Tech Insider					     Technology and Trends


			      USENET Archives

Path: utzoo!attcan!uunet!husc6!bloom-beacon!athena.mit.edu!wesommer
From: wesom...@athena.mit.edu (William Sommerfeld)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.questions,comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Open Software Foundation
Summary: AT&T vs. the seven non-dwarfs.
Keywords: osf
Message-ID: <5412@bloom-beacon.MIT.EDU>
Date: 17 May 88 21:26:40 GMT
Sender: dae...@bloom-beacon.MIT.EDU
Reply-To: wesom...@athena.mit.edu (William Sommerfeld)
Followup-To: comp.unix.wizards
Organization: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Lines: 149

This is a typed-in copy of a press release I got this afternoon.
I am not responsible for typing errors, but I think I was fairly
careful.

					Bill Sommerfeld
					wesom...@athena.mit.edu

FOUNDATION CONTACT: Deborah Siegel
		    Cohn & Wolfe
		    (212) 951-8300
... Apollo, Groupe Bull, Digital Equipment, Hewlett-Packard, IBM,
Nixdorf, Siemens ...

	    NEW FOUNDATION TO ADVANCE SOFTWARE STANDARDS,
	    DEVELOP AND PROVIDE OPEN SOFTWARE ENVIRONMENT

NEW YORK, N.Y., May 17, 1988---Seven leading computer companies today
announced an international foundation to develop and provide a
completely open software environment to make it easier for customers
to use computers and software from many vendors.

The Open Software Foundation (OSF) will develop a software
environment, including application interfaces, advanced system
extensions, and a new operating system, using X/Open(tm) and POSIX*
specifications as the starting point.  POSIX is an operating system
standard, closely related to the UNIX(tm) system, that specifies how
software should be written to run on computers from different vendors.

Initial funding for OSF is being provided by the following sponsors:
Apollo Computer Inc., Groupe Bull, Digital Equipment Corporation,
Hewlett-Packard Company, International Business Machines Corporation,
Nixdorf Computer AG, and Siemens Aktiengesellschaft.  OSF membership
is available to computer hardware and software suppliers, educational
institutions, and government agencies around the world.

The foundation has a management organization, staff, and a funding
comittment in excess of $90 million to begin immediate operations.
Its initial development will be based on technologies offered by the
members and its own research, to be carried out worldwide.

"The creation of a standard software enviornment is one of the most
important issues facing the computer industry today," said John L.
Doyle, chairman of the foundation board of directors.  "Establishing
this international foundation fulfills the critical need for an open,
rational, and equitable process to help establish the standards our
customers demand and to protect their long-term software investment."

Foundation Principles:

OSF is incorporated as a non-profit, industry-supported research and
development organization.  It will define specifications, develop a
leadership operating system, and promote an open, portable
applications environment.

Principles of the foundation include:

 * Offerings based on relevant industry standards;
 * Open process to actively solicit inputs and technology;
 * Timely, vendor-neutral decision process;
 * Early and equal access to specifications and continuing
   development;
 * Hardware independant applications;
 * Reasonable, stable licensing terms;
 * Technical innovation through university/research participation.

To support its portable application environment, the foundation will
provide software that makes it easier for users to mix and match
computers and appllications from different suppliers by addressing the
following needs:
 * Portability---the ability to use application software on computers
   from multiple vendors.
 * Interoperability---the ability to have computers from different
   vendors work together;
 * Scalability---the ability to use the same software environment on
   many classes of computers, from personal computers to
   supercomputers.

To achieve maximum acceptance for the new software environment, the
foundation will provide all members early and equal access to the
development process.

The foundation will follow a direction consistent with the
international X/Open Common Application Environment, the U.S. National
Bureau of Standards Application Portability Profile, and equivalent
European and international standards.  Where standards do not exist,
the foundation will work with standards groups to help define them.

Membership

Foundation members will contribute ideas on both technical and policy
matters.  They will be informed of foundation activities on a regular
basis and periodically polled on specific issues.  Membership is open
to anyone.

Research Institute

A research institute is being created to fund research for the
advancement of applications portability, interoperability standards,
and other advanced technologies for future foundation use.  An
academic advisory panel will provide guidance and input to the
institute.  The Institute's research will be conducted worldwide.

Software environment guidelines

The foundation's open software environment will allow vendors to add
value through compatible extensions.  To encourage its widespread use,
it will run on a wide range of single- and multi-processor computers.

THe foundation's software environment includes a set of application
programming interfaces to make it easier to write applications for a
variety of systems.  The initial set of interfaces will support POSIX
and X/Open specifications, and will be extended to include areas such
as distributed computing, graphics, and user interfaces.

The foundation will base its development efforts on its own research
as well as on technologies which will be selected and licensed from
member offerings.  Technologies being considered by the foundation
include:

 * Apollo's Network Computing System(tm) (NCS)
 * Bull's UNIX system-based multiprocessor architecture;
 * Digital's user interface tool kit and style guides for the 
   X Window System(tm)
 * Hewlett-Packard's National Language Support (NLS);
 * Nixdorf's relational database technology;
 * Siemens' OSI protocol support.

To provide a clear and easy migration path for application developers
and end users, the foundation's system will include features to
support current System V- and Berkeley-based UNIX applications.  The
operating system will use core technology from a future version of
IBM's AIX(tm) as a development base.

Specifications supported by the foundation will be publicly available,
and a set of verification tests for all appropriate facilities will be
identified or created.  The foundation will license its open system
software internationally.

