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Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 02:11 AM EDT

Andrew S. Tanenbaum, the author of MINIX, has issued a statement strongly contradicting ADTI's Ken Brown, who claimed this week that after numerous interviews, including one with Tanenbaum, that Linus was probably not the author of Linux and that Linux was a derivative of UNIX and MINIX. Tanenbaum, while obviously still not a fan of Linux or Linus all these years later, nevertheless confirms that Linus wrote Linux and says no MINIX code was improperly used by him.

He gives details of the interview Brown did with him, questions Brown's knowledge, motives and credentials, and says he thinks Brown's problem is that he simply can't believe one man could write an operating system by himself:

"By the time Linus started, five people had independently implemented UNIX or something approximating it, namely, Thompson, Swartz, Holt, Comer, and me. All of this was perfectly legal and nobody stole anything. Given this history, it is pretty hard to make a case that one person can't implement a system of the complexity of Linux, whose original size was about the same as V1.0 of MINIX. . . .

"Thus, of course, Linus didn't sit down in a vacuum and suddenly type in the Linux source code. He had my book, was running MINIX, and undoubtedly knew the history (since it is in my book). But the code was his. The proof of this is that he messed the design up. . . . but producing a system that was fundamentally different from the base he started with seems pretty good proof that it was a redesign. I don't think he could have copied UNIX because he didn't have access to the UNIX source code. . . .

"My conclusion is that Ken Brown doesn't have a clue what he is talking about. I also have grave questions about his methodology. . . .

"[N]obody stole anything from anyone. Brown's remark that people have tried and failed for 30 years to build UNIX-like systems is patent nonsense. Six different people did it independently of one another. . . . I think Brown owes a number of us an apology."

I doubt Tanenbaum has accurately identified Mr. Brown's problem in full, but I am glad he has refused to be used by him to falsely accuse an innocent man.

Mr. Brown is quoted in LinuxInsider, naturally, at length. They are always first in line, it seems, with negative material about Linux, or at least that is my impression. I will let Brown express himself:

"'What I'm against is hybrid code, which is what is causing this criminal activity,' Brown told LinuxInsider. By 'hybrid,' Brown means code that has both commercial and proprietary roots. 'That hybrid genesis is causing people who work for major corporations to borrow and steal code . . . and to have to contribute to open-source code,' he said. 'It started out academically and evolved to something commercial. That's what's caused the problem. . . .

"'I want all of your readers to ask themselves, in the history of computing, has anyone else ever written an operating system who never was a licensee, didn't have operating system experience, and didn't have the source code? How did he develop so much code in just six months? Everyone else has taken years to develop operating systems.... Linus perpetuated the lie [that he is the inventor of the Linux kernel], and I have a problem with this smarmy attitude.'"

There's more where that came from. Mr. Tanenbaum has already answered this smear. Brown also says Linux is more vulnerable to security problems than proprietary code, which is laughable, and answered in the article, and he claims the ADTI site was "hacked". I wonder if it was /.ed and he doesn't know the difference? I don't know and he provides no details. He seems to me, judging from these quotations, to be the last man on earth who would know.

Update: Mr. Tannenbaum has a follow up statement.


  


Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize | 693 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
URL and OT mesages here
Authored by: PolR on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 02:53 AM EDT
Please link as link using the HTML Post Mode.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections Here
Authored by: PolR on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 02:57 AM EDT
Typos, mistakes etc.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: creysoft on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 02:57 AM EDT
Props to Tanenbaum for stepping up to say this. I have a question for the Olde
Unix Hackers: Do Tanenbaum and Linus just have a gentleman's disagreement, or do
those two just genuinely not *like* each other? I've never quite been able to
tell, but then again I've never read any of the appropriate texts on the
subject, save for the original Usenet debate (which was heated, as Usenet
debates often are.)

So I guess I shouldn't RTFM'd before posting this question, huh? Oh... please
have pity on me... ;)

---
Fear th3 Platypus

[ Reply to This | # ]

"he was just a kid and didn't know better"
Authored by: IMANAL on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 03:12 AM EDT
This is cute, and I assume very much tongue in cheek.

Tannenbaum's piece is both well written and entertaining.

Brown does indeed sounds like a dork.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Round of applause, Mr T!
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 03:15 AM EDT
Laugh? I nearly ruptured myself! Straight out of left field and through the heart of the matter: there go Ken's book royalties... so sad.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 03:15 AM EDT
It's hard to not read the rant against Linux quality as pretty toungue in cheek.
He said the exact same thing over ten years ago when Linux was first released.

When Linus was accused of copying the header files, he pointed to stupid
mistakes he made. When Andy T wants to defend Linus he also points to
"stupid mistakes" Linus made.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Dennis Ritchie's suid patent?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 03:20 AM EDT
Can anyone elaborate on the comment about Dennis Ritchie's suid patent? What is
this? I couldn't tell if it was a joke (to test Ken Brown's knowledge with a
fake patent) or what.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 03:22 AM EDT
I like his comment about "If SCO was paying him they weren't getting their
monies worth".
That seems to summarize the entire process. SCO blows loads of smoke hoping that
people will believe there must be a fire there someplace, only to have reality
(and an aweful lot of smart people) fan the smoke away to reveal Microsoft
trying to light a damp SCO.
Tanenbaum has just blown away SCO's whole "An operating system like this is
much to complicated to have ever have been written by one man or even a
collaberation of independents. Only a big corporation can do this"
argument.
Maybe IBM will bring him in as an expert witness?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ignorance ans stupidity
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 03:22 AM EDT
From http://www.cs.vu.nl/~ast/brown/:

"Brown is not the sharpest knife in the drawer," - :)

Is it not fascinating that the vast majority of people who sees Open Source
software as a threat to IP are also pro software patents, do not seem to
understand the difference between copyright and patents, generally know little
or nothing about science and technology and are almost always totally ignorant
of computer technology and the way that software development works.

Since it generally accepted that stupid people have the tendency to express
opinions about things they know nothing about - it logically follows that most
rabid anti Open source opinions are firmly rooted in ignorance and stupidity.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Historian's side note
Authored by: wllacer on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 03:27 AM EDT
For the history challenged
I assume the people Prof. Tannenbaum mentions are

Ken Thomson (as the author of original Unix )
Douglas Comer ( Xinu, 1984)
Robert Swartz (Coherent, c. 1977)
Robert Holt (Tunis 1983) and
himself (Minix 1986)

They're probably not the only ones who have developed non genetically related
Unixen, but some of them have been successful in academia or in the comercial
world.

(BTW.When goes the Timeline project on-line?).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Dizzy on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 03:44 AM EDT
I must say i like this part(come on its funny)
"The first version of Linux was like a time machine. It went back to a
system worse than what he already had on his desk. Of course, he was just a kid
and didn't know better (although if he had paid better attention in class he
should have)"

I guess that Tanenbaum still is pretty pissed off on Linus for making Linux, but
that aside it looks like Tanenbaum feels that propper credits are due to correct
people.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 03:44 AM EDT
I like how he stated in his '92 email that linux was monolithic, and microkernel
OS's were the way to go, even mentioning Windows NT. We all know how stable,
secure, and reliable that is.

Actually, it's partially due to the microkernel design of Windows that makes it
faulty. While I can't find the article now, a few years ago, there was an
article that basicly detailed a problem with DCOM's inability to verify the
source of a message being sent between processes. An example of this was that a
guest user could log in, run a small program that transmitted an interprocess
message to a running application (I thing an antivirus utility was the example
used), and cause it to add you to the administrator group.

Things that make you go "hmmmmm".

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: JustFree on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 03:52 AM EDT
Okay, so Andrew S. Tanenbaum has poked holes into Ken Browns argument. Mr.
Brown's statements were silly, and very unprofessional. Someone must have
influence him to make the assertions that he made. Hmmm, it looks like there was
not UNIX code copied into Linux. What a surprise. It seems that Andrew was
susceptive of Mr. Brown's motives. Mr. Tanenbaum is a man of honor and proves it
decisively. He does get it right about operating systems, but there is something
really special about Linux other that it being free.

---
as in free speech get it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 03:58 AM EDT
Can Ken Brown be embarassed ?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Email I sent to Mr Brown.
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 04:46 AM EDT
Thought you guys might get a laugh:

----------------------------
Hi,

don't know if you know about this yet:

http://www.cs.vu.nl/~ast/brown/

One of the guys you interviwed about your book (Andrew Tanenbaum) has stated
that your something of a bumbling idiot that knows nothing of the history of
Unix let alone Linux, and that you owe several people apologies.

I hope that book gets you more funding from Microsoft, because you've just made
sure that all manner of other companies won't touch you anymore.

Surely you must have known that the previous admittance that Microsoft provided
funding to you, coupled with the subject matter of the book would result in
millions concluding that your just an MS lackey????

It doesn't help when one of the most Unix knowledgable people on the planet has
stated emphatically that you don't know what you were talking about..

