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From: mgba...@cs.Stanford.EDU (Mary G. Baker)
Subject: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX
Date: 1996/04/11
Message-ID: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU>
X-Deja-AN: 146850779
distribution: world
organization: Computer Science Department, Stanford University.
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc
originator: mgba...@plastique.Stanford.EDU


Dear Folks,

I'm writing to give you my comments and proposals concerning the recent
discussion of my paper (co-authored with Kevin Lai) about benchmarking
FreeBSD, Linux and Solaris on the Pentium.  Please don't interpret my
slowness to respond as lack of interest.  I've been waiting until I've
probably received all the email I'm likely to receive on the subject
so that I could be more sure of addressing as many of the relevant issues
as possible.  For those of you who want to look into this yourselves, the
paper is available at http://mosquitonet.Stanford.EDU/mosquitonet.html.

First off, I want to thank Jordan Hubbard very much for posting his
kind apology for his previous comments to the comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc
newsgroup.  This was a very gracious thing for him to do, and I include
his apology at the end of this message, since others may be interested
in reading it. (He didn't realize his previous comments had been cross
posted to a number of other newsgroups, so people reading only those
groups will not have had the opportunity to read his followup.)  I
address some of his remaining criticisms and suggestions in this note.
In particular, I've offered to do the remaining NFS benchmarks that we
did not do before.  I also want to thank all of you who forwarded his
comments to me, since I would not have known about the discussion
otherwise.

Additionally, I thank Frank Durda, Alan Cox, and Torbjorn Granlund for
directly sending us their comments, suggestions and concerns in a very
kindly manner.  I address the issues they brought up as well.



The rest of this (long) note is organized as follows:  First, I'll
answer some of the many questions we've had regarding our purpose in
doing these benchmarks, our choice of systems and system versions, and
our methodology.

The second section is where I address Jordan's and others'
comments and criticisms about our benchmarks, our paper, and our
presentation of the paper at USENIX.  This second section contains
a list of the mistakes, inaccuracies and omissions in our work that we
so far know about.  Those who've done much benchmarking work will
already know that benchmarking is always an on-going process for
several reasons.  First, the systems we benchmark are continually
changing, so any past performance results may not apply in the future.
Second, while we are all (I hope) as careful as possible to be fair, to
avoid measurement/methodology mistakes, and to interpret results
correctly, I still learn something about the actual process of
benchmarking after every benchmarking study.  It seems there's almost
always more information one should have collected or another way to
collect the information one got.

Finally, the last section gives a few concluding remarks I have about the
whole subject of free UNIXes and such.


I know this is a long note.  I'll try to construct it so that the various
sections make sense in isolation.  That way you can skip to whatever, if
anything, interests you.


I.  Why we did what we did
-----------------------------

1) Purpose of the benchmarks:

Several people have asked about the purpose of the paper.  Our "hidden
agenda," if we really had one, was to determine just how much trouble
my research group would be in if we used a freely-distributed OS as a
base upon which to build.  We're working on mobile and wireless
computing issues, and we want to be able to distribute any kernel and
driver stuff we end up doing. It may surprise you to hear that we were
warned by a number of respected researchers that we would be laughed
off the block if we used a non-commercial OS for our research base.  We
were told that these systems are "toy systems" in many ways.  Please
remember, though, that this was 2 years ago when I was starting up my
project, and the world has changed a lot since then.  Perhaps the
warning made more sense then.

The particular problem we were warned about is that other researchers
would be unable to interpret our performance results, because
non-commercial OSes are somehow "uncalibrated" and may not behave in
well-understood ways.  We were warned about Linux particularly, since
it is not derived from as respected a parent system as BSD UNIX.

So we set out to see just how much trouble we'd be in and compared the
systems in some ways that were of interest to us, although they are
nowhere near to being exhaustive.  We published our results, at a
particular snapshot in time, because we got tons of queries from people
wanting to know the answers.  We didn't post anything about our project
(as far as I remember), so this must have happened mostly by word of
mouth.  There seemed to be enough interest to send the paper to USENIX.

We found the performance differences between systems (on our benchmarks, our
hardware, using the particular versions we used, and at that point in time)
to be much less than we'd expected.  For us, on the benchmarks we cared
about for our particular project, the performance differences weren't enough
to dictate a choice between systems.  That doesn't mean they aren't
significant to others or that other benchmarks wouldn't show significant
differences.

By the time of the presentation at USENIX, we felt we had at least some
evidence to show that the free systems we looked at are definitely not toys.
My research group decided it was fine to go ahead and use one of them.


2) Choice of OSes:

Several people have asked why we picked the systems we picked for
benchmarking -- both which OSes and which versions of those OSes.
As we carefully explain in the paper, we had the following constraints:

	a) The system must be easily available (over the net or off of a
	CDROM) for installation.

	b) It must be cheap (under $100 in the summer of 1995).  I hadn't
	much research funding at the time, so this really was a consideration.
	(My group is better off now, fortunately.)

	c) The system had to run on our hardware: an Intel Pentium P54C-100MHz
	system with an Intel Plato motherboard, 32 megabytes of main memory,
	two 2-gigabyte disks (one a Quantum Empire 2100 SCSI disk, the other an
	HP 3725 SCIS disk), a standard 10-Megabit/second Ethernet card
	(3Com Etherlink III 3c509), and an NCR 53c810 PCI SCSI controller with
	no on-board caches.

	d) The system had to have a sufficiently large user community that we
	could locate it easily.

This left us with Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris.  Several other obvious choices
didn't run on our SCSI controller at that time.

3) Why we picked the versions of the OSes we picked:

The decision for which we have received more flak is our choice of
versions of the systems to benchmark.  To be entirely fair, we felt
that we had to choose the most recent major release that was commonly
available for regular users at our cut-off date of October 31, 1995.
This meant we did not test unreleased, beta, or development versions.
We used Linux 1.2.8 from the Slackware Distribution, FreeBSD version
2.0.5R, and Solaris version 2.4.  This meant we did not use the beta
version of Solaris 2.5, which upset quite a few people since a lot of
work was put into improving that version over the previous one.  We
also upset some Linux users, since a great many users run the 1.3.X
development versions rather than the "official stable" versions.
However, it didn't seem to be fair to go with a development version in
one system and not another.

4) Our methodology:

We did not have source code available for all three systems (the
Solaris source code was too expensive for us), so we used what some
call the "black box" approach to benchmarking.  We usually attempted to
explain curious results through external testing and further
measurement rather than through investigations of kernel code,
profiling, or the use of funny counters on the Pentium processor.  We
measured elapsed wall-clock time for the benchmarks, rather than
system time, etc.  This was simply because, to us, in our environment,
we really only cared about how long the benchmarks took.  I should
point out that there are lots of arguments against this approach,
although I'm aware of arguments against most of the other approaches
that I know about as well.

In most cases, we ran the systems single-user.  As John Dyson points
out, this totally ignores scalability issues.  Since some of the worst
problems with systems only show up under conditions of load, this means
we're missing a lot of the most useful information.  For our context
switch benchmarks, at least, we did measure benchmark time for
increasing numbers of ready processes.  This is how we uncovered the
very interesting behavior of Solaris 2.4 when the number of ready
processes increases above 32 and again above 64.  (There are other
issues concerning our context switch benchmark, though, that I'll
mention in the section below.)  In our own selfish outlook on the
world, however, we're hoping not to run our systems under much load.
We'll see over time if we're so lucky.  For those of you choosing
systems to run for web servers and such, our lack of information about
behavior under load is understandably disappointing.



II.  Response to comments, criticisms, etc.
-------------------------------------------

1) Failure to benchmark against the full range of servers.

Jordan's major technical criticism, if I don't misinterpret him, is that
while we tested Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris clients running the same
benchmark against a Linux 1.2.8 file server, we did not test their
interoperability against all three systems running as servers.  I think
this is a very valid point.  Therefore, I offered to do the remaining
benchmarks.  He also proposes this possibility in his followup note.

This brings up the issue again of which versions of the OSes to use,
etc.  I don't think it makes sense to use the same ones we used before,
since at this point they're so old.  FreeBSD has had major releases
since then, and so has Solaris.  My guess is that the "X" numbers in
the 1.3.X versions of Linux are getting so large that they may do
another non-development release pretty soon.  (The performance of the
system has certainly changed substantially.)  At that point, I think it
would be fair to everyone to do at least the NFS benchmarks and
probably some of the others as well.  Should we do this sooner?  I
don't know.  Maybe.  I welcome suggestions.  Perhaps if we only post our
results to the net it wouldn't be considered unfair to use a
development version of Linux?


2) Failure to let FreeBSD, Linux, and Solaris developers examine our
measurement methodology before publication:

We actually explicitly avoided this.  We somehow thought it would be
easier to prove we had no bias for one system over another if we didn't
consult anyone in the actual development groups.  It's not that we
thought anyone in one of the development groups would lobby us for
something unfair, but that we thought the outside world might see this
as being inappropriate.  Instead, we consulted a bunch of other people
(whom we acknowledge in the paper).  *However*, I've decided Jordan is
right.  If we do this again, we'll just make it available to all of the
development groups and hope they take an equal interest so that it's
fairly reviewed by all.  (Besides, we *did* talk to some of the Solaris
developers to figure out what was going on with the jump in context
switch times at 32 and 64 processes.  We didn't consult them about
benchmark methodology, since that was against our rules, but we did ask
them if they knew of any reasons for the behavior we discovered.)


3) Dismissing the importance of the benchmarks:

One of Jordan's other comments to me on the phone was that our presentation
of the paper at USENIX angered him because we presented the benchmarks
and then said that they didn't matter and that we'd use some other metric
for choosing between systems.  This isn't exactly how we meant this
to come across, and I apologize for how it sounded.  What we meant
to say was that the performance differences on the benchmarks we most
care about for our environment (and on our hardware at the time we ran them
and using the versions we used) weren't great enough to us to dictate which
system we should choose.  That's why we ended up using some very subjective
and impossible-to-calibrate non-metrics for picking a system to run.


4) Our claims about "support" for the different systems:

Our comparisons of "support" for the different systems upset Jordan
greatly, because he points out that most people assume "tech support"
for the word "support."  I bet he's right, and I'm sorry I didn't think
of that.  I certainly didn't mean to imply anything about anyone
providing tech support for FreeBSD.  We really didn't look at that at
all.  Tech support was one of the things we were interested in, but not
in the usual sense.  What we meant by this was a list of several items,
although most of it boils down to "size of contributing user community
and on-line resources."  For example, we considered on-line
repositories of lots of free software for the systems to be important
to us.  In our paper we list both FreeBSD and Linux as doing very well
this way.  If our presentation somehow came across as indicating
otherwise, my sincere apologies.

People make new contributions to both systems all the time, so the
relative differences may well have changed since our examination of
this.  At the time we did our benchmarks, there seemed to be more
hardware drivers available for Linux, with FreeBSD being next, and
Solaris last.  Since Solaris is a commercial system and doesn't give
its source code away for free, it's hard to blame them for this
situation, but it was important to us.  We needed a system with a high
likelihood that new bizarre hardware would be supported in a timely
manner.  I can't say whether this is a good or bad way to choose a
system, but it mattered to us.

The other thing we (Kevin) did, which I'd pretty much forgotten about
when I talked with Jordan, was to scan the newsgroups for answers to
our installation problems.  The idea was that if it seemed to be a
problem that others might have, somebody would already have asked about
it on the newsgroup if there were a large enough user community.  We
didn't have much luck that way with Solaris.  Perhaps this indicates
there isn't as large a Solaris x86 user community, but maybe it's
because they offer commercial support contracts and so people don't use
the newsgroup as much for this sort of thing.

With Linux we found our questions and their answers on the newsgroup.
This was usually true for FreeBSD as well.  The only exception was for
our troubles partitioning the disk under FreeBSD.  (There seemed to be
lots of people with this problem, given the number of postings, but we
were unable to understand the solution from the postings.  I assume
somebody responded individually to each of the people posting this
problem, it's just that this didn't help for the timid amongst us who
tend to read rather than write to the newsgroups.  Or maybe the answer
is really there and we just failed to locate or interpret it
correctly.) Although in our phone conversation Jordan suggested a
similar experiment for testing levels of support, I told him that I
personally doubt this is a solid metric for making such comparisons.  I
feel that it depends too much on what sort of problem you encounter
with which system.  We therefore did not report any of this in our
paper!  We concentrated instead on availability of drivers, free
compilers, etc.


5) Errors regarding hardware supported by FreeBSD:

Thanks to Frank Durda for pointing this out.  We incorrectly stated
that version 2.0.5R of FreeBSD did not support our Panasonic/Creative
Labs CD-ROM drive.  This is untrue for 2.0.5R.  It was true for a
much older version (1.22) that we used. I'm ashamed to say that we
assumed it was still true of 2.0.5R since the documentation for the
older version stated:

    "FreeBSD does NOT support drives connected to a Sound Blaster or
    non-SCSI SONY or Panasonic drives.  A general rule of thumb when
    selecting a CDROM drive for FreeBSD use is to buy a very standard
    SCSI model; they cost more, but deliver very solid performance in
    return.  Do not be fooled by very cheap drives that, in turn,
    deliver VERY LOW performance!  As always, you get what you pay
    for."

We interpreted this to mean that FreeBSD felt our drive was inferior
and therefore didn't (wouldn't) support it.  We should have
double-checked with the new version!


6) Errors regarding the Linux TCP implementation.

Thanks to Alan Cox for pointing this out.  We stated that the Linux
TCP uses a 1 frame window across the loopback interface.  We said this
merely because our traces of some of the network stuff looked like
this was the case.  Alan pointed out the error and showed us some
other reasons for the behavior we observed.


7) Context switch benchmark problems;

There are problems with our context switch benchmarks, in that they
measure not just context switch time but other activities as well.  Our
results include the overhead of the pipe operations used as well as
some cache behavior.  They also don't say anything about behavior with
processes of different sizes, etc.  We mention some of these problems
in the paper, but it can still be misleading.  We attempted to find
some other better ways to measure context switch but came across
problems for each of them in the different systems.  (We do measure
pipe overhead separately, so it can be subtracted out.  In fact, the
graph we presented at USENIX differs from the one in the paper since we
subtracted out the pipe overhead for the presentation.)


8) Memory performance measurement problems:  

Torbjorn Granlund has pointed out some interesting things about
the cache interface on the Pentium.  We're still looking into that, so
I can't say anything useful about that yet.




Section III: Conclusions
--------------------------

I have just a couple of things to say in conclusion.  Before all this I
hadn't read many of the relevant newsgroups other than to scan for
articles on particular subjects.  I was struck in the last couple of
days by the amount of back and forth between users of the different
systems.  Maybe that's inevitable, and competition is very good for
systems, but the tenor of some of the discussions seemed potentially
destructive.

One of the reasons (in my humble opinion) that a lot of the world is
running Windows is due to a missed opportunity on the part of
commercial UNIX vendors.  A while back they had a chance to get
together and push the system into all sorts of places it hadn't been
before.  Instead, they ended up fragmenting and arguing and charging
high prices for a system that some folks just wanted to run on a
personal computer.  I think market share for everyone was reduced
because of this.  It's the analogy of pie slices.  You can argue over
the size of your respective pie slices, or you can increase the size of
the pie for everyone.  The latter is what I'd love to see.

I think the free UNIXes have an opportunity to increase the size of the
pie, for themselves and for commercial vendors.  Maybe it's the last
chance...  And part of the issue is looking at what characteristics are
important in a system for much of the world.  Performance is important,
or we wouldn't have done our benchmarks, but it's not the only thing.
Sometimes those of us in academic environments (and others as well) get
too wrapped up in performance issues, since they're so interesting to
look at.  But maybe it would be better if many of us considered other
characteristics, such as packaging and documentation, not merely
important, but truly as sexy as performance.

Please send any flames to me directly.  I admit to being a bit of a wimp
in dealing with on-line flaming -- it's a character flaw, but it's probably
not changing real soon.


		Thanks very much for your consideration,
		Mary

		Stanford University
		mgba...@cs.stanford.edu
		http://plastique.stanford.edu/~mgbaker


**************************************************************************
Jordan's followup note:


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Date: Mon, 08 Apr 1996 15:57:27 -0700
From: "Jordan K. Hubbard" <j...@FreeBSD.org>
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CC: mgba...@cs.stanford.edu
Subject: My recent comments on the Baker/ Lai paper at USENIX
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Some of you may recall a recent message of mine where I called
the benchmarking paper presented at the '96 USENIX "a travesty",
"utter garbage" and used other highly emotionally-charged labels
of that nature in denouncing what I felt to be an unfair presentation.

Well, Mary Baker called me on the phone today and was, quite
understandably, most upset with my characterization of her paper and the
fact that I did not even see fit to present my issues with it to her
personally, resulting in her having to hear about this 3rd-hand.

While it must be said that I still have some issues with the testing
matrix they used (most specifically for NFS client/server testing) and
do not feel that the paper met *my* highly perfectionist standards for
those who would dare to tread the lava flow that is public systems
benchmarking, I do fully understand and acknowledge that both the words
I used and the forum I used to express them (this newsgroup) were highly
inappropriate and merit a full apology to Mary and her group.  I can
scarcely mutter about scientific integrity from one side of my mouth
while issuing angry and highly emotional statements from the other,
especially in a forum that gives the respondant little fair opportunity
to respond.  Mary, my apologies to you and your group.  I was totally
out of line.

Those who know me also know that I've spent the last 3 years of my life
working very hard on FreeBSD and, as the Public Relations guy,
struggling to close the significant PR gap we're faced with.  When I see
something which I feel something to be unfair to FreeBSD, I react rather
strongly and sometimes excessively.  I've no excuse for this, but it
nonetheless sometimes occurs.  This last USENIX was one of many highs
and lows for us, the highs coming from contacts established or renewed
and the lows coming from presentations like Larry McVoy's lmbench talk
which started as a reasonable presentation of lmbench itself and turned
into a full pulpit-pounding propaganda piece for Linux, using
comparisons that weren't even *fair* much less accurate.  I did confront
Larry over this one personally, and only mention it at all because it
immediately followed the Baker/Lai talk and is no doubt significantly
responsible for my coming away from that two hour session with a
temporary hatred for anyone even mentioning the word "benchmark" - a
degree of vitriol which no doubt unfairly biased me more heavily against
the B/L talk than I would have been otherwise.  Overall, USENIX was
quite a bit more about highs than lows, and it's really only this
session that stood out on the low side for me.

As I told Mary, I do hope that future benchmarking attempts will at
least pay us (in the free software world overall) the courtesy of a
contact before the measurement runs, not to give us a chance to unfairly
bias the results in any way (which would only reflect badly on us) but
to simply review the testing methodologies used and make comments where
we feel certain changes might be made to improve the objectivity and
fairness of the results.

I do think that benchmarking is important and that many types of useful
"real world" data can be derived from them - our very own John Dyson
puts significant amounts of time and effort into running benchmarks with
Linux and other operating systems so as to "keep FreeBSD honest" in our
own performance, looking for areas where they've made improvements which
we have not.  People like Mary Baker perform a very useful service in
attempting to do the same thing for the academic world, and I definitely
do not want my initially harsh words to discourage her and her students
from doing further objective analysis of free and commercial operating
systems - quite the contrary.  It's a dirty, thankless job, but somebody
has to do it.

If she and her students would care to run another comparative benchmark
suite using the more advanced technologies that have since been released
by both the Linux and *BSD groups, endevouring also to expand the base
of hardware that's being tested (since PCs are a notoriously mixed bag
when it comes to issues like this), I would be pleased to extend every
cooperation from the FreeBSD Project.
--- 
- Jordan Hubbard
  President, FreeBSD Project

From: j...@cdf.toronto.edu (John DiMarco)
Subject: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/11
Message-ID: <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147048231
sender: n...@cdf.toronto.edu (Usenet News)
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU>
organization: University of Toronto Computing Disciplines Facility
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

mgba...@cs.Stanford.EDU (Mary G. Baker) writes:
>I think the free UNIXes have an opportunity to increase the size of the
>pie, for themselves and for commercial vendors.  Maybe it's the last
>chance...  And part of the issue is looking at what characteristics are
>important in a system for much of the world.  Performance is important,
>or we wouldn't have done our benchmarks, but it's not the only thing.
>Sometimes those of us in academic environments (and others as well) get
>too wrapped up in performance issues, since they're so interesting to
>look at.  But maybe it would be better if many of us considered other
>characteristics, such as packaging and documentation, not merely
>important, but truly as sexy as performance.

Thank you, Mary, for raising this issue.  It is worth serious discussion.

Perhaps it is time for a free Unix variant to emerge that can serve as a
simple, relatively small, reliable, and straightforward platform for running
applications.  This is how most users make use of their computers.  Yes, many
UNIX users seem to use their UNIX-like systems for development, which is
wonderful: this is what UNIX was originally designed for.  But there is a
crying need for a more robust applications platform for novice users, users
who are not interested in operating systems for their own sake and who don't
want to be bothered with shells, kernel reconfiguration, and whatnot.
Windows 3.x/95 is not known for its robustness and reliability.  Windows NT
has too heavy a footprint (and price) for the desktop.  The Mac OS is only
available on a limited number of hardware platforms.  The various commercial
UNIXen appear to be expensive and complex, and the commercial vendors,
although theoretically capable of doing something about this, seem
uninterested or unmotivated.  There is a historical opportunity for a free
UNIX-like operating system, be it LINUX or BSD, to fill the gap.

