Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Danese Cooper (of Sun) Finally Answers

Roblimo posted more than 12 years ago | from the hurry-up-and-wait-for-approval-from-lawyers-and-PR-people dept.

Sun Microsystems 177

We put up the original Talk to Sun's 'Open Source Diva' call for questions on January 10, 2002, which makes this the longest lag we've ever had betweeen a set of Slashdot quesions and their answers, a record previously held by the late Douglas Adams, whose question post went up on May 2, 2000, but didn't get his answers to us until June 21, 2000.Danese:
First of all, I have to tell you that everywhere I go, people ask me when my Slashdot answers will be coming out! The Slashdot effect doesn't only impact websites ;-). As a loyal daily Slashdot reader I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to answer your questions and I want to thank Slashdot for their patience in waiting for them. It wasn't for lack of trying but since I first penned my answers there have been a steady string of announcements that we'd been working on a long time and I didn't want to tell you all one thing and have the answer change just a couple of weeks later. I was very impressed with the questions, which showed a lot of understanding of Sun and interest in where we're headed with respect to Open Source. As a result of so many people asking me about the answers, I've had some great conversations about working on Open Source in a big traditional company and of course the inevitable "What's it like to be a woman in technology?" (questions you folks didn't ask). I plan to stick around today to participate in the threads resulting from these answers, and after that I'll retire to the discussion forum at http://www.sunsource.net which is a site I moderate. I'm always available there for more discussion.

Danese Cooper
Open Source Diva
Manager, Sun Open Source Programs Office

1) OpenOffice
by kvandivo

Is Sun moving to put more resources into the OpenOffice initiative?

Danese:
There are already several hundred Sun employees currently working off the OpenOffice.org codebase to produce StarOffice. The StarOffice product is Sun's branded and supported version of OpenOffice.org. This is a recurring pattern for Sun's engagement on the Open Source communities which we sponsor: we work the codebase in the clear but we're working towards producing a Sun-branded binary. We encourage other developers to work on the codebase as well and the licensing allows anyone to benefit from the work they donate by freely using the code. More on this in the answer to question number 7.

BTW, you may have noticed that this month OpenOffice.org just announced their 1.0 version as well as a first Developer Release of the MacOSX port.

2) Money From Open Source/Free Software
by Hasie

A large number of open source/free software companies have ceased to exist in the last while because they couldn't make money from a free product.

In light of this do you believe that it is possible to make money from open source/free software alone or does a company need a hardware arm like Sun?

Danese:
It seems to me to be a question of scale. There have been a few Open Source companies who've managed to make a go of it and return decent salaries and some security to their employees using some combination of the models discussed in Eric Raymond's papers. But Sun was already a publicly held company with previously established earning patterns when these Open Source business models began to be discussed, and because of our obligations to shareholders it wouldn't have been appropriatefor us to try to transition for example to making all our software revenue off of support because the returns just wouldn't have been satisfactory to the shareholders. So, I guess I'm saying that if your business plan is to make all your revenue in open source ways, then you need to be a organized that way from the start or else privately owned or not trying to convert from a more traditional publicly traded, higher margin model with all the obligations that implies.

About hardware. I've noticed that having hardware as a revenue generator definitely can make a software business more "fault tolerant" (less subject to strain from the occasional bad quarter), but its not the *only* effective hedge. Building real professional services, enterprise support services, and other sorts of product offerings can work to increase economic fault-tolerance. Some companies use Open Source to gain an influx of innovation which feeds their complex business models in ways that are difficult to quantify.

What we're going through now in the Industry is more extensive than just a bad quarter and all companies are feeling it, regardless of product mix or orientation (open or closed). At the start of the current downturn, many of the Open Source companies were still in their infancy and were therefore more vulnerable to downturn. That doesn't necessarily mean their business plans wouldn't have had some success if the economy had been more sheltering. Many of the stronger ones are now morphing to business models similar to the one Sun most often employs for its pure Open Source projects, use Open Source base technology to gain ubiquity and make money on the value-adds.

One last thing. I was talking to someone the other night who said he thought that Open Source is suffering because people don't understand it yet. I still get the question all the time whether applying Free & Open Source methodologies to a project will reduce engineering costs. This belies a huge misunderstanding. For traditional companies with existing closed source development models, going to Open Source costs more, not less. Of course in "total cost" terms the equations equal out. Open Source developers aren't going to code your product for you, but their feedback can dramatically reduce the time it takes to get the product where it needs to be to truly satisfy customer needs and can also have a huge positive impact on total quality of the product. In proprietary efforts, the activities designed to determine customer needs and Total Quality usually live in Marketing, not Engineering. At the end of the day Market and Customer Requirements analysis may be the problem Open Source solves for traditional product teams.

3) Open source for everything?
by mfarah

While it's true that a lot of "attractive/sexy" work can be done via open source methods, there's still some areas that traditional programming models (i.e., closed source) still function better (even though ESR says otherwise in The Cathedral & the Bazaar [oreilly.com]). What, in your opinion, is the proper balance between open source and closed source methods Sun should strive for?

Danese:
First let me say that I really appreciate the thought and writing that ESR has done. His writings are so well known and contributed hugely to proprietary companies' inquiries into Free and Open Source, but there are of course many metaphors in addition to his which try to describe the differences between proprietary and open source methods.

In my opinion, the secret sauce of Open Source is Transparency. Transparency teaches formerly proprietary engineering groups to trust the customer and vet plans before committing expensive resources to implementation. It generally uplevels coding quality as the potential for public embarrassment increases with increased scrutiny (the famous "massive peer review"). It often enhances job satisfaction since well-written or cleverly implemented code is publicly praised and hard work recognized. Reputations are built based on contribution and willingness to engage in constructive dialog. Trust is built in to Transparency as well, since the choice whether to trust organizations saying "We know better than you" or those saying "Here's how we work. We have nothing to hide" is easy. Not coincidentally the Open Source methodology companies like CollabNet and SourceForge are starting to sell Transparency methodology to proprietary companies for use internally.

But as mentioned above, its not appropriate for a successfully proprietary company to open source *every* scrap of code. At Sun we've tended to follow a pattern with our Open Source projects.We open source a base architecture and make money on value adds.The base technology becomes ubiquitous and that creates demand for the value added products we sell. They also tend to support our standards efforts or to be in themselves a de facto standard.

The best example of this is the relationship between NetBeans and Forte for Java. NetBeans is an integrated development environment (IDE) for Java, publicly launched as a fully transparent Open Source project 18 months ago. Forte for Java is a Sun-branded product line built on the NetBeans code base with feature enhancements developed at Sun. We sell Forte for Java, Enterprise Edition and also sell support contracts, professional services and related products.

As noted earlier, companies with a mix of hardware and software revenues like Sun can afford to liberate a larger percentage of their software in programs that support or in some conceivable way entice customers to buy the hardware. In the case of Forte for Java, providing good cross-platform developer tools is key to provisioning the platform.

4) Open Source Solaris?
by Sobrique

Since Solaris X86 is not going to be supported any more, is there any chance of getting that donated' to the user community? I appreciate that there's a fair chunk of intellectual property in there (and probably a fair amount of overlap with Sparc), but it'd be nice to see.

Danese:
First of all, Solaris continues to be a supported product on x86. In fact an update was just shipped in March. What we announced was that due to resource constraints we are deferring (not cancelling) the productization of x86 for Solaris 9. Solaris is already the most open of the traditional Unix distros, and we continue to look at ways to make it more open within the constraints of resource and user demand. We are actively working with the Solaris on Intel community to find ways to make that happen.

Generally however we've found that the cost of open sourcing code for a proprietary product is non-trivial. I know it seems counter-intuitive but consider this: the reality is you can't just toss code over the fence. You have to first scrub it to make sure you have the rights to release it (your question acknowledges this difficulty). You also have to provide resources to answer questions and generally support those who are trying to pick up the code. Typically you have to develop additional documentation as well. Lastly there's the issue of ongoing liability. Large companies have deep pockets. When a company releases a product it at times comes with a warranty which the company is willing to offer because the risk is offset by revenue. There has to be some significant value to the licensor to justify the risk. Make no mistake, whenever a large company converts a product to Open Source it's because that strategy has in some way been positively tied to the bottom line.

RMS and the Free Sofware Foundation have a vision of liberated software that takes care of all of these problems by socializing code. Personally I love that vision but it doesn't explain who funds initial R&D if the profit motive diminishes (now that even universities have recognized the potential for profit in research). Discussions on the "Free Software Business" mail list run by Russ Nelson have occasionally come to the conclusion that the US Federal Government will have to step up to fund research (as they did when the Internet was ARPANet). But of course any government will tend to support research that matches its goals, for instance better defense, and often social benefits are unintentional or at best ancillary.

In my opinion the best we can do as people who want to see infrastructure code socialized is work together to make Transparency and code liberty more attractive to organizations engaging in R&D so more code will be developed in the clear *from the outset* Once code is liberated it can't be taken back, and the community can seamlessly take up support for code if the original licensor changes priorities.

5) Fitting Open Source in a Corporate Environment
by Marx_Mrvelous

I work for a very large company (Fortune 100), and we are, very slowly, moving towards using open-source programs like Linux, Apache, etc. The IT department likes and supports these applications, but it's very difficult to convince management that these applications have the same stability and reliability that commercial applications do. What is the best way to approach management to help evaluate open source solutions to the problems we face?

Danese:
Companies like to know that somebody is responsible for supporting the products they select. For instance, they want enterprise level support. They want a warranty and someone standing behind it. Its easy to understand they want some security for their investments. The shift to pervasively liberated infrastructure code will be regulated by the trustworthiness of the code (since tying trust to shared risk doesn't work if the licensor has nothing to lose). Some members of both the Free and Open Source movements are personally committed to non-conformity at the expense of credibility with typically conservative IT decision makers. This further hampers deep and wide adoption.

Luckily, the other key factors in IT decision making are cost and control. In a real sense the current world economic situation is hugely helpful to the Open Source cause because cost becomes a more significant factor. Companies like RedHat are working to address the total cost equation to make it easier to choose open source. Notice that the "pattern" Sun uses is similar to RedHat's. They essentially brand and support open source base technologies (GNU/Linux) and increasingly provide proprietary value-adds.

If I were trying to convince my IT boss to adopt an Open Source technology I would be looking at the total cost to use it (i.e. Is it easier to use,learn or manage? Is the cost differential big enough to justify whatever risk? Is real support available?) in addition to evaluations based on feature set. In the area of control I would focus on the flexibility that comes from having Open Source rights to the code. No longer are you at the mercy of vendors who may or may not class your issues as high priority. I would point out the national governments and NGOs who are chosing to mandate use of Free and Open software as evidence that Open Source has entered the governmental mainstream. However, its important to recognize that the mass migration to liberated infrastructure software will be evolutionary because a revolution would be too disruptive to Business.

6) Why isn't JBoss certified?
by revscat

There has been some speculation that Sun is uncomfortable with certifying JBoss [jboss.org] as a J2EE-compliant container. Mark Fleury, president of the JBoss team, has said "Sun quoted a price for that certification suite that is beyond the current financial resources of the JBoss team." Is there any possibility that Sun will relax these certification fee requirements for open-source initiatives such as JBoss, especially when they meet the technical requirements as specified by Sun?

