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Sun Considers dual-sourcing Solaris Under GPL3

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the what-would-the-impact-be dept.

Sun Microsystems 198

foorilious writes "In his blog, Sun Microsystem's President and COO Jonathan Schwartz discusses the possibility of dual-licensing Solaris (and perhaps the rest of their software suite) under GPLv3, in addition to the CDDL, which is the OSI-approved license under which these products are already available, but generally considered to be incompatible with the GPL at some level. Though this could mean an opening of the floodgates to a lot of sharing between Linux and Solaris (among other things), it's worth mentioning that Schwartz has speculated on exciting things in the past (such as porting Solaris to IBM's Power) that we subsequently never heard another thing about."

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Sharing with Linux? (5, Insightful)

confusion (14388) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597770)

I thought Linux wasn't going to go for GPL3, so how exactly would that sharing work?

Jerry
http://www.networkstrike.com/ [networkstrike.com]

Re:Sharing with Linux? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14597786)

Nice try- Trying to quickly type something for first post that won't get modded down is quite lame. Your post adds nothing to the topic, and should be modded down. You are a LOOSER !!!!11111!!!!!!WON!!!!UNO!UNO!UNO!!!!1111

Re:Sharing with Linux? (5, Insightful)

nurhussein (864532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597832)

I thought Linux wasn't going to go for GPL3, so how exactly would that sharing work?
I suspect that's the reason for the sudden change of heart. They know Linux won't be able to get any Solaris tech due to Linux being stuck at GPL2, and get to score brownie points with GPL-lovers.

Re:Sharing with Linux? (0, Flamebait)

david.gilbert (605443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597898)

They know Linux won't be able to get any Solaris tech due to Linux being stuck at GPL2, and get to score brownie points with GPL-lovers.

I agree. I think that Linus has made an important strategic error here (in not trusting the FSF to "do the right thing" with future versions of the GPL). Oh well, nobody's perfect.

Re:Sharing with Linux? (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598488)

It's an understandable one though. I, personally, can't see myself releasing software under the GPL with the "or any future version" add-on.

What I can see is similar language that makes such an upgrade allowable on condition of my approval (eg both the FSF and me, Squiggleslash, have to approve of a license, but once both of us do, the software becomes licensed under it, and that applies both to code I've written and stuff submitted to me. The license must be a newer version of the GPL.) That would make it easier to propogate the most important (IMO) Free Software license (and thus aid interoperability and license compatability) while providing an additional check to make sure anything going wrong at the FSF doesn't do damage.

That's relatively novel though. What Torvalds should, at the time, have considered was an FSF-style "If you want to contribute to the core version of Linux, you must assign copyrights to me" policy, would would have side-stepped this all to begin with, and also allowed him more flexibility in terms of ensuring the code can be used with other code licensed under GPL-incompatable licences.

Re:Sharing with Linux? (1)

Sr. Zezinho (16813) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598712)

What Torvalds should, at the time, have considered was an FSF-style "If you want to contribute to the core version of Linux, you must assign copyrights to me" policy, would would have side-stepped this all to begin with, and also allowed him more flexibility in terms of ensuring the code can be used with other code licensed under GPL-incompatable licences.

That would have turned him into a perfect target for all kinds of legal assaults... Right now there is no reward in attacking him personaly. If he held all the copyrights there would be a legal single point of failure. Not what we want, is it?

Re:Sharing with Linux? (1)

ironman_one (520863) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597946)

Could not agree more.

It's a Red Herring. (1)

labratuk (204918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598584)

Well said. In my view, Sun's latest FOSS lovefest has been all about releasing red herrings to try and disperse some of the momentum around existing projects.

Re:Sharing with Linux? (3, Funny)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597893)

He meant GNU/Linux, most of which will be automatically available under GPL3 once it is published.

Re:Sharing with Linux? (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598455)

He meant GNU/Linux, most of which will be automatically available under GPL3 once it is published.

Just about everything but Linux, indeed. So what he actually meant was just GNU, and not Linux at all.

When people start saying "Linux" when they really mean "everything that is usually used with Linux except for Linux itself", I start to wonder if maybe RMS has a point.

Re:Sharing with Linux? (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597910)

The thing is, you could still get a lot of interesting tech from the solaris OS without necessarily taking anything from the kernel. Remeber, that Linux is simply a kernel. It doesn't require that all software run on top of that kernel be run under the same license. If they simply release the Solaris kernel, it probably wouldn't have meant much to Linux, because Linux already has a pretty good kernel, and I'm pretty sure they'd be a little incompatible anyway. I think the main thing that will help is the applications that run on top of the kernel, that Sun may be releasing.

Re:Sharing with Linux? (1, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597956)

I thought Linux wasn't going to go for GPL3, so how exactly would that sharing work?

