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

Josh Good pepe at naleco.com
Thu Mar 16 09:55:25 AEST 2017

On 2017 Mar 15, 15:45, 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.  There were books published about it.  It was hardly
> secret.

Nobody says UNIX source code was "secret". It just was not open after
UNIX began to be directly sold by AT&T post Bell-breakage.

If UNIX source code was "open" at $100K, then Windows NT source code can
also be seen as open if you have enough money to buy Microsoft.

> Just saying please don't say UNIX was not Open.   It was.  Unix was not
> Free.

I beg to differ. UNIX stopped being open when the Lion's book could not
be legally sold anymore at bookstores. That happened even earlier than
System V, it happened when AT&T released V7. The reason that AT&T stated
was that they wanted to keep "UNIX source code" as a "trade secret".

So this begs the question: how can something, anything, be at the same
time "open" and a "trade secret"?

No doubt some argumentation can be concocted to marry both concepts, but
I have that feeling it's going to be a hard one to swallow.

To me, open means libre access, because if there is no libre access, then
it is what is known as closed.

Please note that libre access --when applied to source code-- does not
necessarily mean "up for grabs and redistribution" - it just means libre
access to random eyeballs in meatspace.

Josh Good

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