Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Jun 2007 10:29 UTC, submitted by binarycrusader
Oracle and SUN Simon Phipps of Sun has responded to the recent criticism of Sun's openness, pointing out that even releasing information that they may already have costs a lot of money. "Jonathan asked me to look into this, to ensure we're pursuing an open path across all of Sun, not simply the software group. We take all input seriously, and we can't solve all problems for all parties, but we're committed to doing our best to faithfully engage with all the communities we serve, in the same spirit as the existing Open Source Ombudsman Scheme. With the support of my team and others in the community I'll try to build a new scheme that is fair and transparent."
Thread beginning with comment 248964
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
What is openness?
by phoehne on Tue 19th Jun 2007 16:34 UTC
Member since:

I come from the openness debate from a pragmatic perspective. I like open source systems for the visibility it gives me. What I don't like are religious warriors claiming X is not open enough, for that Y shouldn't be used because of the proprietary drivers. What I really, really hate are "open source" companies that keep all the interesting keys to the kingdome to themselves. I don't think (deep-down) Theo is the former and I don't think Sun is the latter. I also recognize that a system like Solaris, or the SunFire platform is not the intellectual property of one company and that it takes time to 1) convince other vendors to open up and 2) work around any pieces that other vendors refuse to open.

I think Sun has done an admirable job, and I'm looking at deploying our next applications on Solaris 10 for x64. (Something I would not have considered under closed source Solaris). I even think it's okay for Sun to bundle closed source pieces as I would rather have good quality drivers for the hardware than often slower performing (lowest common denominator) pure open-source drivers. (For example, some closed source ATI drivers versus open source ATI drivers). However, this is a short term solution to the current hardware available and Sun should understand STOP BUYING HARDWARE FROM VENDORS THAT REFUSE TO OPEN THEIR DRIVERS. If all major vendors (IBM, HP, SUN - Dell is happy to live in shit and sell Windows) started making openness as a requisite, then Broadcom, ATI, NVidia, etc. would deliver and the driver/hardware issue would be a mute point.

Edited 2007-06-19 16:36

Reply Score: 4

RE: What is openness?
by binarycrusader on Tue 19th Jun 2007 16:39 in reply to "What is openness?"
binarycrusader Member since:

No, Sun should buy the best hardware that meets the requirements of their customers at a price and performance level that meets their needs.

Sometimes this means choosing hardware that doesn't have open specifications but is significantly cheaper or better than available alternatives.

Forcing the choice of open hardware is only practical when that qualifier is more important to customers than any other.

If I have to choose between:

* $500 for a slow video card but has open source drivers

* $100 for an ultra fast video card but no open source drivers

I'm going to choose the second option every time because "perceived freedom" is not worth the difference in price.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: What is openness?
by Silent_Seer on Tue 19th Jun 2007 17:02 in reply to "RE: What is openness?"
Silent_Seer Member since:

I'm going to choose the second option every time because "perceived freedom" is not worth the difference in price.

Agreed. But SUN should include openess regarding documentation, as part of their needs when they evaluate their hardware partners. Why? Because that's what is expected from an OSS friendly company.

P.S. I think SUN is a great company and deserves their 'OSS supporter' badge. It's just that things take time. OSS people have every right to make complaints to get problems noticed. This will only help for the better.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: What is openness?
by phoehne on Tue 19th Jun 2007 17:36 in reply to "RE: What is openness?"
phoehne Member since:

Someone like Sun has the market power to go to a Broadcom and say "sorry, can't use your RAID chips - you won't open the drivers. However, Intel will." In my personal experience the contrast has rarely been so stark as in your example. In many cases the performance is comparable but maybe the Broadcom chipset is a little cheaper. In some cases there is no real performance or cost difference, but rather what the engineers have been putting in there. It also encourages the selected vendor to continue opening their drivers. Nothing sucks worse than testing the waters with a competative, open-source product to find no market acceptance. I agree they should pick the "best" hardware but best is often viewed along many axis, which may include the degree to which the driver is open.

Reply Parent Score: 3