Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 20th Jul 2009 19:16 UTC
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris The Linux desktop has come a long way. It's a fully usable, stable, and secure operating system that can be used quite easily by the masses. Not too long ago, Sun figured they could do the same by starting Project Indiana, which is supposed to deliver a complete distribution of OpenSolaris in a manner similar to GNU/Linux. After using the latest version for a while, I'm wondering: why?
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RE[4]: personal impressions...
by kawazu on Tue 21st Jul 2009 20:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: personal impressions..."
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Hi there;

well... you don't really have to kind of "evangelize" me regarding OpenSolaris... I spent most of my university life working with old Sun / Solaris workstations and for sure are affectionate towards Solaris and in some ways enthusiastic about the possibilities OpenSolaris does offer. And I have to admit that I am using Sun stuff (NetBeans, Glassfish, not talking about Java of course... :>) wherever possible. Personally, as well, I think many of the features provided by OpenSolaris generally are good, but then again, talking about an open source system, are they really tied to OpenSolaris? ZFS so far also does exist as a (fuse) port for GNU/Linux users. Maybe (not sure, though) DTrace also might be ported to GNU/Linux or other Unixoid systems - I'm not sure.

The only thing I know is, off-hand, that Sun in many respects failed about OpenSolaris. Why on earth that strange "Java Desktop System" (basically a modified GNU/Linux) a couple of years ago? Why does it take so long to make OpenSolaris stable? Why is there no "real" developer community around OpenSolaris so far, comparing to GNU/Linux or the *BSDs? Why, talking about DTrace in example, doesn't OpenSolaris come with a straightforward, powerful GUI tooling for these features to allow (desktop/developer) users to easily get started with these tools? Why, at the moment, is the set of hardware supported by OpenSolaris (being a company-backed operating system) still felt to be years behind what the Linux kernel provides here? Why, to get back to this example, does a system like Debian cleanly and quickly install packages within a couple of seconds or minutes where OpenSolaris IPS still takes rather long to install obscurely named packages to strange places like /opt/csw/ or /usr/gnu? I think that, given some more love years ago, OpenSolaris by now could be predominant. The way it is, right now it has to compete with GNU/Linux on the operating system, not even talking about Windows or MacOS X (which, as I disturbedly had to realize, seems to be the OS of choice amongst most of my Sun contacts... so much for that).

Asides this, just to add another example: When JavaFX was released, I just was into testing OpenSolaris, and I felt enthusiastic about JavaFX as well, just to figure out that - what? A technology released by Sun, in its initial release not supporting the operating system also released by Sun? That's simply dumb, from a marketing point of view, in my opinion...

So, overally: I hope the Sun/Oracle merger won't affect OpenSolaris all too much, or maybe a community will be capable of dropping in keeping OpenSolaris running even without Sun being there backing the project anymore. I still see work to be done, and I won't hesitate also testing out future releases. Let's see where it's heading...

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