been useful to have that kind of thing to measure yourself against. The
initial approach in many ways is very different. The BSD license is very
different. They disagree with the GPL and I disagree with their license.
It been kind of friendly, sometimes not so friendly. It hasn't been much
of an issue. Quite frankly in the last two years I'm getting asked less
and less about BSD's. We've been more interested in getting the features
from some of the more exotic animals like Plan 9. There were a lot of good
ideas from there.
Plan 9 is also open source now does that affect Linux in any way?
It also open source but it happened a bit too late. They open-sourced
after they noticed that time had passed them by. They didn't get the kind
of attention they would have got if they had done that five years ago,
which is when they should have. That was a bit sad.
Do you see a market for more than one free operating system?
Yeah. Basically depending on research patterns, there's a lot of power to
having a generic OS. That's part of why people want to go to Linux on
embedded devices and supercomputers because it's a powerful notion to have
a similar environment regardless of where you are. But there's also
downsides to being too generic. Some OS that is specific to some need is
always going to be able to provide for that.
What if Microsoft decides to open source Windows?
That's never going to happen but if it does then I'm all for it.
Will if affect Linux in any way?
From past experience these projects tend to be fairly self-contained. So
there hasn't been that much interaction between the BSDs and Linux. It
would make a difference but not that much to Linux. It would make a huge
difference to them [Microsoft].
Are you surprised by this flowering of embedded Linux?
I am. But after having seen why it happened inside Transmeta, I kind of
understand now. There are a lot of small companies making the next
gadgets. You have hundreds of companies in Silicon Valley who want to be
the next Palm. They usually need a strong software component because
technology is just so complex these days and they don't really have much
choice but Linux. They could do what Palm did and write their own OS. Or
they could go to Microsoft and say that we're a small company and we have
this great idea and could you please make these modifications to Windows so