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Path: utzoo!attcan!uunet!husc6!bloom-beacon!mit-eddie!ll-xn!ames!ucsd!
ucsdhub!hp-sdd!ncr-sd!ncrcae!ofc!rogers
From: rog...@ofc.Columbia.NCR.COM (H. L. Rogers)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: AT&T Joining OSF
Keywords: OSF now respectable?
Message-ID: <213@ofc.Columbia.NCR.COM>
Date: 26 Jul 88 17:19:44 GMT
References: <347@spies.UUCP>
Reply-To: hl.rog...@ncrcae.Columbia.NCR.COM (H. L. Rogers)
Organization: NCR Corp, E&M-Columbia, W Columbia, SC
Lines: 16

In article <3...@spies.UUCP>  writes:
>Well, boys and girls, according to today's Computer World, ATT has decided
>to join OSF!! They are submitting Open Look as OSFix's interface standard,
>replying to the OSF RFP.  Waddya think?  Does this mean a still more
>radical revision of Sys V rev 4's licensing terms?
>
>Us Inquiring Minds want to know!

With all due respect to those of you who wear the blue suits (as in
Big Blue), I hope this means the development base for "OSFix"
becomes SVR4 instead of AIX.  AIX may be a great implementation,
but its performance metrics leave a bit to be desired.  

Does AT&T membership give respectability to the OSF crowd?
-- 
HL Rogers    (hl.rog...@ncrcae.Columbia.NCR.COM)

Path: utzoo!attcan!uunet!lll-winken!lll-tis!ames!mailrus!uwmcsd1!ig!
agate!ucbvax!hplabs!hpda!hpcupt1!kluft
From: kl...@hpcupt1.HP.COM (Ian Kluft)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: Re: AT&T Joining OSF
Message-ID: <5960008@hpcupt1.HP.COM>
Date: 27 Jul 88 21:04:01 GMT
References: <10474@ulysses.homer.nj.att.com>
Organization: HP Systems Technology Div, Cupertino CA
Lines: 12

rog...@ofc.Columbia.NCR.COM (H. L. Rogers) writes:
> Does AT&T membership give respectability to the OSF crowd?

Actually, it was AT&T and Sun who were lacking in respectability after
trying to steal the whole market for themselves.

(Disclaimer: Official HP statements only come from HQ in Palo Alto.)

------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ian Kluft			RAS Lab
    UUCP: hplabs!hprasor!kluft	HP Systems Technology Division
    ARPA: kl...@hpda.hp.com	Cupertino, CA
------------------------------------------------------------------

Path: utzoo!utgpu!attcan!uunet!husc6!bloom-beacon!bu-cs!bzs
From: b...@bu-cs.BU.EDU (Barry Shein)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: AT&T Joining OSF
Message-ID: <24128@bu-cs.BU.EDU>
Date: 28 Jul 88 15:47:03 GMT
References: <10474@ulysses.homer.nj.att.com> <5960008@hpcupt1.HP.COM>
Organization: Boston U. Comp. Sci.
Lines: 26
In-reply-to: kluft@hpcupt1.HP.COM's message of 27 Jul 88 21:04:01 GMT


From: kl...@hpcupt1.HP.COM (Ian Kluft)
>rog...@ofc.Columbia.NCR.COM (H. L. Rogers) writes:
>> Does AT&T membership give respectability to the OSF crowd?
>
>Actually, it was AT&T and Sun who were lacking in respectability after
>trying to steal the whole market for themselves.

"Steal" is a very strange choice of words to apply to the owner (AT&T).

Mayhaps the pot calls the kettle black? Nah, I'm sure the OSF members
were only trying to reassert their firm commitment to the rights of
software owners...

Anyone want to join me in forming the CLOSED SOFTWARE FOUNDATION?
(a subsidiary of my EMPEROR'S NEW SOFTWARE FOUNDATION.)

We can talk about how we're going to enforce industry standards on
VMS, MVS, CMS, AEGIS, etc, all those things that end in S instead of X.

Then we can accuse them of STEALING the market!

Ah well, it's not suprising to see this all break down to Sunday
afternoon sports-bar-babble.

	-Barry Shein, Boston University

Path: utzoo!utgpu!attcan!uunet!husc6!uwvax!rutgers!orstcs!beasley!kramerj
From: kram...@beasley.CS.ORST.EDU (Jack Kramer - OSU Gene Res)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: Re: AT&T Joining OSF
Message-ID: <5796@orstcs.CS.ORST.EDU>
Date: 28 Jul 88 15:59:49 GMT
References: <10474@ulysses.homer.nj.att.com> <5960008@hpcupt1.HP.COM>
Sender: netn...@orstcs.CS.ORST.EDU
Reply-To: kram...@beasley.UUCP (Jack Kramer - OSU Gene Res)
Organization: Oregon State University -- UCS
Lines: 18

In article <5960...@hpcupt1.HP.COM> kl...@hpcupt1.HP.COM (Ian Kluft) writes:
>rog...@ofc.Columbia.NCR.COM (H. L. Rogers) writes:
>> Does AT&T membership give respectability to the OSF crowd?
>
>Actually, it was AT&T and Sun who were lacking in respectability after
>trying to steal the whole market for themselves.
>
>(Disclaimer: Official HP statements only come from HQ in Palo Alto.)
>------------------------------------------------------------------

AT&T and Sun trying to steal UNIX?  How much did OSF members such as IBM,
DEC and Apollo spend over the last 15 years to get UNIX where it is
today?  But I guess UNIX does need to be brought up to date.  When will
we be able to get the new JCL manuals that will finally make UNIX as
easy to use as IBM's other OS's?  Have you tried to get a copy of MVS  
source from DEC - their openness will certainly add to the continued
development of the "new" UNIX.  The list of potential benefits that the
proprietary money mongers will introduce is unlimited.

Path: utzoo!utgpu!attcan!uunet!lll-winken!lll-tis!ames!killer!dono
From: d...@killer.DALLAS.TX.US (Don OConnell)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: att & osf
Keywords: att & osf
Message-ID: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US>
Date: 29 Jul 88 02:00:25 GMT
Organization: The Unix(R) Connection, Dallas, Texas
Lines: 27


>From: b...@bu-cs.BU.EDU (Barry Shein)
>From: kl...@hpcupt1.HP.COM (Ian Kluft)
>>rog...@ofc.Columbia.NCR.COM (H. L. Rogers) writes:
>>> Does AT&T membership give respectability to the OSF crowd?
>>
>>Actually, it was AT&T and Sun who were lacking in respectability after
>>trying to steal the whole market for themselves.
>
>"Steal" is a very strange choice of words to apply to the owner (AT&T).







Strange "owner".

They didn't want anything to do with it's creation or even support
until a lot of different people were enthralled with it.


It is only the greed of the corporate environment that makes ATT want to
have anything to do with UNIX(Although they are not alone in this philosophy).

Signed Don
"One who only has 2 cents worth to give."

Path: utzoo!utgpu!attcan!scott
From: sc...@attcan.UUCP (Scott MacQuarrie)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: att & osf
Summary: Rebuttal
Keywords: att & osf
Message-ID: <3395@vpk4.UUCP>
Date: 29 Jul 88 15:56:25 GMT
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US>
Organization: AT&T Canada Inc., Toronto
Lines: 79

> 
> >From: b...@bu-cs.BU.EDU (Barry Shein)
> >From: kl...@hpcupt1.HP.COM (Ian Kluft)
> >>rog...@ofc.Columbia.NCR.COM (H. L. Rogers) writes:
> >>> Does AT&T membership give respectability to the OSF crowd?
> >>
> >>Actually, it was AT&T and Sun who were lacking in respectability after
> >>trying to steal the whole market for themselves.
> >
> >"Steal" is a very strange choice of words to apply to the owner (AT&T).
> 
> Strange "owner".
> 
> They didn't want anything to do with it's creation or even support
> until a lot of different people were enthralled with it.
> 
> 
> It is only the greed of the corporate environment that makes ATT want to
> have anything to do with UNIX(Although they are not alone in this philosophy).
> 
> Signed Don
> "One who only has 2 cents worth to give."

Please note I am not responding for AT&T, just my own opinion. I simply 
felt that such unmitigated nonsense needed to be dealt with.

AT&T, due to legal restrictions, was not allowed to sell or make a profit
from UNIX for almost its entire early existance. Rather then leave it on a
shelf until it faded away, AT&T GAVE it away to educational entities for
the price of a tape. How many corporations have you seen do that? This
is the source we're talking about here, not binary.

When was the last time you saw a major computer vendor give source to any
of its products to anyone! When divestiture occurred and AT&T was finally
allowed to make money from all the inventions Bell labs comes up with, 
AT&T still provides source licenses to anyone who wants one. For educational
entites, there is even a reduced price to allow them afford. Have you ever
seen a source license for MVS? DOS? VMS? at any price? My, how greedy of
us.

When the UNIX market balkinized and UNIX begen to become incompatible with
versions of itself. AT&T developed the System V Interface Definition at its
own expense, in order to provide a standard for UNIX. This now enables vendors
to make their versions of UNIX compatible with each other. Now customers
are not trapped with dealing with one vendor (even ourselves). My, how
greedy of us.

