[TUHS] Source code abundance?

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Mon Mar 6 01:44:29 AEST 2017

So once again this doesn't match my memory.  I'm done arguing with Joerg,
just noting that I don't believe that his information is accurate.  It
would be nice to get the real info from someone who was at Sun at the

On Sat, Mar 04, 2017 at 11:04:04AM +0100, Joerg Schilling wrote:
> Aprox. half of the code from Svr4 was written by Sun anyway. AT&T still 
> believed that they owneed all of the code ans required Sunto pay royalties.
> Sun for this reason started to negotiate a buy out with AT&T. They agreed that 
> Sun pays 3 years of royalties at once and then gets the same rights as AT&T.
> Shoirt before the contract was signed, AT&T handed over the code to Novell for 
> less than what Sun should pay to AT&T.
> Sun then continued the negotiation with Novell and finally did the deal that 
> included the right to sub-license the code to an arbitrary number of customers.
> Thia was around 1994/1995 and it took Sun Lawyers upt to y2000 to decide that 
> the right to sub-licence includess the right to make it OpenSource.
> In y2000, Sun published aprox. 95%% of the Solaris-ON code but this did not 
> include the source ls.c because it contained 3 lines from Microsoft/Xenix.
> It also missed the kernel networking code.
> > The question is what happens to the code that got from AT&T but did not
> > use.  I'm going to be hypothetical here, Larry correct me to the specifics
> > please as I never saw Solaris sources, but SVR4 had Streams Networking in
> > it.   Let's say the Solaris pulled that out like we did at Stellar with
> > SVR3 and put a BBN or BSD style stack back in and never shipped the streams
> > code.   The Network stack they did publish would be available, but what
> > about the AT&T version?
> >
> > I have heard different legal folks say it was both still "closed" and
> > others say, it was now opened.
> AFAIK, there never was a streams based networking code in Svr4 from AT&T.
> The "original" code was from Lachman but it was slow so Sun bought new code 
> from Mentat inc for Solaris 2.3 (IIRC). Sun then soon hired all important 
> people from Mentat and enhanced the code, but missed to buy Mentat itself.
> As a result, Sun could not OpenSource the Mentat networking code. Fortunately, 
> this code was not fast enough for 1/10 GB ETH and needed a major rewrite 
> anyway. So Sun management did give the OK for the rewrite that finally made it 
> possible to Opensource 99% of Solaris-on in June 2005.
> Let me finally give some information about SCO....
> Sun bought a license from SCO for two reasons:
> -	The permission to use the NIC drivers from SCO.
> 	Then it tourned out that that SCO did use something similar but
> 	incompatible to the Solaris GLC NIC abstraction layer.
> -	The permission to use "lxrun", but then a group of people inside
> 	Sun wrote a new subsystem from scratch and caused the other group
> 	to become the looser of an internal dispute.
> A friend is one of the people who did work for the SCO kernel group before SCO 
> was bought by Caldera Linux and later renamed to SCO... The lawsuit was 
> initiated by the Caldera Linux people and not by the "former" SCO people.
> He is still working for the company that now owns sco.com and that now 
> redirects to the new company name xinuos.com. They still have the ELF standard 
> documents and AT&T UNIX documentation online. Their business is now FreeBSD 
> based as they did not have the momentum to make UnixWare a 64 bit system. While 
> I implemented Joliet and ISO-9660:1999 support for them, I noticed that the 
> code was not very 64 bit clean in general....
> Finally something about the way the code way sold:
> Novell bought not only the source code and the license but the building and the 
> USL people in New Jersey as well. When they later sold UNIX to SCO, they  of
> course sold the USL location and people as well. IIRC, SCO did even present 
> a contract for that fact but the judge did rather believe the oral claims from 
> the Novell people.
> While I was implementing Joliet and ISOI-9660:1999 I had to discusss things 
> with the former USL people from New Jersey.
> J?rg
> -- 
>  EMail:joerg at schily.net                  (home) J?rg Schilling D-13353 Berlin
>        joerg.schilling at fokus.fraunhofer.de (work) Blog: http://schily.blogspot.com/
>  URL:  http://cdrecord.org/private/ http://sourceforge.net/projects/schilytools/files/

Larry McVoy            	     lm at mcvoy.com             http://www.mcvoy.com/lm 

More information about the TUHS mailing list