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Communications of the ACM


A Conversation with Margo Seltzer and Mike Olson

Margo Seltzer and Mike Olson

Credit: Harvard, CMS Wire

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Kirk Mckusick sat down with Margo Seltzer and Mike Olson to discuss the history of Berkeley DB, for which they won the ACM Software System Award in 2021. McKusick has spent his career as a BSD and FreeBSD developer. Margo Seltzer has spent her career as a professor of computer science and as an entrepreneur of database software companies. Mike Olson started his career as a software developer and later started and managed several open source software companies. Berkeley DB is a production-quality, scalable, NoSQL, open source platform for embedded transactional data management.

KIRK MCKUSICK: Berkeley DB came out of the University of California at Berkeley Computer Systems Research Group's work to create a version of Unix unencumbered by AT&T's ownership rights to the original version of Unix. To do that, we needed a new kernel, written without using any of the AT&T code. We also needed all the applications and libraries that shipped with the operating system.


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