Subject: Re: not so nice at sgi.
To: Reinoud Koornstra <>
From: Daniel S. Riley <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/27/1999 10:14:15
Reinoud Koornstra <> writes:
> I looked at the silicon graphics homepage today.
> While i was reading about the open source and linux support i encoutered
> this. I didnt like this too much the way they tell it here:
> BSD UNIX [from the Computer Systems
> Research Group (CSRG) at Berkeley] is an example of this model. BSD was an
> early Open Source project and it worked very well. But then it went from
> being a university effort to a commercial one. Commercial vendors
> splintered it into proprietary, competitive efforts supported by different
> companies fielding expensive development teams, and we got another example
> of the remarkably inefficient system software world we've ruefully come to
> inhabit. 
> What do you think of it?

I think they're talking about the old days of BSD 4.[0-3], when a
working BSD system still required an ATT/USL Unix license, and vendors
like Sun and Digital created proprietary and subtly incompatible
versions--and I think it is a correct description of those days.  It
would be more complete--and incidentally strengthen their argument--if
they noted that CSRG BSD wasn't fully open source (since you needed a
USL license to build a functioning system), and that BSD has
experienced a resurgence of quality non-proprietary systems since 4.4
became fully open source (btw, when did Open Source become
Capitalized?)--but I don't find what they said all that objectionable,
except that it apparently can confuse people that don't know much BSD

Dan Riley                               
Wilson Lab, Cornell University      <URL:>
    "History teaches us that days like this are best spent in bed"