When AT&T signed an agreement with Microsoft to allow binary compatibilty
between Xenix and UNIX on 386 based products. This means that all the 
Xenix Application developers and Vendors can now move into the System V
Area. My, how greedy of us.

When AT&T changed the source license agreement for System V 3.x to state
that no vendor could use the source code to create a UNIX which was not
compatible with the SVID, this meant that no vendor could use our product
to create a proprietary operating system which was incompatible with other
version of System V 3.x. My, how greedy of us.

As you can see I find your statement offensive in the extreme. AT&T is not
perfect by any means, but show me another vendor which has worked as hard   
to provide a truly hardware independent operating system to allow customers
to feely decide what hardware they need to solve their problems. The same
philosophy which allows you to phone anywhere in the world without having
to worry about what hardware is being used is now in the process of being
applied to the computer industry. MY, how greedy of us.

My advice to you and others is to make sure your brain is in gear before
your mouth (or fingers) are engaged.

Thank you for your time,

Scott MacQuarrie
Senior Technical Consultant
AT&T Canada Inc.
{uunet, utzoo}!attcan!scott

The opinions expressed are my own and the reason I work where I do.

Path: utzoo!utgpu!attcan!uunet!husc6!bloom-beacon!gatech!cadeta!dtscp1!scott
From: sc...@dtscp1.UUCP (Scott Barman)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: AT&T Joining OSF
Message-ID: <313@dtscp1.UUCP>
Date: 30 Jul 88 02:01:33 GMT
References: <10474@ulysses.homer.nj.att.com> <5960008@hpcupt1.HP.COM> 
<5796@orstcs.CS.ORST.EDU>
Organization: Digital Transmission Systems - Atlanta GA
Lines: 81

Before I begin, I am not commenting on Mr. Kramer's posting itself.  I am
just using it as a platform to comment on the state of Unix in general.
Also note:  I have been trying to get this posted for a few weeks now, but
some problems prevented it!  :-)

In article <5...@orstcs.CS.ORST.EDU>, kram...@beasley.CS.ORST.EDU 
(Jack Kramer - OSU Gene Res) writes:
> In article <5960...@hpcupt1.HP.COM> kl...@hpcupt1.HP.COM (Ian Kluft) writes:
> >rog...@ofc.Columbia.NCR.COM (H. L. Rogers) writes:
> >> Does AT&T membership give respectability to the OSF crowd?
> >
> >Actually, it was AT&T and Sun who were lacking in respectability after
> >trying to steal the whole market for themselves.
> >
> AT&T and Sun trying to steal UNIX?  How much did OSF members such as IBM,
> DEC and Apollo spend over the last 15 years to get UNIX where it is
> today?  But I guess UNIX does need to be brought up to date.  When will
And how much has AT&T (not the Bell Labs people) done to Unix over the
last 15 years?  Up until five or six years ago, NOTHING!  Then, when they
decided that they wanted to make it a *real* product, they took the thing
and bastardized it sooooo much that I remember the times I cursed AT&T up
the ioctl system call and down utmp structure while porting software from
The Seventh Edition of Unix to System V Release 2.

And it continues!

Unix, as it stands today, has problems since it does not seem that (maybe
up until now) AT&T has ever had a real direction for its growth.  It
is inflicted with a disease called "creeping featurism" where the
simplicity of Unix tools have been mucked with more junk then they need
(don't laugh you BSD people, 4.[23]bsd just wreaks with this problem as
well).  And the kernel?!  Why must everything be burried in the kernel?
Why must we have kernels with text regions of over 256K?  Why must we
have facilites that do not conform with Unix's original idea of accessing
them as a file (see sockets, semaphores, message queues, etc.)?  And why
must confusing and nonsensical functionality be added where it is really
not needed (see System V's init)?

Enough already!

The original appeal of Unix was how simple ideas can be put together in a
simple, logical manner to produce the desired results.  Tools were
created to do simple tasks.  With these tools we were able to accomplish
most goals and the ones we could not accomplish, we just wrote another
tool to do the work.  Now we have programs that will reformat our source
files putting tabs, etc. in the right places, shells with half the world
built into them, and two different versions of a screen handling package
for dumb tubes that are not compatible with each other (no comments here
on windowing packages since they are too new and and "standards" have really
not been set).

And there is more to come!

With AT&T and Sun *playing* with Unix, no doubt there will be an
extension to all programs--more creeping featurisms--that will give us
things like a pr that will do everything but load the paper for you and
system calls for virtual memory mechanisms that should be hidden from the
general user anyway.  I am not forgetting about the OSF people whose
chief supporters, IBM and DEC, have not written "small" system since
they were limited to 64K of memeory.  (Isn't Open Software Foundation an
oxymoron when mentioned in the same sentence with IBM and DEC?)

When will it end?

HA!  Never, probably, since everyone wants to keep adding more and more
to it.  Maybe it will buckle under its own weight, I don't know.  But I
think that if Unix is to survive it needs a mass cleanup to go *back* to
its original idea of "small is beautiful" and get some of the junk out of
it (e.g. if you have streams, then why is there a tty "driver", see
Dennis Ritchie's paper for better explanations).  If this doesn't happen
I see Unix running into the same memory and storage problems that is
going to doom OS/2.  I can only hope that those involved will hear this
lonely voice in the crowd (probably a minority opinion) and just consider
the consequeces as Unix grows to consume all available resources.

I will get off my soapbox now and begin to line the mailbox with asbestos
(again) since I can hear them flames-a-commin'!  :-)

-- 
scott barman		..!gatech!dtscp1!scott
Digital Transmissions Systems, Inc.
Duluth, Georgia

Path: utzoo!utgpu!water!watmath!clyde!att!osu-cis!tut.cis.ohio-state.edu!
mailrus!ames!umd5!mimsy!chris
From: ch...@mimsy.UUCP (Chris Torek)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: motives for AT&T, etc (was re: att & osf)
Keywords: att & osf
Message-ID: <12755@mimsy.UUCP>
Date: 30 Jul 88 06:47:58 GMT
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP>
Organization: U of Maryland, Dept. of Computer Science, Coll. Pk., MD 20742
Lines: 61

In article <3...@vpk4.UUCP> sc...@attcan.UUCP (Scott MacQuarrie) responds
to the line:
>>It is only the greed of the corporate environment that makes ATT want to
>>have anything to do with UNIX ....

with a number of reasonable and largely accurate (if somewhat slanted)
points.  Nonetheless, were it not for `greed' (you may tone this down
to `a desire to be paid well for a job well done' if you wish), few if
any corporations would even exist.  In this particular sense (`greed'
as a foundation for capitalism, as `honesty' is a foundation for
socialism, which tells you why capitalism works more often :-/ [this is
a `wry smile' face]), `greed' is not, or not wholly, negative.  Indeed,
sufficently-enlightened greed is quite healthy.

>When was the last time you saw a major computer vendor give source to any
>of its products to anyone!

I think the only reason AT&T sells source licenses is historical:

    - When Unix licensing began, AT&T could not sell software, nor were
      there any solid portents of the divestiture.  Hence there was no
      reason *not* to; when Thompson et al. asked, a `yes' was more or
      less as easy as a `no', and had some beneficial side effects.

    - Now that Unix(TM)(R)(C)(Pat.Pend.)(K)(U) is a product, it is
      apparent to some/many that a large part of Unix's desirability
      stems from familiarity.  Unix has technical merits, yes; but it
      also obvious that, had Bell Labs never distributed versions of
      Unix, few would know of it, and few would push those merits hard
      enough to convince the people who hold the purse-strings.  As it
      is, college graduates---who make up the largest group of
      programmers entering the marketplace---are often familiar with
      Unix, and will therefore ask for it.  Since so much Unix software
      is portable, and these people know it and can demonstrate it,
      Unix may win out over a technically superior O/S for a particular
      application simply because most of the needed software already
      exists.

    - It is to AT&Ts advantage, at present, to have Unix ported to
      larger computers (Alliant, Encore, Cray): it gives more support
      to their position of supplanting IBM: `use our machines and you
      can retain your old software when you need to expand.'

Finally, although it is a minor point:

    - The mechanisms for source distribution are already in place.

Enlightened greed says that selling source licenses is working.  I
suspect that if other vendors were in a similar position, they would
act similarly.  The reasons you cannot get VMS or MVS sources are also
more historical than anything else.  [Incidentally, you *can* get
sources from IBM in some cases, but what you get may not be what you
expected.]  As vendors go, AT&T is neither the valiant knight in
shining armour, saving us from the evil fate of machine-dependency, nor
is it the villain in black, tying us to the railroad tracks as the
train tootles towards us.  It is simply a corporation, doing what
corporations do, and (luckily for us) enlightened as to the effects
of selling source.
-- 
In-Real-Life: Chris Torek, Univ of MD Comp Sci Dept (+1 301 454 7163)
Domain:	ch...@mimsy.umd.edu	Path:	uunet!mimsy!chris

Path: utzoo!utgpu!attcan!uunet!vsi!friedl
From: fri...@vsi.UUCP (Stephen J. Friedl)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: motives for AT&T, etc (was re: att & osf)
Keywords: att & osf
Message-ID: <766@vsi.UUCP>
Date: 30 Jul 88 20:22:13 GMT
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP> <12755@mimsy.UUCP>
Organization: V-Systems, Inc. -- Santa Ana, CA
Lines: 17

In article <12...@mimsy.UUCP>, ch...@mimsy.UUCP (Chris Torek) writes:

>       Unix may win out over a technically superior O/S for a particular
>       application simply because most of the needed software already
>       exists.

