Oracle and SUN Archive

A little bit of the one-time macOS version still lingers in ZFS

Once upon a time, Apple came very close to releasing ZFS as part of MacOS. Apple did this work in its own copy of the ZFS source base (as far as I know), but the people in Sun knew about it and it turns out that even today there is one little lingering sign of this hoped-for and perhaps prepared-for ZFS port in the ZFS source code. Well, sort of, because it's not quite in code.

I love stories like this - digital archeology focusing on the relatively recent past.

Oracle kills Solaris

Remember, back in December 2016, when there were rumours Oracle was killing Solaris? And how a month later, Solaris effectively switched to maintenance mode, and then to a "continuous deliver model"?

The news from the ex-Sun community jungle drums is that the January rumours were true and Oracle laid off the core talent of the Solaris and SPARC teams on Friday. That surely has to mean a maintenance-only future for the product range, especially with Solaris 12 cancelled. A classic Oracle "silent EOL", no matter what they claim.

With the hardware deprecated, my guess is that's the last of the Sun assets Oracle acquired written off. Just how good were Oracle's decisions on buying Sun?

Sun's Solaris is dead.

Bryan Cantrill on this news (this Bryan Cantrill):

As had been rumored for a while, Oracle effectively killed Solaris on Friday. When I first saw this, I had assumed that this was merely a deep cut, but in talking to Solaris engineers still at Oracle, it is clearly much more than that. It is a cut so deep as to be fatal: the core Solaris engineering organization lost on the order of 90% of its people, including essentially all management.

Judging merely by its tombstone, the life of Solaris can be viewed as tragic: born out of wedlock between Sun and AT&T and dying at the hands of a remorseless corporate sociopath a quarter century later. And even that may be overstating its longevity: Solaris may not have been truly born until it was made open source, and - certainly to me, anyway - it died the moment it was again made proprietary. But in that shorter life, Solaris achieved the singular: immortality for its revolutionary technologies. So while we can mourn the loss of the proprietary embodiment of Solaris (and we can certainly lament the coarse way in which its technologists were treated!), we can rejoice in the eternal life of its technologies - in illumos and beyond!

Solaris moving to a ‘continuous delivery model’

After the recent removal of Solaris 12 from the Solaris road map inspired much speculation on the future of Solaris, Oracle has finally published a blog post detailing the cause of the removal, and the future of Solaris

Oracle Solaris is moving to a continuous delivery model using more frequent updates to deliver the latest features faster, while fully preserving customer and ISV qualification investment in the vast array of ISV applications available on Oracle Solaris 11 today. New features and functionality will be delivered in Oracle Solaris through dot releases instead of more disruptive major releases, consistent with trends seen throughout the industry.

In addition, support for current versions of Solaris 11 has been extended to beyond 2030. The actual updated roadmap is light on details, though, but it does appear that Solaris at least isn't dead just yet.

Oracle euthanizes Solaris 12, expunging it from roadmap

Early December of last year, I posted the rumour that Oracle was going to end Solaris development. While the company denied these rumours at the time, there still seems to be something going on.

Rumors have been circulating since late last year that Oracle was planning to kill development of the Solaris operating system, with major layoffs coming to the operating system's development team. Others speculated that future versions of the Unix platform Oracle acquired with Sun Microsystems would be designed for the cloud and built for the Intel platform only and that the SPARC processor line would meet its demise. The good news, based on a recently released Oracle roadmap for the SPARC platform, is that both Solaris and SPARC appear to have a future.

The bad news is that the next major version of Solaris - Solaris 12 - has apparently been cancelled, as it has disappeared from the roadmap. Instead, it's been replaced with "Solaris 11.next" - and that version is apparently the only update planned for the operating system through 2021.

Read into that what you will. Sounds like maintenance mode to me.

Oracle rumoured to end Solaris development

There's a rumour going around that Oracle is close to ending all development of Solaris, effectively killing the operating system.

Solaris being canned, at least 50% of teams to be RIF'd in short term. All hands meetings being cancelled on orders from legal to prevent news from spreading. Hardware teams being told to cease development. There will be no Solaris 12, final release will be 11.4. Orders coming straight from Larry.

It's just rumours for now, but they've been gaining steam over the past few days.

Oracle’s cloudy future

Meanwhile, a young programmer named Larry Ellison had formed a company called Software Development Laboratories, originally to do contract work, but quickly decided that selling packaged software was a far better proposition: doing the work once and reselling it multiple times was an excellent way to get rich. They just needed a product, and IBM effectively gave it to them; because the System R team was being treated as a research project, not a commercial venture, they happily wrote multiple papers explaining how System R worked, and published the SQL spec. Software Development Laboratories implemented it and called it Oracle, and in 1979 sold it to the CIA; a condition of the contract was that it run on IBM mainframes.

In other words, IBM not only created the conditions for the richest packaged software company ever to emerge (Microsoft), they basically gave an instruction manual to the second.

Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1.0 released

To enable organizations and developers to more easily and flexibly create and deploy on premises and cloud applications, we are pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.1, the latest release of the world's most popular free and open source, cross-platform virtualization software.

Not a huge release, but, while an Oracle product, it's a must-have in the toolbox of anyone interested in running and playing with older operating systems.

