“Sun Microsystems is pondering whether or not to offer Solaris code in an open-source format to boost deployment of the operating system on Intel hardware, but questions remain about the effectiveness of open source, a Sun official said this week.” Read the report at InfoWorld. We asked the Sun Software CTO about it too a few days ago.
Sun Ponders Offering Open Source Solaris
2002-12-06 Oracle and SUN 24 Comments
great idea, because _nobody_ steals code from OSS projects.
> great idea, because
> _nobody_ steals code
> from OSS projects.
Are you kidding me? If you don’t steal from OSS, where else would people steal from? How would you know if a proprietary software has Open source code?
All that nonsensical propaganda about MS programmers being forbidden from looking at OSS is nonsense. Its like Balmer saying there is a “chineese wall” between their OS group and their application group!
Being Open source makes it easy for your competitors to catch up and overtake you, if anything. Its simple enough.
If you couldn’t tell, he was joking!!
Hmm, little <html> forms may not be the best way to comunicate ;p
could it be a ploy, i mean, look at linux, freebsd, so many developers out there, could sun be looking for programmers to expand the hardware support of there operating system, and at the same time, increasing user base… i mean linux is great, but many people would be interested in a proprietry operating system gone opensource to see what it could offer, but i guess linux and *bsd etc, would benefit as well,
i mean i am glad it is happening, i am not whinging, but i hope that sun does the right thing with the knowledge they get from sharing,
I wonder if Sun really has anything to gain making this move. I think most of the companies looking at Solaris need an “enterprise” solution, but don’t want/have the time/have the resources to tweak Linux endlessly until it runs well on their hardware. I mean, that’s the benefit of Solaris: it is written by the same company that manufactures the hardware, so it should already run well? What could you possibly gain by having access to the source code?
Sun is about as pro-open-source as Microsoft. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sun would ever get around to actually open sourcing the x86 Solaris. Just another bit of hype to get them mentioned on news sites and IT rags around the world. Or, they’ll open source Solaris 7/x86 under a weird licence, then withdraw their decision 2 years after that. Something whacky like that, to be sure. Even if they did it, I can’t see much interest for it, other than a thousand or two Linux users who want to give it a try (as I did a few years back when you could get Solaris 7 for $15)
“…noting that the recent early release program for Solaris 9 on the Intel x86 platform has generated about 1.4 million downloads.”
1.4 million downloads in like what (???), the 3 weeks or so that it has been available? What would it have been if they weren’t charging $20 a pop and giving it away for free?
With so many admins out there already standardized on Solaris (via SPARC), Solaris x86 has the potential to become totally kick-ass against IBM/Linux, which is presumably what Sun is thinking. Penguinistas, look out!
Note: Sun just made $28 Million dollars out of this early release program for doing basically nothing, so Solaris x86 is helping to pay some bills already.
“Sun is about as pro-open-source as Microsoft. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sun would ever get around to actually open sourcing the x86 Solaris. Just another bit of hype to get them mentioned on news sites and IT rags around the world. Or, they’ll open source Solaris 7/x86 under a weird licence, then withdraw their decision 2 years after that. Something whacky like that, to be sure. Even if they did it, I can’t see much interest for it, other than a thousand or two Linux users who want to give it a try (as I did a few years back when you could get Solaris 7 for $15)”
WTF Ar eyou talking about! Sun is a lot more open than most companies! Why do you people not like SUn tehy ahve done more for OSS than any other comapny.
Sun’s Grid Engine and much more
Even Soalris is open source, but your not allowed to redistribute the code for money. Which sounds fair to me. Sun gave so much to OSS and you people can’t even appreciate them or give credit where it’s due.
“Sun just made $28 Million dollars out of this early release program for doing basically nothing, so Solaris x86 is helping to pay some bills already.”
Again you ar egreately mistaking bandwith costs money and SUN has a lot of R&D which they need to pay for. Nobody was forced to pay a mere $20. Also $28 million isn’t a lot for such a large company with so many projects they gain no money from. StaOffice gives no revenue, abrely pays for development.
Solaris was never open source at any point. It was briefly shared source, but that program was canceled. However, it’s still a whole lot more open than Microsoft ever was. The Solaris development team has published a whole lot of information over the years about the internals of the OS. The book “Solaris Internals” contains a large amount of information about the design of the OS and there have been many articles (such as the slab allocator paper) published about it.
> …noting that the recent early release program for Solaris 9 on the Intel x86 platform has generated about 1.4 million downloads.”
I do not believe that. Even when Solaris x86 was completely free to download, it had about 150,000 downloads the first 3 months. And I remember the QNX and BeOS 5 PE launches. BeOS PE shook a lot more waters back then popularity-wise and it had 1+ million downloads in the first 3 months. Whoever gave that “1.4 million downloads” in a week, gave a completely bogus number.
