[TUHS] Source code abundance?

Henry Bent henry.r.bent at gmail.com
Sat Mar 4 11:01:22 AEST 2017

On 3 March 2017 at 18:56, Wesley Parish <wes.parish at paradise.net.nz> wrote:

> And since the central Unix source trees have been static - I don't think
> Novell was much more than a
> caretaker, correct me if I'm wrong - and the last SysVR4 release of any
> consequence was Solaris - has
> Oracle done anything with it? - I think the best thing for all would be
> the release of the Unix SysV
> source trees under a suitable open source license.

There was an SVR5, even if it was not nearly the popular product that its
predecessors were.  While development certainly slowed, it contained some
amount of technological progression.  Obviously at this point development
has stopped completely and it probably does make sense to open source that
code base.

> (I've made a similar argument for the IBM/MS OS/2,
> DEC VAX VMS, and MS Windows and WinNT 3.x and 4.x source trees on various
> other Internet forums:
> the horse has bolted, it's a bit pointless welding shut the barn door now.
> Better to get the credit for
> being friendly and open, and clear up some residual bugs while you're at
> it ... )

Equating VMS, old versions of Windows, etc. isn't quite the same.  Even old
versions of those products may well include source that contains, or is
believed by its owners to contain, novel ideas or novel implementations of
existing ideas that may have survived relatively unchanged in newer
versions.  And because there is at least a reasonably sized user base for
all of the products you mentioned, corporate customers have an interest in
protecting their investment, and the software creators have an interest in
responding to the desires (or perceived desires) of their customers.

Don't get me wrong - I'd love to see a legal release of the VMS 5 source,
or Windows 3 source, or classic Macintosh source.  I'm just not holding my
breath.  I think the community's time would be better spend advocating for
source releases of products that are truly dead or all but dead.

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