A pig in a toga


Pig in a togaI’ve been working on improving HIP 3.x for a while now.  Roy Tennant applied a folksy metaphor to this process: “After all, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still very much a pig.

Today, just as I’d managed to hold onto the pig and the lipstick at the same time, SirsiDynix announced that they’re replacing the pig.  Sure, we can stay on Horizon 7.x for a while, but we were figuring we’d migrate to Horizon 8.x eventually.

Horizon 8.0 now joins the vaporware list.  Back in April 2005, it was scheduled for release “later this year” (pdf).  Almost two years later, the company is admitting that Horizon 8.0 was a non-starter, except for the unfortunate early adopters who installed it before general release.

The new pig is called “Rome”, and apparently this switcheroo has been in the works for a while.  Australian users saw a prophecy PowerPoint presentation in 2005 that showed a product called Rome; it was supposed to use Horizon 8.0’s client and HIP (Horizon Information Portal), among other technologies.

Well, it won’t.  It’s going to be based on Unicorn.  And the technical details?  We just don’t know yet.  It’s pretty certain, though, that the work I’m doing to improve our HIP catalog is going to be left by the side of the road.  It probably won’t translate.  All roads may lead to Rome, but once you get there, you’d better be speaking Latin.

Illustration adapted from the Atinlay Igpay card in Unhinged.
“Vanitas vanitatum, omnia vanitas”: Ecclesiastes (q.v. re: Horizon).


  1. Ben, I not only had the pig, but I had the new and improved 8.0 Pig in my grasp and now its…its…, well, it’s still running but I guess I can’t use it now. It’s old technology even though it’s LifeRay.


  2. I can’t tell if they’re invoking “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” or “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

    Sticking with classical references, I’d say: choose your poison.

  3. Want to use classical references? Rome isn’t even here yet, but someone was obviously fiddling for two years while Horizon burned.

  4. Perhaps you will just have to learn to speak Unicorn?

  5. I couldn’t agree more. Like anything, little regard is given to the users / customers, and more to the bottom line. We got the wind of this happening nearly a month after a Dynix acquisition … it was just a matter of how swiftly and painfuly it was going to happen… more is on the way :(

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