Danese:
I've had several conversations with the team that authors Java Technology about this one. They point out that the J2EE Specification License is really clear on how the specification can be used. It requires new implementations to be licensed and to pass the compatibility tests because compatibility and the portability it enables are the fundamental value proposition of Java Technology for the millions of developers actually using it. The certification test suite and the basic licensing of the Reference Implementation are the key mechanisms that protect that value proposition. The best example of this was the Sun vs. Microsoft lawsuit, which forced Microsoft to stop shipping their incompatible Java implementation.

Historically the problem with JBoss was not so much whether or not they could afford to access the certification test suite, as whether it or any Open Source project was potentially a weakening of the value proposition. JBoss is an open source project. According to the Open Source Definition, JBoss can't pass on compatibility requirements to subsequent code licensees. Open Source advocates have repeatedly assured us that the social contract (which is the primary method of enforcement in the Open Source world) is strong enough to protect the value proposition if branding was optional, but readily admit they can offer no guaranty. Java-related open source activities such as TomCat have been very popular, but uptake for the associated compatibility suite has been limited.

This is a really hard problem. Sun strongly believes in Open Source for infrastructure software, but also believes in protecting the value proposition of Java Technology. There has been at least one famous attack on that value proposition, but even among the members of the Java Community Process there is a dynamic tension between maintaining compatibility and allowing individual implementations enough room to distinguish themselves in the marketplace. Multiple software companies have bet their entire business on Java compatibility and are counting on the JCP to maintain an economically, as well as a technologically, level playing field.

After extensive work with the Apache Software Foundation Sun announced at JavaOne this year that it is working to change the JSPA (the legal agreement for participation in the Java Community Process or JCP) so that the JCP projects (JSRs) can be run as Open Source projects at the specification lead's discretion. Sun also announced that as future Sun-lead specifications are finalized it will allow compatible alternate implementations (including J2SE, J2EE and J2ME) under Open Source licenses. Additionally, Sun announced that it will make compatibility test kits available at zero cost to non-profit Open Source and Educational organizations and individuals, and will establish a $3 million dollar fund to provide support to qualified entities' use of the compatibility test kits. Sun's intention in making these changes is to enable compatible non-profit Open Source and Educational efforts to flourish.

It is my hope that this new willingness to allow compatible Open Source implementations will prompt Sun to also allow JBoss, which although licensed under the GPL is decidedly a *for profit* effort, to submit to the compatibility test suites so the world of Java can go forward compatibly. JBoss arguably has the largest market share of application servers claiming to be J2EE compliant, garnering awards and much attention, and it would be good form IMHO if Sun helped them to achieve true compatibility. I attended part of their "JBossOne" alternative conference and they told me they've secured funding to buy a support agreement for the J2EE 1.3 CTK like any other for profit implementor.

7) OpenOffice and Sun perceptions
by ACK!!

I was wondering what contributions of the OpenOffice group actually made it into StarOffice 6.0 beta? Did only contributions make it in or is 6.0 based off of OpenOffice code?

Danese:
OpenOffice.org is the code repository for the StarOffice 6.0 product, so the short answer is that StarOffice 6.0 is based off OpenOffice.org. As mentioned above, the common pattern of engagement for Sun with Open Source is to periodically roll a Sun-branded version which then becomes a fully supported part of the Sun product line. In this we are acting similarly to RedHat and the other Linux distros. Of course we contribute all bug fixes made during the productization process back to OpenOffice.org.

However, to answer the question of what types of contributions have been accepted you have to look at the types of contributions we've received. We conducted a survey on OpenOffice.org last summer which told us that the majority of the large community we've attracted are end-users. They contribute by reporting bugs and enhancement requests and recently have organized to provide marketing support but they rarely contribute code fixes. I went to GUADEC this last month to try to get more developers interested in contributing to OpenOffice.org, and we *are* getting more interest due to the recent announcements of version 1.0 and the First Developer Release of the MacOSX port).

So far, the developers who have attached themselves to the project have mostly contributed ports to alternative platforms and small-audience localizations which are not supported in StarOffice. StarOffice 5.x also included some proprietary components which had been licensed for use by StarDivision before the Sun acquisition. There has been some excellent work on OpenOffice.org to replace some of those with open source alternatives. Lastly there has been lots of activity in the area of enhancing distribution. The community has set up several mirrors and have even produced a CD delivery service.

8) "Linux" package management / GNU utils
by Erich

Solaris has had packages for a long time, but nothing compares to Debian or RedHat as far as package management goes. With Solaris I can download patch clusters and run them all in a script, but it's not nearly as easy "apt-get update; apt-get upgrade". Similarly, hunting down some package and all the utilities it requires and compiling them all is much more tedious than "apt-get install that_package".

Do you see Solaris incorporating some of the package management features found in Linux systems?

Also, Unix vendors many times have very feature-incomplete versions of utilities compared to their respective GNU versions. For instance, GNU tar (while lacking some of the Solaris tar options) has many features that are extremely handy. Do you see Unix vendors in the future incorporating more free tools over the proprietary ones they have, and if so what do you think the time frame is? Do you think that Unix vendors that move towards GNU tools and make their installations more "Linux"-like will have an edge, or will moving to unfamiliar tools be a hindrance?

Danese:
Since Solaris 8, Sun has shipped a "Companion CD" with many of the most popular utilities and programs in use by the free Linux and BSD distros because we recognize that some customers prefer to use those tools (and they run great on Solaris). Solaris 9 includes tighter integration of many of the most popular free tools (including GNU tar) within Solaris itself. We also added support in our C/C++ compilers for GNU compatibilty. One of the core things we are doing with Solaris 9 is ensuring even tighter Linux compatibility.

BTW, the currently available Companion CD already include the RedHat package manager (RPM), but for the time being we'll continue to support the System 5 pkgadd format because it is the consistent choice for our customer base and they tell us it still provides several advantages. We'll continue to consider other formats for future inclusion in response to a changing marketplace. We tend to think that what's good for Unix is good for Sun, because Solaris is simply the premier version of Unix.

9) Big Iron, Little Iron
by bfree

Do you forsee Sun having their own OS in 10 years time or do you forsee Sun selling hardware with their own optimsed version of another OS? If Yes, are we likely to see such an evolution climbing up your chain from the small workstations up to the big iron OR will we see a new OS for all boxes at once? Will Sun ever make an offer like IBM's offer for AIX with Solaris i.e. "You can have anything you want from our OS"?

Danese:
Sun's position on Linux has long been friendly, since we see it as a commodity unix variant which has been very successful at growing the community of Unix users. Many of our customers continue to say that Solaris is their operating system of choice but other customers have been calling for "Edge of the Network" Linux alternatives. Our February announcement to expand the Cobalt product line to include new general purpose Linux systems was a surprise to some but I think it makes sense for us to be responding to customers and leveraging a great market opportunity.

As it said in the announcement, Sun sees a time in the future when it won't matter which operating system you're running and many consumers won't even know which one they have. Part of that future as Sun sees it will be accomplished by pervasive Java platforms, but we also support efforts to make unix available as broadly as possible because it is a well-documented and industry tested open standard. Sun's Founding Principle, "Cooperate on Standards, Compete on Implementation" means that we'll continue to offer what we believe to be best of breed, standards compatible implementations for the markets we choose to enter.

So, in 10 years will we still maintain our own kernel? Will it look more or less like Linux? Will it look more or less like BSD? 10 years is a LONG time in this industry. In my opinion efforts by the community to enhance the Linux kernel to the level of "carrier-grade, high-availability" will have happened way before then. Vendors with Linux offerings will hopefully have learned how to provide fantastic Enterprise-Level Support and Professional Services for Linux way before then. The San Francisco Chronicle may be running a regular comic strip about a the adventures of a cute and politically liberal penguin by then! Whatever happens, Sun will continue listen to its customers and offer best of breed solutions.

10) The future of Liberty Alliance
by mydigitalself

I've been following Microsoft's .NET strategy for quite some time and have been quite interested in the Passport vs Liberty Alliance scenario.

Firstly, what exactly is happening with Liberty Alliance at the moment? I got the impression that the iniative was started as a marketing oppositing against Passport as there doesn't appear to be any visibility of the implementation on the web site [projectliberty.org].

Secondly, there is also an open source source initially from .GNU for this central authentication service [dotgnu.org]. Essentially both Liberty Alliance and .GNU are trying to provide an opposition framework to Passport - and yet the nature of the concept and the existance of the two projects seem to be self depricating. If everyone and their dog develop a centralised authentication service that spans services across networks - people would probably use Passport purely because of its market share.

Would it not be a good idea to somehow merge the work done to offer a unified opposition to Passport?

Danese:
I'm really glad you asked about the Liberty Alliance because I recently attended a Web Services conference in San Francisco and got really riled up about the problem that the Liberty Alliance is trying to address. The organizations in the Liberty Alliance and the folks working on DotGNU have all recognized the danger of allowing identity profiles to be controlled or even exclusively architected by a single company. As my friend Tim O'Reilly first said about Identity last year, "There are some things nobody should own". Sun took on the initial work to launch the Liberty Alliance, but now that it exists Sun is taking a peer role.

Passport by design is a potential chokepoint for Internet commerce. What's really concerning is that passport has already been deployed and is collecting membership from every user of Windows XP, Hotmail and the rest of the WinTel stack! Lately Microsoft has gotten pretty quiet about Passport, but that doesn't mean they aren't continuing to execute a strategy to dominate Internet commerce. As a technologist my tendency is to want to hurry up and impulsively code an alternative, but I recognize that it will be difficult at best for even superior technology to win in a horserace to achieve compelling membership.

That's why the Liberty Alliance is so important. As you notice there has been precious little technical information released about any actual Liberty implementation. If you look at the makeup of the Liberty Alliance founding group they are overwhelmingly organizations with large existing membership databases. The first problem is to assemble enough membership to actually challenge the "sole architect" position of the dominant player. In my mind this strategy is the only way to effectively mandate a truly open and decentralized architecture. Last month it was announced that AOL has joined the Liberty Alliance and at this conference I mentioned above a Liberty Alliance member confirmed that Microsoft has been invited to join.

I was very happy to see Apache in the list of charter organizations endorsing the concept of the Liberty Alliance because it effectively ensured that the Liberty Alliance would have to accept non-profit membership and indeed they have defined a no-cost Affiliate membership level. This opens up the possibility for efforts like DotGNU to join and bring their perspectives (or their technology) to the table. Since DotGNU is a Free Software project the traditional challenges of working in concert with profit-motivated organizations will definitely arise but as your question points out the alternative is diminished impact.

cancel ×

177 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

In my opinion.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3491933)

Was I the only one who broke into a scream of terror when I looked at this month's copy of Personal Computer World? There, staring out from a free CD-Rom on the cover was the program from hell, and all you needed to do to let it take over your PC was double click a couple of times and kiss goodbye to your sanity.

The nasty piece of digital scurf in question is known as Linux and there are plenty of sad types who will tell you it is the future of personal computing. Do not fall for this bizarre line in geek thinking.