Wow, I've never heard *that* about UNIX before :-).

One of the largest complaints about UNIX is that application
software is *not* available.  We've got compilers but not (say)
grocery store accounting systems, and there are many more of
"them" then there are of "us".

-- 
Steve Friedl    V-Systems, Inc.  +1 714 545 6442    3B2-kind-of-guy
fri...@vsi.com     {backbones}!vsi.com!friedl    attmail!vsi!friedl
--------- Nancy Reagan on flood-control: "Just say Noah"-----------

Path: utzoo!utgpu!attcan!uunet!lll-winken!lll-tis!ames!umd5!mimsy!chris
From: ch...@mimsy.UUCP (Chris Torek)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: motives for AT&T, etc (was re: att & osf)
Keywords: att & osf
Message-ID: <12765@mimsy.UUCP>
Date: 31 Jul 88 10:58:55 GMT
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP> <12755@mimsy.UUCP> 
<766@vsi.UUCP>
Organization: U of Maryland, Dept. of Computer Science, Coll. Pk., MD 20742
Lines: 23

>In article <12...@mimsy.UUCP> I wrote
>>... Unix may win out over a technically superior O/S for a particular
>>application simply because most of the needed software already exists.

In article <7...@vsi.UUCP> fri...@vsi.UUCP (Stephen J. Friedl) answers:
>Wow, I've never heard *that* about UNIX before :-).

Simply because there *are* no superiour [what spelling consistency?]
O/Ses.  (Yet.)

   :-)

>One of the largest complaints about UNIX is that application
>software is *not* available.  We've got compilers but not (say)
>grocery store accounting systems, and there are many more of
>"them" then there are of "us".

I was thinking more along the lines of data gathering and analysis
for, say, an insect neurology lab.  (Much of this tends to run under
real-time constraints; it might in fact be cheaper to buy an O/S with
RT data gathering already supported than to hack the V7 scheduler.)
-- 
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: att & osf
Message-ID: <1988Aug2.171126.17906@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP>
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 88 17:11:26 GMT

In article <3...@vpk4.UUCP> sc...@attcan.UUCP (Scott MacQuarrie) writes:
>AT&T, due to legal restrictions, was not allowed to sell or make a profit
>from UNIX for almost its entire early existance. Rather then leave it on a
>shelf until it faded away, AT&T GAVE it away to educational entities for
>the price of a tape. How many corporations have you seen do that? ...

Well, let us not credit AT&T with too much altruism.  They were forbidden
to sell Unix, yes, but they were also required to share their technology
with others, since development of said technology was done with money
derived from a regulated monopoly.  They weren't *allowed* to just leave
it on the shelf, if I understand the legalities correctly.

>When the UNIX market balkinized and UNIX begen to become incompatible with
>versions of itself. AT&T developed the System V Interface Definition at its
>own expense, in order to provide a standard for UNIX. This now enables vendors
>to make their versions of UNIX compatible with each other...

Again, altruism is not the word for it.  Do remember that there have already
been two releases of the SVID, and nobody seriously believes there won't be
more.  What this enables vendors to do is to constantly scramble to keep up
with AT&T's definition of What Unix Is This Week.  Said definition being
based, of course, on what AT&T is already delivering.  It should be no
surprise to anyone that there is a lot of enthusiasm for POSIX -- a *stable*
standard which is *not* controlled by one company.

>When AT&T changed the source license agreement for System V 3.x to state
>that no vendor could use the source code to create a UNIX which was not
>compatible with the SVID, this meant that no vendor could use our product
>to create a proprietary operating system which was incompatible with other
>version of System V 3.x. My, how greedy of us.

See above comments on the Unix Of The Week.  Yes, how greedy of you!

>... show me another vendor which has worked as hard   
>to provide a truly hardware independent operating system to allow customers
>to feely decide what hardware they need to solve their problems...

Provided, of course, that they end up choosing AT&T hardware.  Come now;
this is really laying it on a bit too thick.  There are many things AT&T
could have done to make hardware independence easier, and they have done
very few of them.  The only reason it hasn't been worse is that AT&T has
done such an inept job of making and selling its own computers, meaning
that they haven't been a serious competitor.  This is why various hardware
manufacturers sounded Red Alert when AT&T and Sun got together to decide
Unix's future.
-- 
MSDOS is not dead, it just     |     Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology
smells that way.               | uunet!mnetor!utzoo!henry he...@zoo.toronto.edu

Path: utzoo!attcan!scott
From: sc...@attcan.UUCP (Scott MacQuarrie)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: att & osf
Message-ID: <3396@vpk4.UUCP>
Date: 3 Aug 88 15:06:40 GMT
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP> 
<1988Aug2.171126.17906@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: AT&T Canada Inc., Toronto
Lines: 83

In article <1988Aug2.171126.17...@utzoo.uucp>, he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer) 
writes:
> 
> Well, let us not credit AT&T with too much altruism.  They were forbidden
> to sell Unix, yes, but they were also required to share their technology
> with others, since development of said technology was done with money
> derived from a regulated monopoly.  They weren't *allowed* to just leave
> it on the shelf, if I understand the legalities correctly.
As I understand it, we were not forced to share any of our developed 
technologies prior to 1984. We were simply not allowed to make a profit
from them because we were a monopoly. That's why Sony purchased the rights to
the transistor for $25K (but not the exclusive rights).

> 
> >When the UNIX market balkinized and UNIX begen to become incompatible with
> >versions of itself. AT&T developed the System V Interface Definition at its
> >own expense, in order to provide a standard for UNIX. This now enables vendors
> >to make their versions of UNIX compatible with each other...
> 
> Again, altruism is not the word for it.  Do remember that there have already
> been two releases of the SVID, and nobody seriously believes there won't be
> more.  What this enables vendors to do is to constantly scramble to keep up
> with AT&T's definition of What Unix Is This Week.  Said definition being
> based, of course, on what AT&T is already delivering.  It should be no

There have not been two versions of the SVID, there have been volumes added
to the SVID to cover developments in various areas, particularly networking.
This is the result of development efforts on our part to provide further
networking and communication ability between machines and to remove the
need for applications to be concerned about the netwroking problems.
> 
> 
> >... show me another vendor which has worked as hard   
> >to provide a truly hardware independent operating system to allow customers
> >to feely decide what hardware they need to solve their problems...
> 
> Provided, of course, that they end up choosing AT&T hardware.  Come now;
> this is really laying it on a bit too thick.  There are many things AT&T
> could have done to make hardware independence easier, and they have done
> very few of them. 
System V Unix runs on a variety of equipment which is not manufactured with
or by AT&T. Your arguement that SYSV or SYSV-compatible operating systems only
run on AT&T equipment is simply wrong.

 The only reason it hasn't been worse is that AT&T has
> done such an inept job of making and selling its own computers, meaning
> that they haven't been a serious competitor.  This is why various hardware
> manufacturers sounded Red Alert when AT&T and Sun got together to decide
> Unix's future.

No one denies that AT&T has had problems entering the computer marketplace.
On the otherhand, if you consider that AT&T has undergone the largest
reorganization of any corporation in history and the tremendous cultural
changes involved in moving from functioning in a monopoly to surviving
in a competitive marketplace, we haven't done that poorly. In doing so,
we have also maintained the position of the largest manufacturer of 
phone equipment in the world and possess, by far, the largest share
of the long distance market in the US. 

The "Red Alert" as you so quaintly put it, was the result of UNIX
becoming a serious contender in the computer market and the company
with the most knowledge of it (us) beginning a business relationship
with a corporation which has displayed a sharp and aggressive ability
in that market.

AT&T has in the past, and will in the future, work towards creating a
UNIX standard which will allow the system to grow to its full potential.
Your comments implying a strategy to control the market or to create a
proprietary operating system would be humorous, except for the concern
that someone might actually take you serious.

