Linked by David Adams on Tue 13th Jul 2010 16:48 UTC, submitted by diegocg
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris This morning, at the OpenSolaris Governing Board (OGB) meeting, the following was proposed and unanimously resolved: "The OGB is keen to promote the uptake and open development of OpenSolaris and to work on behalf of the community with Oracle, as such the OGB needs Oracle to appoint a liaison by August 16, 2010, who has the the authority to talk about the future of OpenSolaris and its interaction with the OpenSolaris community otherwise the OGB will take action at the August 23 meeting to trigger the clause in the OGB charter that will return control of the community to Oracle."
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RE: Shame for great technology
by Rahul on Tue 13th Jul 2010 18:32 UTC in reply to "Shame for great technology"
Rahul
Member since:
2005-07-06

GPL license wouldn't have mattered at all in this case. Sun didn't manage to get a diverse community of contributors for OpenSolaris and insisted on centralized copyright control. Oracle made the situation worse by not following up on promises to the OpenSolaris community and maintaining stone cold silence in response to the OpenSolaris Governance Board making them effectively useless. When a single vendor has such a strong hold on the project, copyright license is least of their worries. OGB is recognizing the fact that they have become mute powerless spectators and taking the right action.

Reply Parent Score: 7

gnufreex Member since:
2010-05-06

Ok, that too. Control freakishness of Sun had a play there, but if license was GPL (or at least GPL-compatible, like BSD) then a lot of people would get interested in technology, community would get bigger and Oracle would have two choices: keep OpenSolaris going, or let it go and watch people fork it. GPL forces dictatorship to be benevolent.

So Sun used "phuck you Linux" license and even sent their evangelists to talk how CDDL is "more Free" than GPL. That created bad faith and lot of people refused even to look at OpenSolaris code. For example, look what Linux kernel developers said when OpenSolaris was opensourced. Nobody was going to look at it.

Another example, Debian guys thought about making Debian GNU/sunos - SunOS kernel with GNU user-land - but when they read CDDL, they decided to go with FreeBSD kernel and make Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port. If Debian GNU/Sunos was created, that would lead to lots of bug-fixes and QA for sunos kernel.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

You are asserting that if OpenSolaris was released under GPL by Sun, it would have automatically gained a diverse community but that fails in the face of reality. Take a look at MySQL which is a project under the GPL license managed by Sun which had similar issues around lack of community and worries about control of Oracle during the Sun acquisition. License alone does not guarantee any community at all. It might have helped or hindered. One cannot say for sure especially since Sun had to mix proprietary code it had licensed from third party folks in OpenSolaris which has yet to be replaced.

Debian's reading of CDDL is considered incorrect by FSF which considers certain components to fall under the system exception of GPL and hence not incompatible for the purposes of a port. So that is not a compelling example of a problem.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Ok, that too. Control freakishness of Sun had a play there, but if license was GPL (or at least GPL-compatible, like BSD) then a lot of people would get interested in technology, community would get bigger and Oracle would have two choices: keep OpenSolaris going, or let it go and watch people fork it.


There's plenty of GPL OSs out there that are struggling.
Simply stating that a GPL licence would attract a community is somewhat deluded. Particularly when all that would likely happen would be the popular technologies in OpenSolaris (ZFS, dtrace, etc) would have been gutted and implemented in Linux.

So as things stand, the CDDL licence has potentially brought people to Solaris who were interested in technology and weren't loyal to a platform. And those that refused to move because of loyalties wouldn't have moved anyway.


So Sun used "phuck you Linux" license and even sent their evangelists to talk how CDDL is "more Free" than GPL. That created bad faith and lot of people refused even to look at OpenSolaris code. For example, look what Linux kernel developers said when OpenSolaris was opensourced. Nobody was going to look at it.

But those kind of developers wouldn't have looked at OpenSolaris anyway.
Linux fanboys will stick with Linux. Sun knew this, so they wanted to protect their assets rather than lose their biggest bargaining chips to a developers that are unlikely to switch platforms regardless.



