Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 22:25 UTC, submitted by Michael Larabel
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris "A week ago we reported that a second preview release of Project Indiana, Sun's attempt at creating an operating system for the desktop based upon OpenSolaris and led by Ian Murdock, was on track to be released in the near future. Thursday afternoon that became true with the test image surfacing for Developer Preview 2 of Project Indiana, or what will formally be called OpenSolaris. Officially, this new release is known as the OpenSolaris Developer Preview 1/08 edition. The general availability release of Project Indiana is expected in March, but today we have up a tour of this new Indiana release."
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This will sound dumb, but...
by iskios on Sun 3rd Feb 2008 03:06 UTC
iskios
Member since:
2005-07-06

I am a bit perplexed by the desktops in the unix world, I mean, I get that there are very good ones, like Gnome, which I like very much, but the many many distributions of Linux, and FreeBSD, and now Solaris all of which want to make Desktop systems all seem to provide basically the same bloody desktop experience. Where is the differentiation? Where is the actual innovation? What makes OpenSolaris truly unique enough as a Desktop OS for me to want to use it instead of Fedora, or Windows, or OS X?

Should I even expect such differentiation? Should I expect a unique experience, or are we working toward an OS world in which they are all the same and the only reason I choose one over the other is by politics and religious zealotry (I know people who are lovers of Ubuntu and turn into vicious monsters at the mention of Mint, but why?)

I really am perplexed by all these distributions...

Reply Score: 9

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

The difference is the quality of the integration and the superiority of the underlying operating system. Even if all the operating systems used the same GUI, if the underlying operating system is crap, the experience for the end user will be consistent with the inferiority of the underlying core.

In the case of Solaris, its wonderfully scalable, snappy, reliable, great technologies like ZFS which are lightening fast filesystems - yes, there are issues which need addressing within Solaris, but I do feel that the foundation of Solaris is alot more stable and well respected than the alternatives given the well engineered basis for it.

Reply Parent Score: 6

Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

Innovation and differentiation takes work ;)

Software developers glob together into groups that do what they are good at. The kernel people stick to the kernel, the gui people stick to the gui, and the big picture distro building people stick to the big picture.

So the big picture people just use what the gui people make, and right now the body of gui people support only two or three major desktop environments.

The big picture people just take and use one of these products almost exactly out of the box, and why? Because they don't know how to do anything else. They aren't really gui people.

A really great big picture project will have really great gui or kernel specialists working for them to do the innovation and differentiation that other projects lack.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

I like to think that all GUI should more or less behave the same. Like all word processors and all spread sheets etc. The ideal would be if there were only ONE gui that all operatins systems used? And only ONE word processor? etc. That is the meaning of STANDARD. Instead of several competing technologies that have incompatible programs, there is only one technology.





So, there is other advantages of Solaris, mostly great innovative technology that no other OS has. DTrace for instance, is something that has NEVER been done before. This is new and revolutionary. Read for instance:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/07/08/dtrace_user_take/

"I looked at one customer's application that was absolutetly dependant of getting the best performance possible. Many people for many years had looked at the app using traditional tools. There was one particular function that was very "hot" - meaning that it was called several million times per second. Of course, everyone knew that being able to inline this function would help, but it was so complex that the compilers would refuse to inline.

Using DTrace, I instrumented every single assembly instruction in the function. What we found is that 5492 times to 1, there was a short circuit code path that was taken. We created a version of the function that had the short circuit case and then called the "real" function for other cases. This was completely inlinable and resulted in a 47 per cent performance gain.

Certainly, one could argue that if you used a debugger or analyzer you may have been able to come to the same conclusion in time. But who would want to sit and step through a function instruction by inctruction 5493 times? With DTrace, this took literally a ten second DTrace invocation, 2 minutes to craft the test case function, and 3 minutes to test. So in slightly over 5 minutes we had a 47 percent increase in performance"

The whole article is interesting read.




Or how Solaris is more stable than Linux:
http://www.lethargy.org/~jesus/archives/77-Choosing-Solaris-10-over...

"Just to be explicit: on the same hardware, solaris 10 fixed your corruption/read-only /data problem?"

"Yes. Same exact hardware. We reinstalled Linux twice even to make sure there wasn't something wrong with the install. I've had lots of other people chime in reporting very similar problems."


There are lots of other examples on other new technology in Solaris, ZFS for instance.




The point is, if solaris been good enough for Enterprise business for the last decades, then it is certainly good enough for my needs. I dont have to relearn a new better OS. Solaris will do. It ends there.

Reply Parent Score: 6

Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

> The ideal would be if there were only ONE gui that all operatins systems used? And only ONE word processor? etc.

