[TUHS] Happy birthday, Dennis Ritchie! [ really sun vs dec/apollo --> X and NeWS ]

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Wed Sep 13 12:23:33 AEST 2017


On Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 01:15:43PM -0700, Steve Johnson wrote:
> We would go out to lunch every day and trash talk Sun up one side and
> down the other.?? And then we would go back to work and order more
> Suns.?? Because THEY UNDERSTOOD WHAT WE NEEDED, and were TRYING TO
> GIVE IT TO US.?? 

I love this.  I was one of those guys trying to give you what you wanted.
I did POSIX conformance in SunOS and as part of that I wrote lint
libraries for 4x BSD, SunOS, Sys V, etc.  I made it so you could use a
Sun machine as your dev environment but target other operating systems,
lint could tell you if you were using a Sun thing that didn't work on
$OS.

I had a huge blowup with Gingell (a high ranking Sun engineer, he had
some fancy title that made him like a VP) over this.  The libraries
added 40KB to the install image and he didn't like that.  I told him if
you don't ship this I quit.  He shipped it.

The details aside, that story supports your view that we wanted
to help you.  We were developers and we wanted to help developers.
And it worked.  Back at that time every open source (or closed source but
sent around) project had makefiles that "just worked" on Sun machines.
MIPS?  Well that's IRIX, yeah, you need to do this or that.  On a Sun?
It just worked.


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