What will it take?  All relevant shell and file interfaces will need to be
replaced by simple, point-and-click window-based interfaces (with sensible
defaults), so that completely applications-oriented users can install,
configure, and use the operating system without even having to know what a
shell or an editor is, let alone how to use one.  Tools to efficiently build
such a thing (eg. tcl/tk) are already in place.  Yes, this is a concept
foreign to the typical UNIX mindset, but it's required if any UNIX-like
operating system will gain a foothold among the general computing population.

Why is it a good thing to turn a nice development operating system into a
glorified program loader?  Easy:  a platform to run applications -- and only
this -- is exactly what most users want.  If no BSD or LINUX-based operating
system exists that does this in a straightforward and simple fashion, such
users will go elsewhere, as they have up until now.  And where the users go,
the application developers follow.  Then Gates and Co. will continue to
dominate the desktop application computing market with operating system
software that many - including myself - consider technically inferior to most
of the alternatives, free UNIX-like systems included.

Naturally, such an effort will pay dividends for technical users, too, like
Mary, who are perfectly capable of configuring and using a complex OS with
rough edges, but don't always want to be bothered.

The creators of FreeBSD, and some of the LINUX distributions, have made
important steps in this direction.  I would strongly encourage them to make 
it a critical priority.  The opportunity is slipping away. 

Regards,

John
--
John DiMarco <j...@cdf.toronto.edu>                        Office: EA201B
Computing Disciplines Facility Systems Manager            Phone: 416-978-1928
University of Toronto                                     Fax:   416-978-1931
http://www.cdf.toronto.edu/~jdd

From: tporc...@netcom.com (Tony Porczyk)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/12
Message-ID: <tporczykDpqKHL.7vG@netcom.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147112175
sender: tporc...@netcom4.netcom.com
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu>
organization: ITRC
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

j...@cdf.toronto.edu (John DiMarco) writes:

> Perhaps it is time for a free Unix variant to emerge that can serve as
> a simple, relatively small, reliable, and straightforward platform for
> running applications.

What applications?

> Windows NT has too heavy a footprint (and price) for the desktop.

Actually, Windows NT workstation is only $295.

> What will it take?  All relevant shell and file interfaces will need to
> be replaced by simple, point-and-click window-based interfaces (with
     ^^^^^^^^

That would be the last day I would use that system.  Augmented, yes,
replaced, never.

> Easy:  a platform to run applications -- and only this -- is exactly
> what most users want.

No, actually users don't give a damn about platform to run applications.
They want *applications*, period.  What they run on is totally
secondary.  Modern UNIX has no common, affordable productivity apps.

Let me give you an example: I teach networking.  In one particular
course I thaught for a good while I often had students who came to
learn SunOS because it was necessary to run the app they bought or were
about to buy.  Had they been able to run it on something else, they
would.  Many of them were pulling their hair out trying to learn basic
administration in three days, but they were willing to do it because the
app did what they needed.  The OS was utterly secondary.

In case anyone might think otherwise, I'm a UNIX bigot, but I'm also a
realist.  I have neither time nor skill to write Word 6 or Excel killer
for FreeBSD, so I am not going to bitch about the lack of those apps.
It's just a fact of life.  Modern apps often require many months of
development time of tens of programmers.  I don't expect those apps to
show up any time soon, and without them UNIX will NOT make it to the
desktop outside of specialized requirements.  I will continue to use
it, because I have a reason to, but I totally fail to comprehend why
one would expect an average user who runs mostly Word Processor and
Spreadsheet to suddenly switch to UNIX.

t.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tony Porczyk     *     tporc...@netcom.com     *     San Jose,  California
GIT/ED d++$(!d) s++:++ a? C++++ USLB++++$ P+ E--- W(--) N++ !k w-- M- V? b-
PS+++@ PE++ O X-- Y++@ PGP-- t+@ 5++ R* D---- e* V-- h* y** r+++(*)+++(*)>?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: j...@time.cdrom.com (Jordan K. Hubbard)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/12
Message-ID: <yfglok14n5r.fsf@time.cdrom.com>
X-Deja-AN: 147113351
sender: j...@time.cdrom.com
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu>
organization: The FreeBSD Project
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <jdd.829261...@cdf.toronto.edu> j...@cdf.toronto.edu (John DiMarco) 
writes:

   What will it take?  All relevant shell and file interfaces will need to be
   replaced by simple, point-and-click window-based interfaces (with sensible
   defaults), so that completely applications-oriented users can install,
   configure, and use the operating system without even having to know what a
   shell or an editor is, let alone how to use one.  Tools to efficiently build
   such a thing (eg. tcl/tk) are already in place.  Yes, this is a concept
   foreign to the typical UNIX mindset, but it's required if any UNIX-like
   operating system will gain a foothold among the general computing population.

Actually, this isn't as foreign as you might think.  It's more the
question of _how_ to reach this point that has many of even the most
die-hard proponents of this approach scratching their heads.  The
problems facing any such prospective "let's put a new face on UNIX"
team are daunting, to say the least:

First, you have the problem of a standardised GUI and how to get the
user from point A (a CDROM in one hand and a PC on the desk) to point
B (a fancy graphical interface complete with "click here to start"
button).

X is notoriously hard to configure, and anyone wishing to get the
average Windows user aboard the UNIX bandwagon faces a considerable
job just getting them up and running reliably with the bewildering
array of graphics cards available and a UNIX environment that's
usually left the BIOS (and all the standard, however braindead,
interfaces it might have provided) far behind by the time you're
running the X component of the installation.  Even getting your
average card into SVGA mode is not as easy as you'd think, and there
are people in both the XFree86 and X Inside, Inc. camps who have
devoted considerable time and energy in pondering that question.  The
upshot of this is that right from the opening "Windows" screen,
Microsoft has got us somewhat outclassed and have already detected the
mouse and modem at the point that we're still loading a kernel off a
floppy.

Assuming that you do manage to somehow get Joe User up safely into X,
your problems are far from over - now you've got a massive education
problem on your hands.  Where is the "setup" menu?  How do I pick my
color pallete?  Where's the list of available fonts?  How do I swap
the mouse buttons if I'm a lefty?  Where's the editor?  Where's the
paint program?  ARGH!  Where did I put those Windows disks?  Face it,
the average user's expectations have been irrevokably set by the
Macintoshes and Windows boxes, and while the X community should have
been off inventing all those good things and trying to put them into
an easily accessible framework, they were focused instead on seeing
which competing GUI group ("OpenLook!" "No, No, Motif!" "Argh,
NeXTStep you philistines!") could kick the other the most times in the
crotch.

The result is an interface that only a programmer could love, and so
it's hardly then a surprise that only the programmers generally do.  X
started out as a wonderful experiment in interoperability and has now
turned into a 10 ton millstone around UNIX's neck.  Sorry, I know it's
painful, but that's the truth.  Unfortunately, it's also all we've
got.

And we've only dealt with the lowest-level aspects of the interface.
How about all those nice front-ends you talked about?  How about
standard APIs for mail and database access and inter-application
communications like MAPI and ODBCS and OLE?  Sure, all of the
standards represented by those acronyms are GROSS and generally
unworthy of even mentioning in a crowd of UNIX geeks (lest you be
pelted by rocks and garbage) but when you ask what the competing
alternatives under UNIX are, you'll get a long silence followed by a
few pathetic attempts at "Well, there's ToolTalk I suppose, though
only Sun seems to really support it in their apps and it doesn't deal
with objects very well, and well, you could also always buy a nice
CORBA compliant system for that and wait for the vendors to start
using it and I hear there's some work being _done_ on the database
front though I couldn't promise that any of the apps will work with it
yet and and and..."  In other words, you'll get a mismash of
well-intentioned but strangely unadopted (at least by anything
resembling a majority of UNIX ISVs) standards, all twisty, all
different.

The painful truth is that Microsoft proved that having one vendor with
a big stick *IS* sometimes the only way to keep a classroom full of
hyperactive pre-school children in line, as much as the children might
prefer to be allowed to smear peanut butter on the dog and set fire to
the drapes.  UNIX never had such an authoritatian figure so it evolved
standards faster than most people could invent acronyms for them.

For the average UNIX hacker this never mattered anyway since if he
wanted an app real bad he just wrote one from scratch or cobbled it
together using AWK and a couple of shell scripts.  For word
processing, who needs more than EMACS?  He'll give up his shell prompt
when you pry it from his cold, dead fingers.

The naive user?  Sorry, we eat those for breakfast around here.  Try
the Windows support group next door.

The fact is that it's already too late for UNIX on the desktop.  It
didn't evolve in _any_ of the directions that your Word-using
secretary (who occasionally dives into Powerpoint when the boss really
requires a last minute presentation) is going to be able to benefit
from.  Even if were were to suddenly reach down UNIX's throat and pull
it inside out by the small intestine, it wouldn't matter to the ISVs
who have long since abandoned any pretense of porting their software
to the UNIX market.  What would be the point?  5 times the porting
cost (and that's speaking _very_ conservatively, considering that
there are quite a few more than 5 popular variants of UNIX out there)
for a market 1/500th the size?

I worked for Lotus's UNIX porting group (where I worked on the ports
of AmiPro [now Lotus Word] to the Sun and SCO platforms) and I can
tell you that we got some very strange looks indeed from the rest of
the corporate IS managers when they learned that we needed $200,000
worth of equipment and 6 different operating systems gurus to do the
same job that a Windows engineer with a $3000 PC on his desk was
doing.  If it hadn't been a checklist item for a few UNIX hold-out
customers, we'd have ceased to exist in an eyeblink (and eventually
did, but that's another story).  Believe me, your average desktop
software vendor finds the UNIX market unprofitable, baffling and
utterly unworth the development dollars that they could (and do) spend
much more profitably on Windows or OS/2.  Sure, there are a very few
small niche players who are leveraging existing UNIX expertise and
small captive markets to make a few bucks, but that's purely on the
atomic scale in comparison to the size of the Microsoft market.


And that's just the applications arena.  Let's assume that you just
wanted to tackle the automation and reduction-of-complexity issues
surrounding system administration of servers and other environments
where UNIX still has a clear advantage.  Woo boy - talk about walking
into the lion's den!  Your average administrator is not (or at least
should not be) an off-the-street paper shuffling secretary, and they
have very clear ideas about what sorts of tools constitute aids to
progress and which are simply a pain-in-the-butt and totally in their
way.  You need only look at the reception that UnixWare got when it
attempted to "go graphical" in just about every major respect.  The
old school die-hards hated it since it tried to hide things rather
unsuccessfully and, in many cases, gratuitously from the administrator
and the novices didn't like it either since it really didn't help them
anywhere near as much as they were hoping.  The same is true for AIX,
though I've heard that SMIT is somewhat less passionately hated now
and there are even a few people here and there who will admit to
liking it when they don't think that anyone's listening.

In any case, these are hardly sterling successes to point to and they
took their respective developers *years* to develop.  It seems a
rather strange use of one's time to embark upon the same road,
littered as it is with the bones of those who went before and ending
in a tall cliff.  Putting a "nice face on UNIX" has been tried, and
those that have done so have invariably list "never again" as their #1
response to those who would dare to try the same.  UNIX is *not*
Windows, and in trying to make it look like Windows you generally end
up pleasing almost no one and getting a few arrows in your back for
the trouble.

So is it all gloom and doom from yours truly?  Not really.

There are still things we can do.  We can try to make X a more
comfortable environment to work in, not overnight or even by next
year, but incrementally and cooperatively (e.g. no more 12 different
implementations of the same thing if anybody can help it).  We can try
to make it easier to set up and configure and, once we've got users
over that hurdle, we can try to figure out how to provide canned
desktops that spare the beginning user from having to figure out which
window manager is in vogue that month and now to get something up
which is actually fairly usable on the first try, with no serious
customization needed.  No rocket science required, just some solid
work on trying to make the whole process a little more more menu
oriented instead of sticking up a "% " prompt and saying "have fun,
dude!"

The same goes for enhancing the documentation on all the various weird
files in /etc, putting some work into developing tools that make it
easier to find out what needs to be changed where, even if you don't
necessarily do the edits on behalf of the user.  There's no substitute
for a good set of *well organized* hypertext docs (for which HTML has
been a god-send), given that such are useful to power-user and
relative novice alike and don't invite AIX-style flames about trying
to hold the user's appendages without their permission.

Finally, we can also work on minimizing the number of competing APIs
so that those few software vendors left who see a couple of bucks to
be made in the UNIX market don't need to churn out 12 different
distributions of their software, raising their blood pressure and
lowering their profit margin.  I've actually stopped asking people for
FreeBSD native binaries and have started asking for *BSDI* binaries in
the hopes that if they can simply target one of our "sister" operating
systems which is also comfortably (for the ISV) commercial in nature,
we can simply ride off the same applications base with no additional
trouble.  This is hard to swallow for some, native binaries being
generally seen as "an ego thing" and lack thereof somehow leading to
the perception that your operating system won't be seen to count as
much as the native one.  That's a lousy attitude, and the fact is that
we can either converge towards common ABIs or we can see the
application software vendors continue to wander away until we're
fighting like wild dogs over a few pathetic scraps.  If Linux becomes
the common ABI, that's fine.  We can run your a.out and ELF binaries.
If it's BSD/OS, that's fine too - we've been able to run their stuff
for years now.  If we can't run a given binary, we need to figure out
how to MAKE FreeBSD run that binary.  What we can't do is beat on the
table and say "FreeBSD deserves native versions from you, damnit!"
Even if we manage get away with it, it just won't fly as a long-term
strategy.

					Jordan

From: nel...@ns.crynwr.com (Russell Nelson)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/12
Message-ID: <NELSON.96Apr12112334@ns.crynwr.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147135319
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu>
organization: Crynwr Software
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <yfglok14n5r....@time.cdrom.com> j...@time.cdrom.com 
(Jordan K. Hubbard) writes:

> The fact is that it's already too late for UNIX on the desktop.

Nope.  If you say that, then you clearly have not tried to administer
a Windows95 machine.  It's just hell.  I know someone who spent a
whole week trying to do an install on one machine that didn't crash
within five minutes of booting.

Win95 and WinNT try to be real operating systems.  The closer they
become to being real operating systems, the closer they approach Unix
in complexity.  Strip out most of Unix's functionality and you get...
Windows.

> the corporate IS managers when they learned that we needed $200,000
> worth of equipment and 6 different operating systems gurus to do the

Nope.  There is only one Unix for the desktop: Linux.

> And that's just the applications arena.  Let's assume that you just
> wanted to tackle the automation and reduction-of-complexity issues
> surrounding system administration of servers and other environments
> where UNIX still has a clear advantage.  Woo boy - talk about walking
> into the lion's den!

Nope.  You haven't seen what happens when Windows 3.1/95 crashes and
burns.  There is only one thing to do: reinstall and hope that your
files don't get mangled.

> In any case, these are hardly sterling successes to point to and they
> took their respective developers *years* to develop.

That's because they weren't working cooperatively.  What, pray tell,
Jordan, prevents you from improving the flaws that you see in Linux,
to the point where it is as good as FreeBSD or NetBSD or OpenBSD or
386BSD?

-- 
-russ <nel...@crynwr.com>    http://www.crynwr.com/~nelson
Crynwr Software   | Crynwr Software sells packet driver support | PGP ok
11 Grant St.      | +1 315 268 1925 voice | If you would seek peace, 
Potsdam, NY 13676 | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   | first seek freedom

From: j...@time.cdrom.com (Jordan K. Hubbard)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/12
Message-ID: <yfgk9zl3pdn.fsf@time.cdrom.com>
X-Deja-AN: 147227896
sender: j...@time.cdrom.com
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu>
organization: The FreeBSD Project
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <NELSON.96Apr12112...@ns.crynwr.com> nel...@ns.crynwr.com 
(Russell Nelson) writes:

   > The fact is that it's already too late for UNIX on the desktop.

   Nope.  If you say that, then you clearly have not tried to administer
   a Windows95 machine.  It's just hell.  I know someone who spent a

I *have* tried this, and I agree it's hell.  But so what?  Faced with
two hells in either direction, one of which is festooned with bright
lights and scantily clad demon-babes beconning with bright smiles and
gleaming teeth, and the other one being simply a dark and gloomy cave
with flames flickering dimly from the back, which direction do you
think the user is going to walk in?

I'll give you 10 minutes to answer that question, and no fair looking
at your neighbor's paper.. :-)

As bad as it is, and you've already somewhat disqualified yourself
from really judging it anyway since you're clearly a UNIX power user
and NOT an average Joe.  Windows still holds your hand in far more
ways than UNIX does, and while there might be 5,000 really important
way still missing, I would never even dream of trying to state that
Joe (or Jane) User would have an easier time doing word processing or
spreadsheets (e.g. "normal business user tasks") with an HP-VUE
desktop than they would with Windows95.  If you'd like to stage a few
bets, I'll be more than happy to relieve you of your surplus cash.

   Nope.  There is only one Unix for the desktop: Linux.

Oh please, give me a break.  Repeat after me: There is NO UNIX for the
desktop, and if you think it's Linux then I'd really like some of the
drugs you're taking since they clearly give one a very pleasant, rosy
outlook on life.  I've installed Slackware 3.0 and I've installed
RedHat 2.1 and I'd have even installed Linux-FT had it managed to do
anything more than wedge solid at the boot-off-the-floppy stage on the
very same machine I use for all my testing (and yes, I read the little
installation guide cover to cover and mailed supp...@lasermoon.co.uk -
no clues or support have been forthcoming).

Trust me, I keep a *very* close eye on what Linux is doing, being
responsible as I am for FreeBSD's installation, and the holy grail
Linux most definitely ain't.  Yes, there are some very nice features
in RedHat and Slackware and I'll probably be adopting more than a few
of their installation features into FreeBSD, but that's like saying
that we've all got this rutted, single lane dirt road and I've noticed
that RedHat just put down some gravel and am thinking of doing the
same thing for FreeBSD's stretch of it.  Meanway, the 8 lane paved
superhighway of Windows runs next door with bumper-to-bumper traffic
while we wave at the occasional passing car moving cautiously at 30Mph
to avoid the potholes as it moves down our road.

You've let evangelism, as reasonably conceived as it might be, sadly
blind you to reality, my friend.

   Nope.  You haven't seen what happens when Windows 3.1/95 crashes and
   burns.  There is only one thing to do: reinstall and hope that your
   files don't get mangled.

Yes, yes, yes, we can sit here all day long and cite specific problems
and horror stories with Windows95.  We shouldn't even be comparing
Win95 with UNIX anyway, given that UNIX is an Operating System and
Win95 is an *Operating Environment*.  Let's compare it with NT if you
want to do a true apples-and-oranges (as opposed to apples-and-bricks)
comparison, but we still won't get anywhere by citing the horror
stories and hoping that people will be scared away.

This isn't about "windows killed my dog and raped my wife", this is
about "what the heck is it about Windows that's caused the damn thing
to take over the world and when are we finally going to pull our heads
out of the sand and stop chanting nahnahnahnahnahnah-I can't hear
you!-nahnahnahnahnah! like a bunch of kids arguing at recess?"

You can like it or not, but I have a scarey fact for you: Windows has
taken over the world.  Yup!  Just look outside.  It's everywhere.
There are dedicated Windows magazines on the bookshelves, classes at
your local YMCA, 50 foot pictures of President Gates staring
benevolently at you from every corner.  Whoops, OK, I'm skipping ahead
in time a little, but I think you get the picture.  You can debate all
this from a standpoint of denial and impassioned stories of how
Windows95 isn't *your* favorite operating system for ten million
different reasons, but it still won't go one iota towards explaining
why UNIX has fallen so far behind, despite a decade of such great
promise, nor will it assist us in deciding what we have to do in order
to try and improve the situation.

					Jordan
-- 
- Jordan Hubbard
  President, FreeBSD Project

From: r...@dyson.iquest.net (John S. Dyson)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/13
Message-ID: <4kmvaa$pdr@dyson.iquest.net>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147330386
sender: n...@iquest.net (News Admin)
x-nntp-posting-host: dyson.iquest.net
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu> 
<yfglok14n5r.fsf@time.cdrom.com> <NELSON.96Apr12112334@ns.crynwr.com>
organization: John S. Dyson's Machine
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <NELSON.96Apr12112...@ns.crynwr.com>,
Russell Nelson <nel...@ns.crynwr.com> wrote:
>
>> the corporate IS managers when they learned that we needed $200,000
>> worth of equipment and 6 different operating systems gurus to do the
>
>Nope.  There is only one Unix for the desktop: Linux.
>
I don't understand that statement -- it contains absolutely no information
backing your claim.  In fact, I was hired at my current place of
employment partially because of my involvement in FreeBSD.  Linux is
a reasonable choice for a U**X desktop, so is FreeBSD.  However most of the
people that I know of using computers would be much happier with WinNT
because of the application availability and interoperability.  Note that
FreeBSD and Linux are essentially interchangeable in the arena of protocols
and applications.  (*BSD has made the effort to be able to run Linux
apps and read/write ext2fs partitions - because we DO believe in
interoperability -- not proprietary protocols and file formats.)

>
>Nope.  You haven't seen what happens when Windows 3.1/95 crashes and
>burns.  There is only one thing to do: reinstall and hope that your
>files don't get mangled.
>
Win95 is an abortion from hell.  No question about that.  No reason
(other than limited hardware resources) to keep from using WinNT.