You obviously possess an unfortunate anti-AT&T attitude which is 
suprising since one of the things which AT&T Canada has started doing
is to provide a backbone usenet feed into Canada, at currently our own
expense. We have not adopted the attitude of the US machines and supply
a complete feed to many machine, including yours. My, how greedy of us :-)

Thanks for your time,
Scott MacQuarrie
AT&T Canada Inc.
uunet!attcan!scott

Path: utzoo!utgpu!attcan!uunet!portal!cup.portal.com!Dion_L_Johnson
From: Dion_L_John...@cup.portal.com
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: motives for AT&T, etc (was re: att & osf)
Message-ID: <7857@cup.portal.com>
Date: 4 Aug 88 03:56:17 GMT
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP> <12755@mimsy.UUCP>
Organization: The Portal System (TM)
Lines: 24
XPortal-User-Id: 1.1001.1680

Steve Friedl said:
--In article <12...@mimsy.UUCP>, ch...@mimsy.UUCP (Chris Torek) writes:
-->       Unix may win out over a technically superior O/S for a particular
-->       application simply because most of the needed software already
-->       exists.
--Wow, I've never heard *that* about UNIX before :-).
--One of the largest complaints about UNIX is that application
--software is *not* available.  We've got compilers but not (say)
--grocery store accounting systems, and there are many more of
--"them" then there are of "us".
---- 
--Steve Friedl    V-Systems, Inc.  +1 714 545 6442    3B2-kind-of-guy
--fri...@vsi.com     {backbones}!vsi.com!friedl    attmail!vsi!friedl

Right now being printed is the new edition of the SCO XENIX System V
Directory - a (more or less) typical catalog of systems and
application programs, hardware, services, consulting, etc. 
for the SCO XENIX environment.  There are
over 1800 software packages including about 80 pages of listings of
accounting packages (it's the largest category).  Watch for an 
official announcement of this book in a few weeks.  You'll be amazed
at the range of commercial (and other) packages available.
Dion L. Johnson 
(in real life: di...@sco.com.  Disclaimer: Doug made me say it)

Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer)
Subject: Re: att & osf
Message-ID: <1988Aug5.211217.21037@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP> 
<1988Aug2.171126.17906@utzoo.uucp> 
<3396@vpk4.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 88 21:12:17 GMT

In article <3...@vpk4.UUCP> sc...@attcan.UUCP (Scott MacQuarrie) writes:
>As I understand it, we were not forced to share any of our developed 
>technologies prior to 1984. We were simply not allowed to make a profit
>from them...

I could be wrong, but my impression is that one of the Consent Decrees
required licensing on reasonable terms to all comers.  I know of at
least one occasion when lawsuits were being considered over possible
refusal to release technology (although of course that may just mean
that the potential plaintiffs were going to try it on speculation).

>> ... there have already
>> been two releases of the SVID, and nobody seriously believes there won't be
>> more...
>There have not been two versions of the SVID, there have been volumes added
>to the SVID to cover developments in various areas...

There most certainly have been two separate publications of it, although I
admit I didn't check them line-for-line for incompatibilities.  It used to
be all one volume, remember?  And adding stuff to the standard definitely
constitutes changing it, from the viewpoint of those who want to claim
compliance.

Note also that the SVID explicitly promises changes in a number of areas
in the future.

>> this is really laying it on a bit too thick.  There are many things AT&T
>> could have done to make hardware independence easier, and they have done
>> very few of them. 
>System V Unix runs on a variety of equipment which is not manufactured with
>or by AT&T. Your arguement that SYSV or SYSV-compatible operating systems only
>run on AT&T equipment is simply wrong.

That's not what I said, and not what I meant.  I didn't say it would not run
on non-AT&T equipment; I said AT&T was making no serious attempt to make it
easy to port it to non-AT&T equipment.  Last time I looked, SysV still had
quite a bit of code that dereferences NULL pointers, a known portability
problem (and coding error) that AT&T has made no effort to fix.  You were
the one claiming that they were bending over backwards to make it portable;
well, when are they going to fix the NULL-pointer bugs?

>The "Red Alert" as you so quaintly put it, was the result of UNIX
>becoming a serious contender in the computer market and the company
>with the most knowledge of it (us) beginning a business relationship
>with a corporation which has displayed a sharp and aggressive ability
>in that market.

It was the result of the company with the most influence on Unix, AT&T,
which is simultaneously the supplier of Unix and the setter of de-facto
standards for it, allying itself with one particular hardware supplier.
Many people see this as a major conflict of interest for AT&T; how can
it remain the paragon of evenhandedness that you claim it is, when it has
climbed into bed with one manufacturer to the exclusion of the others?

>AT&T has in the past, and will in the future, work towards creating a
>UNIX standard which will allow the system to grow to its full potential.

Its full potential as a source of revenue for AT&T.  That is how profit-
making corporations, like AT&T nowadays, work.  This does not necessarily
have anything to do with its full potential as useful software for the
rest of us.  In particular, note that changing the rules regularly, so
that AT&T and its intimate partners consistently stay ahead of the rest
of the manufacturers, is very much in the financial best interests of AT&T
and its stockholders.  AT&T is not a philanthropic institution; it is
required to put the interests of its stockholders first.

>Your comments implying a strategy to control the market or to create a
>proprietary operating system would be humorous, except for the concern
>that someone might actually take you serious.

I am by no means the first one to suggest this, so don't credit me with
any special paranoia or influence.  Ask the OSF people, if you really
want an earful.

>You obviously possess an unfortunate anti-AT&T attitude which is 
>suprising since one of the things which AT&T Canada has started doing
>is to provide a backbone usenet feed into Canada, at currently our own
>expense...

I'm not anti-AT&T, I'm anti-certain-AT&T-policies.  I am pleased and
grateful for AT&T Canada's support of Usenet hereabouts, but I am not
bribable (not at this price, anyway!) and do not see that the two issues
are connected.
-- 
MSDOS is not dead, it just     |     Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology
smells that way.               | uunet!attcan!utzoo!henry he...@zoo.toronto.edu

Path: utzoo!attcan!uunet!lll-winken!lll-lcc!ames!ncar!oddjob!gargoyle!att!ttrdc!levy
From: l...@ttrdc.UUCP (Daniel R. Levy)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: att & osf
Summary: I disagree.
Message-ID: <2843@ttrdc.UUCP>
Date: 7 Aug 88 04:59:56 GMT
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP> 
<1988Aug5.211217.21037@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: AT&T, Skokie, IL
Lines: 53

In article <1988Aug5.211217.21...@utzoo.uucp>, he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer) writes:
# In article <3...@vpk4.UUCP> sc...@attcan.UUCP (Scott MacQuarrie) writes:
# >> this is really laying it on a bit too thick.  There are many things AT&T
# >> could have done to make hardware independence easier, and they have done
# >> very few of them. 
# >System V Unix runs on a variety of equipment which is not manufactured with
# >or by AT&T. Your arguement that SYSV or SYSV-compatible operating systems only
# >run on AT&T equipment is simply wrong.
# 
# That's not what I said, and not what I meant.  I didn't say it would not run
# on non-AT&T equipment; I said AT&T was making no serious attempt to make it
# easy to port it to non-AT&T equipment.  Last time I looked, SysV still had
# quite a bit of code that dereferences NULL pointers, a known portability
# problem (and coding error) that AT&T has made no effort to fix.  You were
# the one claiming that they were bending over backwards to make it portable;
# well, when are they going to fix the NULL-pointer bugs?

Henry, you're the one who seems to be whomping the straw man now.  If
MacQuarrie ever "claim[ed] that [AT&T is] bending over backwards to make
[System V] portable" I sure missed it, and can't find it in a few days' worth
of comp.unix.wizards here.  The most I recall seeing was a denial of what
appears to have been an insinuation on your part that AT&T is trying to keep
its code NONPORTABLE.  Please feel free to mail me a copy of the "smoking gun"
if you have it.

By the way, code which dereferences NULL pointers hurts some AT&T hardware too
(i.e., the 3B20, which doesn't have a 0 byte at location 0 in the process
space).  Somehow, several releases of System V have been brought up on it
just the same and work great.  Must be a fluke.

Incidentally, I know of no provision in the AT&T System V license which says
that if you wish to port System V to a new base, that you may not fix any
problems in the code even though the result still meets the SVID.  If you
know otherwise, please feel free to quote chapter and verse.

Oh yes, since you're, well, not exactly entranced with SUN's partnership with
AT&T, let me point out in respect to the very issue you complained about, both
the Sun-3 and Sun-4 don't like *((char *)0).  They get a memory fault from that
(I tried it using /usr/5bin/cc, the System V universe SUN C compiler).  If AT&T
is trying to keep System V unportable by keeping the dereference of NULL in its
code, then it is hurting SUN's ports of future releases of System V.

Anyone with reason would conclude that it's in AT&T's financial interest
(GAA, there's that DIRTY word again :-) to have quality code, and that poor
quality code can only hurt AT&T.  If you're going to hint at a conspiracy,
you're going to have to come up with other evidence than code bugs.

By the way, I am only talking as an interested party.  I'm in CAD tool support,
not UNIX system development, and I do not purport to speak for AT&T itself.
-- 
|------------Dan Levy------------|  THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE MINE ONLY
| Bell Labs Area 61 (R.I.P., TTY)|  AND ARE NOT TO BE IMPUTED TO AT&T.
|        Skokie, Illinois        | 
|-----Path:  att!ttbcad!levy-----|

Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer)
Subject: Re: att & osf
Message-ID: <1988Aug8.174232.112@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP> 
<1988Aug5.211217.21037@utzoo.uucp> <2843@ttrdc.UUCP>
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 88 17:42:32 GMT

In article <2...@ttrdc.UUCP> l...@ttrdc.UUCP (Daniel R. Levy) writes:
>Henry, you're the one who seems to be whomping the straw man now.  If
>MacQuarrie ever "claim[ed] that [AT&T is] bending over backwards to make
>[System V] portable" I sure missed it...

Lest we forget, his actual words were:

	... show me another vendor which has worked as hard to provide
	a truly hardware independent operating system to allow customers
	to feely decide what hardware they need to solve their problems...