Even Personal Computer World, after making it so easy to enter the twilight zone without a return ticket, saw fit to enter a few caveats in the fine print. Linux, it said, came with a serious health warning. Don't even think about it, the magazine said, unless you are technically proficient and have backed up all your PC files beforehand.

Yes, but we know what the average PC user is like. He never reads the words, he just slings in the CD-Rom, clicks on the install icon, and hopes for the best. And if you are now looking at a blank screen with a few impenetrable commands where you once had a working PC, then all I can say is: "You have only yourself to blame."

Linux, for the uninitiated, is a version of that old computer donkey known as Unix. If you need to run big computer Unix tasks then it is, I am told, not a bad solution at all. Equally, if you believe there is no point in doing easily something you can achieve the long way round, it is doubtless the way to go.

Imagine a tougher version of MS-Dos - where the commands are even harder to memorise and less forgiving of errors - and you are starting to get there. And if you want to cheat a little, you can put on a pseudo-graphical front end and - bingo - you might just manage to turn a modern Windows NT-capable PC into a passable imitation of Windows 3.1 circa 1992.

However, to read some publications, you might think that Microsoft's Bill Gates is quivering in his boots at the idea that Linux will do what IBM and Apple never managed to achieve - kick Windows off the everyday desktop. Really? Well, no. Linux is flavour of the month with the geek community for two reasons - it's free, and it's not from Microsoft.

For a certain breed of bug-eyed computer user, that really is all you need. Trivial details such as usability, the lack of decent everyday software, and the plain fact that, when things go wrong, you are on your own are not setbacks to Linux addicts. These are the very reasons why they like the wretched thing - because it sets them apart from the mainstream of tedious, ordinary users who just use PCs to get on with the job.

Personal computers seem to have attracted some strange and obsessive people along the way to becoming common or garden information tools. If Linux hadn't been invented by a Finnish student a few years back, something equally strange and esoteric would have appeared to take its place.

Computer geeks despise simple, common standards. Gates is the object of their hate simply because he won the operating-system war. If Apple or IBM had come out on top, the people now buzzing so excitedly around Linux would have treated them to the hate mail they reserve for Gates today.

Fads like Linux are diversionary characters in a digital freak show on the sidelines of modern information technology. Finding them on the cover disks of mainstream magazines says more about the novelty value of computer journalism than the real issues facing those trying to make tomorrow's PCs a sight better than the ones we use today.

The idea that great developments in personal computing will be invented in some dismal student bedroom in Helsinki might make nice bedtime reading for people who dream in hexa-decimal. But if all you want is a computer that you can aspire to understand, chuck that blasted CD-Rom in the bin right now.

Re:In my opinion.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492033)

Since I posted this FP, I would like to donate it to the CLIT. I am, in fact, an aspiring member of the CLIT but have yet to finalized my account.. so this had to be an AC FP today.

..but tomorrow, the AC's shall burn.

posted almost first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3491944)

if you look close enough it almost seems like its in first.

if you think 5 months were long.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3491949)

...how long would gov't type take?

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3491958)

First Post!! HE HE

i want to be the first to comment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3491960)

hehe, oh yeah

frost piss (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3491975)

Some years ago I ran across a length of smooth, large-diameter rubber hose in a laboratory. It was 5/8" (16 mm) in diameter, with a ¼" (6 mm) inside diameter, with a wall thickness of 3/16" (4.5 mm). Being a complete enema nut, I immediately thought of some interesting uses for such a fine piece of tubing, and "borrowed" it.

I made a gigantic colon tube with it by rounding off one end of the tube. This was not such an easy task, but with scissors, fresh razor blades and such, I got it fairly well smoothed off.

I attached the other end of the hose to the bathtub faucet, and set the faucet for a slow flow of warm water. I lubricated the hose with vaseline, and laying on my back in the tub, I started to insert the hose into my rectum. To my surprise, it slid in easily, and further than I had ever gotten a tube in before. After letting the hose fill me for a while, I evacuated my bowels on the toilet.

When I felt empty, I got back into the tub, and repeated the process. This time I decided to try to slide the hose as far up into my colon as I possibly could. I relaxed on my back, and eased the hose back in. I let the water fill me for a moment, and then I started to twist and push the hose inward.

When the end of the tube reached the top of the sigmoid, I felt some resistance, and just gently pushed and pulled back on the tube while twisting it constantly. After a moment it slipped in farther. I could really feel the tube moving around inside me, and it was great. I kept gently pushing, and the tube moved farther until the tip was at the bend between the sigmoid and the descending colon, far down on the left side. I had a bit of difficulty getting past this point, but I pressed in with my fingers at that point on my abdomen, and worked my fingertips around in a circular motion, and the tube eventually moved up into my descending colon. Ahhh. I could feel even more sensation now.

I kept pushing gently, and worked the tube all the way up to the top of the descending fairly quickly, and then wiggled it through the splenic flexure (behind the stomach). Now the tube was passing across the transverse colon, and I was starting to get filled up. The sensation was incredibly stimulating, and I could feel the tube's progress across my belly with my fingertips. The tube made a firm lump whenever I felt the appropriate part of my colon. It was getting hard to make the tube progress farther, and when the tip reached the hepatic flexure, I pushed on the part extending from my anus until the loops inside me hurt.

I realized that I wasn't going to get it any farther up me than this, so I let the water fill me until I couldn't take any more. I then pulled the end of the tube from the faucet and let the water start to drain out. I had a marvelous orgasm at this point as the water gently ran out from the tube. When I could feel the end of the tube sucking at the interior of my bowels, I started to pull it out, slowly. I finished my evacuation on the toilet.

I worried that this might not be a safe procedure to perform, because it was at least uncomfortable, and at times fairly painful. I now know that when people are examined with a fiber optic colonoscope they are sedated, but that instrument hadn't been invented when I did this.

This same tube is now the hose on my high volume (1 ¾ Gallon) (6 Liter) enema setup. No, I have never taken (or even tried to take) the whole can. I really only did this whole procedure once, so you could say it was a once in a lifetime thing, but it was quite an experience. If I'd left the tube in, I could have gotten a high colonic irrigation, but I really hadn't even heard of colon irrigation before. I got somewhat in excess of 4 feet (about 130 cm) of tubing inside me, and because of the thickness of the tube and my ability to feel it through the abdomen I know it wasn't curled up inside me.

This tube was of a type made for vacuum use, it is very soft and flexible, but its wall thickness makes it resistant to kinking and folding up inside. I have several other large diameter colon tubes, but their stiffness makes it too hard to pass them around the many bends of the colon. The metric conversions are for those readers abroad who don't want to think in the old "English" units.

Re:frost piss (-1)

real_b0fh (557599) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492330)

sick
sick
sick

nuff said.

congrats.

Quesions? (-1, Offtopic)

ahamos (244446) | more than 12 years ago | (#3491994)

I've never seen a good set of "quesions" before. I know, I know: flamebait. But still, a good /. typo is always amusing...

Language (0, Troll)

gehrehmee (16338) | more than 12 years ago | (#3491999)

In my opinion, the secret sauce of Open Source is Transparency. Transparency teaches formerly proprietary engineering groups to trust the customer and vet plans before committing expensive resources to implementation. It generally uplevels coding quality as the potential for public embarrassment increases with increased scrutiny (the famous "massive peer review").
Wow. What strange hybrid of McEmployee and Marketroid was spawned to create paragraphs containing both the phrases "secret sauce" and "uplevels". Wow. :)

SUN! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492004)

SUN destroyed GNOME and made it a POS

and now i know how joan of arc felt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492007)

now i know how joan of arc felt
as the flames rose
to her roman nose
and her walkman started to melt

bigmouth la-do-do-da-da
bigmouth la-da-da-da
bigmouth strikes again!

Wow, strange... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492173)

I was just listening to Morrissey's "Bona Drag" album when I saw this comment, specifically "Lucky Lisp."

the -1 comments (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492009)

are hilarious! amazing how much free time some people have...

He's a She (0, Redundant)

ReuabLeahcim (443853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492013)

FYI

Re:He's a She (0, Redundant)

jhunsake (81920) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492064)

Did anyone say otherwise?

Re:He's a She (2)

Kiaser Zohsay (20134) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492760)

... she's a redhead.

http://java.sun.com/features/2001/07/images/dcoo pe r.oscon.jpg

if you're into that sort of thing.

Re:He's a She (0, Redundant)

EyesWideOpen (198253) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492069)

Who said any different? The 'his' in the ./ story refers to the late Douglas Adams.

Re:He's a She (0, Redundant)

ZxCv (6138) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492236)

Maybe I'm missing something, but where was it implied that she's a he?

Re:He's a She (-1, Offtopic)

wurp (51446) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492270)

From the end of the first paragraph:

but didn't get his answers to us until June 21, 2000


Note the "his", generally indicative of the masculine gender.

Re:He's a She (2)

ZxCv (6138) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492307)

Perhaps if you re-read the submission, you'll notice that "his" is referring to the previous record holder, Douglas Adams, who was most certainly a man.

Oops (1)

wurp (51446) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492428)

excellent point. I saw someone make the he/she point and went back and re-read the submission, looking for the screw-up. I saw the "his" and thought I'd found it, without checking whom it referenced.

It has been made obvious to me that my earlier post was seen as asinine. I wasn't trying to be an ass; just trying to be cutesy in my wording. I guess I failed ;)

Re:Oops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492473)

It has been made obvious to me that my earlier post was seen as asinine. I wasn't trying to be an ass;

Not asinine. Stupid. And while you probably weren't trying to be stupid either, it is unfortunately not under your control.

douglas adams (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492324)

That was referring to Douglas Adams. Are you suggesting Douglas Adams is a she?

Re:He's a She (0, Offtopic)

KingAdrock (115014) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492355)

Note the "wurp", generally indicative of an idiot!

Open Source (4, Insightful)

Transient0 (175617) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492017)


---Quote---
Generally however we've found that the cost of open sourcing code for a
proprietary product is non-trivial. I know it seems counter-intuitive
but consider this: the reality is you can't just toss code over the
fence. You have to first scrub it to make sure you have the rights to
release it (your question acknowledges this difficulty). You also have
to provide resources to answer questions and generally support those who
are trying to pick up the code. Typically you have to develop
additional documentation as well. Lastly there's the issue of ongoing
liability. Large companies have deep pockets. When a company releases
a product it at times comes with a warranty which the company is willing
to offer because the risk is offset by revenue. There has to be some
significant value to the licensor to justify the risk. Make no mistake,
whenever a large company converts a product to Open Source it's because
that strategy has in some way been positively tied to the bottom line.
---EndQuote---

I'm a strong supporter of the Open Source movement, but I find Danese's comments here very interesting. The things that he says are unquestionably true and point to a large part of the likely reason why even companies which are firendly towards the Free Software movement are often reluctant to open their code.

Hackers need to remember this. Too many times I have heard people attacking companies for not "putting their money where their mouth is" because they support Open Source in their statements and press releases, but continue to produce closed products. It's good to see such a considered view on why you can't always just "throw code over the fence".

Re:Open Source (2, Interesting)

winse (39597) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492076)

I have seen this as well at my own company. We have "clean" code that is our own, and stuff we've got to throw over the fence (GPL). The stuff we don't have to give back never get's the attention that GPL code gets as far as comments and documentation.

