[TUHS] System Economics (was is Linux "officially branded UNIX")

Arthur Krewat krewat at kilonet.net
Thu Mar 16 01:36:21 AEST 2017

You make a valid point, and re-reading what I wrote, I find that I 
pushed the example too far :)

The subject was originally that SunOS at it's end-of-life did not have 
the features that Linux now does, and comparing their development 
lengths brings up an interesting question. What would SunOS have become 
if it had been actively developed for as long as Linux has? I was trying 
to make the point that SunOS didn't have the same amount of elapsed time 
invested in it's development, and yet in fairness it was based on BSD 
which adds to that elapsed time significantly.

Off-topic: Anyone ever run SunOS on a Sparc-10 or similar platform 
(670?) with two processors? Was it my imagination or did it actually use 
both processors?

Side note: I was one of those people who was pulled 
kicking-and-screaming into the Solaris (SVR4) world after having 
administered SunOS for years.

On 3/15/2017 10:32 AM, Michael Kjörling wrote:
> On 14 Mar 2017 15:48 -0400, from krewat at kilonet.net (Arthur Krewat):
>> Again, I'm including everything ... You could make a case for
>> certain Unixes that do not include a pre-existing C compiler being
>> bounded by their own development (or any other operating system that
>> needs a precursor).  For example, say there was an operating system
>> that used a C compiler to build itself that was developed 10 years
>> before. That example operating system's timeline would have to
>> include said C compiler IMHO.
>> On the other hand, an operating system who's sole method of creation
>> was engineered in year 0, and was "developed" for 10 years and
>> ended, we could say that OS's timeline was a solid 10 years.
> Then why limit yourself to the C compiler? The operating system
> probably relies on an early bootstrapper layer to start (on the IBM PC
> and similar systems this is the BIOS or more recently UEFI; other
> architectures are similar or different). The code was probably written
> using keyboards, which may or may not rely on firmware for the
> physical key to key code to operating system input mapping, let alone
> the editor and file system code used to store those first few chunks
> of code. And what about the timelines of _those_? At some point the
> system becomes self-hosting in the software sense, but it took work to
> get to that point. And so on.
> I think you see where I am heading with this; if we're going to
> include things that were not done specifically for the operating
> system in question, then unless we draw a clear line somewhere, we end
> up with some guy working on vacuum tube theory a century ago and
> _still_ aren't anywhere near an answer to "how long is the timeline of
> this piece of software?". Hence, absent some kind of demarcation, that
> discussion becomes meaningless.

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