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Bell-Labs Releases New Version Of Plan 9 332

F2F writes "Plan 9 from Bell Labs Fourth Release was announced yesterday marking a major overhaul of the entire operating system. VMware images are now supported, together with hoards of new hardware. The operating system now sports a new security model (on top of the old one, which was already quite secure), new network-resident secure storage system and improvements in the thread library, among others. See the release notes here: release4 notes or simply go to the download page at: plan9 download." T. adds: erikdalen sent in these links to critiques of the Plan 9 license from Richard Stallman and Nathan Myers.
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Bell-Labs Releases New Version Of Plan 9

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  • Well.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Gangis ( 310282 ) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @11:02AM (#3424540) Journal
    I've used Plan9 in the past, and while the new version does look good, frankly I find the GUI quite cheesy. It's just my opinion, but I wouldn't want a pastel-colored theme as my desktop. Also, with my experience with this alternative OS, it's difficult to work with. Maybe version 4 will be better... Who knows?
  • The Plan 9 Licence (Score:5, Informative)

    by F2F ( 11474 ) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @11:03AM (#3424548)
    The problems with the Plan9 licence generally do not bother much of the developers, even though occasionaly flamefests erupt on the plan9 mailing lists.

    According to the people at Bell Labs, if the Lucent lawyers agree, Plan9's licence could immediately be changed to something more in terms with RMS' revolution.

    Unfortunately those same lawyers have been petitioned quite so many times already.
  • Re:Plan 9 is old hat (Score:3, Informative)

    by entrox ( 266621 ) <slashdot@@@entrox...org> on Sunday April 28, 2002 @12:35PM (#3424883) Homepage
    No it doesn't. Take a look at Symbolics Genera [uni-hamburg.de], which is (was) the operating system of the Symbolics Lisp machines. It deviates massively from the UNIX-notion of files and character streams for everything.
  • Plan 9 License (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 28, 2002 @02:21PM (#3425279)
    The Plan 9 License [bell-labs.com] has changed since RMS registered his complaints [gnu.org] about it.

    The "agree to provide" clause no longer says "if used for any purpose" but rather "if distributed in any form, e.g., binary or source". This is basically what the GPL does too.

    The "reasonable charge" clause is followed by a sentence that says you can charge whatever you want for products or services you've added.
  • by RickHunter ( 103108 ) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @02:52PM (#3425401)

    Fine. So, as an end user, I can download Linux, fuck around with the source, only release the binary, and claim that I never accepted the GPL? If one isn't required to accept the GPL, then the license is legally impotent.

    Fundamental misunderstanding. Here, I'll try and straighten things out.

    You, as you, can download Linux, "fuck around" with the source, and use it to your heart's content. Nothing in copyright law allows the original authors to stop you from doing this.

    However, the instant you start giving copies to other people, you move into the realm of copyright infringement. The only thing that allows you to distribute copies is the GPL, which means you either distribute by its terms or don't distribute at all.

    So anyone you give a binary of your modified code to can not only request a copy of the source, but redistribute both the source and binary under the terms of the GPL.

    Hope that's cleared things up a little. Note also that derivative work, as used by the GPL (as in, what it applies to) isn't defined by the GPL or FSF. That's a copyright law issue. If you have problems with what is and isn't a derivative work, don't take them up with the FSF. Take them up with the government.

  • by jjohnson ( 62583 ) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @03:47PM (#3425589) Homepage
    It's a bit more than not liking the licence. Lucent claims that Plan9 is open source software. Stallman pointed out that their licence fails several tests for open source licenced software.

    What's your problem with that?
  • Re:Pretty Secure... (Score:3, Informative)

    by naasking ( 94116 ) <naasking.gmail@com> on Sunday April 28, 2002 @04:13PM (#3425690) Homepage
    Mathematically proven to be totally secure and also bug free?

    Secure. Proving something bug-free is very difficult, but is an area of intense research.

    You said it yourself. Not 100% bug free...now wich is it? What is this golden OS that is bug free and TOTALLY secure, yet isn't totally secure or bug free. Maybe you should have read your paragraph again?

    Why don't you think about it a little more yourself? I'll give you a hint: bug != security hole (necessarily). Only in poorly designed operating systems does a bug allow exploits. The very severe bugs may cause some degree of compromise even in secure systems, but if the security model is sound, the breach is always isolated.

    Anyway...if it was 100% 'secure', wouldn't that make it immune to attacks? [...]

    Be careful with your assumptions.


    1: free from fear or doubt

    2: free from danger or risk

    3: kept safe or defended from danger or injury or loss

    4: remote from any source of danger

    5: not likely to fail or give way

    6: able to withstand attack

    Only one of the above refers to resilience against attacks. There are always attacks that cannot be protected against (ie. DOS attacks), but we can make the system reliable enough to not buckle and fail, and which will not be compromised under these attacks. That's security.

  • by F2F ( 11474 ) on Sunday April 28, 2002 @08:23PM (#3426621)
    no, i can't do what you suggest to me, even if i wanted to: it is not easy to not pay attention to stallman -- he's got that 'in your face' attitude that's hard to avoid.

    Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 20:42:45 -0600 (MDT)
    From: Richard Stallman
    To: presotto@plan9.bell-labs.com
    Subject: Plan Nine deep-sixed by non-free license
    Reply-to: rms@gnu.org

    I was excited to hear that Plan Nine might become free software, but it turns out that the license is too restrictive to qualify. We will have to urge people not to use the Plan Nine software under its present license.


    that said, you can now possibly see the point in my original comment. and no, i'm not dave presotto, i'm quoting this out of comp.os.plan9, where people like you often visit to share their views of what's free software and what's not.

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.