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From: c...@titan.ucs.umass.edu (CHRISTOPHER M MAY)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development
Subject: Future of Linux
Date: 3 Jan 1994 01:24:28 GMT
Organization: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
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Hi, I was hoping that some of the hardcore linux developers could clear 
something up for me.  Is linux going to stay public or what?

I get the overwhelming feeling that once version 1 comes out, Linux
is gonna go public, taking away what has become quite a source of 
excitement in my life (okay, so I should get a life). Not that I think that
this is a bad thing, I support it. Mainly because I am a student studying
to one day be a developer in the real world, and I wonder how you guys
find the time, and still stay solvent.

Has anyone considered what the repercussions would be if everyone
suddenly decided to use Linux?  Not that I think that this is gonna happen
soon, but, consider, if linux does remain in the public domain, open to 
development by virtually random genius :), it seems that it has an
incredible advantage over other operating systems.  With the rising popularity
of the internet, there are some serious potential repercussions.

As I see it, linux will do one of 2 things: go commercial, reap huge benefits
to the key developers, and eventually die (long after the original 
developers :) ) because the outside forces which forced it to become more or 
less "what the people want" have been removed.

Or, stay public, and potentially put every other major vendor of operating
systems out of business.  Or at least cause them to take a major hit.
Now consider who currently uses linux.  Mostly the people dedicated enough
to the field of computers to need computers to make a living.  We have a 
conflict of interest here. Maybe I'm just feeling guilty for knowing enough
to be able to set up and run linux, but not enough to make any kind of serious
contribution, other than answering newbie news setup questions.

Humor me, and reply.

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development
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From: li...@fylz.com (Linux Journal)
Subject: Re: Future of Linux
References: <2g7s4c$m7d@nic.umass.edu>
Organization: Linux Journal
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 1994 07:37:18 GMT
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CHRISTOPHER M MAY (c...@titan.ucs.umass.edu) wrote:
: Hi, I was hoping that some of the hardcore linux developers could clear 
: something up for me.  Is linux going to stay public or what?

Well, I don't claim to be a hard core developer (just a magazine editor
with a vested interest :-) ) but I have certainly thought about this
and discussed this a lot over the past 8 or so months.  Let me take a
stab at it.

: I get the overwhelming feeling that once version 1 comes out, Linux
: is gonna go public, taking away what has become quite a source of 
: excitement in my life (okay, so I should get a life). Not that I think that
: this is a bad thing, I support it. Mainly because I am a student studying
: to one day be a developer in the real world, and I wonder how you guys
: find the time, and still stay solvent.

Having worked with other operating systems (including being one of 20
people on the testing staff of a major timesharing system development
project) I know that whenever some version is done you still have your
"wish list".  Linux version 1 will be no exception.  There are goals
for version 1 but there are lots of other goals as well.  Development
will not stop just because what is called version 1 is considered solid.

: As I see it, linux will do one of 2 things: go commercial, reap huge benefits
: to the key developers, and eventually die (long after the original 
: developers :) ) because the outside forces which forced it to become more or 
: less "what the people want" have been removed.

: Or, stay public, and potentially put every other major vendor of operating
: systems out of business.  Or at least cause them to take a major hit.

I pick alternative #3.  Linux will become a commercial product for some
but not take over the world.  It will have its niche markets and those
who choose to support those markets will benefit.  It is possible that
the "key developers" will be the ones that benefit but really it will be
those that support the market.  Remember, Bill Gates proved you could
take a basically free product that someone could write in their garage
over a weekend and make billions with it by selling it over and over
again to the same suckers.  Thus, it isn't that Linux is free that
will make it popular -- it has to do what people want.

I compare Linux today to Unix 10 or so years ago.  Unix was free to
the educational community and it offered so much more over other choices.
Because of that it gained great inroads in education.  The commercial
effort of Unix (System III and then System V) were a quite different
path that gained market share in different places.

From talking to people about articles on Linux and from what I hear
from our advertising person, people are inventing commercial applications
for Linux.  It is getting used in the development of products.  Linux
is just the base and the value added (a database or graphics system
with specific data and market, for example) are what people want to buy.
The fact that the application is ported to Linux means that the cost
to the consumer is less than with any other multi-user operating system
plus support does not have to be centralized.

I think what all this means is that there will be a lot more "Unix-like"
systems out there where MS-DOS would have been the choice.  I don't,
at least at this point, really see Linux as replacing other Unix systems
as much as adding new markets.  And, again, those who will benefit are
those who decide to hang in there and support those markets.

