"maddog" to SCO: "ID Your Code If You Don't Want It in Linux, Because We Certainly Don't Want It"

Listen to 2003 Usenix Conference on SCO

By Pamela Jones

June 27, 2003

There is an MP3 [ http://www.nostarch.com/usenix.mp3 ] of the June 9-14, 2003 Usenix Conference on SCO available. It makes reference to slides, which you can find here [ http://www.usenix.org/events/usenix03/tech/dibona.pdf ], so you can follow along during the talks by opening two windows or two browsers. The panel includes Chris DiBona, a former Slashdot editor and founder of Damage Studios, Jon "maddog" Hall, President of Linux International, and Don Marti, editor of Linux Journal.

Topics include coverage of the SCO claims, the ex-SCO employee who says the code was put there by his group when they worked on the 2-year UNIX-Linux merge of code, and an idea for examining code using software developed by a university to detect plagiarized code in large software projects which also can be used to keep a history of software contributions and which they are thinking of asking to use to search for older BSD code to see if identical code is also in there prior to System V.

De Bona's read on the SCO claims: "SCO is saying 'Legally we deserve profits.'" Jon "maddog" Hall says that SCO's refusal to tell what the code is makes it impossible to fix the problem. He wishes they would and says, "Take your code, please! We don't want it." They also touch on how clean code practices in proprietary companies as compared with Linux, and all agree that both are vulnerable to problems and each have systems to prevent such problems. Hall and De Bona mention several examples of such incidents that have occured in proprietary software over the years, including the MS SQL Server case, where MS was found guilty of patent violations [ http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/53/29419.html ].

Hall also mentions an OSDL [ http://www.osdl.org/lab/about.html ] lab in Portland, Oregon, where coders can test code in an environment that can handle large projects. They also have projects, including one to make Linux carrier grade [ http://www.osdl.org/projects/cgl/ ] for use in telephone systems. SCO, until recently, he says, was a member and as a result, code could have been passed in either direction in that lab, from SCO to Linux, for example, or each could have gotten it from BSD. The current OSDL page [ http://www.osdl.org/sponsors/ ] does not list SCO as a sponsor, but the Wayback Machine shows Caldera Systems listed as a sponsor on the same page back on both December 22, 2001 [ http://web.archive.org/web/20011222170241/http://www.osdl.org/sponsors/ " and February 28, 2002 [ http://web.archive.org/web/20020228005731/http://www.osdl.org/sponsors/ ].

3:48:34 PM

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