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Linus Comments on SCO v IBM 631

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this-is-only-gonna-get-more-interesting dept.
djtrippin writes "Linus comes forth on the SCO v IBM suit and how it pertains (or doesn't, for that matter) to Linux." He definitely puts a fair amount of perspective on the whole thing. This story really is only going to get more bizarre.
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Linus Comments on SCO v IBM

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:34PM (#5482214)
    "Who is SCO again?"
    • Not is. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Tony-A (29931) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:16AM (#5482436)
      Was.
    • It all started... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @08:36AM (#5483507)
      It's a simple story.

      It all started when an idiot went and spent a fortune the buy "the UNIX trademark" from bell labs. Then another idiot spent a huge amount of money to buy "the UNIX trademark" from the first idiot (who was now mutated to "smart guy").... You can imagine what happened. SCO is the final idiot who spent the biggest amount of money to buy "the UNIX trademark". They will always be idiots until they find someone else to sell "the UNIX trademark". But nobody wants it today. That pisses them off....

      After POSIX, the "UNIX concepts" were made public, and implementing them is certainly cheeper than carring around some rusty code from 1970.

      It was all wrong from the start.
      • Re:It all started... (Score:5, Informative)

        by schnell (163007) <me@schnelTWAINl.net minus author> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:14PM (#5484904) Homepage

        It all started when an idiot went and spent a fortune the buy "the UNIX trademark" from bell labs. Then another idiot spent a huge amount of money to buy "the UNIX trademark" from the first idiot (who was now mutated to "smart guy")....

        No no no no no no. Everyone repeat after me: "trademark != copyright."

        The trademark to UNIX is owned by the Open Group. What SCO owns is the source code to the "original" AT&T UNIX (and its SVR4 descendants). All Unixes which are based on SVR4 or otherwise use code from the "original" UNIX implementation owe royalties to SCO. This includes Solaris, HP/UX, AIX, et. al. ... basically every Unixish system out there except the *BSDs (which started out using AT&T code but deliberately excised all of it and reimplemented those functions with their own code) or Linux (which never was based on AT&T to begin with).

        After POSIX, the "UNIX concepts" were made public, and implementing them is certainly cheeper than carring around some rusty code from 1970.

        POSIX, AFAIK, didn't make anything part of the public domain. It was just a specification for what elements an OS should contain so that it would be easy to port software between compliant operating systems ... if parts of POSIX were patented, then just including them in a spec didn't remove the patent holders' rights.

        • Re:It all started... (Score:4, Informative)

          by Uwe Barschell (651904) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @02:23PM (#5485972)
          All Unixes which are based on SVR4 or otherwise use code from the "original" UNIX implementation owe royalties to SCO. This includes Solaris, HP/UX, AIX, et. al.

          I believe Sun is exempt from this, with full ownership of its UNIX code, owing to a unique agreement it reached with AT&T, at the time if its transition from SunOS4 (BSD) to SunOS5 (System V). It was this agreement which produced the UNIX wars: the other UNIX vendors feared the close relationship between AT&T and Sun, and therefore founded the Open Software Foundation.

          The original goal of the Open Software Foundation was to produce an open, UNIX-compatible OS based on the Mach kernel. Its name was OSF/1. In response to this, AT&T and Sun formed a consortium called UNIX International, which was to manage the UNIX standard.

          Over time, the rift between OSF and UI was healed, OSF/1 reunited with UNIX and the OSF merged with X/Open to become The Open Group. It currently holds the rights to the UNIX trademark.

  • by sielwolf (246764) on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:39PM (#5482247) Homepage Journal
    For those of you looking for the 5 second MS Word XP autosummary.

    [snip]
    MozillaQuest Magazine: What sort of impact do you believe this sort of lawsuit filed by SCO-Caldera has on the Linux kernel, GNU/Linux, UNIX, and the Linux and free-software communities?

    Linus Torvalds: None, really. The people I work with couldn't care less.
    [/snip]
    • by s20451 (410424) on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:49PM (#5482305) Journal
      Great. Where's his law degree from again?
    • by silvaran (214334) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:38AM (#5482524)
      Actually, the MS Word XP autosummary might look a little more like this:

      MozillaQuest&nbsp;Magazine:&nbsp;What&nbsp;sort& nb sp;of&nbsp;impact&nbsp;do&nbsp;you&nbsp;believe&nb sp;this&nbsp;sort&nbsp;of&nbsp;lawsuit&nbsp;filed& nbsp;by&nbsp;SCO-Caldera&nbsp;has&nbsp;on&nbsp;the &nbsp;Linux&nbsp;kernel,&nbsp;GNU/Linux,&nbsp;UNIX ,&nbsp;and&nbsp;the&nbsp;Linux&nbsp;and&nbsp;free- software&nbsp;communities?<BR>
      <BR>
      Linus&nbsp;T orvalds:&nbsp;None,&nbsp;really.&nbsp; The&nbsp;people&nbsp;I&nbsp;work&nbsp;with&nbsp;co uldn't&nbsp;care&nbsp;less.<BR>
      <BR>
      &copy;&nbsp ;2003&nbsp;Microcrap&nbsp;Corporation<B R>
      <BR>
      <BR>
      <BR>
      <BR>
    • by tanveer1979 (530624) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:38AM (#5482527) Homepage Journal
      SCO wants to be bought. Either by M$ or by IBM.... Only Satan know what will M$ do with this if they buy SCO... If IBM buys them... well thats another story.
    • by DrXym (126579) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:05AM (#5483580)
      How the interview should have gone:


      MozillaQuest Magazine: So why are we are such a bad source for news?


      Linus Torvalds: Because you're an utterly clueless one man operation that has nothing pleasant, informed or useful to say about anything. Having demonstrated woeful ignorance of your namesake Mozilla and after being shunned by that community you're now expanding your ignorance about other topics too. In fact I am surprised I am even talking to you - perhaps someone should have warned me.

  • by Call Me Black Cloud (616282) on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:41PM (#5482254)
    I suppose he was carrying his comments on 2 stone tablets... Let's see, what did he spake unto us? "Ho humm..." Wow...words to live by.
    • by SmokeSerpent (106200) <benjamin AT psnw DOT com> on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:55PM (#5482329) Homepage
      "Ho humm..." Wow...words to live by.


      I think so. We should all cultivate a more detached and relaxed attitude when confronted with the writhing death pains of a Corporate Dinosaur.

      Not only is SCO not going to get a penny out of IBM if this went to trial (I'd like to see the battle of the expert witnesses as to whether Linux is to Unix as a Bicycle is to a Luxury Car), but they don't intend to go to trial or to do anything else other than get IBM to put some of the money the money they would of spent on a trial directly into SCO's pocket instead.

      The "Slashdot thing to do" is often to start with the wailing and gnashing of teeth on every issue. Many of those issues, like this one, that sort of thing simply isn't appropriately spent on.