>By the way, code which dereferences NULL pointers hurts some AT&T hardware too
>(i.e., the 3B20, which doesn't have a 0 byte at location 0 in the process
>space).  Somehow, several releases of System V have been brought up on it...

If I'm not mistaken, the 3B20 may not have a 0 at 0, but it does permit
accesses to location 0.  And yes, there are things in System V that break
if this isn't possible.

>Incidentally, I know of no provision in the AT&T System V license which says
>that if you wish to port System V to a new base, that you may not fix any
>problems in the code even though the result still meets the SVID.  If you
>know otherwise, please feel free to quote chapter and verse.

There is no legal requirement to avoid fixing code problems.  However, a
lot of people get really tired of doing it over and over again in each
new release of System V.  My understanding is that AT&T has, in the past,
taken the position that *NULL is a problem with those other, inferior,
machines, and not a bug in the AT&T code.

>Oh yes, since you're, well, not exactly entranced with SUN's partnership with
>AT&T, let me point out in respect to the very issue you complained about, both
>the Sun-3 and Sun-4 don't like *((char *)0)...

Quite true, and in fact Sun did most of the work on cleaning up the *NULL
problems in 4BSD.  AT&T is probably going to have to get its act together
on this issue now that it is committed to support Sun hardware; about time!

>If AT&T is trying
>to keep System V unportable by keeping the dereference of NULL in its
>code, then it is hurting SUN's ports of future releases of System V.

Actually, I don't think this was a deliberate effort to keep SysV unportable,
just a convenient happenstance that AT&T didn't see any reason to do anything
about.  Much of this unwillingness was probably the result of management
stupidity -- simply not realizing that *NULL is a bug even if the machine
doesn't object to it -- rather than deliberate sinister intent.

>Anyone with reason would conclude that it's in AT&T's financial interest
>(GAA, there's that DIRTY word again :-) to have quality code, and that poor
>quality code can only hurt AT&T.  If you're going to hint at a conspiracy,
>you're going to have to come up with other evidence than code bugs.

To rephrase:  "never ascribe to malice what can be adequately explained
by stupidity".  I'm not suggesting conspiracy, rather the combination of
stupidity and sheer lack of concern for the problems of non-AT&T machines.
Anyone with reason would indeed conclude that fixing bugs is in AT&T's best
interests, but reason is in much shorter supply in this business than many
people realize.  Spending money and resources fixing bugs that aren't making
trouble today (except for one's competitors) requires a long view and quite
a bit of determination, not things that the computer side of AT&T management
has been noted for.  (Sort of odd, since the telephone side is -- or at least
used to be -- quite accustomed to planning decades ahead.)
-- 
MSDOS is not dead, it just     |     Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology
smells that way.               | uunet!attcan!utzoo!henry he...@zoo.toronto.edu

Path: utzoo!utgpu!attcan!uunet!husc6!bbn!uwmcsd1!leah!bingvaxu!sunybcs!boulder!
ncar!oddjob!gargoyle!att!whuts!homxb!homxc!dwc
From: d...@homxc.UUCP (Malaclypse the Elder)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: att & osf
Message-ID: <2998@homxc.UUCP>
Date: 9 Aug 88 04:56:50 GMT
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP> 
<1988Aug5.211217.21037@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: Legion of Dynamic Discord
Lines: 116

In article <1988Aug5.211217.21...@utzoo.uucp>, he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer) writes:
> In article <3...@vpk4.UUCP> sc...@attcan.UUCP (Scott MacQuarrie) writes:
> >As I understand it, we were not forced to share any of our developed 
> >technologies prior to 1984. We were simply not allowed to make a profit
> >from them...
> 
> I could be wrong, but my impression is that one of the Consent Decrees
> required licensing on reasonable terms to all comers.  I know of at
> least one occasion when lawsuits were being considered over possible
> refusal to release technology (although of course that may just mean
> that the potential plaintiffs were going to try it on speculation).
> 
i also believe that we were under no obligation to provide our
developed technologies.  i do remember someone attempting to get
such technologies thru an argument that went like: "public money
funds the phone company so we should have a right to anything they
develop".  i believe that we were a regulated monopoly and not a
public utility.
> 
> That's not what I said, and not what I meant.  I didn't say it would not run
> on non-AT&T equipment; I said AT&T was making no serious attempt to make it
> easy to port it to non-AT&T equipment.  Last time I looked, SysV still had
> quite a bit of code that dereferences NULL pointers, a known portability
> problem (and coding error) that AT&T has made no effort to fix.  You were
> the one claiming that they were bending over backwards to make it portable;
> well, when are they going to fix the NULL-pointer bugs?
> 
is this really a portability issue or is this an issue of supporting
a base of applications out there that dereferences NULLs?  are you
confusing application portability with operating system portability?
as far as operating system portability, it seems that both at&t and
sun have BENT OVER BACKWARDS to increase the portability of the
operating system over the past 5 years.  while everyone was taking
nasty pokes at the fact that System V did not have demand paging
for so many years, people at at&t were working on an architecture
that would be portable.  the regions based architecture turned out
to be pretty nice.  sun has also done quite a bit of work on isolating
hardware dependencies.

and perhaps the driving force behind this is not altruism.  both
at&t and sun have found themselves selling and supporting a number
of different processors.  it behooves everyone involved if the
the differences were easily identified and localized.

anyone who has been tracking the kernel source would know that
hardware dependencies are getting more and more localized in the
source.  it is pretty ridiculous to me how anyone can claim that
the system can possibly be optimized for a particular architecture
when SVID talks about user interfaces and kernel source is available
to adapt to one's architecture.  sure, a certain model of computation
is assumed, but the parallel machine people aren't crying foul, its
the people with the same old tired machines.  (oops starting to preach).

> 
> It was the result of the company with the most influence on Unix, AT&T,
> which is simultaneously the supplier of Unix and the setter of de-facto
> standards for it, allying itself with one particular hardware supplier.
> Many people see this as a major conflict of interest for AT&T; how can
> it remain the paragon of evenhandedness that you claim it is, when it has
> climbed into bed with one manufacturer to the exclusion of the others?
> 
there is only a conflict of interest if one believes that a particular
hardware architecture can really affect a specification for a user/programmer
interface.  i don't know if this has been addressed but, has anyone named
one aspect of the SVID that actually gives either the 3b2 or SPARC an advantage?
> 
> Its full potential as a source of revenue for AT&T.  That is how profit-
> making corporations, like AT&T nowadays, work.  This does not necessarily
> have anything to do with its full potential as useful software for the
> rest of us.  In particular, note that changing the rules regularly, so
> that AT&T and its intimate partners consistently stay ahead of the rest
> of the manufacturers, is very much in the financial best interests of AT&T
> and its stockholders.  AT&T is not a philanthropic institution; it is
> required to put the interests of its stockholders first.
> 
> I'm not anti-AT&T, I'm anti-certain-AT&T-policies.  I am pleased and
> grateful for AT&T Canada's support of Usenet hereabouts, but I am not
> bribable (not at this price, anyway!) and do not see that the two issues
> are connected.
i don't really see how the two are connected either except that i don't
see how at&t's support of usenet can be seen as anything but philanthropic.
has nothing to do with at&t's designs on System V, but it does show that
we do have alot to be grateful for.

at&t (and any large corporation) is made up of many different people,
departments, etc.  even if some "policy maker" thought it would be a
good idea to "optimize" System V for the 3b2, for example, i for one
could not see how it could be done given that source is distributed
and given that such high level source has been organized to isolate
and localize machine dependencies.

and i believe that the founders of osf have different desires and
goals.  while i believe that those members of osf whose systems
depend on a widely accessible "definition" of the unix operating
system truly felt locked out, i believe that at least two founding
members have goals other than what is stated.  open systems are
still the last thing on both ibm's and dec's minds (here i am talking
about the higher ups...not the people who are working on open systems
within their respective companies).  the majority of the systems they
sell are proprietary and none of the talk of open systems has changed
the way they market their main money makers.

i myself am most paranoid and imagine the worst possible scenarios.
perhaps someone out there can answer some questions about osf independence
from its founders.  for example, to whom must a non-profit corporate
answer to?  does it have stockholders?  is it possbile for a large
corporation to buy up a non-profit organization?  (here i am assuming
that the osf is a non-profit corporation).  if the osf were to gain
a large share of the unix market, is there any possible way for ibm
to yank its porting base away and make it proprietary (or at least
charge outrageous prices for it)?

any opinions i have expressed are my own.

danny chen
att!homxc!dwc

Path: utzoo!attcan!uunet!seismo!rick
From: r...@seismo.CSS.GOV (Rick Adams)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: att & osf
Summary: f(
Message-ID: <44386@beno.seismo.CSS.GOV>
Date: 9 Aug 88 19:33:19 GMT
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP> 
<1988Aug8.174232.112@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: Center for Seismic Studies, Arlington, VA
Lines: 15

> >By the way, code which dereferences NULL pointers hurts some AT&T hardware too
> >(i.e., the 3B20, which doesn't have a 0 byte at location 0 in the process
> >space).  Somehow, several releases of System V have been brought up on it...
> 
> If I'm not mistaken, the 3B20 may not have a 0 at 0, but it does permit
> accesses to location 0.  And yes, there are things in System V that break
> if this isn't possible.