Is that really the ideal? And if so, is it achievable enough to talk about in those terms? Because last I checked, even packs of chewing gum don't all have the same user interfaces.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I like to think that all GUI should more or less behave the same. Like all word processors and all spread sheets etc. The ideal would be if there were only ONE gui that all operatins systems used? And only ONE word processor? etc.


I really do think that would be less than ideal. Possibly even damaging.

Not everyone wants to work a computer in the same way. That's why GUIs are different. Some people like a simple stripped down interface which favors keyboard shortcuts. Some people prefer larger more complex beasts like KDE.

If everyone preferred to work the same way than you wouldn't here so many flamewars about Vista, OS X, KDE, Gnome, et al.

That is the meaning of STANDARD. Instead of several competing technologies that have incompatible programs, there is only one technology.


I feel you're taking the term 'standard' slightly out of context here.

You can have a standard document format (say RTF for simplistic reasons) but competing word processors running on competing platforms with radically different GUIs can all still read and edit the same file regardless of how they launch applications, what the widgets look like or even what word processor they use.

Final point:
The whole point of GUIs is to make life simpler. If you force people to use a GUI which is counter-intuitive to that particular person then ultimately they're going to struggle more than if you give them a text console and told them what words to key in.

Edited 2008-02-03 21:38 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

BiPolar Member since:
2007-07-06

And only ONE word processor?


Yay! Imagine a world where the only editor would be vi!

/me leaves planet Earth.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: This will sound dumb, but...
by cmost on Mon 4th Feb 2008 02:57 in reply to "This will sound dumb, but..."
cmost Member since:
2006-07-16

You seem to be under the mistaken impression that the desktop (i.e., Gnome, KDE, etc.) IS the operating system. Nothing could be further from the truth. The window manager, Gnome in this case is merely a tool by which you can access the underlying powerful Solaris OS. The fact that Solaris, UNIX, BSD, and Linux all utilize similar desktops is an advantage in my opinion as users will feel immediately at home on any one of them and can become productive faster.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

You must lead a hard life if choice confuses you so much. How do you handle the many different rock bands? singers? Jeans brands? Washing powder brands? TV channels?

Reply Parent Score: 3

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

You must lead a hard life if choice confuses you so much. How do you handle the many different rock bands? singers? Jeans brands? Washing powder brands? TV channels?


I think his point is (and I hope he corrects me if I'm wrong) that it's a pity that Project Indiana ships with Gnome when Sun had a chance to ship their own desktop manager to offer a desktop manager experience different to that of Ubuntu.

While I agree with the others that the underlying technologies make more of a difference than the GUI, I do have to agree with him that with so many OSs and distros around; it's a pity they all offer the same 2 or 3 desktop environments.

However, his point is a double edged sward as, from a n00bs perspective, *nix is a scary enough of a beast without throwing in a new interface with each distro.

Reply Parent Score: 2

whartung Member since:
2005-07-06

You must lead a hard life if choice confuses you so much. How do you handle the many different rock bands? singers? Jeans brands? Washing powder brands? TV channels?


Choice CAN BE quite daunting. It all depends on the personality, and the product.

And choice has a price of complexity. Look at the common criticism of KDE vs Gnome. KDE has a zillion options, and Gnome doesn't. KDE is therefor more complex than Gnome.

Comparing a local hamburger stand that simply sells burgers, fries and drinks versus someplace else that's selling burgers, mexican food, fish, salads, fries, zuchinni, onion rings, etc. If you know what you want, the menu doesn't matter (you simply need to find it). If you don't know what you want, what some see as choice others see as as bewildering list of options. I can guarantee that you will make your choice faster at the hamburger stand than at a place with more options on the menu, simply because you have less to winnow out of the equation.

See, when there is too much choice, there is actually more opportunity to make the WRONG choice than the CORRECT choice. This happens when you don't have a clear sense of what your requirements are and, as a corollary, what the limitations are.

If you're presented with a selection of 20 different digital cameras, is that an easy choice? Not really, not without knowing the details of each camera. And the more options you have, the more data you must provide. Most people "just want a good camera", they don't want to become "camera experts".

Truth is, most consumers want SOME choice, but not everything. They don't want to go in to the store and see a 100 digital cameras all in the same market segment (meaning they all cost roughly the same and match 80+% of the bullet points with each other). It's bewildering and it's stressful, again, too much opportunity to make the wrong choice.

Rather they'd prefer to defer to "experts" to make the first cut. Experts being "top 10 lists", "what the store is selling", "highest rated on amazon", whatever.

Reply Parent Score: 2