At this point I'll digress into a personal note related to this release, which brings me back to my early days at Sun, back in the summer of 1990. I was 25, a couple of years out of school, had worked at Prime on TCP/IP for Primos, but as the company was going down the tubes under the crushing weight of the debt from an ill-advised LBO, I made the leap over to Sun, thanks partly to some connections through a couple of my early mentors.
Sun hired me to work on system management tools - a project which ended up producing the Solaris admintool, and the sysidtool configuration tools we still use to configure the system at installation. But before we started on that project, I had to pay some dues and learn my way around doing development at Sun. So, they gave me a quick, short-term project to work on: back-port the SVR4 packaging tools to SunOS 4, which was necessary to the bootstrapping of SunOS 5 (the project known as Zeus). It turned out to be a pretty easy task, and I moved on pretty quickly to other stuff once it was done, and pretty well forgot what I knew about it; as I look at the code today, it's not all that familiar. On the other hand, it's cool to see how far we've come as a company and industry in that time, because the SVR4 project was not exactly community-friendly, as it was one of the main events in the "Unix wars" of the 90's. And I'm glad I didn't end up going to work on one of the dead-or-dying Unix systems like Ultrix or HP-UX.