If you look at the source for tabs in Sys V.2 you will see that
*0 on a 3b points to "f(". After all, isn't this the "portable"
way for check to see if a pointer is null?

	if (err <= 0 || columns <= 0 || strcmp(set_tab,"f(") == 0) {

(They finally fixed this in Sys V.3)

Path: utzoo!attcan!uunet!husc6!mit-eddie!apollo!gallen
From: gal...@apollo.COM (Gary Allen)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: att & osf
Message-ID: <3dcc6110.d8e9@apollo.COM>
Date: 11 Aug 88 17:48:00 GMT
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP> 
<1988Aug5.211217.21037@utzoo.uucp> <2998@homxc.UUCP>
Reply-To: gal...@diskless.UUCP (Gary Allen)
Organization: Apollo Computer, Chelmsford, MA
Lines: 84

In article <2...@homxc.UUCP> d...@homxc.UUCP (Malaclypse the Elder) writes:
>and i believe that the founders of osf have different desires and
>goals.  while i believe that those members of osf whose systems
>depend on a widely accessible "definition" of the unix operating
>system truly felt locked out, i believe that at least two founding
>members have goals other than what is stated.  open systems are
>still the last thing on both ibm's and dec's minds (here i am talking
>about the higher ups...not the people who are working on open systems
>within their respective companies).  the majority of the systems they
>sell are proprietary and none of the talk of open systems has changed
>the way they market their main money makers.

You can correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't every single member of OSF
have a UNIX license, and doesn't every one of them sell UNIX in addition
to other products? And isn't it a fact that the 2 companies that you
single out are 2 of the major UNIX suppliers?

Proprietary systems? Yeah, they all also sell OS's of their own creation,
JUST AS PROPRIETARY AS YOURS, or don't you know what the word means?
In case you don't, I'll quote from Webster (the second definition):

   1. of, or relating to, or characteristic of a proprietor <~rights>;
   2. used, made, or marketed by one having the exclusive legal
      right <a ~ process>;
   3. privately owned and managed and run as a profit-making organization
      <a ~ clinic>

Now which definition is it that makes UNIX non-proprietary? I'm sure
we'd all like to know, since that'd mean we don't have to pay AT&T
any license fees.

And surely you must know that AT&T considers it to be proprietary, or
perhaps you've never seen (hope I don't get sued for this):

/*	THIS IS UNPUBLISHED PROPRIETARY SOURCE CODE OF AT&T	*/
/*	The copyright notice above does not evidence any   	*/
/*	actual or intended publication of such source code.	*/

Perhaps you mean portable instead of proprietary? And as to openness,
to whom exactly is the process of defining UNIX open? To Sun now.
Of course, they were the "bad guys" a few years ago, not following
AT&T's lead and all. Amazing how AT&T cozied up when Sun became
what many consider to be the "driving force" behind UNIX. Oh yeah,
Unisys is in their somewhere. Sure, wanna buy an bridge?

Hey, I like UNIX just fine, buts lets not bullshit anyone anymore
about what it is and is not.

And by the way, all of these Bad Companies (apologies to John
Paul Rodgers) have every right to sell other products in competition
with your company's, or must I also define capitalism for you as
well? Or perhaps some AT&T folk have the attitude that they're
still guaranteed market, profits, and success?

>i myself am most paranoid and imagine the worst possible scenarios.
>perhaps someone out there can answer some questions about osf independence
>from its founders.  for example, to whom must a non-profit corporate
>answer to?  does it have stockholders?  is it possbile for a large
>corporation to buy up a non-profit organization?  (here i am assuming
>that the osf is a non-profit corporation).  if the osf were to gain
>a large share of the unix market, is there any possible way for ibm
>to yank its porting base away and make it proprietary (or at least
>charge outrageous prices for it)?

Hey, some good questions about the non-profit status (it is non-profit
according to their marketing blurb that was passed out here)! As for
OSF gaining a large share of the market, OSF will sell code to vendors
(including the founders), not to individual users. If OSF sells
whatever-ix to IBM and IBM corners a large share of the market, it
will be IBM that has the market, not OSF. That is, unless you
believe that Microsoft has cornered the PC market and AT&T has
cornered the mini market.

As for IBM yanking OSF-ix away from OSF (if it were at all possible),
don't you think that DEC (their biggest competitor) might have something
to say about that?

Gary Allen
Apollo Computer
Chelmsford, MA
{decvax,yale,umix,mit-eddie}!apollo!gallen

Oh yeah, the opinions herein expressed aren't worth 2 bits and aren't
condoned by anyone that really counts.

Path: utzoo!utgpu!attcan!uunet!husc6!rutgers!att!ttrdc!levy
From: l...@ttrdc.UUCP (Daniel R. Levy)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: att & osf
Message-ID: <2857@ttrdc.UUCP>
Date: 11 Aug 88 22:59:14 GMT
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP> 
<1988Aug8.174232.112@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: AT&T, Skokie, IL
Lines: 32

In article <1988Aug8.174232....@utzoo.uucp>, he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer) 
writes:
> In article <2...@ttrdc.UUCP> l...@ttrdc.UUCP (Daniel R. Levy) writes:
> >Henry, you're the one who seems to be whomping the straw man now.  If
> >MacQuarrie ever "claim[ed] that [AT&T is] bending over backwards to make
> >[System V] portable" I sure missed it...
> 
> Lest we forget, his actual words were:
> 
> 	... show me another vendor which has worked as hard to provide
> 	a truly hardware independent operating system to allow customers
> 	to feely decide what hardware they need to solve their problems...

And MacQuarrie makes a damned good point there too.  You gripe and bellyache
about the UNIX operating system.  OK, you don't like it, come up with another
operating system, NOT a UNIX system workalike, that will port to a gazillion
other machines even half as well.  The UNIX operating system (and its structure
and philosophy, which non-AT&T UNIX system workalikes, such as what the OSF
wants to build, now use without one word of acknowledgment to AT&T or objection
by AT&T--"my how greedy of us") came to exist because of AT&T.

Now... to your claim.  How you could legitimately turn MacQuarrie's quote above
into a "claim that [AT&T is] bending over backwards to..." (do things which,
by the way, AT&T has every right in the world to do or not do) etc. is beyond
MY ken.  MacQuarrie is talking about the big picture, about what AT&T has
created and nurtured into being.  You're narrowly focused on current problems
with System V, and viewed his statement through those glasses, ironic
considering that you talk later on about "taking the long view."
-- 
|------------Dan Levy------------|  THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE MINE ONLY
| Bell Labs Area 61 (R.I.P., TTY)|  AND ARE NOT TO BE IMPUTED TO AT&T.
|        Skokie, Illinois        | 
|-----Path:  att!ttbcad!levy-----|

Path: utzoo!utgpu!attcan!uunet!lll-winken!lll-tis!ames!vsi1!wyse!mips!mash
From: m...@mips.COM (John Mashey)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: att & osf
Message-ID: <2771@winchester.mips.COM>
Date: 12 Aug 88 03:52:31 GMT
References: <2998@homxc.UUCP> <1140@nusdhub.UUCP>
Reply-To: m...@winchester.UUCP (John Mashey)
Organization: MIPS Computer Systems, Sunnyvale, CA
Lines: 53

In article <1...@nusdhub.UUCP> rwh...@nusdhub.UUCP (Robert C. White Jr.) writes:
....
>What this means is that you will be seeing UNIX/370 from IBM,
>and DEC/NIX from Digital equip. corp.  (Probably not exact 
>product names, I just made them up) and the like form every
>member of OSF.  It spesifically *DOES NOT* mean that each
>member will be using the same source code at all, nor does it
>mean that the individual members are in any way required to
>adhere to this aledged standard....

Of course.
But so what?  Amidst all of the hoopla and gyrations, whether of the
ATT/Sun ilk, or of guessing what OSF will do, let us remember:

1) No system vendor that stays in existence ignores upward compatibility
from what they've got.  That doesn't necesarily mean they stay upward
compatible forever, but they sure think about transition plans,
compatibility libraries, etc.  They don't surprise people with flash
cuts.  They probably have commitments to customers for features,
fixes, etc that may well have been in 1987, and may or may not yet
be delivered; if so, they probably don't tell their customers to
forget those commitments while the world stabilizes.

2) When somebody ports the first UNIX on a new product, they take
the latest they get from somebody else, add the pieces from other
variants, and off they go.

3) When another release comes to them, they do NOT instantly junk everything
they've got, but do a lot of diffing and merging [in one direction or
another], and it may well take multiple releases to get there.

4) While all of this settles out, vendors must continue to build, ship,
and support their systems, or their customers will (properly)
zing them.

5) As a result, I doubt that any existing vendor will magically switch over
either SVR4 or to OSFix  the instant they appear, and THERE IS NO
RATION REASON to expect them to do so.  It is reasonable that these
rounds of convergence cause people to add in standard ways of doing
some of the newer things and support them, and maybe get common code for
some pieces of things, and maybe start new hardware ports from the code,
and maybe agree on a larger set of commonality.  But no one will
instantly switch.