Oracle’s lawyer publishes op-ed on lost case

After Oracle's expected and well-deserved loss versus Google, Oracle's attorney Annette Hurst published an op-ed about the potential impact of the case on the legal landscape of the software development industry. The op-ed focuses on one particular aspect of Google's position, which author puts as following:

ecause the Java APIs have been open, any use of them was justified and all licensing restrictions should be disregarded. In other words, if you offer your software on an open and free basis, any use is fair use.

This position, as she claims, puts GPL in jeopardy: common dual-licensing schemes (GPL+proprietary license) depends on developers' ability to enforce the terms of GPL.

It is pretty obvious that the danger of this case for the GPL and the open source community is heavily overstated - the amount of attention this case have received is due to the fact that the developer community never really considered header files as copyrightable assets. The whole "GPL in jeopardy" claim, as well as a passage saying that "o copyright expert would have ever predicted would be considered fair", is merely an attempt to deceive readers.

The interesting bit is why Oracle's lawyer tries to pose her client's attempt at squeezing some coins from Google as an act of defending the free software community. Does Oracle still think the open source proponents may regard it as an ally, even after Sun's acquisition and the damage it dealt to OpenSolaris, OpenOffice and MySQL projects?

Oracle: stop checking our code for vulnerabilities

Oracle's chief security officer is tired of customers performing their own security tests on Oracle software, and she's not going to take it anymore. That was the message of a post she made to her corporate blog on August 10 - a post that has since been taken down.

Strangely satisfying to watch this trainwreck unfold. Perhaps because the trainwreck in question is one of the most despicable companies in tech?

Larry Ellison steps down as Oracle’s CEO

Larry Ellison has agreed to step down as the chief executive officer at Oracle, ending one of the most entertaining and profitable runs for a leader in business history.

Oracle announced Ellison's departure via a press release delivered on Thursday afternoon after the close of U.S. financial markets. The company said that Ellison will remain chairman of Oracle's board and take on the role of chief technology officer. Mark Hurd and Safra Catz, both presidents at Oracle, will each inherit the CEO title. Catz will remain as chief financial officer as well.

The "master"mind behind the onerous and despicable Java/Android/API patent troll lawsuit versus Google, in which Oracle is trying to actively, willingly, and knowingly cause great harm to developers all over the world. Coincidentally, he is a close, personal friend of Steve Jobs.

Good riddance.

Larry Ellison sees dark future for Apple without Jobs

Business magnate Larry Ellison thinks that without Steve Jobs -- "our Edison" and "our Picasso" -- Apple corporation is in trouble.

Larry Ellison was one of Jobs' closest friends. Then again, this is the same Ellison who presided over one of the most idiotic and - for Oracle - disastrous lawsuits in technology history.

Update: A few new tidbits from the interview: Google is "completely evil" because of Java, and the mass surveillance by the US government is "absolutely necessary". So, aside from being utterly delusional (the Google and Java thing), he also does not believe in civil rights, and would much rather everyone give up their privacy and right to free speech.

What a tool. No wonder nobody cares about Oracle.

Ellison: Oracle pondered buying RIM, Palm

"Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said the software maker had considered building its own smartphone to compete with Apple and Google but decided it was a 'bad idea' after a weeks-long cost and market analysis. As part of that exhaustive internal analysis, he said, Oracle had pondered at one point buying Blackberry-maker RIM and Palm." So, Larry (likely after consulting with his best friend Jobs) decided to try to extort money from Google instead - which isn't working out either. Did you analyse that, too, Larry?

Ellison: “There’ll Be Nothing Left of IBM Once I’m Done”

"Oracle has pulled the rug out from under Intel's Itanium processor by yanking support of its database, middleware, and application software on future Poulson and Kittson Itaniums. It looks as though Larry Ellison wants to take on IBM in microprocessors for data center systems, man to man, head to head. 'I remember when we first bought Sun, a lot of people said we were going to get out of the hardware business," Oracle's co-founder and CEO said opening up his keynote at the OpenWorld customer and partner and conference on Sunday night, when he also announced the new Exalytics in-memory BI appliance. 'I guess we didn't get that memo,' Ellison quipped, pointing out that Apple is doing a 'pretty good job' designing its own hardware and software and making it work well with its own services. And that Oracle is not only committed to making its server, storage, and networking business work, but having taken Sun's hardware as a means of getting its hands on Solaris and Java, Oracle is actually enthusiastic about creating its own stack."

Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0 Released

Oracle VM VirtualBox enables desktop or laptop computers to run multiple operating systems simultaneously, and supports a variety of host operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X, most popular flavors of Linux (including Oracle Linux), and Oracle Solaris. Version 4.0 delivers increased capacity and throughput to handle greater workloads, enhanced virtual appliance capabilities, and significant usability improvements. Support for the latest in virtual hardware, including chipsets supporting PCI Express, further extends the value delivered to customers, partners and developers.

Oracle Takes on Microsoft, Google with Cloud Office

"Oracle on Wednesday announced the availability of Cloud Office 1.0, a Web-based productivity suite that is set to give online applications from Microsoft and Google a fresh dose of competition. Cloud Office is integrated with the on-premises Oracle Open Office, of which version 3.3 was also announced Wednesday. Like Open Office, Cloud Office is based on ODF (Open Document Format). It provides a set of spreadsheet, text and presentation applications and is compatible with Microsoft Office, according to Oracle."