From: Dan Cross <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: 9fans <email@example.com> Subject: Re: [9fans] licence question Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2022 12:06:09 -0500 [thread overview] Message-ID: <CAEoi9W51hWAt-ejdMBNp47CvJWhF998Bhu8UP=5uF59OrB-A5g@mail.gmail.com> (raw) In-Reply-To: <16437280880.B3cF82.firstname.lastname@example.org> [-- Attachment #1: Type: text/plain, Size: 6009 bytes --] On Tue, Feb 1, 2022 at 10:08 AM ibrahim via 9fans <email@example.com> wrote: > On Tuesday, 1 February 2022, at 3:12 PM, Dan Cross wrote: > > This isn't really on-topic for 9fans, but I find this hard to believe. > Linux used the exact same compiler suite, and became wildly successful > while the BSD distributions mostly stagnated; certainly, the BSDs never > grew at the rate or reached the levels of popularity that Linux has > attained: it wasn't the license on the toolchain. > > Berkeley stopped their distribution of BSD systems right after they were > forced to remove the toolchain. The last releases were 4.3 and 4.4 lite. > Hmm, no, that's not quite right. 4.3BSD was in 1986; 4.4-Lite2 was in 1995: nineish years later, with lots of intervening activity (Tahoe, Reno, Net/1, Net/2, 4.4, 4.4-Lite, etc). Perhaps you meant to write 4.4 and 4.4-Lite? Anyway, the toolchain switch had little to do with CSRG shutting down. The reality there was that Unix stopped being interesting for an academic department to continue supporting like EECS at UCB was with CSRG and BSD: this was all spelled out in the 4.4BSD announcement. As Bostic put it, BSD was always a community effort, but after 4.4, it just wasn't going to grow within UCB: https://groups.google.com/g/comp.unix.bsd/c/hZYO7xTDqQ8/m/NE-S-HWH9-wJ They also understood that GCC was a better compiler than PCC was at the time: with PCC on the VAX, they had post-processing steps implementing peephole optimizations with shell scripts, and GCC just generated better code. It also implemented most of the ANSI standard, which PCC did not. In other words, there were technical reasons for switching to GCC beyond just the license. Indeed, the setup document says, "Most 4.3BSD binaries may be used with 4.4BSD in the course of the conversion. It is desirable to recompile local sources after the conversion, as the new compiler (GCC) provides superior code optimization." ( https://docs.freebsd.org/44doc/smm/01.setup/paper.pdf) Then the project got forked. It led to a stop in development. I personally > believe that this was the main reason behind the BSD's to lose their charm. > By "forked" do you mean the Jolitz's porting it to the 386? That was independent of what happened with CSRG shutting down, and neither of those had much to do with the GPL or adopting GCC as the system compiler. This also ignores a lot of other developments: the VAX stopped being _the_ dominant platform of the Internet, there was a lot more choice for reasonable Unix distributions from e.g. workstation vendors, many organizations stopped looking at Unix as primarily a research system which lead to the rise of standards bodies like IEEE with POSIX, which subsequently lessened the need for something like BSD as a quasi-standard for the likes of DARPA. Meanwhile, and the PC platform became huge, and people who just wanted Unix on cheap machines suddenly had Linux as a free working alternative that was "good enough". BSDi cost a lot of money for an individual (around $1000 USD, if I recall correctly), was embroiled in a lawsuit with AT&T (the outcome of which was not at all certain) and with Linux you had a reasonable expectation that someone would help you boot it on your toaster -- or at least accept the patches if you did it yourself -- and you didn't have to put with with some of the "big" personalities in the traditional Unix world. If you read about the reasoning why as an example Minix or even plan9 got > their own toolchains I think you can read between the lines that the lack > or the existence of a toolchain with the right license is far more > important than many believe. > Plan 9 got its own toolchain because that was part of the project: how would one evolve a language like C and a compiler/assembler/linker suite to make it more pleasant for building the sort of holistic system that plan9 became, and how to accommodate cross-compilation and development in a heterogenous hardware environment: indeed, many of the early plan9 design choices were motivated by similar concerns. The license had little, if