--------

X/Open is a trademark of X/Open CO. Ltd.
* Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Standard
	1003.
UNIX is a registered trademark of AT&T in the U.S. and other
companies.
Network Computing System is a trademark of Apollo Computer, Inc.
X Window System is a trademark of Massachusetts Institute of
	Technology.
AIX is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.

Path: utzoo!attcan!uunet!pdn!reggie
From: reg...@pdn.UUCP (George W. Leach)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: Open Software Foundation
Keywords: osf
Message-ID: <3166@pdn.UUCP>
Date: 18 May 88 16:10:41 GMT
References: <5412@bloom-beacon.MIT.EDU>
Reply-To: reg...@pdn.UUCP (George W. Leach)
Organization: Paradyne Corporation,   Largo FL
Lines: 54

In article <5...@bloom-beacon.MIT.EDU> wesom...@athena.mit.edu (William Sommerfeld) 
writes:


>... Apollo, Groupe Bull, Digital Equipment, Hewlett-Packard, IBM,
>Nixdorf, Siemens ...

     This group is a very predictable lot !  Most of them never wanted
to offer UNIX in the first place.  They were forced into it by customer
demand.

>	    NEW FOUNDATION TO ADVANCE SOFTWARE STANDARDS,
                              ^^^^^^^
>	    DEVELOP AND PROVIDE OPEN SOFTWARE ENVIRONMENT
 
     More like they want to reimplement the wheel and call it something
else because they don't want to follow AT&T and Sun's lead.

>NEW YORK, N.Y., May 17, 1988---Seven leading computer companies today
>announced an international foundation to develop and provide a
>completely open software environment to make it easier for customers
>to use computers and software from many vendors.

     Huh?   How does creating an alternative standard help do that?
Look at some of the areas of "standardization", like graphics standards,
pick one.


     AT&T and Sun are taking a step that should have been taken years
ago.  It is exactly what the marketplace needs.  And who better to do
it than those who drive the development of the two main strains?
I don't think we want this done by a committee.  On the other hand
one can see the Hamilton Group's problem with this.  They do not want
to have to play catch up all the time.  But in reality, isn't that
what they are doing anyway?  None of those companies has the ability
to effect changes to System V or SunOS (BSD) at the current time.  Why
should Sun and AT&T allow them to in the future?

     There are too many standardization groups out there anyway.  Sun
and AT&T are *doing* something about the problem right now.  Look at
how long the ANSI C effort is taking and that is just one group.  All
of the UNIX-related standardization groups will have to get together
sometime and converge on a single standard.


BTW:  Some of the latest headlines in the trade rags indicate that end
users are not happy about this group spliting off and developing yet
another OS.


-- 
George W. Leach					Paradyne Corporation
..!uunet!pdn!reggie				Mail stop LF-207
Phone: (813) 530-2376				P.O. Box 2826
						Largo, FL  34649-2826

Path: utzoo!attcan!uunet!lll-winken!lll-lcc!ames!think!bloom-beacon!mit-eddie!
bbn!bbn.com!rsalz
From: rs...@bbn.com (Rich Salz)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: Open Software Foundation
Message-ID: <754@fig.bbn.com>
Date: 19 May 88 01:00:14 GMT
References: <5412@bloom-beacon.MIT.EDU> <3166@pdn.UUCP>
Organization: BBN Laboratories Inc., Cambridge MA
Lines: 13

The Open Software Foundation has $90Million in funding, and are going
to be hiring "hundreds" of people.

I don't care about WHY they're doing it.

Reading between the lines, I gather they're going to rewrite EVERYTHING so
that it contains no ATT licensed code.  If they pull it off, many people
will be very happy.  I only wish they had given the money to GNU (I know
some people talked to some other people) or UCB.

Regardless of what happens, it's going to be an exciting time in the ole'
Unix world.
-- 
Please send comp.sources.unix-related mail to rs...@uunet.uu.net.

Path: utzoo!utgpu!water!watmath!clyde!att!pacbell!ames!oliveb!pyramid!prls!
philabs!ttidca!mb
From: m...@ttidca.TTI.COM (Michael Bloom)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: Open Software Foundation
Message-ID: <2554@ttidca.TTI.COM>
Date: 20 May 88 04:43:54 GMT
References: <5412@bloom-beacon.MIT.EDU> <3166@pdn.UUCP> <754@fig.bbn.com>
Organization: Citicorp/TTI, Santa Monica
Lines: 36


 In article <7...@fig.bbn.com> rs...@bbn.com (Rich Salz) writes:

  < The Open Software Foundation has $90Million in funding, and are going
  < to be hiring "hundreds" of people.
     .....
  < Reading between the lines, I gather they're going to rewrite EVERYTHING so
  < that it contains no ATT licensed code.  If they pull it off, many people
  < will be very happy.  I only wish they had given the money to GNU (I know
  < some people talked to some other people) or UCB.

Curious, the similarity between the names "Free" and "Open" Software
Foundation.  Perhaps this is the start of "glasnost" in the Un*x world...

Seriously, what you are wishing for is a *damn* good idea in my
opinion.  Perhaps if enough of the potential customers of this new
organization share this opinion and *voice* it (!), it could come to
pass.  Doing so could end up having much more productive results than
just sitting back, waiting to see what happens.

Certainly rms and crew have demonstrated high levels of competence, quality
and productivity.  An investment by the OSF in the FSF could pay off
handsomely. 

The question is: Is this new organization *really* interested in
producing a non-proprietary system, or one that is still proprietary
but the terms of which (no royalties to ATT) are more to their liking?

