James Bond on a Mission to Sell

Tuesday, August 19 2003 @ 02:18 AM EDT

Contributed by: PJ

I do wonder sometimes what will become of my synapses after I spend so many months trying to figure out the way McBride and his band of merry men think. Translating SCOSpeak can't be neuronally healthy.

But while I still am in command of my senses, I couldn't help but notice something curious in the news coverage of SCOForum today. Could SCO's Chris Sontag be telling fibs? Heavens to Betsy, surely that can't be it. Maybe he's so new, he doesn't know his company's history? Or maybe James has to tell a few fibs when he's on a "Misson: Trained to Sell". Here's part of what Sontag said today:

"Turning to derivative works that have found their way into Linux, Sontag said these include NUMA (non uniform memory access), Read Copyright Update (RCU), Journal File System and schedulers. 'A number of entities have violated their contracts and contributed inappropriate code to Linux. That's how Linux has advanced so quickly and found its way into the enterprise so soon,' Sontag said.

"'We have an improbable Linux development process. The current 2.5 kernel contains features and functionality that took years and years to be developed in Unix. With Linux we've seen it develop from a baby to a race car driver in three or four years,' he said."

I believe we can assume that when he said "Read Copyright Update", it was a Freudian slip, their business strategy du jour -- those rascals just never stop thinking business, so it's bound to spill over into their speech -- and what he meant to say was Read Copy Update. Or possibly another mainstream journalist has had his brain snatched and turned into cabbage, and now the poor thing just writes whatever SCO speaks, without questioning it. But, hey, what does precision matter on such a vital mission?

Let's take a trip back in time, to a simpler, gentler Caldera just about a year ago. Computerwire ran a story on June 13, 2002, and if you compare what was said today with what they wrote, your brain might explode trying to make them match up. Both stories can't be true, because they seem to be mutually exclusive. For those of you with a sub to Computerwire, here's where you can get it the whole article, "Caldera Backs Away From 64-Bit Open Unix". For the rest, here are relevant snips:

"Caldera International Inc has maintained its commitment to the Unix operating systems it acquired from Santa Cruz Operation Inc, despite admitting that it currently has no plans to port Open Unix to Intel Corp's 64-bit Itanium processor.

"With development of the company's Linux distribution more or less handed over to SuSE Linux AG and the UnitedLinux project, Caldera's research and development dollars are now focused on its Open Unix and OpenServer Unix flavors and the Volution management products, but while both Unix variants continue to be developed by the company, neither are likely to be available for 64-bit processors.

As the legacy Unix variant, OpenServer was never likely to be ported to Itanium, but sizable investment has gone in to projects to develop a 64-bit version of Open Unix, both with IBM on the Monterey project and through SCO's Gemini project that created UnixWare 7, the predecessor to the current Open Unix 8. Feedback from Intel and customers, however, has led Caldera to the conclusion that there is enough life in the 32-bit market.

"'The feedback from Intel and our customers is that 64-bit addressing today just isn't a priority, and the 32-bit processors are just getting better and better,' said Caldera's VP EMEA, Chris Flynn. '32-bit is good enough for most people's processing requirements.' That appears to suggest that Open Unix and OpenServer's lifespan will last only as long as 32-bit processors continue to sell, but Flynn maintained that the operating systems will remain available as long as customers want them.

"'There's plenty of mileage in 32-bit Unix,' he said. 'Until our customers tell us that they don't want Unix and they don't want 32-bit Intel any more, which I don't see happening, then nothing's going to change. 32-bit is just great for customers over the next few years, but we do have choices, and we could move forward with our 64-bit projects.'

"One of those choices will be 64-bit Linux, which is being developed through the IA-64 Linux Project, and will be available from Caldera. Flynn believes that by the time users are looking to purchase 64-bit servers and operating systems in volume, Linux will have gained the robustness and scalability it requires to compete with Unix in the enterprise market.

"Another option Caldera has on the shelf is IBM's AIX 5L, which was developed from the Monterey project between IBM and SCO. In 2001, Caldera offered a preview of the AIX 5L operating system for Itanium to developers, and it remains a possibility that Caldera will offer IBM's Unix for 64-bit users should there be the demand."

If you look at this chart, you'll see that System V is later called OpenUnix, in case you like visuals. I worry my brain is starting to look like that chart, or worse, from trying to parse out all the SCOstories. Now, I'm not a programmer, so it's certainly possible my brain is just missing something -- heaven only knows I laughed myself silly today reading all about the anti-GPL strategy our worthy opponents have concocted -- but I simply can't harmonize what was said today with this article from June of 2002. Then again, I'm not Trained to Sell, and so far, my brain hasn't been turned into cabbage, so maybe that explains how come I notice disparities and think they matter.