My feeling, and that held by a good many others, is that, were this an honest
history, you would have disclosed those that requested it.
The fact that you don't, leaves you in a position similiar to SCO's, lots of
claims, but nothing concrete.
(I don't know if your aware, but after a year of the court case, and two court
orders by the judge at IBM's behest, SCO have failed to find or disclose any
code found in Linux that was proprietry code of Unix. And they have a vested
interest in making their case.
If they can't do it, having the full code to Unix, as well as AIX and of course
Linux itself, then how can your claims have any merit?)


just thougth you should know.
--------------------------------

If he responds, I'll put it here.

rgds

Franki

[ Reply to This | # ]

Weird links on ADTI website
Authored by: futureweaver on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 05:00 AM EDT

The ADTI site now has a link to buy the book. If you click it, you get an HTTP Basic Authentication dialog, so it's protected by .htaccess or some such. Weird, assuming that they still want to sell this nonsense. But weirder yet is the link address itself : http://www.adti.net/samizdat/samizdat.links.html.

Dictionary.com defines samizdat as ...

1. a. The secret publication and distribution of government-banned literature in the former Soviet Union.
    b. The literature produced by this system.
2. An underground press.
... in other words, subversive literature. Draw your own conclusions as to what they think they're about - assuming, that is, this isn't a hack (if it is, it's astonishingly restrained. Interestingly, the URL of the headline is http://www.adti.net/kenarbeit/samiz.release.html, and right now it too pops up the authentication dialog.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Is Torvalds really the father of Linux? | CNET News.com
Authored by: david_koontz on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 05:19 AM EDT
Is Torvalds really the father of Linux? | CNET News.com

...

The Linux issue underlies Brown's concern that open-source software makes it easier for other countries to benefit from U.S. technological prowess. "How are you going to have an intellectual property economy if you can just rip off stuff?" he asked.

...

Who would think you could agree with anything he said? How are you going to have an intellectual property economy if you can just rip off stuff?

While Ken Brown appears to accept the conviction that Linux is indeed an illegal derivative of UNIX without anything being proven in court (or apparently surviving discovery phase in civil lawsuit), it appears to be acceptable for TSG to attempt to force open source software into the public domain where it can be appropriated without the pesky requirement to redistribute the source, by invalidating the GPL.

Apparently all it is supposed to take is intensive media exposure and Animal Farm quality propaganda, not to mention a bit of history revision by 'independant analysts'. When this fails, we should be encouraged that Linux opponents have to resort to saying something bad "'bout yo' mama".

[ Reply to This | # ]

Brown has admitted his opinions are based on ignorance
Authored by: futureweaver on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 05:30 AM EDT
in this Internet News article, where he says :
Brown, who characterized himself as pro-open source, noted that ADTI is not composed of open source experts or cryptographers, though it interviewed many experts to create its report.
...
"There isn't a software that cannot be cracked," he said. "Our position is that if a platform is proprietary it is vulnerable because not enough people can see it. We feel that a platform everyone can see may be even more vulnerable."
Well, this is a new approach to think-tankery : "We know squat about this subject, but here's what we think. It's based on interviews with experts who say we've misrepresented their views."

[ Reply to This | # ]

No word from RMS as yet?
Authored by: lordmhoram on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 05:33 AM EDT
I wonder if Richard Stallman will comment on this: according to Brown, he was
interviewed along with Tanenbaum etc.

If he does come forward, it should be interesting: as I understand it, his only
problem with Linux is that what is generally known as Linux consists of the
Linux kernel and a big collection of GNU software, and so according to RMS
should be known as GNU/Linux. However, as far as I know, he has no problem with
accepting Linus as the author of the Linux kernel.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 05:36 AM EDT
Hmm. I read "Tanenbaum Responds" as an apologia.

I suspect he said some inflammatory things to Brown, and
only now realizes how his words will be used and abused
and wants to avoid looking bad when quotes from the book
comes out.

BTW, you can ignore his defensive mumbling about
microkernel architectures. Only OSX is a real one (no,
Windows doesn't count) and it manages to make blindingly
fast hardware seem slow...

Oh, and he wants more credit from Linus.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 05:45 AM EDT
Apparently, Ken Brown, who thinks OpenSource is a threat to security, has no
idea about ADTI's own IT.<br>
<a
href="http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?site=www.adti.net">http:/
/uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?site=www.adti.net</a><br>
It says <b>FreeBSD</b>. So much for that.<br>
Greetings from Germany<br>
Bernd

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: blacklight on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 07:01 AM EDT
PJ, you are rendering a fine public service by making Andrew S. Tannnenbaum's
statement available to all of us: it is at a minimum a devastating counter to
Ken Brown's assertions and logic. I cannot help but suspect that Ken Brown may
have spoken to 20 experts without listening to anything thay said.

In retrospect, it is patently obvious that Ken Brown flew to Amsterdam not to
search for facts and go where they lead, but to strip mine his intervieweees for
any tidbit of information that would help him backup his pet theory that Linux
Torvalds was not the one who created Linux. And it is also patently obvious that
Ken Brown is not interested in the particulars of any tidbit of information such
as the context or the big picture especially if they don't support his pet
theory. In other words, Ken Brown Brown is practicing a method of research that
is known and despised around the world, as the grave robber's method of
archeological research.

Ken Brown's sudden burst of activity is prima facie (first glance) evidence that
SCOG has paid him for what he is doing. I look forward to taking a look at Ken
Brown's book - I am not going to buy it, just browse it at a bookstore: while I
suspect that the chances that he wrote an accurate history of UNIX are the same
as two monkeys getting out the complete works of Shakespeare by typing on a
keyboard, it doesn't hurt to confirm.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Brown and many Linux users....
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 07:01 AM EDT
.....do not clearly undersatns, or do not want to understand, the difference
between an OS and a kernel.

Writing a complete Unix OS as it stands today would be a great accomplishment in
only 6 months, but Linus only ever claims credit for the Kernel, and is happy to
accept GNU/Linux descriptions of a complete OS.

The 6 month old kernel contained precious little, there was just a minimalistic
set of device drivers, memory and process management and a scheduler. But the
whole reason Linux did take off so quickly was because the kernel was so
simple, cut down to the essentials. The GNU foundation never arrived at
completing thier OS because the kernel, the Hurd, was very complicated.

Most of the code from a complete GNU/Linux OS (ignoring GUI and up, which
purists would consider app space) comes from GNU, and nobody has any problem
with that, the GNU code was made to be used freely accross any system. Some
Linux OS distributions, such as Debian, underline this fact. But thier are
distros which make extensive use of GNU code who like to keep any mention of GNU
to a bare legal minimum.

Certinally this is not good manners, credit where credit is due, but there is
not mis-appropriated code.

BTW, it is also interesting to note that thier is a lot of non-GPL open source
software which can be used in commercial products with little or no mention.
Much of this is widely used in both open and closed systems. Obviously the
network subsystem is the riskiest bit of code when it comes to securetty issues.
Linus OS's have mostly used BSD code, and some bugs (securetty holes) that have
been found in this over the years have been present on other OS's that also use
this code. This includes both open source OS's and commercial OS's, and
windows.

Yep, MS use open source in thier systems, quite legitimately provided they give
the right credits. An example? Open explorer in W2K and look at the credits in
the Information panel. Internet explorer is based on the open source Mosaic
browser.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: blacklight on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 07:13 AM EDT
As for whether Ken Brown should apologize, I don't care either way: while I
routinely and graciously accept apologies from honorable people, any words that
come from the lips of the Ken Brown of the world mean nothing to me because
these words are devoid of the integrity that would give them substance and
meaning.

[ Reply to This | # ]

New ADTI research proves that Excel is a Lotus 1-2-3 rip-off!
Authored by: _Arthur on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 07:23 AM EDT
As much as Linux is a Unix rip-off.

[ Reply to This | # ]

...has anyone else ever written an operating system who never...
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 07:28 AM EDT
"I want all of your readers to ask themselves, in the history of computing,
has anyone else ever written an operating system who never was a licensee,
didn't have operating system experience, and didn't have the source code?"

Somebody must have!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 07:31 AM EDT
Boy, can you imagine if Isacc Newton had patented F=Ma,
the world of hurt us Engineers would be in. I can imagine
the Newton heirs suing the Einstein heirs right now.

Pretty soon college students will have to sign
non-disclosure agreements before buying their overly
expensive textbooks and before reading notes from the
professors in class.

Its pretty hard being a practicing engineer, programmer or
scientist without using the knowledge of someone that came
before you.

So a gifted student takes an OS design class, then is
bad-mouth about being a criminal when he write his own OS
from scratch. So what is the point of taking such classes
in the first place?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Micro v. Monolithic
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 07:32 AM EDT
The main difference here is that of privileged execution. Normally, processors
have privileged and non-privileged mode (and possibly some other modes in
between, sometimes called "rings"). In privileged mode any instruction
is allowed. In non-privileged mode certain instructions don't work (e.g. you
cannot access absolute memory addresses). Applied to the kernels, a micro kernel
is a small piece of software that runs in privileged mode (usually a few kB). A
monolithic kernel runs a lot of functionality in the privileged mode (usually
hundreds of kB or even a few MB).

