Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 14th Nov 2007 19:49 UTC
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris Erstwhile bitter rivals Dell and Sun Microsystems are set to announce that Sun's Solaris and OpenSolaris operating systems will be supported in all of Dell's servers. Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell and Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz plan to make the announcement during a joint appearance at the Oracle OpenWorld 2007 conference today.
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A win for Solaris and a Loss for Linux
by stephanem on Wed 14th Nov 2007 20:27 UTC
Member since:

Is probably how most people will see it rather than a win for Open Source!

Reply Score: 4

dude Member since:

though you got modded down, i think there is some truth to your subject line. Most people that are into open source software are really just fans of certain open source projects, and prefer open source for the rest of their stuff. Every project has it's "us versus the world" users, and the reason you come across a lot of linux zealots like this is largely because of it's large user/developer base. Most people will see this as a win for open source, despite what some vocal fanatics say.

I'm not saying their aren't people that are just purely into open source, and only use open source. It's just that a majority of the open source world is not made up of these people

Reply Parent Score: 2

butters Member since:

The only pragmatic argument against OpenSolaris from a Linux perspective is license fragmentation. Otherwise it's great. However, this is a big problem, and it will become more annoying for both communities, not to mention ISV/IHVs, as time goes on.

To use a political analogy... Imagine a young democracy devoid of major political parties where politicians advance their own platforms independently. Then, someone comes up with the bright idea of forming a broad alliance to advance and protect certain ideals, convinced that, united, their coalition will one day dominate the national politics.

Nobody spoke up and asked, "What if, at some point in the future, somebody starts a second party that's mostly like our's, but which differs on some contentious wedge issues? Wouldn't that be bad for everybody?"

So now we have a two-party system for free software platforms (along with some independent libertarians that advocate the BSD), and each party has a binding pact not to ever cooperate with the other. It's a sad state of affairs, and pointing fingers isn't going to help. Both sides are partially at fault, the general principle of copyleft is at fault, and a copyright system that wasn't designed for organic, collaborative development is especially at fault.

We need a compromise. How about this: Let's agree to relicense both Linux (painstaking as it would be) and OpenSolaris under the LGPLv3. The projects would also have to agree on whether or not to eliminate the anti-Tivoization language. Linux would be strictly LGPLv3-only, and while all of OpenSolaris to which Sun owns the copyright would be LGPLv3, third parties would have the option of linking arbitrarily-licensed source files.

To enforce this policy, the Linux kernel project would designate a very small portion of the kernel that's vital to Linux but highly unlikely to be useful to other projects as a copyleft "seed". They would license this seed under the GPLv3 with an explicit LGPLv3 linking exception. Then nobody would be able to distribute a Linux kernel linked with non-LGPLv3 code.

This empowers bidirectional code sharing between the projects while satisfying much of their respective licensing requirements. From Sun's perspective, the LGPLv3 is very similar to the CDDL. Linux could preserve the incentive for third parties to contribute free software, and while mixed-source projects could merge LGPLv3 code from Linux, file-granular reciprocity would still be required.

Just an idea... I'm glad that OpenSolaris brings more competition and visibility to free software, but the whole idea behind free software is that competition and collaboration aren't mutually exclusive. We can share to exploit our common interests without compromising our mutual ability to differentiate. Linux and OpenSolaris have different visions, and the ability to share code can't change that.

Reply Parent Score: 6

walterbyrd Member since:

I think most Linux supporters see almost success that is non-msft as a win for open source.

Msft is percieved as the monopolistic linux antangonist. At least for now.

Reply Parent Score: 2

melkor Member since:

That was exactly my thoughts. The past 18 months I've been recommending Solaris, rather than Linux for any server based operations to IT managers that I know. And for a variety of reasons - Linux is good, but Solaris is just as good, and better in many areas imho. Also, the cost of supporting Solaris is cheaper than going with an enterprise version of Linux.

Personally - I think Linux is half dead now - it's promised so much, and not really delivered. True, part of that is due to the political machinations of Microsoft and others, who oppose the open source way of doing things (unless it's BSD based code of course).

Now, before all your Linux fanatics mod me down, thnk about it:

Compared to 5 years ago, there are even less software ported to Linux.

Compared to 5 years ago, WINE is no better.

Compared to 5 years ago, 3rd party driver support for hardware is no better.

Compared to 5 years ago, OpenOffice has in all honesty, went backwards. Microsoft Office is EVEN more dominant now, than it was 5 years ago.

These are just my personal observations.

From a political point of view, we now have companies sidestepping the GPL, so that they can bastardise GPL code and get away with it, and not live with the spirit of the GPL. This is becoming more and more common. We have ex Windows users who don't care about the principles of Free Software, and the GPL licence, all they care about is not having to pay any money for the software. There's more to open source than free, as in money, software. All of this is driving to the commercialisation of Linux, with the big corporations being interested in it from a server side point of view. This leads to the ignorance of the majority of the users - the desktop users.