If the latter, I see no special incentive (especially since, the last
I heard, Locus still does not support the fast file system) to switch
from AT&T licensed code to OSF licensed code. 

The royalty fees will most likely be competitive (although there will
also be the opportunity for price wars).

- mb

Path: utzoo!utgpu!water!watmath!clyde!att!osu-cis!tut.cis.ohio-state.edu!husc6!
m2c!ulowell!apollo!mishkin
From: mish...@apollo.uucp (Nathaniel Mishkin)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: Open Software Foundation
Keywords: osf
Message-ID: <3c2a41f6.13422@apollo.uucp>
Date: 20 May 88 14:27:00 GMT
References: <5412@bloom-beacon.MIT.EDU> <3166@pdn.UUCP>
Reply-To: mish...@apollo.UUCP (Nathaniel Mishkin)
Organization: Apollo Computer, Chelmsford, MA
Lines: 80

In article <3...@pdn.UUCP> reg...@pdn.UUCP (George W. Leach) writes:
>In article <5...@bloom-beacon.MIT.EDU> wesom...@athena.mit.edu (William Sommerfeld) 
writes:
>>NEW YORK, N.Y., May 17, 1988---Seven leading computer companies today
>>announced an international foundation to develop and provide a
>>completely open software environment to make it easier for customers
>>to use computers and software from many vendors.
>
>     Huh?   How does creating an alternative standard help do that?
>Look at some of the areas of "standardization", like graphics standards,
>pick one.
>
>
>AT&T and Sun are taking a step that should have been taken years
>ago.  It is exactly what the marketplace needs.  And who better to do
>it than those who drive the development of the two main strains?
>I don't think we want this done by a committee.  On the other hand
>one can see the Hamilton Group's problem with this.  They do not want
>to have to play catch up all the time.  But in reality, isn't that
>what they are doing anyway?  None of those companies has the ability
>to effect changes to System V or SunOS (BSD) at the current time.  Why
>should Sun and AT&T allow them to in the future?

Let me state up front that the following are *my* opinions, and not those
of Apollo Computer, for whom I happen to work:

With my simple engineer hat on, I can see how the AT&T/Sun Unix
collaboration has (had?) a lot going for it.  Unifying Unix (especially
the BSD and System V derivative) is clearly a desirable thing.  The problem
is the way in which the unification was happening.  There are two aspects
to this:  First, getting System V Release 3 (and presumably later releases)
requires companies to sign a fairly (shall we say) "heavyweight" contract
obliging the companies to do all sorts of things.  The set of "things"
is not necessary stable either (i.e. they could be different and Release
4), thus making a company's long-term planning rather hard.  As a result,
it's not clear that all companies could or would sign onto later System
V releases, making the issue of unification moot.

A second aspect to the problem with the way the unification was happening
was that no one other than Sun or AT&T appeared to have any opportunity
to have input into the process.  I'm not asking for votes, or committees,
or stuff like that.  I'm just talking about AT&T saying that they'd at
least listen to and consider ideas that didn't originate at AT&T and
Sun.  I think they have lots of bright people, but they're not *that*
bright and they don't have a corner on the market of good ideas.

Now admittedly, the foregoing is something of a vendor's point of view.
But I have to believe that ultimately these things that are bad for
vendors end up being bad for end users.  Do end users want to put the
nature of future software into the hands of a particular set of vested
interests?  Do end users really want to see the set of computer vendors
reduced because all but two are put at the disadvantage of getting the
latest software at a 6-12 month lag?

>     There are too many standardization groups out there anyway.  Sun
>and AT&T are *doing* something about the problem right now.  Look at
>how long the ANSI C effort is taking and that is just one group.  All
>of the UNIX-related standardization groups will have to get together
>sometime and converge on a single standard.

The intention (at least) is that OSF *not* be a standardization committee.
OSF is a not-for-profit software company that will make open decisions
based upon input from a wide variety of inputs.  They will integrate
existing software (some of which will come from the OSF sponsors) and
write software from scratch if they have to.  Further, it is my
understanding that, contrary to comments otherwise, at least some software
that OSF distributes will be subject to licenses created by organizations
other than OSF.  (Although presumably OSF will not distribute software
subject to the kind of "heavyweight" licenses currently associated with
System V Release 3.)

I don't think anyone knows how this will work out for sure, but I think
it's worth a shot.  I'd rather place the state of my future software
into the hands of an organization structured along the lines of OSF than
into the hands of for-profit companies that have already at least partially
closed the door on outside input.
-- 
                    -- Nat Mishkin
                       Apollo Computer Inc.
                       Chelmsford, MA
                       {decvax,mit-eddie,umix}!apollo!mishkin

Path: utzoo!utgpu!water!watmath!clyde!att!osu-cis!tut.cis.ohio-state.edu!mailrus!
ames!pasteur!ucbvax!hoptoad!gnu
From: g...@hoptoad.uucp (John Gilmore)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: O'pain Software Foundation: (2) Why is it better than AT&T?
Message-ID: <4629@hoptoad.uucp>
Date: 23 May 88 01:40:47 GMT
References: <5412@bloom-beacon.MIT.EDU> <3166@pdn.UUCP> <3c2a41f6.13422@apollo.uucp>
Organization: Grasshopper Group in San Francisco
Lines: 55

Nat Mishkin wrote:
>                     contrary to comments otherwise, at least some software
> that OSF distributes will be subject to licenses created by organizations
> other than OSF.  (Although presumably OSF will not distribute software
> subject to the kind of "heavyweight" licenses currently associated with
> System V Release 3.)