  ++ Phil Hughes, Editor
-- 
Linux Journal -- The magazine of, for and about the Linux Community
P.O. Box 85867, Seattle, WA 98145-1867 USA
E-mail: li...@fylz.com   Phone: +1 206 524 8338 FAX: +1 206 526 0803

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From: t...@maths.tcd.ie (Timothy Murphy)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development
Subject: Re: Future of Linux
Date: 4 Jan 1994 00:52:05 -0000
Organization: Dept. of Maths, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
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Message-ID: <2gaejl$q4b@hamilton.maths.tcd.ie>
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NNTP-Posting-Host: hamilton.maths.tcd.ie

What Linux needs more than anything else
is simple documentation for non-gurus.

I posted a query some time ago,
and was told that Linux was for "developers",
not MS-DOS people.
This seems arrogant claptrap to me.

I find Linux slackware 1.1.1 a very solid and satisfying system
on my cheap 386.
It _should_ appeal to all computer users.
I use it mainly for TeX,
and much prefer it to emTeX, which I have on my DOS partition.

But the HOWTO documentation is very feeble.
(Please don't tell me I've no right to criticise
because it is free.)
I can't see a person unfamiliar with Unix
making much sense out of it.
Getting X running was a nightmare.

The Minix manual wasn't the greatest in the world,
but it made the system easy to use, for anyone.

Please, can I beg anyone writing documentation --
give _examples_, as many as you can.
One example is worth a chapter of waffle.
Most people don't want to know the ins and outs of the system --
they just want to use it.
The XFree86 documentation is particularly bad on this score.

-- 
Timothy Murphy  
e-mail: t...@maths.tcd.ie
tel: +353-1-2842366
s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development
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From: e...@tantalus.nrl.navy.mil (Eric Youngdale)
Subject: Re: Future of Linux
Message-ID: <CJ315o.GrJ@ra.nrl.navy.mil>
Sender: use...@ra.nrl.navy.mil
Organization: Naval Research Laboratory
References: <2g7s4c$m7d@nic.umass.edu> <1994Jan3.073718.8930@fylz.com> 
<2gaejl$q4b@hamilton.maths.tcd.ie>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 1994 01:51:23 GMT
Lines: 38

In article <2gaejl$...@hamilton.maths.tcd.ie> t...@maths.tcd.ie (Timothy Murphy) 
writes:
>What Linux needs more than anything else
>is simple documentation for non-gurus.
>
>I posted a query some time ago,
>and was told that Linux was for "developers",
>not MS-DOS people.
>This seems arrogant claptrap to me.

	I think that it is claptrap as well.  I guess if I were looking for
something to give to a non-guru, I would recommend some of the countless books
that are already out there for the unix market.  Most books out there are
written for either the BSD or the SysV flavors of unix, and linux is really
much closer to SysV.  (I think there is even a "Unix for dummies" book out
there, although I have not really looked at it.  The only drawback is that
MicroSloth apparently owns this series of books).

>But the HOWTO documentation is very feeble.
>(Please don't tell me I've no right to criticise
>because it is free.)

	I would say that the HOWTO documents should probably document things
which are specific to linux that will not be well described by other Unix
books.  This would include things like hardware details, system administration,
and other topics for which a book would probably not do a good job.  The
difficulties in setting up X have been discussed ad infinitum, and there is
apparently no correct and painless easy way to automate X configuration.

	Perhaps there should be an official linux bibliography of books which
describe Unix in ways that would be useful to new linux users.  If need be,
someone could write an unofficial "appendix" to a book that would clarify
issues for linux users.

-Eric

-- 
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep.  But I have promises to keep,
And lines to code before I sleep, And lines to code before I sleep."

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From: na...@mips.ruessel.sub.org (Christian Weisgerber)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Linux more like SysV or BSD? (was Re: Future of Linux)
Date: 6 Jan 1994 12:46:41 +0100
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<2gaejl$q4b@hamilton.maths.tcd.ie> <CJ315o.GrJ@ra.nrl.navy.mil>
NNTP-Posting-Host: mips.ruessel.sub.org

[ moved over from comp.os.linux.development ]

#define Linux   "Linux kernel and supporting GNU software"

e...@tantalus.nrl.navy.mil (Eric Youngdale) writes:

> Most books out there are written for either the BSD or the SysV
> flavors of unix, and linux is really much closer to SysV.
                       ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Why, just why is this claimed all the time?

Now, obviously Linux isn't BSD but its look and feel and handling are
largely BSD-ish.

At university I'm mainly confronted by SunOS 4.x (BSD 4.3+) and SunOS
5.x (SVR4) machines. I was introduced to Unix on BSD, but by now I have
worked mostly on my own Linux box, so Linux has become my point of
reference. I still feel comfortable on BSD machines. Having to work on
SVR4 on the other hand becomes increasingly uncomfortable, and, with
respect to porting software or system administration, quite painful.
It's a *different* world. (And not a better one.) Most people I work
with and who also use Linux feel quite similar.

Possibly old BSD hackers consider POSIX to be SysV.
Maybe Linux is considered BSD-ish by SysV people and SysV-ish by BSD
people?

