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Groklaw reports SCO not developing Unix

© June 2004 Tony Lawrence
Referencing Eyewitness Account of Blepp's Speech in Germany

This Groklaw article reports a translation of an "eyewitness" who had an "informal" conversation with a Gregory Blepp, who is a "consultant" for SCO.

According to this eyewitness, Mr. Blepp informally said something to the effect of:

Pesonally, this outcome of the case is almost irrelevant to him
since SCO won't continue with UNIX (The company name/reputation is
ruined, money was dumped in the case). Nowadays, the court cases
are the real business of SCO. If SCO wins, they will introduce a
Linux-license, (ca. 2-20$ per server). There is no solution to free
distributions like Debian - no solution yet.

Now remember, this is a translation of someone who had an informal conversation. In other words, it is just hearsay, and it is hearsay of a consultant to boot. Yet the Groklaw crowd is treating this as though Darl McBride made this statement on NBC last night!

To be fair, I haven't read EVERY comment, so it's possible that someone there is smart enough to realize how silly this all is. Who knows what this person really said, what he really meant, or what authority he says it with? It may be that Gregory Blepp said something like this. Or he may have said something else, or he may have just been expressing his own opinion. Or he may have been misunderstood, heard out of context, or whatever. That's the problem with hearsay of a casual conversation: we have no real idea WHAT was really said.

If SCO really felt its Unix products to be totally damaged goods (and they most definitely are NOT), why wouldn't they just close up shop now and pursue the lawsuit? No, SCO Unix still makes money and probably will continue to do so whether they win or lose these law suits. SCO does have its problems, and they aren't helping themselves or anyone but Microsoft with their recent actions, but they aren't dead yet. I do think that SCO users need to be prepared for the worst, but there is still plenty of time. Who knows what the IT landscape will look like in five years anyway? Things change in this business, and they change very quickly.

I understand why Linux folk want to discredit SCO. But as I have said again and again, Linux needs to take the high ground. Jumping all over this kind of nonsense as though it really meant something is foolish and counter-productive.

Personally, I hope SCO loses. I don't know if they have legitimate complaints against IBM or not, but I don't really care: winning this suit will only harm Unix-like operating systems long term. However, my desires don't necessarily translate into reality, and I'm not going to con myself into thinking there is more hope here because somebody claims that so and so said such and such. That's just silly.

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-> Groklaw reports SCO not developing Unix


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CommentsBlog925 :

I am a devote type of Linux guy. I like the OS and like the concept of free software. I think that the GPL is keen, Richard Stalman had a bad implementation (GNU OS) of a great idea, and Debian is my OS of choice. Classic Linux geekness.

But the over-the-hill anti-SCO stuff will backlash a bit. Stuff like this always does.

When it all this stuff (SCO threating IBM) first started I had mixed feelings. One part is that I was pissed because SCO is not the same company that it was when SCO and Xenix and all that classic commercial x86 unix OSes stuff got popular. It's Caldera, which is a dot-com bubble type company that got its start of off Linux. You'd think that they'd know better, but it seems that they are a company that has nothing but a string of bad ideas. So that irritated me that a company that was based originally off of Linux is now turning around and suing another company for distributing and improving on Linux.

The other side of it I was pleased. This case was bad on so many levels. The idea of it is BS. Unix type-OSes always flirted with open source and sharing code and concepts. Would TCP/IP be so prevalent if it wasn't for the fact that any company could use the BSD TCP/IP protocol stack? After all what was the point of Posix standards?

So the stolen-IP concept is seems crap.

Hell even in Winnt-based OSes you still have the etc\hosts hostfile in the c:\winnt\system32\drivers directory.

Then on top of that the idea that Linux kernel is using AT&T-style Unix code is silly (for stuff like SMP, which Caldera contributed code themselves). Linux is not Unix and have completely different internals. Porting stolen code would require more work then just writing it from scratch in the first place.

Of course then they choose to attack the company that has the one of the most hard-core legal departments in the world, IBM. They wouldn't win even if they are right. It's a lose-lose situation for SCO. Stupid stuff.

To me the old rule of "no such thing as bad publicity" applies. At least in this case.

In many people's minds Linux barely existed, this put Linux in some major publications, again. And this time not being associated with the dot-com BS, but with legal stuff which is "real". Then MS gave money to SCO, seemingly for it's anti-linux antics. This makes Linux more "real" as in a threat that MS takes seriously enough to start playing around with legal games. IBM defends itself and protects Linux, Novell supports linux and gets sued for it.

So it makes it seem that these companies realy are willing to go out on the line for Linux. They like it, they approve of it. It makes Linux look good, look credible.

This SCO lawsuit could be one of the better things ever to happen to Linux.

But you definately don't want to be acting on rumors and hearsay. Don't cheer it. Stick to the facts. Otherwise it's to easy to stick your foot in your mouth.

Groklaw is a cool place and credible due to it's facts and references. But if their references are crap then so is the conclusions they make from them. But maybe it's just a side effect of to many slashdot'ings. To many zeolots in a single place is always a bad thing.


100% agreed. I think your last two paragraphs ought to be on a plaque.



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