I don't see the difference between depending upon OSF to "never make its
licenses objectionable in the future" and depending upon AT&T to do the same.
Is there a contractural committment from OSF to provide new releases on the
same, or less onerous, terms as its first releases?  If not, you have just
switched from the devil you know to a new devil.

Do you think IBM and DEC will each throw dozens of millions at this and
then sit meekly if the little companies and universities who join this
"nonprofit" vote to do something that hurts the big guys?  Or is there
voting at all?  How are such decisions to be made (I presume this is
settled now, since it is the key to the viability of the OSF)?  Is there an
"OSF Security Council" that gets veto power over things?

I can't see OSF competing on price with AT&T, since AT&T's prices drop
precipitously with volume; Xenix, for example, costs them $10/copy
since they have shipped 300,000 copies.  As the Unix market explodes,
more and more companies will move to this price point.  The only way to
supply a cheaper Unix is to make it free -- which, of course, the OSF
is deliberately NOT doing.  It's the same old "licensed software" BS,
sources to the big companies, binaries to the mortals, legalese before
you get a line of it.  Happily, due to the GNU license, they will not
be able to steal any GNU software and ship it in binary unless they
distribute its full sources at cost, thus aiding and abetting the GNU
effort.

>                     I'd rather place the state of my future software
> into the hands of an organization structured along the lines of OSF than
> into the hands of for-profit companies that have already at least partially
> closed the door on outside input.

Has any of the companies in OSF publicly stated that they will *not*
buy any more software from AT&T?  Or that they will exclusively use OS
software from OSF?  This business of putting your future "into the
hands of xxx" is a strawman; none of these companies is required to use
the OSF software, nor to eschew Unix, SunOS, VMS, MVS, Domain, or
whatever.  Do these companies really expect to stop shipping real Unix
anytime soon, and/or to convert their proprietary stuff to quote "open"
unquote software hastily assembled by a nonprofit committee?  I don't
believe it.

If you can build a better Unix than what AT&T ships, you can keep
running on your old AT&T license (and indeed many Unix companies are
doing this now, e.g. they had SVR2 licenses and they toss the tape and
ship Berkeley Unix, or a mix).  Your company's future software is in
your own hands.
-- 
John Gilmore  {sun,pacbell,uunet,pyramid,ihnp4}!hoptoad!gnu        g...@toad.com
"Use the Source, Luke...."

Path: utzoo!utgpu!water!watmath!clyde!att!osu-cis!tut.cis.ohio-state.edu!mailrus!ames!
pasteur!ucbvax!hoptoad!gnu
From: g...@hoptoad.uucp (John Gilmore)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: O'pain Software Foundation: (3) relationship to GNU & openness
Message-ID: <4630@hoptoad.uucp>
Date: 23 May 88 03:40:06 GMT
References: <5412@bloom-beacon.MIT.EDU> <3166@pdn.UUCP> <3c2a41f6.13422@apollo.uucp>
Organization: Grasshopper Group in San Francisco
Lines: 58

I see too much resemblance between "Open Software Foundation"
and "Free Software Foundation".  Given its constituency, the only
thing I expect to be "open" about it is its mouth.  While Apollo
might have learned how to survive in an open systems market (I'm
keeping an open mind about that :-), IBM and DEC hate it like poison.
The name is just a marketing gimmick, like the "Citizens for Decency,
Justice, and the American Way" type political committees.

If the Free Software Foundation feels that its name has been unfairly
infringed upon, I would be glad to back it in a lawsuit, and I suspect
that other GNU users would rally to its support.

OSF could have chosen to take an approach like GNU, but deliberately
spurned it.  I personally put some of the Hamilton Group people in
touch with the GNU leadership, as did Rich $alz.  While I could believe
that a bunch of lawyer-bound companies might not want Richard Stallman
in charge of their new Unix-clone project (though his track record so
far is amazingly good), they could have chosen to write their code
under the same terms (anyone can distribute sources for any price, but
with no restrictions on redistribution; distributing binaries at any
price requires you to distribute matching sources at copying cost for 3
years).  GNU has written some large parts of Unix and more are under
way; OSF could have contributed much of the remaining work and come up
with a complete, modern, working, non-AT&T, public source code clone of
Unix.  The fact that they didn't speaks volumes to me about their
motives.

They want to keep this software under corporate control.  They will be
"open" with each other, not with their customers.  The whole brouhaha
is a standard "FUD" (fear, uncertainty, doubt)-generating marketing
operation.  AT&T and Sun have made an effort to make it possible to
run the same applications software on hundreds of manufacturer's machines.
If the OSF companies ship systems that, while compatible with Posix,
have lots of extraneous differences from Unix, portable applications will 
be hard to find, and there will remain a market for applications that
run on VMS, MVS, Domain, and other proprietary systems.  If Sun and
AT&T succeed, an applications company will be able to cover the whole
market by writing an application once, and the resulting depth and breadth
of applications will obsolete applications that run only on the
proprietary systems, thereby obsoleting the proprietary OS's.  IBM,
DEC, HP, and Apollo have a lot to gain by making Sun and AT&T fail at this.

If/when OSF ships a product, their next move is to start claiming that
Sun and AT&T, who pushed the whole midrange computer market market wide
open(*), are pushing "proprietary" software.  You read it here first, folks...

