[rescue] OS X is certified UNIX

Bill Bradford mrbill at mrbill.net
Wed Jun 13 16:43:02 CDT 2007

On Wed, Jun 13, 2007 at 05:38:29PM -0400, ajones wrote:
> They did.  Their original subsystem was really pathetic, and it used the 
> MKS toolkit for the userspace tools.  (To give you an impression of how 
> awful it was, they shipped a "ksh", but it wasn't AT&T ksh, it used some 
> bizarre re-implementation with entirely different behaviour.)


"I've been attending the USENIX NT and LISA NT (Large Installation Systems
Administration for NT) conference in downtown Seattle this week.

One of those magical Microsoft moments(tm) happened yesterday and I
thought that I'd share.  Non-geeks may not find this funny at all, but
those in geekdom (particularly UNIX geekdom) will appreciate it.

Greg Sullivan, a Microsoft product manager (henceforth MPM), was holding
forth on a forthcoming product that will provide Unix style scripting and
shell services on NT for compatibility and to leverage UNIX expertise that
moves to the NT platform.  The product suite includes the MKS (Mortise
Kern Systems) windowing Korn shell, a windowing PERL, and lots of goodies
like awk, sed and grep.  It actually fills a nice niche for which other
products (like the MKS suite) have either been too highly priced or not
well enough integrated.

An older man, probably mid-50s, stands up in the back of the room and
asserts that Microsoft could have done better with their choice of Korn
shell.  He asks if they had considered others that are more compatible
with existing UNIX versions of KSH.

The MPM said that the MKS shell was pretty compatible and should be able
to run all UNIX scripts.

The questioner again asserted that the MKS shell was not very compatible
and didn't do a lot of things right that are defined in the KSH language

The MPM asserted again that the shell was pretty compatible and should
work quite well.

This assertion and counter assertion went back and forth for a bit, when
another fellow member of the audience announced to the MPM that the
questioner was, in fact David Korn of AT&T (now Lucent) Bell Labs. (David
Korn is the author of the Korn shell)

Uproarious laughter burst forth from the audience, and it was one of the
only times that I have seen a (by then pink cheeked) MPM lost for words
or momentarily lacking the usual unflappable confidence. So, what's a body
to do when Microsoft reality collides with everyone elses?"

Bill Bradford 
Houston, Texas

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