>
>That's because they weren't working cooperatively.  What, pray tell,
>Jordan, prevents you from improving the flaws that you see in Linux,
>to the point where it is as good as FreeBSD or NetBSD or OpenBSD or
>386BSD?
>
I don't understand that statement.  I am trying to guess what it means.
FreeBSD is quite a bit ahead in certain areas, and there is much more
to do to keep ahead in some areas, and to catch up in others.  The
notion of the "one-true" OS sure sounds like Mickysofts' goal.  Is that
Linux's also?  (BTW, I am NOT anti-Microsoft as much as I am simply afraid
of them.)

An analogy of the above statement might be "why aren't all of the
football teams just working together as opposed to fighting against
each other."  Part of it is the sport of it :-).

There is a significant advantage to diversity, and I doubt that Linux
would not be as good as it is without real competition.  (Likewise
FreeBSD, etc...)  Note that for one, I spend a lot of time working on
and optimizing the algorithms in FreeBSD -- and certainly would not
be nearly as motivated to do so without competition.

John

From: s...@catzen.gun.de (Scot W. Stevenson)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/13
Message-ID: <DpsKyx.1Jo@catzen.gun.de>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147342837
distribution: world
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu> 
<tporczykDpqKHL.7vG@netcom.com>
followup-to: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy
organization: Gryphon Amplification Squad (Germany)
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

Hello Tony,

> > Windows NT has too heavy a footprint (and price) for the desktop.

> Actually, Windows NT workstation is only $295.

(Laugh) Yeah, which is just about $295 over my budget...remember, there 
are a bunch of students over here, too...

Y, Scot


-- 
           Scot W. Stevenson  s...@catzen.gun.de  Essen, Germany

      The pen is mightier than the sword, but to really kick ass you 
                             need a computer.

From: Terry Lambert <te...@lambert.org>
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/13
Message-ID: <31702487.420C2193@lambert.org>
X-Deja-AN: 147348258
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<yfglok14n5r.fsf@time.cdrom.com>
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x-mailer: Mozilla 2.01 (X11; I; Linux 1.1.76 i486)

Jordan K. Hubbard wrote:
] 
] In article <jdd.829261...@cdf.toronto.edu> j...@cdf.toronto.edu (John
DiMarco) writes:
] 
]    What will it take?  All relevant shell and file interfaces
]    will need to be replaced by simple, point-and-click
]    window-based interfaces (with sensible defaults), so that
]    completely applications-oriented users can install, configure,
]    and use the operating system without even having to know what
]    a shell or an editor is, let alone how to use one.  Tools to
]    efficiently build such a thing (eg. tcl/tk) are already in
]    place.  Yes, this is a concept foreign to the typical UNIX
]    mindset, but it's required if any UNIX-like operating system
]    will gain a foothold among the general computing population.
] 
] Actually, this isn't as foreign as you might think.  It's more the
] question of _how_ to reach this point that has many of even the most
] die-hard proponents of this approach scratching their heads.  The
] problems facing any such prospective "let's put a new face on UNIX"
] team are daunting, to say the least:
] 
] First, you have the problem of a standardised GUI

This is hard; this is a political question.  My personal answer:
Motif.  It is the only standard GUI ratified by a UNIX standards
body, and it meets the additional requirement of being nearly
identical in usage to the Windows environment, so training of
Windows users is portable to Motif style-guide compliant
systems.


] and how to get the user from point A (a CDROM in one hand and
] a PC on the desk) to point B (a fancy graphical interface
] complete with "click here to start" button).

This one is easier; it is completely technical, and I have
tried to push it in a large number of comercial organizations,
including Novell USG (the former USL) without success:

1)	Move the DDX code for per-card drivers into the
	kernel.  This allows you to save the state of
	otherwise write-only and therefore unrestorable
	video mode registers, etc..  X must use an
	interface that does not require process cooperation
	to restore the screen contents.

2)	Implement "fallback drivers".  Such a driver is a
	standard driver implemented on BIOS calls.  For
	video, this is INT 10.  This will be sufficient
	to put the screen in 640x480 graphic mode for the
	95% majority of PC hardware capable of running a
	protected mode OS.

3)	Implement a full VM86().  Because the fallback
	drivers must operate from protected mode, you
	will need virtual machine technology to make BIOS
	calls from protected mode to implement them.

4)	Either discard the concept of memory overcommit
	altogether, or allow it to be selected off.

5)	Enable more explicit processor detection.  This
	is necessary to implement APM for systems without
	APM BIOS capability.  APM BIOS capability should
	be ignored.

6)	Build your "magic install image".

Now let's talk about "magic install images".  Such an image is
a non-memory-overcommit (fd's are not strictly recoverable for
executables) APM save image of a sytem "just about to be
installed".

So all you have to do is "restore" the APM save (which should
take a little less than 10 seconds), fill in the machine name
and base IP information, if network connected, and hit return.


The hardest part is writing the standalone APM restore code
program, to be run as a boot or as a DOS executable.


] X is notoriously hard to configure, and anyone wishing to get the
] average Windows user aboard the UNIX bandwagon faces a considerable
] job just getting them up and running reliably with the bewildering
] array of graphics cards available and a UNIX environment that's
] usually left the BIOS (and all the standard, however braindead,
] interfaces it might have provided) far behind by the time you're
] running the X component of the installation.  Even getting your
] average card into SVGA mode is not as easy as you'd think, and there
] are people in both the XFree86 and X Inside, Inc. camps who have
] devoted considerable time and energy in pondering that question.  The
] upshot of this is that right from the opening "Windows" screen,
] Microsoft has got us somewhat outclassed and have already detected the
] mouse and modem at the point that we're still loading a kernel off a
] floppy.

The default INT 10 video modes for the card dictate the initially
available screen resoloutions, IFF the X DDX is in the kernel
instead of in the X server software.

Some additional technologies apply at this point.

The first is kernel paging, to allow you to discard fallback
drivers when card-specific drivers become available.  This
requires ELF or similar object file format technology for
segment attribution in the default kernel image.  Discarding
fallback drivers prevents you from needing to rebuild a minimal
kernel, but isn't required if the build process can be automated.

The second is a card/monitor selection dialog, like the
"screen preferences" control panel in Windows95, which is
a trivial thing to provide for the selection of mode lines.

The biggest problem X faces is oddball screen resoloutions so
that sp,e weenie can get 10 more pixels out of his overscan
area than the monitor is rated for.


] Assuming that you do manage to somehow get Joe User up safely into X,
] your problems are far from over - now you've got a massive education
] problem on your hands.  Where is the "setup" menu?  How do I pick my
] color pallete?  Where's the list of available fonts?  How do I swap
] the mouse buttons if I'm a lefty?  Where's the editor?  Where's the
] paint program? 


Another easy problem; sample answers might be, in order:

1)	It's the "control panel" option on your "Start" button
	menu.

2&3)	Click "Display" in the "control panel" window to pick
	your color pallette, fonts, etc.

4)	Click "Mouse" in the "control panel" window to change
	your mouse settings (including button assignment).

5)	The editor is that dumb program that acts like the
	Netscape editor when you click on text files (or you
	can run it by picking "create new text file" from the
	"start" menu).

6)	The paint program is the program that starts up when
	you click on paint files (or you can run it by picking
	"create new bitmap(/icon/pixmap/picture/image/etc.)"
	from the "start" menu.

] ARGH!  Where did I put those Windows disks?  Face it,
] the average user's expectations have been irrevokably set by the
] Macintoshes and Windows boxes, and while the X community should have
] been off inventing all those good things and trying to put them into
] an easily accessible framework, they were focused instead on seeing
] which competing GUI group ("OpenLook!" "No, No, Motif!" "Argh,
] NeXTStep you philistines!") could kick the other the most times in
] the crotch.

X is a windows system, not a user interface.  Just like Unicode
is a character set standard, not a glyph encoding standard.

Just like UNIX isn't hard to use, UNIX tools are hard to use.


] And we've only dealt with the lowest-level aspects of the interface.
] How about all those nice front-ends you talked about?  How about
] standard APIs for mail and database access and inter-application
] communications like MAPI and ODBCS and OLE?

SMTP/POP, SQL/UNIX_ODBC, and ICCMP/IPC/REXX.


] The painful truth is that Microsoft proved that having one vendor with
] a big stick *IS* sometimes the only way to keep a classroom full of
] hyperactive pre-school children in line, as much as the children might
] prefer to be allowed to smear peanut butter on the dog and set fire to
] the drapes.  UNIX never had such an authoritatian figure so it evolved
] standards faster than most people could invent acronyms for them.

This is simply not true.

UNIX has two types of standards: good ones (defacto) and bad ones
(industry mandated for the purposes of competitive advantage).

Motif is a strange bear, in that it falls into both groups: it is
the defacto GUI standard for X, and it is an industry mandated
standard that requires a buy-in to OSF to let you play.  Motif
is proprietary technology, and as such, should never have been
ratified by a standards body.  Either bench-packing or buyoffs
were involved (for instance, the major UNIX vendors do not pay
a dime of royalties for Motif and MWM distribution -- Novell
"bought in" with the NetWare UNIX Client, and other companies
paid for their good-ol'-boys-club membership with their own
proprietary standards).

It's an issue of the companies in the UNIX market not being
able to think well enough to get the correct soloution to the
game theory problem of the prisoners dilemma (I recommend the
books "The Evolution of Cooperation" and "Bionomics").  And you
can't fix that without incresing their review periods: how do
you propose to convince the NYSE to live with annual instead
of quarterly reports?


] The fact is that it's already too late for UNIX on the desktop.

You sound like Kanwahl Rheki in a meeting I attended at Novell
right before he (ahem) "left Novell to pursue other opportunities".

I remember him making a similar statement about UNIX on the
desktop, after which I raised my hand and asked "What *NOVELL*
operating system will people be running on their desktop, then,
if not UnixWare?".  To which he replied Novell USG would be
concentrating on application servers.

Hmmmmmmm... Ray Noorda left after that statement, and less than
a month later the group that later broke away to become Caldera
came into existance... hmmmmmmmm.


With due respect, anyone who portrays a technical market as
"impenetrable" or "already won by the competition" is a jackass
who is going to drive your product into the toilet.


] It didn't evolve in _any_ of the directions that your Word-using
] secretary (who occasionally dives into Powerpoint when the boss really
] requires a last minute presentation) is going to be able to benefit
] from.  Even if were were to suddenly reach down UNIX's throat and pull
] it inside out by the small intestine, it wouldn't matter to the ISVs
] who have long since abandoned any pretense of porting their software
] to the UNIX market.  What would be the point?  5 times the porting
] cost (and that's speaking _very_ conservatively, considering that
] there are quite a few more than 5 popular variants of UNIX out there)
] for a market 1/500th the size?

Porting cost is a function of developemental architecture and
approach to implementation.

Most modern GUI builders are causing this gap to widen, but it
boils down to programmers who don't understand portability
issues, and attempts to salvage sales from legacy markets.

The first can be dealt with using TWIN (or WINE, if it ever gets
done) to keep the API's the same and reduce porting changes and
therefore costs.

The second can only be dealt with by yelling "WAKE UP, WEENIE!
THE PEOPLE WHO WANT BACKWARDS COMPATABILITY WITH YOUR 2.0
NETWARE ARE NOT THE PEOPLE SPENDING MONEY ON YOUR 4.0 NETWARE
SERVERS!" (to pick one example).

] I worked for Lotus's UNIX porting group (where I worked on the ports
] of AmiPro [now Lotus Word] to the Sun and SCO platforms) and I can
] tell you that we got some very strange looks indeed from the rest of
] the corporate IS managers when they learned that we needed $200,000
] worth of equipment and 6 different operating systems gurus to do the
] same job that a Windows engineer with a $3000 PC on his desk was
] doing.

You mean "making Intel/DOS/Windows-centric code run"?  8-).

WordPerfect had the same problem: most of their code was in
Intel assembly, and "porting" was the process of converting
that assembly to C code that still looked like assembly, and
rewriting the user interface from scratch.

Spreadsheets and word processors are examples of applications
with very little code beyond user and system interfaces.  I
think the comparison is unfair.

I'd argue that the original code base was flawed.

It screwed them horribly when they had to support Windows, as
well.  This is why the relative popularity of WordPerfect vs.
Microsoft Word.


] If it hadn't been a checklist item for a few UNIX hold-out
] customers, we'd have ceased to exist in an eyeblink (and eventually
] did, but that's another story).  Believe me, your average desktop
] software vendor finds the UNIX market unprofitable, baffling and
] utterly unworth the development dollars that they could (and do) spend
] much more profitably on Windows or OS/2.  Sure, there are a very few
] small niche players who are leveraging existing UNIX expertise and
] small captive markets to make a few bucks, but that's purely on the
] atomic scale in comparison to the size of the Microsoft market.

You can bet Microsoft is suffering the same problems on transition
to Windows NT.  The main reason that Windows programs aren't
running on all the NT platforms instead of just the Intel ones
is that Microsoft has their share of programmers that think:

	#pragma pack(1)
	struct foo {
		char	c1;
		long	l;
		char	filler[ 3];
	};
	#pragma pack()

Is an "aligned" structure because it has an even dword-sized
footprint.  Check the header files in their SDK and DDK if you
don't believe me.

To say nothing of alignment of the stack on function entry, or
non-character auto variables that have to be referenced from there.

"Microsoft's problems" is another way of saying "competitor's
opportunities".


] You need only look at the reception that UnixWare got when it
] attempted to "go graphical" in just about every major respect.
] The old school die-hards hated it since it tried to hide things
] rather unsuccessfully and, in many cases, gratuitously from the
] administrator and the novices didn't like it either since it
] really didn't help them anywhere near as much as they were
] hoping.  The same is true for AIX, though I've heard that SMIT
] is somewhat less passionately hated now and there are even a
] few people here and there who will admit to liking it when
] they don't think that anyone's listening.

Yes.  The problem with UnixWare is that the interface was a rush
job, and so they were unsuccessful, as you point out.  I would
say that current versions of SMIT are more than successful, that
SMIT has cheering sycophants in some places.

NeXTStep's "NetInfo" crap is another example of less-that-successful
hiding.

But you only have to look at "vipw" and the password database in
FreeBSD to see that "successful hiding" doesn't provoke the same
response.

It is the lack of success -- *technical* lack of success -- that
is objectionable to the old line, not the attempt at data-hiding.


] In any case, these are hardly sterling successes to point to
] and they took their respective developers *years* to develop.

You obviously weren't there for UnixWare... I was in the same
building where it started, and many of the people I worked with
and around went to the second floor of Novell, Sandy at the start
of UnixWare.  It wasn't years, and they faced hellacious adversity,
mostly from the former USL (management, not engineering), who
mandated some home-grown, but antiquated technologies in the
face attempts to acquire shining examples of UNIX prowess -- like
Visix's "Looking Glass" interface, or a real Motif instead of
"Moolit", or ZMail.

Several of the people whose technical sensibilities were *most*
trod upon in this process are the very people who started Caldera
(after USL-now-Novell/USG management succeeded in convincing the
new CEO that the internal Linux project was endangering UnixWare
and got it scrapped).


You can't generalize about the possibility to create a successful
UNIX desktop simply because UnixWare failed to do so (and not for
technical reasons, at that).


] It seems a rather strange use of one's time to embark upon the
] same road, littered as it is with the bones of those who went
] before and ending in a tall cliff.

I think this was the argument to congress about Apollo after
the fatal fire, and again about the shuttle after the fatal
administrative decision to launch under conditions where success
was impossible.

Please *don't* make the same argument to the UNIX industry at
large after the "fatal" UnixWare launch (which wasn't all that
fatal, if you want to compare sales numbers with them).


					Regards,
                                        Terry Lambert
                                        te...@lambert.org
---
Any opinions in this posting are my own and not those of my present
or previous employers.

From: tporc...@netcom.com (Tony Porczyk)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/13
Message-ID: <tporczykDptpAL.8uG@netcom.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147360630
sender: tporc...@netcom17.netcom.com
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu> 
<tporczykDpqKHL.7vG@netcom.com> <DpsKyx.1Jo@catzen.gun.de>
organization: ITRC
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

s...@catzen.gun.de (Scot W. Stevenson) writes:

> tporc...@netcom.com writes:
>> Actually, Windows NT workstation is only $295.

> (Laugh) Yeah, which is just about $295 over my budget...remember, there 
> are a bunch of students over here, too...

Yes, but remember we were talking about commercial desktop - that's
where the money is.  $295 for the OS is peanuts if it doesn't involve
significant (read: transition from Windows to UNIX) retraining.

As I said originally, the only thing that can sell UNIX to desktops
(besides specialized uses) is applications - common productivity
applications, priced *reasonably*.  Superiority or inferiority of OS is
irrelevant.

Example from my own desktop: I use Linux and FreeBSD at home, SunOS at
work, but when I sit down to write courseware (part of my job), I plug
in hard drive with Windows and MS Office.  Why?  Try to find a package
for UNIX that contains easily mergeable Word Processing, Presentation
and Spreadsheet that a common mortal can afford.  Show me *one*.  And
let's not talk about TeX.  If I told the rest of the team that I will
submit my work in TeX, they would die laughing.  No one has the time to
play with that kind of stuff anymore.

t.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tony Porczyk     *     tporc...@netcom.com     *     San Jose,  California
GIT/ED d++$(!d) s++:++ a? C++++ USLB++++$ P+ E--- W(--) N++ !k w-- M- V? b-
PS+++@ PE++ O X-- Y++@ PGP-- t+@ 5++ R* D---- e* V-- h* y** r+++(*)+++(*)>?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: j...@time.cdrom.com (Jordan K. Hubbard)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/14
Message-ID: <yfg3f67giw7.fsf@time.cdrom.com>
X-Deja-AN: 147446021
sender: j...@time.cdrom.com
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu>
organization: The FreeBSD Project
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <31702487.420C2...@lambert.org> Terry Lambert <te...@lambert.org> 
writes:

   This is hard; this is a political question.  My personal answer:
   Motif.  It is the only standard GUI ratified by a UNIX standards
   body, and it meets the additional requirement of being nearly

Sorry, Terry, but Motif (unlike X) is not free, and none of the clones
are anywhere close to taking the place of the OSF distribution.

Yes, Motif can be had at a relatively low cost but it's still not
something we can standardise on for the free operating systems when
we've got the OSF sticking their hands out at the toll-booth saying
"$60 royalty please!" every time someone downloads a copy of one of
these OSs from their friendly neighborhood FTP server.  I'm sure that
the distinction between a freely available windowing system and a
non-freely available GUI standard isn't lost on you, and you yourself
later say:

   standard that requires a buy-in to OSF to let you play.  Motif
   is proprietary technology, and as such, should never have been
   ratified by a standards body.  Either bench-packing or buyoffs

Getting Motif ratified by the free operating systems camps is
currently sort of like getting a snake through a narrow hole after
it's swallowed a very large gopher.  You can get people to accept only
as much snake as makes it through until you run into the, erm,
obstruction.

And don't tell me that this doesn't effect the solution providers
since we can ship our binaries static - one of the nicest things about
the Free OS world right now is that today's customer can become
tomorrow's solution provider due to the low cost of entry for
volunteers.  Finding programming volunteers willing to help provide
high-level UNIX solutions is hard enough as it is without having to
say "oh, and guys, you'll have to pony up $100 for one of the Motif
distributions before you can jump on the GUI hacking bandwagon with
us."  No thank you!

I know that Motif has the lowest training cost, but I've talked to the
OSF about their rock-bottom-minimum royalty arrangements and there's
just no relief in sight for the *monetary* costs and, as you say, it
should therefore have never been ratified as any kind of standard.


   This one is easier; it is completely technical, and I have
   tried to push it in a large number of commercial organizations,
   including Novell USG (the former USL) without success:

This is NOT easy!  Easy-er, maybe, but all the stuff you outline blow
has a tremendous development cost associated with it!  Maintaining DDX
code for per-card drivers in the kernel?  YIKES!  Even assuming that
we could find someone craz^H^H^H^Hmotivated enough to yank this
screaming out of XFree86 and into the kernel (unless you have the
temerity to suggest that all such development should be done from
scratch!), it would be a never-ending responsibility as each new
generation of cards came out, and some popular current-generation
cards like the Matrox would probably never be supported.  This just
moves the problem onto the one group of people (the OS hackers) who
are the least motivated to solve it, rather than leaving it more
comfortably with the graphics hackers who already populate the various
X groups.

   2)	Implement "fallback drivers".  Such a driver is a
	   standard driver implemented on BIOS calls.  For
	   video, this is INT 10.  This will be sufficient

That's probably not such a bad idea for a wide variety of things (like
disk drivers also), but as yet the work remains to be done and there
isn't even anyone currently taking it up, AFAIK.  It's been on the
wish list for almost 3 years now.

Do bear in mind that my postings were attempting to describe the
situation as it stands today, leavened with a healthy dose of realism
about what we might hope to accomplish in the next 12 months or so.

No offense, but your postings always have a large element of the
surreal to them (were you Franz Kafka in a previous life?) where you
gesture wildly in all directions about highly theoretical solutions
and many "if we just virtualize the frammis and re-implement the
frotch code as a multi-layered, stackable protocol breemitch, it'll be
trivial to..."  sorts of suggestions.  Left unanswered for me at the
end of each reading is the rather bemused question of "Yeah, but WHO
is going to do all that work?  Who?!"

I also fully realize the value of theoretical contributions and the
fact that it took a number of guys sitting around chalk boards in dusty
classrooms before the first atomic bomb could ever be detonated in New
Mexico, but $12 billion dollars and one General Groves requisitioning
every resource in sight had quite a bit to do with their success(?) as
well.  One type of applied resource without the other is quite useless
if it's your intention to actually produce a working prototype.