	John Gilmore

(*) AT&T did it unwittingly, by licensing Unix out cheaply before
they could sell software, thereby making it possible for all kinds of
new hardware to come with compatible operating systems.  Sun did it
deliberately, because it was a foot in the door, an advantage for
buyers that a small company could supply better than, say, DEC.  It is
a struggle for Sun to stay open as it grows, but so far it seems equal
to the challenge.
-- 
John Gilmore  {sun,pacbell,uunet,pyramid,ihnp4}!hoptoad!gnu        g...@toad.com
"Use the Source, Luke...."

Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer)
Subject: Re: Open Software Foundation
Message-ID: <1988May23.074820.5222@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
References: <5412@bloom-beacon.MIT.EDU> <3166@pdn.UUCP> <754@fig.bbn.com>, 
<2554@ttidca.TTI.COM>
Date: Mon, 23 May 88 07:48:20 GMT

> Certainly rms and crew have demonstrated high levels of competence, quality
> and productivity...

Unfortunately, they have also demonstrated a set of priorities and beliefs
that many people don't go along with, plus a distinct lack of flexibility
when said priorities and beliefs become an issue...

> An investment by the OSF in the FSF could pay off handsomely. 

Do remember that RMS and, say, IBM have very different ideas of what "pay
off handsomely" ought to mean.  I seriously doubt that a meeting of the
minds there is very likely.  Pity, it would do both of them good to be a
bit more open-minded...
-- 
NASA is to spaceflight as            |  Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
the Post Office is to mail.          | {ihnp4,decvax,uunet!mnetor}!utzoo!henry

Path: utzoo!attcan!uunet!husc6!mit-eddie!apollo!mishkin
From: mish...@apollo.uucp (Nathaniel Mishkin)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: O'pain Software Foundation: (2) Why is it better than AT&T?
Message-ID: <3c3a336e.13422@apollo.uucp>
Date: 23 May 88 18:32:00 GMT
References: <5412@bloom-beacon.MIT.EDU> <3166@pdn.UUCP> <3c2a41f6.13422@apollo.uucp> 
<4629@hoptoad.uucp>
Reply-To: mish...@apollo.UUCP (Nathaniel Mishkin)
Organization: Apollo Computer, Chelmsford, MA
Lines: 66

In article <4...@hoptoad.uucp> g...@hoptoad.uucp (John Gilmore) writes:
>I don't see the difference between depending upon OSF to "never make its
>licenses objectionable in the future" and depending upon AT&T to do the same.
>Is there a contractural committment from OSF to provide new releases on the
>same, or less onerous, terms as its first releases?  If not, you have just
>switched from the devil you know to a new devil.

Perhaps.  At least the new devil is not a competitor.  At least it's starting
off with a different model of operation about software licensing.  Sure,
the OSF could turn out to be Godzilla of the software world, but I don't
expect it to be.  The fur is already showing on AT&T though...

>Do you think IBM and DEC will each throw dozens of millions at this and
>then sit meekly if the little companies and universities who join this
>"nonprofit" vote to do something that hurts the big guys?  Or is there
>voting at all?  How are such decisions to be made (I presume this is
>settled now, since it is the key to the viability of the OSF)?  Is there an
>"OSF Security Council" that gets veto power over things?

The model is that the OSF is a *company* and it is run by the staff of
the company, just like every other company.  Sure, the
board of directors can fire the president and everyone under him
if they think they're doing the wrong thing, but is that going to happen?
Is it going to happen because they picked semantics A for "signal(2)"
versus semantics B?  Not very likely.  If that happens, the OSF will
have failed, and I think all the sponsors understand this.

>Has any of the companies in OSF publicly stated that they will *not*
>buy any more software from AT&T?  Or that they will exclusively use OS
>software from OSF?  This business of putting your future "into the
>hands of xxx" is a strawman; none of these companies is required to use
>the OSF software, nor to eschew Unix, SunOS, VMS, MVS, Domain, or
>whatever.  Do these companies really expect to stop shipping real Unix
>anytime soon, and/or to convert their proprietary stuff to quote "open"
>unquote software hastily assembled by a nonprofit committee?  I don't
>believe it.

It's a direction, not an instantaneous event.  I believe the sponsors
have said "We can't keep going on this way, let's find a new way".

>If you can build a better Unix than what AT&T ships, you can keep
>running on your old AT&T license (and indeed many Unix companies are
>doing this now, e.g. they had SVR2 licenses and they toss the tape and
>ship Berkeley Unix, or a mix).  Your company's future software is in
>your own hands.

It could well *not* be in your own hands if you make a technical and
market-oriented decision that you *have* to support a particular piece
of software, base your company on it, and then have your chain yanked
2-3 years down the line.  The only "choice" one has is to find a different
direction.

BTW, I object to the various speculation (on the part of several people)
on the topic of the "ulterior motives" of DEC and IBM.  (No one cares
about Apollo's ulterior motives, I guess :-)  "They really just want
to wreak havoc", it is said.  Aren't AT&T and Sun subject to ulterior
motives?  "Get them hooked on a standard *we* define and that *they're*
contractually obligated to support and then add some whacko feature that
kills some piece of added value our major competitor has managed to eek
out".  Geez.  Talk about white hats and black hats!

-- 
                    -- Nat Mishkin
                       Apollo Computer Inc.
                       Chelmsford, MA
                       {decvax,mit-eddie,umix}!apollo!mishkin

Path: utzoo!attcan!uunet!husc6!bloom-beacon!gatech!ncar!ames!amdahl!pyramid!sas
From: sas@pyrps5 (Scott Schoenthal)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: O'pain Software Foundation: (2) Why is it better than AT&T?
Message-ID: <24369@pyramid.pyramid.com>
Date: 23 May 88 22:12:29 GMT
Sender: dae...@pyramid.pyramid.com
Reply-To: s...@pyrps5.pyramid.com (Scott Schoenthal)
Organization: Pyramid Technology Corp., Mountain View, CA
Lines: 63

After some thought, I've decided to add my (rather long-winded) two cents.

