OpenSolaris developers defend their baby

OpenSolaris developers defend their baby

Summary: Sun Microsystems' developers have responded furiously to claims the company's decision to open-source Solaris was a mere public relations stunt."There is no OpenSolaris," read an anonymous post on operating systems news Web site OSNews.

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Sun Microsystems' developers have responded furiously to claims the company's decision to open-source Solaris was a mere public relations stunt.

"There is no OpenSolaris," read an anonymous post on operating systems news Web site OSNews.com. "Show us the code or quit mentioning it." The post was responding to an article detailing the latest preview of Sun's Solaris flagship operating system. The open-source version is expected to be fully launched by July.

The comments easily raised the ire of at least two Sun engineers, who in turn rebuked the statements on their blog sites.

"Like many of the other people posting about OpenSolaris, I am an engineer, bottom end of the corporate ladder.

"If you wish to choose not to believe that we are going to open source Solaris please feel free, it's your choice -- we look forward to proving you wrong (and believe me knowing that we are going to prove you, and all of the other naysayers, wrong is a nice feeling)," said Sun's Fintan Ryan.

Ryan said OpenSolaris developers were working "feverishly" on the project, with the aim of releasing code that would have no legal encumbrances.

"It takes some time to get an operating system ready to be open-sourced," concluded Ryan. "Last time I checked no one has ever tried to open-source something the size or complexity of Solaris."

Australia's Alan Hargreaves -- a well-known Sun kernel engineer -- also reacted, posting a complex five point argument on why OpenSolaris was not vapourware.

"OpenSolaris certainly exists," Hargreaves said, "you only have to speak to anyone involved in getting it out there. There are a lot of us out there who both do and do not work for Sun."

The developers' sentiments may reflect wider defensiveness within the Sun development community. An insistence on proving the existence of OpenSolaris is evident in more than a few official Sun blogs, with some developers focusing on producing screenshots, and others such as OpenSolaris community manager Jim Grisanzio debunking articles which put a negative slant on Sun's efforts.

Sun's plans to open-source Solaris are widely seen as being driven by the popularity of open-source rival Linux. While several industry commentators -- notably Linux creator Linus Torvalds -- have been unenthusiastic about the move, Sun has released at least one innovative piece of software to the community: Dynamic Tracing.

DTrace allows systems administrators to analyse performance and software bugs in a much more detailed way than previously possible.

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10 comments
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  • There was also some good comment (from both sides) in the comments of both blogs.

    I will say that I can understand the frustration of those who keep hearing about it and not seeing it. We want to get it out just as much as you want to see it. We just have to be certain that all of the t's are crossed and the i's dotted.

    It shouldn't be long now.
    anonymous
  • Direct links to the blog items are:

    Fintan - http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/fintanr/20050425#putting_trolls_to_bed

    Alan - http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/tpenta/20050425#opensolaris_is_not_vapourware
    anonymous
  • It's very clear that Sun's people still don't get it. The point of opening the source isn't just so you can brag about it in press releases: it should be to take advantage of the input of a larger community. The source *should* be opened before (*long* before) it is released for actual production use.
    anonymous
  • I love it when the geek world starts to consume itself with who is more right than the other. Get over it guys nobody except yourselves care. It just presents an immature groups of techo geeks to the outside world of business users

    IBM love Linux...it sells hardware and services and proprietary software.

    Dell loves linux it sells more servers

    HP is just like IBM

    Novell is on its second Unix wave after being dumped of the first one
    anonymous
  • Well, the thing is, the baby is still not born. But Sun did already throw one birth party after the other, colleced the presents (positive press) and expects everyone to praise the unseen baby's beauty.

    The birth is almost six month overdue, and of course people start to ask the obvious questions: Why does it take so long, and is the lady really pregnant?

    Sun's reaction to these questions, especially that of the community manager JG is not adequiate. Blindly declaring all critics as being stupid, "not geting it", leechers, or trolls works only so fare. The reaction of the open source comunity is predictable. This is not a community that swallows marketing bull. Instead, the statement "put up or shut up" is exactly the right one.

    It is hight time for Sun to stop the propaganda and "show us the code" (another cl****ic request of the FOSS community). Many have tried to join the FOSS community with all talk and no code. The trolls are the ones who can't show code, not the ones who ask to see it.
    anonymous
  • Solaris WILL BE open source. But it's not right now. Therefore, Sun should shut up with its "Solaris is Open Source" promos. They were also hyping Janus for a year before it worked, and containers were a selling point of Solaris10 long before the code had been implemented.

    You're going to open source Solaris? Fine. But until then, it's vaporware.
    1aaa1
  • The failure to release an actual product is made worse by Sun's past behavior. For a couple of years they had a phase where one "VP of whatever" would announce "We're open sourcing Solaris", followed a day later by another exec saying "We'll Never open source it!", then the pingpong game of "we Love Linux" / "We hate Linux!". And they wonder why people are telling them to whip out the code or STFU? Duh, Sun.
    _I_ have a unicorn in my garage, but you can't see it... yet!. No, really. It's really kewl.
    anonymous
  • Forget OpenSolaris where is ZFS where is Janus all
    technolgy Scott speaks as if it exist on every instance of Solaris 10 ...listen to it yourself http://www.sun.com/nc/05q2/home/eh_index.jsp
    Nope is does not exist outside of Sun.com itself.
    I am not saying it will never exist, but why preanounce something that you're not even willing
    to alpha or beta ......and dont tell me by policy they don't alpha....Open Source is more than alpha
    SunRay is 3.1 is alpha...next edition of java is sort of alpha.....
    anonymous
  • Told you the dummy spitting would be good, keep it up guys this is great. It does not yet inspire me that this it mature enough for the business world. The he said, she said banter only detracts away from what is trying to be achieved.
    anonymous
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