On Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 9:49 AM, <arnold@skeeve.com> wrote:
Kevin Bowling <kevin.bowling@kev009.com> wrote:

> I guess alternatively, what was interesting or neat, about RFS, if
> anything?  And what was bad?

Good: Stateful implementation, remote devices worked.
Right -- and full POSIX FS system semantics.  Everything worked as you expected - no surprises.


Bad: Sent binary over the wire, making interoperability harder.
​Yup - Peter used a very simple function shipping model in Eighth edition and Dave did the same with RFS.   With Plan8 they got more sophisticated.  Plan8 and EFS were more similar in that aspect.​

The other thing RFS did not have 'out of the box' was a 'diskless.' 

Truth is that an Sun-3 running 'diskless' != as an Apollo running 'twinned.'  [There is a famous Clem' story I'll not repeat here from Masscomp about a typo I made, but your imagination would probably be right - when I refused to do build a diskless system for Masscomp]....

But 'diskless' was the worlds sleaziest 'add-in' disk business and Sun sold a ton of systems.   People were not going to toss out their diskless system when they discovered the performance sucked.  The bought a disk for them (even though a Masscomp or an Apollo with a disk was cheaper to start).

[It was brilliant marketing on Sun's part...  It was the #1 thing that made Sun succeed early on.  NFS and the low end entry system made Sun .. they nailed it.]

​ ​
at System V Relese 3 AT&T made the licensing terms much harder for
​ ​
the big vendors to swallow (Dec, IBM, HP ...) so many of them didn't
The funny part was the SVR3 was the 'final' license most of the vendors used (IBM, HP, DEC) when it was done.  IBM and HP both bought it out.   DEC never did, although DEC shipped Tru64 on an SVR3 license.

Sun bought out an SRV4 license but that was different.​

I don't remember the details; something like having to pass
a validation suite to be called "UNIX" and who knows what else.
The suite was only part of the issue, there were other terms that AT&T back-ed off, when IBM, HP et al pushed back.    They all have System-III licenses, AT&T really wanted to move them to SVR3 licenses.


As others have noted, the Unix wars were a sad, sad story, and I'd
as soon not see the details rehashed endlessly.
​I agree - it was a sad, sad time.   It was 'who was going to control this' issue.​
None of them could see, the tighter the grabbed, the less control they had and more the seeded control the Microsoft.   As you said, sad, sad, time...

But licensing was
​ ​
a big factor in the non-adoption of RFS, not just the technical side.

​Hmm...   I'm not so sure.   If RFS had come out before NFS, maybe.  But NFS took root and was cheap and easy and good enough for what people needed to do most everything.

That was what made it a brilliant solution.  I admire Kleiman for find the hole and doing such a good job of filling it.

In many ways, Dave did 'more' with RFS but it was 'harder' to in a number of different ways to consume (both technical and political)