      Linus is a smart guy. He walks softly, but carries a big stick.
      • I think the more important question is, if this *DOES* come to trial, are they going to charge for admission? It's starting to sound like it would be the most entertaining thing I've seen in years!

        Hmmmm. But in Utah? Isn't it kind of religious out there? I'm not sure I'm allowed in that state. For some reason, there's a booming voice every time I go near a church that says "You Aren't Welcome Here.".. My girlfriend won't sit anywhere near me, even at weddings, in fear of being struck by lightning.. I think Utah is one of those states that may turn itself inside out just for me attempting to cross the border. Just picture that whole Moses parting that river thing, in reverse.

        Maybe it'd be fun after all.. :)

        All joking aside, it would be interesting to listen to. I want to know how SCO owns all Unix's and the idea of how they work, and even Linux, although their parent company (correct me if I got that part wrong) was selling a distribution for years..

        Poor Linus though, he can't put an X on his name to name his program Linux.. I guess that means Malcom-X is just Malcom again or he owes SCO money. :)

    • by (H)elix1 (231155) <slashdot.helix@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:17AM (#5482437) Homepage Journal
      I suspect he put a very polished spin on something that might be looked at in a very public fashion.

      Take IBM's response to the press - IBM denied SCO's charges and said that it had no prior knowledge of the matter before being served with the lawsuit. You just know IBM's IP lawyers really wanted to say 'Get up, boy. I bet you can squeal. I bet you can squeal like a pig.' Perhaps it is just wishful thinking on my part...
  • by Dark Coder (66759) on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:44PM (#5482274)
    SCO, heralds from the better iron-Unix era, derived from Xenix, a Microsoft-created Intel-based Unix O/S from the copper-age.

    Why am I not surprised?
    • by kfg (145172) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:27AM (#5482481)
      I think this is a point that a lot of people are missing.

      SCO is claiming special expertise on running Unix technology on *Intel* hardware. So the basis of their claim doesn't really rest with UnixWare (a failed Unix aquired from Novell), it rests on Xenix (now Open Server), a failed technology they only *licensed* from Microsoft.

      They're claiming IBM, the research giant, and the mass of Open Source developers, couldn't have matched triple recursively *failed* technology of a bygone age, actually developed somewhere else in the first place.

      I think ESR was giving them the benefit of the doubt and trying to be kind in his comment.

      This goes way beyond "deeply stupid." It's doofey. ( My word of the year. I wish I had far less oppurtunity to overuse it)

      KFG
      • As expressed by Linus, the lawsuit is to 'sue to win on any merit' but 'sue to buy time' so they have a card on the bargaining table in selling SCO. So if the lawyer has clue, they'll find some obfuscated argument, regardless of content, to drag on for months or years.
        • by kfg (145172) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @04:19AM (#5483072)
          Exactly, but they are against an adversary with infinite pockets, relatively speaking. If IBM stays the course they can drain SCO dry, bankrupting the company, before the "bargaining table" is even reached.

          In the meantime, if the suit does not look to be going well for SCO no one else will touch them as a purchaser.

          SCO has banked everything not on being able to sell out, but on selling out to IBM *and only IBM.*

          If IBM considers the value of its relationship with the Linux community as something to maintain SCO may have simply cut its own throat with this ploy.

          I believe this is what ESR was refering to when he called it "deeply stupid."

          It relies on the "good will" of the party you have just attacked, a party much stronger than you are (indeed, that's part of the point of the ploy) to play the game by the rules *you* wish to play by.

          Yes, I think that's deeply stupid.

          KFG
      • This goes way beyond "deeply stupid." It's doofey.

        Is that short for "deeply goofy"?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:45PM (#5482281)
    No, really. I mean, yes, he's the figurehead of the Linux movement, but who cares? This is a legal matter, we should go ask Lawrence Lessig instead.

    He has already said he does even think about patents, and that pretty much shows his attitude towards the whole thing.

    Mozillaquest asking Linus for his comments were a typical waste of time, because everyone already knows what he is going to say.
    • by DataPath (1111) on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:56PM (#5482332)
      Well, the question involved is whether IBM has been insinuating UNIX (SCO owned, apparently) IP into the Linux kernel. And apparently their claims are that Linux could not POSSIBLY have advanced as fast or as far as it has without stealing UNIX IP, it MUST be stealing UNIX IP. Linus knows better than just about everyone else WHAT goes into the kernel, if not necessarily where it comes from. Since you can be pretty sure IBM isn't talking, Linus is the best source for evaluating with the community is capable of.
      • by ehiggins (35174) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:08AM (#5482394) Homepage
        And there's the beauty of open source. We could ask SCO, "fine, you've got the source, show us the alleged Unix IP-infringing code".
        • by PizzaFace (593587) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:37AM (#5482997)
          We could ask SCO, "fine, you've got the source, show us the alleged Unix IP-infringing code".
          SCO's claims aren't limited to source code. SCO makes no claim of copyright infringement, though such a claim would be expected if source code had been stolen. SCO's complaint [sco.com] alleges (1) misappropriation of trade secrets, (2) unfair competition, (3) interference with contract, and (4) breach of contract. The trade secrets that IBM allegedly stole were SCO's "unique know how, concepts, ideas, methodologies, standards, specifications, programming, techniques, UNIX Software Code, object code, architecture, design and schematics that allow UNIX to operate with unmatched extensibility, scalability, reliability and security." (par. 105)

          It takes chutzpa for SCO to claim that it could do things with operating systems that IBM couldn't. I predict there will ultimately be a charred and smoking gash in the land where SCO now stands.

      • And apparently their claims are that Linux could not POSSIBLY have advanced as fast or as far as it has without stealing UNIX IP, it MUST be stealing UNIX IP

        Does anyone else find it interesting that this argument has such a strong parallel to the argument Christians use to try to refute the possibility of evolution?

    • by LinuxGeek (6139) <djand.ncNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:01AM (#5482914)
      Linus is one of a few expert witnesses in this matter. He knows who contributed code and when it was merged. Lawyers can't enter testimony, they ask questions and enter exhibits that the judge and/or jury will use to decide matters.

      The interview with Linus is quite informative and indicates that SCO will have a hard time proving their accusations. He will likely present the same answers if or when he is asked about these things in court if called as an expert witness.

      Good lawyers are experts on legalities and current legal trends, not tedious subject matter.
  • rejoinder (Score:4, Funny)

    by Alomex (148003) on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:48PM (#5482298) Homepage
    ....for once a lawsuit that isn't really Microsoft's fault.
  • Spin (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:50PM (#5482310) Journal
    Normally, we end our articles with a summary and/or conclusion. We do not do so with this article. That's because we want you to have the benefits of Linus Torvalds' comments about the SCO-Caldera v IBM lawsuit without any spin from us.


    The fact that CmdrTaco left out snide comments as well as these guys just proves how stupid this whole SCO thing is. Well, it doesn't really prove anything :P - but it's nice to get an article without the OSS "zealot" spin (I mean that nicely, really!)

