[TUHS] the guy who brought up SVr4 on Sun machines

Joerg Schilling schily at schily.net
Thu Jan 5 21:50:18 AEST 2017

Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Jan 04, 2017 at 07:23:12PM +0100, Joerg Schilling wrote:
> > BTW: in order to avoid more missunderstandings, could you mention when you have 
> > been in the Sun kernel group and what kind of things you did with the kernel?
> Sure.  Here's some notes I put together for Eli Lamb when I was thinking
> about moving to Dec (to work for Jim Gray).  The date on the file is 
> 1992 so I had been there about 4 years.  I was in the kernel group from
> 1988 to about 1992, then moved over to hardware where I did a cluster
> based NFS server and LMbench.  Then I went to SGI and did a new name
> server that could serve all of California on a 200 mhz server, made
> NFS deliver serve up files at 60MB/sec per file (we could do as many
> streams in parallel as we had network cards).  

Thank you for the list!

> I showed up in October 1988.  This is what I can remember that I've done
> since I've been here.  When I interviewed at DEC, their HR people thought 
> I was lieing and I went through two more interviews before they finally
> believed me.
> * Doubled file system throughput.  Publication.  Generated sales.  Talk to
>   Steve Kleiman for confirmation.

So it seems that you worked on code for SunOS-4.x but not on code for SunOS-5.x.

With that background I could understand your view.

Please note that I had access to the BSD-4.3 sources and SVr2/SVr3 in the 

In addition, I am the author for the Joliet and ISO-9660:1999 support in both
UnixWare 7 and Solaris, so I know about the differences between SunOS-5.x and 
the AT&T based SVr4 as well as I had legal access to the SCO UNIX sources
for this and another project. I warned SCO about their filesystem code that 
would need a lot of attention to work correctly on a 64 bit platform.

I have a good overview on the differences and common elements of BSD, SunOS and 
AT&T based UNIX versions.

I worked on code for the SunOS-4.x kernel and for the SunOS-5.x kernel and I 
ported drivers from SunOS-4.x to SunOS.5-x, so I am pretty sure about what I 
write and you may have gotten your impression because you did not compare the 
code we are talking about now.

Because you worked on filesystem throughput, you should know the new memory 
subsystem from SunOS-4.x well....This is a big part of the SunOS-4.x kernel and 
if you check the OpenSolaris kernel sources with your knowledge of the 
SunOS-4.x kernel, you should be able to confirm my statements.

> * Single handly implemented POSIX conformance in the 4.x OS.  Bullet item
>   on lots of sales.  Talk to Don Cragun for confirmation.

Good hint, I'll ask him ;-) Today is the next POSIX teleconference call and he 
is still in the goup of core people.

> * Implemented smoosh - basis for Avocet and nselite.  Talk to Shannon for
>   confirmation.

Interesting: Do you mean "Bill Shannon"? Was he involved in SCCS or smoosh
as well? I know Bill as the author of "cstyle" and I pushed him to make it OSS
in 2001 already, before it appeared in OpenSolaris.

In January 2015, I talked with Glenn Skinner about SCCS and smoosh and he 
pointed me to his smoosh patent:


that has been expired in late 2014. I received a lisp prototype implementation 
for Glenns idea. Did you write the C implementation? Have you been involved in 
the .ml protytype as well?


 EMail:joerg at schily.net                  (home) Jörg Schilling D-13353 Berlin
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