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."
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RE[4]: What is openness?
by phoehne on Tue 19th Jun 2007 19:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What is openness?"
phoehne
Member since:
2006-08-26

Actually, you gave a product that performed poorly at 5 times the cost. That's a strawman. What happens when the product is just as good at a 3% premium? What happens when the part is even cheaper but at 95% perofmance? I don't want them to open source for a religious reason - read my original comment. I want them to open it up because it's more appealing to customers. In particular it's more appealing to this customer. I like ZFS and I like MDB/DTrace - great selling points - but not if the long run option is a 75% open kernel. In the short run, that's fine, as they make their transition, but I think it will actually be in their shareholders best interest, in the long run, to do what customers want.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: What is openness?
by binarycrusader on Tue 19th Jun 2007 21:00 in reply to "RE[4]: What is openness?"
binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, you gave a product that performed poorly at 5 times the cost. That's a strawman.

I disagree. It doesn't really matter if the difference is $3 or $500. Depending on the person the difference may be irrelevant as long as a less expensive option exists.

In addition, you seem to gloss over the fact that 3% on a single system may not big a big deal, but if someone was purchaing thousands of systems that 3% can add up very quickly.

I'm certain that if you asked the average IT department who is purchaing 1,000 machines if they wanted them with a video card with an open source driver but it would cost them 3% more for their total invoice than it would if they opted for a driver with no source code they would choose the cheaper option.

That's my point about "perceived freedom"; it's all a matter of perception.

In the short run, that's fine, as they make their transition, but I think it will actually be in their shareholders best interest, in the long run, to do what customers want.

That's the for the shareholders and Sun to decide, not for people who think that small increases in price are acceptable for "perceived freedom." Remember that most of Sun's customers could care less if the source code is available for a particular driver for their hardware or not, they just want a completely supported, working solution.

While Sun's customers did want the source code for Solaris for other reasons, in this particular case, I do not believe the same necessarily applies.

Its also rather impolite, in my view, to force your particular view of "necessary freedoms" on a company who you do not represent as a shareholder or Customer (probably).

Personally, I could care less if the source code for a driver is available or not. Wherever possible, it is certainly nice to have that insurance, but it is not worth money to me.

In an ideal world, a Customer would be able to simply say "I would like to ensure my systems are fully open and am willing to pay a 3% premium."

Its the same situation Dell is having right now with some of their systems.

Nevermind that in some industries, the full specifications of hardware will never be available due to government or other regulations.

Edited 2007-06-19 21:02

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[6]: What is openness?
by phoehne on Tue 19th Jun 2007 21:52 in reply to "RE[5]: What is openness?"
phoehne Member since:
2006-08-26

Actually, I do have a very modest 500 shares of Sun and am purchasing hardware for my business through their startup essentials program. I really like the turn Sun has made to open source. I am already paying a premium for some equipment through Sun, and the startup essentials discount brings it more in line with the rest of the market. (Their SATA drives are not cheap - almost $1 per Gig.)

One requirement I had for the platform we settled on (Solaris) is open source. I looked at FreeBSD and I already had a fair grounding in Linux. If Solaris were not open source, it would not be on the table. Part of the reason is we expect to host some of our contracting customer sites in house. ZFS and Zones are a large part of what drew us to Solaris, but it would have been a non-starter under closed source.

Reply Parent Score: 3