From: "Theodore Y. Ts'o" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Clem Cole <email@example.com> Cc: Computer Old Farts Followers <firstname.lastname@example.org>, TUHS main list <email@example.com>, Douglas McIlroy <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: [COFF] [TUHS] 386BSD released Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2021 21:58:53 -0400 [thread overview] Message-ID: <YPDn3XRqRQ4a2UKl@mit.edu> (raw) In-Reply-To: <CAC20D2Pqu_hnt5A7XLtb6rRmniURmDc7Zzo4o6tzbZBD3pfJKA@mail.gmail.com> On Thu, Jul 15, 2021 at 04:30:15PM -0400, Clem Cole wrote: > > Ted - that *is what* Doug pointed out!!! They did not create anything that > was new. SHARED / DECUS / USENIX and the like were providing that exact > same function starting in the late 1950s!!! Companies and Universities all > pooled their resources to make things better and to get new and improved > solutions. Sometimes they started with things that come from the > original OEM. Also often they created their own technology and made it > available to everyone. Sometime they combine both. And it was a > 'bazaar where everyone had access and you chose to use it to not. Sounds > pretty familiar, BTW. I remember looking at the DECUS program catalog for the PDP-8, and I seem to recall that for the most part, individuals were sharing their programs with others. In that way, it wasn't all that different from say, CPM/UG, and HUG (Heathkit Users Group). But the thing is, for the most part, it was a single author sharing individual programs, and often changes were not accepted back. Consider the history of Bill Jolitz and 386BSD, and the collection of patches that eventuallya became NetBSD and FreeBSD, which was formed because they were frustrated that they couldn't get their patch sets back into Jolitz's code base. Technology plays a part, in that it enables the change. But it's not just about technology. There is also a very strong social component. Even when you were richly interconnected at the network level, this does not guarantee that will be willing to be richly interconnected in terms of accepting patch sets from people who you may not know across the Internet, into *your* program, for which you are the author and high priest. I don't remember the exact date, but it would have been in the early 90's, when at the time I was already contributing patches to Linux, and where ftp and e-mail and applying patches via context diffs was very much available. At that time, we were interested in getting support for MIT Project Athena's Hesiod extenstions into the BIND distributions (we had just been carrying patches against BIND for many years). In order to get those patches integrated, Paul Vixie invited me to his house in Redwood City, and so I flew from Boston to San Francisco, carrying my Linux laptop with the BIND patches, and we got the patches integrated into master BIND sources. Paul was a gracious host, and it was lovely that I got to spend some time with him. But it was interesting that my physical presence was needed, or at least highly useful, in terms of getting those patches into BIND. Requiring physical presence to get patches integrated.... doesn't scale. And so it wasn't a matter of technology, since the technology for Linus, who didn't know me from Adam in 1991, to accept patches from me implementing BSD Job Control, was certainly available when I was working with Paul to get the Hesiod changes integrated into BIND. But like with Jolitz and 386BSD, it's a mindset thing, not just technology. I also want to emphasize again, the question of business model is also something which I think is different, and *important*. It's one thing for Academics and Researchers to be willing to give changes away to anyone who wants. It's quite another for a company to give away their intellectual property in such a way that it can actually be used by their competitors, either because that's the social convention, or because it's enforced by the license. Was the practices we use today for Linux built on the traditions of comp.sources.unix, and BSD, and AT&T Research, and IBM making sources available for System/360, yadda, yadda, yadda? Of course! I'm not denying that. But at the same time, to claim that nothing is new under the Sun, and *all* of this had been done decades earlier, is also not the whole story. And to call IBM releasing System/360, when they retained control of the license, and wasn't accepting any changes back, and *darned* well would have sued anyone trying to use that code on non-IBM computers into a smoking crater, as "Open Source" can be highly misleading, because that is not what most people associate with the term "Open Source" today. And if we take a look at what AT&T Lawyers did with the Unix source code, at some point, it most *defintely* was the antithesis of "Open Source". Which would lead me to assert that Unix was never really released under what today we would call, "Open Source". Cheers, - Ted _______________________________________________ COFF mailing list COFF@minnie.tuhs.org https://minnie.tuhs.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/coff
next prev parent reply other threads:[~2021-07-16 2:00 UTC|newest] Thread overview: 31+ messages / expand[flat|nested] mbox.gz Atom feed top [not found] <email@example.com> [not found] ` <CAKH6PiVCjo3YnTZUVYOCDeffQ6POVwGAQA1QMR9UinkfGn+AmQ@mail.gmail.com> 2021-07-15 6:33 ` Michael Kjörling 2021-07-15 20:44 ` Derek Fawcus 2021-07-15 15:07 ` Clem Cole 2021-07-15 19:33 ` Theodore Y. Ts'o 2021-07-15 20:30 ` Clem Cole 2021-07-16 1:58 ` Theodore Y. Ts'o [this message] 2021-07-16 2:14 ` George Michaelson 2021-07-16 18:02 ` Grant Taylor via COFF 2021-07-17 4:09 ` Theodore Y. Ts'o 2021-07-17 6:30 ` [COFF] " Tom Ivar Helbekkmo via COFF 2021-07-17 12:37 ` Theodore Y. Ts'o 2021-07-17 13:30 ` Tom Ivar Helbekkmo via COFF 2021-07-18 3:29 ` [COFF] [TUHS] " Grant Taylor via COFF 2021-07-18 3:42 ` David Arnold 2021-07-18 4:01 ` Grant Taylor via COFF 2021-07-19 13:41 ` Theodore Y. Ts'o 2021-07-19 14:50 ` Clem Cole 2021-07-19 17:38 ` Theodore Y. Ts'o 2021-07-19 19:33 ` John P. Linderman 2021-07-19 20:21 ` Clem Cole 2021-07-20 1:05 ` Grant Taylor via COFF 2021-07-19 20:08 ` Clem Cole 2021-07-20 0:55 ` Theodore Y. Ts'o 2021-07-18 6:44 ` Andy Kosela 2021-07-16 16:11 ` Jonathan Corbet 2021-07-15 23:02 ` joe mcguckin [not found] <alpine.BSF.firstname.lastname@example.org> [not found] ` <213a4c11-3ab2-4b4a-8d6b-b52105a19711@localhost> [not found] ` <CAE49LGn-gY9eikkwUgS+i3p=ZQV+gk_3BJ5V4_6B4HPbdyRuZw@mail.gmail.com> 2021-07-14 15:01 ` Clem Cole 2021-07-14 17:40 ` Theodore Y. Ts'o 2021-07-14 17:50 ` Larry McVoy 2021-07-14 18:28 ` Clem Cole 2021-07-14 20:03 ` John Cowan
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