Probably as well or better than the kind of sharing that puts OpenSSH into every Linux distro.

Imagine Debian on UltraSparc with a Solaris kernel.

Imagine Sun Linux kernel modules. You don't really think a practical person like Torvalds would turn any of that down do you?

User name, "confusion", is way too obvious. Try "silly" or "wrong" for greater stealth.

Re:Sharing with Linux? (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598270)

Imagine Debian on UltraSparc with a Solaris kernel.
I thought Nexenta (Debian) GNU/Solaris [gnusolaris.org] already provided that... or are they doing Intel only?

Re:Sharing with Linux? (2, Informative)

psycho8me (711330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598350)

There is no Debian project which uses the solaris kernel.(yet) There are a few third-party projects, but they are no more Debian than Ubuntu is. There is a large group within the Debian project which doesn't believe the opensolaris license to be free according to the Debian free software guidelines, unless this assessment is changed or solaris is relicensed it can never be a part of Debian.

Re:Sharing with Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14597968)

Well duh. GPL v2 and GPL v3 are of course compatible. Share all you want.

Re:Sharing with Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598029)

GPLv3 allows one to tack on various provisions which would make it GPLv2 incompatible.

Re:Sharing with Linux? (3, Insightful)

Julian Morrison (5575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598281)

This is actually what i posted about before. Any project that licenses GPL2 is going to feel an increasing pressure to go GPL3. Some of them will just be assimilated by the "...or any later version" suggested language. Some, like Linux, which are GPL2 only, will start to look like isolated islands of ancient code, shut out from all the modern goodies.

Solution, Seeks Problem... (3, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598451)

The Linux kernel probably won't ever be GPL3, because the license it uses doesn't contain the forward-compatibility clause that the FSF's software does; however, all the GNU utilities (including, I believe, GCC) will be GPL3 and/or GPL2, because they have the forward-looking clause.

So really what it would allow a person to do, is produce a GNU/Solaris as opposed to GNU/Linux -- an OS that would have the Solaris kernel, wrapped in the GNU utilities, without the Linux kernel. I'm not sure if anyone would really want that, because I'm not sure that it would be compatibile with either existing Solaris or existing Linux software without rewriting, and it generally seems to be a solution looking for a problem (not unlike GNU/Hurd).

Re:Solution, Seeks Problem... (1)

booch (4157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598759)

I would definitely prefer that Solaris have the GNU versions of most of the command-line utilities. I have a hard time going back to the "old" versions that Solaris has, which are often missing functionality that the GNU versions have. Just the ability to put options to commands after the filename arguments would make me happy.

Re:Sharing with Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598480)

It's not even worth asking the question, because it's not going to happen. Sun has played this game before. Remember the PR about opening up Solaris -- "we may put it under the GPL". Hooo... yeah sure Sun. You'd use the GPL rather than think up your own bullshit license to wall of the code? And and sure enough... the CDDL license came to be.

As with anything Sun-related, I suggest not even bothering to think about it until they actually do it. It saves time and effort.

Re:Sharing with Linux? (1)

arose (644256) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598767)

People contributing to Linux would be more likely to contribute to Solaris as well. Nothing prevents people to license their code under GPL2 or later no matter what most of Linux is licensed under.

Who cares about Solaris? (0, Offtopic)

tdvaughan (582870) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597771)

GPL Java, for crying out loud.

Horses, Loaves and Shoes. (5, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597907)

Who cares about Solaris?

Anyone doing any kind of scientific computing, which is a large portion of their customer base. They have been losing that customer base to Linux, which hurts their sales in more ways than one.

You might also care about Solaris if you want to use any of their excellent hardware. If they GPL'd Solaris, no only could you use it without practical and moral problems, you could also do a much better job of porting other free software.

GPL'd Solaris would be a great gift. Don't look it too hard in the mouth.

GPL Java, for crying out loud.

The magic of cross licensing may prevent that. If Sun GPL's Solaris, you can be sure they will do everything in their power to get a free Java out.

Take what it gives and make what it won't.

SCO case would delay this by years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598035)

The SCO case would delay this decision by years and Sun knows it. Sun may have a royalty-free right to distribute UNIX, but whether it has the right to distribute the code is another matter.

Linux would be better served steering clear of this quagmire.

Re:Horses, Loaves and Shoes. (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598429)

You might also care about Solaris if you want to use any of their excellent hardware.

*Looks at the sparcstation on his right, a way through emerging something.*

Umm, why?

Re:Horses, Loaves and Shoes. (4, Informative)

Dr_LHA (30754) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598448)

You're out of date I'm afraid. Solaris already lost out to Linux in the scientific computing field a few years ago. In my field (Astrophysics) universities 5-10 years ago were 100% Solaris, with some Dec Alphas thrown in the mix. 5 years ago the exodus began to Linux machines when people realised they were faster than Solaris boxes, 1/5th of the price and could run all the same software.

