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Unix - Frequently Asked Questions (6/7) [Frequent posting]
Section - Main Players and Unix Standards.

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Date: Mon Jan 21 16:59:14 EST 1995
X-Version: 2.8

6.4)  Main Players and Unix Standards.

      The more important players in the Unix scene currently (early '95)
      are (corrections most welcome, these are new bytes):

      - Novell who bought USL (early 93) and now has the source code.
      - X/Open who has the branding rights to "UNIX" trademark.
      - OSF, both as developer of OSF/1 and Motif, and as organization
        overseeing COSE (OSF's new working model). OSF was reorganized in
        1994 (and Sun joined), relationship with X/Open has been formalized.
      - IEEE with POSIX, LAN standards.
      - PowerOpen [IBM, Apple, Motorola, Bull, others] promoting the PowerPC.
        Do not confuse with graphical environment of same name.

      The following briefly describes the more important standards
      relevant to Unix.

      - IEEE:
        - 802.x (LAN) standards (LLC, ethernet, token ring, token bus)
        - POSIX (ISO 9945?): Portable Operating System I/F (Unix, VMS
          and OS/2!) (only ? have been finalized at this point)
          - 1003.1:  library procedures (mostly system calls) -- roughly V7
                     except for signals and terminal I/F (1990)
          - 1003.2:  shell and utilities
          - 1003.3:  test methods and conformance
          - 1003.4:  real-time: binary semaphores, process memory
                     locking, memory-mapped files, shared memory,
                     priority scheduling, real-time signals, clocks and
                     timers, IPC message passing, synchronized I/O,
                     asynchronous I/O, real-time files
          - 1003.5:  Ada language bindings
          - 1003.6:  security
          - 1003.7:  system admin (incl. printing)
          - 1003.8:  transparent file access
          - 1003.9:  FORTRAN language bindings
          - 1003.10: super computing
          - 1003.12: protocol-independent I/Fs
          - 1003.13: real-time profiles
          - 1003.15: supercomputing batch I/Fs
          - 1003.16: C-language bindings (?)
          - 1003.17: directory services
          - 1003.18: POSIX standardized profile
          - 1003.19: FORTRAN 90 language bindings

      - X/Open (consortium of vendors, founded 1984):
        - X/Open Portability Guides (XPGn):
          - XPG2 (1987), strong SV influence
            Vol 1:  commands and utilities
            Vol 2:  system calls and libraries
            Vol 3:  terminal I/F (curses, termio), IPC (SV),
            Vol 4:  programming languages (C, COBOL!)
            Vol 5:  data management (ISAM, SQL)
          - XPG3 (1989) adds: X11 API
          - XPG4 (1992) adds: XTI?   22 components
        - XOM series of interfaces:
          - XOM (X/Open Object Management) generic I/F mechanisms for
          - XDS (X/Open Directory Service)
          - XMH (X/Open Mail ??)
          - XMP (X/Open Management Protocols) -- not Bull's CM API?
        - X/Open now has the rights to the "UNIX" trademark (late 93);
        - "Spec 1170"
          - This specification is being prepared describing a common API
            to which vendors wanting to use the name "UNIX" will have to
            comply (when test suites are available). Merge of SVID,
            OSF's AES and other stuff.

      - AT&T
        (is this still relevant in 1994? Who is now responsible for SVID,
        TLI, APLI?)
        - System V Interface Definition (SVID)
          - SVID1 (1985, SVR2)
            Vol 1:  system calls and libraries (similar to XPG2.1)
          - SVID2 (1986, SVR3)
            Vol 1:  system calls and libraries (base, kernel extensions)
            Vol 2:  commands and utilities (base, advanced, admin, software
                    development), terminal I/F
            Vol 3:  terminal I/F (again), STREAMS and TLI, RFS
          - SVID3 (19??, SVR4) adds
            Vol 4:  ??  &c
        - APIs
          - Transport Library Interface (TLI)
          - ACSE/Presentation Library Interface (APLI)

      - COSE (COmmon Open Software Environment) [IBM, HP, SunSoft, others]:
        objective is to bring different Unix platforms closer together.
        Initiatives in the following areas:
        - desktop environments
        - application API (aka Spec 1170 -- a single programming i/f) --
          probably the more important achievement at this point: eliminates
          differences between SCO, AIX, Solaris, HP-UX, UnixWare.
        - distributed computing services (OSF's DCE and SunSoft's ONC)
        - object technologies (OMG's CORBA)
        - graphics
        - multimedia
        - systems management

      - PowerOpen Environment (POE) promoted by the PowerOpen association
        (POA). A standard for Unix-like OSs running on PowerPC chip. Defines:
        - an API (application programming i/f, derived from AIX, conforms to
          POSIX, XPG4, Motif, &c) and
        - an ABI (application binary i/f), a distinguishing factor from other
          standards such as POSIX, XPG4, &c.. Any POE-compliant system will
          be able to run all POE software.
        Key features:
        - based on the PowerPC architecture
        - hardware bus independence
        - system implementations can range from laptops to supercomputers
        - requires a multi-user, multi-tasking operating system
        - networking support
        - X windows extension, Motif
        - conformance tested and certified by an independent party (POA)
        AIX 4.1.1 will be PowerOpen compliant. MacOS isn't and won't be.
        [above adapted from the powerpc-faq from comp.sys.powerpc]

        IBM is involved in both COSE and POE. How will the two interact?

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Top Document: Unix - Frequently Asked Questions (6/7) [Frequent posting]
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Next Document: Identifying your Unix flavor.

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