It follows that a microkernel architecture can never approach the performance of
the monolithic kernel simply because the drivers and other function providers
(i.e. applications/servers the run the hardware, handle file systems etc.) have
to constantly switch into privileged processor mode to do something that isn't
possible in non-privileged mode. Monolithic kernels have no such obstacles.
That's one of the reasons Linux beats OSX on Mac hardware (apart from being a
better kernel, of course ;-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS should ask for their money back from ADTI
Authored by: sela on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 07:44 AM EDT

I'm not sure they're really getting the best their money
can buy, investing in Mr. Brown et al.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"tried and failed for 30 years to build UNIX-like systems"
Authored by: jfw25 on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 07:53 AM EDT
This is provably false. And AT&T supplied the proof.

In the 1980s, I worked at a company named Charles River Data Systems,
which manufactured 68020-based computers with an operating system
named UNOS. UNOS was the first non-AT&T operating system to pass the
System V Verification Suite, in order to be certified by AT&T as UNIX
compatible. UNOS originated as an experiment by someone who wanted to
play around with "eventcounts", a code synchronization mechanism
invented
by people at MIT. (Windows NT uses eventcounts also, it turns out.) UNOS
shared a lot of overall similarities to UNIX, as the implementors were all
familiar with UNIX, but it definitely wasn't (originally) UNIX; the SVVS effort

required substantial additions and changes to UNOS.

Within a few months of UNOS passing the SVVS, another realtime operating
system (named LynxOS, if I recall) also passed the SVVS. So there are at least

two commercial counterexamples to this piece of nonsense.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Writing a kernel - every semester at Carnegie Mellon
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 07:57 AM EDT
One of the Computer Science courses at Carnegie Mellon is 15-412: Operating Systems. In this course, you write a shell, a kernel, and a file system. The work is done in pairs. You don't write for real hardware, but rather an emulator - the idea is that real hardware is poorly documented, buggy, and frequently has strange issues that require a lot of work to solve. The purpose of the course is to understand the concepts.

An overview of the kernel project

Writing a kernel isn't very hard. Writing a _good_ kernel that is fast, reliable, scalable, etc. etc. is. The first linux kernel sucked. It's taken a _long_ time for it to stop sucking.

Anybody who questions how one person could do an operating system on their own must first look at what the OS actually was. The userland stuff - utility functions, shells, etc. were all from the GNU project. Linus didn't have to do them.

Ignoring the bad faith on the part of the book author, it's important to understand that one person did _not_ do what we know now as Linux. One person did the kernel, in its first version. A kernel alone is useless.

I think the distinction between what Linus did entirely alone, and what Linux now is, is a very critical one. The claim, "one person alone couldn't write that", sounds plausible if you don't know what "that" is referring to.

On a side note, at one point a company hired away all of the MIT AI Lab's LISP development people except for Richard Stallman. They kept adding features to their version of LISP. RMS, personally, also kept adding features. Feature for feature, for two years, he personally matched their _team_. One person can do a lot, if they're good.

A bit of background.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 08:00 AM EDT
From Andrew S. Tanenbaum FAQ
http://www.cs.vu.nl/~ast/home/faq.html

What do you think of Linux?

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Linus for producing it. Before
there was Linux there was MINIX, which had a 40,000-person newsgroup, most of
whom were sending me email every day. I was going crazy with the endless stream
of new features people were sending me. I kept refusing them all because I
wanted to keep MINIX small enough for my students to understand in one semester.
My consistent refusal to add all these new features is what inspired Linus to
write Linux. Both of us are now happy with the results. The only person who is
perhaps not so happy is Bill Gates. I think this is a good thing.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Many strange connections to SCO case
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 08:02 AM EDT
"the site was hacked" (that sounds so like SCO right
there)

"linux is too good and had to have help from proprietary
code" (this is another classic SCO argument)

The only connection I see is that ADTi and SCO both
receive money, directly, from Microsoft; ADTi in funding,
and SCO in licenses, as well as indirectly through baystar
referrals, etc.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Brown and Libel?
Authored by: paul_cooke on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 08:11 AM EDT
has he stepped over the thin line and actually libelled
Linus???

I hope Linus is taking good legal advice as to exactly
what his options are for this latest smear from Mr. Brown.

---
Use Linux - Computer power for the people: Down with cybercrud...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 08:21 AM EDT
"'I want all of your readers to ask themselves, in the history of
computing, has anyone else ever written an operating system who never was a
licensee, didn't have operating system experience, and didn't have the source
code? How did he develop so much code in just six months? Everyone else has
taken years to develop operating systems.... Linus perpetuated the lie [that he
is the inventor of the Linux kernel], and I have a problem with this smarmy
attitude.'"

CTSS, IBSYS, OS360 & friends (IBM)
Exec8 (Univac)
GECOS (GE)
RT11/RSX11/VMS11/LINC8/TOPS (DEC)
?? (CDC, Seymor Cray)
Multics (academic then Honeywell)
CP/M (Digital Research, Gary Kildall)

Virtually every O/S in existence today started out as the
effort of a very small team. Above is a list I can
enumerate in 5 minute at 7 O-Clock in the morning before
my first cup of coffee.

The question is: Will this book sell any copies?

Another being: Why would a publisher expose themselves to
liability (obviously not having read the book, or any details other than what I
see here, would they be exposing themselves to a slander action)?

-W

[ Reply to This | # ]

PJ, you should do interviews
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 08:23 AM EDT
or ask for statements from Stallman, Ritchie, Thompson, et. al. on weter or not
Linus wrote Linux.

These people are not unapproachable gods.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Frankly, I hope he gets a great deal of coverage
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 08:28 AM EDT
Every sentence that comes out of this guy's mouth makes him look more and more
ignorant.

Look at how clear this all looks to those of us who work through the facts on
Groklaw.

This seems to be a clear enough case of paid loudmouthing that I think even the
general public will catch on. I hope the book gets a great deal of coverage,
then becomes a grossly obvious symbol of Microsoft's astro-turfing.

I think it may have actually been useful that AST's ego, which probably caused
him to badmouth Linux, led Brown on to thinking he had some juicy tidbits from a
sour programmer whose work had been stolen. The problem is, when push comes to
shove, AST may have overly-grand opinions of Minix, but he won't stand for
outright lying. It is most gratifying to see him call Brown to the mat for his
BS.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 08:31 AM EDT
Oddly enough the article that caused this uproar is now password protected as of
5:30 PST.

Could one surmize they are rethinking this?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Canopy's finger prints detected #2
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 08:42 AM EDT
When this story first came up, I guess Canopy were behind the book (my original post is repeated below).

I believe this http://www.cs.vu.nl/~ast/brown/ pretty much confirms it.

At this point I was still thinking he might be a spy from SCO, but if he was, SCO was not getting its money's worth.
Even the over generous Mr AT suspected something was up.

A spy? I think a better analogy is the Wendy Goldman Rohm book in the Caldera v Microsoft case (see below)

AST: Is SCO one of them? Is this about the SCO lawsuit?
KB: We have multiple funding sources
AST: Is Microsoft one of them?
KB: We have multiple funding sources
Okay, he hasn't denied it. We would take that either way, so it ain't definitive.
Brown flew over to Amsterdam to interview me on 23 March 2004. Apparently I was the only reason for his coming to Europe

He was extremely evasive about why he was there and who was funding him. He just kept saying he was just writing a book about the history of UNIX. I asked him what he thought of Peter Salus' book, A Quarter Century of UNIX. He'd never heard of it!
Authors (except super rich folks like Stephen King) do not usually make expensive flights to do 1 interview, especially without doing any research before hand.
Now Ken Brown shows up and begins asking questions. I quickly determined that he didn't know a thing about the history of UNIX, had never heard of the Salus book, and knew nothing about BSD and the AT&T lawsuit. I started to tell him the history, but he stopped me and said he was more interested in the legal aspects.
He's interested in the "legal aspects" but doesn't know about the history, or even the basic legal history?
He was confused about patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
Doesn't that sound like Darl's like reasoning, and SCO's in general?
Finally, Brown began to focus sharply. He kept asking, in different forms, how one person could write an operating system all by himself. He simply didn't believe that was possible.
Again this is a SCO argument.

SCO's arguments boil down to (all have been used in court filings):

(1) There must be an infringement because Linux has similar concepts to UNIX.
(2) There must be an infringement because Linux advanced "too fast".
(3) There must be an infringement because SCO feels that there are insufficient screen mechanism in open source for copyright, trade secrets and patents.


Repeat of previous post follows...


