[nycbug-talk] "The Unity of Unix" by Paul Murphy (ZDNet)

Marc Spitzer mspitzer
Thu Aug 11 19:04:52 EDT 2005

On 8/11/05, Hakim Singhji <hzs202 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello All,
> Firstly, I must say that I have been feeling rather lonely with
> respect to my interests in Information Technology. Most of my
> acquaintances and family members involved in IT or application
> development are focused on Microsoft products or a business oriented
> aspect of information technology as opposed to technology development.
> Today, I read an article on ZDNet
> (http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9590_22-5806608.html) that inspired me...
> and reminded me why I decided to devote my career to systems and
> application development in Unix environments.
> Paul Murphy wrote the article entitled "The Unity of Unix" and quite
> frankly it was a long overdue publication of significance. As a
> student of Information Technology it is important for me to remember
> that the premise of my involvement was not for a paycheck but for the
> academic significance associated with Unix. Paul reminds us (Unix
> people) of this when he writes:
> > "In this context, it's important to remember where Unix and open source came from:
> > they're implementations of core academic traditions in the development of community and
> > the publication of results".

Actually open source is as old as computers, think 1950-60 mainframes.
 They came with the source code for everything.  The reason was source
code was not considered valuable, the vendor made his money on the box
and support.

> The bottom line is that Unix is Unix and the benefits come from
> openness,_the community_, and 50 years of tradition. In that respect

there was no unix in 1955, 40 possibly and 35 is a good bet

> it does not matter whether your tool of choice is Red Hat, Solaris or
> Darwin but it work and if it work is it working well (3).

ok Linux is not unix, It just kinda looks like it.

> > "Remember, a rising tide lifts all boats: the more Macs and Sun machines get installed,
> > the more value your Red Hat certification will really have."

That makes no sense, if solaris sells enough boxes to marginalize
redhat how will RHEC be *more* valuable to have.  All of the major
linux distros I have worked/played with, from an admin POV, are worlds
unto them selves  all the tools are different and the config files are
stored in different places.  And the same can be said with any if them
and any of the bsds or solaris.

Also please keep in mind that much of the open source software out
there is only developed because it is funded, it does not have a self
sustaining mass of volunteers that are committed to it for its own
sake.  It can be a show piece to help someone get a job or software
that is generated in the process of an academic doing funded research
or companies that want to use software that does X not sell it.  Most
of these projects stop when the money goes away or the student gets a


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