Perhaps I shouldn't have used the atomic bomb as my analogy since I'll
now get flamed (pun intended) for it, but I hope you get the point.
I've heard much of this before but still don't have anyone signed up
to do it in any kind of time-frame that would be useful to us, so
it'll have to go into the "interesting theoretical suggestion" pile.

   Now let's talk about "magic install images".  Such an image is
   a non-memory-overcommit (fd's are not strictly recoverable for
   executables) APM save image of a sytem "just about to be
   installed".

I'd need to see a prototype of this before I could even begin to
believe there weren't 500 different "gotchas" still waiting to spring
on the unwary implementor.  You yourself well know that with the
implementation of every new idea you have 10% of the development time
spent in a frenzied blitz on the proof-of-concept ("Yay!  It's
possible!  It sort of works!") and 90% trying to actually make it work
in enough cases to become a truly general solution.  I'm left with
many questions about how the initial machine state would be
initialized by such a load-it-whole kernel, for example, and I'm sure
that an entire host of other uncovered problems remain to be exhumed
and wrestled with.  Like the concept of a matter teleportation device
being used to transport live human beings, this one is too theoretical
to comment on - we need a working prototype to examine before we can
even begin to develop an idea as to how truly practical an idea it is.


   Another easy problem; sample answers might be, in order:

   1)	It's the "control panel" option on your "Start" button
	   menu.

Yeah, but you need to write this, first.  There *is* no easy to use
control panel application for X, hence it's an education problem and
will STAY an education problem until someone implements it.

Terry, again, you can't just explain every problem away with a glib
"well, that's simple - just write a control panel and a nice paint
program and a word processor and a device configuration utility and
maybe one of those nifty event log display programs like NT has and
and.. Geeze, what's your problem, Jordan?  The problems you raise are
_trivial_ to solve!" :-)

   X is a windows system, not a user interface.  Just like Unicode

Bingo!  Thank you, Terry.  Now that we've both agreed on that, we can
try to find some nice non-proprietary solutions to the problem and
hope that everyone is willing to sit patiently for the 2-5 man-years
it will take to implement them?  You say my estimate is too long?
Fine - prove me wrong, please! :-)

   ] communications like MAPI and ODBCS and OLE?

   SMTP/POP, SQL/UNIX_ODBC, and ICCMP/IPC/REXX.

Sorry, those are the wrong answers but you do get 300 points for
knowing your acronyms!  Thank you for playing UNIX Jeopardy(tm)! :-)

Judges say:
	SMTP != MAPI.  SMTP is a different level of interface, and the
	presence of SMTP alone does very little to give an application
	which "just wishes to send some mail" an *easy* way of doing it.
	If you'd read the MAPI spec there would be no way in heck you'd
	even have tried to compare them - it's like saying the Flintstones'
	cars have an ABS braking system because they can always just
	lift their feet up if the cars start skidding! :-)

	SQL != ODBC.  SQL is a query language and ODBC is a set of standard
	API calls that an application can make directly to an underlying
	database.  Creating SQL queries programmatically, or even using
	embeded SQL and a precompiler, is a whole 'nother bear and not even
	close to the ODBC API.

	I won't even try to refute your contention that OLE has anything
	which merits a direct comparison to standard IPC or even a language
	like REXX (which is hardly a UNIX standard to the degree that OLE
	is for Windows - only AREXX for the Amiga ever even came close to
	this degree of wide acceptance).  I can only conclude that the straw
	you were reaching for broke as you attempted to grasp it and you
	decided to go ahead with the comparison anyway in hope that no one
	would notice.. :-)


   UNIX has two types of standards: good ones (defacto) and bad ones
   (industry mandated for the purposes of competitive advantage).

Maybe we just have a highly different definition of the word
"standard" here.  I define a standard as something that's widely
embraced by vendor, user and application provider alike - not merely
something published as a white paper and widely agreed to be a good
idea by all the programmers and perhaps a couple of the ISVs who read
it.

Motif is only a "standard" because the users were so tired of the
bitter infighting ("the GUI wars") that they would have sold their
souls to the devil if he'd only come along with a contract promising
to lead them out of the combat zone and give them ONE set of UI
guidelines to follow.  As history shows, that's also exactly what they
did.

I don't really see any other standards worth talking about in the UNIX
world today (Unix95?  Oh great, *another* standard that you have to
pay a lot of money for the privilege of adopting!) so this will be a
very short argument.

   ] The fact is that it's already too late for UNIX on the desktop.

   You sound like Kanwahl Rheki in a meeting I attended at Novell
   right before he (ahem) "left Novell to pursue other opportunities".

Hah, he's not the only one!  Lotus' director of UNIX development
started his keynote address at the Irish Unix User's Group with those
very same words.  I'm sure Kanwahl left because he didn't much like
the role of Cassandra - right and despised for it nonetheless.

   I remember him making a similar statement about UNIX on the
   desktop, after which I raised my hand and asked "What *NOVELL*
   operating system will people be running on their desktop, then,
   if not UnixWare?".  To which he replied Novell USG would be
   concentrating on application servers.

I don't understand that statement at all.  Novell didn't *have* a
desktop operating system, so what?  You raising your hand and saying
"I see an orange, a drugged hamster and a pound of Earl Grey tea here
on the table - which are we going to use in our fight against crime?"
would have made just about as much surrealistic sense.  Novell didn't
have a desktop strategy, never had a desktop strategy (that they ever
showed the world in any significant way, anyway, and their brief,
aborted affair with UNIX hardly counts) and probably never WILL have a
desktop strategy.  They made their money selling network servers and
that's really the only market they understand.  Duh.  You groom a
whole legion of executives to go out and try to dominate the network
connectivity market, it's hardly a surprise that their vision becomes
narrowed.

   Hmmmmmmm... Ray Noorda left after that statement, and less than
   a month later the group that later broke away to become Caldera
   came into existance... hmmmmmmmm.

Naw, that was the Bavarian Illuminati at work, Terry!  They contacted
Ray and threatened to show him compromising pictures of Ross Perot's
daughter if he didn't resign - it's a conspiracy, I tell you! :-)

   With due respect, anyone who portrays a technical market as
   "impenetrable" or "already won by the competition" is a jackass
   who is going to drive your product into the toilet.

And anyone who tries to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear will find
themselves holding a bloody scrap of flesh with little resale value.
Can we stop spouting the meaningless aphorisms now? :-)

   Porting cost is a function of developmental architecture and
   approach to implementation.

   Most modern GUI builders are causing this gap to widen, but it
   boils down to programmers who don't understand portability
   issues, and attempts to salvage sales from legacy markets.

Thanks for the engineering lesson, Terry.  However, we still have to
live in the real world and if you strongly think that you have any
chance of re-educating the world-wide base of programmers then I can
only suggest that you start a training company and give seminars!
You'll make a bloody fortune.  Until then, certain mistakes will
continue to be made and we'll be faced with the limitations that come
out of same.

   The first can be dealt with using TWIN (or WINE, if it ever gets
   done) to keep the API's the same and reduce porting changes and
   therefore costs.

I'm not holding my breath on this one - I've been disappointed too
many times.  Sun spent a fortune on WABI and it's still not a solution
one could recommend.  I'd be happy to be pleasantly surprised, of
course, but this particular panacea seems to be suffering from a
rather tarnished reputation these days.


   ] I worked for Lotus's UNIX porting group (where I worked on the ports
   ] of AmiPro [now Lotus Word] to the Sun and SCO platforms) and I can

   You mean "making Intel/DOS/Windows-centric code run"?  8-).

Of course.  You think a company that makes $2 billion dollars a year
off the Windows market and $300K off the UNIX market (real figures
from when I worked there) is going to pervert their code base at the
request of a few UNIX weenies?  Get real!  The windows weenies will be
the star programmers with their gold plated keyboards and $10K
development bonuses and the UNIX development weenies will be happy to
have jobs at all and take whatever they can get.  No amount of
up-front pleading for "porting awareness" will help, either, as market
forces will simply take over and feature after feature will creep into
the Windows product, making it a harder and harder target for
portability.  Even if the Windows programmers are best friends with
the UNIX programmers and utterly sympathetic, this will happen with
any substantial code base.  Market and deadline pressures will out
every time!

   I'd argue that the original code base was flawed.

I've worked probably 50 different contracts in my 18 year career (and
some 10 full-time positions) and I've yet to see a code base that
wasn't.  Reality striketh.

   You can bet Microsoft is suffering the same problems on transition
   to Windows NT.  The main reason that Windows programs aren't
   running on all the NT platforms instead of just the Intel ones
   is that Microsoft has their share of programmers that think:

Oh, I know.  I've even heard that Win95 suffers from a considerable
defection rate in the OS group from programmers who desperately want
to escape a 10 year old ball of mutant fur and get into the NT group
where at least things were more-or-less designed.  My heart bleeds for
them, really! :-)

   "Microsoft's problems" is another way of saying "competitor's
   opportunities".

Aw, they've got enough money that they merely need skim the cream off
the top of another 2 or 3 year's worth of CS graduate classes to get
through this temporary setback ("Come work for Microsoft, little boy!
It'll look great on your resume' and we'll give you nice this sack of
money, too!  C'mon, hop in the car!  It's just a short ride from
here!")

   You can't generalize about the possibility to create a successful
   UNIX desktop simply because UnixWare failed to do so (and not for
   technical reasons, at that).

I wasn't generalizing ONLY because UnixWare failed to do so, but you
have to admit that there aren't very many existing examples *to* point
to!  I thought I was being rather fair in not even mentioning SCO's
Open DeathTrap! :-)

   I think this was the argument to congress about Apollo after
   the fatal fire, and again about the shuttle after the fatal
   administrative decision to launch under conditions where success
   was impossible.

   Please *don't* make the same argument to the UNIX industry at
   large after the "fatal" UnixWare launch (which wasn't all that
   fatal, if you want to compare sales numbers with them).

Oh, I'm not.  The UNIX industry's problem was never one of
discouragement from lack of success, and I was only citing some
examples of how other attempts had gone south.  No, the UNIX
industry's problem was that they never even could agree on which
direction to point the rocket, much less how to build one, and a
jury-rigged and unfinished prototype sat on the launching pad for a
decade while groups of white coated engineers rolled around on the
grass, pulling one another's hair and screaming "The Moon?!  NO, NO,
Mars you idiot!  The rocket's going to Mars or I'm outta here!  Mars?!
Venus, you utter moron!  That's where the women are!"

Predictably, they all eventually wandered away, rubbing their bruises
and brushing mud out of their hair.  Some went off to work for the
ESA, launching much smaller rockets into low orbits, while others
elected to sit on their front porches drinking Jim Beam from the
bottle and launching bottle rockets from the empties.

					Jordan
-- 
- Jordan Hubbard
  President, FreeBSD Project

From: shapi...@craft.camp.clarkson.edu (Carl S. Shapiro)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/14
Message-ID: <4krrmj$dsu@library.erc.clarkson.edu>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147492107
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu> 
<NELSON.96Apr12112334@ns.crynwr.com>
followup-to: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy
organization: Clarkson University
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

Russell Nelson (nel...@ns.crynwr.com) wrote:

(stuff cut out)

: That's because they weren't working cooperatively.  What, pray tell,
: Jordan, prevents you from improving the flaws that you see in Linux,
: to the point where it is as good as FreeBSD or NetBSD or OpenBSD or
: 386BSD?

GPL?  Why should I have to give all of my work away for free?

(speaking for myself only)

From: Terry Lambert <te...@lambert.org>
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/14
Message-ID: <31718ED3.555EB900@lambert.org>
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comp.os.linux.advocacy
x-mailer: Mozilla 2.01 (X11; I; Linux 1.1.76 i486)

Jordan K. Hubbard wrote:
] 
] In article <31702487.420C2...@lambert.org> Terry Lambert
<te...@lambert.org> writes:
] 
]    This is hard; this is a political question.  My personal answer:
]    Motif.  It is the only standard GUI ratified by a UNIX standards
]    body, and it meets the additional requirement of being nearly
] 
] Sorry, Terry, but Motif (unlike X) is not free, and none of the clones
] are anywhere close to taking the place of the OSF distribution.
] 
] Yes, Motif can be had at a relatively low cost but it's still not
] something we can standardise on for the free operating systems when
] we've got the OSF sticking their hands out at the toll-booth saying
] "$60 royalty please!" every time someone downloads a copy of one of
] these OSs from their friendly neighborhood FTP server.

This is only true if you intend to distribute the build environment
or unlinked (or shared) libraries.

If you only distribute binaries, then there isn't a problem.

It's a relatively trivial exercise to thwart the intent of the
OSF license while upholding the spirt; like the GPL, one can
use an oblique approach to subvert it.

The easiest approach would be to establish a link server, where
you package up objects and local libaries, send them off to
someone with a license, and recieve linked images back.  You
could even automate the thing.  The binaries would be statically
linked and distributed by the person with the license to someone
who would redistribute them.

OSF couldn't stop this without damaging their revenue stream,
since it would require prohibiting commercial distribution
through resellers to effectively stop reapplication of the
technique.  Even then, they could only do it with new, not
existing, licensees.


] I'm sure that the distinction between a freely available
] windowing system and a non-freely available GUI standard
] isn't lost on you, and you yourself later say:
] 
]    standard that requires a buy-in to OSF to let you play.  Motif
]    is proprietary technology, and as such, should never have been
]    ratified by a standards body.  Either bench-packing or buyoffs

I myself also say that WIN32 shouldn't be a standard; what is
your point?  8-).

[ ... more irrelevent stuff, in the face of a link server ... ]


]    This one is easier; it is completely technical, and I have
]    tried to push it in a large number of commercial organizations,
]    including Novell USG (the former USL) without success:
] 
] This is NOT easy!  Easy-er, maybe, but all the stuff you outline blow
] has a tremendous development cost associated with it!  Maintaining DDX
] code for per-card drivers in the kernel?  YIKES!  Even assuming that
] we could find someone craz^H^H^H^Hmotivated enough to yank this
] screaming out of XFree86 and into the kernel (unless you have the
] temerity to suggest that all such development should be done from
] scratch!), it would be a never-ending responsibility as each new
] generation of cards came out, and some popular current-generation
] cards like the Matrox would probably never be supported.  This just
] moves the problem onto the one group of people (the OS hackers) who
] are the least motivated to solve it, rather than leaving it more
] comfortably with the graphics hackers who already populate the
] various X groups.

I guess that would depend on the approach used to "rip the code
out", and whether or not you could just take the XFree86 code
as it is generated and vendor-branch it.


]    2)   Implement "fallback drivers".  Such a driver is a
]            standard driver implemented on BIOS calls.  For
]            video, this is INT 10.  This will be sufficient
] 
] That's probably not such a bad idea for a wide variety of things (like
] disk drivers also), but as yet the work remains to be done and there
] isn't even anyone currently taking it up, AFAIK.  It's been on the
] wish list for almost 3 years now.

Yep.  I agree.  It's been long outstanding.  Like the lead of
commercial OS's in the potential market for desktop systems.


] Do bear in mind that my postings were attempting to describe the
] situation as it stands today, leavened with a healthy dose of realism
] about what we might hope to accomplish in the next 12 months or so.

A full 12 months?  With how many people with tree commit
priviledges, and how many more who submit code?

It's possible, it's just not probable because of the issue of
what motivates volunteer efforts.  People can complain about
things, but it's obvious that they don't *want* it badly
enough.

Like governments, which are also subject to change, people get
the dsoftware they deserve.  8-).


] No offense, but your postings always have a large element of the
] surreal to them (were you Franz Kafka in a previous life?) where you
] gesture wildly in all directions about highly theoretical solutions
] and many "if we just virtualize the frammis and re-implement the
] frotch code as a multi-layered, stackable protocol breemitch, it'll be
] trivial to..."  sorts of suggestions.  Left unanswered for me at the
] end of each reading is the rather bemused question of "Yeah, but WHO
] is going to do all that work?  Who?!"

So commit my patches and get out of the way.  8-|.  I'll be more
than happy to work on this sort of thing instead of working on
reintegrating my patches into -current on a daily basis because
of the inability of SUP or CTM to correctly integrate changes
without destroying the ability to maintain several local venodr
branched simultaneously.

The major bitch has always been "code maintenance" (of what should
only be considered intermediate code -- not final code) or "ability
to import future code from CSRG" (which happens to be a now-defunct
argument).


] One type of applied resource without the other is quite useless
] if it's your intention to actually produce a working prototype.


I have provided full header files and library stubs for a Motif
library, written from scratch from published documentation,
which is not a Motif replacement, since it can only run the first
3 chapters of the Young book examples.  It would, however, provide
sufficient information to someone about to submit a job to a link
server as to whether the link would be successful and the submission
should take place.

If you want to take the legally risky route and use Lesstif, which
was engineered with promiscuous knowledge of Motif itself, well,
it's nearing usability for a number of applications.  Otherwise,
a link server is an easy workaround.

I wrote a Sun shared library, which my employer deemed a competing
product and prevented me from releasing under my non-competition
agreement... but Jeffrey Hsu's work that helped me do that became
the basis if the GCC PIC capability, and forms the basis of the
current shared library code in BSD and Linux -- so I think I had
something to do with that.

I wrote the original LKM system for loading kernel modules in
BSD, even though the NetBSD camp picked up the code long before
the FreeBSD camp.

I fixed the file system instance initialization code (patches
yet to be integrated) so that file system interface extension
will actually work (instead of leaving off all VOP's after the
VOP's supported by UFS -- look at the current code initialization
and see if it traverses the vnode_if.c declared structure
elements or the ufs structure elements for initialization, if
you don't believe me).

I fixed the layering abstraction for namei() (which is still
broken in several fundamental but non-obvious ways, despite
my fixes) to enable multibyte character set support -- such as
is required for proper support of VFAT and NT file systems,
which use 16 bit Unicode for directory information.

I fixed the vfs_syscalls.c code to enable lock state recovery
for kernel reeentrancy for kernel multithreading and high grain
parallelism for SMP (also yet to be integrated because some people
don't want SMP changes in the main line code because they buy
into the *incorrect* idea that SMP must add overhead that can't
be compiled away to nothing).

I have participated in *countless* design and interface
discussions; I believe my participation has had positive
impact.

I put forth the framework for system state recovery on restart
(my first complaint about memory overcommit was over three years
ago) long ago.



I'd have to say I've done a bit more than "wave my hands".


]    Now let's talk about "magic install images".  Such an image is
]    a non-memory-overcommit (fd's are not strictly recoverable for
]    executables) APM save image of a sytem "just about to be
]    installed".
] 
] I'd need to see a prototype of this before I could even begin to
] believe there weren't 500 different "gotchas" still waiting to spring
] on the unwary implementor.

Nate Williams already has a prototype.  It's called the APM code
from the "BSD Nomads" group in Japan, and his own contributions
to the APM code and source integration.

Fundamentally, there is no difference betwen restoring machine
state from a disk image of saved state of the same machine, and
that of a different machine.

The difference is entirely in the abstraction of the save state
information from the processor-specific hardware methods that
must be used to implement the recovery on various systems.

Not having looked at the APM code, I can only say that from past
experience with Nate's code, I find it highly unlikely that he
has built his state-recovery code to be machine specific.



] You yourself well know that with the implementation of every
] new idea you have 10% of the development time spent in a
] frenzied blitz on the proof-of-concept ("Yay!  It's possible!
] It sort of works!") and 90% trying to actually make it work
] in enough cases to become a truly general solution.

I do *NOT* know that.  I *design* before I code.  The *one*
exception to which you can point is the hastily integrated
modular system startup code which I provided, which had too
many "goto"'s for some people who don't understand control
flow if they don't have to get into "vi" and use "%" to match
braces to see where a "break" will leave them instead of looking
for a goto label target.  I have *NOT* made the mistake of
offering prototype code for public inspection since that time;
the code I presented was *NOT* intended to be integrated.


[ ... ]

] Yeah, but you need to write this, first.  There *is* no easy to use
] control panel application for X, hence it's an education problem and
] will STAY an education problem until someone implements it.

FVWM has one.  FVWM is the MWM replacement you must use to avoid
royalty problems with use of Motif.  Two birds with one stone.


] Terry, again, you can't just explain every problem away with a glib
] "well, that's simple - just write a control panel and a nice paint
] program and a word processor and a device configuration utility and
] maybe one of those nifty event log display programs like NT has and
] and.. Geeze, what's your problem, Jordan?  The problems you raise are
] _trivial_ to solve!" :-)

I have been working on prototype control panel item code since
I discussed it in regard to fixing the damn "add disk" problem,
once and for all.

I have an account management tool that operates from a grammar
and provides a grammar-driven user interface that is a specific
instance of a class of interfaces, of which a disk management
tool is a member.  I also have a disk management tool that
operates from a grammar and is also an instance of the interface
class.

The same GUI front-end should be able to operate each using a pty
to interactively communicate with both tools.

The tools are also usable from the command line.

The tools are also usable as "one-shot" command line tools, which
is to say that the same shell-script front end should be usable
with both of them.

When the tools are done, I'll publish them.  Obviously, there may
need to be extensions to the GUI input grammar as more tools are
greated, but it is a good start.