    Very interesting how he put in into perspective - basically, SCO is alleging that Linux wouldn't be enterprise class without

    (1) a high degree of design coordination, (2) access to expensive and sophisticated design and testing equipment; (3) access to UNIX code, methods and concepts; (4) UNIX architectural experience; and (5) a very significant financial investment
    which it got indirectly from SCO.

    Course, that's bullshit (at least point 3, which is the only one that really matters as far as I can tell - correct me if i'm wrong).
    • Re:Spin (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dido (9125) <dido@imperi[ ]ph ['um.' in gap]> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @01:40AM (#5482700)

      A brief exposition on why the points are BS...

      1. a high degree of design coordination Who says this couldn't be achieved by the Open Source world? It has, and Linux is not the only example (though it is, admittedly the largest scale project of them all).
      2. access to expensive and sophisticated design and testing equipment In the true spirit of Free Software/Open Source, all of the design and testing is done by the community. Having hundreds of thousands (and now millions) of people all making use of it is far far better than the best testing equipment money can buy.
      3. access to UNIX code, methods and concepts What for? Have they taken a look at the Linux code, or even the code for the GNU utilities that are part of a standard UNIX environment? Does any of it have anything in common with the code they say is theirs? It's all open, SCO, prove it. You can have a look.
      4. UNIX architectural experience Oh please. As if there weren't already thousands of people with this kind of expertise at the time Linus Torvalds began this work!
      5. a very significant financial investment The off-time of thousands of hackers who would otherwise be paid significant money is indeed a "significant financial investment". And furthermore, what's wrong with the fact that real financial investments are coming in from IBM and other companies?
  • by darkov (261309) on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:51PM (#5482313)
    84. Prior to IBM's involvement, Linux was the software equivalent of a bicycle. UNIX was the software equivalent of a luxury car. To make Linux of necessary quality for use by enterprise customers, it must be re-designed so that Linux also becomes the software equivalent of a luxury car. This re-design is not technologically feasible or even possible at the enterprise level without (1) a high degree of design coordination, (2) access to expensive and sophisticated design and testing equipment; (3) access to UNIX code, methods and concepts; (4) UNIX architectural experience; and (5) a very significant financial investment.



    I think SCO missed them most important ingredient, the one they haven't got: a clue.

    • by steve_l (109732) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:25AM (#5482468) Homepage
      Also they've missed out the fact that bicycles are lower cost and often more practical than a luxury car, better suited to european cities and third world countries, and perhaps the future of transport for humanity :)

      I think I have access to the SysV code. I also have access to VMS somewhere, and NT. Do I look at them? Why bother? All you can learn is what not to do.
    • by lenski (96498) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:36AM (#5482518)
      • a high degree of design coordination: The internet
      • access to expensive and sophisticated design and testing equipment: dyadic (to quote the old evil empire...), quad, and higher-count multiprocessors that have become far more common under the influence of Moore's "law"
      • Access to UNIX code, methods and concepts: People have been studying OS technology for 40+ years... Including IBM! :-)
      • UNIX architectural experience: Again, this is standard upper-classman study. I studied this stuff at the age of 18, 28 years ago. (Back then, our studies were somewhat "academic", given how many System/360. /370, CDC supercomputers existed at the time...)
      • A very significant financial investment: Add up the contributions of the core teams, the hundreds of regular patch providers, thousands of enthusiasts, and hundreds of thousands of people studying this stuff (Gnu very much included): The cost of paying that many smart people professional wages would be, in a word, huge.

      SCO has completely missed the effects of common availability of computational resources. I remember when crossing the gigaflop "barrier" was a big deal. Today it's your average laptop. 18 years ago, a UNIX source license in a business context could cost about $125,000 (as priced by a friend of mine, working on Sequent boxes). Apparently, that's when SCO executives seem to have stopped noticing the progress of technology.

    • (1) a high degree of design coordination.

      It is terrible that IBM stole this from SCO. That kind of coordination is extremely valuable and IBM should definately have to pay licensing fees for it.

  • by PapaSMURFFS (592303) <PapaSMURFFS@NospaM.yahoo.com> on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:52PM (#5482315)
    Correct me if I'm wronge, but isn't the SCO Group involved with several linux projects itself? I think the one real reason for the lawsuite is pointed out in the article-->The fear of loosing the revinue from the IBM liscencing on AIX
  • by jsse (254124) on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:56PM (#5482336) Homepage Journal
    SCO-Caldera v IBM: Linus Torvalds Comments on SCO-Caldera's Linux-Related Allegations

    Nearly One-Half of SCO-Caldera Income from IP Licensing and Enforcement

    By Mike Angelo -- 10 March 2003 (C)

    For more than a month now, SCO-Caldera has been doing some intellectual property (IP) saber-rattling and market posturing [mozillaquest.com] regarding its UNIX source code ownership and Linux. On 6 March 2003, SCO-Caldera stopped its saber-rattling and pulled the sword out of its sheath when it filed a legal action against IBM regarding [mozillaquest.com] claims involving the UNIX and Linux operating systems.

    Of the 136-paragraph Complaint filed by Caldera Systems, Inc., d/b/a The SCO Group, six are particularly significant regarding the Linux kernel, and the GNU/Linux operating system, and Linux distributions.

    Paragraphs 74 and 82 through 86 of SCO-Caldera's Complaint belittle and insult Linux developers, the Linux kernel, GNU/Linux, Linux distribution providers -- in essence the entire GNU/Linux and free software community.

    In an e-mail discussion, we asked Linus Torvalds to comment on the Linux-related allegations SCO-Caldera makes in its Complaint against IBM. Here is Linus Torvalds' uncensored commentary.

    Linus Torvalds: Ho humm..

    I'm not all that excited about commenting a lot on lawsuits, since quite frankly I want to have as little as humanly possible to do with such things. At the same time I obviously do find the SCO one a bit interesting, since it's the first lawsuit ever I know of that actually involves Linux, even if Linux itself seems pretty peripheral.

    Just as well, that "peripheral" thing ;)

    MozillaQuest Magazine: SCO-Caldera says in paragraph "82" that "it would be difficult or impossible for the Linux development community to create a grade of Linux adequate for enterprise use." (Without the aid of the alleged actionable conduct of IBM) Is that true?

    Linus Torvalds: I don't think IBM would have started using Linux if it was true. I think IBM got serious about Linux because it noticed that it _was_ "adequate for enterprise use" from a technical perspective, but lacked a lot of things IBM could bring to the table (marketing, of course, but even more than just marketing, just the presence of IBM made Linux be taken much more seriously).

    So I think IBM's involvement has been very important, but while IBM has fine engineers, the most important part by _far_ has been the "mindshare" part of it.

    But what does "adequate for enterprise use" really mean? The marketing and mindshare certainly _matter_ a lot for pretty much all enterprise customers. So in _that_ sense maybe SCO is right, even though I don't think that is really what SCO _meant_.

