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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melkor
Member since:
2006-12-16

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.

Dave

Reply Parent Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

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

melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

That's the problem with modding systems - you can make sane points, but because you don't 'follow' the rest, you get modded down as a form of censorship.

Thanks for the mod point, at least some of us have some decency.

Dave

Reply Parent Score: 3

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

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

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

I think its more that it has been the "Year of the Linux Desktop" for the last decade or so. Linux has been hyped like nothing else, and what i think he is trying to say is that it has pretty much hit the peak of what it will become, if not started to decline.

Reply Parent Score: 3

melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

OpenOffice is one part of the equation. And yes, Driver support is 'worse' for Solaris than Linux. However - you have to look at it from Dell's point of view - they're selling Solaris on Dell computers that will be used as servers. Driver needs for servers have always been more limited than a desktop system.

From a normal desktop point of view, Linux is better than Solaris. The problem is that Linux's big inroads into the market have been via servers and corporate environments. It has made very little, if no inroads into the desktop market. If Linux can't make it in the server environment, it doesn't hold much help for the desktop market imho.

Linux has been the 'best thing since sliced bread' for a long, long while now, and in reality, this hype has not eventuated into real market share. True, not all of this is due to Linux itself, a fair share is due to anti competitive behaviour from Microsoft, and with the collusion of other large software vendors as well. Yes, I say collusion. There's no real benefit for large software vendors to port to Linux - it means another port to support, which costs a lot of money to maintain. They already make nice profits with their Windows based software, why you those profits to subsidise a Linux version?

The average person doesn't give a rats ass about Linux, sure, more people have heard of it now, but it still has a reputation for being a bitch to install, a bitch to maintain, and more importantly, their software doesn't work on it, or work well in many cases. This is a huge turn off for most ordinary computer users, and their not going to be prepared to switch to Linux because of it.

Whilst I don't have any hard figures to back me up, I think you'll find that OS X users have avalanched in the past 18 months, and that has taken a lot of potentials away from Linux. Your average person is prepared to pay their hard cash for software, if they feel the software is worth it. That removes the one real advantage (to most people) that Linux has - free as in cost. Your average person couldn't give a rats ass about 'freedoms', they look at that as a idealistic rainbow dream which is unattainable in todays age.

Dave

Reply Parent Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

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

melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

Good counter-arguments as usual :-)

The problem is, facts are hard to find. Statistics can be easily manipulated, as we both know. I'm only going on my own personal experiences with Linux, and with people that I know etc. I don't know anyone who has moved to Linux in the past 3 years. I do know a few that have been using Linux for 5+ years, but they are what I'd consider social outcasts, using Linux to voice their social displeasure with the world at large. I know of many people who have switched to Macs and OS X.

The gist of my argument was that if Linux can't make it in a server environment, then it's screwed on the desktop imho. Windows Server 2003 has done serious damage to the Linux market, and for good reason - it's reasonably priced, performs well, is reliable and pretty secure. The free cost of Linux is killed by the cost of having a support agreement with one of the big vendors, and Sun beats Linux from this point of view when compared to the 2 big players in the market. I'm sorry, but very few corporations will run Debian on a server - I'm not knocking Debian, it's a superb server operating system, but management WANT support, paid support. Having employers who are experts in the area is not the same as paid support from my experience.

1. Can you list me well know software products that have ported to Linux? A few games, that's about it. Please don't count software that originated from the Linux environment, like Mozilla FireFox and Thunderbird, or OpenOffice. Let's talk Windows based applications that have been ported across.

2. Wine isn't bad, don't get me wrong, but it's still very dodgy in use. Let's take into account a major software application - Adobe Photoshop CS2. Up until the very most recent point release of WINE, it didn't work. Capture one Pro doesn't work. Neither does a host of Canon based software for their digital SLRs. You might argue that that is only a small percentage of the userbase, and that'd be a reasonable argument, but let's consider that digital photography has really taken off in the past five years. Sure, open source has native applications, but in all honesty, they are pale compared to the native versions for Windows. Very pale.

3. Driver support - a difficult area, some areas, Linux is pretty good, like with printers as you pointed out. But, for a lot of stuff, Linux drivers are still MIA. Let's take my Logitech Wingman II steering wheel - 7 years old now, no Linux support.

4. OpenOffice has gotten a bit faster, but it's still a massive disappointment. Sure, it's good with writer, but that's about it. Excel support is still what I'd consider dodgy, Powerpoint support is ajoke, and Access, nada. There's more to an Office suite than just a word processor.

Just my honest viewpoints.

Dave

Reply Parent Score: 2

Tweek Member since:
2006-01-12

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

Reply Parent Score: 1