Thor Lancelot Simon tls at rek.tjls.com
Tue Jan 26 14:43:10 AEST 1999

On Mon, Jan 25, 1999 at 10:23:32PM -0500, Michael Sokolov wrote:
> Thor Lancelot Simon <tls at rek.tjls.com> wrote:
> > It would be nice to have the pre-4.4 (was it 4.4-alpha?) and 4.4BSD
> > distributions, as shipped by CSRG, in the archive.
> See my previous posting.
> > What would be even nicer would be the entire system as of the last
> > time it was touched -- the AT&T-encumbered system which would correspond
> > to the free 4.4BSD-Lite2 distribution which was the last public output
> > from CSRG.
> You'll get exactly this if you order Marshall Kirk McKusick's CSRG Archives
> CD-ROM set. The last CD-ROM is the image of CSRG's master /usr/src as it
> existed on the last second of CSRG's existence, one hour after the 4.4BSD-Lite2
> tape was pressed.
> > Did anyone ever build a distribution of such a system?
> You mean binary distribution? Well, the machine the master /usr/src was stored
> on ran this system presumably, so I guess the binaries you want existed at some
> point. Whether they have been preserved anywhere is an entirely different
> matter.
> > Is it feasible
> > to do so now?
> I suppose so. The best way to do it would probably be to bootstrap from the
> 4.4BSD tape and then recompile the system from the new source tree.
> > I don't have a firm grasp on which architectures would
> > actually compile and run as of that point in the SCCS files -- would
> > VAX, using the old VM system?
> I also have a very vague idea of what exactly can 4.4BSD-* run on. But
> definitely not VAX or Tahoe. There is no old VM in the 4.4BSD-* tree, and the
> kernel architecture has changed so much between 4.3BSD and 4.4BSD that back-
> porting it is not something I would volunteer to do.
> > I'd assume hp300 would work, since it
> > was the primary development platform, right?
> Yes.
> > Had the LBL SPARC port been integrated?
> Yes.
> You know, if your interest is in resurrecting CSRG, my advice to you is not to
> bother with 4.4BSD-*, but to join Quasijarus Project instead. The break point

My interest is not in "resurrecting CSRG".  If I were into that kind of thing
I'd just join Jews For Jesus.  My interest is pretty much purely historical.

> in the history of CSRG was in late 1988. Everything after that is so far from
> True UNIX that I have decided to put a big X over it, turn the Universe clock
> back to that point (using my SCCS Time Machine), declare all of CSRG's
> post-1988 work "not really CSRG", and declare myself CSRG's true successor.
> If you look at my mail signature, you'll see that I'm the new official
> maintainer of Berkeley UNIX and the principal architect of its further
> development, known as Quasijarus Project. As far as I am concerned, 4.4BSD
> never existed except as a "side branch" from True UNIX, and the last True UNIX
> release from CSRG was 4.3BSD-Tahoe. I picked it up from that point and now I'm
> maintaining and developing it just as CSRG did until 1988. I am the true
> successor of true CSRG. If you want CSRG, here I am.

I frankly consider this to be silly, somewhat presumptious, and, for myself,
at least, a waste of time.  But if it's something _you_ want to do, I
encourage you to do it, I suppose.

All that I ask is that you not touch the value of the "BSD" symbol which is
exposed to the userland C namespace.  The chaos which would ensue should
a "later" version of BSD appear which didn't support the full 4.4BSD feature
set is horrifying to contemplate.

Despite the great temptation to do so, neither the NetBSD nor the FreeBSD
project have taken up the mantle of CSRG and mucked around with that symbol,
nor released "4.5BSD" "5BSD", or the like.  History is history.  Pretending
to be an organization which doesn't exist... gets very little useful work
done.  At least that's my personal take on it.

I think you'd find a substantial number of people who thought that the
"True UNIX" line ran through either SunOS 4 or 9th and 10th Edition, were
you to take a poll of as many wizards as you could summon.  But it's a silly
thing to argue about, which is why I'll assert no position at all on that
issue.  Similarly, I have no interest in arguing about Common LISP
versus Scheme or vi versus Emacs.  Please don't tempt me with a discussion
of X versus MGR or C versus C++ and I'll avoid lecturing at you about
_my_ religious hot buttons. :-)

Thor Lancelot Simon	                                      tls at rek.tjls.com
	"And where do all these highways go, now that we are free?"

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