Re:Open Source (1)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492457)

i gotta assume your company is distributes (binary or otherwise) software?

otherwise, there's no reason to throw gpl code over the fense. sure sharing is nice, but there's nothing in the license that mandates it. when google patches the hell out of their linux kernels (gpl), they don't have to give a line of it back to any developers or throw it over the fense.

Re:Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492507)

Yes they do, because they release binaries on their google search appliances.

Re:Open Source (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492114)

That's a she boyo..

Re:Open Source (1)

Transient0 (175617) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492133)

sorry.

the things she said.

my mistake.

Re:Open Source (0, Funny)

Hack Shoeboy (441994) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492257)

I thought "Danese Cooper" meant a barrel-maker from the People's Republic of Dan.

Re:Open Source (1)

tunders (259809) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492134)

If you had read the article properl, you might have realised that Danese is a she, not a he. The comment "What's it like to be a woman in technology?" in the header gave this away.

Open Source lacks professionalism (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492148)

Seen on comp.risks, please tell the guy what an idiot he is. Or if you happen to live nearby, you may try to give him a third meaning of killall, hehe...:

Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 14:52:30 -0500
From: dmaziuk@yola.bmrb.wisc.edu (Dimitri Maziuk)
Subject: GNU in Not Unix (Re: Markettos, RISKS-22.05)

Well, that particular risk is well known to professional Unix systems
administrators -- in fact, I was rather surprised to see that Linux
"killall" made the RISKS now: it's been [in]famous among Unix sysadmins for
quite a while now.

I see two issues here: one is that of false advertising, and another one --
of professionalism (not that they are entirely unrelated).

Stallman's rants about "LiGNUx" have a perfectly good technical reason
behind them: "Linux" (as in "OS based on Linux kernel and free software")
has lots of GNU software in it, and "GNU is Not Unix". Hence, Linux is
Not Unix, regardless of what Linux advocates may be telling us, it is
"GNU". (And, BTW, Unix is Not GNU.)

That was about false advertising, now let's look at professionalism.

Linux killall is perfect illustration of what happens when a product is
designed by a diletante.

Back in 1975 professionals designed an OS called Unix. Being professionals,
they realised the need for certain design principles. Such as splitting a
task into a number of smaller subtasks and designing a separate tool to
handle each subtask (that does one thing, and does it well)[0].

For example, shutting down a computer involves flushing (synchronizing) file
buffers to disk ("sync"), killing all running processes ("killall"), and
powering off the machine ("poweroff", at least on Solaris). All perfectly
neat and logical.

Along comes a layman who is unaware of the above principle, nor of
the significant "prior art"[1]. Result? -- read Theo's message.

(Various observations to show that isn't such a big problem (in
no particular order):

* professionals already know that similarly-named utilities often
behave differently on different operating systems,
* GNU folks never intended to uphold the aforementioned design
principle in the first place (see EMACS), so no surprises there,
after all, you'll only run "killall" on a Unix once.)

We have a bigger problem with another Unix principle: source code
portability.

As software becomes more complex, it requires more sophisticated build
tools. More and more open source software is being developed using GNU
compilers and build tools, and it is becoming dependant on them. The result?
-- While portability at the level of each compilation unit is still
maintained, the whole thing is not portable anymore. It fails to build on
non-GNU systems[2].

GNU project in particular did a great service to software community by
promoting and popularizing free software. It also did a great disservice by
turning the whole thing into a political issue, and pretty much ignoring the
need for competence and expertise on the part of software developers.
Instead of sound software engineering, we now have "Free Speech"
flag-waving[3].

With more companies (individuals, governments) jumping on Linux bandwagon,
the situation becomes eerily reminiscent of the recent dot-com boom; back
then we had The Internet and e-words, now we have Open Source and
Linux. Back then a few cautionary voices drowned in marketing hype, now
they're likely to be branded Paid Advocates of Evil Entertainment Industry
and Oppressors of Free Speech[tm] -- so they shut up and go learn Plan9, or
something.

(BTW, if it sounds like I'm singling GNU out, I'm not. Microsoft
et al., did at least as much as GNU to get us where we are now.
The whole thing would be very different if there was e.g. a
liability clause in every software license.)

But the $15 question remains: would you board an airplane designed by, say,
2nd year biology student as a night-time hobby? So what makes you think
their software design skills are any better?

Hmm. This came out sounding like a rant. Well, it probably is.

Dima

[0] Various aspects of the problems related to complex software systems are
very familiar to RISKS readers. They come up in, what? -- every other RISKS
issue? 25+ years ago Unix authors were well aware of them, too.

[1] Irix and Solaris "killall", for examle, behave like HP-UX one -- not
surprising, considering the "grand scheme of things" outlined above.

[2] Anyone who ever tried building open source software on Solaris using
native build tools knows that 9 times out 10 GNU "libtool" fails to link
shared libraries. The remaining 1 time GNU ./configure script fails to
determine compiler flags to make position-independent code (needed for said
libraries). And since GNU compiler and build tools are unable to produce
64-bit code on Solaris, the libraries, and all software that uses them must
be built as 32-bit binaries. Now, why did I pay for that 64-bit hardware,
again?

[3] And instead of one Shakespeare, we have a zillion monkeys with C
compilers. As history of Usenet shows, we shouldn't expect them to come up
with even "Hello World" anytime soon, not to mention "Hamlet".

Re:Open Source (0, Redundant)

morhoj (573833) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492283)

Don't jump on her bandwagon so quick...

I'm MORE than convinced that the only reason that Sun made this move at all was to keep in step with IBM. Besides OpenOffice, which was a strategic move to sell more low-end workstations so sys admins could stay on SPARC's instead of SSH'ing into the real servers, I've yet to see much behind their so called open source "initiatives"... think about it. Her ideas on the business models are right on, but how many of them are really coming out of Sun?

Re:Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492426)


Slashdot should post photos of the people they interview. That way some geeky guy won't be all thrown for a loop when he finds out late in the game that if he wants to be like the smart person being interviewed on Slashdot he's going to need a sex change and some fashion sense.

Re:Open Source (2, Interesting)

zpengo (99887) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492673)

The things that he says are unquestionably true...

He's pretty good looking [sun.com] for a "he".

Insulting your interview subjects is a great idea (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492024)

Great, when an interview subject responds, blast them on the front page of slashdot for taking so long -- that's a fabulous way to guarantee plenty more people will want to be interviewed.

In fact, that's a great life lesson in general -- make fun of people at every opportunity! You are ENTITLED to prompt service from everyone and anything!

Re:Insulting your interview subjects is a great id (4, Funny)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492253)

This is the truth.

Ms. Cooper answered the questions presented to her throughly and accurately, which she would have been able to do if she had answered 'promptly'. Sun has made alot of policy changes in recent months that would have made a prompt interview pretty worthless.

Shows what a pack of assholes the Slashdot crew can be.

Here are some potential future topics for /. along the same line as this one:

CmdrTaco finally learns to fucking spell
Slashdot finally fixes the page-widening bug
/. editors finally stop posting the same story 3x

Re:Insulting your interview subjects is a great id (1)

swagr (244747) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492325)

Ha ha ha!
That's good material.

Re:Insulting your interview subjects is a great id (2)

magic (19621) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492635)

Yes: thank you, Danese, for answering so completely and giving time for an on-line interview!


-m

Re:Insulting your interview subjects is a great id (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492288)

Maybe she was worried about the "Curse of Slashdot." DNA answers some questions, and he's dead within a year. It makes the Sports Illustrated cover jinx seem trivial...

Re:Insulting your interview subjects is a great id (2, Insightful)

Haxwell (229790) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492387)

Dude.. Calm down.. Nobody was "blasted", she did take a hella long time answering the questions.. I know I've been waiting for them for a while.. anyway, go drink a latte or something, you've got a little too much stress goin on over there.

Idiot alert: flame at will! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492025)

Seen on comp.risks, please tell the guy what an idiot he is. Or if you happen to live nearby, you may try to give him a third meaning of killall, hehe...:

Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 14:52:30 -0500
From: dmaziuk@yola.bmrb.wisc.edu (Dimitri Maziuk)
Subject: GNU in Not Unix (Re: Markettos, RISKS-22.05)

Well, that particular risk is well known to professional Unix systems
administrators -- in fact, I was rather surprised to see that Linux
"killall" made the RISKS now: it's been [in]famous among Unix sysadmins for
quite a while now.

I see two issues here: one is that of false advertising, and another one --
of professionalism (not that they are entirely unrelated).

Stallman's rants about "LiGNUx" have a perfectly good technical reason
behind them: "Linux" (as in "OS based on Linux kernel and free software")
has lots of GNU software in it, and "GNU is Not Unix". Hence, Linux is
Not Unix, regardless of what Linux advocates may be telling us, it is
"GNU". (And, BTW, Unix is Not GNU.)

That was about false advertising, now let's look at professionalism.

Linux killall is perfect illustration of what happens when a product is
designed by a diletante.

Back in 1975 professionals designed an OS called Unix. Being professionals,
they realised the need for certain design principles. Such as splitting a
task into a number of smaller subtasks and designing a separate tool to
handle each subtask (that does one thing, and does it well)[0].

For example, shutting down a computer involves flushing (synchronizing) file
buffers to disk ("sync"), killing all running processes ("killall"), and
powering off the machine ("poweroff", at least on Solaris). All perfectly
neat and logical.

Along comes a layman who is unaware of the above principle, nor of
the significant "prior art"[1]. Result? -- read Theo's message.

(Various observations to show that isn't such a big problem (in
no particular order):

* professionals already know that similarly-named utilities often
behave differently on different operating systems,
* GNU folks never intended to uphold the aforementioned design
principle in the first place (see EMACS), so no surprises there,
after all, you'll only run "killall" on a Unix once.)

We have a bigger problem with another Unix principle: source code
portability.

As software becomes more complex, it requires more sophisticated build
tools. More and more open source software is being developed using GNU
compilers and build tools, and it is becoming dependant on them. The result?
-- While portability at the level of each compilation unit is still
maintained, the whole thing is not portable anymore. It fails to build on
non-GNU systems[2].

GNU project in particular did a great service to software community by
promoting and popularizing free software. It also did a great disservice by
turning the whole thing into a political issue, and pretty much ignoring the
need for competence and expertise on the part of software developers.
Instead of sound software engineering, we now have "Free Speech"
flag-waving[3].

With more companies (individuals, governments) jumping on Linux bandwagon,
the situation becomes eerily reminiscent of the recent dot-com boom; back
then we had The Internet and e-words, now we have Open Source and
Linux. Back then a few cautionary voices drowned in marketing hype, now
they're likely to be branded Paid Advocates of Evil Entertainment Industry
and Oppressors of Free Speech[tm] -- so they shut up and go learn Plan9, or
something.

(BTW, if it sounds like I'm singling GNU out, I'm not. Microsoft
et al., did at least as much as GNU to get us where we are now.
The whole thing would be very different if there was e.g. a
liability clause in every software license.)

