[UFO Chicago] Other free operating systems

Neil R. Ormos ormos at ripco.com
Mon Dec 27 12:50:26 CST 2004

On Mon, 27 Dec 2004, Brian Sobolak wrote:

> Carey Tyler Schug said:

>> Sun Microsystems could change the whole face of UFO, or does the fact
>> that one can get a free personal or educational license mean that it
>> qualifies currently for UFO?

> Anyone care to step out and answer Carey's question?

No doubt, some pedantic soul will attempt to compare and constrast the
meaning of "free" as generally understood with that defined according
to the Gospel of Stallman.

As a practical matter, UFO comprises some people, a web site, a
mailing list, and a meeting schedule.  It's an ad hoc group without
membership cards or dues.  If someone wants to come to meetings and
discuss Solaris, no one will run them off, and it's fairly likely
they'll find someone else who actually uses Solaris.  People have day
jobs, after all.  A year or so ago, we had a visitor who thought UFO
was a group about Unidentified Flying Objects and brought some
beautifully rendered drawings of spacecraft for show and tell.  No one
ran him off either.

Whatever Sun may do, it is unlikely to "change the whole face of UFO,"
at least in the short term.  Suppose Sun released the source to
Solaris and disclaimed all rights thereto.  No matter how good Solaris
might be, people will not instantly replace what they now use with
Solaris.  Similarly, Solaris users aren't likely, en masse, to adopt
UFO.  Thus, it could be years before Solaris has a significant effect
on UFO.


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