Fast forward to today linux is losing out to Macs in science, every conference I go to it seems that more and more people have Powerbooks (like > 50% of the audience), especially at NASA. My project just decided to move entirely over to Macs. Solaris isn't even in the mix anymore.

Re:Horses, Loaves and Shoes. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598774)

I'm also an astrophysicist, in the UK. I've never heard of anyone using macs for serious computing work, for the same reason people don't use much solaris any more - a generic linux box is faster and cheaper. But many people use Mac laptops, because they're unix (i.e. can talk to your linux desktop) and they "just work" without the messing about required to get stuff like wifi and power management working on a linux laptop.

Re:Who cares about Solaris? (2, Informative)

david.gilbert (605443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597925)

GPL Java, for crying out loud.

If you want "GPL Java", why not help out with GNU Classpath [gnu.org] . Progress has been nothing short of spectacular in recent months, and more volunteers are always welcome.

It's already available. (1, Informative)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597950)

There are many open source Java implementations available, even if they're not derived from Sun's.

There are SableVM, JamVM, GCJ, and many others. Along with GNU Classpath and Jikes, you've got a rather complete J2SE implementation available to you. GCJ can compile to native code on certain platforms. Even with all the talk about JIT compiled code potentially being faster than native binaries (due to runtime optimizations and so forth), many people have found that code compiled with GCJ is far faster than when executed under a Java VM.

Re:It's already available. (0)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598414)

Whenever people say this, I pick up my five test java applications. Three are programs I like and use, the other two are picked more-or-less randomly from freshmeat.

None of them work under such stacks. Not one.

They are good projects, but until you can pick up a random java application and expect it to work, you can't really say there's a free java available. Right now there is less support for java programs on a completely free platform than there is for windows executables.

Re:It's already available. (2, Interesting)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598509)

Whenever people say this, I pick up my five test java applications. Three are programs I like and use, the other two are picked more-or-less randomly from freshmeat.

None of them work under such stacks. Not one.


Would you care to reveal what they are? It's quite difficult to track down a bug when you have to start by reading someone's mind.

Re:It's already available. (0, Troll)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598681)

I don't want to report a bug - that way I'd have to pick a new five applications every time I did the test. I want to see when they start just working.

Re:Who cares about Solaris? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598089)

Thank you for illustrating the stupid fucks who are dragging down the open source movement.

Bunch of fucking teenage license freaks throwing tantrums.

Re:Who cares about Solaris? (2, Informative)

justins (80659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598212)

Well, Solaris is infinitely more valuable, for starters. "GPL Java" is a hot-button issue with people for some reason, but at the end of the day, it's just a programming language. Versus, you know, an entire modern Unix operating system.

Re:Who cares about Solaris? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598267)

So, you want to remove the last shred of hope that Java may make Sun some money one of these days? ;-)

-jcr

Floodgates are shut (4, Informative)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597793)

Though this could mean an opening of the floodgates to a lot of sharing between Linux and Solaris

Linus already said that Linux is not now, and will not in the near future, be released under GPLv3. And since GPLv3 is not reverse compatible with GPLv2 (it has more restrictions), this won't happen.

Re:Floodgates are shut (2, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597855)

I imagine that by "Linux", the submittor means "GNU/Linux" rather than "the Linux kernel".

I know, I know - Linux is the kernel, yadda yadda. When anyone I speak to says "Linux", they mean the OS, not the kernel - just like when people talk about NT, they mean the OS, not the kernel.

Re:Floodgates are shut (0)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597889)

The OS *is* the kernel.

They rest of the stuff is just userland utilities. And frankly, I can't see why *anyone* would want to take any of the userland utilities from Solaris. Quite the oppposite in fact, Solaris has been taking all the userland from the GNU camp for a long time (GNOME).

Re:Floodgates are shut (1)

PsychoSid (683168) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598118)

Each to their own. I reckon dtrace, RBAC, and zones have some aspect of usefulness. The new IP stack could be one to watch as well.

Re:Floodgates are shut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598696)

The difference between "Kernel" and "userland" escapes you completely.

Re:Floodgates are shut (0, Flamebait)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597860)

When he talks about sharing with Linux, he means developers, not code. And when he says about sharing he means poaching. Quite a few people code for Linux rather than the BSDs because they like having a restrictive license which prevents their code being used by parasites. If Solaris goes GPLv3 and Linux doesn't then this may influence some of them to switch to Solaris development. If Solaris can cream off some of the better Linux developers then it could become very interesting.