CANOPY'S FINGERPRINTS

During the 1998 Caldera v Microsoft trial, there was another book:

"Microsoft File: The Secret Case Against Bill Gates." by Wendy Goldman
Rohm

ISBN 0-8129-2716-8

This book came out during the trial and was extremely damaging (in a PR way) to
Microsoft.

People that Rohm is known to have extensively talked to (she has quotes from
private meetings at Novell and WordPerfect for example), are, or very close to:

1. Duff Thompson (then Chief counsel Word Perfect, then at Novell -- today on
SCO board!)

2. Dan Campbell (then CFO Word Perfect, then at Novell -- today on SCO board!)

3. Ray Noorda (then former CEO of Novell -- today owner of Canopy)

4. David Boies (then a DOJ lawyer -- today a SCO lawyer!)


Regarding numbers 1, 2, and 3. In Rohm's book we even get to discovery which
flights Thompson and Campbell took. What they said to each other at certain
meetings. We get to read Noorda's gibberish poems. How this is relevant to the
theme of Rohm's book, I do not know. But it certainly reads like people 1, 2
and 3 were major sources, and perhaps a big egogistical.


Next go back and read the news archive for 1998.

Microsoft were very upset when Rohm's book came out. There is even speculation
that her book was part of the reason they settled.

Why were Microsoft upset? Because all sorts of confidential information (e.g.
depositions etc.) that they had given Caldera in discovery, ... just happened to
be in Rohm's book.

Microsoft wanted to find out who Rohm's sources were. Rohm refused to tell them
her sources, but she did half-heartedly deny Caldera was the source (even if you
believe her, of course that leaves open Canopy for example).


This new book, follows the same pattern. The press release is even similar!

(Maybe CNET could track over some changes in Word and find some hidden info in
there?)


The other two big clues that the book was SCO inspired:

- "intellectual prooperty rights" in the press release. Not
copyright, not patents, not trade secrets, but the same vague Darlism

- "unix operating system". The only companies that believes that unix
is an operating system and not a standard, or family of operating systemS, are
Canopy and SCO. Even Sun and Microsoft don't agree with Canopy/SCO on this.

- the concept that "unix operating system" is a single piece of
software that can be owned outright by one entity is in the press release. it
isn't explicitly stated by it's implied. Again even Sun and MS do not agree --
they know that some versions contain their code, for example, and even have
received considerable royalties on the basis of that code.

- (weaker) there are a couple of sentences in there that look to me like they
were written by Darl and Kevin. Read carefully you can see what I mean.



MICROSOFT INVOLVEMENT?

It is not impossible that MS may have tipped off SCO/Caldera to talk to these
ADTI people, or helped them make a connection, or even fund the report

But the source material, at least in the press release, matches SCO/Caldera's
take on things -- not Microsoft's

And it matches Canopy/Caldera's past history, surprisingly closely, even right
down to the people involved.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Another conspiracy theory?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 08:45 AM EDT
As I was reading one of the interviews with Mr Brown, it suddenly hit home that
Linus has to deal with all this crap.

Could it be that someone, having identified Linus as sort of a single point of
failure in Linux development -- whether or not that is really the case --, is
deliberately trying to overload him with rubbish?!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 08:54 AM EDT
This is pretty damning. Is it plausible that AdTI could threaten Tanenbaum or
his university and get this taken down? I dunno how the Netherlands higher
education folks respond to legal nastygrams.

If there's any risk, it might be good to mirror this in a couple of other
countries (.ru?) (with Tanenbaum's permission of course).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Like an Old Western Movie
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 08:58 AM EDT
As in an old western, our hero stands accused of some nefarious actions.

And this is the point in the movie where the orneriest, most prideful rancher in
the bunch stands up and says, "I never liked the man... but he has never
lied to me."

Well done Andy!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Quick thoughts on Ken Brown
Authored by: aaron_tx on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 09:00 AM EDT
ADTI's Ken Brown continues to put his foot in his mouth, and show his utter
ignorance of UNIX history. Linus obviously WAS a licensee - of MINIX, and AT
confims this. I also cannot believe that after talking with Ritchie and
Thompson - who pretty much alone created UNIX AND the C language in roughly 5
years - he has the audacity to say that Linus could not have created the first
LINUX kernel in six months. From his tone in linuxinsider he appears to either
be childishly jealous of Linus, or he has been given a huge wad from M$ and the
only thing he can come up with (because he is ignorant) is a personal attack on
Linus. I work with another idiot named Ken Brown, and while I don't want to
paint everyone with that same name as an idiot, the other Ken Brown's of the
world need to step up (humor)...

out...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 09:04 AM EDT
*laughs*

And here I thought no one could be more ignorant then Darl...

[ Reply to This | # ]

The plot thickens
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 09:08 AM EDT
This post collaborates with Andy's account.

I quote:

Greetings,

I'm conducting some research on behalf of the Alexis de Tocqueville
Institution in Washington, DC. I'd like if someone could shed some
light on the following questions:

1. Describe the components of an operating system, besides the central
component, the kernel.
2. What do programmers usually develop first, the compiler or the
kernel?
3. Does this sequence impact the OS at all?
4. What's more complicated, the kernel or the compiler?
5. Why does operating system development take as long as it does? What
are the three key things in operating system development that take the
longest to perfect?
6. Do you need operating systems familiarity to write a kernel? Yes /
no? Elaborate please.
7. In your opinion, why aren't there more operating systems on the
market?

Thanks for your time. Best,
Justin Orndorff

[ Reply to This | # ]

An approach to book review
Authored by: cheros on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 09:09 AM EDT
Hmm, AFAIK it's perfectly legal to give away a book, so here's an approach to
address the reservations about the book when it comes out without giving it the
sales it wants.

In order for it to sell it'll have to be on the major sites, who all carry
review facilities. I am quite willing to stump up some of my hard earned cash
to buy one (1) copy of the book and then give it to someone with more time for
review. Said person should do an honest, factual review of the book. Given the
quality of research it shouldn't be hard to pan it, but we have to be honest.

After that review, the book should be given to the next reviewer. Same process.
If we do this with a maximum of, say, 5 or 10 copies (must be coordinated to
prevent duplication) it would be quite a good investment to spread factual
reviews around the planet without breaking any laws, without being dishonest,
using community power to start to correct some of the nonsense out there.

With enough factual reviews this book will not get any further sales, at least
not enough to even justify the print run - I'd consider that a worthy return of
investment on my purchase. If the book still makes it to a best seller list you
and I know exactly who's been stumping up for the sales - but it won't be on
bookshelves that matter. I personally don't mind large amounts of them
collecting dust in, for instance, MS HQ, other than that they might become the
next "gift" to education.

I'm getting so sick and tired of this abuse of end user innocence that I'll
probably go and start a number of other things. I'll need a bit of time, but
watch this space. I'm thoroughly fed up. It's not even funny anymore.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Linus thought they were hacked, too
Authored by: artp on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 09:11 AM EDT
From Groklaw's last article on ADTI:
"Btw, I do believe that somebody took over adti.net.

"I don't think the Alexis de Tocqueville institute ever had humor (they
certainly used to take themselves very seriously), but their site today is
filled with jokes."

I followed the links through to the LinuxWorld article, then to ADTI through the
link that LinuxWorld supplied. I think that it was the picture of The Penguin
(from Batman) that tipped me off. I assume that the stories were changed also to
represent some left-leaning politics. Also, many of the headlines led to a 404
message that included a road-sign yellow stick figure leaning on a shovel.

It was slightly amusing, but not terribly obvious. I wonder if ADTI has figured
it out yet?

[ Reply to This | # ]

zdnet article
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 09:27 AM EDT
On the adti site, there are references to articles writing
about re report.
ZDNet has also a nice article her e

[ Reply to This | # ]

Poor Microsoft
Authored by: dmscvc123 on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 09:28 AM EDT
Whenever they try their shennanegans it backfires. First it was the faked video
in the antitrust, then it was all the stupid counterproductive things coming out
of SCO and now it's this.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Revisionists have Arrived.
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 09:54 AM EDT
Have you ever seen or read a commentary by some pseudo-historian/scientist that
sheds "new light" on a historical fact? Usually there is some tenuous
sounding "evidence" that is used to make what has been written seem
like a myth that could have never happened - but now we know what
<i>really</i> happened, thanks to a group of researchers funded by a
special interest somewhere.

It seems some people don't want to believe in reality as it was reported by
those who were there. These people take advantage of the fact that you can't
empirically know the past. They revise history in their own image.

Mr. Brown seems to be one of these people, only <i>he</i> has the
nerve to revise a history that he has no connection to whatever, while those
those who lived it are still with us.

Imagine if Mr. Brown were a judge at the Olympics. He would have to ignore all
of the extraordinary feats, being well acquainted with human capacities and not
easily fooled by those who perform outside of the parameters he has
established.

