Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th Aug 2007 17:28 UTC, submitted by vondur
Linux "Don't expect to see key features of OpenSolaris showing up in the Linux kernel," said a top Linux maintainer. At his LinuxWorld opening keynote, Andrew Morton made it very clear that the appointment of former OSDL CTO and Debian co-founder Ian Murdock to Sun's OS platforms organization will not translate into a merging between the open source version of Solaris Unix with Linux. He didn't mince words. "It's a great shame that OpenSolaris still exists. They should have killed it," said Morton, addressing one attendee's question about the possibility of Solaris' most notable features being integrated into the kernel. "It's a disappointment and a mistake by Sun." Morton said none of those features - Zones, ZFS, DTrace - will end up in the Linux kernel because Sun refuses to adopt the GPL.
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Here's the bottom line
by richardstevenhack on Fri 10th Aug 2007 20:11 UTC
richardstevenhack
Member since:
2006-12-30

ALL of the proprietary UNIX companies - IBM, HP, Sun - should have killed their proprietary UNIXes ten years ago and donated their entire source code to Linux.

Had they done that, Linux would be MILES ahead of Windows today and those companies - and Linux - would be competing much better with Microsoft today.

Instead they all - including Sun - wanted to keep their "differentiation" strategies, resulting in Windows Server taking over a big chunk of the server market and continuing to advanced at the cost of those proprietary UNIXes and, to a lesser degree since Linux is also advancing well, Linux.

That is undoubtedly why Morton said what he said - if not, it should be his reason.

Sun has been too little, too late, all along with regards to open sourcing Java and their OS. HP and IBM still don't get it at all. NO one company can successfully compete with Microsoft. Only OSS can IF they get the support of Microsoft's competitors.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Here's the bottom line
by jwwf on Fri 10th Aug 2007 22:04 in reply to "Here's the bottom line"
jwwf Member since:
2006-01-19

ALL of the proprietary UNIX companies - IBM, HP, Sun - should have killed their proprietary UNIXes ten years ago and donated their entire source code to Linux.

Had they done that, Linux would be MILES ahead of Windows today and those companies - and Linux - would be competing much better with Microsoft today.


Ridiculous. First of all, Linux in 1997 was barely a blip on the radar. We are talking kernel 2.0 days. It was nothing like it is now, and it had no enterprise mindshare.

Secondly, you can't donate code you don't own, and most (all?) proprietary UNIXes contain third party code that the vendor paid a lot to license.

Thirdly, Windows is where it is today because Windows admins are cheap, because Windows is familiar, and because it works ok most of the time. I don't think that a different UNIX would have changed any of this. With Microsoft's money and ambitions, there was no chance that they wouldn't eventually produce a decent OS, and thus offer your average IT buyer an acceptable path of least resistance.

Fourthly, how do you think that the proprietary UNIX vendors' customers would have reacted to their whole infrastructure being EOL'd for some new, unproven thing? Forced migrations generate lots of bad will. They're almost enough to push you away from UNIX and on to Windows. Hmm...

Edited 2007-08-10 22:05

Reply Parent Score: 2

richardstevenhack Member since:
2006-12-30

Of course, you miss the whole point.

Back in Linux 2.0 days, it was still apparent that this was going to matter. The open source concept may not have had the popularity it has today, but clearly the concept was valid even then. And even if the three - at that time, four with Digital - proprietary UNIXes had chosen not to donate to Linux, but merely to merge their UNIX systems into one, it would have been better for Linux eventually. Because eventually, the advantage of doing the first merge would have made it apparent that there was an advantage of merging with Linux - allowing the Linux community to expand the development of the merged systems would have guaranteed a superior product.

It's even possible that Linux itself would never have become as popular as it is now. But the merged UNIX system, if open sourced, would still have likely been more well received than Windows on the server side.

But the Linux development probably would still have mattered because it stimulated the desktop side of UNIX, which a merged group of server editions would likely not have done, unless open sourced early.

As for the licensing issues, they could have been worked out. There's no a priori proof that isn't true. Merging three UNIX systems would on the one hand have compounded the problem, but on the other hands perhaps one technology that could not be re-licensed could have been replaced by an equivalent technology from one of the other UNIX systems that could be re-licensed.

In any event, merging the three or four develop teams would have made it likely that the licensing issues could be avoided by re-engineering.

Linux doesn't have that problem because it is re-engineering everything in the kernel space anyway. It still would have benefited from having things like the XSF file system donated by Silicon Image (who "got it" early on, unlike the other UNIX companies).

As for Windows, a merged UNIX/Linux would have been cheaper than Windows, had it been open sourced early enough. Had that been done early enough in the UNIX/Linux life cycle, Windows would not have been nearly as good as it was by Windows XP. I'm not saying Windows wouldn't have still had the bulk of the market share due to their near-monopoly contractual methods - but the market share of UNIX/Linux would have been much better than it is now by this time.

As for the reaction of the UNIX companies customers, that is another red herring. While some people might have disliked being forced to migrate, the advantage of having all the advantages of each UNIX system in one would have assuaged a great deal of that. Keep in mind that such a merger would NOT have been toward a "new, unproven thing", but rather the marshalling of three or four proven UNIX systems into one.

Nothing about that scenario is "ridiculous".

Finally, the statement that "Windows is where it is today because Windows admins are cheap, because Windows is familiar, and because it works ok most of the time" is only partly true. Microsoft got convicted of being a monopoly not because of those reasons, but because of its behavior in the marketplace. More importantly, Windows got where it is because most of the people charged with paying for it - corporate management - are idiots who didn't look ahead to the hidden costs of the Windows monoculture.

The bottom line: as I've said many times -

Windows is CRAP.
Linux is ALSO CRAP.
BUT Linux is FREE crap.

Reply Parent Score: 1