Opinions?
Flames? ;-)

-- 
Christian 'naddy' Weisgerber, Germany         na...@mips.ruessel.sub.org
        "1. Trust no one.   2. Do it yourself.   3. No excuses."

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
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From: e...@tantalus.nrl.navy.mil (Eric Youngdale)
Subject: Re: Linux more like SysV or BSD? (was Re: Future of Linux)
Message-ID: <CJDLw9.Ms@ra.nrl.navy.mil>
Sender: use...@ra.nrl.navy.mil
Organization: Naval Research Laboratory
References: <2gaejl$q4b@hamilton.maths.tcd.ie> <CJ315o.GrJ@ra.nrl.navy.mil> 
<2ghmah$aul@mips.ruessel.sub.org>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 1994 18:55:20 GMT
Lines: 49

In article <2ghmah$...@mips.ruessel.sub.org> na...@mips.ruessel.sub.org 
(Christian Weisgerber) writes:
>e...@tantalus.nrl.navy.mil (Eric Youngdale) writes:
>
>> Most books out there are written for either the BSD or the SysV
>> flavors of unix, and linux is really much closer to SysV.
>                       ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>Why, just why is this claimed all the time?
>
>Now, obviously Linux isn't BSD but its look and feel and handling are
>largely BSD-ish.

	Funny.  I use Dell SVr4 at work, and I feel quite comfortable going
back and forth between linux and SVr4.  Actually, my experience with linux has
taught me things which turn out to be quite useful in using and administering
SVr4.  I have only occasionally used BSD.

	One element of the look and feel is the shell, and virtually the first
thing I do when confronted with a new system is to get and install bash.
Some of the people at work use Suns, and believe it or not, they use ksh and
vi instead of bash and emacs.  Ick :-).

>At university I'm mainly confronted by SunOS 4.x (BSD 4.3+) and SunOS
>5.x (SVR4) machines. I was introduced to Unix on BSD, but by now I have
>worked mostly on my own Linux box, so Linux has become my point of
>reference. I still feel comfortable on BSD machines. Having to work on
>SVR4 on the other hand becomes increasingly uncomfortable, and, with
>respect to porting software or system administration, quite painful.
>It's a *different* world. (And not a better one.) Most people I work
>with and who also use Linux feel quite similar.

	With SVr4 (esp Dell's version) there are all kinds of scripts and
programs to hide the actual goings on from the administrator in order to
"simplify" things.  Admitedly administrivia is different, but at the most
fundemental level things are pretty much the same.

>Possibly old BSD hackers consider POSIX to be SysV.

	Even some newer SVr4 hackers consider SysV to be POSIX.

>Maybe Linux is considered BSD-ish by SysV people and SysV-ish by BSD
>people?

	Not in my case.  

-Eric

-- 
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep.  But I have promises to keep,
And lines to code before I sleep, And lines to code before I sleep."

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igor.rutgers.edu!geneva.rutgers.edu!hedrick
From: hedr...@geneva.rutgers.edu (Charles Hedrick)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: Linux more like SysV or BSD? (was Re: Future of Linux)
Message-ID: <Jan.9.20.55.52.1994.3620@geneva.rutgers.edu>
Date: 10 Jan 94 01:55:53 GMT
References: <2g7s4c$m7d@nic.umass.edu> <1994Jan3.073718.8930@fylz.com> 
<2gaejl$q4b@hamilton.maths.tcd.ie> <CJ315o.GrJ@ra.nrl.navy.mil> 
<2ghmah$aul@mips.ruessel.sub.org>
Organization: Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, N.J.
Lines: 30

na...@mips.ruessel.sub.org (Christian Weisgerber) writes:

>Possibly old BSD hackers consider POSIX to be SysV.
>Maybe Linux is considered BSD-ish by SysV people and SysV-ish by BSD
>people?

There's probably something to that.  From a user's point of view,
Linux probably looks more like Berkeley.  It's based on the Gnu
utilities, which take Berkeley as a model (after POSIX, which is their
highest priority).

However when people ask whether Linux is SysV or BSD, they're often
asking what options to put in the makefile.  Because POSIX was
originally based on System V, it's generally safer to start with
System V settings for your makefile.  This is particularly true for
tty ioctl's, but it's also true of signals (though Linux can give you
Berkeley signals if you ask for it).  Linux has a library that
emulates the Berkeley tty ioctl's, but the emulation isn't very
complete.

Over time a lot of things from both System V and BSD have been added
to Linux. So now it looks a lot like SunOS 4.x, which is a reasonable
merge of System V and BSD features.  However Linux has cleaner ANSI C
support and not as good BSD tty support.  Linux is (except for weak
BSD tty support) close to what I hoped System V release 4 would be: a
good merge of System V and BSD, based on ANSI C and POSIX.

