Subject: Re: A report on implementing runlevels in NetBSD
To: NetBSD Userlevel Technical Discussion List <tech-userlevel@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 12/05/1999 01:43:58
[ On Saturday, December 4, 1999 at 20:33:37 (-0800), Greywolf wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: A report on implementing runlevels in NetBSD
> Yes, but OS/x at least let you have a choice between which universe
> you wanted to live in.  [Guess which one we picked.]

I was doing some porting/training/contract work for a few weeks at
Pyramid at the time they were getting DC-OS/x ready for release (at
least I think it was about that time).

There seemed to be a *lot* of animosity in the rank&file kernel hackers
there about giving up on good old OS/x and choosing sides, so to speak.

However they also seemed quite aware of the (at that time) dead-end of
BSD-land (at least in the commercial world), and there were apparently
enough developers inside Pyramid who really did "get" the philosophy of
SysV and indeed could see the benefit of going with features that had a
long history of success in one of the most rugged production
environments going (i.e. telco switches).  Of course at the same time
they were struggling to keep on top of the performance numbers and were
pushing new technologies to their maximum limits.

> Atrocities, all of them.  About as effective as trying to glue together
> two sheets of Teflon.

And I forgot completely (probably because of a mind block) of IRIX!  ;-)

(Actually of all the "big squishy mess of every feature ever thought of"
systems, AIX-3.2.x (and eventually 4.x) were the best of the bunch.
From a software developer's point of view -- at least at the research
and design phase -- AIX provided a really well integrated set of OS
features.  You could port almost anything to AIX with very little
effort, spending most of your time trying to convince the build that it
really didn't have to pick and choose amongst potentially sparse corner
cases, but instead could trustingly use every feature simultaneously.
Of course trying to port code designed for AIX to anything else was a
monumental nightmare!)

> That settling took a full two+ years to happen; it's a good thing Sun
> didn't wait.

Well, yes, but then again those of us who continued using SunOS-4 on Sun
hardware were wondering why Sun was trying to switch OS code-bases in
the first place....  I.e. at the time we were wondering why they didn't
just completely trash their half-baked "new universe" and stick with the
tried and true stuff we were all using anyway!  ;-)

> Personally, I think Sun ought not have been bedded by AT&T in the first
> place.  Solaris 2.0 was a fscking disaster.

Yeah, but I think that was more because of the way Sun management had
been falling asleep at the switch....

							Greg A. Woods

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