PUPS/TUHS should not be divisive

David O'Brien obrien at NUXI.com
Sat Jun 17 14:55:04 AEST 2000

On Fri, Jun 16, 2000 at 11:20:04PM -0400, Thor Lancelot Simon wrote:
> I don't see why PUPS/TUHS should provide a general soapbox for shouting
> insults at the people who did a lot of the work PUPS/TUHS collect,
> catalog, and preserve.

Not to mention we owe the entire Open Source BSD availability to Keith.

Those that have not heard Kirk McKusick's "History of UNIX at Berkeley"
talk should go read his "Twenty Years of Berkeley Unix From AT&T-Owned to
Freely Redistributable" chapter in "Open Sources: Voices from the Open
Source Revolution".  This is on-line at
http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/opensources/book/kirkmck.html.  To quote:

    During one of our weekly group meetings at the CSRG, Keith Bostic
    brought up the subject of the popularity of the
    freely-redistributable networking release and inquired about the
    possibility of doing an expanded release that included more of the
    BSD code. Mike Karels and I pointed out to Bostic that releasing
    large parts of the system was a huge task, but we agreed that if he
    could sort out how to deal with reimplementing the hundreds of
    utilities and the massive C library then we would tackle the kernel.
    Privately, Karels and I felt that would be the end of the discussion.
    Undeterred, Bostic pioneered the technique of doing a mass net-based
    development effort. He solicited folks to rewrite the Unix utilities
    from scratch based solely on their published descriptions.  Their
    only compensation would be to have their name listed among the
    Berkeley contributors next to the name of the utility that they
    rewrote.  The contributions started slowly and were mostly for the
    trivial utilities. But as the list of completed utilities grew and
    Bostic continued to hold forth for contributions at public events
    such as Usenix, the rate of contributions continued to grow.  Soon
    the list crossed one hundred utilities and within 18 months nearly
    all the important utilities and libraries had been rewritten.

    Proudly, Bostic marched into Mike Karels' and my office, list in
    hand, wanting to know how we were doing on the kernel. Resigned to
    our task, Karels, Bostic, and I spent the next several months going
    over the entire distribution, file by file, removing code that had
    originated in the 32/V release.

With what we owe him, I do not think any continual bad mouthing of Keith
should be tolerated.

-- David    (obrien at NUXI.com)

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