Re:Floodgates are shut (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598175)

"When he talks about sharing with Linux, he means developers, not code." Developers, developers, developers -> means applications, applications, applications. Mindshare matters, and Sun is desperate to get in the flow on a winning side. I suspect this is merely a test: running the flag up to see if people salute or blow raspberries. Does anyone know the numbers? How many developers does Sun have? How many volunteered after they formed their closed "open community"? How does this compare with the number of GNU/Linux developers?

Re:Floodgates are shut (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598722)

A while ago, Sun bought StarOffice and open sourced (most of[1]) it. Since then, everyone in the community has applauded OpenOffice, but Sun still contributes about 80% of the developer time to the project. With Solaris, I would imagine, they are keen to actually see some benefit from the costly process. They get some nice PR points for the open source release, but probably not enough to make up for the cost of releasing the code. If they could persuade some of the top F/OSS kernel hackers to put some time in hacking on the Solaris kernel, then the exercise would probably be worth it.

Incidentally, flamebait? WTF?

[1] Some bits, such as the spelling and grammar checker, were licensed and so could not be released.

Re:Floodgates are shut (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598479)

GPLv3 is not reverse compatible with GPLv2 (it has more restrictions)

So GPLv3 is out already? That's news to me.

Patents in GPL3 (4, Informative)

SWroclawski (95770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597823)

One of the least discussed but largest changes in GPL3 is the explicit mention of patents and how patents (if found to be violated) would effect the work as a whole. This is similar to the IBM Public License and is one of those things that I'd imagine would give a corporate lawyer warm fuzzies. Sun and others may find this change so compelling that they'd be willing to give more attention to the GPL3 than the GPL2, which strengthens it further (since these companies want the flow of information to go both).

Solaris on Power (2, Informative)

lcs (61658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597828)

http://www.blastware.org/ [blastware.org]

Re:Solaris on Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598519)

It's hardly a useable port. In fact, all they did was recompile the kernel. It doesn't even run yet.

With a bit more work, though, who knows? You've got to admire their spirit. :-)

a race to hypocrisy (5, Funny)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597837)

Which will happen first:

- Linux zealots abandon their "everything about Solaris sucks and I'll never use it" dogma, or
- Mac zealots abandon their "Intel processors suck and I'll never use one" dogma?

The Mac people are taking an early lead, but anything can happen.

Re:a race to hypocrisy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598031)

I think you need to look up the definition of hypocrisy.

Re:a race to hypocrisy (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598466)

If you look back in the thread, you'll see mac zealots are already getting elitist about their new processors.

"such as porting Solaris to IBM's Power" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14597877)

Hehe, that was already done in the mid 1990's. Don't people remember CHRP or PeP? Well that goes to show slashdot readers. Also remember Windows NT For PowerPC? And OS/2 for PPC?
Any one remember OpenStep for Solaris?

Maybe I was smoking something but I clearly remember these things.

Speculation with Schwartz (3, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597894)

...it's worth mentioning that Schwartz has speculated on exciting things in the past (such as porting Solaris to IBM's Power) that we subsequently never heard another thing about.

You can find out if you just use the Schwartz - trust your feelings, let go.

Will Sun Shine? (1)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597897)

I read in a few /. posts that Solaris is likely the best 64bit OS available. On other sites I've read Solaris referred to as Slowiris when run on a single CPU, but the Sun site suggests Solaris is no slower than Linux on a single CPU machine.

How much of a cachet does Solaris have and how will Sun attempt to capitalize on any cachet Solaris does have, especially on dual cores? Is going Open Source with GPL v3 an attempt to move into Linux territory and sell services while trying to maintain sales of their high priced hardware?

I downloaded Sol 10 looking forward to doing a dual install with Ubuntu on a Athlon 3800+ workstation, but stupidly bought a SATA drive which Solaris doesn't support. So I'll have to go back to an ide drive to do the install.

Re:Will Sun Shine? (1, Informative)

Zemplar (764598) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598151)

You'll certainly love the speed of Solaris 10, with perhaps, only one exception for now. UFS filesystems don't [generally] perform as well as some other more recent filesystems supported by Linux, though you can be certain that will change when ZFS is considered production quality. ZFS is now available in OpenSolaris and [I believe] the latest Solaris Express builds. The "FireEngine" network stack on Solaris 10 is without a doubt the fastest I've ever seen. 64-bit multiprocessing is hands-down better on Solaris than any GNU/Linux system I've yet used.

I personally only hope that whatever becomes of the GPL3 deal gets Solaris 10 the credit it deserves. For mostly historical reasons, Solaris doesn't enjoy the great "buzzword" media hype that Linux gets, though it dominates Linux in many areas - geeky-techno-media-lust is not one of those areas.