The winds of evidence are against Mr. Brown's assertions. It may, at first, seem
reasonable that large companies are the only viable producers of complex
computer operating systems. But when we see, by real-life example, that this is
certainly not the case, it is time to change our mistaken beliefs rather than to
heap accusations upon those who have excelled to prove us wrong.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The 6 man month OS - Linus was slow...
Authored by: tz on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 10:02 AM EDT
In the embedded systems world there are severam micro-OSes customized to
hardware (where they didn't want to license an RTOS). In an earlier thread I
mentioned the big 7 syscalls, and working from that, it isn't hard for me to
imagine anyone with the intelligence of Linus implementing an OS in 6 months.

I can remember several sophisticated systems I've done in one or two
"all-nighters". And many of those I didn't have a clear idea of what
algorithms or interfaces I was going to use at the outset.

It is not that difficult, but it does take the time to implement and debug
everything. I even remember a comment on a bug where in an allocation routine a
printk stole a page that was being allocated. No, Linus wrote it. Warts and
all, but now he has thousands of eyeballs that have found and removed the warts.
But the entire record is there.

This guy is an idiot. You can grab the 0.99 and prior versions and compare
them. There was no code stolen.

Unless Linus is a very incompetent thief and is unable to correctly copy lines
of code :). And reimplements them in wrong ways (long since corrected).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Wikipedia article on ADTI
Authored by: David Gerard on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 10:07 AM EDT
I've started a Wikipedia article on the ADTI - here. Further expansion is most welcomed. You don't need a login to edit on Wikipedia, but getting one is considered polite and means your edits will be taken more seriously (sort of like Groklaw).

(The hardest part is being scrupulously fair and neutral in point of view. The measure of Neutral Point of View is if the ADTI themselves couldn't find anything to reasonably object to in it. But mostly what it needs now is more actual facts, details and information.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum's "Not a Fan" Thread
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 10:13 AM EDT
For those of you who haven't bothered, follow the "not a fan" link to some really interesting message threads, circa 1992. It's fascinating to see what the state of the art was then, and what the future was supposed to be:

but 5 years from now everyone will be running free GNU on their 200 MIPS, 64M SPARCstation-5.

It's a great piece of computing history that shouldn't be missed.

[ Reply to This | # ]

intended for BayStar consumption
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 10:17 AM EDT
Lot's of people, including me, suspect SCO or Canopy involvement in this.

The obvious thoughts are they want this for their PR war, or to use in court. I
think both are wrong

- It's useless for the PR war. There are much more pro-SCO, and bearing on SCO's
claims, articles from a few months ago that SCO can recycle.

- It's useless for court. There is no reason why a court would prefer ADTI's
hearsay opinion, over the direct testimony of those involved. In any case, even
if Linux did infringe Minux in some way (not that I think it does), it's very
doubtful that has any bearing whatsoever on SCO v IBM case.

So ask yourself who else does SCO need to convince that they have a case?

Answer: BayStar, who have shown more that a few signs of doubts and wavering
recently.

Now Darl can head on over to Goldfarb, and say "here is this independent
expert's report that proves Linux infringes"




[ Reply to This | # ]

"Inventing", "Writing", and FUD
Authored by: crs17 on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 10:33 AM EDT
I think this is a classic case of using language selectively as total FUD. I
like the statement from Ken Brown's original that PJ quoted: " 'It is clear
that people's exceptional interest in the Unix operating system made Unix one of
the most licensed, imitated, and stolen products in the history of computer
science.' ".

Note the three way "and" clause. Unix had been "licensed,
imitated, and stolen" over the years and, in the case of linux, it was
definitely imitated - linux imitated unix's interface. Nothing secret or
illegal or unethical about that. Linus freely admits that he was reimplementing
unix (and using minix tools at the time).

I doubt Linus claims to be the "inventor" of linux, rather simply the
original author or "father" and continuing head of the linux project.
Almost all of Brown's argument hinges on the use of the term
"inventor"

As a father I don't "invent" my child - I contribute biological matter
to the child's mother who houses the growth of the fetus. The resulting child
in many ways is exactly the same as all of the trillions of children that have
come before her, not a new invention. Then as parents, along with the rest of
the world, we nourish and educate and shape the child as she grows to
adulthood.

But Brown thinks that patents and inventions are all that matters so he sets up
a strawman calling Linus the "inventor" of linux and then shoots it
down.

Echoes of how Gore was wrongly attributed of having called himself the
"inventor" of the internet and then tarred and feathered for something
he never said.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Did Brown expect Tanenbaum to badmouth Linus
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 10:45 AM EDT
Perhaps Brown went all the way to Amsterdam to meet Tannenbaum
expecting him to badmouth Linus and Linux and being fully aware of
their previous public disagreement.

Must be a shocker for Brown and AdTi to get a sound rebuttal from
Mr. Tannenbaum.

As some one on Slashdot said, they have so far tried attacking Linux
(1) on technical grounds and failed (2) Commercial viability and failed
(3) GPL/Legal issues (SCO) and that doesn't look too good.

So what's left ? Like the original Slashdot poster noted, attacking Linus
personally ? With the sheperd gone, the sheep wil scatter ...




[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 11:08 AM EDT
This issue has been debated in OS circles for 20 years. Even at NeXT, the
original plan was to fully support and promote the idea of a microkernal rather
than monolithic. But by the time of the Apple acquisition and Mach 3.0, it
became pretty clear that the monolithic style had it's advantages too, so Apple
ended up developing a "hybrid", which is still in use today as OS X.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Multiple sources of funding"
Authored by: ray08 on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 11:13 AM EDT
I guess that means M$ and SCO.

[ Reply to This | # ]

FUD is aimed at Congress
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 11:15 AM EDT
I've said before that Darl's ridiculous statements, including
his "open letter" of last year, is an advertising campaign aimed
at Congress. I think Brown's article is part of this campaign.
Most advertisers think their customers are fools.

This is beginning to bear fruit, because an unelected European
Union council of ministers has approved software patents, so
the elected European Parliament will have to override this. The
intent is for Congress to follow the same course as the EU
ministers.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Brown and software development
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 11:35 AM EDT
If Brown is not a programmer perhaps he does not understand the process.
Perhaps he thinks coding is like laying bricks, and if you have more bricklayers
you can build a biger wall sooner, so if you have more coders you can build a
better program sooner.

Especially in the early stages of a project, coding is much more like fine art,
it is a creative process. Rather than working a shift (like a bricklayer) the
initial creator of a new piece of software works on it almost 24 hours a day.
The software idea is a very complex mental costruct that is carried in the mind
all day, continually being improved. It is a mental process that occurs
regardless of being at the keyboard or not. At the keyboard (or notepad) one
just enters the latest ideas.

A skilled dedicated individual, working in this way for 6 months or so, can
achieve an extrodinary amount. Look at the amount of software that was
originally written by one person. It is a lot.

Once the software is functional (perhaps at the alpha or beta stage), if it is
usefull and interesting others may get involved. A group or corporation may
take on continued evolution of the software for their amusement or profit. This
does not take away the original authorship.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"last man on earth"
Authored by: tangomike on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 11:54 AM EDT
"He seems to me, judging from these quotations, to be the last man on earth
who would know." - PJ

Okay, I nominate:

Darl McBride

and/or

Rob Enderle

I'd include Laura D., but you did say man.

Can we take a vote?





---
To The SCO Group - please come back when you pass a Turing test.

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM begins to file for Summary Judgement
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 11:54 AM EDT
The text isn't available quite yet, but it seems that IBM is going on the
offensive. Six new filings have been made and will be up on HREF="http://sco.tuxrocks.com/"> Tuxrocks real soon now.

[ Reply to This | # ]

on LinuxInsider
Authored by: macrorodent on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 11:56 AM EDT
PJ: Mr. Brown is quoted in LinuxInsider, naturally, at length. They are always first in line, it seems, with negative material about Linux,[...]

Let's see it they also report Professor Tanenbaum's rebuttal. They really ought to, after giving Mr. Brown so much space. If they don't, it is the final proof that "LinuxInsider" is a cynically-named anti-Linux site.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Final proof? - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 05:23 PM EDT
What are you doing, PJ????
Authored by: josmith42 on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 11:57 AM EDT

Because of your site, no one is going to be able to lie about anything ever again! What ever happened to the good old days when if someone in power didn't like someone else in power, they could just lie about them or pay someone to lie about them until their reputation was ruined? Because of people like you, that world is coming to an end! How dare you think that truth is more important than money!

---
Forty-two: the answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything.

[ Reply to This | # ]

More info
Authored by: apessos on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 11:57 AM EDT
I would like to hear from other people interviewed by Mr. Brown. Get their
reactions and thoughts. I am curious to how others perceived him. Anyway, it's
also good to get more sources.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Looks like...
Authored by: tangomike on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 12:16 PM EDT
Brown and McBride are sharing a brain cell. This could explain why Darl has been
quiet:- Ken has had it, but didn't use it much.



---
To The SCO Group - please come back when you pass a Turing test.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I actually registered to say this....
Authored by: cozzi on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 12:20 PM EDT
I don't know how others feel about this. But these mis representations of facts
and "dirty tricks" really upset me.

