[Talk] SCO news - analysts says they saw UNIX code in Linux

Con Zymaris conz at cyber.com.au
Fri Jun 13 12:18:54 EST 2003

On Fri, Jun 13, 2003 at 08:36:16AM +0930, Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:
> On Wednesday, 11 June 2003 at  0:07:08 +1000, Gary R. Schmidt wrote:
> > David Purdue wrote:
> >> See the story at:
> >>
> >> http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/06/09/1055010912770.html
> >>
> >> A couple of non-programmers from a couple of analyst firms were shown two
> >> blocks of code and say that 80 lines of code and comments were the same.
> >>
> >> What they did not see were any change control records to establish where
> >> this block of code came from.
> >
> > Hmm, non-programmers and 80 lines of code - could it be that the 80
> > lines constitute a function, and if a sufficiently experienced
> > programmer was to look at it they would recognise it as being lifted
> > lock, stock, and comments from "Uncle Fester's Big Book of Code
> > Snippets", first published in 1969??????
> My personal theory is that it's a header file.  Look at
> /usr/include/sys/errno.h for an example.  It's standardized, so it
> makes sense for the comments to match up too.  This would also explain
> why they showed it to non-programmers.

In case people haven't seen this:


 (I'm not normally in the habit of quoting extended transcripts, 
 but as this may be pertinent in detail, a semi-judicious snipping 

So how did Linux get scale on Itanium? The SCO Group would have you
believe it was all IBM's doing, which isn't as interesting as the real
story. The web of history weaves to encircle and entangle a much more
diverse group of conspirators, including many of The SCO Group, Caldera
and old SCO own former executives and other employees.

In October 1998, IBM, Old SCO and Sequent teamed up to collectively
develop parts of Unixware and AIX into scalable 64bit ready ports for
IBM's Power processors and Intel's AI64, or Itanium, under the banner of
Project Monterey. But by then, it was already too late. In February 1998,
well before even the first prototype IA-64 chips were available, a
skunkworks team at HP, with some assistance from Intel, began the work
toward porting Linux to IA-64. By October 1998,around the same time that
IBM, Old SCO and Sequent had finished negotiations, HP had completed the
build toolchain. By January 1999, the Linux kernel was booting on an IA-64
processor simulator, months before the actual Itanium processor was
available. In March 1999, at Intel, Linux was booting on the actual Intel
Itanium processor. In April 1999, CERN joined the projects for the port of
the Gnu C library and VA Linux Systems joined the project and rapidly
improved the stability and performance.

In May 1999, the Trillian Project is foundered and HP, VA Linux and Intel
collectively provided their source patches to the Linux kernel for the
Itanium port under the GPL license.

A bootable kernel alone however does not make an OS make. HP supplied the
patches for the toolchain ( initial GCC C/C++ compiler, gas Assembler , ld
Linker ). Intel supplied the test platforms, apache, EFI, FPSWA, SCSI,
SMP, libm ( the old Linux C libraries ). VA Linux ported E, E-Term,
XFree86, utilities & Term libs, bootloader, libs, and More SMP patches.
CERN ported glibc ( the "new" Linux C libraries ). By the time August 1999
rolls around, a surprising array of vendors came along and added ports of
software to the stone soup. Cygnus added the GNUPro Toolkit ( supported
gcc, g++, gdb). SGI added their own compiler, kdb ( kernel debugger ) and
OpenGL. SuSE added KDE, and created an IA-64 distribution. RedHat added
GNOME, more commands and also created an IA-64 distribution.

Now it's at this point where things become very interesting. The Trillian
Project, providing free Linux on the IA-64 platform is effectively already
in direct competition with Project Monterey. This makes the next three
contributers somewhat surprising. IBM contributed performance tools,
measurement and analysis. It should be noted that these do not add
enterprise functionality to the kernel, they just allow for the tuning of
overall performance. Caldera, yes, the same Caldera that acquired the
server part of Old SCO in August 2000 and renamed itself The SCO Group in
2003, created an IA-64 distribution.

Lastly TurboLinux , like IBM, added performance counters and also created
a distribution. Whats so special about TurboLinux? In October 1999 Old SCO
entered into strategic agreement with TurboLinux to develop services for
TurboLinux's TurboCluster Server and provide Linux Professional Services
for TurboLinux customers.Old SCO also made a sizable investment in
TurboLinux, Caldera and LinuxMall. In Old SCO's words, to "engage a wider
Open Source community and reflects our continuing support of Open Source
and UNIX on Intel.". In February 2000, the Trillian Press Conference,
disclosed all this to the public .

The development effort was split into two major sections, the IA-64 Linux
Project which concentrated on the Linux Itanium ports
http://web.archive.org/web/20000817011530/http://www.ia64linux.org/ and
the Linux Scalability Effort, which concentrated on the general scalable
enterprise elements. http://lse.sourceforge.net/

Why would SCO or even IBM invest in a project and companies in direct
competition to Project Monterey? One obvious conclusion is that both were
hedging there bets against a potential failure of Project Monterey and
Unixware on Itanium. This may explain why even some of SCO's people,
including at least one from the "Core OS Development team" became directly
involved with both the Linux-IA64 and the Linux scalability project. In
fact, both Old SCO and Caldera employees played a major part in assisting
and contributing to the success of both projects. Developers such as Jun U
Nakajima ( at that time Email: jun at sco.com, Phone: 908-790-2352 Fax:
908-790-2426 ) of SCO's Core OS Development team, SCO/Murray Hill, NJ. Jun
U Nakajima, as well as other SCO and Caldera employees, contributed advice
and patches to the Linux kernel, directly and though the Mailing lists of
both the Linux-IA64 and the Linux scalability project.

Jun U Nakajima was aware of NDA ( Non-Disclosure-Agreement ) issues, as
this thread to Usenet proves....
Note that in the same thread, Jun admits that he was using stable 4-way
SMP systems Linux and has seen a demo 8-way system in the middle of the
year 2000.

Today 2.4.0 SMP kernels run on SMP IA-64 platforms (e.g. 4-way) reliably.
I'm using such systems for heavy-duty software developement.

We had a demo using an 8-way IA-64 machine last Summer. Many SCO and
Caldera employees directly contributed to the development of enterprise
scale Linux, before, during and after Caldera made it's purchase of SCO's
Unix division.

Jun U Nakajima sometime in 2001, went to work for Intel, and even today he
is successfully performing the same job he did when he was employed by Old
SCO and then Caldera, improving the scalability of Linux on the new Intel
processor platforms.In 2002, Jun U Nakajima and Venkatesh Pallipadi, also
from Intel, presented a paper to a USENIX conference.
http://www.usenix.org/events/wiess02/tech/nakajima.html As with all the
Linux kernel work, the result of all the above work has been incorporated
into the main Linux branch at the discretion of Linus Torvalds.

The SCO Group claim that their current case against IBM is based upon
breach of trade secret though "technological transfer". Well, Old SCO and
the current SCO group are as much to blame for the loss of secrecy and the
development of the competing Linux technology. The VPs at The SCO Group
should know about the Trillian Project and the contributions of their own
employees. Maybe one of them does...
http://newsvac.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=03/06/09/139257 Opinder Bawa,
Senior Vice President, Engineering and Global Services at The SCO Group,
sold all his stock last week. As Vice President of Engineering, Opinder
Bawa is in a better position than most to know who put what where.


Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne 03 9621 2377 
Cybersource: Unix/Linux, TCP/IP and Web App. Development  www.cyber.com.au

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