But the $15 question remains: would you board an airplane designed by, say,
2nd year biology student as a night-time hobby? So what makes you think
their software design skills are any better?

Hmm. This came out sounding like a rant. Well, it probably is.

Dima

[0] Various aspects of the problems related to complex software systems are
very familiar to RISKS readers. They come up in, what? -- every other RISKS
issue? 25+ years ago Unix authors were well aware of them, too.

[1] Irix and Solaris "killall", for examle, behave like HP-UX one -- not
surprising, considering the "grand scheme of things" outlined above.

[2] Anyone who ever tried building open source software on Solaris using
native build tools knows that 9 times out 10 GNU "libtool" fails to link
shared libraries. The remaining 1 time GNU ./configure script fails to
determine compiler flags to make position-independent code (needed for said
libraries). And since GNU compiler and build tools are unable to produce
64-bit code on Solaris, the libraries, and all software that uses them must
be built as 32-bit binaries. Now, why did I pay for that 64-bit hardware,
again?

[3] And instead of one Shakespeare, we have a zillion monkeys with C
compilers. As history of Usenet shows, we shouldn't expect them to come up
with even "Hello World" anytime soon, not to mention "Hamlet".

troll? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492026)

thanks to SUN usability shit we got a WINDOWS REGISTRY implementation in gnome....

...luckely there is KDE the only hope for a good DESKTOP on linux.

Re:troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492083)

So Gnome has a Windows registry implementation.

KDE is Windows.

Re:troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492120)

yeah. exactly what i wanted for linux. my kde 3 setup even looks like windows 2000.

Re:troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492160)


the question is - why do we want a windows registry like system on linux? GNOME 2 has a couple of nice features. finally one could say it's cleaned up now but i am also sure that with gnome 2 they also started to walk a new road and i doubt that this new road is correct one. hiding all the preferences behind a windows registry like system and making gnome look more than macosx. basically the userbase the gnome people want to reach are newbies, loosers, fools etc.


for the registry crap. please don't reply and tell me it's for administrators easier to set flags for their users etc. i heard all of these arguments and they are basically worth nothing. 99% of the linux users use their system at home. no one wants such a sucking system.

But... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492031)

How are we going to slashdot the article if it's on a real webserver???

The Evolutionary process...... (3, Insightful)

TuxLuvr (578149) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492044)

I have a sense of the giant, lumbering corporations (the dinosaurs) entering into a symbiotic relationship with the up-and-coming, smaller, more agile Open Source methodologies (the mammals).

Some may call it co-opting, but I think it's actually and interesting evolutionary twist.

And the "Ask Slashdot" format puts a human face on the process, which is very useful.

Sorry if my analogies are not airtight : - ) ...

Re:The Evolutionary process...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492131)

What we really need is an asteroid to wipe out the dinosaurs ..

Five months (2)

EyesWideOpen (198253) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492045)

Seeing as it's been five months since the questions were asked I had to do a quick scan-through and make sure that they were all still relevant!

Oh, speak english! (5, Insightful)

brooks_talley (86840) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492067)

Danese seems like a pretty bright person, but damn does she ever go for corporatespeak. In case slashdotters aren't up on the latest productivity implying circumlocutions, here are my translations:

It generally uplevels coding quality...
It generally improves coding quality

we are deferring (not cancelling) the productization of x86 for Solaris 9
we are deferring (not cancelling) the release of x86 for Solaris 9

The shift to pervasively liberated infrastructure code will be regulated by ...
The shift to open source will be regulated by...

Cheers
-b

Re:Oh, speak english! (1)

TuxLuvr (578149) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492112)

LOL... You too can talk the talk! [dack.com]

Though you can't be too hard on her.. that's the way folks in her environment are required to talk to the Public!

Re:Oh, speak english! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492157)

That language is undeniable PROOF that she's stupid. Dumb as a post. The worst of the pointy-haired clichés we all joke about.

Any "intelligence" in her responses must have been supplied by someone else.

Re:Oh, speak english! (4, Interesting)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492735)



Danese seems like a pretty bright person, but damn does she ever go for corporatespeak.


I've always found this aspect of language interesting. Sure, we're all familiar with buzzword laden speech that use a lot of words to say nothing. However, there are some environments that develop their own language for more than buzzword effect. Often this odd dialect conveys additional meaning or understanding. Although that additional communication is lost to those who are not a part of that environment.


I'm guitly of this. When within a technical peer group, I talk tech. When within a corporate setting, I tend to speak corporate. And when I was in the military (which creates a unique social and professional environmen), my speech was heavily laden with acronyms, military jargon, and... errr... colorful terms. In fact, the military lifestyle is so removed from civilian life that I wasn't aware of how much it affected my speech until I went to visit family and friends. They would often gave me blank looks if I didn't think about what I was going to say (unless they had a military background of their own).


Yea. Danese hit us with a heavy dialect. But I would hazard a guess that she tends to address coporate people most often when talking about this subject. So I don't find it suprising she would automatically find herself using a corporate dialect.


And I still find that facinating.

Couldn't help but be reminded (5, Funny)

CaseyB (1105) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492077)

a record previously held by the late Douglas Adams...

"Come," called the old man, "come now or you will be late."

"Late?" said Arthur. "What for?"

"What is your name, human?"

"Dent. Arthur Dent," said Arthur.

"Late, as in the late Dentarthurdent," said the old man, sternly. "It's a sort of threat you see."

Re:Couldn't help but be reminded (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492138)

funny? i find this sad.

Solaris 9 for x86 (1)

datastew (529152) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492078)

"due to resource constraints we are deferring (not cancelling) the productization of x86 for Solaris 9"

That is the best news I've heard all day.

Another open source digital ID solution (5, Informative)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492080)

It should be pointed out that there is another open digital ID scheme if dotGNU isn't your cup of tea by the name of PingID [pingid.org]

It's been set up by the guy who started Jabber Inc, who have successfully balanced open standards and code with commercial success. The stuff they're developing is completely open source, with one caveat, they can sell it if you want more than 5000 users connected to one server (ie for large ID carriers).

I've been personally involved since the beginning, as we [theoretic.com] rolled the Genio project into it. Before we did so, we tried talking to the Liberty Alliance, but didn't get too far. They were a bit busy sorting out all their internal politics methinks....

Thank you, Danese (-1, Troll)

DrBiscuit (575519) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492087)

As a fellow woman, though, I'd like to ask why you didn't address the topic of women in technology, despite not being asked. A way needs to be found to interest young women in the technical/scientific fields. The scientific viewpoint of a woman is unique and precious and if a way is not found to include it we will eventually live to regret it.

Re:Thank you, Danese...who cares abouy XX/XY (0, Insightful)

lugonn (555020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492338)

As a man, I think I can offer a little insight on this topic. MOST (not all) women I've met are more interested in administrative work than scientific. They seem to be more comfortable organizing than engineering.

I learned how to program from a woman, so I know that women are as capable as men. There is no conspiracy to shut women's views out of science. The women that are interested in science, do it.

I would argue that a lot of women I've met don't like the Nerd/Geek type, and don't associate with them to generate an interest in science at an early age. They tend to go after more socially oriented pursuits, like sports and drama. I met very few women in my childhood that had a genuine interest in science.

And I disagree that women posses some unique "scientific viewpoint". Viewpoints come from experience and thought. Not through having two X chromosomes.

And I would also argue that women are already included in science. Unless you feel that, somehow, you are not contributing to science, then I would argue with you. I could list numerous women here that have made contrubutions to science, but that is what google is for.

Seems like you just want to whine about not having a penis to wave around, or spread FUD. However, you could list some reasons why you feel that women are ignored in science, and I will humbly crawl back into my hole and worship Dianna.

Danese (-1)

Anonymous Cowrad (571322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492090)

You suxor.

thank you.

I love you.

opensource starts to suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492093)

honestly i think that the opensource community is getting more and more abused by commercial companies. most of the opensource contributors work for free on the projects. some of them in their spare time etc. now big companies make profit with that work that others have done. its a cheap timesaving and moneysaving way for companies to make their big money.

to describe it differently. a lot of stupid people work freely for sun and similar companies. sad that people dont realize that they get abused - no they get raped for their work.

you can't rape the willing (1)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492195)

OSS authors knew what was going to happen when commercial entities took notice. If they didn't want this to happen, they would have written a more restrictive license and released code under it.

First post 5 months later? (2, Insightful)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492094)

Man, 5 months lag to get an article on the index page sure beats the hell out of me typing this trying to pass these spelling mistakes as crappy insight to get a first post.

In case the article gets slashdotted!! (0, Funny)

hettb (569863) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492105)

>We put up the original Talk to Sun's 'Open Source Diva' [slashdot.org] call for questions on January 10, 2002, which makes this the longest lag we've ever had betweeen a set of Slashdot quesions and their answers, a record previously held by the late Douglas Adams, whose question post [slashdot.org] went up on May 2, 2000, but didn't get his answers [slashdot.org] to us until June 21, 2000.

Danese:
First of all, I have to tell you that everywhere I go, people ask me when my Slashdot answers will be coming out! The Slashdot effect doesn't only impact websites ;-). As a loyal daily Slashdot reader I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to answer your questions and I want to thank Slashdot for their patience in waiting for them. It wasn't for lack of trying but since I first penned my answers there have been a steady string of announcements that we'd been working on a long time and I didn't want to tell you all one thing and have the answer change just a couple of weeks later. I was very impressed with the questions, which showed a lot of understanding of Sun and interest in where we're headed with respect to Open Source. As a result of so many people asking me about the answers, I've had some great conversations about working on Open Source in a big traditional company and of course the inevitable "What's it like to be a woman in technology?" (questions you folks didn't ask). I plan to stick around today to participate in the threads resulting from these answers, and after that I'll retire to the discussion forum at http://www.sunsource.net [sunsource.net] which is a site I moderate. I'm always available there for more discussion.

Danese Cooper
Open Source Diva
Manager, Sun Open Source Programs Office

1) OpenOffice
by kvandivo

Is Sun moving to put more resources into the OpenOffice initiative?

Danese:
There are already several hundred Sun employees currently working off the OpenOffice.org codebase to produce StarOffice. The StarOffice product is Sun's branded and supported version of OpenOffice.org. This is a recurring pattern for Sun's engagement on the Open Source communities which we sponsor: we work the codebase in the clear but we're working towards producing a Sun-branded binary. We encourage other developers to work on the codebase as well and the licensing allows anyone to benefit from the work they donate by freely using the code. More on this in the answer to question number 7.

BTW, you may have noticed that this month OpenOffice.org just announced their 1.0 version as well as a first Developer Release of the MacOSX port.

2) Money From Open Source/Free Software
by Hasie

A large number of open source/free software companies have ceased to exist in the last while because they couldn't make money from a free product.

In light of this do you believe that it is possible to make money from open source/free software alone or does a company need a hardware arm like Sun?

Danese:
It seems to me to be a question of scale. There have been a few Open Source companies who've managed to make a go of it and return decent salaries and some security to their employees using some combination of the models discussed in Eric Raymond's papers. But Sun was already a publicly held company with previously established earning patterns when these Open Source business models began to be discussed, and because of our obligations to shareholders it wouldn't have been appropriatefor us to try to transition for example to making all our software revenue off of support because the returns just wouldn't have been satisfactory to the shareholders. So, I guess I'm saying that if your business plan is to make all your revenue in open source ways, then you need to be a organized that way from the start or else privately owned or not trying to convert from a more traditional publicly traded, higher margin model with all the obligations that implies.