I'm just a small time sys admin with my own little server farm. Maybe I'm too
small time or just plain provincial to understand the long term gain gotten by
these kinds of fud/business tactics.

If Microsoft, SCO, or any other company engages in this kind of activity,
they'll not get another penny of my money- ever.

And amazingly, I get a lot of people who look sideways at me when I say this. I
find that puzzling.

The situation saddens me.

Though I've made a decision- because I have clients. And they listen to me.

There's now one national charity that will go 100% Linux on the desktop. I'll
see to it. I was going to forgo the linux on the desktop model for now, and keep
the status quo.

It's now my professional opinion, and I will advise my client as such, that the
bigger liability for them in computing choices is Microsoft's business practices
combined with FUD from sources that Microsoft funds. And that furthermore as
this scandal (yes I said scandal) continues to erupt, simply using Microsoft's
products may become a PR liability.

Thank you PJ for the good read.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 12:27 PM EDT
After reading the ADTI premise I have a tough time getting my head around it. It
creates a world view that is way out of step with reality.

His contention seems to be that you are not allowed to learn anything. If you do
learn tricks and techniques to program then that is derivative of the original
work and by being derivative it is infringing on copyrights and/or patents (they
seem to use the terms interchangably).

What an odd thing to say. Now apply that concept to ANY other from of human
evolution: music (wait a minute, is that based on the concept of a scale?),
engineering (I'm sorry mister chrysler I own the patent on steering), and
frankly anything else.

ADTI's vision of the future seems to be one where are technological evolution
happens in small, jealously guarded bubbles where no one at no time is allowed
to understand, or use, knowledge provided by the other companies.

Fundamentally it is a scary vision that doesn't show even the most basic
understanding of how technology has evolved. Fortunately like most crackpots
he's just pissing in the wind. This story didn't get much play outside of the
tech field and most of us in the tech field disassemble a story like this in
about 4 seconds, less if we read Groklaw.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Vaino Vaher on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 12:27 PM EDT
There is a special noun for people loke Ken Brown; mercenaries.
In a different area the same phenomenon is called 'prostitution'.
Hope he got paid well. Otherwise it is not worth it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: a1pha on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 12:30 PM EDT
I consider this whole debacle a possible blessing-in-disguise......

The truth is, the whole FSF/OSS/whatever comunity, although united behind some
common goals - is fragmented along some lines of ideas and rhetoric.

Im not saying this is a bad thing, I think its a fair indication of the level of
committment, drive and sher humanity of the people involved.

This report will hopefull make a lot of disparate groups realise that
"united we stand, divided we fall".

The bit that narked me the most was the bit about Open Source enabling other
nations to steal US superiority - which unfortunately seems to play lie to the
"fact" (which I don't personaly believe) that USian's consider
themselves above everyone else.

F/OSS is a true global phenomenon - and what we are seeing is the moneylenders
from the cathedral trying to take over the bazaar.


---
--
Trech Gwlad, nac Arglwydd

[ Reply to This | # ]

My Favorite Quote
Authored by: A F(r)iend on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 01:12 PM EDT
"My primary concern here is trying to get the truth out and not blame
everything on some teenage girl from the back hills of West Virginia."

Nice jab at the Bush administration. I think a lot of the corporate insanity
discussed on Groklaw and other sites wouldn't be possible without the current
political climate.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"It is not even wrong."
Authored by: QTlurker on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 01:35 PM EDT

Brown's stuff is not wrong, it is insidious. First there is the "inventor" tag which appears to have been meant to defame Linus the way it did Gore.

Next there is this line:

"Why are the most brilliant business minds in the history of PC technology, with hundreds of millions of dollars in capital, licensing Unix source code, ... ?" the study asks.

Most *nix users do not license proprietary Unix(R) source code. AT&T Unix source code used to cost big bucks to license. Users typically license binary. Even Linux and *BSD users frequently skip the free source code and go for binary distributions.

Third:

'It is clear that people's exceptional interest in the Unix operating system made Unix one of the most licensed, imitated, and stolen products in the history of computer science.'

AT&T Unix source code was not widely available for programmers to borrow and adapt. OTOH, *Bsd, Linux, and GNU source was widely available. Ooops ... am I jumping to conclusions -- maybe Brown really meant BSD Unix and/or Linux. Even AT&T's SVR4 and SCO's Unixware borrowed heavily from BSD Unix.

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO VS IBM 152 ready for transcribing
Authored by: bsm2003 on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 01:47 PM EDT
1png 1txt 2png 2txt 3png 3txt 4png 4txt

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: Waiting for the sequel and truth about emacs!
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 02:04 PM EDT
The next book is where we will no doubt learn that Richard
Stallman "stole" emacs from vi!

Gosh, I love that quote "not the sharpest knife in the
drawer". They also seem to have quite a few dull blades
working at SCO.



[ Reply to This | # ]

OMU: one man's unix
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 02:29 PM EDT
an early implementation of unix by one guy, in a few months.

http://rootprompt.org/article.php3?article=335


he does say he used V7 utilities (since GNU wasn't around then), so you could
make some excuses about him having unix source access, but it'd be pretty silly
(wrt the kernel) considering the hardware he was developing on.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Quoted wihout permission: Another conversation with Ken Brown, ADTI President
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 02:36 PM EDT

You can read of other exchanges with Ken Brown at Newsforge. A comment on Ken Brown's last study contains this email exchange. Ken Brown responded himself (as the user adtipres) to another Newsforge article on his last study critical of open source.

I was suspicious of him, and rightly so. While he does take care to project an image of reasonableness, he also appears to begin with his conclusion and then attempts to select the appropriate facts, and quotes, to support it. I was quoted in one of his 'studies' in direct violation of the terms under which I communicated with him.

Karl O. Pinc

[ Reply to This | # ]

Rebuttal of Ken Bowns 'study'.
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 02:47 PM EDT
Can be found at:-
www.juliao.org/pub/adti-comments.pdf

URL from 'capgadget' on the Yahoo SCOX board.

[ Reply to This | # ]

This is just silly.
Authored by: Jaywalk on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 03:47 PM EDT
in the history of computing, has anyone else ever written an operating system who never was a licensee, didn't have operating system experience, and didn't have the source code?
Umm, well, yes. Of course.

Where else would the first operating systems have come from? Of course, by Linus' time there were already books and courses on the subject and a lot of folk had already done it, so it would have been a lot easier. Not to mention that the hardware was much improved. This argument is just absurd on it's face.

---
===== Murphy's Law is recursive. =====

[ Reply to This | # ]

Another dimension to this whole thing
Authored by: capitalist_pig on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 04:16 PM EDT
Another big dimension that I see, not only in this study but in the whole
anti-open-source crusade that it seems to be part of, is preserving the illusion
of software as some kind of black magic that can only be done by experts with
millions of dollars.

All decent programmers know that software is *not* black magic and that anyone
who is good with language and reasoning can learn to program and can produce
most software as good as the pros. This is especially true of "done
things;" software that implements concepts and algorithms that have been
out in the open for a long time. Operating systems, editors, word processors,
web browsers, etc. are a good example of this.

So this is the other half of what the proprietary community is terrified about:
debunking the myth of software as black magic.

If someone really *can* write a basic operating system by themselves in their
spare time, then that pretty much destroys the justification for high priced
software outside of extreme cutting edge areas that still are "black
magic" like bioinformatics, AI, high-end 3D programming, etc.

Not only are companies that depend on the software-as-black-magic illusion like
Microsoft terrified of this, but so are a lot of career coders, consultants,
vendors, etc. who depend on this illusion for the valuation of their own
professions and businesses.

If you read between the lines throughout this "study," the subtext is
"ssshhhh!!!! what are you doing?!?!?! don't tell anyone this is
easy!!!!"

Well, sorry folks. Tough.

Anyone can write basic application software, and there is nothing special about
operating systems anymore.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • MS compilers - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 04:50 PM EDT
    • MS compilers - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 05:13 PM EDT
  • Not "Black Magic" - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 06:06 PM EDT
"That explains his mysterious trips to Amsterdam!", Bart Simpson
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 04:26 PM EDT
Most of you probably know the Simpsons episode where Mr. Burns adopts Bart and
Homer's bad habit of eating flowers is introduced... :-)

So, why do Americans always end up in Amsterdam when they are hitchhiking
Europe? Amsterdam is *always* on the travel route for visitors from America. You
and me, we know the reason ;-)

I guess this very same reason must have had some braindamaging effect on Brown.
He certainly must have done some shopping and consuming in Amsterdam before he
met Tanenbaum to "interview" him...

keep smiling,

Tobias

[ Reply to This | # ]

Of the Apple II, Tannenbaum, & Torvalds
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 04:35 PM EDT
Paul Laughton wrote Apple DOS based on the standards set forth by Randy Wigginton (in RWTS) for the Apple Disk Controller hardware that Steve Wozniak designed. All of this happened in the six month window that Ken Brown insists needed just for implemeting the OS. (Paul was an independent contractor working on his own). I won't take this example too far, Apple DOS wasn't a complete operating system as most computer people would define it today, but it's still ample evidence that even with hardware and software standards in flux a lot can be done in a six month window.

