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

Bakul Shah bakul at iitbombay.org
Mon Apr 5 11:34:28 AEST 2021

On Apr 4, 2021, at 4:33 PM, Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 4, 2021 at 7:01 PM Bakul Shah <bakul at iitbombay.org <mailto:bakul at iitbombay.org>> wrote:
>> On Apr 4, 2021, at 3:25 PM, David Arnold <davida at pobox.com <mailto:davida at pobox.com>> wrote:
>>>  For us UNIX historians, we need to be careful and learn from our own history here -- the Cell Phone/Mobile target is the engine for the next Christenian style disruption.  It is by far the #1 target for people writing new programs (which I find a little sad personally - but I understand and accept -- time has marched on).  In the end, a small mobile target will be the tech on top, and available will be driven by market behavior and those suppliers will be "who has the gold.”
>> I feel I should point out that both the dominant mobile operating systems are Unix-hased.  The UI is necessarily new, but astonishingly the 50 year old basic abstractions are the same.
> Except Unix is kind of hard to see. It wasn't just the hierarchical file system but the idea of composability. Even now we whip up a shell "one-liners" to perform some task we just thought of. All that is lost. And not just on mobile devices. For example search through email messages for something in an email "app". And no UI composability. We have to use extremely heavyweight IDEs such as X-Code weighing at 15GB (even "du -s /Application/X-code" takes tens of seconds!) to painstakingly construct a UI. We can't just whip up a dashboard to measure & display some realtime changing process/entity. There may be equally heavyweight third party tools but there has been no Bell Labs like research crew to distill it down to the essence of composable UI and ship it with every copy. The idea that users too can learn to "program" if given the right tools. 
> Exactly my point.  The only difference I suspect is I just don't bother with the IDE (Xcode or VS).   Frankly, vi/emacs, or as we discussed a few days ago, ed is still way more preferable when I'm programming.

Many things are easier to convey visually. It would be neat if unix paradigms can be extended to visual design as well. And you certainly can't do visual design easily in vi/emacs. Just like in Autocad you need both interactivity and programmability for creating visual elements.

> I mentioned in another email Intel's new development suite - OneAPI.  Absolutely speaking for myself here, I am a bit at odds with management WRT to much of it, as I feel the direction is a bit miss guided.   But I do understand why Intel is doing it/trying.   Everyone in the industry seems to be saying "use my Framework, my language, my solution and I will solve your problem."  "You will sell more copies of the program if you use my portal, etc."  Intel to compete, needs to do the same things.     To me, it seems a bit like fairy dust - a promise that will work for a set of people, and of course, some firms like my own employer will keep making money (or in the words of the Dr. Sueuss Lorax character: "Biggering and Biggering."   As I said in the previous message, it is driven by the other golden rule.

IMHO a bigger need is some discipline on storage. As things stand, it is hard to extract data from applications for legitimate uses but not so hard to extract for illegitimate uses. If app A for some specific domain dies, there is no guarantee that app B for the same domain can use A's data.

> What I always felt made UNIX powerful was that it did not seem like the BTL folks were trying to sell anything.  They were trying to solve real problems they and the folks at AT&T had when it came to realistically building and deploying systems.   Yes, there were hidden from the profit motive at the time because of the unique rules of the 1956 consent degree and we all were winners because of it because they say -- sure here you can use it too.

Similar conditions existed and exist to a certain extent in research orgs of some companies but I think that is a necessary condition, not sufficient. The right research crew can bring in another kind of interactivity -- in creativity, in trying out and critiquing each others' ideas and building on them. And you still need the right key people.

> Now that we are back to a winner take all market, (OSVM/360 vs. VMS vs. winders ...) I think we have traded away designing for the sake of getting the job done properly, for designing to sell as many as possible (i.e. be sexy and capture a market, not be simple and do the job well).

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