]    X is a windows system, not a user interface.  Just like Unicode
] 
] Bingo!  Thank you, Terry.  Now that we've both agreed on that, we can
] try to find some nice non-proprietary solutions to the problem and
] hope that everyone is willing to sit patiently for the 2-5 man-years
] it will take to implement them?  You say my estimate is too long?
] Fine - prove me wrong, please! :-)

Your estimate is too long, if you start counting from today instead
of when the FreeBSD project started... and you promise not to
actively oppose progress in this direction.


[ ... ]

] Judges say:
]         SMTP != MAPI.  SMTP is a different level of interface,
]         and the presence of SMTP alone does very little to give
]         an application which "just wishes to send some mail" an
]         *easy* way of doing it.

Feel free to argue with Garrett about whether UNIX needs a common
mailbox interface; I don't seem to be getting anywhere.  For that
matter, feel free to argue with yourself about the POSIX print
interface (Athena Palladium) I wanted to have integrated for an
application that "just wishes to print s document".

]         If you'd read the MAPI spec there would be no way in
]         heck you'd even have tried to compare them - it's like
]         saying the Flintstones' cars have an ABS braking system
]         because they can always just lift their feet up if the
]         cars start skidding! :-)

If you'd ever used MAPI... you wouldn't be trying to sell it as a
"must have" checkbox line item.


]         SQL != ODBC.  SQL is a query language and ODBC is a set
]         of standard API calls that an application can make
]         directly to an underlying database.  Creating SQL queries
]         programmatically, or even using embeded SQL and a
]         precompiler, is a whole 'nother bear and not even
]         close to the ODBC API.


1)	An ESQL precompiler is downloadable as sample code for
	the O'REilly "lex & yacc" book.  Source is on ftp.uu.net.

2)	A UNIX implementation of ODBC was posted to the group
	comp.unix.sources last year.  You can pick it up from
	ftp.uu.net whenyou pick up the ESQL precompiler.


]         I won't even try to refute your contention that OLE has
]         anything which merits a direct comparison to standard
]         IPC or even a language like REXX (which is hardly a
]         UNIX standard to the degree that OLE is for Windows
]         - only AREXX for the Amiga ever even came close to
]         this degree of wide acceptance).

[ rrrt rrrt -- specious argument alert "It's not a standard NOW!
  We can't ever use it!" -- rrrt rrrt ]

OLE is an IPC facility which requires OLE servers to be written
for each type of IPC.  If you had ever been on a project that
needed to communicate information to the Windows95 system
monitoring agent, or be controlled by the scheduling agent,
you'd know that it wasn't as simple as "call this API with the
magic arguments".



]    UNIX has two types of standards: good ones (defacto) and bad ones
]    (industry mandated for the purposes of competitive advantage).
] 
] Maybe we just have a highly different definition of the word
] "standard" here.  I define a standard as something that's widely
] embraced by vendor, user and application provider alike - not merely
] something published as a white paper and widely agreed to be a good
] idea by all the programmers and perhaps a couple of the ISVs who read
] it.


A mandated standard is one which has been ratified by a standards
body.  A defacto standard is one which may or may not have been
ratified, but which has achieved common usage on technical merit.

If you want to argue technical merit of some defacto standards, I
will, but be warned that we are already dangerously close to being
off-topic already.

Standards embraced by vendors are, by definition of "embraced by
vendors", something whose only purpose is to increase the vendors
income.

In general, a vendor is likely to embrace a proprietary standard
(ie: Novell's "POSIX compliant printing... with extensions", or
Motif, or streams, etc.) if they believe it cuts someone out of
the market.

From a vendors perspective, it is better to lock someone into
buying your product than it is to be selling a commodity.  The
UNIX vendors have traditionally fought *hard* to prevent the
commoditization of their market.  Once commoditized, a market
operates on who can provide the commodity at the lowest margin
to themselves.  Standards are used by vendors as tools to prevent
commoditization.

 
] Motif is only a "standard" because the users were so tired of the
] bitter infighting ("the GUI wars") that they would have sold their
] souls to the devil if he'd only come along with a contract promising
] to lead them out of the combat zone and give them ONE set of UI
] guidelines to follow.  As history shows, that's also exactly what
] they did.

So what are you planning on charging them, now that the credit
balance on their souls is dangerously low?

] I don't really see any other standards worth talking about in
] the UNIX world today (Unix95?  Oh great, *another* standard
] that you have to pay a lot of money for the privilege of
] adopting!) so this will be a very short argument.

I agree with that particular statement (no surprise; I've made
the same statement myself re: standardization of proprietary
technology).

]    ] The fact is that it's already too late for UNIX on the desktop.
] 
]    You sound like Kanwahl Rheki in a meeting I attended at Novell
]    right before he (ahem) "left Novell to pursue other opportunities".
] 
] Hah, he's not the only one!  Lotus' director of UNIX development
] started his keynote address at the Irish Unix User's Group with those
] very same words.  I'm sure Kanwahl left because he didn't much like
] the role of Cassandra - right and despised for it nonetheless.

Oh yes, these people must be right... that's why Excel is eating
Lotus for lunch and Word is eating Word Perfect, and NT Server
is eating Novell.  Because it's a lost cause, and there is no
room in the market for anyone but Microsoft, so we all might
as well atttend their developer conferences and let them tell us
what software the deign beneath their dignity to write.

Sorry, but Fuedal lordship went out in the middle ages, and I'll
be damned if I'll play serf or grant Microsoft ownership of the
table.


]    I remember him making a similar statement about UNIX on the
]    desktop, after which I raised my hand and asked "What *NOVELL*
]    operating system will people be running on their desktop, then,
]    if not UnixWare?".  To which he replied Novell USG would be
]    concentrating on application servers.
] 
] I don't understand that statement at all.  Novell didn't *have* a
] desktop operating system, so what?  You raising your hand and saying
] "I see an orange, a drugged hamster and a pound of Earl Grey tea here
] on the table - which are we going to use in our fight against crime?"
] would have made just about as much surrealistic sense.  Novell didn't
] have a desktop strategy, never had a desktop strategy (that they ever
] showed the world in any significant way, anyway, and their brief,
] aborted affair with UNIX hardly counts) and probably never WILL have
] a desktop strategy.  They made their money selling network servers
] and that's really the only market they understand.  Duh.  You groom
] a whole legion of executives to go out and try to dominate the
] network connectivity market, it's hardly a surprise that their
] vision becomes narrowed.

The meeting was an announcement of a press release that Novell
was getting out of the UNIX desktop market.  Contextually, the
question was supposed to read as "so you are bending over for
Bill without a fight?"

I think if I were a Microsoft empoyee, and I saw something
stupid happening, I'd be *obligated* to yell "Hey! Something
stupid is happening!  Come see the stupidity inherent in the
system!".


I think it's pretty obvious that DR-DOS was an attempt to
play "spoiler" for the DOS market -- it's what led to Windows95.
If you can't buy Windows 3.1, then you can't use DR-DOS.

It's not surrealism to say that opportunity to dethrone Microsoft
existed, or even that it still exists.

Your picture of Novell as "the monolithic well-oiled machine with
galley slaves who only know how to row in one direction, making
it a formiddable juggernaut, but only if you are in its path" is
absurd.

Novell has always operated via shotgun -- at least under Ray
Noorda -- shoot a lot of bullets in a direction, and market the
one that hits the target.

Novell under Noorda was the Menlow Park of the software industry;
internal competition was rampant.


Microsoft, on the other extreme, is the Japan of software.  They
are "the first to be second".  Bill, unlike most management, has
obviously read Demming, and profitted mightily by it.

All you have to do is look at their products: those that they
produced as improved versions of what was "there first" have
flourished: Word, Excel, etc..  Those that have been original
to them, or developed simultaneously without knowledge of their
competition have languished... Money being the most recent example.

People who say Bill was "lucky" and "at the right place at the
right time" are correct.  He *was*  he got a goot break.  Those
who blame all of his success on that, though, are sadly mistaken.


Netscape has followed the same formula: it's a better Mosaic.

It's easy to make money with that formula, if that's where your
head is at.


This whole discussion of a desktop UNIX is predicated on the idea
of being abetter desktop than the existing desktop.

Look at a partial cash-in chain for Microsoft:

Lucky break		->	DOS
MacOS			->	Windows, a better MacOS than MacOS
				(better because of commodity
				 hardware, not technology)
OS/2 Warp		->	Windows95, a bettter Warp than Warp
UNIX			->	NT, a better UNIX than UNIX
NetWare			->	NT, a better server than NetWare
Excel			->	A better Lotus than Lotus
Word			->	A better WordPerfect than WordPerfect
...



]    Hmmmmmmm... Ray Noorda left after that statement, and less than
]    a month later the group that later broke away to become Caldera
]    came into existance... hmmmmmmmm.
] 
] Naw, that was the Bavarian Illuminati at work, Terry!  They contacted
] Ray and threatened to show him compromising pictures of Ross Perot's
] daughter if he didn't resign - it's a conspiracy, I tell you! :-)

Left the meeting, not the company.  Caldera was an internal Novell
group for a *long* time.


]    With due respect, anyone who portrays a technical market as
]    "impenetrable" or "already won by the competition" is a jackass
]    who is going to drive your product into the toilet.
] 
] And anyone who tries to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear will find
] themselves holding a bloody scrap of flesh with little resale value.
] Can we stop spouting the meaningless aphorisms now? :-)

I will if you will.


]    Porting cost is a function of developmental architecture and
]    approach to implementation.
] 
]    Most modern GUI builders are causing this gap to widen, but it
]    boils down to programmers who don't understand portability
]    issues, and attempts to salvage sales from legacy markets.
] 
] Thanks for the engineering lesson, Terry.  However, we still have to
] live in the real world and if you strongly think that you have any
] chance of re-educating the world-wide base of programmers then I can
] only suggest that you start a training company and give seminars!
] You'll make a bloody fortune.  Until then, certain mistakes will
] continue to be made and we'll be faced with the limitations that come
] out of same.


Is this the same advice you gave Stallman?  8-).


]    ] I worked for Lotus's UNIX porting group (where I worked on
]    ] the ports of AmiPro [now Lotus Word] to the Sun and SCO
]    ] platforms) and I can
] 
]    You mean "making Intel/DOS/Windows-centric code run"?  8-).
] 
] Of course.  You think a company that makes $2 billion dollars a year
] off the Windows market and $300K off the UNIX market (real figures
] from when I worked there) is going to pervert their code base at the
] request of a few UNIX weenies?  Get real!  The windows weenies will be
] the star programmers with their gold plated keyboards and $10K
] development bonuses and the UNIX development weenies will be happy to
] have jobs at all and take whatever they can get.  No amount of
] up-front pleading for "porting awareness" will help, either, as
] market forces will simply take over and feature after feature will
] creep into the Windows product, making it a harder and harder
] target for portability.  Even if the Windows programmers are best
] friends with the UNIX programmers and utterly sympathetic, this
] will happen with any substantial code base.  Market and deadline
] pressures will out every time!

This is short term thinking at its worst.

It may or may not be desirable to "appease the UNIX weenies", but
the issues of "portability awareness" are exactly what murdered
WordPerfect when Microsoft released "Word for Windows".  And before
that, what murdered "WordStar" when "WordPerfect for DOS" was
released.

And the same issues are exactly what's murdering NT on non-Intel
platforms.

If you are an app developer who has read this far, take note!  WIN32
is *not* the last API you will see in your product's life cycle!


]    I'd argue that the original code base was flawed.
] 
] I've worked probably 50 different contracts in my 18 year career (and
] some 10 full-time positions) and I've yet to see a code base that
] wasn't.  Reality striketh.

Work on a new product (even if its spec is copied from a spec for
a competitors product), and you'll only see that happen if the
people in charge are screwups.

People like that don't stay in charge long; either they are found
out, and not placed in control of future products, or their company
comes deflating around their ears.  Either way, they are out of
there.


]    You can bet Microsoft is suffering the same problems on transition
]    to Windows NT.  The main reason that Windows programs aren't
]    running on all the NT platforms instead of just the Intel ones
]    is that Microsoft has their share of programmers that think:
] 
] Oh, I know.  I've even heard that Win95 suffers from a considerable
] defection rate in the OS group from programmers who desperately want
] to escape a 10 year old ball of mutant fur and get into the NT group
] where at least things were more-or-less designed.  My heart bleeds for
] them, really! :-)

Funny; that's just what the former NT 3.x release manager I was
talking to Thursday night said...

]    "Microsoft's problems" is another way of saying "competitor's
]    opportunities".
] 
] Aw, they've got enough money that they merely need skim the cream off
] the top of another 2 or 3 year's worth of CS graduate classes to get
] through this temporary setback ("Come work for Microsoft, little boy!
] It'll look great on your resume' and we'll give you nice this sack of
] money, too!  C'mon, hop in the car!  It's just a short ride from
] here!")

Please see above; the NT problem is endemic.  It is not "just a
slump" to be worked through.  THe problem will lessen (on Intel,
anyway), as Windows95 forces the move to WIN32 API's in replacements
for legacy apps.  Given that the average life-cycle of a computer
in a business is just over 2 years, I expect that to be sooner than
you might think.

]    You can't generalize about the possibility to create a successful
]    UNIX desktop simply because UnixWare failed to do so (and not for
]    technical reasons, at that).
] 
] I wasn't generalizing ONLY because UnixWare failed to do so, but you
] have to admit that there aren't very many existing examples *to* point
] to!

That's because success displaces competition.  It's the same
rationale at work that prevents everyone from going to a GNU
paradigm: there is only room for one Cygnus-type-business for
each GPL'ed "product".  Just so in the regular marketplace,
if all you consider is majority marketshares.

The only examples I could point to are all refutable at some
later date because the marketshare is about equal only because
that particular market is still in flux.  Check back in 6 to 9
months (guaranteeing 2 quarterly reports) for a clear winner
in any market currently in flux.


] I thought I was being rather fair in not even mentioning SCO's
] Open DeathTrap! :-)

ODT was more than usable on Xenix.  SCO's Federal Systems
Division threw away all of SCO's performance gains in Xenix
when they switched to SVR3 in order to meet the SVID compliance
CLIN's on AFCAC 451 and Desktop III (I was there for the bidding
process on those contracts as a subcontracted company with a
product for bundling to satisfy some unrelated CLIN's).  ODT
was strangled by SCO, not SCO's competition in the desktop
market, or the inherent inpenetrability of the desktop market
itself.  They underestimated the time required for hardware
to speed up and thus speed their software.  It was a risk
cut too close to the edge of the performance balloon.  ODT's
failures make no commentary on the desktop market as a whole.

You take risks, and sometimes you pay dearly for the attempt.
ODT was "one of thsoe times".


] Oh, I'm not.  The UNIX industry's problem was never one of
] discouragement from lack of success, and I was only citing some
] examples of how other attempts had gone south.  No, the UNIX
] industry's problem was that they never even could agree on which
] direction to point the rocket, much less how to build one, and a
] jury-rigged and unfinished prototype sat on the launching pad for a
] decade while groups of white coated engineers rolled around on the
] grass, pulling one another's hair and screaming "The Moon?!  NO, NO,
] Mars you idiot!  The rocket's going to Mars or I'm outta here!  Mars?!
] Venus, you utter moron!  That's where the women are!"

A cute analogy, but hardly apt.  You might as well claim the
"8088 OS industry" to be a single lump, and claim it never got
anywhere because Microsoft is successful and Digital Research
isn't.

There is no intrinsic barrier to a single competitor taking over
the market; the nature of the universe does not impose such a
limitation.  NeXT failed because of technical errors and adherence
to the "proprietary hardware, proprietary OS" philosophy that was
so successful for Jobs at Apple.  He was attempting "formula
innovation", and it failed because Apple was in the "lucky break"
category for Jobs, the same as DOS was for Gates.  Apple lucked
out by getting their foot in the door before the IBM PC was
a usable machine.  They haven't had more than their lower leg
inside the door since.  Now they are relaxing (not dropping)
the proprietary hardware requirement -- saying "Telegram!" instead
of "Landshark!". 

Gates would have been just as unsuccessful at introducing another
product based on mistaking his DOS success for a successful formula
(it's only fantastic effort on the post-facto bridge product
Windows 95, and NT's positioning as a NetWare and UNIX competitor
that has kept NT from falling down that slope).


In any case I agree with Mary.  Opportunity exists, even if the
free (or even the commercial) UNIX implementations refuse to
recognize it as such.


					Regards,
                                        Terry Lambert
                                        te...@lambert.org
---
Any opinions in this posting are my own and not those of my present
or previous employers.

From: nel...@ns.crynwr.com (Russell Nelson)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/15
Message-ID: <NELSON.96Apr15000449@ns.crynwr.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147532285
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu>
organization: Crynwr Software
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <4krrmj$...@library.erc.clarkson.edu> shapi...@craft.camp.clarkson.edu 
(Carl S. Shapiro) writes:

> Russell Nelson (nel...@ns.crynwr.com) wrote:
> 
> (stuff cut out)
> 
> : That's because they weren't working cooperatively.  What, pray tell,
> : Jordan, prevents you from improving the flaws that you see in Linux,
> : to the point where it is as good as FreeBSD or NetBSD or OpenBSD or
> : 386BSD?

Hey Carl, how do?  You're exactly one of the FreeBSD contributors I'm
thinking of.  You have a laundry list of Linux shortcomings.  Linux
has the market share and mind share that NONE of the *BSD* operating
systems have.  That's why Linux is the only free operating system with
any chance of overcoming any Microsoft operating system.  So fix the
laundry list.

> GPL?  Why should I have to give all of my work away for free?

If you contribute to *BSD, you do exactly that.  It's essentially
impossible (unmanagably large problem) to have an operating system
with a large number of significant copyright holders, distribute the
code in any proprietary manner, and compensate the copyright holders.
The Linux kernel uses the GPL, and the *BSD kernels use the BSD
license, to bypass that problem.  What is the actual (not perceived)
difference?

Yes, you can use the BSD-licensed code to build a proprietary,
distributable solution, but then you're not contributing to free
software.

-- 
-russ <nel...@crynwr.com>    http://www.crynwr.com/~nelson
Crynwr Software   | Crynwr Software sells packet driver support | PGP ok
11 Grant St.      | +1 315 268 1925 voice | If you would seek peace, 
Potsdam, NY 13676 | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   | first seek freedom

From: nel...@ns.crynwr.com (Russell Nelson)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/15
Message-ID: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147540162
organization: Crynwr Software
cc: j...@time.cdrom.com (Jordan K. Hubbard)
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

   From: j...@time.cdrom.com (Jordan K. Hubbard)
   Date: 12 Apr 1996 18:05:08 -0700

   In article <NELSON.96Apr12112...@ns.crynwr.com> nel...@ns.crynwr.com 
(Russell Nelson) writes:

   As bad as it is, and you've already somewhat disqualified yourself
   from really judging it anyway since you're clearly a UNIX power user
   and NOT an average Joe.

I don't think you understand the problem here, Jordan.  The problem is
not "which is easier to use?".  This question is technically
answerable, however, the answer is meaningless.  The problem is that
Microsoft has complete mindshare.  People don't evaluate which
operating system is better than another.  People just go buy a
computer, and they use whatever operating system comes with it.

If they could buy a computer with Linux and (a fully functional) Wine
installed, they would use it with no hesitation.

In order to create a market for Linux, we need to say, and say again,
that Linux is THE ONLY RELIABLE 32-bit desktop operating system.  The
only other choices simply are not up to the task.  This is not about
stating what is, but about what should be.

THIS IS HOW MICROSOFT MARKETS ITS PRODUCTS.  Why do you think there
was sooooo much hype about win95?  It's because there HAD to have
been, otherwise people might start evaluating operating systems.

Now, given that we have to use the same weapon to win the war, where
do we start?  Do we try to introduce the idea that there are multiple
free 32-bit operating systems?  No.  This is a bad marketing idea.
Bad, bad, bad.  It confuses people.  There is room for only one free
32-bit operating system.  Which is it to be, Linux or *BSD*?  Linux
already has a big head start, given that there have been Linux
conferences and a Linux magazine, and multiple companies distributing
competitive versions of Linux (but it's always Linux).  You could
throw away the head start of Linux, but that would be foolish.  Much
better to line up everyone behind Linux, and march to Seattle.

This might sound like bullshit to you, but that's okay, because it's
marketing.  Technoids traditionally do not understand marketing, or
the value of it.

      Nope.  There is only one Unix for the desktop: Linux.

   Oh please, give me a break.  Repeat after me: There is NO UNIX for the
   desktop...

Nope.  You've got it exactly backwards.  There is only one modern,
reliable, supported, supportable 32-bit operating system for the
desktop: Linux.  We need to shout this from the rooftops.  This is not
blind advocacy, this is a CRUCIAL step to overcoming the Microsoft
hegemony.

   Trust me, I keep a *very* close eye on what Linux is doing, being
   responsible as I am for FreeBSD's installation, and the holy grail
   Linux most definitely ain't.  Yes, there are some very nice features
   in RedHat and Slackware and I'll probably be adopting more than a few
   of their installation features into FreeBSD, but that's like saying
   that we've all got this rutted, single lane dirt road and I've noticed
   that RedHat just put down some gravel and am thinking of doing the
   same thing for FreeBSD's stretch of it.  Meanway, the 8 lane paved
   superhighway of Windows runs next door with bumper-to-bumper traffic
   while we wave at the occasional passing car moving cautiously at 30Mph
   to avoid the potholes as it moves down our road.

See?  Again and again you address technical issues.  Technical issues,
in general, don't matter.

But you didn't answer my question: what is wrong with Linux that you
cannot fix?

