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

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Thu Mar 16 06:27:23 AEST 2017

On Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 03:45:24PM -0400, Clem Cole wrote:
> SVR4 (aka UnixWare) was available for source  - the problem is many people
> did like the price to see it.   It was $100K.  But the source was available
> it was open and many, many of people with PC and had access to it, wrote
> drivers for it etc.  

That's a pretty peculiar definition of open.  Which is fine, I guess,
but you need to realize that that's open much like a high end country
club is open.  It's open to the rich people, to the connected people,
everyone else is left out in the cold.

In terms of source access, you're in the country club.  You are looking
around and you see all these other people in the club and that turns into
"many, many people" but it's not.  Millions of people, with the ability
to do something with the source, did not have access to the source.
$100K to someone with an ivy league education and a career that matched
may have seemed fine.  What about some talented hacker in, say, Finland?

What the so-called open people didn't get is that there was all this
talent that could be harnessed, in many cases for free, if you gave
them source.  It's too easy to look at your walled garden and see all
your friends there and go "everything was fine".  It wasn't, and as Josh
said, the world "routed around" the problem.  Which sort of proves it
was a problem.

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