06:35 AM

The creators of open-source 386BSD mark 15 year anniversary

I just got this in from William and Lynne Jolitz. They are a very interesting couple and among my favorite valley people--they know where a lot of the bodies are buried in this area :-)

William and Lynne Jolitz, creators of 386BSD, celebrate the 15 year anniversary of the article series that started Open Source systems. Along with reacquiring all rights to 386BSD from CMP Publishing, to recapture that revolutionary moment they have spent countless hours restoring the articles from notes, e-mails, written correspondance and the rememberances of team members. As the articles are restored, they may be found on the website http://porting-unix-to-the-386.jolix.com .

"Most people don't know about the limits of space in a publication", said Lynne Jolitz. "We had to edit severely due to space considerations every month, so quite a bit of good stuff got on the cutting room floor". The series covered all aspects of the project, from its inception in mid-1989 as a personal project done under the auspices of the University of California at Berkeley to its first complete operational open source release on March 17th, 1992 of 386BSD Release 0.0 -- 386BSD releases are officially 14 years old today.

The Porting Unix to the 386: Creating the Software Specification (January 1991) feature article in Dr. Dobbs Journal was the first public introduction of 386BSD in a major trade press magazine, and launched a frenzy of interest in open source kernel development that continues to this day.

"There's a lot about the original genesis of Open Source that has remained clouded", said William Jolitz. "In the rush to work on the project, write an article series, and negotiate with University and other parties, there simply wasn't enough time to sift through intrigue and rumor. We chose to carefully communicate what was happening in real time through the article series as a technical tour-de-force."

No only did "Porting UNIX" have a major impact on Open Source Berkeley Systems, it has also been written up by many others as the goad to Linus Torvalds, a reader of the series, to begin serious work on LINUX. Linus even contributed an early floating point emulator he had written for inclusion in 386BD Release 0.1(July 1992). Many open source pioneers have claimed that this article series spurred them to begin their own work in open source projects such as Apache. Lynne Jolitz received an Oracle E-Business award in 2001 for technical innovations in 386BSD as well as her subsequent work in very high speed TCP/IP communications in silicon, for which she has received granted patents.

Dan Kusnetzky, former IDC analyst and now EVP of marketing strategy of Open-Xchange, says "BSD is a project that made a major contribution to the world of IT. In its early days it contributed to Sun's SunOS, IBM'S AIX, and HP's HP-UX. The contribution didn't end there. It's at the heart of Apple's MacOS"

As the articles are restored in full, relevent observations, reminiscences and accounts from the open source community as they become available.

William Jolitz (http://william.telemuse.net/william-jolitz-contact)
Lynne Jolitz (http://lynne.telemuse.net via her web page)