I think that the recent statements by <mish...@apollo.UUCP> display a
naive loyalty to his company's viewpoint.

>Perhaps.  At least the new devil is not a competitor.  At least it's starting
>off with a different model of operation about software licensing.  Sure,
>the OSF could turn out to be Godzilla of the software world, but I don't
>expect it to be.  The fur is already showing on AT&T though...

>It's a direction, not an instantaneous event.  I believe the sponsors
>have said "We can't keep going on this way, let's find a new way".

I think that if IBM, DEC, et al., were truly interested in delivering an open
implementation of Mumblix (or whatever their derivative of Un*x is to be
called), the money would have been best spent in funding an independent effort
(e.g., FSF or a university).  I have no doubt that OSF will do what is
best for the OSF members.  That's fine.  It's their money.  Just as, has
been recently implied, AT&T and Sun will do what is best for themselves.
Please don't represent OSF as a white knight riding in from the East (or
wherever).

Although I mostly agree with comments made by <g...@hoptoad.UUCP>, I have a
problem with his views on AT&T:

> AT&T and Sun have made an effort to make it possible to
> run the same applications software on hundreds of manufacturer's machines.
> If the OSF companies ship systems that, while compatible with Posix,
> have lots of extraneous differences from Unix, portable applications will 
> be hard to find, and there will remain a market for applications that
> run on VMS, MVS, Domain, and other proprietary systems.

My current impression (admittedly somewhat uninformed) is that the ABI
standard (I assume this is what John is referring to) is a crock.  Given
the recent explosion of micro-processor designs which have come out in the
last year, the notion of an ABI seems to me to be useless.

The current System V release is based upon the 3b2 architecture.  My
understanding is that future releases will be based upon the SPARC
architecture.  In this sense,  no effort has been made by AT&T/Sun to
"make it possible to run the same applications software on hundreds of
manufacturer's machines."

It will be interesting to see what machine the OSF people choose to use as
their architecture base.  PC/RT, perhaps? :-)

> If/when OSF ships a product, their next move is to start claiming that
> Sun and AT&T, who pushed the whole midrange computer market market wide
> open(*), are pushing "proprietary" software.  You read it here first, folks.

But, it is proprietary.  Customers have to sign licenses.  Customers have to
pay money.  Customers have to perform certain obligations (e.g., passing
SVVS).  Is this not 'proprietary'?

Finally, my gut feeling is that 5 years from now we'll all have a good
laugh over this while professing that each of us knew that "X" was the
way to go in 1988 where "X" corresponds to whatever the Un*x world looks like
in 1993.

sas		"I speak for myself only."
----
Scott Schoenthal   			s...@pyrps5.pyramid.com
Pyramid Technology Corp.		{sun,hplabs,decwrl}!pyramid!sas

Path: utzoo!attcan!uunet!husc6!think!ames!umd5!mimsy!chris
From: ch...@mimsy.UUCP (Chris Torek)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: `open systems': no one can agree...
Message-ID: <11671@mimsy.UUCP>
Date: 25 May 88 17:12:10 GMT
References: <5412@bloom-beacon.MIT.EDU> <3166@pdn.UUCP> <3c3fdf1b.4bee@apollo.uucp>
Organization: U of Maryland, Dept. of Computer Science, Coll. Pk., MD 20742
Lines: 8

I get the feeling that every single person who has posted an opinion
about OSF has a different definition of an `open system'.  So:  Just
what *is* an `open system'?  What makes a system `open'?

In any case, the obvious thing to do about OSF is to wait and see.
-- 
In-Real-Life: Chris Torek, Univ of MD Comp Sci Dept (+1 301 454 7163)
Domain:	ch...@mimsy.umd.edu	Path:	uunet!mimsy!chris

Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer)
Subject: Re: O'pain Software Foundation: (2) Why is it better than AT&T?
Message-ID: <1988May29.004027.4179@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
References: <24369@pyramid.pyramid.com>
Date: Sun, 29 May 88 00:40:27 GMT

> I think that if IBM, DEC, et al., were truly interested in delivering an open
> implementation of Mumblix...
> the money would have been best spent in funding an independent effort
> (e.g., FSF or a university)...

Not necessarily.  One reason for funding a not-quite-independent effort
like OSF is to have some small control over the result.  They want something
that complies with reasonable standards and is enough like current Unixes
that their programs will run without too much trouble.  FSF's ultimate
output (in my opinion) will bear only a passing resemblance to Unix.
And the major experience we've had so far with university control of Unix,
to wit BSD, has not been exactly encouraging to those who prefer software
to remain compatible unless there is a good reason to change it.  (Not
that AT&T hasn't contributed its share of stupid, gratuitous, incompatible
changes, but Berkeley has them beat by several light-years.)
-- 
"For perfect safety... sit on a fence|  Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
and watch the birds." --Wilbur Wright| {ihnp4,decvax,uunet!mnetor}!utzoo!henry