6) While all this is going on, the 3rd-party software vendors will
(properly) continue to write to the least-common denominator until
it becomes clear what's going on.  Of course, this means, in effect,
that many programs will, for several more years, count on litle more than
the (10-year old) 7th Edition! :-)
-- 
-john mashey	DISCLAIMER: <generic disclaimer, I speak for me only, etc>
UUCP: 	{ames,decwrl,prls,pyramid}!mips!mash  OR  m...@mips.com
DDD:  	408-991-0253 or 408-720-1700, x253
USPS: 	MIPS Computer Systems, 930 E. Arques, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Path: utzoo!utgpu!water!watmath!clyde!att!osu-cis!tut.cis.ohio-state.edu!
bloom-beacon!gatech!rutgers!bellcore!faline!thumper!ulysses!sfmag!der
From: d...@sfmag.UUCP (D.Rorke)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: att & osf
Message-ID: <1276@sfmag.UUCP>
Date: 12 Aug 88 19:23:48 GMT
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP> 
<1988Aug5.211217.21037@utzoo.uucp> <2998@homxc.UUCP> <3dcc6110.d8e9@apollo.COM>
Organization: AT&T Information Systems, Summit, NJ
Lines: 105

Gary Allen responds to a poster who voiced concern over the motives of
some of the members of OSF:

> You can correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't every single member of OSF
> have a UNIX license, and doesn't every one of them sell UNIX in addition
> to other products? And isn't it a fact that the 2 companies that you
> single out are 2 of the major UNIX suppliers?

This misses the point.  Yes they all have (as far as I know) some sort
of UNIX-like product in their product lines.  I suspect that some of
them carry it just in case their customers ask for it.  The point is,
open systems are a major threat to some of the members of OSF.
Consider the following scenario:  Open systems really catch on in the
industry, including useful industry standard interfaces.
Various vendors build and market hardware that supports
the industry standard operating system environment.  Hardware is
priced competitively due to the open market (customers can shop
around for hardware based on price-performance).  Now the biggie -
applications developers turn out serious, industrial strength
DP applications that run in the standard environment (like payroll
and accounting and inventory control applications).
Now a data processing manager is faced with a choice (in some cases
for the first time). He can continue to pay
10 zillion dollars a month to lease the hardware and software
to maintain the environment he has been running since the dawn of
time, or he can move to an open environment, end his marriage to
a single hardware vendor, and take advantage of new hardware 
technology at an enormous savings.  Sure it's painful and expensive
to move to the new environment but it only has to be done once
and the long term savings more than justify the cost.
This is a scenario that IBM in particular has to be concerned
about.  They have profited tremendously in the past from the
fact that many of their customers have been locked into an
IBM environment.  This is why it is a little difficult for some
of us to believe that intelligent, responsible IBM executives
sincerely want open systems to flourish.
> 
> Proprietary systems? Yeah, they all also sell OS's of their own creation,
> JUST AS PROPRIETARY AS YOURS, or don't you know what the word means?
> In case you don't, I'll quote from Webster (the second definition):
> 
>    1. of, or relating to, or characteristic of a proprietor <~rights>;
>    2. used, made, or marketed by one having the exclusive legal
>       right <a ~ process>;
>    3. privately owned and managed and run as a profit-making organization
>       <a ~ clinic>
> 
> Now which definition is it that makes UNIX non-proprietary? I'm sure
> we'd all like to know, since that'd mean we don't have to pay AT&T
> any license fees.
> 
> And surely you must know that AT&T considers it to be proprietary, or
> perhaps you've never seen (hope I don't get sued for this):
> 
> /*	THIS IS UNPUBLISHED PROPRIETARY SOURCE CODE OF AT&T	*/
> /*	The copyright notice above does not evidence any   	*/
> /*	actual or intended publication of such source code.	*/
> 
> Perhaps you mean portable instead of proprietary?

Yes, System V source code is proprietary in that those wishing to
sell products based on it must pay a licensing fee.
Generally when people talk about proprietary systems however they 
are talking about systems that are offered primarily by a
single vendor and are either not licensed to 3rd parties or are
so non-portable that they will never run on any other vendor's
hardware.  In this sense UNIX is a non-proprietary system.
> 
> And by the way, all of these Bad Companies (apologies to John
> Paul Rodgers) have every right to sell other products in competition
> with your company's, or must I also define capitalism for you as
> well? Or perhaps some AT&T folk have the attitude that they're
> still guaranteed market, profits, and success?

Of course they have a right to compete.  In general competition
is good for the marketplace.  Unfortunately the untimely
appearance of OSF is likely to be bad for the marketplace and
the industry.  It is bad for the customers in the sense that
it adds further confusion to a market that was beginning to
converge on standards (i.e. the emergence of the POSIX standard
and the convergence of Xenix, BSD and System V).
OSF will tend to fragment the UNIX market and slow its growth
which is bad not only for customers but for other vendors with
a real stake in the UNIX market (including some of the members of OSF).
I really believe that those members of OSF that have a real stake in
the success of open systems (like Apollo) would have been better off
if they had stuck with existing/emerging standards and OSF had
never been formed.

> 
> Gary Allen
> Apollo Computer
> Chelmsford, MA
> {decvax,yale,umix,mit-eddie}!apollo!gallen
> 
> Oh yeah, the opinions herein expressed aren't worth 2 bits and aren't
> condoned by anyone that really counts.

You said it, not me.


Dave Rorke
AT&T Bell Laboratories
Summit, NJ
attunix!der

Path: utzoo!utgpu!water!watmath!clyde!att!osu-cis!tut.cis.ohio-state.edu!
mailrus!ncar!oddjob!mimsy!chris
From: ch...@mimsy.UUCP (Chris Torek)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: att & osf
Message-ID: <12988@mimsy.UUCP>
Date: 13 Aug 88 15:33:38 GMT
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP> <2857@ttrdc.UUCP>
Organization: U of Maryland, Dept. of Computer Science, Coll. Pk., MD 20742
Lines: 49

[The following was by Scott MacQuarrie, quoted by Henry Spencer]
>> 	... show me another vendor which has worked as hard to provide
>> 	a truly hardware independent operating system to allow customers
>> 	to [freely] decide what hardware they need to solve their problems...

In article <2...@ttrdc.UUCP> l...@ttrdc.UUCP (Daniel R. Levy) writes:
>And MacQuarrie makes a damned good point there too.  You gripe and bellyache
>about the UNIX operating system.  OK, you don't like it, come up with another
>operating system, NOT a UNIX system workalike, that will port to a gazillion
>other machines even half as well.  The UNIX operating system (and its structure
>and philosophy, which non-AT&T UNIX system workalikes, such as what the OSF
>wants to build, now use without one word of acknowledgment to AT&T or objection
>by AT&T--"my how greedy of us") came to exist because of AT&T.

The problem with this argument is that Unix came into existence because
of the One Bell System, the same One Bell System that no longer exists.
The AT&T that now controls (by licensing) Unix is *not* the same corporation
that produced it!  It merely has the same name.

Henry apparently believes---and I agree with him---that the new AT&T
cannot be assumed to be exactly like the old, and that any actions
taken by the old AT&T are not to be construed to the new AT&T's credit,
nor vice versa.  In particular, the old `portable' Unix (i.e., V7) was
produced by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, Doug McIlroy,
John Mashey, Joe Ossanna, et alia; the new `portable?' Unix (i.e.,
SysV) is by hundreds of programmers of varying ability, and it shows
it in a noticeable *lack* of portability in some of the new programs.
Rick Adams posted a wonderful example, where someone wrote

	strcmp(ptr, "f(") == 0

instead of

	ptr == NULL

It works on the 3B....

>MacQuarrie is talking about the big picture, about what AT&T has
>created and nurtured into being.  [Henry Spencer has] narrowly focused
>on current problems with System V, and viewed his statement through
>those glasses, ironic considering that you talk later on about "taking
>the long view."

Since the AT&T that `created and nurtured' Unix is really
research!everyone, and the AT&T that produced System V Release 3 is
not, this seems like a reasonable position to me.
-- 
In-Real-Life: Chris Torek, Univ of MD Comp Sci Dept (+1 301 454 7163)
Domain:	ch...@mimsy.umd.edu	Path:	uunet!mimsy!chris

Path: utzoo!attcan!uunet!husc6!cmcl2!adm!smoke!gwyn
From: g...@smoke.ARPA (Doug Gwyn )
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Re: AT&T Joining OSF
Message-ID: <8344@smoke.ARPA>
Date: 16 Aug 88 12:56:26 GMT
References: <10474@ulysses.homer.nj.att.com> <5960008@hpcupt1.HP.COM> 
<5796@orstcs.CS.ORST.EDU> <313@dtscp1.UUCP>
Reply-To: g...@brl.arpa (Doug Gwyn (VLD/VMB) <gwyn>)
Organization: Ballistic Research Lab (BRL), APG, MD.
Lines: 40

In article <3...@dtscp1.UUCP> sc...@dtscp1.UUCP (Scott Barman) writes:
>... I think that if Unix is to survive it needs a mass cleanup to go
>*back* to its original idea of "small is beautiful" and get some of the
>junk out of it ...