About hardware. I've noticed that having hardware as a revenue generator definitely can make a software business more "fault tolerant" (less subject to strain from the occasional bad quarter), but its not the *only* effective hedge. Building real professional services, enterprise support services, and other sorts of product offerings can work to increase economic fault-tolerance. Some companies use Open Source to gain an influx of innovation which feeds their complex business models in ways that are difficult to quantify.

What we're going through now in the Industry is more extensive than just a bad quarter and all companies are feeling it, regardless of product mix or orientation (open or closed). At the start of the current downturn, many of the Open Source companies were still in their infancy and were therefore more vulnerable to downturn. That doesn't necessarily mean their business plans wouldn't have had some success if the economy had been more sheltering. Many of the stronger ones are now morphing to business models similar to the one Sun most often employs for its pure Open Source projects, use Open Source base technology to gain ubiquity and make money on the value-adds.

One last thing. I was talking to someone the other night who said he thought that Open Source is suffering because people don't understand it yet. I still get the question all the time whether applying Free & Open Source methodologies to a project will reduce engineering costs. This belies a huge misunderstanding. For traditional companies with existing closed source development models, going to Open Source costs more, not less. Of course in "total cost" terms the equations equal out. Open Source developers aren't going to code your product for you, but their feedback can dramatically reduce the time it takes to get the product where it needs to be to truly satisfy customer needs and can also have a huge positive impact on total quality of the product. In proprietary efforts, the activities designed to determine customer needs and Total Quality usually live in Marketing, not Engineering. At the end of the day Market and Customer Requirements analysis may be the problem Open Source solves for traditional product teams.

3) Open source for everything?
by mfarah

While it's true that a lot of "attractive/sexy" work can be done via open source methods, there's still some areas that traditional programming models (i.e., closed source) still function better (even though ESR says otherwise in The Cathedral & the Bazaar [oreilly.com]). What, in your opinion, is the proper balance between open source and closed source methods Sun should strive for?

Danese:
First let me say that I really appreciate the thought and writing that ESR has done. His writings are so well known and contributed hugely to proprietary companies' inquiries into Free and Open Source, but there are of course many metaphors in addition to his which try to describe the differences between proprietary and open source methods.

In my opinion, the secret sauce of Open Source is Transparency. Transparency teaches formerly proprietary engineering groups to trust the customer and vet plans before committing expensive resources to implementation. It generally uplevels coding quality as the potential for public embarrassment increases with increased scrutiny (the famous "massive peer review"). It often enhances job satisfaction since well-written or cleverly implemented code is publicly praised and hard work recognized. Reputations are built based on contribution and willingness to engage in constructive dialog. Trust is built in to Transparency as well, since the choice whether to trust organizations saying "We know better than you" or those saying "Here's how we work. We have nothing to hide" is easy. Not coincidentally the Open Source methodology companies like CollabNet and SourceForge are starting to sell Transparency methodology to proprietary companies for use internally.

But as mentioned above, its not appropriate for a successfully proprietary company to open source *every* scrap of code. At Sun we've tended to follow a pattern with our Open Source projects.We open source a base architecture and make money on value adds.The base technology becomes ubiquitous and that creates demand for the value added products we sell. They also tend to support our standards efforts or to be in themselves a de facto standard.

The best example of this is the relationship between NetBeans and Forte for Java. NetBeans is an integrated development environment (IDE) for Java, publicly launched as a fully transparent Open Source project 18 months ago. Forte for Java is a Sun-branded product line built on the NetBeans code base with feature enhancements developed at Sun. We sell Forte for Java, Enterprise Edition and also sell support contracts, professional services and related products.

As noted earlier, companies with a mix of hardware and software revenues like Sun can afford to liberate a larger percentage of their software in programs that support or in some conceivable way entice customers to buy the hardware. In the case of Forte for Java, providing good cross-platform developer tools is key to provisioning the platform.

4) Open Source Solaris?
by Sobrique

Since Solaris X86 is not going to be supported any more, is there any chance of getting that donated' to the user community? I appreciate that there's a fair chunk of intellectual property in there (and probably a fair amount of overlap with Sparc), but it'd be nice to see.

Danese:
First of all, Solaris continues to be a supported product on x86. In fact an update was just shipped in March. What we announced was that due to resource constraints we are deferring (not cancelling) the productization of x86 for Solaris 9. Solaris is already the most open of the traditional Unix distros, and we continue to look at ways to make it more open within the constraints of resource and user demand. We are actively working with the Solaris on Intel community to find ways to make that happen.

Generally however we've found that the cost of open sourcing code for a proprietary product is non-trivial. I know it seems counter-intuitive but consider this: the reality is you can't just toss code over the fence. You have to first scrub it to make sure you have the rights to release it (your question acknowledges this difficulty). You also have to provide resources to answer questions and generally support those who are trying to pick up the code. Typically you have to develop additional documentation as well. Lastly there's the issue of ongoing liability. Large companies have deep pockets. When a company releases a product it at times comes with a warranty which the company is willing to offer because the risk is offset by revenue. There has to be some significant value to the licensor to justify the risk. Make no mistake, whenever a large company converts a product to Open Source it's because that strategy has in some way been positively tied to the bottom line.

RMS and the Free Sofware Foundation have a vision of liberated software that takes care of all of these problems by socializing code. Personally I love that vision but it doesn't explain who funds initial R&D if the profit motive diminishes (now that even universities have recognized the potential for profit in research). Discussions on the "Free Software Business" mail list run by Russ Nelson have occasionally come to the conclusion that the US Federal Government will have to step up to fund research (as they did when the Internet was ARPANet). But of course any government will tend to support research that matches its goals, for instance better defense, and often social benefits are unintentional or at best ancillary.

In my opinion the best we can do as people who want to see infrastructure code socialized is work together to make Transparency and code liberty more attractive to organizations engaging in R&D so more code will be developed in the clear *from the outset* Once code is liberated it can't be taken back, and the community can seamlessly take up support for code if the original licensor changes priorities.

5) Fitting Open Source in a Corporate Environment
by Marx_Mrvelous

I work for a very large company (Fortune 100), and we are, very slowly, moving towards using open-source programs like Linux, Apache, etc. The IT department likes and supports these applications, but it's very difficult to convince management that these applications have the same stability and reliability that commercial applications do. What is the best way to approach management to help evaluate open source solutions to the problems we face?

Danese:
Companies like to know that somebody is responsible for supporting the products they select. For instance, they want enterprise level support. They want a warranty and someone standing behind it. Its easy to understand they want some security for their investments. The shift to pervasively liberated infrastructure code will be regulated by the trustworthiness of the code (since tying trust to shared risk doesn't work if the licensor has nothing to lose). Some members of both the Free and Open Source movements are personally committed to non-conformity at the expense of credibility with typically conservative IT decision makers. This further hampers deep and wide adoption.

Luckily, the other key factors in IT decision making are cost and control. In a real sense the current world economic situation is hugely helpful to the Open Source cause because cost becomes a more significant factor. Companies like RedHat are working to address the total cost equation to make it easier to choose open source. Notice that the "pattern" Sun uses is similar to RedHat's. They essentially brand and support open source base technologies (GNU/Linux) and increasingly provide proprietary value-adds.

If I were trying to convince my IT boss to adopt an Open Source technology I would be looking at the total cost to use it (i.e. Is it easier to use,learn or manage? Is the cost differential big enough to justify whatever risk? Is real support available?) in addition to evaluations based on feature set. In the area of control I would focus on the flexibility that comes from having Open Source rights to the code. No longer are you at the mercy of vendors who may or may not class your issues as high priority. I would point out the national governments and NGOs who are chosing to mandate use of Free and Open software as evidence that Open Source has entered the governmental mainstream. However, its important to recognize that the mass migration to liberated infrastructure software will be evolutionary because a revolution would be too disruptive to Business.

6) Why isn't JBoss certified?
by revscat

There has been some speculation that Sun is uncomfortable with certifying JBoss [jboss.org] as a J2EE-compliant container. Mark Fleury, president of the JBoss team, has said "Sun quoted a price for that certification suite that is beyond the current financial resources of the JBoss team." Is there any possibility that Sun will relax these certification fee requirements for open-source initiatives such as JBoss, especially when they meet the technical requirements as specified by Sun?

Danese:
I've had several conversations with the team that authors Java Technology about this one. They point out that the J2EE Specification License is really clear on how the specification can be used. It requires new implementations to be licensed and to pass the compatibility tests because compatibility and the portability it enables are the fundamental value proposition of Java Technology for the millions of developers actually using it. The certification test suite and the basic licensing of the Reference Implementation are the key mechanisms that protect that value proposition. The best example of this was the Sun vs. Microsoft lawsuit, which forced Microsoft to stop shipping their incompatible Java implementation.

Historically the problem with JBoss was not so much whether or not they could afford to access the certification test suite, as whether it or any Open Source project was potentially a weakening of the value proposition. JBoss is an open source project. According to the Open Source Definition, JBoss can't pass on compatibility requirements to subsequent code licensees. Open Source advocates have repeatedly assured us that the social contract (which is the primary method of enforcement in the Open Source world) is strong enough to protect the value proposition if branding was optional, but readily admit they can offer no guaranty. Java-related open source activities such as TomCat have been very popular, but uptake for the associated compatibility suite has been limited.

This is a really hard problem. Sun strongly believes in Open Source for infrastructure software, but also believes in protecting the value proposition of Java Technology. There has been at least one famous attack on that value proposition, but even among the members of the Java Community Process there is a dynamic tension between maintaining compatibility and allowing individual implementations enough room to distinguish themselves in the marketplace. Multiple software companies have bet their entire business on Java compatibility and are counting on the JCP to maintain an economically, as well as a technologically, level playing field.

After extensive work with the Apache Software Foundation Sun announced at JavaOne this year that it is working to change the JSPA (the legal agreement for participation in the Java Community Process or JCP) so that the JCP projects (JSRs) can be run as Open Source projects at the specification lead's discretion. Sun also announced that as future Sun-lead specifications are finalized it will allow compatible alternate implementations (including J2SE, J2EE and J2ME) under Open Source licenses. Additionally, Sun announced that it will make compatibility test kits available at zero cost to non-profit Open Source and Educational organizations and individuals, and will establish a $3 million dollar fund to provide support to qualified entities' use of the compatibility test kits. Sun's intention in making these changes is to enable compatible non-profit Open Source and Educational efforts to flourish.

It is my hope that this new willingness to allow compatible Open Source implementations will prompt Sun to also allow JBoss, which although licensed under the GPL is decidedly a *for profit* effort, to submit to the compatibility test suites so the world of Java can go forward compatibly. JBoss arguably has the largest market share of application servers claiming to be J2EE compliant, garnering awards and much attention, and it would be good form IMHO if Sun helped them to achieve true compatibility. I attended part of their "JBossOne" alternative conference and they told me they've secured funding to buy a support agreement for the J2EE 1.3 CTK like any other for profit implementor.