Another example, Debian guys thought about making Debian GNU/sunos - SunOS kernel with GNU user-land - but when they read CDDL, they decided to go with FreeBSD kernel and make Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port. If Debian GNU/Sunos was created, that would lead to lots of bug-fixes and QA for sunos kernel.

A GNU/SunOS does exist. In fact NexentaOS has been around for a few years now and have been well reported on technology sites like this.

Reply Parent Score: 4

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

For example, look what Linux kernel developers said when OpenSolaris was opensourced. Nobody was going to look at it.

Another example, Debian guys thought about making Debian GNU/sunos - SunOS kernel with GNU user-land - but when they read CDDL, they decided to go with FreeBSD kernel and make Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port.


And yet, that's exactly what the Nexenta folks did. Took the OSol kernel, put the Ubuntu userland on top, and released it to the public.

Just because one group of devs decided it wasn't worth the effort doesn't mean the entire world did.

Reply Parent Score: 6

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Ok, that too. Control freakishness of Sun had a play there, but if license was GPL (or at least GPL-compatible, like BSD) then a lot of people would get interested in technology, community would get bigger and Oracle would have two choices: keep OpenSolaris going, or let it go and watch people fork it. GPL forces dictatorship to be benevolent.


Go look through SourceForge projects if you think that the GPL will magically attract developers. It's mostly a graveyard.

I think a bigger problem with OpenSolaris is that they never made a good case for switching from Linux or FreeBSD. Linux has better hardware support, FreeBSD has ZFS and Dtrace. Why take the time to move your servers to OpenSolaris? There was never a good answer.

Reply Parent Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

GPL license wouldn't have mattered at all in this case. Sun didn't manage to get a diverse community of contributors for OpenSolaris and insisted on centralized copyright control. Oracle made the situation worse by not following up on promises to the OpenSolaris community and maintaining stone cold silence in response to the OpenSolaris Governance Board making them effectively useless. When a single vendor has such a strong hold on the project, copyright license is least of their worries. OGB is recognizing the fact that they have become mute powerless spectators and taking the right action.


Even so, OpenSolaris was still hugely reliant on Sun for key parts of the operating system which 'Project Emancipation' was meant to 'emancipate' OpenSolaris from Sun but never went anywhere. OpenSolaris is still reliant on Oracle and until those closed source binaries are fully replaced OpenSolaris will never be truly free. It is disappointing that the opening of Solaris started with such a hiss and a roar - here it is now stuck in a quagmire.

In all honesty it is absolutely pathetic, the last post to emancipation mailing list was December 2009 - it really goes to show that rather than Sun actually ever having their heart into transforming Solaris into a truly open source community they seem to have turned the internet as a dumping ground for a product they seem to have lost interest in developing years ago. It is really depressing that something I saw as a possible alternative to the Linux hegemony has crashed and burned so quickly.

Reply Parent Score: 5

targetnovember Member since:
2010-04-27

I can see OpenSolaris as still a bit useful, even if it didn't develop a community of developers outside Oracle. Assuming OpenSolaris is still the basis for Solaris 11, it's sort of like a big open beta test. The changes of CDE to Gnome, adption of a modern package system with online repositories, and switching to X.org for graphics are major changes that update Solaris. Solaris is the most approachable and easiest to use proprietary Unix available. There's no crazy hardware to find and getting discs of the OS is easy. I'd imagine more non-enterprise programs work on Solaris than HP/UX or AIX. It's pretty approachable.

It's unfortunate OpenSolaris never got a vibrant developer community outside Oracle, and is still dependent. On the other hand, I can't think that Sun/Oracle lost much making Solaris open source without one. Oracle can still say, "here, see the latest work we're doing, play with all the technology we offer, and if you're interested, ask us about our hardware and services that take full advantage . . . blah blah . . synergy . . . whatever." Seems like it could pay off, and it wouldn't be expensive or difficult. Then again, Oracle might not work that way, and Oracle might not care.

Reply Parent Score: 1