[TUHS] System Economics (was is Linux "officially branded UNIX")
clemc at ccc.com
Thu Mar 16 10:52:44 AEST 2017
Right and as Larry points out that led to a club mentality, which can see
would (in practice) make people interpret something in a different way than
really was the case or the intended case.
On Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 8:46 PM, Wesley Parish <wes.parish at paradise.net.nz>
> One of the problems was the hardware system price ratio to software system
> price. When you could get
> a 486 PC for $5-10k and the SysV source license (for 4.3BSD!) was $100k,
> it seemed rather monstrously
> disproportionate. :)
> This mismatch didn't exist in the Minicomputer world, where a VAX cost
> rather more than $5-10k and
> the price for a source license was thus not disproportionate.
> Wesley Parish
> Quoting Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com>:
> > BTW Josh, I am trying to be respectful here. I suspect you are tad
> > younger
> > I am and your early introduction into UNIX was on the WINTEL platform,
> > not
> > on the DEC systems like mine. So, if I'm going to make a guess you were
> > not in a position when you were introduced to be able to get access to
> > the
> > sources.
> > So in your experience the UNIX source were closed to you personally
> > (and
> > many others). I get that. But it does not change the fact it, there
> > were
> > available and there open and were not a secret. Which was very
> > different
> > from many of "closed" systems (says Cisco, or much of the other
> > infrastructure) of the day. They always have been. Even System V.
> > It was quite easy to get source if you were willing (and could pay).
> > I'm
> > not suggesting that it was easy for you could and I understand that
> > frustration. I personally would not have been able to pay for the
> > licenses, but I was being employed by firms that could and valued my
> > abilities, so they did. This was also true for many educational
> > institutions.
> > Sun and DEC actually were quite liberal with their source licenses,
> > because
> > AT&T had been. They had to be also - because their customer required
> > it.
> > The point is there is a difference between "open" and "free." There are
> > a
> > lot of things that are open and we can look at but not touch or have
> > the
> > wearwithall to modify. But that does not change their openness - we can
> > still (and do) learn from them.
> > Linus and many of us learned because UNIX (the ideas) and the basic
> > implementations were open. We talked about them, they were well
> > specified.
> > We wrote application that relied on those ideas, APIs etc. And Linus,
> > Andy Tannenbaum and Plaguer before them reimplemented those ideas and
> > created clones. *Unix was and is "open" and the implementations were
> > and
> > are available.* The problem for many is the price to look at the
> > implementations - that I grant. And for many, for some of those
> > implementations, can be high. But it does not make them "closed."
> > The effect may seem that way to you, but it was not and is not the
> > same.
> > All, I'm asking you to say, is that traditional UNIX implementations
> > such
> > as System V were not "Free and Open," unlike Linux some of the other
> > Unix
> > clones. And that make all the difference.
> > They were and still are open.
> > On Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 3:28 PM, Josh Good <pepe at naleco.com> wrote:
> > > On 2017 Mar 14, 21:11, Clem Cole wrote:
> > > >
> > > > My point is that you (and many others) equate "open" and "free" - I
> > ask
> > > > you to please not make that error. Open means we can talk about it
> > and
> > > > share it, see it. Which is exactly what we did "back in the day".
> > But
> > > as
> > > > people pointed out you had to pay AT&T to be a member of the UNIX
> > club if
> > > > you were commercial, although any University type could be apart
> > for
> > > free.
> > >
> > > What UNIX for PC in the '90s had the option to buy a source code
> > license
> > > for that specific version, so that PC hackers could write drivers for
> > > their hardware and tune the kernel internals to their liking, or be
> > able
> > > to fix themselves a bug in the serial port driver, etc.?
> > >
> > > Certainly not OpenServer, not UnixWare nor SCO Xenix. Did DELL Unix
> > > offered a payware source code license for their product? I'm not
> > aware
> > > of such.
> > >
> > > From System V onwards, UNIX became closed source in what matters,
> > that
> > > is, the version running on your hardware and the version with the
> > drivers
> > > you are using (unless you were an employee at IBM, DEC, HP or SUN
> > running
> > > propietary hardware and happened to be in the right group).
> > >
> > > It is obvious to me that RMS's GNU movement was aimed at solving that
> > > very problem. And if that was a problem, then the "UNIX openness" you
> > > talk about does not seem to have been very practical at all. At
> > least,
> > > it was totally useless to PC hackers, like Linus Torvalds - he had to
> > > write his own UNIX, because he was not able to get any UNIX source
> > code
> > > he could readily compile and run on his i386.
> > >
> > > --
> > > Josh Good
> > >
> > >
> "I have supposed that he who buys a Method means to learn it." - Ferdinand
> Method for Guitar
> "A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on." -- Samuel
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