Subject: Re: misc/19820: SPARC trademarks fixes for the NetBSD on-line
To: Luke Mewburn <>
From: Igor Sobrado <>
List: netbsd-bugs
Date: 01/13/2003 13:59:32
> On Mon, Jan 13, 2003 at 08:43:40AM +0100, Igor Sobrado wrote:
>   | sparc (instead of SPARC), or vax (instead of VAX), the NetBSD Foundation
>   | should use the word x86 instead of i386, as Solaris does (!)
> Contrary to popular opinion, NetBSD != Solaris, so why would we rename
> our oldest port from i386 to x86 just because Sun called their port that?

It was a joke, I was not asking for that change.  I only observed that
i386 is a registered trademark of Intel (that was not able to register
a number) and that it was used in the port name.  If there is a NetBSD/i386,
it should be possible calling the VAX port NetBSD/VAX, instead of
NetBSD/vax.  Again, I was not asking for that change (calling NetBSD/i386
NetBSD/x86), nor recommend it.

And I fully agree with the fact that the NetBSD Foundation is calling
some ports with names like NetBSD/sparc (instead of NetBSD/SPARC) and
NetBSD/vax (instead of NetBSD/VAX) if they want.  But another matter
is calling in this way registered trademarks of other vendors.

> I'm fairly certain that NetBSD/i386 (1993) predates the x86 version of
> Solaris (2.4, around 1994 or 1995?).

There was a Solaris 2.1 x86.  But it was dropped by Sun when they
released Solaris 2.2 and 2.3 (available only for SPARC, in uppercase,
platforms).  They recovered the x86 and PowerPC ports in Solaris 2.4.
It looks like the PowerPC port was definitely dropped in Solaris 2.5.1
(may 1996).

...and yes, they dropped the x86 version of Solaris two times!!!  The first
one, when they developed their second Intel-based workstation (the
successor of the Sun 386 systems).  It was based on the i486 processor,
but that processor was dropped by Intel three weeks after announcing
the public availability of those workstations and spending a lot of
money on the development of those machines.

Before being called Solaris (that is a SVr4.x variant of SunOS
with OpenWindows and, now, the CDE desktop) they had SunOS (a BSD system
that runs the SunView and, later, the OpenWindows window managers.

OpenBSD is served from a SunOS-based anonymous FTP server yet.  ;)

Sun continues maintaining some BSD features on Solaris (like a lot of
BSD versions of the commands in /usr/ucb).

> (Unlike Sun, the i386 is (arguably) our most popular platform, and doesn't
> need hordes of people to beg for the port to return after dropping it.)

I signed some letters asking for its return.  :-)

But Sun is now taking what, in my opinion, is a wrong way in the
evolution of Solaris.  It was a very high quality Unix flavour,
but now it is being converted to "another Linux distribution".  I believe
that it is an error, and I stay running Solaris 2.5.1 x86, 2.6 SPARC,
and 7 x86.  :-(

On the other hand, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD are following a
more intelligent evolution.  I like those operating systems and
the way they are evolving, making them more efficient, fast, and
less resource intensive on each new release.

Igor Sobrado, UK34436 -