PUPS/TUHS should not be divisive

Robin Birch robin at ruffnready.co.uk
Sat Jun 17 20:38:09 AEST 2000

In message <20000616215504.I35577 at dragon.nuxi.com>, David O'Brien
<obrien at NUXI.com> writes
>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.
Robin Birch     robin at ruffnready.co.uk

M1ASU/2E0ARJ/M5ABD     Old computers and radios always welcome

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