-- 
-russ <nel...@crynwr.com>    http://www.crynwr.com/~nelson
Crynwr Software   | Crynwr Software sells packet driver support | PGP ok
11 Grant St.      | +1 315 268 1925 voice | If you would seek peace, 
Potsdam, NY 13676 | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   | first seek freedom

From: dy...@inuxs.inh.att.com (John S. Dyson)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/15
Message-ID: <4ktpn0$34v@nntpb.cb.att.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147608248
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <NELSON.96Apr12112334@ns.crynwr.com> 
<4krrmj$dsu@library.erc.clarkson.edu> <NELSON.96Apr15000449@ns.crynwr.com>
organization: AT&T
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <NELSON.96Apr15000...@ns.crynwr.com>,
Russell Nelson <nel...@ns.crynwr.com> wrote:
>
>Yes, you can use the BSD-licensed code to build a proprietary,
>distributable solution, but then you're not contributing to free
>software.
>
Implied in your statement, with GPL you are giving away part of your
options...  That is the reason for BSD and modified BSD copyrights
(which some of the FreeBSD developers are embracing now...  BSD copyrights
with even fewer restrictions and less verbiage.)

John
dy...@freebsd.org

From: dy...@inuxs.inh.att.com (John S. Dyson)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/15
Message-ID: <4ktpup$361@nntpb.cb.att.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147608270
references: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com>
organization: AT&T
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <NELSON.96Apr15010...@ns.crynwr.com>,
Russell Nelson <nel...@ns.crynwr.com> wrote:
>
>See?  Again and again you address technical issues.  Technical issues,
>in general, don't matter.
>
They do if a system is dog slow, or really inept.

>
>But you didn't answer my question: what is wrong with Linux that you
>cannot fix?
>
GPL, in many cases.  Some would argue the free BSD copyrights are,
that is where alot of the division comes in.  I would have been tempted
to work on Linux, except for the GPL issue...

John
dy...@freebsd.org

From: j...@time.cdrom.com (Jordan K. Hubbard)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/15
Message-ID: <yfgbuktfn1w.fsf@time.cdrom.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147620584
sender: j...@time.cdrom.com
references: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com>
organization: The FreeBSD Project
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <NELSON.96Apr15010...@ns.crynwr.com> nel...@ns.crynwr.com 
(Russell Nelson) writes:

   I don't think you understand the problem here, Jordan.  The problem is
   not "which is easier to use?".  This question is technically
   answerable, however, the answer is meaningless.  The problem is that
   Microsoft has complete mindshare.  People don't evaluate which

I don't think there there's any single problem to point to, Russell.
UNIX is not as easy to use, fact.  Its adherants have spent more
energy in fighting one another than in redressing that balance, fact.
Microsoft has a marketing juggernaut that could sell processed fecal
waste and call it milk chocolate, fact.  We're both right, so what?

   If they could buy a computer with Linux and (a fully functional) Wine
   installed, they would use it with no hesitation.

That's a pretty sweeping statement, and even so predicated on one very
large "if" at the beginning.  That and statements like "if I just had
a hundred million dollars.." won't buy a cup of coffee.

   In order to create a market for Linux, we need to say, and say again,
   that Linux is THE ONLY RELIABLE 32-bit desktop operating system.  The
   only other choices simply are not up to the task.  This is not about
   stating what is, but about what should be.

Sorry, but that's just totally inane.  Even if I agreed that Linux was
all you claim it to be, and I most definitely do not, who's to say
that I find the existing situation of competition between the various
free software camps to be in any way undesirable?  You think we'd have
the same motivation to move as far and as fast without such a healthy
degree of competition?  If you think that volunteers will line up
around the block just for for the privilege of getting a shot in at
Microsoft then you're not a very good judge of people and certainly
not someone who's been dealing with the OS volunteer community for
very long.  People do things for widely different reasons, and if they
were motivated solely by a desire to beat the commercial products at
their own game then I can assure you that you'd see the proof of this
in a wholly different variety of contributions out there.

   Now, given that we have to use the same weapon to win the war, where
   do we start?  Do we try to introduce the idea that there are multiple

Who says we do?  Who says it would even *work* for us?  We're not
Microsoft, and we don't have an army of people who are paid to indulge
in every form of slimey propaganda campaign known to man - trying to
suggest that we can beat them simply by adopting their tactics is sort
of like saying that the war in Bosnia could be easily solved by giving
one side nukes and biological weapons.  What works for one group of
people in one situation may be wholly inappropriate for another.

   Bad, bad, bad.  It confuses people.  There is room for only one free
   32-bit operating system.  Which is it to be, Linux or *BSD*?  Linux

I don't accept this premise at all, so the rest of our argument is
pretty much moot.

   But you didn't answer my question: what is wrong with Linux that you
   cannot fix?

Because you didn't ask the right question.  The right question is:

"What is wrong with Linux that I and a goodly number of the people I
work with WANT to fix?"

And the answer is, of course, nothing.  I like Linux just the way it
is, and I hope that the people working on it continue to make
progress.  For my own tastes, it's not a solution I care to embrace
because my tastes are simply different.  I prefer a different type of
organization, a different copyright, a different group of people to
work with.  Vive la difference!  Just because I happen to admire a set
of silken undergarnments on a member of the opposite sex by no means
implies that I have any desire to wear such things myself (though
maybe that will change once I'm older and kinkier - I'll leave my
options open :-).

					Jordan
-- 
- Jordan Hubbard
  President, FreeBSD Project

From: j...@time.cdrom.com (Jordan K. Hubbard)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/15
Message-ID: <yfgd959fo96.fsf@time.cdrom.com>
X-Deja-AN: 147620648
sender: j...@time.cdrom.com
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu>
organization: The FreeBSD Project
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <31718ED3.555EB...@lambert.org> Terry Lambert <te...@lambert.org> 
writes:

   [How to let developers generate Motif binaries]

   The easiest approach would be to establish a link server, where
   you package up objects and local libaries, send them off to
   someone with a license, and recieve linked images back.  You

I'm sure glad I haven't had breakfast yet, that's all I can say.  What
an unbelievably byzantine suggestion!  Even assuming that a _usable_
infrastructure for this could be set up, what about the adverse impact
that this would have on the compile-edit-test cycle?  For a final
production binary I could almost see being willing to go through such
a process, but for the development "hmmm, move this widget a little
more to the right" stages, it'd be utter horror and a turn-off of the
first magnitude.  Since I doubt we'd be getting a copy of UIM/X free
with this either, you're also talking a lot of hand-coded interfaces
or a project-before-the-project where a UI builder is written.

Sorry, but this whole Motif scenario just won't cut it.  It'd be like
demanding that your runners all run in leg irons and pass a piano
instead of a baton.

   I wrote a Sun shared library, which my employer deemed a competing
   product and prevented me from releasing under my non-competition
   agreement... but Jeffrey Hsu's work that helped me do that became

OK, OK, so you've done MORE than just theorize.  For the record, I
also never said that your contributions where dedicated solely to the
theoretical, simply that THESE suggestions were far more to that side
of the line than most.

   I do *NOT* know that.  I *design* before I code.  The *one*

And your resulting product therefore has no bugs?  A (cough)
impressive achievement!

   ] control panel application for X, hence it's an education problem and
   ] will STAY an education problem until someone implements it.

   FVWM has one.  FVWM is the MWM replacement you must use to avoid
   royalty problems with use of Motif.  Two birds with one stone.

FVWM is not a control panel app in the same way that Win95's is (and
that WAS the basis of my comparison).  There are no global font
selectors or background wallpaper editors or color scheme selectors or
any of those things.  FVWM is a *window manager*, not a session
manager.

   If you'd ever used MAPI... you wouldn't be trying to sell it as a
   "must have" checkbox line item.

I never did!  I simply said that Windows had all of these various
standards for which UNIX had no clear counterparts.  I stand by that
assertion, but I don't necessarily say that we have to implement the
same braindead standards, simply that ours would do well to be so damn
ubiquitous.

   So what are you planning on charging them, now that the credit
   balance on their souls is dangerously low?

Nothing - my best advice would be that they simply file for spiritual
bankruptcy at this point. :-)

   is eating Novell.  Because it's a lost cause, and there is no
   room in the market for anyone but Microsoft, so we all might
   as well atttend their developer conferences and let them tell us
   what software the deign beneath their dignity to write.

   Sorry, but Fuedal lordship went out in the middle ages, and I'll
   be damned if I'll play serf or grant Microsoft ownership of the
   table.

And if you'd really studied your Feudal history you'd see that people
picked their battles carefully if they wished to continue to hold sway
over certain areas of the landscape.  You'd accomplish nothing by
running 300 naked Picts against a line of massed archers, for example,
though you might do better training them in insurrectional warfare and
sending small groups into the cities during the day to worry and
harass the enemy, forcing him to garrison valuable troops in static
positions.

There's very little to be gained by taking on Microsoft in the areas
in which it's strongest, though perhaps a considerable amount to be
won by going for their achilles heels.  The drubbing they've taken in
the networking arena is an object lesson.  Those who attempted to
field competing desktop standards were crushed, while those that ran
around the side with a whole new paradigm that Bill was too busy or
blind to see have made a mint.

Don't try and convince me to charge into the cannons here just because
you don't like the idea of losing this *particular* battle!

   I think if I were a Microsoft empoyee, and I saw something
   stupid happening, I'd be *obligated* to yell "Hey! Something
   stupid is happening!  Come see the stupidity inherent in the
   system!".

You'd only be branded a trouble-maker and booted out.  Now if you
yelled "Hey!  I have a stupid idea!  Come see the stupidity inherent
in my idea!" they'd make you management.

   Novell has always operated via shotgun -- at least under Ray
   Noorda -- shoot a lot of bullets in a direction, and market the
   one that hits the target.

That must be why they've been forced to sell so many of his
experiments off at a loss.. :-)

   Is this the same advice you gave Stallman?  8-).

I learned not to give advice to Stallman years ago.. :-)

   This is short term thinking at its worst.

And utterly endemic to this industry.  Don Quixote I'm not, sorry.

   In any case I agree with Mary.  Opportunity exists, even if the
   free (or even the commercial) UNIX implementations refuse to
   recognize it as such.

I'm not unconvinced of this, I'm simply not quite in agreement with
you as to where those opportunities lie.

					Jordan
-- 
- Jordan Hubbard
  President, FreeBSD Project

From: nel...@ns.crynwr.com (Russell Nelson)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/15
Message-ID: <NELSON.96Apr15173839@ns.crynwr.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147678334
references: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com> <yfgbuktfn1w.fsf@time.cdrom.com>
organization: Crynwr Software
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <yfgbuktfn1w....@time.cdrom.com> j...@time.cdrom.com 
(Jordan K. Hubbard) writes:

> You think we'd have the same motivation to move as far and as fast
> without such a healthy degree of competition?

Depends on who you think you're competing with.  You're competing with
Linux.  I'm competing with Windows.

>    But you didn't answer my question: what is wrong with Linux that you
>    cannot fix?
> 
> Because you didn't ask the right question.  The right question is:
> 
> "What is wrong with Linux that I and a goodly number of the people I
> work with WANT to fix?"
> 
> And the answer is, of course, nothing.  I like Linux just the way it
> is, and I hope that the people working on it continue to make
> progress.  For my own tastes, it's not a solution I care to embrace
> because my tastes are simply different.  I prefer a different type of
> organization, a different copyright, a different group of people to
> work with.

Right, and I think you're wasting your time.  But that's because
you've given up the good fight.  *BSD will never amount to a hill of
beans with an attitude like that.

"We can't win; let's not try." is the attitiude of a luser.  I
wouldn't hire you to sweep my floor, Jordan.  Well, maybe *just* to
sweep my floor.  But I'd be sure to inspect your work afterwards.

-- 
-russ <nel...@crynwr.com>    http://www.crynwr.com/~nelson
Crynwr Software   | Crynwr Software sells packet driver support | PGP ok
11 Grant St.      | +1 315 268 1925 voice | If you would seek peace, 
Potsdam, NY 13676 | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   | first seek freedom

From: j...@time.cdrom.com (Jordan K. Hubbard)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/16
Message-ID: <yfg68b0fpqo.fsf@time.cdrom.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147764454
sender: j...@time.cdrom.com
references: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com>
organization: The FreeBSD Project
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <NELSON.96Apr15173...@ns.crynwr.com> nel...@ns.crynwr.com 
(Russell Nelson) writes:

   Depends on who you think you're competing with.  You're competing with
   Linux.  I'm competing with Windows.

That competition is in your mind, Russell.  If anyone's been spouting
rabidly competetive religious babble here, it has not been I!

   Right, and I think you're wasting your time.  But that's because
   you've given up the good fight.  *BSD will never amount to a hill of
   beans with an attitude like that.

An attitude like WHAT, Russell?  What's so hard to understand here?  I
want to keep working on my own project, a project in which I've
invested 3 years of my life and in which I fundamentally believe.  I
refuse to believe in your religion, however, so I'm an infidel who
must be scorned and insulted.  Great, I commend you on your
clear-headed and tolerant attitude (not!).

   "We can't win; let's not try." is the attitiude of a luser.  I
   wouldn't hire you to sweep my floor, Jordan.  Well, maybe *just* to
   sweep my floor.  But I'd be sure to inspect your work afterwards.

You're wrong, of course.  I think we can win certain things, just not
necessarily win the battles YOU want to win and or with YOUR choice of
weapons.  Clearly I feel that there's something here to be won (though
that's not the desktop) or I wouldn't be DOING this, Russell.  I also
give the Linux world full credit for doing things their way and making
the progress they have, such a pity that you seem constitutionally
unable to grant me the same courtesy.

However, I think the time for reasoning with you is long past here.
You've clearly run out of meaningful things to say and have fallen to
the last refuge of cheap insults and off-hand comments about how you
wouldn't hire me to sweep floors, conveniently neglecting for the
moment the fact that A) I'd never stoop to working for someone like
you in any capacity, and B) I'm probably a lot more likely to see your
resume' cross my desk than you're likely to see mine.  Your childish
remarks ensure that I'll be sure and file yours in the right place,
should that time ever come.. :-)

					Jordan
-- 
- Jordan Hubbard
  President, FreeBSD Project

From: nel...@ns.crynwr.com (Russell Nelson)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/16
Message-ID: <NELSON.96Apr16100200@ns.crynwr.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147791298
references: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com> <yfgbuktfn1w.fsf@time.cdrom.com>
organization: Crynwr Software
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <yfg68b0fpqo....@time.cdrom.com> j...@time.cdrom.com 
(Jordan K. Hubbard) writes:

> You're wrong, of course.  I think we can win certain things, just not
> necessarily win the battles YOU want to win and or with YOUR choice of
> weapons.  Clearly I feel that there's something here to be won (though
> that's not the desktop) or I wouldn't be DOING this, Russell.  I also
> give the Linux world full credit for doing things their way and making
> the progress they have, such a pity that you seem constitutionally
> unable to grant me the same courtesy.

We must win the desktop.  You disagree.  Oh well.

-- 
-russ <nel...@crynwr.com>    http://www.crynwr.com/~nelson
Crynwr Software   | Crynwr Software sells packet driver support | PGP ok
11 Grant St.      | +1 315 268 1925 voice | If you would seek peace, 
Potsdam, NY 13676 | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   | first seek freedom

From: kpn...@eos.ncsu.edu (Kevin P. Neal)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/16
Message-ID: <4l0g1j$kv7@taco.cc.ncsu.edu>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147803552
references: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com> <yfgbuktfn1w.fsf@time.cdrom.com> 
<3172AF35.15A9D29E@wolfenet.com>
followup-to: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy
organization: The House of RetroComputing
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
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Mark Hamstra (mhams...@wolfenet.com) wrote:
: Jordan K. Hubbard wrote:
: > 
: 
: Jordan,
: 
: I'll agree that healthy competition between the FreeBSD and Linux developers is a
: good thing.  I'll also stipulate that both sides would dearly love to see the use of
: Unix increase, perhaps dramatically.  Unfortunately I also have to grant you that
: infighting amongst the various Unix advocates has cut short much of Unix's past
: promise.
: 
: It seems the real question is not whether FreeBSD or Linux should be THE free PC
: Unix, but rather: How can FreeBSD and Linux continue to pressure each other to
: continued success without un-necessarily fragmenting the growing support for free
: operating systems and software?  To my knowledge, binary compatibility standards are
: the best way to prevent this fragmentation, and I applaud the FreeBSD community's
: efforts in this regard.  What is the exact status of binary compatibility between
: FreeBSD and Linux at present and near future?  What can Linux developers do to
: ensure compatibility?  Are there other cross-community links that we should be aware
: of?
: 

Nitpick: didn't Linux compat code come from NetBSD? Ah well, point taken.

Does Linux have FreeBSD/NetBSD compat code in place? In the works? 
-- 
XCOMM Kevin P. Neal, Sophomore, Comp. Sci. \    kpn...@interpath.com
XCOMM  Frue, Secret Agent of Smerp (shh!)   \   kpn...@eos.ncsu.edu
XCOMM Visit the House of RetroComputing at  /      Perm. Email:
XCOMM  http://www4.ncsu.edu/~kpneal/www/   /    kevinn...@bix.com

From: kpn...@eos.ncsu.edu (Kevin P. Neal)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/16
Message-ID: <4l0gi7$kv7@taco.cc.ncsu.edu>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147806436
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu> 
<4krsc4$m7t@taco.cc.ncsu.edu> <317339E6.581CCB0B@lambert.org>
followup-to: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy
organization: The House of RetroComputing
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comp.os.linux.advocacy

Terry Lambert (te...@lambert.org) wrote:
: Kevin P. Neal wrote:
: 
: ] Uh, so what's to stop somebody (except time) from getting ahold of the
: ] specs to MAPI, et al, and hacking a mail program or something or other
: ] to provide the API at the C program level?
: 
: Good taste.  8-).
: 
: MAPI is an API at the wrong conceptual level.  It was a bad example
: for Jordan to use in the first place.
: 
: 
: ] Hmmmm, where do I get these specs, anyway?
: 
: ftp.micorsoft.com, or Microsoft LeveL II developer program
: (~$500/year), from which you get the Windows95/NT SDK and DDK,
: which include documentation on this, Plug-N-Play implementation,
: and other such arcane-to-UNIX-minds topics.
: 

Funny, last time I went to www.microsoft.com, it was slow as a dog.

I was amused.
-- 
XCOMM Kevin P. Neal, Sophomore, Comp. Sci. \    kpn...@interpath.com
XCOMM  Frue, Secret Agent of Smerp (shh!)   \   kpn...@eos.ncsu.edu
XCOMM Visit the House of RetroComputing at  /      Perm. Email:
XCOMM  http://www4.ncsu.edu/~kpneal/www/   /    kevinn...@bix.com

From: Brian M Grunkemeyer <bg...@andrew.cmu.edu>
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/16
Message-ID: <QlQxCN200YUqEFs7xB@andrew.cmu.edu>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147812093
references: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com> <yfgbuktfn1w.fsf@time.cdrom.com>
organization: Sophomore, Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.os.linux.advocacy

Excerpts from netnews.comp.os.linux.development.system: 16-Apr-96 Re:
Historic Opportunity fa.. by Russell Nel...@ns.crynwr 
> We must win the desktop.  You disagree.  Oh well.

While it quite an achievement to see Linux displace DOS, Win*, and OS/2
(which has been making some pretty big gains recently), it probably
won't happen and isn't needed.  Why do we need to win the desktop?  Why
can't Linux survive as it is now, used for people who want to play
around or use it as a secondary system to assist in some greater
project?  Why do you want to dominate the desktop?  Without people
sharing your attitude, Linux would obviously not advance greatly beyond
where it is now, but is that a problem?

From: Terry Lambert <te...@lambert.org>
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/16
Message-ID: <3173FF99.46221A66@lambert.org>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147837671
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu> 
<4krsc4$m7t@taco.cc.ncsu.edu> <317339E6.581CCB0B@lambert.org> 
<4l0gi7$kv7@taco.cc.ncsu.edu>
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x-mailer: Mozilla 2.01 (X11; I; Linux 1.1.76 i486)

Kevin P. Neal wrote:
] Funny, last time I went to www.microsoft.com, it was slow as a dog.
] 
] I was amused.

Do not intentionally confuse bad implementation with bad design,
or bad design with bad ideas.

If you do this, you will commit a disservice to yourself.  A good
idea or design is good, regardless of whether or not you like the
politics of its origin.


                                        Terry Lambert
                                        te...@lambert.org
---
Any opinions in this posting are my own and not those of my present
or previous employers.

From: Con Sultant <jk...@execpc.com>
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/16
Message-ID: <Dpz1qL.n1G@deere.com>#1/1
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nel...@ns.crynwr.com (Russell Nelson) wrote:
>If they could buy a computer with Linux and (a fully functional) Wine
>installed, they would use it with no hesitation.

I am about to get my a** flamed for stepping in where Phoenix's dare 
tread, But you have just tripped my trigger!!

IBM  Think blue for a moment!  If you think for a moment ANY Free UNIX 
could just add a Windows emulator and make a go of it on that fact, think 
again.  IBM tried it in OS/2.  THey have barely nicked MicroGiant and 
they have the marketing clout to back them up!!  I am not suggesting that 
OS/2 should replace Windows.  I am jsut pointing out that reality is also 
part of marketing.  Learn from others mistakes, Or you will have to make 
your own.  Free Unix is great for the few, the proud, those with the need 
for speed.  (OK, bad quote.)  But, it will not appeal to the general 
masses until the general masses are convinced Windows will not work for 
them.  And, since it will, Unix will continue to be where it is.