    MozillaQuest Magazine: It sounds as though this lawsuit is not a suit alleging copyright infringement, patent infringement, or trademark infringement (the standard three prongs of the intellectual property complex). Rather, it appears the Caldera v IBM action is more in the nature of a contract or tort action.

    Linus Torvalds: Yeah, I don't personally think they have any IP rights on Linux, and I agree, it looks more like a suit over the contract rather than over Linux itself.

    I don't think they are going to win it (very very weak arguments, since at least from a technical perspective I don't think the IBM involvement has been that significant, and SCO was losing out _long_ before IBM started pushing Linux). However, my personal (maybe overly cynical) suspicion is that even _they_ don't think they'll win the suit, and it may be nothing more than a way to force IBM back into license discussions over UNIX itself.

    So I think that 100-day license revocation thing may actually be the most important part of the whole suit, and that the rest might be just the excuse. If I was SCO and looking at IBM, I'd have long since noticed that IBM has been talking about Linux taking over more and more of their current AIX usage, to potentially eventually replace it altogether.

    So SCO sees IBM largely going away as a licensee in a few years - and while I certainly don't have any knowledge of how much that means for SCO, I would not be surprised if IBM licenses are quite a noticeable part of SCOs receivables.

    And what would you do? You want to get IBM back to the discussion table over licensing _before_ IBM starts to consider the UNIX licenses for AIX to be no longer worth it. I think IBM has announced they'll drop AIX eventually, but I do _not_ think that IBM is willing to drop it within three months. They tend to pride themselves on supporting their existing customers.

    MozillaQuest Magazine: What sort of impact do you believe this sort of lawsuit filed by SCO-Caldera has on the Linux kernel, GNU/Linux, UNIX, and the Linux and free-software communities?

    Linus Torvalds: None, really. The people I work with couldn't care less.

    The thrust of paragraphs 74 and 82 to 84 of SCO-Caldera's Complaint against IBM is that without the aid of the alleged actionable conduct of IBM, GNU/Linux would not be an enterprise/server grade operating system. Although in paragraph 84 of its Complaint, SCO-Caldera does not directly say it, when taken in context of the entire Complaint, SCO-Caldera is alleging that it is the alleged actionable conduct of IBM that provides items (1) through (5) set forth in paragraphs 84 to the Linux kernel, GNU/Linux, and Linux distributions.

    84. Prior to IBM's involvement, Linux was the software equivalent of a bicycle. UNIX was the software equivalent of a luxury car. To make Linux of necessary quality for use by enterprise customers, it must be re-designed so that Linux also becomes the software equivalent of a luxury car. This re-design is not technologically feasible or even possible at the enterprise level without (1) a high degree of design coordination, (2) access to expensive and sophisticated design and testing equipment; (3) access to UNIX code, methods and concepts; (4) UNIX architectural experience; and (5) a very significant financial investment.

    MozillaQuest Magazine: Did the Linux kernel and GNU/Linux developers and groups lack the technological capability of producing an enterprise level Linux without being bailed-out by IBM as SCO-Caldera claims?

    Linus Torvalds: "Bailed-out by IBM"? Hardly. Oh, IBM has certainly been very helpful, and I like the IBM engineers I work with, but Linux was running on 16-cpu Sun sparc computers long before IBM really got into it.

    In paragraph 85 of its Complaint against IBM, SCO-Caldera alleges that the Linux kernel and GNU/Linux are limited to handling a maximum of four CPUs.

    85. For example, Linux is currently capable of coordinating the simultaneous performance of 4 computer processors. UNIX, on the other hand, commonly links 16 processors and can successfully link up to 32 processors for simultaneous operation. This difference in memory management performance is very significant to enterprise customers who need extremely high computing capabilities for complex tasks. The ability to accomplish this task successfully has taken AT&T, Novell and SCO at least 20 years, with access to expensive equipment for design and testing, well-trained UNIX engineers and a wealth of experience in UNIX methods and concepts.

    MozillaQuest Magazine: Is this true? I thought the Linux kernel and GNU/Linux can handle 32 CPUs?

    Linus Torvalds: We still claim 4-8 CPU scalability. Yeah, it sure works on bigger machines, but they are just so uncommon as to not be a big issue yet, and most of peoples' resources are certainly spent on the mass market (well, UP is the _real_ mass market, but most of the kernel people tend to be fascinated by SMP issues, so we tend to target slightly higher ;)

    Normally, we end our articles with a summary and/or conclusion. We do not do so with this article. That's because we want you to have the benefits of Linus Torvalds' comments about the SCO-Caldera v IBM lawsuit without any spin from us. You are getting this just the way Linus said it and in context. Moreover, Linus Torvalds' comments are concise, well-expressed, and to the point. The only material in this article is Linus' comments with just enough background added by us to put the comments in perspective and context with the allegations of SCO-Caldera's Complaint. Thus, Linus Torvalds' comments need no interpretation or spin from us.

    • by imadork (226897) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @10:15AM (#5483923) Homepage
      We should have a (+1, Mirror) option when we moderate. This way, people can still Karma Whore, which is of course an essential part of the Slashdot Experience, but I can filter these silly redundant posts out in my preferences.
    • by XO (250276) <blade.ericNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @11:07AM (#5484368) Homepage Journal
      The ability to accomplish this task successfully has taken AT&T, Novell and SCO at least 20 years, with access to expensive equipment for design and testing, well-trained UNIX engineers and a wealth of experience in UNIX methods and concepts


      Well, duh. I seriously doubt that 18 years ago, for example, AT&T, Novell, or SCO would have had 32 processor systems around. For that matter, likely having -2- processors around would have been a miracle, although i certainly recognize that mainframes would have had that capability.. i don't think we're discussing mainframes necessarily. More on the order of personal to mini-computers, not going to the Big Iron level.

      The hardware business has been commoditized (I was -given- a server box capable of handling 2-4 Pentium 3 CPU's, unfortunatly it only had one installed.. because the hard drive didn't work. *boggle*).. there have been people studying operating systems design and implementation and such for 30-40 years now in schools, with much of their learning coming from Unixes such as HP/UX, AIX, and yes... BSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and Linux. This is all just absoluetly silly.

  • SMP? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:58PM (#5482352)
    UNIX, on the other hand, commonly links 16 processors and can successfully link up to 32 processors for simultaneous operation. This difference in memory management performance is very significant to enterprise customers who need extremely high computing capabilities for complex tasks. The ability to accomplish this task successfully has taken AT&T, Novell and SCO at least 20 years, with access to expensive equipment for design and testing, well-trained UNIX engineers and a wealth of experience in UNIX methods and concepts.
    Um, SysV doesn't do this. Good SMP for UNIX has been added to all the VendorOSes, but without any help from SCO.
  • Mozillaquest? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ebuck (585470) on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:59PM (#5482355)
    Let's all take a step back, and take a deep breath.

    Remember that this is Mozillaquest.

    Keep breathing.... KEEP BREATHING!!!

