Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 30th Apr 2007 23:08 UTC, submitted by irbis
Oracle and SUN "Amid falling sales of its bread-and-butter servers and mounting pressure on Schwartz to cut more jobs and boost a stock price that's dropped more than 22%, to USD 5.26, since early February, Sun is considering its most radical open-source move yet: releasing Solaris under the love-it-or-hate-it GPL. The move could reinvigorate Sun by putting one of its crown jewels into the thick of the open-source movement - or it could diminish the worth of one of Sun's most valuable pieces of intellectual property."
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RE[2]: Sun is in a bad place
by ormandj on Tue 1st May 2007 00:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Sun is in a bad place"
ormandj
Member since:
2005-10-09

I tend to agree that "GPLing" Solaris won't have a huge impact - there's only so much room for GPLed *nixes.


I don't think it's going to have an immediate effect, as a lot of people seem to think it will. More of a long-term effect.

You have to remember the advantages of Solaris over Linux (insert random distro.) It's stable - you develop for it - it's going to work. Across releases. Companies such as Nvidia have learned to love that, and individual developers might come to love it as well.

It's also got a lot of funded development to bolster it. Sun spends an enormous amount on R&D alone, a good portion works towards Solaris. ZFS, Dtrace, etc - all the new "cool" stuff being trumpeted is a direct result of that. I've not really seen all that much groundbreaking development come out of the Linux camp for some time.

The system isn't fragmented. This is one thing I worry about with the GPLing. We've already got Nexenta and some other OSOL distros out there, and no offense to their projects - but the last thing I want to see is Solaris become Solaris + random userland stuff, like Linux. The whole stability thing goes out the window.

I could go on for ages, but I think the key is just the fundamental differences in design/organization of the project. Right now, there are a few valid (on some level) complaints concerning Solaris.

The biggest - some people are GPL only. I don't like GPL, personally - but I realize some people won't touch anything that isn't GPLd. GPL-izing Solaris will allow them to utilize the OS. Most people I speak with in the IT world know the advantages of Solaris, and of all the developers I know - the only ones who don't develop for it/like it are the GPL-only crew. This licensing change should make it a lot easier for them to give it a go, and enjoy the stability when programming. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 5

lord-storm Member since:
2005-07-12

I agree solaris [random distro's] will actualy distroy opensolaris growth.

Linux distro's have the problem that new developers arnt working on their existing projects why? Because they are starting their own.

I agree there is a need for Free alternitive products like Centos and the like but solaris 10 has that.

Sun Microsystems have the means and the community to vendor trap some users. This is what they need and microsoft have done a great job. By Vendor trap I mean release some low spec sparc systems. I would buy a Solaris 10 Sparc server for 800USD like a new netra x1 @800-1000MHZ dual SATA 2 single Gigabit and LOM @ no graphics. But also on that note I wont pay double for their support either.
Linux is not in a good position on the sparc platform. ZFS everywhere is actualy bad for solaris10.

Sun Microsystems have also not seen development in embedded systems and might be taking drastic steps to improve the chances of such development.

Oh random live CD's of open solaris have helped to some extent but are always suspect to GPL issues.

I wonder what Ben Rockwood thinks.....

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Sun is in a bad place
by Michael on Tue 1st May 2007 10:43 in reply to "RE[2]: Sun is in a bad place"
Michael Member since:
2005-07-01

The system isn't fragmented. This is one thing I worry about with the GPLing. ... the last thing I want to see is Solaris become Solaris + random userland stuff, like Linux. The whole stability thing goes out the window.


That's where Solaris has a big advantage over Linux. Linux is a kernel, not an OS so there's no definative Linux OS to devlop for (personally I think that's what Debian should be). Solaris, on the other hand, will always be the definative version of Solaris. A lot of people's problems with Windows come from having a load of userland stuff piled on top. There's always userland crud breaking stability. That's OK as long as there's a stable core to develop for.

Reply Parent Score: 2

unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

There's always userland crud breaking stability. That's OK as long as there's a stable core to develop for.

In Linux land that stable core would be the LSB. So, I don't think stability would more of an issue in Linux than it is in Solaris.

The interesting thing is what is going to happen with driver development. With Solaris going GPL there would be one more company to put pressure on hardware vendors to open up their specifications. That would be good for all free OS:es.

Another thing to hope for, if Solaris goes GPL, is that Sun starts to keep the stuff in /usr/sfw up to date and perhaps add gcc as a compiler. Sure Sun compilers generates better code, but a lot of free software out there requires a lot of tweaking to be compiled by it.

Reply Parent Score: 2