Path: utzoo!dciem!nrcaer!scs!spl1!laidbak!att!osu-cis!tut.cis.ohio-state.edu!
mailrus!nrl-cmf!cmcl2!rutgers!mtunx!whuts!homxb!genesis!hotlr!dkc
From: d...@hotlr.ATT (Dave Cornutt)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: In defense of BSD (was: something else)
Message-ID: <393@hotlr.ATT>
Date: 1 Jun 88 19:33:13 GMT
Article-I.D.: hotlr.393
References: <24369@pyramid.pyramid.com> <1988May29.004027.4179@utzoo.uucp>
Reply-To: d...@hotlr.UUCP (Dave Cornutt)
Organization: Not much, but I'm working on it
Lines: 60
Summary: Unix would not be where it is without BSD

The following are my opinions only.  I hope that my .signature disclaimer would
make that clear, but I'm saying it here anyway just in case.  This is not an
attempt to pick on Henry Spencer or anyone else in particular; I just chose
a qoute from him because it was the first one I found while grepping articles.
This is not an attempt to start a flaming war.  I don't particularly care to
start another round of SysV vs. BSD arguemnts, especially since the point will
probably be moot a year from now.  I just think that there are some people
who are being done an injustice in this newsgroup, and I want to give them
their due.

In article <1988May29.004027.4...@utzoo.uucp> he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer) writes:
 > And the major experience we've had so far with university control of Unix,
 > to wit BSD, has not been exactly encouraging to those who prefer software
 > to remain compatible unless there is a good reason to change it.

Sorry.  I just can't let this go by.  I am just about fed up with all of the
gratuitous Berkeley-bashing that has been going on here the last couple
of months.  I know of quite a few people out there who put in long, hard
hours (with little or no pay) to benefit every person who uses any Unix
system today (even SV versions).  Without them driving the development
process through the 1098's, we'd all still be using V7 systems, and
Unix would never have gotten to where it is now.  Sure, they introduced
some incompatible changes and features that were difficult and awkward
to use, but before you criticize them for it, remember that in many
cases they had *no prior art* to use as a guideline.  And without some
of those changes, a bunch of stuff that we take for granted today simply
would not exist, because no one else would ever take the time and effort,
and go through the heartbreak and frustration, of trying to do something
for the first time.  And Berkeley has been mostly tolerant and good-
natured about accepting and incorporating outside suggestions, unlike
AT&T, where "Not Invented Here" is a religious dogma.  (And don't flame
me for speculating, because I'm not... I've seen it first-hand; it
is embedded into the highest levels of corporate policy here.)

Berkeley has a lot to do with the popularity of Unix today.  They kept
it alive at a time when AT&T didn't seem to be interested in carrying
it any further (partly due to the divestiture, which was a huge
distraction and took up a lot of people's time).  They carried it to
the Vax hardware, which was the up-and-coming thing at the time.
They gave it the gift of paging.  (Yes, I know that the Vax paging
code originated with 32V.  When was the last time you used 32V?)
They added networking code that has
become an indispensible part of today's mini and workstation setups.
Without all this, Unix might have died by 1985, pushed out by VMS
and other proprietary systems.  It's not too surprising that over
half of the mini and workstation vendors that entered the market in
the mid-80's chose BSD as their porting base.  There was no
realistic alternative at the time.

Just so everyone knows where I stand... I believe that there are a lot
of talented and dedicated people at AT&T.  The same is true of Berkeley.
If you can't accept that someone outside of your own organization or
ideological group can ever come up with a good idea, then that's your
problem, not mine.  I intend to take advantage of good things wherever
I find them, whether that is at AT&T, Berkeley, Sun, OSF, or whatever.
-- 
Dave Cornutt, AT&T Bell Labs (rm 4A406,x1088), Holmdel, NJ
UUCP:{ihnp4,allegra,cbosgd}!hotly!dkc
"The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily my employer's, not
necessarily mine, and probably not necessary"

Path: utzoo!utgpu!water!watmath!clyde!att!pacbell!ames!mailrus!
tut.cis.ohio-state.edu!mandrill!gatech!udel!rochester!cornell!batcomputer!
sun.soe.clarkson.edu!nelson
From: nel...@sun.soe.clarkson.edu (Russ Nelson)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: O'pain Software Foundation: (2) Why is it better than AT&T?
Message-ID: <1017@sun.soe.clarkson.edu>
Date: 1 Jun 88 19:52:11 GMT
References: <24369@pyramid.pyramid.com> <355@mipseast.mips.COM>
Reply-To: nel...@sun.soe.clarkson.edu (Russ Nelson)
Organization: Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY
Lines: 19

I'm surprised that no one has come to the following conclusion:

AT&T+Sun AND the OSF are gathering the wagons into circles because they're
afraid of the GNUs.  Think about what's going to happen when rms finishes
the kernel?  There is a tremendous market opportunity for a firm that
simply offers support for GNUnix.  They need no investment other than
that needed to become a GNUnix wizard.  And, because of the restrictions
on derivatives of GNU, they will benefit from everyone else's work.

Who do you think will provide better customer support?  A company that
sells customer support, i.e. GNU Wizards, Inc.?  Or a company that
sells Unix boxes i.e. AT&T+SUN+OSF?

Parting shot: If IBM is so impressed by Unix, why aren't they on Usenet?
Can you say FUD?
-- 
char *reply-to-russ(int network) {
if(network == BITNET) return "NELSON@CLUTX";
else return "nel...@clutx.clarkson.edu"; }

Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer)
Subject: Re: In defense of BSD (was: something else)
Message-ID: <1988Jun11.232140.934@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
References: <24369@pyramid.pyramid.com> <1988May29.004027.4179@utzoo.uucp>, 
<393@hotlr.ATT>
Date: Sat, 11 Jun 88 23:21:40 GMT

> ... This is not an attempt to pick on Henry Spencer...