For those asking for Java open-sourced, I don't see how that will help the big picture. Linux is open source and look how many different versions do things their own way. How many different binary formats must we have to run on the different Linux boxes with full dependency checking? What a mess. Some control on the direction of Java is a good thing as Java will remain consistent!

Re:Will Sun Shine? (1)

justins (80659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598356)

On other sites I've read Solaris referred to as Slowiris when run on a single CPU, but the Sun site suggests Solaris is no slower than Linux on a single CPU machine.

As far as I can tell, the "Slowaris" nickname came from having slow SPARC hardware back in the day, and having a crappy X server. The cool thing is that Solaris is using the Xorg X server for almost all hardware now. They've got an official Nvidia driver now and things are fairly snappy.

One nice thing about Solaris is that successive versions of the OS actually get faster, not slower.

Re:Will Sun Shine? (1)

Ekarderif (941116) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598390)

and having a crappy X server.
"Crappy" is kinda redundant there.

Re:Will Sun Shine? (3, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598357)

I read in a few /. posts that Solaris is likely the best 64bit OS available. On other sites I've read Solaris referred to as Slowiris when run on a single CPU, but the Sun site suggests Solaris is no slower than Linux on a single CPU machine.

You have to be careful here. Solaris used to be called Slowaris when run on Intel machines, because it was designed for much more powerful hardware. A lot of features that are hardware supported on a SPARC machine had to be reimplemented in software on Intel machines.

Another common vector for the "Slowaris" comments is the early days of the Sun framebuffers. Sun was one of the first vendors to do away with text mode all together, and emulate it entirely in software. The upshot is that Solaris SPARC machines have the best looking, smooth font, conole you will ever see. The downside is that the 100 MHz beasties that started this practice had a bit of trouble keeping up with the needs of the console rendering.

Neither of these issues has been significant for a very long time. I haven't heard anyone call the OS "Slowaris" in almost a decade. The complaint I hear today is that Solaris is unwieldy and not at all designed with user-friendly setup. Sun keeps trying to fix this with new, prettier installers. I don't think they have a clue though, because the first thing I have to do every time I install the OS is go into the config files and setup the DNS server and default gateway. You'd think it would kill them to ask this info during an install. :-/

Re:Will Sun Shine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598568)

Earlier versions of Solaris 2 deserved the Slowaris (Slowlaris etc) tag. The switch from BSD based SunOS 4.1 to SysV base Solaris 2, SunOS 5, caused a report 25% or more lose in performance. Much of that was probably due to the old bugs that were in SysV but had been fixed in BSD. Sun has been fixing bugs and improveing performance with every release of Solaris.

It is a little hard to do a straight Apples to Apples comparison of Solaris to Linux and *BSD. There are tradeoffs in the Solaris kernel to improve performance on large numbers of CPUs, and I/O performance. There are common cases where Solaris will out perform Linux or *BSD and vice versa.

This is the way OpenSorce works (2)

ironman_one (520863) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597902)

If Linux dont want do comply with openness there is always s.b. who will. This error from Linus is maybe the chance solaris needs to grab the initiative and mindshare of programmers.

WTF?!? (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598072)

If Linux dont want do comply with openness

What the f*ck? GPLv2 was way more open that GPLv3 is looking to be (check it out for yourself: heres a draft analysis [newsforge.com] ). Note the restrictions on (a) DRM (b) patent retaliation. While you may like what GPLv3 has to say about those things you do have to agree these are restrictions that DO NOT EXIST in GPLv2. Therefore, GPLv2 is more open and less restrictive.

Re:WTF?!? (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598106)

But maybe we don't want the most open and least restrictive. Because if we did, we'd all be using BSD. Which is the least restrictive license I know of. I think what a lot of GPL users want is for their code to stay GPL, and for changes made to the code by others to be brought back upstream, so the whole community can take advantage of the changes. I think that's what GPL V3 is trying to accomplish.

Re:WTF?!? (3, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598179)

The reason Linus turned down GPLv3 is that it required giving the copyright and permission available from all contributors. Linus wants to keep it trademarked under his name and the task is impossible to track everyone down for approval with GPLv3.

Re:WTF?!? (1)

labratuk (204918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598558)

I think you're very confused about the difference between copyright & trademarks. And a bunch of other things.

Re:WTF?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598313)

Personally I really like Solaris and Linux. That being said, sun is a company and I can't shake the thought that this GPLv3 stuff is just bait. I'm waiting to see how much of solaris they are going to GPL, and if that is ok, wait a bit for the dust to settle just in case it's a trap. Paranoia aside, GPLing Solaris so it is 100% compatible license-wise with linux is a really good idea. Linux and Solaris would benefit from this move... Sun is a hardware company mostly so they wouldn't have alot to lose..