    (read some of the past articles if you don't already know, or better yet... don't).
  • by ntsucks (22132) on Monday March 10, 2003 @11:59PM (#5482358)
    Those who can, do.
    Those who can't, sue.

  • by zoid.com (311775) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:01AM (#5482369) Homepage Journal
    Here are Dennis Ritchie's Comments [google.com] from usenet and some supporting documentation [bell-labs.com] from the USL vs. BSDI case.
    • by Greg Koenig (92609) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:39AM (#5482531)
      Actually, I immediately thought of the USL v. BSDI case when I heard about SCO's recent filing. My OS of choice tends to lean towards the BSD side (simply due to my background as a CS Ph.D. student, I suppose) but I certainly use Linux for many projects. I used FreeBSD back in ca. 1992 when it seemed that it might be encumbered due to licensing difficulties from USL.

      I think the important thing to realize is that while different open source software camps may at times compete against each other (Linux vs. BSD, Gnome vs. KDE, etc.), in the end the diversity we have within our ranks is a very powerful asset. Had the lawsuit in 1992 turned out differently, Linux would have been an unencumbered alternative that would have allowed the movement to continue forward. Likewise, in the extremely off chance that SCO did do something to encumber Linux today, the open source community has many other fine operating systems that are alternatives and which could be a basis to continue moving forward.

      IMHO, an important lesson to realize from this after it finally settles down (and I have no doubt that SCO will end up appearing kind of stupid in the end) is that the diversity in open source software is the biggest benefit and allows it to overcome these kinds of things.
      • by evilpenguin (18720) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @01:16AM (#5482638)
        I agree, and I would go even further. Diversity in technology and infrastrcuture is, in general, good. The internet worms and viruses should teach us this. This is why One Microsoft Way is not a good thing, even if you do not subscribe to the GNU philosophy of Free Software (although I happen to do so).

        Diversity is good even within the Free Software world. We don't all use sendmail and that is good. We don't all use Gnome and that is good. We don't all use Mozilla, and that is good. There should be three, four, five choices for every major category of software.

        A lot of people seem to think this is a bad thing. It is "confusing." I dont think so. You select by feature, fit, or whim (depending on necessity) and you limit failure by design, failure from malicious interference, and failure from excessive lawyering.

        I'd like to see diversity in all infrastructure technology. (Like combining the present grid with neighborhood wind/solar energy).

        Sure, I can be a loudmouthed bigot about my favorite technologies, but even though I don't happen to use FreeBSD, I am glad to know it is there (and I have an ISO of it at hand if need be).

        I use more than one Linux distro at home (Debian, RedHat, and SuSE). I use OpenBSD for my firewall machine.

        Diversity, redundacy. These are the basis of true reliability. Sure, Microsoft (for example) can try to secure the shit out of their next OS, but if everybody uses that one product, one mistake takes everyone out.

        The *nix world hasn't (as a rule) been much more systematic about security than has Microsoft, but its diversity has been its saving grace.

        The biggest failures of *nix security have occurred in those few places where one package has indeed been dominant. Sendmail is one. BIND is another (BTW, what alteratives to BIND exist for Linux and *BSD? I actually don't know and would like to know.)
        • evilpenguin wrote:

          BTW, what alteratives to BIND exist for Linuxand *BSD? I actually don't know and would like to know.

          There are now a number of alternative packages that may have advantages for many deployments. E.g.:

          MaraDNS is a general-purpose, fast DNS server package (doing recursive, authoritative, and caching roles, plus fully supporting zone transfers):
          http://www.maradns.org/ [maradns.org]

          pdnsd is a small caching-only DNS server with a disk-based cache, suitable for small networks and workstations:
          http://home.t-online.de/home/Moestl/ [t-online.de]

          Dnsmasq is a small authoritative and caching DNS server for a group of NATted / IPmasqued machines (optionally pulling names from DHCP leases):
          http://www.thekelleys.org.uk/dnsmasq/ [thekelleys.org.uk]

          DNRD is a small caching-only DNS server for NAT / IPmasq networks:
          http://dnrd.nevalabs.org/ [nevalabs.org]

          MyDNS is a MySQL-based authoritative and caching server (no recursive service) suitable for very large sites. In such roles, it's faster and more responsive than BIND9, even though the latter uses a RAM-based cache:
          http://mydns.bboy.net/ [bboy.net]

          ldapdns implements the same idea, except out of an LDAP database. Again, much faster than BIND9:
          http://nimh.org/code/ldapdns/ [nimh.org]

          GnuDIP is an authoritative server for Dynamic DNS:
          http://gnudip2.sourceforge.net/gnudip-www/ [sourceforge.net]

          NSD is a high-performance authoritative-only daemon:
          http://www.nlnetlabs.nl/nsd/ [nlnetlabs.nl]

          PowerDNS (open source as of 2002-11-25) is an authoritative-only daemon with a modular structure supporting various back-end information stores such as SQL databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle 8i, Oracle 9i, IBM DB2, and others via ODBC), BIND zonefiles and other file formats, and LDAP directories. Supports AXFR zone transfers.
          http://www.powerdns.com/products/powerdns/ [powerdns.com]

          CustomDNS is a authoritative-only daemon for both static addresses and its variant form of dynamic DNS:
          http://customdns.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

          lbnamed is a similar authoritative-only daemon for static and dynamic information, with a load-balancing multi-machine architecture:
          http://www.stanford.edu/~riepel/lbnamed/ [stanford.edu]

          Posadis is another fast authoritative-only daemon:
          http://posadis.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

          dents is another general-purpose DNS server, but is perenially unfinished, and is probably dead, at this point:
          http://sourceforge.net/projects/dents/ [sourceforge.net]

          Pliant DNS Server is another general-purpose DNS server, although it may not support zone transfers:
          http://pliant.cx/pliant/protocol/dns/ [pliant.cx]

          Yaku-NS is another small, fast general-purpose DNS server:
          http://www.kyuzz.org/antirez/ens.html [kyuzz.org]

          Twisted Names is an authoritative and caching DNS server, written in Python:
          http://twistedmatrix.com/documents/howto/names [twistedmatrix.com]

          Oak DNS Server is an authoritative and caching DNS server, supporting dynamic DNS updates and AAAA records. It's written in Python, and doesn't need to run privileged:
          http://www.digitallumber.com/oak [digitallumber.com]

          dnsjava is a minimal, authoritative-only server, a resolver library, and a set of DNS utilities, all written in Java:
          http://www.xbill.org/dnsjava/ [xbill.org]

          Related:

          FireDNS is a client library for DNS requests, with emphasis on speed and asynchronous processing. Written in C, and has low-timeout blocking functions. Can be used to relace standard libc resolver library functions like getbyhostname with much faster equivalent code:
          http://ares.penguinhosting.net/~ian/ [penguinhosting.net]

          GNU adns is a resolver library for C (and C++) programs, and a collection of useful DNS resolver utilities:
          http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~ian/adns/ [greenend.org.uk]

          Proprietary packages include:

          UltraDNS (UltraDNS Corporation)
          djbdns/tinydns
          ATLAS (Verisign)
          BINDPlus (Information Network Eng. Group, Inc.)
          Global Name Service (Nominum, Inc.)
          NeDNS (Neteka, Inc.)