The UNIX product will "survive" even with all the added cruft.
The extra baggage persists because none of the marketing types
will seriously consider changing the system in ways that cause
massive amounts of existing customer applications to break.

The correct solution would have been to resist adding features
in the first place and to change kernel functionality only after
considerable careful thought.  In fact the Bell Labs "research"
version of UNIX has suffered far less from feeping creaturism
than the commercial products (4.nBSD & System V).

Generally the real UNIX gurus are well aware of the problem.
Even many of the AT&T UNIX product development staff understand
the basic philosophy to some degree; to take one of your examples,
the tty driver has indeed been converted to STREAMS, it just
wasn't ready for Release 3.0.

For another example, in response to a call for public-domain
contributions I sent Berkeley a "cat" with NO options that
preserves record structure.  9th Edition UNIX has a similar
version of "cat".  We really DO want to stamp out the cruft.
In the research world, it appears to still be possible.  The
commercial versions of UNIX are probably a lost cause due to
uneducated customer demand for features.  Features sell a system,
even though its underlying logic determines its real worth.

There are many good new ideas that can be incorporated into
future operating systems.  Whether it would be fair to call
such a system "UNIX" is a debatable point.  There is one in
the works called "Plan 9" that embodies some good concepts..
The best operating systems really are developed by small teams
working with little interference; this has been demonstrated
several times by history.  That doesn't keep managers from
missing the lesson and organizing huge project teams!  Maybe
the real problem lies in typical technical management?

Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer)
Subject: Re: att & osf
Message-ID: <1988Aug16.214307.20597@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP> 
<1988Aug8.174232.112@utzoo.uucp> <2857@ttrdc.UUCP>
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 88 21:43:07 GMT

In article <2...@ttrdc.UUCP> l...@ttrdc.UUCP (Daniel R. Levy) writes:
>...  The UNIX operating system (and its structure
>and philosophy... came to exist because of AT&T.

No, actually, they came to exist because of the Bell System.  Any resemblance
to today's AT&T is accidental.  :-)

>... How you could legitimately turn MacQuarrie's quote above
>into a "claim that [AT&T is] bending over backwards to..."

Actually, fairly easily.  He claimed that they had worked extremely hard
to provide a hardware-independent operating system.  I pointed out that
they had worked hard to provide a system which ran on all the hardware
*they* were interested in using or selling.  There is a difference!

Even there, one should note that the original work to make the system
portable was largely done by the Bell Labs research people; AT&T has
since basically done diddly-squat about improving portability, since the
remaining portability problems didn't affect *them*.  (They've done a
little bit of work on portability, but they've also introduced some new
and gratuitous portability problems of their own, so the overall balance
is roughly zero.)
-- 
Intel CPUs are not defective,  |     Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology
they just act that way.        | uunet!attcan!utzoo!henry he...@zoo.toronto.edu

Path: utzoo!utgpu!water!watmath!clyde!bellcore!tness7!tness1!sugar!ficc!peter
From: pe...@ficc.UUCP (Peter da Silva)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Subject: Post-UNIX UNIX (Re: AT&T Joining OSF)
Message-ID: <1271@ficc.UUCP>
Date: 17 Aug 88 14:09:59 GMT
References: <10474@ulysses.homer.nj.att.com> <5960008@hpcupt1.HP.COM> 
<8344@smoke.ARPA>
Organization: SCADA
Lines: 17

In article <8...@smoke.ARPA>, g...@smoke.ARPA (Doug Gwyn ) writes:
> In fact the Bell Labs "research"
> version of UNIX has suffered far less from feeping creaturism
> than the commercial products (4.nBSD & System V).

Any way of dragging research UNIX out of AT&T? It's not doing us
much good in there.

> There is one in
> the works called "Plan 9" that embodies some good concepts..

Plan 9 from AT&T? Wasn't that a sci-fi movie?
-- 
Peter da Silva, Ferranti International Controls Corporation, sugar!ficc!peter.
"You made a TIME MACHINE out of a VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE?"
"Well, I couldn't afford another deLorean."
"But how do you ever get it up to 88 miles per hour????"

Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer)
Subject: Re: Post-UNIX UNIX (Re: AT&T Joining OSF)
Message-ID: <1988Aug19.183408.20883@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
References: <10474@ulysses.homer.nj.att.com> <5960008@hpcupt1.HP.COM> 
<8344@smoke.ARPA> <1271@ficc.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 88 18:34:08 GMT

In article <1...@ficc.UUCP> pe...@ficc.UUCP (Peter da Silva) writes:
>Any way of dragging research UNIX out of AT&T? It's not doing us
>much good in there.

What?!?  You dare to suggest that it could somehow be better than System V?!?
Heresy!!!  :-) :-)

More seriously, the System V people have put a lot of effort into their
One Standard Unix campaign, and the last thing they want is competition
from within AT&T itself.  There has been a little bit of distribution of
research Unix to selected universities, but it seems unlikely that there
will be any more general release.  Ideas, and bits and pieces of software
from it, will filter over into System V (sometimes in radically-mutated
forms, as witness DMR streams vs. System V Streams), but that's about it.
-- 
Intel CPUs are not defective,  |     Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology
they just act that way.        | uunet!attcan!utzoo!henry he...@zoo.toronto.edu

Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer)
Subject: Re: att & osf
Message-ID: <1988Aug19.204836.23395@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP> 
<1988Aug5.211217.21037@utzoo.uucp> <2998@homxc.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 88 20:48:36 GMT

In article <2...@homxc.UUCP> d...@homxc.UUCP (Malaclypse the Elder) writes:
>> I could be wrong, but my impression is that one of the Consent Decrees
>> required licensing on reasonable terms to all comers.  I know of at
>> least one occasion when lawsuits were being considered over possible
>> refusal to release technology (although of course that may just mean
>> that the potential plaintiffs were going to try it on speculation).
>> 
>i also believe that we were under no obligation to provide our
>developed technologies...

I now have slightly more specific information on this.  The Consent Decree
of 1956 specifically required licensing of patents -- no ifs, buts, or
maybes.  However, it did not touch on non-patented stuff to any extent,
and in particular, except for (presumably) the setuid patent, it did not
mandate release of Unix.  It would appear that the lawsuits I heard about
were indeed on speculation; since they never materialized there's no way
to be sure how they would have turned out.

>> ... when are they going to fix the NULL-pointer bugs?
>> 
>is this really a portability issue or is this an issue of supporting
>a base of applications out there that dereferences NULLs?  are you
>confusing application portability with operating system portability?

I am speaking of portability of Unix, i.e. the kernel AND THE UTILITIES.
As at least one would-be lookalike builder has discovered, the hard part
about duplicating Unix is the utilities, not the kernel.  And at least
the older System V utilities deferenced a lot of NULL pointers.

>> Many people see this as a major conflict of interest for AT&T; how can
>> it remain the paragon of evenhandedness that you claim it is, when it has
>> climbed into bed with one manufacturer to the exclusion of the others?
>> 
>there is only a conflict of interest if one believes that a particular
>hardware architecture can really affect a specification for a user/programmer
>interface...

Well, actually, it can in various ways.  To take a small example, consider
the vile botch in System V interprocess communication of using -1 (rather
than 0) cast to a pointer as an error return code.  That is *not* portable,
but it happens to work on certain architectures.

If you want another example, see the above:  AT&T operated for quite a while
with "it is safe to dereference a NULL pointer" as an implicit part of their
programming interface.

There is also an apparent conflict of interest over more than just the final
shape of the specs.  Little things like "when do others get to see the specs?"
and "do others have any say in the specs?" are not trivial issues either.
-- 
Intel CPUs are not defective,  |     Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology
they just act that way.        | uunet!attcan!utzoo!henry he...@zoo.toronto.edu

Newsgroups: comp.unix.wizards
Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.uucp (Henry Spencer)
Subject: Re: att & osf
Message-ID: <1988Aug19.205150.23487@utzoo.uucp>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
References: <4964@killer.DALLAS.TX.US> <3395@vpk4.UUCP> 
<1988Aug5.211217.21037@utzoo.uucp> <2843@ttrdc.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 88 20:51:50 GMT

In article <2...@ttrdc.UUCP> l...@ttrdc.UUCP (Daniel R. Levy) writes:
>Anyone with reason would conclude that it's in AT&T's financial interest
>(GAA, there's that DIRTY word again :-) to have quality code, and that poor
>quality code can only hurt AT&T.  If you're going to hint at a conspiracy,
>you're going to have to come up with other evidence than code bugs.

I'm not talking conspiracy, actually, just a combination of incompetence
and utter disregard for problems caused to anyone outside AT&T.  For example,
people have been having trouble with NULL pointers in System V for years,
but it's only now -- when partnership with Sun makes AT&T care about the
issue for its *own* purposes -- that something is being done about it.

Anyone with reason would indeed conclude that it's in AT&T's financial
best interests to have quality code.  This is a sad comment on the degree
of rationality found in AT&T management.
-- 
Intel CPUs are not defective,  |     Henry Spencer at U of Toronto Zoology
they just act that way.        | uunet!attcan!utzoo!henry he...@zoo.toronto.edu

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