Re:WTF?!? (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598447)

If you wanted to be the least restrictive you'd put it in the public domain. I really don't see the point of the BSD license in most cases.

Re:WTF?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598524)

I really don't see the point of the BSD license in most cases.

That's easy. The license says that redistributions must reproduce the copyright notice in source code or documentation. That's the point. So that while people can use your work freely, they can't pass it off as their own work. Everyone who cares enough to look knows that at least part of the software they are using was developed by you.

Re:WTF?!? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598607)

The difference between BSD and the public domain is that with BSD you still maintain copyright over whatever you release. Others can do whatever they want to with it, but you still have the copyright. If you release something into the public domain, I don't believe you retain any copyright to whatever you release.

Re:WTF?!? (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598719)

No, but why would you want the copyright? So you can relicense it under another license? There's no point, since either BSD or public domain is liberal enough that you can do that anyway without holding the copyright. So you can stop others making derivative works? But the license lets them anyway. There's no point keeping your copyright if you're not going to exercise any of your rights under it - and BSD allows just about everything you have a right to prevent under copyright.

Re:WTF?!? (1)

mpcooke3 (306161) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598776)

Depends if you consider the additional terms "restrictions" or granting/enforcing users "rights" and ensuring the software remains "free" and "open".

So uh... (1)

Ekarderif (941116) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597917)

We have GNU/Linux.
We have GNU/*BSD.
Does this mean that GNU/Solaris is surely to come?

Re:So uh... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598044)

you should check out http://www.gnusolaris.org/ [gnusolaris.org]

Re:So uh... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598241)


We have GNU/Linux.
We have GNU/*BSD.
Does this mean that GNU/Solaris is surely to come?


Wouldn't that be GNU/SunOS, since the underlying kernel is still referred to as SunOS? Just like there is a GNU/Darwin, not GNU/OSX.

ex:
% uname -a
SunOS thedude 5.10 Generic sun4u sparc SUNW,Ultra-5_10

GNU/Solaris (1)

oob (131174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598513)

Up until Solaris 10, the first stop when commissioning a new sun box was always Sun Freeware. Sun Freeware has a collection of popular binaries in Sun's package format, things like SSH, SSL, BASH, gcc, top, gzip, etc.

Many of these utilities are covered by the GPL and Sun didn't ship them, yet most admins consider them to be vital or at least very useful. Around Solaris 10 however, Sun got with the programme and included GNU stuff with their distribution media.

So to answer your question, GNU/Solaris (meaning "a Sun system running a whole bunch of GNU stuff") has been extremely common for a long time.

It's not free unless it's BSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14597933)

BSD is the original unencumbered license.

Stallman doesn't understand the meaning of Free. Linus doesn't understand the meaning of Free. Sun has never understood the meening of Free.

So I guess what I'm saying is. Who cares? Sun is just exchanging one encumbered license for another.

Re:It's not free unless it's BSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598561)

bsd - free to share if you feel like it, it doesn't matter who with, and they don't have to share at all

gpl2 - free to share because you must, it doesn't matter who with, and they have to share as well

gpl3 - free to share because you must, except to non sharers based on their track record and what they are doing with it. They aren't supposed to get it because they want to threaten people with patent lawsuits and such like. Bad people, they get ostracized.

not too hard to understand

3 (if it stays like it is now) actually makes it better for further down the line, it's what 2 should have been

Re:It's not free unless it's BSD (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598771)

The main difference between BSD and GPL is that GPL obliges anyone using it to play nice with others, to give back what they do (if they choose to pass it along). This is what made GPL the most widely used free software license as it did not allow anyone to grab GPL software and turn it into something proprietary (as opposed to BSD-ish stuff) - it fostered an ecosystem where software could evolve and thrive while BSD-ish sofwtare is mostly a starting point.

Would be a nice move. Impressive indeed. (3, Interesting)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14597992)

Please note people: This is a company. That means they make money. And they do it in the classic sense which means this type of company usually gets the creeps when hearing stuff like "go FOSS" or "rely on FOSS". CEOs freak out regularly when these terms come up.

If SUN plans an OSS strategy they are certainly NOT going to GPL their powerhorse Java. Solaris is nearly just as impressive from a technical standpoint. It's probably that Solaris doesn't have the numbers attached to it SUN would like to see. So they probably guess it could prove itself as OSS, since Linux is winning in the custom Unix market at all fronts.

If x86 Solaris would go GPL that would be really cool. I'd actually give it a try.

Re:Would be a nice move. Impressive indeed. (2, Interesting)

Zemplar (764598) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598465)

"If SUN plans an OSS strategy they are certainly NOT going to GPL their powerhorse Java. Solaris is nearly just as impressive from a technical standpoint. It's probably that Solaris doesn't have the numbers attached to it SUN would like to see."