Ah, I found out who said that: Jonathan Schwartz. I met him last Tuesday evening in San Franscisco, seemed like a nice guy. Still… I believe that this number is bogus or just a wrong number.
To backup my claims, this is *many* months after the release of Solaris 8 for *free* and here are the download numbers:
It is hard to believe that a product that hasn’t really gain any considerable market in the meantime, to get 1.4 million downloads in a single week for a *fee*, while 2 years ago it couldn’t do it not even after 9 months of its *free* release. It is just not logical, sorry. Show me the logs.
You must be right Eugenia. Thanks for correcting this.
I don’t know how big Solaris x86 is for dl, but say
that it’s a CD and a half, 1 GB. 1.4 million GB in
a week, => 1400 TB/7 days => 200 TB/day => 8.3 TB/hour
=>2.31 GB/s, on average for a week… their
connection must be a 30 gigabit one.
Where can I order one of those? 🙂
How can one tell if this is the sparc d/l or the intel D/l. I would think its more the sparc d/l then the intel one.
Solaris 9 (x86) consists of three cds. So we are talking round about 1.5GB per download…
By the way I guess that Sun counted every single download attempt no matter it was sucessful or not. I actually needed 13 tries to get all three cds.
I want see SMP & VM code… heheh
Michael Vinícius de Oliveira
They wouldn’t be the first company. Apple decied to base Mac OS X on a lot of GPL & BSD code; thus they left the kernel and command line utilities Open. Apple’s idea of open is that you can modify for self use, but must submit all changes that you redistibute back to Apple; this allows them to keep track of all the improvements to their source and selectively add them to the base source.
Sun might just do the same thing… They could then quit developing the command line utilties in house and use the open source community to improve and update them. They are also hoping that the community will supply the device drivers which is the main reason they were droping the x86 version (too many new devices to support and too costly to have the staff to support them).
Solaris 9 for x86 is 3 CDs? What comes with it? My Solaris 7 media pack contains only one CD for SPARC and one for x86… Do they include a lot of apps with it now?
I would definitely support and use Solaris X86 if it were open source. Maybe not as much as Linux, but it would be very competitive.
… because it doesn’t seems to be really interessting, apart for huge multi-proc computers. Linux just ran fine, thanks you.
BUT, what would be a GREAT move for SUN, is to opensource thoses old OPENSTEP programs they bought from LightHouse years ago, without doing anything with them…
So please, release thoses ! so we could port them on GNUstep, and thus *nix…
More informations here : http://www.petitiononline.com/laafs/petition.html
(btw, I posted a news here about that petition, never saw it ! what’s wrong ? it’s not BeOS program ?)
Seems like you haven’t been paying attention: Solaris 8 (both SPARC and x86) come in 3 CDs: Solaris 8 CD 1/2 and CD 2/2 and the languages CD. And the same is with Solaris 9. (I have beein installing Solaris 9 (SPARC, obviously) for about half a year now.)
I hope they don’t do it. I agree with Opensource development when there is no in-house alternative, but that’s not the case here. And Solaris has been progressing amazingly well so far.
I have gained a profound insight into the Mozilla development, and it was a huge, HUGE disappointment. I am left with the impression (certainly wrong) that the project is managed by a bunch of fucking idiots. My guess is, this is because in open source projects the communication is so much slower and worse than with in-house projects.
Of course, in-house projects have their ego-vandals as well, but there are project and program managers trained to deal with them, and you can always call or meet in person and discuss the problems.
Testing is another area where in-house beats opensource: every bug that is submitted in-house must be either tested or if not, it must be explained why testing is not necessary. If the same bug resurfaces in the next build, and there hasn’t been a high-level decision that the bug is acceptable behaviour, someone’s head is on the line. And there are people designated to do certain types of tests, again, trained for their task and provided with the technical means.
I am afraid most opensource projects survive with the help of hype more than on their own merits. Linux is an excellent example. A bunch of vocal enthusiasts that doesn’t have the means (material and in expertise) to test Linux in SMP environments with lots of storage, claim how Linux works well in such environments.
A couple of assertions: Linux is faster, better and more secure than Solaris. Linux has impacted Sun’s bottom line significantly and they still have doubts.
It seems strange that they would still have “doubts” about its effectiveness. I suspect the real reason might be that by releasing x86 Solaris as Open Source they will be releasing what they consider to be “trade secrets”. I suspect that they only difference between x86 and SPARC Solaris is the handling of endianness (obvious) and the driver layer (also obvious). The balance of the code is probably the same.