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SVR4 Packaging code

Dave Miner
Sr. Principal Software Engineer
Just another brief entry to note that we posted the SVR4 packaging tools code yesterday. One more step on the open source road. I'm looking forward to community contributions to improve these tools.

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.

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