Solaris is a platform. Java is supposed to be multi-platform. I fail to see how GPL Java would work well.

Imagine GPL Java under committeee control. Then one day, not to far distant, some member decides to fork the GPL Java because he/she has some other idea. Before long, there are 18 types of Java than are not all multi-platform and can't run the same code. Kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it?

Re:Would be a nice move. Impressive indeed. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598783)

I've seen this argument before, but it doesn't make sense. Java is a Sun trademark. You can't call anything Java unless it passes a number of compliance tests. There is nothing wrong with extending Java - that's what the com.* namespace is for - as long as anything that runs on Java(TM) runs on your implementation. If Java were open source then people could take it, port it to a new platform, submit their changes back, and have the next official release support their favourite platform. At the moment, the FreeBSD people (for example) have to maintain their own patchset. This is exactly the situation caused Linus and friends to give up on Minix and start Linux.

It doesn't matter if there are 18 forks of Java, as long the only ones called 'Java(TM)' are ones that will run all Java(TM) code. As it is, there are a good half dozen Java VMs with varying levels of compatibility, but only the certified ones are guaranteed to work.

Sun: more talk than walk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598039)

Ah, Sun ... I have always had a weak spot for the hardware developed by Sun, but I do not take them seriously anymore. Why? Because they are not willing or able to sell. I wanted to buy one of their AMD-based workstations for a small business, but it is impossible to contact someone from Sun here in Finland who is taking their job seriously (i.e., not redirecting you to someone else or not sending quotations of product configurations I never asked for). Ultimately, I contacted a local Sun reseller, who promised to send me a quotation as soon as possible for the workstation I had in mind. It's now several months later and I'm still waiting ...

Anyway, it is not going to be a Sun workstation, but an Apple workstation as soon as they hit the market. At least they are able to take the order.

Re:Sun: more talk than walk (1)

Robber Baron (112304) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598472)

Tell me about it.
I ordered one of their new x4200 servers, because it lookes like a pretty nice piece of hardware. If it lived up to its billing, I would have ordered more too. I guess I'll never know though, because that was over 3 months ago and I still haven't seen the first one yet, so to hell with them! They're all talk and no action and I'm going to shop elsewhere. Are you listening Dell?

Re:Sun: more talk than walk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598720)

I don't know what the issue is with your order, but I placed one two weeks ago and it arrived on schedule and working. Perhaps the difference is that I went with a T2000 (UltraSparc T1 / Niagra) instead of an Opteron. Honestly though three months seems fishy to me, I haven't seen the kind of supply issues you're experiencing and I order from both Sun AND Apple ;)

GPLv3 doesn't actually exist yet... (2, Interesting)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598041)

The GPLv3 is still in draft form. It doesn't actually exist yet. The version on the FSF webpage could be better classified as a "beta" release (I think that's what Stallman considers it).

It's a little early to be saying "I'm going to be using the GPLv3!" Yes, they're working on it, but it's not actually out yet. The optimistic "release" date is November of this year, with the expected release date being early 2007... It's just not ready yet!

However, thinking about the current draft and any problems you have with it is encouraged. They want comments still, there's still time to help change the final draft. Saying "I'm going to use the GPLv3!" is still premature. Wait until it's actually finished, then decide.

Re:GPLv3 doesn't actually exist yet... (1)

justins (80659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598295)

It's a little early to be saying "I'm going to be using the GPLv3!"

Is anyone actually saying that?

Re:GPLv3 doesn't actually exist yet... (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598387)

Read the blog post [sun.com] . The author specifically specifies the GPLv3, and not just "the GPL." The blog title is "Thinking About GPL3..." and he links to a copy of the GPLv3 draft. (Which actually says "THIS IS A DRAFT" right on it, don't know why he linked a copy [tbray.org] and not the GPLv3 site [fsf.org] , but...)

So, yes - he's talking about using the GPLv3 as opposed to the current GPL.

Which is silly, because the GPLv3 is still in draft form. It's not released. Speculation about how to apply the GPLv3 would make sense, talking about actually releasing something under it is rather early. Unless he intentional means to say "we have no plans on releasing an open source version of Solaris until 2007."

Re:GPLv3 doesn't actually exist yet... (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598701)

I think the GP was right. Schwartz is talking about possibly switching, not saying that Sun's actually doing it. Note in particular this paragraph:
We also recognize that diversity and choice are important - which is why we've begun looking at the possibility of releasing Solaris (and potentially the entire Solaris Enterprise System), under dual open source licenses. CDDL (which allows customer IP to safely comingle with Solaris source code) and under the Free Software Foundation's GPL3. It's early days, but we're looking at two things as we make that decision.
Not "Yes, we're gonna do it!" but "We've begun looking at the possibility of..." and "It's early days... looking at (things) ... make that decision"

There's nothing in Schwartz's blog that suggests the decision has been made, that Sun are doing this, or that they're unaware of the draft nature of the license. By all means criticise them as stupid if they actually switch before the GPL3 has been released, but it's great they're looking at the current draft and saying "This is something we can seriously consider." It gives valuable feedback to the FSF, and it suggests Sun are going to become even better Free Software players in the near future.

