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A group of engineers are trying and prove the notion of creating common development system for ISVs targeting multiple Unixes is a good idea which was wrecked by suits and the likes of Open Software Foundation and Advanced Computing Environment initiative. Santa Cruz Operation Inc, Sun Microsystems Inc, Intel Corp, DEC, Linux, BSDI and other key Unix development engineers met at SCO’s offices in August to figure out a way of enabling applications to be created which would run, without modification or emulation, on the Intel Corp-based versions of BSDI, FreeBSD, Linux, NetBSD, SCO OpenServer, Sunsoft SolarisX86 and SCO UnixWare. The goal, they say, is to get ISVs porting to Unix-on- Intel by reducing the effort needed to support the various implementations. They’ve agreed to work on a common programming and binary interface called 86open, reminiscent of the well- regarded 88open initiative, which when used by ISVs will enable applications created using it to run on all of these operating systems. The spec – which the group calls Spec 150 for its 150 system calls – will be published and made available free of charge. It involves use of a libc shared library of basic functions to be provided on all systems providing a common API hiding the differences between the various operating systems allowing the resulting binary programs to run unaltered on any compliant system. They group says it’ll comply with The Open Group’s Spec 1170 or single Unix specification, where it can. A reference implementation being developed for SCO UnixWare is based upon GNU’s glibc version 2 freeware. The list and behavior of 86open functions is presently being determined. If it doesn’t offer ISVs enough functionality to write to then it will develop others. SCO the 86open initiative it’s not about marketing or positioning. It’s a grass root initiative to avoid the silly OSF type fiascoes of the past.

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CBR Staff Writer

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