Who, me, criticize Berkeley?  Nah. :-)

> ...I am just about fed up with all of the
> gratuitous Berkeley-bashing that has been going on here the last couple
> of months.  I know of quite a few people out there who put in long, hard
> hours (with little or no pay) to benefit every person who uses any Unix
> system today (even SV versions)...

Actually, I will (and do) admit that Berkeley has done a lot of useful
things.  In particular, there is one VERY IMPORTANT thing they did that
they almost never get credit for, because it's not flashy and obvious.
It's easy to notice, and praise, new features (although a bit less of
that might be a good idea...).  It's not so easy to notice and properly
appreciate a solid system.  32V, as released by AT&T, was a very raw and
incomplete port.  After releasing it, AT&T basically spent several years
dithering over whether to do anything further for outside consumption.

At around that time, an awful lot of people were interested in Unix on a
VAX, since the good old 11's limitations were getting pretty painful.
However, most of these people wanted a *production* system, something
they could use to do real work, not a flaky experimental system.

The significant thing that Berkeley and its outside contributors (e.g. DEC)
did was to shake 32V down into a solid system that coped with and exploited
the VAX hardware effectively.  This is NOT trivial, as anyone who's read
the VAX hardware manuals will testify.  The eventual System V releases
for the VAX didn't do nearly as good a job on it.  Note that I am not
talking about virtual memory; I'm referring to hardware error recovery,
configuration procedures, proper device handling for a wide variety of
devices, bad-block support for disks, and so on.  None of this is glamorous
and sexy, but it makes an enormous difference to people who want a system
that *runs* reliably without endless tinkering.

In my opinion, this particular effort was what *really* established UCB
as a credible "supplier" of Unix.  And it was Berkeley's willingness to
do this work, and AT&T's unwillingness to do it (or at least, to release
the result), that really led to the current schizophrenic situation in
the Unix world.  For several years, 4BSD -- silly incompatibilities and
all -- was the only Unix that a sensible, production-oriented shop would
run on a VAX.  When AT&T finally got around to doing something along
those lines, 4BSD had a large head start.  AT&T has been fighting to
catch up ever since.

We now return you to our normal Berkeley-bashing... :-)

> Without them driving the development
> process through the 1098's, we'd all still be using V7 systems...

Frankly, with a couple of reservations, that doesn't strike me as an
enormously bad thing.  Going that route would have avoided an awful lot
of unnecessary compatibility headaches.  There wasn't a lot wrong with
V7 that couldn't have been fixed in a backward-compatible way.

> ... Sure, they introduced
> some incompatible changes and features that were difficult and awkward
> to use, but before you criticize them for it, remember that in many
> cases they had *no prior art* to use as a guideline.

I'll go along with that argument, more or less, for semi-botched new
features.  I fail to see that it applies to silly, incompatible changes
to existing ones.

> They gave it the gift of paging.  (Yes, I know that the Vax paging
> code originated with 32V.  When was the last time you used 32V?)

Actually not true; 32V used the paging hardware in a limited way but did
not do virtual memory, which is what most people think of when they hear
the word "paging".  By the way, 4BSD virtual memory is a mediocre design
with wretchedly messy innards that few dare touch, because they are
so cryptic and fragile.  It's not an accident that the virtual memory
is much the most popular target for re-implementation by Unix-box makers.

> They added networking code that has
> become an indispensible part of today's mini and workstation setups.

However, they were not the first to do this, so this hardly counts as a
massive argument in their favor.  They also did a number of things that
almost got them lynched by the rest of the TCP/IP community; we're still
living with the aftereffects of some of those botches.


To sum up:  Berkeley has made some quite valuable contributions.  However,
they have also introduced a lot of stupid, incompatible changes that have
made life much harder than it needs to be.  If the effort that went into
unnecessary meddling with working software had gone into useful projects
instead -- or even into tossing a Frisbee around on the lawn -- we'd all
be even better off.  AT&T's problem is inertia and lack of interest in
useful changes; Berkeley's problem is an excess of enthusiasm for new
and nifty ideas, without adequate consideration of whether they are
*good* ideas.  This enthusiasm is no problem -- indeed, it's desirable --
in a research lab that produces papers instead of software.  But when the
end product is software that thousands of sites end up depending on, one
could wish for a bit more restraint.
-- 
"For perfect safety... sit on a fence|  Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
and watch the birds." --Wilbur Wright| {ihnp4,decvax,uunet!mnetor}!utzoo!henry

			        About USENET

USENET (Users’ Network) was a bulletin board shared among many computer
systems around the world. USENET was a logical network, sitting on top
of several physical networks, among them UUCP, BLICN, BERKNET, X.25, and
the ARPANET. Sites on USENET included many universities, private companies
and research organizations. See USENET Archives.

		       SCO Files Lawsuit Against IBM

March 7, 2003 - The SCO Group filed legal action against IBM in the State 
Court of Utah for trade secrets misappropriation, tortious interference, 
unfair competition and breach of contract. The complaint alleges that IBM 
made concentrated efforts to improperly destroy the economic value of 
UNIX, particularly UNIX on Intel, to benefit IBM's Linux services 
business. See SCO vs IBM.

The materials and information included in this website may only be used
for purposes such as criticism, review, private study, scholarship, or
research.

Electronic mail:			       WorldWideWeb:
   tech-insider@outlook.com			  http://tech-insider.org/