[TUHS] Zombified SCO comes back from the dead, brings trial back to life against IBM

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Mon Apr 5 07:40:48 AEST 2021

On Sun, Apr 4, 2021 at 5:01 PM Jon Steinhart <jon at fourwinds.com> wrote:

> Yes, that really sucked but that wasn't until Solaris.
Hey Larry/Rob is that true?  I thought the unbundling happened @ Sun when
they created a compiler group and finally wrote their own production
quality compilers like Masscomp, Apollo, and DEC had at the time.   They
really needed their own by the time Sun switched from 68K to SPARC.  The
original SunOS 68K C compiler was based on the MIT RTS compiler that I
think Jack Test did the original back end for the Johnson compiler (and Tom
Teixeira wrote the assembler).  I know it was a couple of years before Sun
invested in their own compiler technology.  But Sun, (like Masscomp and
Apollo), had a lot of ex-DEC folks in Marketing/Sales.   DEC had always
looked at the compiler has a revenue source [which I have always said is
why C beat out BLISS -- C came with UNIX, BLISS cost $5K/cpu for VMS].

I do agree with Lyndon Nerenberg's comment, that Sun start to charge for the
C compiler was the biggest help/legitimization that gcc ever got.

At Masscomp we had our had own compiler by the second year (which was the
primary reason why we won all the performance tests.  Our marking weenies
wanted to charge for it also.   Tom and I were the primary ones that fought
it and said, with UNIX you get a C compiler (plus we needed to compile
conf.c and a few other things at the customer site for a custom kernel).
What sales wanted to s was supply the RTS compiler for free and then charge
for the better compiler.    We won that skirmish, although I actually think
it might have been that the Roger Gourd realized that compiler folk would
have had to continue to support the old C compiler, too.
So in the end,  Fortran and Pascal were unbundled, although I think most
(>90%) of the customer base did buy the Fortran system and probably about ⅓
bought Pascal too.


FYI - those same ex-DECies took the same ideas to Intel.   It's only take
me 10-15 years, but some of us finally won that war there.  Check out:
the Intel® oneAPI Base Toolkit - you can get icx and ifx for free these
days for Linux and Mac.
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