Re:GPLv3 doesn't actually exist yet... (1)

justins (80659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598730)

You missed the point of my question. He isn't committing to anything, one way or the other.

Unless he intentional means to say "we have no plans on releasing an open source version of Solaris until 2007."

All versions of Solaris are already open source.

Exactly - ain't gonna happen (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598381)

As reluctant as Sun has been to test the GPL waters, I can't imagine them diving right in to the GPLv3 unknown. If anything, perhaps, they might:

  1. use the "version 2 or later clause" (unlikely), or
  2. use version 2, and go FSF-style and make contributors assign copyright on new code back to Sun - leaving them the option to migrate en masse at a later date once version 3 gets a bit more polish.

I think those are the only remotely possible options at this point.

PPC port (1)

sirinek (41507) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598136)


Schwartz also said the only relevant OSes left today are Linux, Windows and Solaris.

Anyway, they had a PPC port of Solaris.... 10 years ago when they had Solaris 2.5.1. Why would they want to start it up again?

Re:PPC port (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598263)

Opensolaris already has backported it to powerpc. Its almost finished. So why not?

I think he wants solaris to be the alternative to linux. As a former FreeBSD user its nice to see a stable operating system that is also enterprise ready in terms of scalability and performance. I like unix more than linux and I want to try out OpenSolaris soon when I have time. The way sun wants to do this is increase the platforms and peripherals solaris can run on. Solaris10 is a big improvement on x86 over 9 in terms of hardware support and performance.

Re:PPC port (1)

h4ck7h3p14n37 (926070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598430)

Schwartz also said the only relevant OSes left today are Linux, Windows and Solaris.

*sigh*, I probably shouldn't bother responding, but Schwartz left out a few very important operating systems, namely the three BSD distributions and AIX.

I honestly don't understand all of the hype surrounding Linux; I'd recommend FreeBSD over Suse, Red Hat, Debian, etc. any day. As for AIX, I can only assume that wasn't mentioned because it runs on IBMs Power processors which kick the crap out of Sun's gear as far as I/O throughput is concerned.

Re:PPC port (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14598437)

PPC is the only widely available non-x86 'hobbiest' hardware that's not ridiclously outdated. Unlikely anyone cares about running Solaris/PPC in production.

Re:PPC port (1)

assantisz (881107) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598756)

Guys, get yourself a little more current. OpenSolaris is actively being ported [opensolaris.org] to PowerPC. Thanks to opening the source so many things that were promised in the past finally become true.

GNU (3, Funny)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598153)

GNU = GNU is Now Unix

Summary makes no sense (1)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598335)

1 - Linux won't use Solaris code because there doesn't appear to be any intention of migrating to GPL3

2 - Solaris can't use Linux code because Sun wants to keep their code under a second license (CDDL), which is at some level incompatible with the GPL (a.k.a incompatible with any imported Linux code)

I applaud Sun's ideas, but I am looking forward to a Fully Open Source Java (granted, I do appreciate that alternatives from other vendors are available nevertheless).

PowerPC Solaris (1)

mknewman (557587) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598346)

Back in the Solaris 5 timeframe there was a PowerPC version available. The idea was that it was going to be available on the IBM/Apple/Motorolla 'Refrence Platform'. Solaris 2.5.1 came out and it was no longer available. This must have been around 1995-1996. Since they already have some base drivers available for PowerPC it should be pretty easy to reactivate that leg of the source tree, from what I know.

Oh they surely tried... (1)

Hymer (856453) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598383)

"Schwartz has speculated on exciting things in the past (such as porting Solaris to IBM's Power) that we subsequently never heard another thing about."
All involved in the PowerSolaris project has disapered from the surface of the world... the project clearly showed that continous Power is better than a Sparc. :-D
--
This sig is not a sig...

The end of "GNU/Linux" - now just "GNU"? (1)

daivdg (930179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598505)

Will it now be better to say say just "GNU", if the kernel can be replaced by either Solaris or BSD?

GNU/Solaris (1)

Newton's Alchemy (601066) | more than 8 years ago | (#14598542)

If this happens, would it be the beginning of the end of the Linux kernel? Since the GNU suite would most likely want to be GPL3, and the Solaris kernel would as well, would the Linux kernel become less used?
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