Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 14th Nov 2006 23:16 UTC
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris Will Sun look to use the GPL for offerings it has already open-sourced, such as the OpenSolaris version of its operating system? That was the topic of discussion in this exchange between Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's president and CEO, and Rich Green, the company's senior VP of software at an event to formally open-source Java. "We will take a close look at it," Green said, adding that it was possible that the familiarity and comfort level developers have with the GPL may result in Sun adopting it for OpenSolaris.
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GPL 2 or 3?
by wonea on Tue 14th Nov 2006 23:30 UTC
wonea
Member since:
2005-10-28

Should be interesting. I see GPL will be used.

Edited 2006-11-14 23:31

Reply Score: 1

RE: GPL 2 or 3?
by somebody on Tue 14th Nov 2006 23:40 in reply to "GPL 2 or 3?"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

Does it matter? In case if you would like to transfer code from OpenSolaris to Linux, I guess it does. But, personaly, I will use Solaris for its features and linux for its features. Best tool wins the job, and since jobs differ, tools will too.

This means OpenSolaris will be able to ship without binary blobs. (or better, can't even ship with them)

It looks like Sun was listening to people. And if this comes true, they certainly got all the yesterdays bling and fame from Novell. Novell got points in community eyes for the same reason, releasing a bunch of quality code in short time. But, I doubt Sun would be stupid to follow them in the second example they gave to the world.

This week competition result
Sun: clean 10.0
Novell: -1.0

p.s. No I don't blame Novell for getting in business with MS, I don't blame them for providing indemnification like agreement. I blame them for putting FUD stickers on other people software, including mine. It seems they think they are more suitable to deploy my own software than me.

Edited 2006-11-14 23:43

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: GPL 2 or 3?
by sbergman27 on Wed 15th Nov 2006 00:05 in reply to "RE: GPL 2 or 3?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""Does it matter? In case if you would like to transfer code from OpenSolaris to Linux, I guess it does."""

Question for those with experience working with OS kernel code. Does this matter? I always figured that Solaris and Linux differed so much in kernel internals that the kind of compatibility that would allow direct transfer of code... the type of transfer that would be covered by copyright, would be irrelevant. Am I correct? Or off the mark?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: GPL 2 or 3?
by PRaabjerg on Wed 15th Nov 2006 00:24 in reply to "GPL 2 or 3?"
PRaabjerg Member since:
2006-09-23

Probably depends on "when".

If you look at their release of the HotSpot JVM, it's under a "GPLv2 only" licence. And if they decide to GPL Solaris before GPLv3 is out, Solaris will quite likely be released like that, too. But be aware that this does not mean that they wont change to GPLv3 in the future. Sun is part of the GPLv3 process, and has stated that the main reason for not using it, is that they didn't want to wait:
http://www.sun.com/software/opensource/java/faq.jsp#g24

They will require a transfer of copyright for every patch that goes into their source, much like the FSF does, so they will be able to legally and easily change to GPLv3. And given their involvement, it seems likely to happen.

I still think it'd have been better with the "or later" text, but at least they're not going hit "developer permission hell" when/if they're upgrading the licence to v3 ;)

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: GPL 2 or 3?
by b3timmons on Wed 15th Nov 2006 15:08 in reply to "RE: GPL 2 or 3?"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

I still think it'd have been better with the "or later" text, but at least they're not going hit "developer permission hell" when/if they're upgrading the licence to v3 ;)

Of v2, v3, "or later", etc. I would consider "or later" to be the most radical condition for a business to go with. Their developers should read v3 now and make noise about what they dislike before it is set in stone in a couple of months.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: GPL 2 or 3?
by b3timmons on Wed 15th Nov 2006 01:16 in reply to "GPL 2 or 3?"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

Don't forget about IBM.

Sun has undergone a major attitude adjustment to go with any GPL. The CEO Schwartz and others are already on record as being positive about GPLv3 and working with the FSF. The *technical* improvements of v3 over v2 cannot be lost on Sun and would be the public justification in any announcement. But I bet the strategic interests matter more in this decision.

Consider the big company identified with the Linux kernel ("GPLv2 only"): Sun's arch rival IBM. IBM had been, in effect, wanting to bum Sun contributions in the Java realm. GPLing Java on Monday stymied IBM's non-GPL wish.

IBM would benefit at Sun's expense if OpenSolaris went v2 because goodies such as DTrace licensed this way could be ported more readily (from a legal POV) to the Linux kernel. Thus, Sun would want to go v3.

It's a two-way street, of course: OpenSolaris could benefit from the driver work in Linux. Moreover, the only real complaint a group of leading kernel developers could come with against v3 in particular is that v3 would, in effect, prohibit DRM being forced upon kernel users. How would this "benefit" of enforcing DRM matter to the market segments (enterprise) of Sun?

It is not so obvious to me that porting *drivers* would be made significantly easier by being compatible with "v2 only". Note that driver porting goes on quite a bit among the free kernels of differing licenses.

Finally, even though everyone knows it would be tough to move the Linux kernel to *any* other license from sheer paperwork, it was easy enough to for them to sound their alarm over v3 and how there would be a "balkanization" in the community of v2 vs. v3. Chances are the v2 only folks will yawn at OpenSolaris. The majority will be in between, and then a v3 fringe. With an aggressive v3 move OpenSolaris could recoup a bit of mindshare the Linux kernel stole from Solaris. Clearly, technical factors will be weighed, but this Sun could make some hay out of this. There are other possible motivations for v3: a greater sense of security in that Novell/MS types of circumventions will be harder. There are real improvements in v3, after all!

Now this mindshare thing by going v3 may seem a bit silly, but it is real: free software people will gain yet more respect for Sun's leadership; and there will a lot of users out there who don't know the GPL from the LPG but will wonder why Linux is v2 and OpenSolaris is v3. (Maybe I've seen too much in support!)

It seems to me that Linux has hit Solaris hard and Sun should make the most aggressive move and go v3 if Solaris is to matter in the long term and they are to gain from IBM here.

Edited 2006-11-15 01:30

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: GPL 2 or 3?
by sbergman27 on Wed 15th Nov 2006 01:31 in reply to "RE: GPL 2 or 3?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""It seems to me that Linux has hit Solaris hard and Sun should make the most aggressive move and go v3 if Solaris is to matter in the long term and they are to gain from IBM here."""

This is starting to sound uncomfortably like the UNIX wars. Just with licenses instead of code.

Let's not use GPL license versions as weapons.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: GPL 2 or 3?
by bullethead on Wed 15th Nov 2006 01:49 in reply to "RE: GPL 2 or 3?"
bullethead Member since:
2005-07-10

Your well written comment is appreciated, I feel exactly the same way. I thought I was the only one who thought of this (obviously not ;) .) The GNU(v3)/Solaris kernel would be an excellent "new" replacement for the GNU(v2)/Linux kernel in the eyes of true free software advocates, fans, and developers.

Not to mention the thought of saying GNU's not Unix Sun brings tears to my eyes.

I watched the Sun netcast and was floored. Even RMS seemed shocked during his speech. When that happens you know Schwartz is on the right track and that his company means "open for business". Countless numbers of times I heard them reference the next version of GPL (v3) and that they like the direction that it is heading. There is some serious information to share and a lot of situations to settle legally but this will be the finest day in free software (Solaris GPL v.3).

People called me crazy when I said that a "mistake" in a previous release of Red Hat Fedora which forbid tainting the kernel was a feature. You see, lads and lassies, free is the way to be. Schwartz realizes this as does the rest of the "information should be free as in freedom" hackers out there.

There's no stopping us.

Reply Parent Score: 5