If you actually strip down what a "modern" operating system does to its core of being the abstraction between hardware and software, it's conceptually a straight- forward thing to implemet. In fact it's often easier than some other programming jobs because the hardware is rigid about it's interface. If you follow a spec that demands a particular software interface then you really have a spec that gives you a clear and unwavering development goal to implement. This is what Linus started with, and based on history he came up with a good implementation of the specs with a few odd choices in his design and optimizations. That's completely feasible in a six month window. Collaboration (either in co-workers or trying to mix different specs) usually slows down the process of operating system development rather than speeding it up.

With all that said, this article did make a huge difference for me. I enormously respect Andy Tannenbaum in his scholarly pursuits. Linus Torvalds seems like the Tiger Woods of software to me where people argue whether it's equal parts luck, skill, and charsima that create his success. There have been rumors and rumblings for a long time that a deep personal rift exists between these two and has put me ill at ease. To see Andrew Tannenbaum's professional response to this character assassination piece of Ken Brown's has relegated the nastiest of those rumors about personal vendettas and nasty jealousies to the trash. In fact, I find this letter from the Minix author to be quite inspiring and illuminating about how he perceives Linux.

Interestingly, it's remarkably reassuring that even the rivalries in the open development communities are less vengeful than the closed source rivalries (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: tanstaafl on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 04:49 PM EDT
Holy HANNAH, is this guy for real? That kind of talk can result in libel
lawsuits, can't it? I know if somebody wrote that kind of crap about me and I
found out about it, my next stop would be at a lawyer's office to discuss libel!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: What I still do not understand
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 04:51 PM EDT
Okay, Ken Brown arranged a number of flights, made personal visits to Unix and
software gurus such as ast, rms, dmr etc., asked "strange" questions
about operating systems and wrote a book probably full of nonsense that is only
remotely, if any, related to what the gurus had to say. Why did they all trust
him? Why didn't they ask for galley proofs? Why did they give their answers
without insisting in understanding who is behind the "study"? The
normal rule goes this way ®If I allow you to use my name in order to add my
reputation to your book, then you let me control what is in the book under my
name". Otherwise, there is still the possibility to give advice, but
anonymously. It appears to me that there are failures on both sides, Ken Brown
taking money for lying knowingly to the public and naive software gurus unable
to imagine that their statements may be abused.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Nick_UK on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 05:00 PM EDT
Whoa, lot of posts and threads on this - so this may have already been covered
as I can't find it.

One thing I would like to mention, AFAIKT is that although Andrew Tanenbaum vs
Linus Torvalds on the kernel issue is a well know battle and each flame (in the
old days) each other, this doesn't mean they hate each other.

Whichever way you look at it, Andrew Tanenbaum defends in what he believes - not
that he is against Linus in the 'what a kernel should be', but more in what
people do to get there.

If it wasn't for Andrew Tanenbaum there would be no Linux kernel (and the same
applies to RMS for the fabulous GCC effort).

I bet Andrew and Linus have met a few times, and get on swell - leaving personal
idioms on what a kernel should be aside.

Nick

[ Reply to This | # ]

Linus quote in the flamefest
Authored by: JScarry on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 05:24 PM EDT
Full sources for linux currently runs to about 200kB compressed - full sources to a somewhat complete developement system is at least 10MB compressed (and easily much, much more). And all of that source is portable, except for this tiny kernel that you can (provably: I did it) re-write totally from scratch in less than a year without having /any/ prior knowledge.
Link

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 06:06 PM EDT
What strikes me about Brown's article is not so much that it is basically propaganda (that's what Microsoft is paying ADTI for, after all) but that it is incompetent propaganda. There must be a lot of journalists who can do a better hatchet-job on Linux than Brown can. How do dummies like Brown get well-paid, prominent jobs ahead of much more competent people?

I'm surprised that people react so strongly to Brown the Clown. Save your effort for competent propagandists. Microsoft will find some eventually.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 06:39 PM EDT
As the distant follower of those developpement, I think ADTI is also playing on
a popular misconception (but after reading Prof. Tanenbaum comments I wonder if
they even know...):
Most people (I mean except geeks) have very little idea of what an OS is. So
actually saying that Linux was born in 6 month mean. For most people that Linux
wrote in six month something that includes all the goodies they find with
Windows or a current Linux distrib including package management, GNU tools, X11
and probably KDE or Gnome (which of course took years to build by many people
and are still under heavy evolution).
This is effectively hard to believe and make the absurd idea that Linus could
not have done it at least vaguely believable by non tech oriented people.

So the next logical step is to point as reference to studies like the serial
ADTI issued recently while talking with business people to support the assertion
that Free Software people are just a bunch of borderline criminal hippies and
stealing codeÖ.
Since what business peoples will know is that their inside tech people could not
have done it, they will probably guess that there is somehow some truth below
all this noise even partial. Then you got a good FUD in action.

I guess that on long term, paid people can not equal a motivated community of
geek that are quite good at focussing on a topic and getting every single detail
right even if it takes month. Groklaw is the proof of this assertion.

But having people, like prof. Tanenbaum, respected and from outside the OSS
community come out the way he did gave a very good insight of the way this kind
of dirty work goes and can have an even more devastating effect than simple
truth coming from inside the community.

This is great ;-)

PS: I really donít understand how people can suck so much at this work. Canít
they find more qualified people to work at undermining Free Software ? With all
the money available to do it ?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Just like Larry Wall
Authored by: LarryVance on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 09:18 PM EDT
I was impressed by a little conversation betweenn a novice user of PERL and
Larry Wall (the author of PERL). The novice was quite impressed with Larry's
adept knowledge of PERL and asked him how he learned it. Larry made some off
the wall comment (to bad I am so forgetful, but it was something like this),
"I just had to make it up as I went."

Maybe this is what Linus did.

---
IAAE - TGIANAL
Larry Vance

[ Reply to This | # ]

Thank you note
Authored by: bbaston on Thursday, May 20 2004 @ 11:55 PM EDT
My wife (and probably my mom) told me to always write a thank you note when
someone does something nice. Dispite many times not doing so, I did this time,
by email this morning. (Didn't know for sure if he's a Dr., but erred on the
safe side)
=====================
Dr. Tanenbaum,

May I express my sincere thank you for your "Some Notes on the "Who
wrote Linux" Kerfuffle, Release 1.1". Not only are your
"Notes" extremely interesting, they certainly set a true perspective
for the coming 'work' of Ken Brown and his Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
'book'.

Sincerely,

---
Ben
-------------
IMBW, IANAL2, IMHO, IAVO, {;)}
imaybewrong, iamnotalawyertoo, inmyhumbleopinion, iamveryold, hairysmileyface,

[ Reply to This | # ]

A truly dreadful argument
Authored by: locutas on Friday, May 21 2004 @ 01:03 AM EDT
This quote from the Linuxinsider article shows the deToqueville institute publishing a truly terrible argument:
Kenneth Brown, president of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institute, told LinuxInsider. "How did he develop so much code in just six months? Everyone else has taken years to develop operating systems."
For the record, I don't consider Linus Torvald's authorship of Linux particularly incredible. An impressive achievement, absolutely. A credit to a lot of hard work, no question.

But whether or not Linus Torvalds's authorship of Linux falls outside the normal range of human achievement, the credit, whether for solid work or inspired genius, belongs to him. At the very least, using extraordinary achievement as evidence of dishonesty undermines one of the very basic tenets of our life as a society. This society honour achievement; it does not treat exceptional performance as evidence of dishonesty.

Brown says:

"has anyone else ever written an operating system who never was a licensee, didn't have operating system experience, and didn't have the source code?
to which I reply, in that case, Linus Torvals deserves credit for the courage to map out uncharted territory, for the intelligence and persistance to make a tough project work, and the luck to bring the right product to the right audience at the right time. Nobody should ever use those things as evidence of turpitude.

I believe that now the programmer Mr. Brown suggested Linus may have plagarised has denied the charges, Mr. Brown and his institute would do well to apologise. Not only to Mr. Tovalds, but to everyone who has ever attempted or achieved anything of extraordinary difficulty.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Original "Linux is Obsolete" newsgroup thread available on web
Authored by: Totosplatz on Friday, May 21 2004 @ 01:50 AM EDT

A very long read, it is the thread initiated by Andrew Tannenbaum in alt.os.minix in early 1992, with responses by Linus and many others. Gets into the monolithic versus microkernel issue, and many other things.

A good read, collected and made available on the blog-site of "Royans".