Let's be happy that we have the application server world and keep working 
in that direction.  Any attempt to push MicroGiant over, will result in 
embarrasment.  Just take heart in the fact that NT is an attempt by 
MicroGiant to be as good as any UNIX!!!!

From: r...@vortex.cc.missouri.edu (Justin "Rhys Thuryn" McNutt)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/16
Message-ID: <4l0fv9$1bfs@news.missouri.edu>
X-Deja-AN: 147920018
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu> 
<tporczykDpqKHL.7vG@netcom.com> <DpsKyx.1Jo@catzen.gun.de> 
<tporczykDptpAL.8uG@netcom.com>
followup-to: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
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organization: University of Missouri - Columbia
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Tony Porczyk (tporc...@netcom.com) wrote:

: Yes, but remember we were talking about commercial desktop - that's
: where the money is.  $295 for the OS is peanuts if it doesn't involve
: significant (read: transition from Windows to UNIX) retraining.

The point that the Unix advocates are trying to make here is:  "We want 
to try to make Unix (FreeBSD, Linux, whatever) easy enough to use that 
Windiots can handle it."

How is another issue.

Let me show you something:

Linux - It's a *free*, powerful, POSIX-compliant, widely-available, and
	supported operating system.  It's got people developing for it
	right and left.  They're usually just developing drivers and
	miscellany, but it's there.  It got here slowly, but it's getting
	there.

The St. Louis Arch - Same sort of thing.  It took those engineers years
			just to design the thing.  It took another few
			years to build, but was worth the trouble.

The Sears Tower, The Taj Mahal, The Eiffel Tower, the telephone, the 
stereo, the space shuttle, the *printing press*...

All of these things are wonderful.  They were hard to achieve, but they 
were all well worth the effort.

I hear all this whining on here about "someone else tried it before and 
they crashed and burned!"  So what?  Is that a reason to not try again?  
If we really want to get it done, we *CAN* get it done.  We have to 
commit to doing it *first*, and worry about *HOW* second.

It's cheesy, but to quote Yoda, "Either do, or do not.  There is no 
try."  And Mr. Myagi, "Walk left side, safe.  Walk right side, safe.  
Walk middle, <sqwk!>, just like grape.  Either you karate do yes, or 
karate do no.  You karate do 'Guess so,' <sqwk!>, just like grape."

Besides, dammit, if MS-DOS could take over the PC market, why the hell 
can't we make Linux or FreeBSD just as good or better?  It infuriates me 
that all this whining is even happening because it all boils down to, 
"But it'll be too HARD!! WAHH!"  Another quote:  "Of course it's hard!  
The hard is what makes it great!"  (figure out the quote yourself)

[inspirational ranting mode off]

Also, a lot of those people were trying to do all that for profit.  Linux 
and FreeBSD aren't controlled by profit-oriented organizations trying to 
make a buck.  They're people who want to see computers perform as well as 
possible.  Hell, I'd write it all myself, but I'm not that good of a 
programmer yet, and I'm still trying to graduate (one more year, and I'll 
be available to help you out, guys).

Basically, what I don't understand is what all this is about.  We all 
want to see Unix become mainstream.  So let's quit arguing about it and 
just do it.  It's *very* simple:

First:  What is it that DOS, Windows, and OS/2 do when you first install 
them?  They check out the hardware, they say to the user, "I need this 
much hard disk space.  Can I format it and use it (yes/no buttons)."  and 
so on.  Linux makes you make all kinds of decisions.

No problem.  We just take Slackware's existing install program, and add a 
small choice to the very beginning:

		Advanced Install
		Easy Install (default)

This idea is stolen blatantly from the Mac.  That's how they do it.  Then 
everybody can have his or her own way.

The easy install *should* make all kinds of decisions for the user.  
That's what easy install means.  Those admins (like me) out there are 
just cringing, but if you think about it, that's what the user *wants*.  
As long as it works, they don't care.  All the config files like 
/etc/inittab, /etc/fstab, /etc/hosts, etc. etc. should all be set up 
automatically by little scripts in the install program.

It can't be that hard.  DOS and Windows have been doing it for years.

As far as X Windows goes, I'm no expert on video hardware, but I do know 
that the existing setup process for X is abysmal.  Why can Win95, WinNT, 
and OS/2 set themselves up with a graphical *install* no less, but X is 
such a pain?  It can't be that difficult.

Actually, if I'm not mistaken, the default on all three (and in Win 3.1) 
is 640 x 480 x 16.  *ANY* VGA card supports that, and it's about as 
standard as you can get.  If you can get it running that far, most users 
will probably put forth at least a token effort to go further.

Okay, then the OS is set up and we have our handy-dandy graphical 
interface.  Now what?  We need a program launcher.  It could be 
object-oriented like the Mac (the Magic Desktop for X is pretty cool) and 
OS/2, it could be launcher oriented like Program manager, or it could be 
a combination like Win95 and NeXTStep (I *LIKE* having the dock and 
WorkSpace Manager).

This shouldn't be very hard either.  If I am not mistaken, there already 
exists a program that does a program icon dock for X Windows in Linux (it 
might be part of twm, I'm not sure).  Want Program Manager?  How about 
Xfilemanager?  It needs some work, but it's pretty much all there.  It's 
got a little directory tree window (the default tree should be the root), 
and it's got a little window with neat little icons in it called (imagine 
this!) WorkSpace.  Great.

Now we get to the harder part.  Put some good programs in the WorkSpace 
that people will want to use.  <sigh>

I believe that TeX is the way to go, but it has one big drawback.  As far 
as I know, it doesn't have a widely-available, easily-configured, WYSIWYG 
interface.  People like MS Word, Windows Write, Ami Pro, etc. because 
they can *see* what their document is going to look like before they 
print it out.  What does the doc actually look like in TeX?  Who cares?  
Ever look at the inside of an MS Word doc?  Pure rubbish.  They can't 
even keep things consistent from version to version.  TeX is portable and 
user-editable in a pinch.  TeX -> PS is child's play, and just about any 
printer can print PS.

Given a WYSIWYG interface, and perhaps the ability to read other popular 
documents, a TeX-based word processor could just eat up the market.

Some people will say, "But there's more to it than just a word 
processor!"  Really?  I have to take off my shoes and my friend's gloves 
so that I can count the number of people that I know personally who only 
use their computers for word processing.  Their stupid little PC boots, 
loads Win[3.1|95|NT], and MS Word is in the Startup group.  It runs right 
away, and that's all they ever use it for.

Given a decent word processor, and an installation process that will let 
novice users get to that word processor with the least hassle, and you 
will have given Unix a chance at the PC.

Just for motivation, I don't want to hear any, "But it's too HARD!" 
crap.  Look at the Linux kernel.  *THAT*, ladies and gentlemen, *WAS* the 
hard part.  Are you telling me that no one out there can write a *WORD 
PROCESSOR*?  Come on...  The way I see it, the hard part will be getting 
X Windows up and running with only the Windiot user to rely on.

It can be done.  Someone (I nominate myself, although I *will* need help) 
just needs to do it.  It doesn't even matter if the programs and scripts 
underneath are slow, obnoxious, not very portable, etc.  If they *WORK*, 
we can fix them in our spare time.  Linux was *written* in spare time.  
But if it doesn't exist at all, no one will use it.

Feedback from novice users will be important.  I work at a University 
*full* of feedback.  If someone can help me work on this, I have 
supervisors who have already let me install Linux in our computer labs, 
and would be willing to help me make it more usable.  I have students who 
want things idiot-proof.  Talk about beta-testing!  :)  If the kids here 
can use it, anyone can.

To recap:  I have stated what needs to be done.  Although it is 
irrelevant if no one is willing to do it, I have also suggested ways in 
which it might be done.  I have offered to help.  Now, if Linux and/or 
FreeBSD doesn't start becoming one of the most popular operating systems 
for the desktop PC, it's because no one tried.  It won't happen 
overnight, but it won't happen at all if we don't start working on it 
*right* *now*.

: As I said originally, the only thing that can sell UNIX to desktops
: (besides specialized uses) is applications - common productivity
: applications, priced *reasonably*.  Superiority or inferiority of OS is
: irrelevant.

Exactly.  Get it installed, give 'em a word processor.  Other apps?  One 
thing at a time.  We'll get to it, but first things first.  Let's not 
overwhelm ourselves here.

: Example from my own desktop: I use Linux and FreeBSD at home, SunOS at
: work, but when I sit down to write courseware (part of my job), I plug
: in hard drive with Windows and MS Office.  Why?  Try to find a package
: for UNIX that contains easily mergeable Word Processing, Presentation
					  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
: and Spreadsheet that a common mortal can afford.  Show me *one*.  And
: let's not talk about TeX.  If I told the rest of the team that I will
: submit my work in TeX, they would die laughing.  No one has the time to
: play with that kind of stuff anymore.

Bingo.  Easily mergable?  TeX or PS.  No problem.  So what if they die 
laughing?  Does it work?  Who is playing?  TeX is good.  The format in 
which most word processors save their documents is proprietary.  It even 
changes from version to version.  If someone were to write a word 
processor that used TeX, that problem would disappear.  Documents would 
cease to be "MS Word 6.0" or "MS Word 5.0" or "WriteNow! 4.0" documents 
and would become "a text document".  Want graphics?  Use PS.

That way, when you release updates for this fictional word processor, you 
can add features without having to ruin your backward compatibility all 
the time.  You can work on the *program* instead of playing around with 
the *output* all the time.

C'mon, you all.  Let's just do it.  The only thing standing in our way is 
the willingness to do it.

--------
If you can lead it to water and force it to drink, it isn't a horse.

Got a Linux problem?  Or can you help others solve them?  Visit the Linux 
Common Problems page at http://vortex.cc.missouri.edu/~rhys/linux.html

r...@vortex.cc.missouri.edu

From: "Jordan K. Hubbard" <j...@FreeBSD.org>
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/17
Message-ID: <3174BFA7.41C67EA6@FreeBSD.org>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147947752
references: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com> <yfgbuktfn1w.fsf@time.cdrom.com> 
<3172AF35.15A9D29E@wolfenet.com> <4l0g1j$kv7@taco.cc.ncsu.edu>
to: "Kevin P. Neal" <kpn...@eos.ncsu.edu>
content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
organization: Walnut Creek CDROM
mime-version: 1.0
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy
x-mailer: Mozilla 3.0b2 (X11; I; FreeBSD 2.2-CURRENT i386)

Kevin P. Neal wrote:
> Nitpick: didn't Linux compat code come from NetBSD? Ah well, point taken.

Only some of it - the Linux emulation efforts evolved rather separately,
with Soren Schmidt doing the first cut entirely on his own.
Unfortunately, his effort sort of ran out of steam so we subsequently
looked into adopting more of the NetBSD stuff.  I, for one, would be
perfectly happy for both camps to standardise on a single code base for
this but there are significnant technical hurdles to be cleared before
the two BSD camps will ever be able to share significant parts of their
kernel code.  For now, we're just focusing on functionality and will
deal with the consolidation of effort question another day.
-- 
- Jordan Hubbard
  President, FreeBSD Project

From: mich...@memra.com (Michael Dillon)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/17
Message-ID: <4l2fl2$7hk@sidhe.memra.com>
X-Deja-AN: 147953117
references: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com>
organization: Memra Software Inc. - Internet consulting - http://www.memra.com
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <NELSON.96Apr15010...@ns.crynwr.com>,
Russell Nelson <nel...@ns.crynwr.com> wrote:

>If they could buy a computer with Linux and (a fully functional) Wine
>installed, they would use it with no hesitation.
>
>In order to create a market for Linux, we need to say, and say again,
>that Linux is THE ONLY RELIABLE 32-bit desktop operating system.  The
>only other choices simply are not up to the task.

But it's not. FreeBSD and NetBSD are also reliable 32-bit desktop
OSes as is OS/2. And WINE is anything but reliable and my personal 
opinion from several years of reading Microsoft Systems Journal and  2 
years of watching the WINE project is that WINE will never be a reliable
and fully compatible Windows execution environment

>THIS IS HOW MICROSOFT MARKETS ITS PRODUCTS.  Why do you think there
>was sooooo much hype about win95?  It's because there HAD to have
>been, otherwise people might start evaluating operating systems.

People evaluated OSes anyway. Even if cluefulness is only found in a 
small proportion of the computer-using population, the absolute number of 
clueful people increases as they gain experience with the tech.

>Now, given that we have to use the same weapon to win the war, where
>do we start?  Do we try to introduce the idea that there are multiple
>free 32-bit operating systems?  No.

Of course not. The OS is mostly irrelevant and we are talking about UNIX 
here anyway. 

>Bad, bad, bad.  It confuses people.  There is room for only one free
>32-bit operating system.  Which is it to be, Linux or *BSD*? 

Who cares. Time will tell. Right now neither one dominates because
neither is mature enough. I have especially noted that Linux users are 
more friendly and open to FreeBSD now than they were a year ago and 
people who run networks that only used Linux a year ago will now admit 
that they are either using FreeBSD for some things or are evaluating FreeBSD.

> Linux
>already has a big head start, given that there have been Linux
>conferences and a Linux magazine, and multiple companies distributing
>competitive versions of Linux (but it's always Linux). 

It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings.

>This might sound like bullshit to you, but that's okay, because it's
>marketing.  Technoids traditionally do not understand marketing, or
>the value of it.

As you very aptly demonstrate here. People don't want OSes, they want 
application execution environments. In other words, number one is the 
application and its interface. Number two is the environment and its 
interface. The underlying OS is a distant third.

Right now neither the applications nor the environment exist for free 
UNIXes and I know of no developpers working on a credible environment or 
toolset. This kind of thing needs architecture work done first, then 
detailled design, then programming.

>desktop: Linux.  We need to shout this from the rooftops.  This is not
>blind advocacy, this is a CRUCIAL step to overcoming the Microsoft
>hegemony.

Don't start shouting until you have your troops amassed or you *WILL* get 
slaughtered and the survivors may find it hard to raise a new army.

>But you didn't answer my question: what is wrong with Linux that you
>cannot fix?

Nothing. And the FreeBSD project *IS* fixing Linux in two major ways. 
One, by making FreeBSD compatible with Linux file systems and binaries so 
that it will soon be possible to run a FreeBSD/Linux using the FreeBSD 
kernel. Secondly, by providing the competitive edge needed to keep both
Linux and FreeBSD improving so that someday the combined forces *WILL* be 
powerful enough to destroy the hegemony of Microsoft and any other 
would-be succesors. 

This isn't about playing games here; this is about the future of Western 
civilization. Twenty years from now, around the time when packet-switched 
network access is as ubiquitous as telephones are today, there won't be 
big commercial software comapnies and packages with proprietary and 
incompatible OSes. Instead, everything will interoperate more or less 
smoothly and under the hood, ticking away will be OSes based upon the 
work of both the FreeBSD and Linux projects.

The feudal lords of software will only be a bad memory.


-- 
Michael Dillon                                    Voice: +1-604-546-8022
Memra Software Inc.                                 Fax: +1-604-546-3049
http://www.memra.com                             E-mail: mich...@memra.com

From: torva...@cc.helsinki.fi (Linus Torvalds)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/17
Message-ID: <4l2ofe$jjo@kruuna.helsinki.fi>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147966164
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <317339E6.581CCB0B@lambert.org> 
<4l0gi7$kv7@taco.cc.ncsu.edu> <3173FF99.46221A66@lambert.org>
content-type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
organization: University of Helsinki
mime-version: 1.0
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <3173FF99.46221...@lambert.org>,
Terry Lambert  <te...@lambert.org> wrote:
>Kevin P. Neal wrote:
>] Funny, last time I went to www.microsoft.com, it was slow as a dog.
>] 
>] I was amused.
>
>Do not intentionally confuse bad implementation with bad design,
>or bad design with bad ideas.
>
>If you do this, you will commit a disservice to yourself.  A good
>idea or design is good, regardless of whether or not you like the
>politics of its origin.

Do not intentionally confuse politics or origin with a bad
implementation.

A good idea or design is _not_ good, unless there is a good
implementation of it.  It is *never* a excuse to say that the "basic
design" is good, if the product is bad. A bad product is a bad product,
regardless of politics, origin _or_ design.

If the basic design is good, then the product may be more easily
improved in the future, but before those improvements are done you're
just handwaving.

Fight vapourware!

		Linus

From: torva...@cc.helsinki.fi (Linus Torvalds)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/17
Message-ID: <4l2pl8$nr8@kruuna.helsinki.fi>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147968703
references: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com> <yfg68b0fpqo.fsf@time.cdrom.com> 
<NELSON.96Apr16100200@ns.crynwr.com> <QlQxCN200YUqEFs7xB@andrew.cmu.edu>
content-type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
organization: University of Helsinki
mime-version: 1.0
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <QlQxCN200YUqEFs...@andrew.cmu.edu>,
Brian M Grunkemeyer  <bg...@andrew.cmu.edu> wrote:
>
>While it quite an achievement to see Linux displace DOS, Win*, and OS/2
>(which has been making some pretty big gains recently), it probably
>won't happen and isn't needed.  Why do we need to win the desktop?

I'm jumping in here with a tagential argument that I feel very strongly
about. 

UNIX _does_ need to be a strong force on the desktop market. I would
avoid saying "win the desktop", but if UNIX gives up on the desktop
market, then UNIX _will_ die.

I feel very strongly that too many unix vendors have completely given up
on the desktop, and are now targeting the desktop market by being
"servers" for it (or then they are ignoring the market altogether, and
are going exclusively for the traditional UNIX type cumputing market).

I shudder every time somebody says that UNIX is a server OS, because if
that is your view on UNIX, then UNIX _will_ die. Maybe not today, maybe
not tomorrow, but in the reasonably near future. Because the desktop
OS's are what are going to take over, as they get more powerful and give
you more of the features "traditionally" found in the large computer
OS's. 

I'm _proud_ to say that linux is a desktop OS that can also act as a
server. I put the desktop first, server second. That doesn't mean that
Linux is a bad server - it isn't. Instead, it means that I prefer to
optimize latency rather than throughput, and interactive load rather
than optimizing especially for file-serving, for example.

(Happily, in most cases, good performance means good performance both as
a server and as a desktop system, so there is seldom any conflict
between the server and desktop metaphor).

You can see the dead end of being a server each time you look at Novell,
and compare that to that other company (that shall remain nameless) that
went for the desktop market. 

		Linus

From: nel...@ns.crynwr.com (Russell Nelson)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/17
Message-ID: <NELSON.96Apr17101252@ns.crynwr.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 147986438
references: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com> <4l2fl2$7hk@sidhe.memra.com>
organization: Crynwr Software
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <4l2fl2$...@sidhe.memra.com> mich...@memra.com (Michael Dillon) 
writes:

> In article <NELSON.96Apr15010...@ns.crynwr.com>,
> Russell Nelson <nel...@ns.crynwr.com> wrote:
> 
> >If they could buy a computer with Linux and (a fully functional) Wine
> >installed, they would use it with no hesitation.
> >
> >In order to create a market for Linux, we need to say, and say again,
> >that Linux is THE ONLY RELIABLE 32-bit desktop operating system.  The
> >only other choices simply are not up to the task.
> 
> But it's not. FreeBSD and NetBSD are also reliable 32-bit desktop
> OSes as is OS/2. And WINE is anything but reliable and my personal 
> opinion from several years of reading Microsoft Systems Journal and  2 
> years of watching the WINE project is that WINE will never be a reliable
> and fully compatible Windows execution environment

You don't understand.  Microsoft controls its markets by pushing out
all competition.  They have to -- their products cannot compete on
their own.  Linux has to compete on its benefits -- that it is free,
comes with source and is reliable.  No other mass-market operating
system can claim this.  The *BSD* people have abandoned the desktop.
Fine, let them have a hobby operating system.  We're going to go for
the big bucks.

-- 
-russ <nel...@crynwr.com>    http://www.crynwr.com/~nelson
Crynwr Software   | Crynwr Software sells packet driver support | PGP ok
11 Grant St.      | +1 315 268 1925 voice | If you would seek peace, 
Potsdam, NY 13676 | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   | first seek freedom

From: amb...@stud.ntnu.no (Asgeir Nilsen)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/17
Message-ID: <m3ohoqoln2.fsf@smia.ambolt.no>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 148069207
sender: amb...@smia.ambolt.no
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu>
content-type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
organization: Save The Anvils From Blacksmiths' Annoying Sledging (STAFBAS), Intl.
mime-version: 1.0
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy
x-copyright:  1996 Asgeir Nilsen. All rights reserved. 

In article <4l0fv9$1...@news.missouri.edu> r...@vortex.cc.missouri.edu
(Justin "Rhys Thuryn" McNutt) writes: 

> Some people will say, "But there's more to it than just a word 
> processor!"  Really?  I have to take off my shoes and my friend's gloves 
> so that I can count the number of people that I know personally who only 
> use their computers for word processing.  Their stupid little PC boots, 
> loads Win[3.1|95|NT], and MS Word is in the Startup group.  It runs right 
> away, and that's all they ever use it for.

You forget one big element that a LOT of people want.  GAMES.  Will
DOSEMU ever be powerful enough?

Sure, people could have a DOS partition lying around, rebooting each
time you feel like trying the hottest, coolest whatever.  But
rebooting all the time is ``too much work'' for a lot of people..