          I maintain this list at http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/linux-info/dns-servers [linuxmafia.com]

          Rick Moen
          rick@linuxmafia.com

          • by stor (146442) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @09:50AM (#5483789)
            Also there's Dr. Bernstein's djbdns [cr.yp.to]

            It's actually a group of programs: a caching nameserver "dnscache", a non-recursive nameserver "tinydns", a zone-transfer-handling program "axfrdns", reverse DNS wall "walldns" and some rbldns thing.

            I used to run various mixes of the above on a few boxes at my last job. Nice software but read the fine instructions: tinydns is very different to Bind wrt administration.

            Cheers
            Stor
      • by Dr_Marvin_Monroe (550052) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @01:22AM (#5482648)
        In the world of biology, they call that "genetic diversity"....it helps to prevent the spread of disease and creates new and interesting patterns when combined with other genes or ideas...it also promotes evolution...which is cool.

        It's also one of the many reasons my desktop doesn't get those evil bugs that seem to plague the "feedlot" computers that run Windows.

        Think of my boxen here as "free range".....
  • Fear (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:06AM (#5482385) Homepage Journal
    I don't fear for IBM, even in the worst case it wont be so much affected (but I doubt that this could cost much to IBM). I fear what will come after. This insecurity is doing much more harm to Linux and Unix in general than is doing Microsoft with its "fair" antilinux campaigns [linuxtoday.com].

    What I fear is that a way to win the case could be IBM showing some hidden card in their software patents pool. What about something generic enough to say "I own the patents on multitasking"? or concurrent file access, or even the "while" loop, something in some way that disables SCO claims but puts on the table something big enough to be considered a threat to all the industry. Is like using atomic bombs in a war, after one of the parts uses one, all the others feel validated to do the same and we all lose.

  • Ho Hummm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cranos (592602) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:06AM (#5482387) Homepage Journal
    Okay the site design looked like a dogs breakfast but at least Linus's comments were interesting? Weren't they?

    He basically said what everyone else knows, SCO is going to hell in a hand basket and in desperation is trying to suck more money out of IBM. The bullshit claims about linux are nothing more than that, bullshit.

    Ho hummm...
  • by fzammett (255288) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:10AM (#5482404) Homepage
    Why does Linus Torvalds feel the need to open his big, fat mouth any time there is something happening regarding Linux?

    You'd think the guy INVENTED Linux or something like that. What a jerk!

    (Yes, it's carcasm. Calm the f**k down!)
    • by jbolden (176878) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @01:12AM (#5482625) Homepage
      Well SCO is somewhat challenging that, they certainly question Linus' version of some events. For example Linus has said time and time again that:

      Linux was a pun on Linix and Linus
      and
      Linix is short for Linus's Minix

      SCO asserted in the suit that
      Linux is short for Linus + Unix.

      Obviously they know the origin of the name better

      (and of course Linus's version has newsgroup postings backing it up that only shows that deja/google is in on the conspiracy to defraud SCO).

      This is important for SCO since they have 0 rights over Minix.
      • by jsse (254124)
        Linix is short for Linus's Minix

        SCO asserted in the suit that
        Linux is short for Linus + Unix.

        There wouldn't have that much trouble if he's still naming it freax [google.com] :)
  • A Bicycle?!?? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by revery (456516) <charles AT cac2 DOT net> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:12AM (#5482409) Homepage
    From SCO's document: 84. Prior to IBM's involvement, Linux was the software equivalent of a bicycle. UNIX was the software equivalent of a luxury car. To make Linux of necessary quality for use by enterprise customers, it must be re-designed so that Linux also becomes the software equivalent of a luxury car.

    A bicycle??!? Ok, a free bicycle...that seats as many as a luxury car, on just as comfortable seats, and has the same horsepower as the luxury car, and that comes complete with design schematics and a suite of tools that allow you to build more "bicycles", oh and you can give them away to your friends.

    Oh, and now nobody is really interested in luxury cars anymore... maybe that's that's what SCO is so mad about.

    --

    Was it the sheep climbing onto the altar, or the cattle lowing to be slain,
    or the Son of God hanging dead and bloodied on a cross that told me this was a world condemnded, but loved and bought with blood.
  • Economic Perspective (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EvilSuggestions (582414) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:12AM (#5482413)

    Just took a look at a financial site and noticed that dear old SCO/Caldera appears to have a market cap of $32.9 million today. As such, I wonder, what will be the total cost to IBM to properly defend themselves in this suit, plus the amount that they spend on "licensing" Unix from SCO? At least $32.9M perhaps? Maybe more...

    Seems to me that the logical step for IBM now is to settle this suit by simply acquiring the plaintiff. Even before this suit was filed, it kinda made sense for quite a few reasons:

    • IBM's services division apparently loves to support old OS's and software, so the SCO support contracts would be a good match.
    • They would now own all the former members of the Project Monterey alliance (Sequent being the other member). No more sticky legal issues about code developed during that project.
    • There's the bragging rights of owning the Unix trademark. Certainly would give them a leg up marketing against Sun and HP.
  • MozillaQuest? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Captain Rotundo (165816) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:29AM (#5482486) Homepage
    I've never read MozillaQuest, but I find it wierd that a site with the word "Mozilla" in its title doesn't render properly in my copy of Mozilla (1.2.1 from Debian Testing)

    or maybe they intended the page to have a 3-inch margin?
    • Re:MozillaQuest? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Last time I saw anything from mozillaquest, it was another of their mozilla "news" articles. The whole site was essentially an anti-mozilla troll.
      • Re:MozillaQuest? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Spoing (152917)
        Last time I saw anything from mozillaquest, it was another of their mozilla "news" articles. The whole site was essentially an anti-mozilla troll.

        Same here...though I learn quick (1 article was enough). With a track record like that, I'll keep clear of them and I advise others to do the same.

        We have enough sensationalism to wade through already, no point in paying attention to the obvious trolls.

        If MozillaQuest wants to change that opinion, they (he?) will have to stay "clean" for a year or more. Do something positive...not that that will make me trust them, but maybe the negitive reaction won't be as strong.

        Face it...they #ed up.

  • What IBM should do (Score:4, Interesting)

    by afidel (530433) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:41AM (#5482539)
    is buy SCO, market cap is 25 million which is a steal to ensure the future of AIX and Linux. IBM has put untold Billions into AIX over the decades and is planning on putting over one billion into linux over the next couple years. Heck the lawyers will probably cost in the millions on this one, buy the IP and make sure they never have to worry again.
    • Premium to acquire (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Goonie (8651) <robert DOT merkel AT benambra DOT org> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @02:11AM (#5482788) Homepage
      There seems to be some suggestion that that is exactly what SCO is trying to get IBM to do, so that SCO's owners can get out with some cash.

