Subject: Research questions WRT SCO's complaint
From: "Karsten M. Self" <>
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2003 21:26:50 +0000

I'm doing some factual research on the SCO issue.  In particular there
appear to be numerous factual errors in the complaint.

Anyone with answers to the following:

  - What x86 Unices have there been?  When did they emerge?  I'm aware
    of Xenix (which became SCO), Solaris X86, BSDi, FreeBSD, OpenBSD,
    NetBSD, AIX/86, Dynix, and (for a broad definition of Intel
    architechtures), QNX.  I'm not clear of timelines.  And any others
    would be welcomed.

  - Was RMS ever faculty at MIT?  My understanding was he had a research
    position at the AI lab, but never held a professorship.  His
    biography (by Sam Williams) makes no mention.

  - What's the timeline of Project Monterey?  Best I can find, it was
    launched 1998.  That's seven years after the first release of
    the Linux kernel. 

  - Early GNU/Linux development -- I know Maddog (then with DEC) got
    involved in 1991/92.  Any other Unix vendor types on the bandwagon
    early?  Cygnus also had ties to Sun IIRC.

  - Unix marketshare.  Does anyone have values for breakdown of
    marketshare through the 1990s of the major Unix flavors?  My
    understanding is that SCO was never much more than a bit player in
    the x86 market.  Possibly a fair number of deployments, but low
    overall valuation.
  - SCO's primary thrusts appear to be trade secret / contract
    violation, and possible (though unspecified) copyright violation.
    Claiming trade secret status on a design and concept which are now
    33 years old, the basis of an open standard (POSIX) and a brand
    certification (Unix98), as well as the foundation of an entire
    industry and family of competing products:  (Sun:  Solaris, HP:
    HPUX, IBM: AIX, BSDi: BSDi, Data General: DGUX, DEC (now HP): Tru64,
    SGI: Irix, GNU/Linux, Minix, GNU/Hurd, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD...)
    SCO can hardly claim trade secrecy status based on this
    preponderence of implementations (many on, or including, an x86
    port).  Anyone familiar with the early POSIX compliance status of
    GNU/Linux itself?

  - References for early articles pointing to the threat that GNU/Linux
    posed to SCO (I *know* this was one of the first Unix flavors
    identified as threatened by GNU/Linux) would also be appreciated.
    I'll dig for same.


Karsten M. Self <>
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
   Support the EFF, they support you: