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

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Thu Mar 16 14:08:24 AEST 2017

Dan Cross <crossd at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hmm, this is quite interesting, but I had different impression of the
> definition of "open" at the time: it seemed like what people were saying
> when they said that Unix was "open" was much less about the source code,
> but rather about the interfaces and APIs;

Yes!!!! Portability of application code was a big issue, and the option
to avoid vendor lock-iin.

> In other words, the "openness" in "open systems" wasn't about code *for the
> system itself*; it was about freedom from software lock-in to a particular
> hardware vendor. Or, perhaps, openness to multiple system vendors
> supporting the same customer-written code.

You've hit the nail very much on the head.

This did come as a result of the "openness" that Clem is describing:
since people knew how "UNIX" (as a concept) worked, it was possible to
transfer both your source code, and your peoples' how-to-use-it knowledge
from one vendor to another.  This caused vendors to start competing
more on price / performance.


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