      If IBM made a takeover offer now, the market would probably assume that they fear losing the lawsuit, and that would increase SCO's value way above its current market capitalization, to somewhere much closer to a billion dollars(maybe more-they could probably go after several other big Linux-supporting IT firms).

      Given that the evidence behind the claim appears to be very, very shaky, and the stakes are high, it would seem to be worth IBM's while to fight this one out in the courts for a while. If they win, they can *then* purchase SCO's IP for a song, far less than even the 25 million of the current market cap :)

  • And Lo..... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nemus (639101) <astarchman@hotmail.com> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:46AM (#5482549) Journal
    He Came from A Mountain On High. And Borne Upon His Shoulders Was Borne The Sacrificial Bull of An SCO CEO. And Thus He Spake

    "Be Not Afraid My Children, For I Have Busted Them Gorts Up."

    Amen

    Btw, as I noticed the site had been slashdotted, a thought occured to me. When this happens to a site, does anyone else sit back and imagine a poor, defenseless server shrieking its last, dying breath, before being blown through the stratosphere while melting off slag? No. K.

    • by Soko (17987) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:06AM (#5482926) Homepage
      Btw, as I noticed the site had been slashdotted, a thought occured to me. When this happens to a site, does anyone else sit back and imagine a poor, defenseless server shrieking its last, dying breath, before being blown through the stratosphere while melting off slag? No. K.


      Heh. I imagine a CAT5 cable glowing a bright cherry red, and a server actually spitting out the connector from the RJ45 plug holding that cable.

      The NOC operator plugs it back in, and actually hears "PPPTTTTUI!!!" as it's spat back out again...

      Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

      Soko
  • by E-Rock-23 (470500) <lostprophytNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:57AM (#5482579) Homepage Journal
    I don't think I quite understand SCO's position on this whole matter. But, with UnitedLinux slowly crumbling and the nature of Linux, I'm willing to bet that SCO/Caldera might get laughed out of the Linux business.

    IMHO, IBM has done a world of good for Linux. My favorite commercial remain's IBM's basketball team ad that featured the Chris Mullin wannabe wearing number 12, and the team owners discussing his role on the team.

    "How can we get him to work for peanuts?"
    "Because he loves the game..."

    That's exactly what Linux needed - to get it's name out beyond our little Geeks-Only circle to the masses, both Corporations and the Average Joe/Jane. Now, how did that harm Linux or Linux development? How did that muddy the waters? If you ask me, it rocked the boat in a good way.

    Linux has grown by leaps and bounds, from a grassroots OS to a viable option for both business and home use (more the former then the latter). This lawsuit serves no real purpose, IMO. Honestly, I'll just bet that it's an attempt by a faltering SCO to steal some of the thunder that IBM has built for Linux. They just want a piece of the pie.

    Final Prediction: SCO's complaint will be thrown out, and Linux will continue moving forward, with or without them.
  • by What is a number (652374) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @12:57AM (#5482580)
    "sources close to to IBM say" IBM is going to fight it [yahoo.com]

    ...
    I type this every time.
    • A source close to IBM said its lawyers were preparing a substantial defence of the suit and are likely to file counter-claims based on its huge portfolio of patents, the largest in the computer industry.

      You knew this was going to happen. Ever since SCO announced this lawsuit, I was just waiting for IBM to come in and take them out. You know, I almost feel bad for SCO. Almost.
  • by HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @01:34AM (#5482687)
    "it would be difficult or impossible for the Linux development community to create a grade of Linux adequate for enterprise use."

    Oh, you mean like Microsoft server products?

  • by NullProg (70833) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @01:43AM (#5482708) Homepage Journal
    As I've stated before (and have wasted too much time on this matter), here it is again...

    Concerning the few specific examples SCO listed in their court filing, the Omni print driver and JFS appeared in OS/2 long before Linux. Warp 3 and Warp 4 Server respectively. JFS appeared in AIX first but was never the property of UNIX.

    Per the SCO view, with project Monterey IBM gave away the keys to the UNIX kingdom to Linux.
    I'm sorry, but Monterey was annouced in October 1998. Well after Linux was ready for "prime time". I still have servers to prove so. Bicycle my ass.

    Sorry, end rant. Gulp Beer,
    Enjoy.
  • Ah, well, this IS Santa Cruz. I lived in Santa Cruz for 4 years during college. Great place. Rediculous lawsuits are part of the character!

    While I was at the University, some nutcase brought a $1 Trillion lawsuit against UC Santa Cruz for screwing up his brain with government mind probes.

    He lost, quickly, but oh how I feel sorry for the clerk that had to deal with that one.
  • by pointwood (14018) <jramskov.gmail@com> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:37AM (#5482998) Homepage

    It's easy to look at IBM as a "the good guy" and forget all the bad things they stand for too!

    In Europe there is currently a big fight about software patents and who do you think is a big supporter of them?

    Here is a quote:
    IBM's patent department is actively lobbying Europe to legalise software patents. They have invested millions in fighting example cases to leading European lawcourts such as the EPO's Technical Boards of Appeal and the German Federal Court in order to soften and eventually remove European restrictions on patenting software. They have also threatened European politicians that IBM might close down local facilities if software patents are not legalised in Europe. IBM has also prevented the US government from conducting studies on the value of software patents for the national economy. In the wake of the Opensource hype, IBM's rhetoric has become relatively moderate, but nonetheless it is supported by real pressure. IBM has acquired approximately 1000 European software patents whose legal status is currently unclear. Given the great number of software patents in IBM's hands, IBM is one of the few software companies who may have a genuine interest in software patentability. Once software patents become assertable in Europe, an IBM tax of several hundered million EUR may be levied on European software companies.

    Link [ffii.org]

    Now, what is the biggest threat to Linux? SCO or software patents?

    Besides that, I find SCO's suit very stupid - the only winner in this is going to be the laywers.

  • I Appreciated... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kirn_malinus (159763) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @03:44AM (#5483016) Homepage
    This line (or so ;): "85. For example, Linux is currently capable of coordinating the simultaneous performance of 4 computer processors. UNIX, on the other hand, commonly links 16 processors and can successfully link up to 32 processors for simultaneous operation. This difference in memory management performance is very significant to enterprise customers who need extremely high computing capabilities for complex tasks. The ability to accomplish this task successfully has taken AT&T, Novell and SCO at least 20 years, with access to expensive equipment for design and testing, well-trained UNIX engineers and a wealth of experience in UNIX methods and concepts." So they're saying IBM cheated because Linux now do something that took the smartest computational scientists 20 years to achieve, maybe, but that a 20 year old can now understand? Weak.
  • by Vegigami (32659) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @05:08AM (#5483164)
    The bicycle was MS-DOS,

    The luxury car was the Mac,

    BeOS was the batmobile,

    and Linux was the Tank.