7) OpenOffice and Sun perceptions
by ACK!!

I was wondering what contributions of the OpenOffice group actually made it into StarOffice 6.0 beta? Did only contributions make it in or is 6.0 based off of OpenOffice code?

Danese:
OpenOffice.org is the code repository for the StarOffice 6.0 product, so the short answer is that StarOffice 6.0 is based off OpenOffice.org. As mentioned above, the common pattern of engagement for Sun with Open Source is to periodically roll a Sun-branded version which then becomes a fully supported part of the Sun product line. In this we are acting similarly to RedHat and the other Linux distros. Of course we contribute all bug fixes made during the productization process back to OpenOffice.org.

However, to answer the question of what types of contributions have been accepted you have to look at the types of contributions we've received. We conducted a survey on OpenOffice.org last summer which told us that the majority of the large community we've attracted are end-users. They contribute by reporting bugs and enhancement requests and recently have organized to provide marketing support but they rarely contribute code fixes. I went to GUADEC this last month to try to get more developers interested in contributing to OpenOffice.org, and we *are* getting more interest due to the recent announcements of version 1.0 and the First Developer Release of the MacOSX port).

So far, the developers who have attached themselves to the project have mostly contributed ports to alternative platforms and small-audience localizations which are not supported in StarOffice. StarOffice 5.x also included some proprietary components which had been licensed for use by StarDivision before the Sun acquisition. There has been some excellent work on OpenOffice.org to replace some of those with open source alternatives. Lastly there has been lots of activity in the area of enhancing distribution. The community has set up several mirrors and have even produced a CD delivery service.

8) "Linux" package management / GNU utils
by Erich

Solaris has had packages for a long time, but nothing compares to Debian or RedHat as far as package management goes. With Solaris I can download patch clusters and run them all in a script, but it's not nearly as easy "apt-get update; apt-get upgrade". Similarly, hunting down some package and all the utilities it requires and compiling them all is much more tedious than "apt-get install that_package".

Do you see Solaris incorporating some of the package management features found in Linux systems?

Also, Unix vendors many times have very feature-incomplete versions of utilities compared to their respective GNU versions. For instance, GNU tar (while lacking some of the Solaris tar options) has many features that are extremely handy. Do you see Unix vendors in the future incorporating more free tools over the proprietary ones they have, and if so what do you think the time frame is? Do you think that Unix vendors that move towards GNU tools and make their installations more "Linux"-like will have an edge, or will moving to unfamiliar tools be a hindrance?

Danese:
Since Solaris 8, Sun has shipped a "Companion CD" with many of the most popular utilities and programs in use by the free Linux and BSD distros because we recognize that some customers prefer to use those tools (and they run great on Solaris). Solaris 9 includes tighter integration of many of the most popular free tools (including GNU tar) within Solaris itself. We also added support in our C/C++ compilers for GNU compatibilty. One of the core things we are doing with Solaris 9 is ensuring even tighter Linux compatibility.

BTW, the currently available Companion CD already include the RedHat package manager (RPM), but for the time being we'll continue to support the System 5 pkgadd format because it is the consistent choice for our customer base and they tell us it still provides several advantages. We'll continue to consider other formats for future inclusion in response to a changing marketplace. We tend to think that what's good for Unix is good for Sun, because Solaris is simply the premier version of Unix.

9) Big Iron, Little Iron
by bfree

Do you forsee Sun having their own OS in 10 years time or do you forsee Sun selling hardware with their own optimsed version of another OS? If Yes, are we likely to see such an evolution climbing up your chain from the small workstations up to the big iron OR will we see a new OS for all boxes at once? Will Sun ever make an offer like IBM's offer for AIX with Solaris i.e. "You can have anything you want from our OS"?

Danese:
Sun's position on Linux has long been friendly, since we see it as a commodity unix variant which has been very successful at growing the community of Unix users. Many of our customers continue to say that Solaris is their operating system of choice but other customers have been calling for "Edge of the Network" Linux alternatives. Our February announcement to expand the Cobalt product line to include new general purpose Linux systems was a surprise to some but I think it makes sense for us to be responding to customers and leveraging a great market opportunity.

As it said in the announcement, Sun sees a time in the future when it won't matter which operating system you're running and many consumers won't even know which one they have. Part of that future as Sun sees it will be accomplished by pervasive Java platforms, but we also support efforts to make unix available as broadly as possible because it is a well-documented and industry tested open standard. Sun's Founding Principle, "Cooperate on Standards, Compete on Implementation" means that we'll continue to offer what we believe to be best of breed, standards compatible implementations for the markets we choose to enter.

So, in 10 years will we still maintain our own kernel? Will it look more or less like Linux? Will it look more or less like BSD? 10 years is a LONG time in this industry. In my opinion efforts by the community to enhance the Linux kernel to the level of "carrier-grade, high-availability" will have happened way before then. Vendors with Linux offerings will hopefully have learned how to provide fantastic Enterprise-Level Support and Professional Services for Linux way before then. The San Francisco Chronicle may be running a regular comic strip about a the adventures of a cute and politically liberal penguin by then! Whatever happens, Sun will continue listen to its customers and offer best of breed solutions.

10) The future of Liberty Alliance
by mydigitalself

I've been following Microsoft's .NET strategy for quite some time and have been quite interested in the Passport vs Liberty Alliance scenario.

Firstly, what exactly is happening with Liberty Alliance at the moment? I got the impression that the iniative was started as a marketing oppositing against Passport as there doesn't appear to be any visibility of the implementation on the web site [projectliberty.org].

Secondly, there is also an open source source initially from .GNU for this central authentication service [dotgnu.org]. Essentially both Liberty Alliance and .GNU are trying to provide an opposition framework to Passport - and yet the nature of the concept and the existance of the two projects seem to be self depricating. If everyone and their dog develop a centralised authentication service that spans services across networks - people would probably use Passport purely because of its market share.

Would it not be a good idea to somehow merge the work done to offer a unified opposition to Passport?

Danese:
I'm really glad you asked about the Liberty Alliance because I recently attended a Web Services conference in San Francisco and got really riled up about the problem that the Liberty Alliance is trying to address. The organizations in the Liberty Alliance and the folks working on DotGNU have all recognized the danger of allowing identity profiles to be controlled or even exclusively architected by a single company. As my friend Tim O'Reilly first said about Identity last year, "There are some things nobody should own". Sun took on the initial work to launch the Liberty Alliance, but now that it exists Sun is taking a peer role.

Passport by design is a potential chokepoint for Internet commerce. What's really concerning is that passport has already been deployed and is collecting membership from every user of Windows XP, Hotmail and the rest of the WinTel stack! Lately Microsoft has gotten pretty quiet about Passport, but that doesn't mean they aren't continuing to execute a strategy to dominate Internet commerce. As a technologist my tendency is to want to hurry up and impulsively code an alternative, but I recognize that it will be difficult at best for even superior technology to win in a horserace to achieve compelling membership.

That's why the Liberty Alliance is so important. As you notice there has been precious little technical information released about any actual Liberty implementation. If you look at the makeup of the Liberty Alliance founding group they are overwhelmingly organizations with large existing membership databases. The first problem is to assemble enough membership to actually challenge the "sole architect" position of the dominant player. In my mind this strategy is the only way to effectively mandate a truly open and decentralized architecture. Last month it was announced that AOL has joined the Liberty Alliance and at this conference I mentioned above a Liberty Alliance member confirmed that Microsoft has been invited to join.

I was very happy to see Apache in the list of charter organizations endorsing the concept of the Liberty Alliance because it effectively ensured that the Liberty Alliance would have to accept non-profit membership and indeed they have defined a no-cost Affiliate membership level. This opens up the possibility for efforts like DotGNU to join and bring their perspectives (or their technology) to the table. Since DotGNU is a Free Software project the traditional challenges of working in concert with profit-motivated organizations will definitely arise but as your question points out the alternative is diminished impact.

Re:In case the article gets slashdotted!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492454)

LOL! That's the funniest thing I've seen on slashdot in months.

Oh no, poor little slashdot readers had to wait... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492113)

4 months? Now if it were 4 years, that would be a story. A little self-important, no?

Two additional Questions (1)

Mournblade (72705) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492121)

First, does Sun have any plans for StarOffice Schedule Server? It's not part of 6.0 (or OpenOffice that I can see).

Second, how would Sun feel about another large company (IBM?) rolling and selling its own version of OpenOffice?

Re:Two additional Questions (5, Informative)

OSDiva (578566) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492792)

On StarOffice scheduler, there have been extensive discussions about this at OpenOffice.org (see whiteboard) and I think they've about decided to use an Open Source project instead to try to replace that functionality. If I remember correctly that part of StarOffice wasn't written to be easy to maintain and we felt that there were better alternatives. On large company versions of OpenOffice.org...what do you think the Compaq port to A64 is? How do we feel about it? Great (as long as they submit their bug fixes and changes to OpenOffice.org like any other porting project). If it broadens the ubiquity of the XML file formats and helps people get work done without paying outrageous money then its good. How do you feel about it? Danese

2 weeks to answer, 3.5 months to... (3, Funny)

TheAwfulTruth (325623) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492198)

get the answers through Sun's Legal and PR departments!

Lighthouse and Sarrus apps (2)

starseeker (141897) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492210)

I see this question didn't make it, so I'll offer it up here - what is the status of the Lighthouse and Sarrus apps? Given the progress the GNUStep team is making, the possibilities of those tools as open source productivity apps is intriging.

Re:Lighthouse and Sarrus apps (5, Informative)

OSDiva (578566) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492741)

There has been a fair amount of talk at Sun about this topic as well. That rant I did in one of the answers about the cost to prepare EOL code probably applies here. Might be surmountable if there was somebody willing and qualified (meaning, already understood the codebase, etc.) waiting to take over maintenance, because I generally try to keep Sun from just dumping code over a wall. No promises on outcome, but I would be willing to look into it. Danese

MS attempts to lock in e-commerce (3, Interesting)

kaladorn (514293) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492217)

Interestingly, my company just had some dialog with a high technical muckety muck involved in X-box development. Interestingly, they demand (and I assume it is backed up in the licensing) that everyone use THEIR billing system for X-box stuff. No alternatives. Also, they don't seem to interested in supporting other technologies (unsurprisingly) - not supporting even the old Java VM most MS products support, no C# crosscompiler from Java, etc. Yet again, they go out of their way to plant their boot on everyone's neck.

Just imagine, even assuming the X-box has laggy sales (it does have some cool games), the fiscal impact of getting a cut on every e-commerce transaction systems like this may eventually handle. ARGH! And MS already has more money than God....

Pkg-get (1)

christooley (215314) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492238)

I don't see where people can get off saying that apt-get is easier than pkg-get. See www.sunfreeware.com for this tool. It's very similar to apt.

I love OpenOffice.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492239)

Firstly, I love OpenOffice.org. I love the fact that the file format is simply a bunch of XML files zipped together. Can't wait for someone to create a "Reader" program for it. Then I can start emailing OOo files, and just point to the reader for people to download (for those that don't want to install OOo or SO6).

