[TUHS] dmr note on BSD's sins

Tim Bradshaw tfb at tfeb.org
Sat May 6 03:33:19 AEST 2017


I asked my wife (who is a longer-term Sun person than me and also went through this) if my memory was correct (I now keep elaborate and deeply unpublishable notes but I didn't then) and she immediately said 'echo -n': this was presumably either in /(usr/)?bin/echo in BSD/SunOS 4 or in the /bin/sh builtin, and not in the versions for SunOS 5 with resulting horrible failures of scripts all over the place.

I think I can sort of see why the serious-standards-compliance-even-when-the-standard-is-horrible thing might have seemed like it would appeal to the kind of organisations Sun wanted to sell to (ones where people wear suits), but it also drove their traditional userbase to Linux/*BSD and this did not help them in the long term.  (Also: do the standards say 'thou shall have no other options but these', because if they do they are terrible standards).

> On 5 May 2017, at 00:14, Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:
> 
>> On Thu, May 04, 2017 at 03:59:22PM +0100, Tim Bradshaw wrote:
>>> On 3 May 2017, at 14:41, Nemo <cym224 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Along these lines, who said "Cat went to Berkely, came back waving flags."
>> 
>> And anyone who lived through the SunOS 4 -- SunOS 5 transition will know that some of those Berkeley flags (not specifically for cat, but almost certainly including those for cat) were really quite useful.  I remember spending really a long time finding and building BSD/GNU versions of utilities which actually had the options you needed on early SunOS 5 machines: later on Sun themselves put some of them back.
> 
> As someone who was at Sun, loved SunOS 4 and hated Solaris, yup.  Even the
> diehard Solaris people like Bryan Cantrill say that they stick /opt/gnu/bin
> in their path first.
> 
> It boggles my mind that Sun was so strict on being compat with SVR4 and
> they knew that everyone hated that.
> -- 
> ---
> Larry McVoy                     lm at mcvoy.com             http://www.mcvoy.com/lm 



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