[TUHS] SunOS vs Linux
kayparker at mailite.com
Mon Jan 9 04:02:17 AEST 2017
You remember correctly:
'If 386BSD had been available when I started on Linux, Linux would
probably never had happened.'
On Sun, Jan 8, 2017, at 08:28 AM, Angus Robinson wrote:
> I think at one point Linus said that if he had known or if 386bsd was
> available he would not have started Linux
> (If I remember correctly)
> On 6 Jan 2017 05:57, "Dan Cross" <crossd at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 12:08 PM, Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:
>>> On Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 11:17 AM, ron minnich <rminnich at gmail.com>
>>>> Larry, had Sun open sourced SunOS, as you fought so hard to make
>>>> happen, Linux might not have happened as it did. SunOS was really
>>>> good. Chalk up another win for ATT!
>>> FWIW: I disagree. For details look at my discussion of rewriting
>>> Linux in RUST on quora. But a quick point is this .... Linux
>>> original took off (and was successful) not because of GPL, but in
>>> spite of it and later the GPL would help it. But it was not the GPL
>>> per say that made Linux vs BSD vs SunOS et al.
>>> What made Linux happen was the BSDi/UCB vs AT&T case. At the
>>> time, a lot of hackers (myself included) thought the case was about
>>> *copyright*. It was not, it was about *trade secret* and the ideas
>>> around UNIX. * i.e.* folks like, we "mentally contaminated" with
>>> the AT&T Intellectual Property.
>>> When the case came, folks like me that were running 386BSD which
>>> would later begat FreeBSD et al, got scared. At that time, *BSD
>>> (and SunOS) were much farther along in the development and
>>> stability. But .... may of us hought Linux would insulate us from
>>> losing UNIX on cheap HW because their was not AT&T copyrighted code
>>> in it. Sadly, the truth is that if AT&T had won the case, _*all
>>> UNIX-like systems*_ would have had to be removed from the market in
>>> the USA and EU [NATO-allies for sure].
>>> That said, the fact the *BSD and Linux were in the wild, would have
>>> made it hard to enforce and at a "Free" (as in beer) price it may
>>> have been hard to make it stick. But that it was a
>>> misunderstanding of legal thing that made Linux "valuable" to us,
>>> not the implementation.
>>> If SunOS has been available, it would not have been any different.
>>> It would have been thought of based on the AT&T IP, but trade secret
>>> and original copyright.
>> Yes, it seems in retrospect that USL v BSDi basically killed Unix
>> (in the sense that Linux is not a blood-relative of Unix). I
>> remember someone quipping towards the late 90s, "the Unix wars are
>> over. Linux won."
>> Perhaps an interesting area of speculation is, "what would the world
>> have looked like if USL v BSDi hadn't happened *and* SunOS was opened
>> to the world?" I think in that parallel universe, Linux wouldn't have
>> made it particularly far: absent the legal angle, what would the
>> incentive had been to work on something that was striving to
>> basically be Unix, when really good Unix was already available?
>> Ah well.
>> - Dan C.
kayparker at mailite.com
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