anything, to do with it, and being an "open source" system was not a primary goal of plan9 when the compilers were written. I can't really imagine that GCC was given any serious consideration as a compiler for plan9 simply on its merits, if indeed it was given any consideration at all: at the time, it fulfilled a completely different purpose. You may have a point with respect to the license mattering for the original Minix, but bear in mind that the ACK predates GCC, and Tanenbaum was building a pedagogical system, not a production system: he actually needed to be able to distribute the toolchain with the Minix educational materials. He probably could have used GCC just as well, but it's clear he started Minix a few years ahead of the first public release, and GCC wasn't available then. Since he already had ACK, it was logical to use it. Of course this is only my personal opinion and probably I'm misinterpreting > things. > I think, bluntly, this ignores a lot of the actual history and is an example of confirmation bias in an analysis of the use of GPL in OSS OS projects, or license toolchains more generally. Look at the complaints from the OpenBSD people when the Clang/LLVM license changed; yet, they continue to ship a pretty recent clang version despite the "unacceptability" of the Apache 2.0 license, and let's be honest: they probably will for a long time to come. That said, I also think you're perfectly within your rights to ship your kiosk application as a closed-source system if you want to, despite protestations to the contrary. - Dan C. ------------------------------------------ 9fans: 9fans Permalink: https://9fans.topicbox.com/groups/9fans/T3e07bfdf263a83c8-M7f45cc216a7b9f8059344c85 Delivery options: https://9fans.topicbox.com/groups/9fans/subscription [-- Attachment #2: Type: text/html, Size: 7782 bytes --]
next prev parent reply other threads:[~2022-02-01 17:31 UTC|newest] Thread overview: 61+ messages / expand[flat|nested] mbox.gz Atom feed top 2022-01-27 22:43 ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-27 22:48 ` hiro 2022-01-27 23:33 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-28 0:05 ` hiro 2022-01-28 0:42 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-28 0:46 ` ori 2022-01-28 1:14 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-28 3:23 ` Kurt H Maier via 9fans 2022-01-28 12:01 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-28 21:59 ` hiro 2022-01-29 13:03 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-29 13:24 ` hiro 2022-01-29 14:08 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-29 14:59 ` sirjofri 2022-01-29 18:11 ` Grant Defayette 2022-01-29 19:00 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-29 20:43 ` hiro 2022-01-29 21:32 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-29 21:42 ` hiro 2022-01-29 22:23 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-29 23:14 ` sirjofri 2022-01-29 23:27 ` hiro 2022-01-29 23:36 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-30 0:08 ` hiro 2022-01-30 1:45 ` ron minnich 2022-01-30 2:18 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-30 21:00 ` ron minnich 2022-02-01 15:08 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-02-01 17:06 ` Dan Cross [this message] 2022-01-29 22:14 ` Bakul Shah 2022-01-29 22:40 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-02-04 15:30 ` Kent R. Spillner 2022-02-04 16:17 ` Grant Defayette 2022-02-04 16:29 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-02-04 21:12 ` sirjofri 2022-02-04 17:48 ` Kurt H Maier via 9fans 2022-02-05 0:08 ` Frank D. Engel, Jr. 2022-02-05 16:47 ` hiro 2022-01-29 14:26 ` David Leimbach via 9fans 2022-02-01 14:12 ` Dan Cross 2022-02-01 22:47 ` hiro 2022-02-02 13:22 ` Wes Kussmaul 2022-02-02 16:25 ` ori 2022-02-02 18:22 ` ron minnich 2022-02-02 19:00 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-29 16:15 ` Wes Kussmaul 2022-01-29 16:56 ` Bakul Shah 2022-01-29 17:17 ` ori 2022-01-29 18:14 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-29 18:58 ` cinap_lenrek 2022-01-29 19:23 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-29 20:48 ` hiro 2022-01-29 21:18 ` Steve Simon 2022-01-29 21:34 ` hiro 2022-01-29 21:43 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-29 22:44 ` hiro 2022-01-29 23:26 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-30 7:55 ` tlaronde 2022-01-30 13:44 ` ibrahim via 9fans 2022-01-30 13:56 ` tlaronde 2022-01-28 3:14 ` Lucio De Re
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