What to do now with PUPS

Warren Toomey wkt at henry.cs.adfa.oz.au
Mon Aug 3 13:45:52 AEST 1998

In article by Michael Sokolov:
>    As I have said all along, PUPS's pre-hung-up'ness on PDP-11s has been
> the source of a lot of grief for us the VAX lovers. It is the reason why
> SCO's license talks so much about PDP-11s and the reason I have had so much
> trouble obtaining the software I need, since everyone believes that the SCO
> license is limited to 16-bit toys. Of course it is not, and in fact it is
> the reason why Marshall Kirk McKusick is releasing the CD-ROMs with CSRG's
> code (80% of which is 32-bit), but thanks to PUPS's pre-hung-up'ness on
> PDP-11s, try to explain this to people!
>    Thanks Daemon the gang is finally beginning to realize that UNIX(R) runs
> on more than just PDP-11s.
>    Michael Sokolov

I'd just like to comment on Michael's e-mail, just for the record. The PDP-11
UNIX Preservation Society was, at one point, just me. I'd had help from
Steven Schultz, Tim Shoppa, John Wilson and Torsten Hippe, and my personal
goal was to get copies of 6th and 7th Edition Unix, for historical reasons.
Since then, people with similar interests have accumulated. We've set up a
mailing list, web page etc.

Steven and I took months to lobby SCO to make source licenses available. We
started in late '95/early '96. Again, we were driven by our own personal goals
of making cheap licenses for PDP-11 UNIXes available. We were also guided
by the web-based survey, see http://minnie.cs.adfa.oz.au/PUPS/pdpquiz_sum.html,
which showed an awful lot more interest for PDP-11 UNIXes than 32-bit UNIXes.

Yes, PUPS has been hung up on PDP-11s. There's no denying that. It's a result
of the personal drives that Steven, I, and the other active members of the
mailing list have. If we have caused grief to the VAX users, it was

The license that we negotiated with SCO was based as much on our personal
goals as on pragmatics. During the negotiations, it became apparent that:

	+ There was a substantial bloc at SCO who didn't want ANY license
	+ For the rest, Research Editions 1 to 7 was ok
	+ 32V was dubious: most people didn't want this licensed
	+ System III was also dubious
	+ System V was definitely right out: nobody wanted this licensed

The fact that we got 32V on the SCO license was, in my opinion, damn lucky,
even though I pushed and pushed and pushed for this to be included. SCO,
for their part, probably feel that they have limited the `damage' by only
licensing the 16-bit systems, and 32V (grudgingly).

Now why was I pushing 32V so hard? Because I knew it would open the path
for CSRG to release the BSD flavours. This is the ONLY reason why I fought
so hard for it to be included in the license.

Hopefully this has filled in some of the background on the behind-the-scenes
work. I agree that, up to now, the effort has concentrated on the 16-bit
systems. I knew that, by getting 32V into the license, it would give scope
for the 32-bit systems. At the same time, there was NO WAY that SCO would
have licensed any other 32-bit system. The license we have reflects SCO's
legal concerns as much as the negotiators' PDP preference.

However, 32V is licensed, and Kirk will be selling the CRSG BSD releases
on a 4-CD set next week. A fair proportion of PDP-11 UNIX history has been
saved. Now it's time for those with a preference for other systems to
extend what has been achieved. Go for it!


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