-- 
Asgeir Nilsen                             (+47) 73 88 72 25
amb...@stud.ntnu.no (finger for PGP key)  Herman Kragsv 41-43
http://www.stud.ntnu.no/~ambolt/          N-7035 TRONDHEIM, NORWAY

From: "Jordan K. Hubbard" <j...@FreeBSD.org>
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/17
Message-ID: <3175DBD4.167EB0E7@FreeBSD.org>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 148132342
references: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com> <4l2fl2$7hk@sidhe.memra.com> 
<NELSON.96Apr17101252@ns.crynwr.com>
cc: nel...@crynwr.com
content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
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comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy
x-mailer: Mozilla 3.0b2 (X11; I; FreeBSD 2.2-CURRENT i386)

Russell Nelson wrote:
> system can claim this.  The *BSD* people have abandoned the desktop.
> Fine, let them have a hobby operating system.  We're going to go for
> the big bucks.

Not going for the desktop hardly equals "Hobby operating system", you've
simply got this weird (and wholly naive) obsession that the "desktop is
the computer", like some Sun marketing droid who took too much LSD
during the 60's and is now having a flashback to end all flashbacks.

Believe it or not, Russell, there are other markets for UNIX.  This is
something which I shall not even attempt to explain to you given your
already well-established myopia on the topic, but it's nonetheless true
whether you care to acknowledge it or not.  General purpose computing
and file servers, WEB servers (and other forms of Internet service
provision), packet routing and firewalls, you name it and FreeBSD's
being used for it.  THESE are the areas I'm focusing on and, given that
the Internet is projected to continue an almost explosive growth curve
right up through the year 2000, I'd say there are PLENTY of "big bucks"
to be made there too (though this is hardly our #1 goal in life - many
of us are, surprise surprise, doing it because we _enjoy_ it).

FreeBSD is being used at Netscape, Yahoo and a host of other Internet
companies who are focused squarely on the *network*, not the desktop,
and I aim to continue pushing aggressively in that direction.  Go to
your doom fighting ancient and already-lost battles if you really wish,
but I can only hope for the Linux camp's sake that few of them choose to
follow you and fight instead for UNIX's "glorious future", not its
"checkered past."
-- 
- Jordan Hubbard
  President, FreeBSD Project

From: by...@cc.gatech.edu (Byron A Jeff)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/18
Message-ID: <4l5f31$ijv@solaria.cc.gatech.edu>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 148175687
references: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com> <4l2fl2$7hk@sidhe.memra.com> 
<NELSON.96Apr17101252@ns.crynwr.com> <3175DBD4.167EB0E7@FreeBSD.org>
organization: Georgia Institute of Technology - College of Computing
nntp-posting-user: byron
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <3175DBD4.167EB...@FreeBSD.org>,
Jordan K. Hubbard <j...@FreeBSD.org> wrote:
>Russell Nelson wrote:
>> system can claim this.  The *BSD* people have abandoned the desktop.
>> Fine, let them have a hobby operating system.  We're going to go for
>> the big bucks.
>
>Not going for the desktop hardly equals "Hobby operating system", you've
>simply got this weird (and wholly naive) obsession that the "desktop is
>the computer", like some Sun marketing droid who took too much LSD
>during the 60's and is now having a flashback to end all flashbacks.

Jordan,

While I have to admit that Russell's views are quite close to the edge 
(like over ;-) his core premise is sound. We cannot concede the desktop.

However first we have to fulfill  two or three basic premises:

- Deliver at a cheaper cost (Got that one covered)
- Deliver a better product (Got that one covered too)
- Deliver a product that performs just about the same functions and in
a manner that the user is used to (This is the kicker)

One analogy that sticks out in my mind is the entry of the Japanese
into the US car market 25 or so years ago. I mean early Hondas and Toyotas
were barely more than car chassis sitting on motorcycle engines. But
look at the market today. I could have been easy to conceed the market
to the Big Three But they fit the above criteria:

- They were cheaper
- They were a better prodcut. Specifically in gas miliage.
- And it was a car. A rinky Dink car, but a car.

So to assult the desktop we have to have the same functionality as the
competition. And not all of it either. I think any system that can run
Microsoft Office to 95 is in the ring.


>
>Believe it or not, Russell, there are other markets for UNIX.  This is
>something which I shall not even attempt to explain to you given your
>already well-established myopia on the topic, but it's nonetheless true
>whether you care to acknowledge it or not.  General purpose computing
>and file servers, WEB servers (and other forms of Internet service
>provision), packet routing and firewalls, you name it and FreeBSD's
>being used for it.  THESE are the areas I'm focusing on and, given that
>the Internet is projected to continue an almost explosive growth curve
>right up through the year 2000, I'd say there are PLENTY of "big bucks"
>to be made there too (though this is hardly our #1 goal in life - many
>of us are, surprise surprise, doing it because we _enjoy_ it).

This is a great market too. And it's important to exploit it.

But it's not about money necessarily but about choice. Right now if you
buy a PC your options are extremely limited. It's stifiling. Imagine the
world if there were only 3 types of cars and you didn't like any of them...

>
>FreeBSD is being used at Netscape, Yahoo and a host of other Internet
>companies who are focused squarely on the *network*, not the desktop,
>and I aim to continue pushing aggressively in that direction.  Go to
>your doom fighting ancient and already-lost battles if you really wish,
>but I can only hope for the Linux camp's sake that few of them choose to
>follow you and fight instead for UNIX's "glorious future", not its
>"checkered past."

If there's one thing I've learned about history is that seemingly impossible
wars can be one, but you have to fight them. Put the image in your mind
of Microsoft being the Roman empire and us being the Huns. The war must
be pitched, and it can be won.

But we have to have the weapons to play.

Lastly, I'm really impressed with the areas that FreeBSD is penetrating.
But even if we're not in the actual battle yet, we need to put up some 
resistance, speak of other opportunities, and work on the weapons we need
to fight the actual fight.

It may take quite a few years to do, but we're all doomed if we give up and
let Redmond have the desktop universe by default.

BAJ
-- 
Another random extraction from the mental bit stream of...
Byron A. Jeff - PhD student operating in parallel - And Using Linux!
Georgia Tech, Atlanta GA 30332   Internet: by...@cc.gatech.edu

From: r...@vortex.cc.missouri.edu (Justin "Rhys Thuryn" McNutt)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/18
Message-ID: <4l5rbr$1eam@news.missouri.edu>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 148220001
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu> 
<m3ohoqoln2.fsf@smia.ambolt.no>
followup-to: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy
organization: University of Missouri - Columbia
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

Asgeir Nilsen (amb...@stud.ntnu.no) wrote:
: In article <4l0fv9$1...@news.missouri.edu> r...@vortex.cc.missouri.edu
: (Justin "Rhys Thuryn" McNutt) writes: 

: > Some people will say, "But there's more to it than just a word 
: > processor!"  Really?  I have to take off my shoes and my friend's gloves 
: > so that I can count the number of people that I know personally who only 
: > use their computers for word processing.  Their stupid little PC boots, 
: > loads Win[3.1|95|NT], and MS Word is in the Startup group.  It runs right 
: > away, and that's all they ever use it for.

: You forget one big element that a LOT of people want.  GAMES.  Will
: DOSEMU ever be powerful enough?

: Sure, people could have a DOS partition lying around, rebooting each
: time you feel like trying the hottest, coolest whatever.  But
: rebooting all the time is ``too much work'' for a lot of people..

You have a point there, but I think one of my roommates got DOSEmu to 
successfully run Doom II.  I'll have to check.

This is a valid concern, though, not just because games are important to 
a lot of computer users, but because if DOSEmu can run some of today's 
popular games, it can run just about anything!  

--------
If you can lead it to water and force it to drink, it isn't a horse.

Got a Linux problem?  Or can you help others solve them?  Visit the Linux 
Common Problems page at http://vortex.cc.missouri.edu/~rhys/linux.html

r...@vortex.cc.missouri.edu

From: "Jordan K. Hubbard" <j...@FreeBSD.org>
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/18
Message-ID: <3176D081.794BDF32@FreeBSD.org>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 148256455
references: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com> <4l2fl2$7hk@sidhe.memra.com> 
<NELSON.96Apr17101252@ns.crynwr.com> <3175DBD4.167EB0E7@FreeBSD.org> 
<4l5f31$ijv@solaria.cc.gatech.edu>
to: Byron A Jeff <by...@cc.gatech.edu>
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Byron A Jeff wrote:
> (like over ;-) his core premise is sound. We cannot concede the desktop.

Well, I've read the rest of your posting and all I can really say in
general response to this is that some people, yourself plainly among
them, do not see a future in which UNIX has ceded the desktop as a very
pleasant one.  I can understand this, believe me.  I don't care for
Microsoft's domination of that market any more than the next man, and I
also happen to HATE Windows' interface.

But please, do at least give me some reasonable degree of credit for the
experience I've gained in working on FreeBSD these last 3 years and in
the free software world in general for quite some time before that.  If
one fact stands out more clearly than any other, it's that we've got
extremely limited resources to work with.  Even the Linux camp, with its
large and enthusiastic user community (coupled with the likes of Caldera
licensing Looking Glass from Visix and adding Novell interoperability),
is on a comparatively shoe-string budget.

That's why I react so strongly when I see these various posts saying
"hey, all we have to do is sit down and IMPLEMENT a THIS and a THAT and
before you know it we'll have Bill down on his knees, begging for
mercy."  It makes me fairly want to scream "WHO?!  Just WHO is going to
do this?  YOU?  Can you spend 50 hours a week on it?  For a minimum of
12 weeks?  Will you MANAGE it?" [by "you" I also don't mean you, Jeff, I
simply mean the generic "you" who always seems to volunteer for the most
work but never actually shows up on the appointed day. :-)

It would be lovely if a Windows-beating desktop suddenly appeared,
believe me (and Caldera really doesn't count since all they did was
license a commercial product which the free software world can't HAVE),
but all I'm saying is that I'm long past holding my breath for one.  If
we had it and If it looked like it might actually hold a chance against
the Microsoft juggernaut and If it looked like it could survive even in
the face of some move by Microsoft to, say, simply start giving Windows
away for free with every PC, then I might well be jumping up and down
with you guys yelling "ding, dong, the witch is dead!"

But faced with a serious lack of resources (on either side of the OS
fence) and very little in the way of people truly committed to writing
things like Looking Glass desktops for free, I'm going to focus on the
network since that IS where people seem to be putting lots of effort
(Apache et al).

Look, perhaps it's time for all the desktop adherants here to simply
prove me wrong (or right).  Form an OS-independant (so as to attract the
greatest number of bodies) subproject *right now* who's stated goal is
to take on Microsoft head-on in the desktop arena.  Find someone who'll
be a strong and steady manager, tirelessly whipping up the troops (with
a balanced hand, of course) every time their enthusiasm for the task
flags a little and making the hard decisions about which sub-tasks get
which development priorities.  Get a web page up describing the
project's goals and, as progress is made, sample screenshots of the
environment you're putting together.  Make periodic annoucements and put
stuff up for anonymous FTP.  Above all, DO NOT STOP FOR A MOMENT until
you're essentially done and ready to field the completed project.
Anything less will simply give Microsoft time to dash ahead and move the
goalposts on you, or will cause attendance to fall off as all the
developers conclude that this is just another well-intentioned but sadly
doomed vaporware project.  In other words, let's stop talking about it
and see the desktop devotees actually DO IT.

If you can't galvanize that kind of energy behind such a project and see
it through to the bitter end, however that might go, then this
conversation is entirely moot anyway!
-- 
- Jordan Hubbard
  President, FreeBSD Project

From: Bryan Seigneur <fr...@gramercy.ios.com>
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/23
Message-ID: <317C9012.26C59A60@gramercy.ios.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 150939871
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu> 
<m3ohoqoln2.fsf@smia.ambolt.no> <4l5rbr$1eam@news.missouri.edu>
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Justin Rhys Thuryn McNutt wrote:
> 
> Asgeir Nilsen (amb...@stud.ntnu.no) wrote:
> : In article <4l0fv9$1...@news.missouri.edu> r...@vortex.cc.missouri.edu
> : (Justin "Rhys Thuryn" McNutt) writes:
> 
> : > Some people will say, "But there's more to it than just a word
> : > processor!"  Really?  I have to take off my shoes and my friend's gloves
> : > so that I can count the number of people that I know personally who only
> : > use their computers for word processing.  Their stupid little PC boots,
> : > loads Win[3.1|95|NT], and MS Word is in the Startup group.  It runs right
> : > away, and that's all they ever use it for.
> 
> : You forget one big element that a LOT of people want.  GAMES.  Will
> : DOSEMU ever be powerful enough?
> 
> : Sure, people could have a DOS partition lying around, rebooting each
> : time you feel like trying the hottest, coolest whatever.  But
> : rebooting all the time is ``too much work'' for a lot of people..
> 
> You have a point there, but I think one of my roommates got DOSEmu to
> successfully run Doom II.  I'll have to check.

Look it up!  Look things up before you give Linux the bad end of the doubt!
DOSEmu is running Doom, Doom2, Descent, Rise of the Triad, etc, etc, etc.
Never underestimate the power of Linux, (unless you're MS, in that case,
just ignore Linux, just a bunch of hobbyists, that's all we are, no need
to worry about us hurting your sales, no sir, not us (chuckle)).

> This is a valid concern, though, not just because games are important to
> a lot of computer users, but because if DOSEmu can run some of today's
> popular games, it can run just about anything!

Don't speculate unless you can't find definite answers on the net!
You risk spreading viscious FUD if you don't.
Geesh, it's so easy.  If you're really that interested, it's easy.
Educate thyself!  Contact actual developers if you need to, it's not
like they try to remain anonymous or something.  I'm beginning to think
many of the posters in this thread are seriously hypertext-impaired.
Information on Linux is generally easy to find.  Try browsing all the
stuff you get when you do a search for 'Linux' in Yahoo when you have
an hour or two (or eight).  You could seriously teach a comprehensive
course on a lot of subjects using just the net as a text, and Linux
would be at the top of that list.

Pant..pant...Excuse me while I take my Zoloft, now ;]

This isn't about you as much as it's a result of me having to wade
thru the past paragraphs and paragraphs of FUD in this thread in
general.  New acronym: STFN  Search TF Net.

> --------
> If you can lead it to water and force it to drink, it isn't a horse.
> 
> Got a Linux problem?  Or can you help others solve them?  Visit the Linux
> Common Problems page at http://vortex.cc.missouri.edu/~rhys/linux.html
> 
> r...@vortex.cc.missouri.edu

Bryan
-- 
   __   _
  / /  (_)__  __ __ _  __
 / /__/ / _ \/ // /| |/ /
/____/_/_//_/\___//_/|_|...priceless.

From: "Jordan K. Hubbard" <j...@FreeBSD.org>
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/23
Message-ID: <317CAD2C.4487EB71@FreeBSD.org>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 150925950
references: <4ki055$60l@Radon.Stanford.EDU> <jdd.829261293@cdf.toronto.edu> 
<m3ohoqoln2.fsf@smia.ambolt.no> <4l5rbr$1eam@news.missouri.edu> 
<317C9012.26C59A60@gramercy.ios.com>
to: Bryan Seigneur <fr...@gramercy.ios.com>
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Bryan Seigneur wrote:
> Look it up!  Look things up before you give Linux the bad end of the doubt!
> DOSEmu is running Doom, Doom2, Descent, Rise of the Triad, etc, etc,


To be fair, we were talking about DOS emulation at the level provided by
OS/2 or Win95.  DOSEmu, as capable as it is at running *certain* DOS
applications, is NOT a general dos emulator that I can count on to run
everything from my EISA setup utilities and SMC EZSTART floppy to "Sam
and Max" off CDROM (just to pick 3 real-world examples from my very own
wish list).

As nice as DOSEmu is at doing certain things, it is NOT a DOS emulator,
it is not even CLOSE and you are sadly mistaken if you can even somehow
equate it with, say, OS/2's dos emulation.  For many of us, nothing less
than that level of emulation will do, either.  I don't like to run DOS
at all, and the very few times I do it's because I've got to run some
arcane thing that isn't available anywhere else.  If the emulator cannot
run anything on my list of arcane things then it's totally useless to
me.

While I take your point about not underestimating what Linux can do, I
also urge you to remember that it's easily possible to commit the
opposite offense as well. :-)
-- 
- Jordan Hubbard
  President, FreeBSD Project

From: kev...@netcom.com (Kevin Brown)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/23
Message-ID: <kevinbDqC2K2.CAH@netcom.com>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 151091377
expires: Tue, 23 Apr 1996 07:00:00 GMT
sender: kev...@netcom11.netcom.com
references: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com> <Dpz1qL.n1G@deere.com>
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comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,comp.os.linux.advocacy
organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 261-4700 guest)
newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <Dpz1qL....@deere.com>, Con Sultant  <jk...@execpc.com> wrote:
>nel...@ns.crynwr.com (Russell Nelson) wrote:
>>If they could buy a computer with Linux and (a fully functional) Wine
>>installed, they would use it with no hesitation.
>
>I am about to get my a** flamed for stepping in where Phoenix's dare 
>tread, But you have just tripped my trigger!!
>
>IBM  Think blue for a moment!  If you think for a moment ANY Free UNIX 
>could just add a Windows emulator and make a go of it on that fact, think 
>again.  IBM tried it in OS/2.  THey have barely nicked MicroGiant and 
>they have the marketing clout to back them up!!  

While I do believe that a Windows emulator isn't enough, please
realize that one of the biggest reasons OS/2 hasn't fared as well as
it might is that IBM has been incompetent in a *huge* way.  About the
only reason OS/2 is still around at all is that there are a number of
people out there who are able to look beyond marketing hype and press
reports and to whom the relative lack of available applications is not
that important.

Consider: IBM has hardly advertised OS/2 at all.  They fail to preload
it by default on *their own* machines.  They fail to combat bad press.
They have given greater support to NT than to OS/2 on the PowerPC
platform.  All these things say that IBM really doesn't give a shit
about OS/2.  With competition like that, Microsoft doesn't *need*
friends.

>Let's be happy that we have the application server world and keep working 
>in that direction.  Any attempt to push MicroGiant over, will result in 
>embarrasment.  Just take heart in the fact that NT is an attempt by 
>MicroGiant to be as good as any UNIX!!!!

You should learn a little more from history.  NT might not be up to
snuff in the server market *now*, but are you going to bet that this
situation will *stay* that way?  I wouldn't.

WHEN (not if) NT becomes good *enough* for the server market,
companies will start to use it for server duty, as long as it's what
they're running on their desktop systems as well.  It should be
obvious to anyone with a brain that NT or a derivative thereof is
Microsoft's next *client* OS.  Since manpower is the largest cost in
most companies, companies are going to want to leverage their client
administrative expertise to run their servers as well.  That's not
currently possible as neither Win3.1 nor Win95 is server material.

The ultimate key to the server market is the client market.  The
reason for that is that there are many more instances of clients than
servers, and the disparity between clients and servers will continue
to decrease as commodity hardware becomes more powerful and as client
OSes continue to gain server capabilities.

-- 
Kevin Brown                                     ke...@frobozz.sccsi.com
This is your .signature virus: < begin 644 .signature (9V]T8VAA(0K0z end >
            This is your .signature virus on drugs: <>
                        Any questions?

From: torva...@cc.helsinki.fi (Linus Torvalds)
Subject: Re: Historic Opportunity facing Free Unix 
(was Re: The Lai/Baker paper, benchmarks, and the world of free UNIX)
Date: 1996/04/25
Message-ID: <4ln60a$vg@kruuna.helsinki.fi>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 151429341
references: <NELSON.96Apr15010553@ns.crynwr.com> <Dpz1qL.n1G@deere.com> 
<kevinbDqC2K2.CAH@netcom.com>
content-type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
organization: University of Helsinki
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newsgroups: comp.os.linux.development.system,comp.unix.bsd.386bsd.misc,
comp.unix.bsd.bsdi.misc,comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.misc,comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc,
comp.os.linux.advocacy

In article <kevinbDqC2K2....@netcom.com>,
Kevin Brown <kev...@netcom.com> wrote:
>
>The ultimate key to the server market is the client market.  The
>reason for that is that there are many more instances of clients than
>servers, and the disparity between clients and servers will continue
>to decrease as commodity hardware becomes more powerful and as client
>OSes continue to gain server capabilities.

Halleluja! The above comment needs to be framed and handed out to UNIX
vendors (and others too, I ahve to admit).

Anybody who concentrates on the server side of things is _dead_ in the
water when the client people come loaded for bear.

Nice graphical sysadmin programs aren't the answer.  People will wade
through sh*t up to their eyebrows and be _happy_ without them (yes, even
your "average" user will accept cryptic and hard-to-use textual setup
files if you have reasonable defaults: look at windows .ini files). 

Yet all the unix vendors fall over backwards to try to make some silly
program that makes sysadmin look easy. Nobody really cares - I suspect
that the standard "it's too hard to administer" thing people say is
really a "there is nothing there I _want_ to administer", yet silly
vendors keep doing the sysadmin programs..

STOP doing the damn glitzy admin stuff: it's a secondary issue at _most_
if even that.  If you don't have the applications, people won't care
about the admin stuff either, because there simply isn't anything they
want to administer. 

The last two vendor unixes I saw (I won't name names) both came with
graphical tools for doing disk striping etc.  NEITHER of them had any
applications loaded at _all_, and their shell didn't even have command
line editing on by default (This is 1996, folks, we don't need no
steenking editing facilities!).  No wonder people flock away in droves
and hope for the "saviour" NT - at least MS has been known to put a few
games etc with the basic distribution. 

		Linus

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