For Linux to succeed, imho, it needs to do several things:

1. Set up a body of corporations who donate money, for open source developers to work with 3rd party software developers, and at THEIR cost, port the software to Linux with no release of source code etc. If enough 3rd party applications get ported, people will shift across.
2. Narrow it down to one package manager.
3. Narrow it down to one desktop environment.
4. Get games ported to Linux (see point 1).
5. Get much better 3rd party hardware driver support, rather than ugly, open source hacks that aren't reliable, or only partly work (or both).

Points 3 and 4 are critical - with limited open source developers, it makes NO sense to waste their efforts by working on splintered efforts and many different projects that have the same end goals. Better to work on one project, and combine the developers.

Just my honest thoughts. Don't get me wrong - I like Linux, I like it a lot. It just has lost its appeal to me, it no longer suits my needs, and has to really improve in order to entice me back.


Reply Parent Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:

I don't agree with everything you said, but you have made some good points. I don't know why people here see it as their 'job' to suppress peoples opinions via the moderation system. I've done by attempt to even things up and added a point to your post.

Reply Parent Score: 3

segedunum Member since:

there are even less software ported to Linux......WINE is no better......3rd party driver support for hardware is no better.......OpenOffice has in all honesty, went backwards.

You do realise that this is just stupid, don't you? Open Office is developed mostly by Sun and is the same on Solaris as it is on Linux, as is WINE, and driver support is far worse in Solaris than Linux - third-party or not.

Edited 2007-11-15 14:33

Reply Parent Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:


Compared to 5 years ago, there are even less software ported to Linux.

Compared to 5 years ago, WINE is no better.

Compared to 5 years ago, 3rd party driver support for hardware is no better.

Compared to 5 years ago, OpenOffice has in all honesty, went backwards. Microsoft Office is EVEN more dominant now, than it was 5 years ago.

These are just my personal observations.


I'm glad you added that last about it being personal opinion. At least you admit you can't point to facts to support those assertions.

1. I doubt that the amount of software ported to Linux from some other OS is less now. Corel dropped out after MS invested in them and the CEO left. But that's the only significant dropper-out that comes to mind. But there is surely less need for ported, closed source packages today than 5 years ago, since more OSS packages are available to fill more niches.

2. I would disagree with this. In my business, which is supporting Linux servers and business desktops, I do use Wine in targeted areas. And Wine, while it has never blazed very rapidly down the trail, has indeed gotten better at the tasks I require of it. Though, thankfully, my need for it today is much lower than what it was 5 years ago. Today, as long as it runs IE6 well, I'm set.

3. Compared to 5 years ago, I find the driver support to be *far* better. Especially for that problematic area of *printers*. USB has gone a long way to help the situation, and more vendors are Linux aware. Of course, wireless network chipsets are the current bugaboo; But the stage looks set for that situation to improve. We, the Linux community, really have to take some of the blame for that, since our infrastructure did not make things as easy for hardware vendors or OSS driver writers as it could have.

4. I'm unclear if you are addressing quality or market dominance regarding OpenOffice going backwards. But I've had many users using it since 1.0.x, and I don't see how anyone could argue that it has not gotten faster, more capable, and better at importing MS formats in the last 5 years. And though OOXML is not exactly an *optimal* standard. It *is* better for 3rd parties like OO than the previous MS formats. So I only see things getting better, there.

These are, of course, my observations. But they are informed ones. Selling and supporting Linux, and in particular Linux desktops, has not always been an easy thing in this MS dominated world. So I am faced with these issues every day. And it is exceedingly obvious to me that I am having a much easier time of it today than 5 years ago.

At any rate, since *Solaris has even less supported closed source software, needs Wine for the same things Linux does, is *way* behind on driver support, and uses OO in the same ways as Linux does... I'm mystified as to why you would find it preferable for the reasons you give here. Which is not to say that it doesn't shine over Linux in other ways; I'm not knocking *Solaris. I have always commended Sun and the *Solaris community om their OSS work, and welcomed them.

While I *do* believe that a bit of consolidation might be beneficial to Linux in certain areas, I would disagree with your goal of narrowing everything down to one player. I feel that you are underestimating the *crucial* importance of ongoing competition. No player achieves top performance without someone or something to compete against. And that is before you even get to the arguments involving cross-pollination, and Linus' concept of massive parallel development and software natural selection.

That last might be controversial, but you don't have to accept that bit to accept that competition is vitally important.

Edited 2007-11-15 19:01

Reply Parent Score: 2

Tweek Member since:

Thanks for threadjacking a discussion about opensolaris into a thread about linux. nice troll

Reply Parent Score: 1