Subject: Re: What should Sun do?
From: Peter Wayner <>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 21:47:52 -0500

And don't forget the BSD world. Bill Joy brought plenty of that code 
base with him when he left Berkeley for Sun. While I don't really know 
exactly what code flowed into and out of Sun, I'm sure there were some 
contributions to the BSD base. Furthermore, Sun brought legitimacy to 
the BSD world and made it one of the major foundations of the Internet. 
Even if you can't count the exact number of lines, just moral support 
is very important. Microsoft ended up grabbing the BSD TCP/IP stack for 
some of their early forays into the Internet. Without the weight of 
Sun, the winning protocols could have been proprietary.

It's funny. While Sun certainly took from the BSD base, it also 
strengthened it in the process. Open source is odd that way.


On Jan 31, 2005, at 5:40 PM, Tim O'Reilly wrote:

> Actually, is just the tip of the iceberg.  If I recall 
> (albeit dimly), when Rishab Ghosh did analysis of the copyrights in a 
> typical Linux distribution, about 5% of the code was copyright Sun -- 
> a higher percentage than was copyright the FSF, btw.  I'm sure that 
> these numbers have changed.   There were also very high contributions 
> from vendors like the late lamented DEC, IBM, etc.  So don't 
> underestimate the contribution of corporations to the base 
> infrastructure of Linux.  An awful lot of the code that gets wrapped 
> around the kernel made it into Linux from various companies.  I forget 
> the name of Rishab's tool, and am not online to look it up, but it's 
> worth remembering.