    I think that was how Neal Stephenson wrote it in "In The Beginning Was The Command Line" anyway.
  • Let SCO Know (Score:4, Informative)

    by RedSynapse (90206) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @07:08AM (#5483341)
    Contact SCO and tell them what you think of their buisness methods:

    1-888-465-4689
    1-800-726-8649 (Support)
    801-765-1313 (FAX)

    Or submit an email on their webform HERE [sco.com]
    Or if you perfer the personal touch you might want to BCC these people:

    jant@sco.com, rr@sco.com, sco@schwartz-pr.com, andrewk@sco.com, anz_info@sco.com, rhondap@sco.com, bstowell@sco.com, skunkware@sco.com, jkj@sco.com, patrickm@sco.com, phatch@sco.com, polska@caldera.com, louisi@sco.com, murray@sco.com, maindesk@sco.com, rogerv@sco.com, alf@sco.com, asirotin@caldera.com, alee@sco.com, rickpo@sco.com, kathyp@sco.com, deanr@sco.com, evanh@caldera.com, jls@sco.com, dfp@caldera.com, carlsa@sco.com, kieramy@caldera.com, belal@caldera.com, rhondap@caldera.com, jlw@caldera.com, bobs@caldera.com, petrs@caldera.com, robertl@caldera.com, jgale@caldera.com, tim.rose@caldera.com, wynnw@caldera.com, tbird@caldera.com, andyb@caldera.com

  • by TopShelf (92521) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @07:13AM (#5483346) Homepage Journal
    This whole episode has been amusing to watch. Sometimes it seems like Sun, IBM, Microsoft et al conduct themselves with all the decorum of your average third-grade kid. Take Sun's response to the lawsuit, or Dell's new ad with a not-so-subtle dig at Sun. I can just see some of these CEO's running into each other in some fine restaurant and getting down to the "nyah nyah nyah nyah-nyah"s pretty quickly...
  • by charlie (1328) <charlie@noSPAm.antipope.org> on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @07:14AM (#5483348) Homepage Journal
    Obligatory disclaimer: I worked for SCO from 1991 to 1995. I was in the techpubs team working on SCO OpenServer 5, released in mid-1995. So I think I have some insight into SCO's corporate culture as it then was ...

    Kids, the company that filed this lawsuit is not SCO.

    Engineers at SCO were bolting together PC based UNIXes back before Linus got started. From the late 1980's, they inherited Xenix -- a descendant of AT&T System 7. In 1988 they bought the rights to AT&T SVR3.2 (for an eye-watering sum -- in 1994, each box SCO sold was encumbered with about $200 in royalty payments to other companies). By 1992, SCO UNIX 3.2.4 was a cash cow, and they needed something new.

    I'd rate the rot as having set in by late 1991. Before then, SCO was an exceedingly cool place to work -- one of the early UNIX start-ups, SCO was the outfit with the hot tub in the courtyard of the original company offices and the source of numerous interesting legends. There was a lot of cross-fertilization with SGI and Sun at the engineering level back in the late 80's, and some of that survived into the 1990's. But the ACE Initiative killed it dead -- led to a 15% downsizing in 1991, when SCO was forced to admit that it couldn't market Open Desktop against Windows and hope to win. Then there was a string of bad decisions that effectively doomed the company to ossification and slow decline.

    First there was the decision to build OpenServer in the first place. Then when SVR4 appeared to be making ground and SVR4.2 (UnixWare 1) came out, there was IIRC a quiet attempt to clone the SVR4 kernel. (The AT&T copyright declarations were retained in the headers, but by 1995 SCO's main product bore about the same relationship to SVR3.2 that a heavily customized rice burner bears to a showroom model.)

    But SCO was, at this point, still a real software company. The UNIX dev team had more than 200 engineers working in it. Then the rot set in for real ...

    (Historical aside: I first met Linux in 1993, as the system a bunch of SCO's engineers were running on their home machines. But when I left in early 1995, there was an attitude of complete denial in SCO's management -- Linux was a toy system that could never be relevant.)

    Anyway. Why did I leave?

    The main warning to me that the company was probably not a good long term career bet happened three months ahead of the functional freeze on OpenServer. One lunchtime managers came around our cubicle farm and pitch-forked us into coaches, drove us for two hours around the M25 motorway, and dragged us into a hotel at Heathrow where we were given glasses of grape juice and ushered into a theatre. The lights dimmed, the sound system came up playing "Things Can Only Get Better" (gack!) and the board of directors ran on stage punching their air. The occasion? It was to announce the retirement of the CEO and his replacement by the CFO (yes, the head bean counter). Said CFO promised to grow SCO's revenue base from $200M/year (in 1995) to $1Bn/year by 2000. I took one look at this stage, considered the Linux box (1.2 kernel) back home, and went back to my cubicle and started updating my resume.

    There's a point to this long, discursive ramble. After I left SCO, I kept an eye on it. Sales didn't do well, although the Tarantella middleware product -- Doug Michel's pet, after the board panicked, kicked out the accountant, and invited him back -- did okay. The UNIX dev team languished, became an appendix to HP and IBM with Monterey, and in the end was downsized repeatedly until it no longer existed. Finally, SCO split in two.

    The important corporate bit now follows. SCO had two arms; the Tarantella middleware arm, which was doing okay, and the UNIX arm, which was in a death-spiral. As I understand it, SCO Inc sold the UNIX arm to Caldera (then flush with IPO dollars), renamed itself to Tarantella Inc, and is presumably doing okay, albeit as a smaller software company in a different field. Caldera retained some of SCO's UNIX marketing and sales staff, but basically treated SCO's software as a cash cow. Caldera were set up with lots of money by Ray Noorda, but don't seem to have had a clue how to sell software. And the company now known as SCO is actually Caldera.

    So what's going on?

    Caldera has always been a money hole. Caldera peaked at something like 4% of the market for shrinkwrapped Linux distros, and never quite seemed to get the engineering side together. While Redhat's contribution is well-known, and SuSE have done a lot of solid engineering work (much of which is GPL'd -- the device drivers, for example -- rather than the much-more-visible and proprietary admin GUI), who remembers what Caldera tried to add to the community? (Yes, they tried to build yet another admin front end -- in the end, nobody else bothered using it.) Caldera basically targeted the commercial market before it was ready to buy Linux. Then they bought a sadly run-down product from SCO, and failed to promote it effectively. That's because Caldera still think they're selling software licences, rather than support and services. Now nobody wants to buy their licences (when they can pick up something equivalent for free) they're trying to attach a cost to the free stuff.

    It's somewhat sad that SCO's name is being dragged through the mud this way; it feels like someone I knew who's been dead for years just clawed their way out of the graveyard mud and began shambling around town looking for brains to chow down on.

  • by PiotrK (16050) on Tuesday March 11, 2003 @08:22AM (#5483473) Homepage
    Could we just write:
    * SCO to Linux Conversion book,
    * SCO to Linux HOW-TO,
    * SCO to Linux Migration Case Histories,
    and start sourceforge site with all necesery scripts, etc?

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