[TUHS] [OT?] 1993 'Sourceware' paper anniversary. What was right & any surprises?

Joseph Holsten joseph at josephholsten.com
Thu Nov 10 08:51:53 AEST 2022

On Wed, Nov 9, 2022, at 14:16, Larry McVoy wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 10, 2022 at 09:01:42AM +1100, steve jenkin wrote:
>> I???ve only recently stumbled across this paper.
>> It gives the answer to one question I???ve had:
>> 	Why did Linux become more popular than everything that came before it?
> Yeah, that was a difficult time.  My boss, Ken Okin (SVP of all server
> hardware) didn't like the switch from SunOS to SVR4 any more than I did.
> He paid me to go argue with the execs for 6 months.  That paper was
> the result.
> It obviously went nowhere and Linux won.  Big surprise.
> The one thing I learned in that 6 months was respect for the execs.
> As an engineer, I had the luxury of taking the time to solve a problem and
> know that I solved it correctly.  The execs didn't have that.  They had
> to make decisions essentially with their gut, they couldn't afford the
> time to figure out the right answer, they had to come up with the right
> answer on the fly.  I don't think I could do that.

It’s painful to look at where (Open)Solaris was when Oracle acquired it and where it is now. SMF, Zones, ZFS, dtrace, mdb. Oracle Cloud doesn’t use Solaris for anything. I can’t recall hearing anyone using dtrace or ZFS around the place.

Meanwhile, illumos derivs have actually done interesting things. Not that NexenStor or SmartOS have made a big dent, but at least they’ve had more recent ideas to copy.

Joseph Holsten
mailto:joseph at josephholsten.com

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