Linux to get Unix 98 brand?

Joachim Feise (
Sun, 31 May 1998 23:33:18 -0700

UniForum Association Conference Hosts an Historic Meeting
of the Minds Between Linux Advocates and Unix Branding

COLUMBIA, Md.--(BUSINESS EDITORS)--May 29, 1998--An amazing thing happened at
UniForum Association's 1998 Spring Conference in Ocean City, Md.

During the unveiling of The Open Group's UNIX 98 specification to an audience
that included leading Open Source advocates, members of the two groups
spontaneously initiated frank, informal negotiations regarding the conformance
of Linux to the UNIX 98 spec.

The Open Group's Director of Branding Graham Bird, Chief Technical Officer Mike
Lambert, and others began detailing UNIX 98 to workshop attendees.

In the audience was Eric Raymond, an outspoken Linux advocate whose paper, ``The
Cathedral and the Bazaar'', was influential in Netscape's recent decision to
take make the source code for their Communicator product suite available to the
general public.

About halfway into the workshop, after asking a number of detailed technical
questions, Raymond asked the big one: What's it going to take to get the UNIX 98
brand for Linux?

Graham Bird quickly responded that The Open Group very much wants to see Linux
get the UNIX 98 brand. A far-ranging discussion ensued, with both sides agreeing
that high-end Unix server vendors will suffer if the low-end server market is
lost to Windows NT.

Additionally, if ISVs face an increasing base of clients with NT platforms, it's
reasonable to expect that they'll consider ports to Unix a lower priority, and
the number of commercial applications available on Unix platforms could dwindle.

Since the Linux OS is proving to be increasingly stiff competition for NT in
this marketspace, it's in the best interest of all Unix vendors for Linux to get
branded so that it may compete more effectively and keep the low end UNIX