My hope is that over time programs will begin to support POSIX
explicitly.  In that case it will be more appropriate to say simply
that Linux is POSIX.

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From: n...@bsd.coe.montana.edu (Nate Williams)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: Linux more like SysV or BSD? (was Re: Future of Linux)
Date: 10 Jan 1994 04:40:03 GMT
Organization: Montana State University - Bozeman MT
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Message-ID: <2gqm73$1t9@pdq.coe.montana.edu>
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<2ghmah$aul@mips.ruessel.sub.org> <Jan.9.20.55.52.1994.3620@geneva.rutgers.edu>
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In article <Jan.9.20.55.52.1994.3...@geneva.rutgers.edu>,
Charles Hedrick <hedr...@geneva.rutgers.edu> wrote:
>na...@mips.ruessel.sub.org (Christian Weisgerber) writes:
>
>>Possibly old BSD hackers consider POSIX to be SysV.
>>Maybe Linux is considered BSD-ish by SysV people and SysV-ish by BSD
>>people?
>
>There's probably something to that.  From a user's point of view,
>Linux probably looks more like Berkeley.  It's based on the Gnu
>utilities, which take Berkeley as a model (after POSIX, which is their
>highest priority).

I beg to differ extremely.  From a system admin. point of view, Linux
is much more like SysV than BSD.  From a user's point of view you
most of the free unixes look like one another.  Where the real difference
lies is in setup and administration, and that is where Linux really looks
much more like SysV than BSD.  (But, it has more dos-like setups than either
one of those two do as well, which can be considered good/bad depending
on your point of view).

One thing Linux has that is very bad (which some of the distributions try
to address such as Ygdrasil, etc..) is the lack of coherency across the
entire OS.  (Where the OS is composed of the kernel plus standard utilities)

One the free *BSD systems
# cd /usr/src
# make
# make install

Will re-make the entire system minus the kernel.

Also, all the utilities install stuff in easy to understand and the
configuration and rc files all go in consistant places.  This is not
the case with most of Linux.  You have to go build your system or use
one of the distributions, but it takes a heck of alot of work to make
the system build as easily as the BSD systems.  I suspect if you had
SysV source, it would be easier to build the system than the current
Linux setup.

I think Adam's work to make the entire system compilable and consistant
should be applauded, and I hope that the other distribution maintainers
look at doing the same sort of things for their release.

Upgrades should not be as painful as they are, and I believe that
although integrating different parts of the system will cause more
overhead for the maintainers, in the end both the developers and users
will benefit from it.



Nate
-- 
n...@bsd.coe.montana.edu     |  Freely available *nix clones benefit everyone,
n...@cs.montana.edu          |  so let's not compete with each other, let's
work #: (406) 994-4836       |  compete with folks who try to tie us down to
home #: (406) 586-0579       |  proprietary O.S.'s (Microsloth) - Me

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
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wariat.org!kf8nh!bsa
From: b...@kf8nh.wariat.org (Brandon S. Allbery)
Subject: Re: Linux more like SysV or BSD? (was Re: Future of Linux)
References: <2g7s4c$m7d@nic.umass.edu> <2gaejl$q4b@hamilton.maths.tcd.ie> 
<CJ315o.GrJ@ra.nrl.navy.mil> <2ghmah$aul@mips.ruessel.sub.org>
Organization: Brandon's Linux box and AmPR node, Mentor, OH
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 1994 03:09:13 GMT
Message-ID: <1994Jan9.030913.3342@kf8nh.wariat.org>
Lines: 26

In article <2ghmah$...@mips.ruessel.sub.org>, na...@mips.ruessel.sub.org 
(Christian Weisgerber) says:
+---------------
| e...@tantalus.nrl.navy.mil (Eric Youngdale) writes:
| > Most books out there are written for either the BSD or the SysV
| > flavors of unix, and linux is really much closer to SysV.
|                        ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
| Why, just why is this claimed all the time?
+---------------

Because virtually any program compiles for Linux out-of-the-box (no, or
minimal, porting) if configured for SVR4.  Most Linux "porting" consists of
(a) configuring the program for BSD and (b) trying to whack the result to fit
into Linux.  It's so much easier to just configure for SVR4 and go...

Linux's user commands are all BSDish, thanks(?) to the FSF.  The API is SVR4,
for all intents and purposes.

Since Eric works with the API more than the user commands, no doubt this
colors his opinion of what Linux more closely resembles :-)

++Brandon
-- 
Brandon S. Allbery	   kf...@kf8nh.ampr.org		 b...@kf8nh.wariat.org
"MSDOS didn't get as bad as it is overnight -- it took over ten years
of careful development."  ---dmegg...@aix1.uottawa.ca
Do not taunt Happy Fun Coder.	(seen on the Net...)

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