URL: http://security.royans.net/info/posts/linux_is_obsolete.shtml

---
Al l the best to one and all.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Criminal activity
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, May 21 2004 @ 02:18 AM EDT

Among other pearls in the article at LinuxInsider, there is this:

Brown said he sees a direct link between the "hybrid" history of Linux and what he calls "stealing code," and it is this general attitude that also led to the hacking of the ADTI site on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, he said. "Now they're resorting to criminal activity," he alleged.

No common decency - I sure hope Linus does sue. This guy deserves to be taught a lesson for writing and saying things like this. And on the achievement level: what the heck did Brown do? On what theory does he even get to talk to Linus? On what grounds can he object to Linus' "smarmy attitude", when the only thing Linus did was to take serious libel as a joke (and keep Brown off the hook for now)?

As for "steeling code", Brown would have some kind of proof, yes? I certainly hope he does. He may even have lawsuits from other Linux contributors on his hands. The list of powerful companies with deep pockets is pretty long, starting with IBM. And don't forget, OSDL may decide to sue on behalf of Linus (I certainly hope they do).

[ Reply to This | # ]

adti.net is running open source software....
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, May 21 2004 @ 03:17 AM EDT
I don't know if others already checked this, but I noticed on netcraft that www.adti.net is running FreeBSD, which to the best of my knowledge is opensourced (not GPL'ed!). So much for their security argument.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: muswell100 on Friday, May 21 2004 @ 03:21 AM EDT
Can anyone tell me how many pages this upcoming book of Brown's will contain?
You see, I have this table out in my garden shed that has this wobbly leg...

[ Reply to This | # ]

The curious role of Justin Orndorff
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, May 21 2004 @ 07:38 AM EDT

Searching GL or the SCO Yahoo BB, you will find a bunch of posts about questions asked by Mr Orndorff in early May on various BBs - here, for instance. He appears to be a 22 year old english/cinema student at the University of Maryland. He has a DeviantArt page here with the same handle "jnana" as some of the ADTI posts, and a Tape Trader Network page here.

Some posts, particularly on the Yahoo BB, have concentrated on him personally, but that seems to me to be irrelevant and intrusive, save for establishing whether he has any experience relevant to the questions he was asking. The real issues are :

  1. What does hiring someone with no apparently relevant experience or qualifications to do this sort of research say about ADTI's professionalism? You would have thought they could have at least hired a CS major, for example.

  2. Why was this work being conducted in early May, just days before ADTI announced their book? These questions - how easy is it to write a kernel, etc - form an important part of their argument. You would think they would have settled them months ago, not be skulking around BBs just days before publication!

[ Reply to This | # ]

The answer is clear to me
Authored by: Night Flyer on Friday, May 21 2004 @ 11:35 AM EDT
"Mr. Brown is quoted in LinuxInsider...'I want all of your readers to ask
themselves, in the history of computing, has anyone else ever written an
operating system who never was a licensee, didn't have operating system
experience, and didn't have the source code? '"

The answer is clear to me: Linus is brighter and a better sequential-logical
mind than Mr. Brown. He is better able to see what he is creating as a whole,
and build up the pieces in a better interrelated package than any one else.

I can only express my thoughts by comparison:

In my mind Wayne Gretsky is the greatest hockey player ever. He wasn't the
fastest skater, nor did he have the hardest shot, but he is the leagues all-time
top scorer who set standards so high that Gretsky passed the former all-time
leading scorer in mid-career.

Gretsky had a sense of where everything was on the ice, what was going to happen
and what to do to take advantage of it for his team.

He led the league in career goals scored, meaning he had exceptional personal
skill. More importantly, he led the league in assists on goals scored, meaning
he set up everyone around him for success and made them look good. He made
everyone around him so good that they surpassed old standards and set new ones.

This is my view of Linus: World class skills in programming, unequaled skills
in seeing the situation as a whole, unsurpassed skills at getting others around
him to submit world class code, a unique ability to blend them together and
raise the bar for computing OS standards.

And the improvements (and added features) are still coming. He makes good
things happen. He makes people around him successful, and he asks for very
little in return.

Linus is someone special. Mr. Brown is jealous.

-------------------------
My Clan Motto: Veritas Vincit: Truth Conquers.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Old saying, new FUD twist
Authored by: frk3 on Friday, May 21 2004 @ 11:58 AM EDT

The saying "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" could be applied to the many eyes and people absolutely destroying the FUD related to the SCO suits, Microsoft, etc. as a result of Groklaw. I proposes something like:

"Scrutiny makes the FUD go yonder."

[ Reply to This | # ]

From the TheRegister
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, May 21 2004 @ 01:28 PM EDT
This topic is covered by TheRegister 5/20. Headline: "'Not the sharpest of knives' - praise heaped on Linux study author" Link is here

I love that, "not the sharpest knife in the drawer" lol

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: rickmci on Friday, May 21 2004 @ 01:48 PM EDT
Yep the fools are falling from the sky now. Linus created Linux, with the help
of thousands of other experensed and motivated programmers was created by Linus.
The best of the best. A staff that any major corporation could only dream of
even if they had unlimited budgets. Linus is the father of Linux. He foot steps
are WELL documented in many public domain archives. Thinking anything else is
foolish and just not logical. We all were there to watch it with our own eyes.

So why are any of us paying these fools any attention?

This was a good laugh, time to move on....

[ Reply to This | # ]

An OS is not the same as a Kernel
Authored by: ExcludedMiddle on Friday, May 21 2004 @ 05:18 PM EDT
"'I want all of your readers to ask themselves, in the history of computing, has anyone else ever written an operating system who never was a licensee, didn't have operating system experience, and didn't have the source code? How did he develop so much code in just six months? Everyone else has taken years to develop operating systems.... Linus perpetuated the lie [that he is the inventor of the Linux kernel], and I have a problem with this smarmy attitude.'"
The reason that this statement seems to make sense is that he either doesn't understand, or is deliberately confusing the difference between a kernel, and an operating system. The Operating System concept has become quite bloated, today we think that it provides enormous numbers of functionalities that are really quite separate from what it needs to be able to run.

What Linus developed in that space of time is a kernel. That is the core part that operating system, but not the utilities. The original Linux didn't come with much. The tools that made the system usable came from the GNU project, which had been running for years at that point, and once they were ported, made Linux into a full-fledged operating system. Those tools were developed separately, and I believe that no one has questioned their copyright provenance. There were years of work put in to those, and that's how Linux became useful so quickly. (Something that proprietary products don't often have to work with, because they don't want to use OSS! That's part of how OSS projects can leap forward.)

I knew a professor who taught an advanced operating systems course. He would give students a virtual boot loader, and nothing else, and would require his students to make a full-fledged kernel in a semester. They couldn't even get it to print text to a screen without creating the code to create output. So the answer to Mr. Brown's question is: In the history of computing, we require our students to create an operating system in a semester. And they don't have code, or experience before starting. They do have examples, and a textbook, which is exactly what Linus started with.

The key at this point is making sure that the ones that would read this study understand the difference.

Now, with that debunked, what I haven't heard is a lot of discussion about what they are going to get out of this. My reasoning says that MS and other forces that be are floundering because they are so used to attacking a company. And Linux has very little form to attack, excepting Linus. But even if they somehow won their assertions in "The court of public opinion", in spite of the facts, that doesn't change anyone who would want to work on Linux, because they'd know the truth. It also wouldn't change anyone who would use or buy Linux, because they really don't care how Linux got started. They just want to run their systems on the best, and cheapest platform possible.

In some ways, I just can't even see why they'd use ADTI. They are not a trusted source in the computer industry. Not just anyone can step in and write about these topics, as proven by Ken's misunderstandings about a lot of concepts, let alone his lack of research which might have avoided a lot of embarrassment.

So why are they doing this? I can't see a long term strategy that they can even exploit, even if this "study" is accepted by random people, the code is not going to be shown to be owned by someone else. SCO has made us check carefully, and we are now very certain that this code is original work that is properly licensed. And we're just as ready to swap any code out, even if some violation was found. And if Linus was somehow completely removed from the equation, there are other, very capable people that would take over (although of course he would be dearly missed!).

Perhaps, it just comes down to MS looking for a chink in the Linux armor. I doubt that this feeble attempt will succeed in finding one. Especially because the truth is certainly not on their side.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum Responds: Linus Wrote Linux, ADTI's Ken Brown Doesn't Have a Clue and Should Apologize
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 24 2004 @ 10:24 AM EDT
"I want all of your readers to ask themselves, in the history of computing, has anyone else ever written an operating system who never was a licensee, didn't have operating system experience, and didn't have the source code?"

The short answer is this: for example ME. I wrote a FORTH based os for my Z80 microcomputer when I was 19, second grade in university. It was not the best, but it was way better than the BASIC interpreter coming on the ROM. Obviously, I used plenty of ROM-calls for example to the math brary, but that was only for convenience. Having a good Assembly compiler, not to mention C, writing a basic OS is certanly not beyond the capability of a single individial. Best regards, Sandor Laza

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