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ZDNet: Evan Leibovitch: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something UNIX?

Aug 07, 2000, 21:40 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Evan Leibovitch)

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"I come not to bury Unix, but to praise it. Without Unix, there would be no Linux -- so indulge me if I'm not as quick as others to pronounce Unix dead. If anything, the recent purchase by Linux distributor Caldera of SCO's Unix assets signifies, at the very least, a rebirth of Unix rather than a death."

"Unix helped change the way the world computed. Even MS-DOS, which introduced Unix-style pipes and sub-directories in its second release, was affected. Unix gave Richard Stallman a stable and useful target when he formed his free OS project project -- and not only because "GNV" (GNV is not VMS) didn't sound as cool as "GNU." Unix thus provided the frame of reference used by a certain Finnish computer student almost a decade ago...."

"Linux has rekindled the early enthusiasm of Unix because it redefines openness beyond anything a Unix vendor could dream of. The same energy I saw in early Unix user groups (I was a director of Uniforum Canada for some years) I see multiplied tenfold in the Linux world. Sure, commercial vendors have become involved in Linux -- when was the last time IBM puffed about its Unix involvement as much as it now does for Linux on the web and even on TV -- but they're doing so on the terms of the Linux community. The distinction between innovation and gratuitous forking is minimized, and even the most proprietary of companies are contributing back free software."

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