Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to MS in Peruvian open-source nightmare

Posted by Jerry Asher on
It's almost certainly the case that the Navy did have the source to NT.    When I was in aerospace, the source to everything, including our software, the OS we were using, and any third party drivers were always  part of any contract with the government and that included the Air Force and Navy contracts.

That doesn't enable the Navy to fix their boat in the blue water though.  Good engineering is what would enable them to fix their boat, and actually, I think that could occur, even using NT as the base OS.

The Yorktown problem wasn't merely NT related.  The Yorktown incident occurred September 97, when NT 4 was released only 13 months earlier.  I am appalled that the Navy chose NT 4 to base all their stuff on, in May 97 with NT 4 only being ten months old.  It had to be a political decision.  (Not dems vs. repubs or yangs vs coms, but someone looking to make rear admiral.)

It was just awful engineering all the way around to pick such an immature OS, to test it as poorly as they seemingly did, and not to have designed other failsafe mechanisms to handle and recover from crashes.

I've always been surprised to read just these initial stories of the towing, with never any followup.  What has happened?  How was the original decision made and by whom?  Has the Navy, five years later, gone to a total NT commitment?  Did Congress or anyone ever investigate?  Inquiring minds want to know!