[Talk] Re: [Linux-aus] SCO position, rationale and AUUG - Grog's thread

Leon Brooks leon at cyberknights.com.au
Fri May 23 12:59:25 EST 2003

On Thu, 22 May 2003 16:53, Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:
>>> Recall that SCO is saying exactly the opposite about quality
>>> control.

>> ...and have been doing so for about 4 years now. I think we need to
>> at least contradict this, and now is as good a time as any to
>> start.

> That's a valid intention, but is now the time?  It's not relevant to
> the complaint

I think it led directly to the complaint. If you read said complaint, 
they evidently don't believe that Linux is as good as SCO UNIX, let 
alone better than it.

Since Linux can apparently beat SCO UNIX on every point, the argument 
that it's copying SCO UNIX ("chasing tail-lights") to do this is 
considerably weakened.

Saying all of this this in a dozen words or less might be too hard.

>>> Before you can say that Linux QC is better than SCO, you need to
>>> convince your audience.  And that takes too long.

>> Yes and no. Just stating it will have some effect, the following
>> statement about big systems adds credibility, and no matter how
>> much time is spent, some will remain completely unconvinced.

> It might be worth making a core statement (can I say that without
> sounding like a policitian?), and maybe making some PS statements at
> the end.  The question of QC should be a PS.

Again yes and no. If SCO didn't firmly believe that Linux's QC sucked, 
they wouldn't be doing this. OTOH, Sontag also stated that the 
offending code was not in the kernel.org sources so that QC argument 
may be moot.

>>> I think we need to look at where, if at all, SCO UNIX runs on
>>> significant numbers of CPUs.

>> They only claim 32 peak.

> I'd like to see anywhere where they run on more than 4.  They're
> Intel based, remember?

...and IRL 99% or more of their installs would be single-CPUs. Not many 
dual-Athlon cash registers around.

> I started writing something about SMP support, with particular
> reference to IBM, in my SCO page
> (http://www.lemis.com/grog/sco.html). I didn't say anything that
> isn't public knowledge (for example, Anton Blanchard's 7 second
> kernel compile using 24 of 32 CPUs, based on a paper presented at
> AUUG 2002).  I know that Anton and the people he works with have had
> absolutely no exposure to AIX code.  Even if they had, the best they
> could have done with it is to extract the ideas and rewrite it. 
> That's not illegal, as you point out.

> Nevertheless, I then threw it out again because I was concerned that
> people could misinterpret it.

Touching on it carefully could be valuable, to make the point that SMP 
development did come from other than IBM.

>> So instead of saying "in question" it should read "to the
>> Linux kernel".

> Yes, but that nullifies the effect of the statement.

Not really. It might annoy the odd careful reader, but the rest wouldn't 
even think about it. Again OTOH, Sontag's statement might require of us 
a different wording.

>> That and them chopping their own distro should say all that we need
>> said without leaving room for carping if they want to get picky.

> I heard as long ago as last September that Caldera hadn't been making
> any money with Linux, which is why they changed their name back to
> SCO.

I think they got too greedy and priced themselves out of the market. In 
aviation terms, the price became too steep so they stalled. That 
per-seat idea wouldn't have been popular.

>> Their distro did ship with a 2.4 kernel while it was still Caldera.

> The stuff they're complaining about could easily have been 2.5.

IIRC, they also shipped (with source) a "technical demonstration" 
edition with an early 2.5 kernel on it.

>>> By all accounts
>>> Microsoft has various UNIX source code, so they must have had a
>>> license.  After all, when SCO was effectively a part of Microsoft,
>>> they wrote or at least maintained XENIX.

>> Agree. Should we change what we say as a result of it being
>> confusing? At least put rabbit ears around "a UNIX licence" to hint
>> that the description may not be accurate?

> I'd be inclined to say pretty much what I just have.  That the report
> is confusing and that the original intention may have been something
> completely different.  There are various rights you can buy to source
> code.  At one point I thought this meant that Microsoft had bought
> the rights to the UNIX code base from SCO, leaving SCO without those
> rights.  I no longer think that is the case, but I'm pretty sure that
> a couple of layers of reporters have muddied the waters.


>>> You'll note that I've criticized what you have to say

>> Hoorah! I would that more could be bothered! (-:

> I'd rather have made some positive suggestions.

You did. Mission accomplished. (-:

Cheers; Leon

http://cyberknights.com.au/     Modern tools; traditional dedication
http://plug.linux.org.au/       Committee Member, Perth Linux User Group
http://slpwa.asn.au/            Committee Member, Linux Professionals WA
http://linux.org.au/            Committee Member, Linux Australia

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