators themselves at
The license for the SIMH simulator code base, found in LICENSE.txt in the
top level of the "simh" repository.
The "SIMH related tools" in https://github.com/open-simh/simtools. This is
also licensed under MIT style or BSD style open source licenses (which are
comparable apart from some minor wording differences).
A "SIMH Steering Group" -- project maintainers and guides.
The conventional git style process is used for code contributions, via pull
request to the project repository. The Steering Group members have approval
authority; this list is likely to change and grow over time.
By formalizing the underlying structure, our operational principles and
guidance can best benefit the community. These are being developed and
formalized, with a plan to publish them soon.
We have used our best judgment in setting up this structure but are open to
discussion and consideration of other ideas, and to making improvements.
Many of us have been part of different projects and understand that past
mistakes are real. We have tried to learn from these experiences and apply
the collected wisdom appropriately. We desire to hear from the community as
we update and refine the operating structure for the Open SIMH project.
We hope for your patience and look forward to your support as we work to
refine the organization and be able to provide this wonderful resource for
anyone to use as we continue to evolve the technology provided by the SIMH
The SIMH Steering Group
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