Next, I always compare the computer industry to the auto industry. In the auto industry, there are still proprietary setups of cars (Rotor engine, Traction Control AI, etc.), but at the same time, everything pretty much works together (ie wheels and tires, radios & cd players!, jacks and other tools, etc.). What is important about the car industry is that, while you have the choice of different categories (compact, SUVs, sedan), price, make (Honda, Ferrari, Ford), engines (V8, inline-4, etc.), they all pretty much work together. What I mean is when you're car gets a dent, you can usually get it repaired anywhere (almost). When you need a new radio, you can (usually) buy from any vendor (BOSE, Sony, Pioneer!).

This is exactly the way I would like the computer industry to work. Just like hardware for the PC side pretty much works together (not everytime though, and I do hope Macs become cheaper a little bit more). I can replace a video card from ATI with one from nVidia and vice versa. RAM is essentially replaceable from different vendors. Etc., etc. But the software side seems to be the most problematic. Obviously, there is one dominant player. Microsoft. And, while Microsoft relatively plays well with others, it tries to be dominant with everything. It's nice, because everything is integrated, which is something I can't say for some Linux applications. Imagine if all cars were from Honda. Then someone found out how to defeat the car alarms for Honda. Then 95% of cars would probably be easy to open, steal the radio, your coins, your cup holder, etc.

OK, I completely lost my flow of thought at this point. But do you guys get my point? I want things to work together, from different vendors, not from just one. I want choices, I want freedom. I'm not asking Microsoft to become Open Source. I'm not asking everyone to become Open Source. That would suck too much. I'm not saying that Microsoft should be broken up. I just want them to stop being arrogant, and start working with others.

I'm sure there's some wrong things I've said above, so please do point it out, correct me, just don't be an ass and swear/yell/curse/etc.

Thank you.

Insanity Breeds Dying Companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492245)

First off, WTG instulting the person on the front page, kudos to the whole /. team for making an ass out of themselves and the oddball community they are supposed to be waving the flag for. I am sure this will help in getting future interviews with equally important peons of the OpenSource 'movement'.

Secondly, good job showing that you took Marketing 101 there chickee. Plain english for plain folks is always the more appreciated and honest approach. Save the marketing terminology for the suits in your office and the folks you deal with every day who actually like that crap.

Finally, it has been said time and again, both by the current generation of corporate IT leaders and the up-and-comers that 'Open Source is nice, in concept, but not for us'. Even with Sun placing a dollar value on their "proprietary" code incorporated in OpenOffice (StarOffice), it is still based on the ambiguous license and reputation of open source code.

There are no guarantees that it will even be a legal release given that the origination code is open source and used in a now closed source product (which is what StarOffice has become for all intents and purposes).

The recent shift away from StarOffice by the "great white hope" Redhat and a few other distro producers nullifies any attempt to legitimize the product by Sun. This, when taken in thought about the stance of major corporations (be honest now, this is where the real money is for software vendors not engaged in making games) on OpenSource really puts that final nail in place and raises the hammer in preperation to drive it home and finally seal the *nix coffin.

*nix is not going anywhere with out a standard adoption for audio and 3D graphics APIs that are competitive with DX (And even OpenGL), nor is it destined for fame and fortune and wide adoption by the masses without a solid, respectable office suite.

Re:Insanity Breeds Dying Companies (5, Interesting)

OSDiva (578566) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492580)

On the point about Marketspeak...I'm definitely NOT a Marketeer. Marketeers wince when they hear me talk (especially if I'm pissed off about something). Writing for a forum this broad on behalf of a huge company may have had me using my $5 wordlist instead of the small change I usually throw around (and if I was hard to understand because of it, that wasn't the intention). Some of those word choices were shall we say influenced by what corporations like to call "the stakeholders" it is true. No harm meant, I promise. On StarOffice...why do you think it's proprietary? Danese

CD Writers on Sun Workstations: Missed Opportunity (4, Insightful)

OmniGeek (72743) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492268)

I manage a number of Sun Ultra 5 stations running Solaris 7, and recently tried to buy CD recorders from Sun for them. To my amazed disappointment, the Sun salespeople told me that Sun does *NOT* sell or support CD-R for its workstations.

Lest the reader think this is a technical question, let me assure you it is not: The Ultra 5 internally uses standard IDE and floppy interfaces, and I've been able to use standard commodity replacement parts (even the power supply) with never a problem. In the present case, I was able to borrow a standard IDE CD-R drive from my MIS department, download cdrtools-1.10 from http://www.sunfreeware.com, and have CD recording capability running within 3 hours from start. The only weird part was writing scripts to turn volume management on and off (5 minutes work).

I have since talked to Sun sales and support people who have run into this before and are equally chagrined with this state of affairs. I'm not alone here, either: Last month, I talked with systems folk at a *BIG* aerospace firm who had the same unfulfilled need ('till I clued them in to the solution.) Sun, you're missing an important opportunity here! Every commodity Windows machine in my plant (hundreds!) has a CD-R as standard equipment, and it is unparalleled as a backup medium. For Sun not to support this medium is inexplicable; in today's world, CD-R is simply basic and essential. (DDS tapes do NOT fill all needs; CD-R is FAR more robust.) I'd have been glad to buy CD-R drives from Sun at the usual drastic markup, and the software is a trivial matter (apparently, Solaris 8 even includes the cdrtools package); Sun, by not selling CD-R for your iron, you're leaving unsatisfied a customer need you could be filling at a profit...

Now, if I could only use a *standard* keyboard with my Ultras, one with the backspace and ~ in the *right places*...

Re:CD Writers on Sun Workstations: Missed Opportun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492475)

How about support for fricken used PCI graphics cards on sparc too instead of 300 dollars for some junky sun graphics card.

Re:CD Writers on Sun Workstations: Missed Opportun (2)

Teferi (16171) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492664)

Sun does support CD-R{W} drives; install the SUNWcdrw package off one of the sol8 CDs. No need to even disable volume management, or build the scg driver.

Re:CD Writers on Sun Workstations: Missed Opportun (2)

OmniGeek (72743) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492797)

As you may have noticed from reading my post, I know about that; however, just try buying a CD-R drive from Sun, and you'll see what I'm complaining about. Many a manager prefers to buy the equipment without having to hack its hardware to use it...

Re:CD Writers on Sun Workstations: Missed Opportun (2, Funny)

jfm3 (2260) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492730)

"... a CD-R as standard equipment ... is unparalleled as a backup medium. ... (DDS tapes do NOT fill all needs; CD-R is FAR more robust.)"

You are out of your mind.

"I'd have been glad to buy CD-R drives from Sun at the usual drastic markup ..."

You are totally and completely out of your mind.

Well, she looks... (0, Interesting)

kraf (450958) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492314)

interesting... [sun.com]

Re:Well, she looks... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492444)

oink oink

Re:Well, she looks... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492527)

My friend cheezedawg thinks she's a hottie.

Re:Well, she looks... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492546)

I bet she shags like a minx.

Revolution vs. Evolution (1)

floppy ears (470810) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492321)

It is important to recognize that the mass migration to liberated infrastructure software will be evolutionary because a revolution would be too disruptive to Business.

It is certainly true that Business is adverse to change. Entrenched interests within an organization that would be hurt by Revolution will fight to keep things the same.

Progressive leaders, however, will make change happen when it is absolutely necessary. Think about Ecommerce, which I would call a revolution. Ten years ago essentially no company had a Web presence, but now they all do. And the changes required in IT departments to make Ecommerce work were revolutionary -- think Component Architecture.

Certainly at this point it would be hard to argue that many progressive business leaders see moving to Open Source as absolutely necessary. As Danese says, things are therefore moving at an evolutionary pace, i.e. real slowly.

So the question is how to change Management's perspective on this? Or can it be done? Is moving to Open Source fully necessary right now? I haven't yet seen any companies fail because they haven't gone Open Source, whereas plenty of companies have been screwed because of bad Web strategies. Think Time Warner or Toys R Us.

AWS (attractive woman syndrome) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492359)

Danese?? Thats a girls name! A girl on slashdot?? *beavis and butthead laugh* uhhhh show us your tits!

There's something missing... (-1, Offtopic)

s2r (461076) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492443)

Is there any picture of her ?

It'll be ready when it's ready (2)

FattMattP (86246) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492469)

Just like open source software "deadlines" she was waiting to send then answers when they were ready. :-)

JBoss is *L*GPL, not GPL (4, Informative)

binaryfeed (225333) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492558)

Two things:

First of all, JBoss is LGPL licensed, not GPL licensed. I belive the license change took place with the 2.x JBoss tree.

Secondly, the fact that something derived from JBoss may not continue the "compatibility and portability" should not inhibit JBoss from getting certified. A proprietary piece of software could do the same thing, the result being that the derived work would not be certified while the original would. Why should JBoss be any different?

Re:JBoss is *L*GPL, not GPL (5, Interesting)

OSDiva (578566) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492669)

Well, I admit I didn't catch the licensing change, thanks for pointing it out. I'm agreeing with you that JBoss should be certified. The issue about JBoss being open source is that proprietary implementations are done by SCSL licensees (and that license prohibits unfettered redistribution of incompatible code which can only be done for research purposes and only to other SCSL licensees). SCSL licensees can only make productive use of the code in compatible ways. I'm an Open Source advocate, and have said for a long time that Open Source implementations should be allowed. The JCP changes are finally going to do that. Danese

Longest Lag = Metallica? (1)

count_dooku (448992) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492592)

..which makes this the longest lag we've ever had betweeen a set of Slashdot quesions and their answers, a record previously held by the late Douglas Adams, whose question post went up on May 2, 2000, but didn't get his answers to us until June 21, 2000.

Doesn't Metallica hold this record? I seem to remember an Ask Slashdot feature [slashdot.org] about the Napster lawsuit in 2000; although they originally agreed to answer the top ten questions, they *never* replied.

--

Hear that? (1)

arglesnaf (454704) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492601)

Some members of both the Free and Open Source movements are personally committed to non-conformity at the expense of credibility with typically conservative IT decision makers.

She's talking about you RMS =)

I would like (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492604)

a delorean. You should buy me one.

Anyone else think of This Modern World? (2, Redundant)

JWhitlock (201845) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492700)

10 years is a LONG time in this industry.
&lt snip &gt
The San Francisco Chronicle may be running a regular comic strip about a the adventures of a cute and politically liberal penguin by then!

Don't tell Danese Cooper, but they already do [sfgate.com] .

Salon [salon.com] also runs the strip; here [salon.com] is one of my recent favorites.

First Solaris Rules Post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3492715)

I use Solaris and I'd like to say it kicks the crap
out of Linux any day of the week. Sun Rules!

RPM for Solaris (0, Flamebait)

jfm3 (2260) | more than 12 years ago | (#3492759)

"BTW, the currently available Companion CD already include the RedHat package manager (RPM), but for the time being we'll continue to support the System 5 pkgadd format because it is the consistent choice for our customer base and they tell us it still provides several advantages."

He's lying. Their customer base has been bitching for years about pkgadd format and how insanely bad it is. Even the Ximian guys won't go along with pkgadd, and they're on the Sun payroll. For a real alternative, look at http://rpm.rutgers.edu.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?