[Smaug] A quick scripting puzzle

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sat Nov 19 18:21:40 PST 2005

Quoting cerise at armory.com (cerise at armory.com):

> OpenServer took much of its userspace from SCO XENIX and much of the
> underlying structure from SCO UNIX.

There was an import of some code into XENIX from SysV r3, under
a licence deal from AT&T -- not from "SCO UNIX", as there was (really)
no such thing at the time.  (See below.)

[The Open UNIX aka ex-UnixWare product:]

> I can only attest to a horrible userspace.

Oh yeah.  

I was proud owner in around 1989 of AT&T System V release 3.22, which I 
picked up for $50 from Data Preference in San Mateo:  It was just
thoroughly awful in dozens of ways, including the absence of "Berkeley 
enhancements" that were later merged into the system when they created
System Vr4.  It didn't last long on my system, since I knew from using
BSD at Evans Hall, UCB, that Unix didn't _have_ to suck that badly.  The 
only part that I kept (for a decade) was the shelf of manuals that came
with it.  That part was cool.  

I also bought and used for a while, a couple of years later, one of
Novell's UnixWare releases (based, obviously, on SysVr4).  That was one
of the ones that included the ability to run Win16 desktop applications,
which was really wacky to see on your Motif/X11 desktop.  The suckage
was gone, but it was a little ponderous and slow, and I pitched it for
386BSD 0.1 and later Linux.

> Now, SCO UNIX (also known as SCO SystemV/386) coexisted with XENIX
> (and, in fact, I have a handy driver book here which details the
> differences between the two and the steps needed to port drivers from
> one to the other.  That particular line disappeared as OpenServer
> became the clear choice between the two.

Um, "SCO System V/386" was yet another name for one of the XENIX
releases.  It's entirely possible they might have paid AT&T the
necessary trademark licensing fees to use the name "UNIX" for one of
those, but it really never was _UNIX_ in the sense that its foundational
kernel, libs, and other basic architecture were still XENIX, not UNIX.
That was the product line that eventually came to be called Open Server,
which is what they (or rather, their Utah successor in interest) call it

That's all one product, not two.  XENIX = SCO System V/386 = Open Server.
If they called that thing "SCO UNIX" during the pre-Novell-deal time
period (which is possible, though I never saw it), then that was
strictly a marketing label:  It was still really XENIX.

SCO didn't have a "genetic" UNIX (to borrow Peter Salus's term) until
the 1995 purchase of certain (disputed) UnixWare rights from Novell.
_That_ is SCO Group's second product line.

But, frankly, I considered both of them pretty terrible even compared to
386BSD 0.1.  ;->

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