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IBM Derides OpenSolaris as Not-So-Open

timothy posted more than 7 years ago | from the when-the-playground's-in-full-swing dept.

168

MaverickFire writes "OpenSolaris isn't a true open-source project, but rather a "facade," because Sun Microsystems doesn't share control of it with outsiders, executives from rival IBM say. "Sun holds it all behind the firewall. The community sees nothing," Dan Frye, the IBM vice president who runs the company's Linux Technology Center, said. Sun could do "simple things" to build a real OpenSolaris community if it were serious about doing so, Frye said. "They would push their design discussions out into the forums, so people can see what's going on," he suggested." I talked to one of the OpenSolaris developers at the project's LWCE booth in the "dot-org ghetto," and though it wasn't in response to this article, he pointed out that OpenSolaris takes contributions from all comers, has active public mailing lists, open IRC channels, and several online communities, so Frye's description seems at least overblown.

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168 comments

Not Open? (3, Insightful)

lewp (95638) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926875)

It's more open than AIX, that's for sure.

Welll...yes (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926911)

This is true. It is more open the AIX. IBM does not, however, claim that AIX is open. OpenSolaris is also more open than Windows, whatever software the NSA uses to crack codes, and a closed door, but of these things, only OpenSolaris claims to be open, and it is these claims Mr. Frye is addressing.

Re:Not Open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15928065)

-1, Flamebait?! Come on mods, that's a perfectly valid point.

Re:Not Open? (1)

andreyw (798182) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928288)

Why is this flaimbait? It's true. It's very curious to see IBM make statement's about a competitor's UNIX offering, while their own is about as closed-source as you can get. (Not only proprietary, but runs on IBM HW only).

In other news, vendor A doesn't want you to buy into vendor B's products. News of the day!

First post (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926881)

I think this has more to do with IBM feeling the heat over not doing *anything* to open-source AIX. Sure OpenSolaris isn't quite as open as some would like, but it's more than what IBM has done with AIX. C'mon IBM, open up AIX!

Re:First post (2, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927276)

Open AIX?

Isn't the whole idea to improve the Open Source gene pool?

Re:First post (2, Insightful)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927508)

I was going to say... Although they had the first good LVM I ever saw, working with AIX has always made me feel I was in a foreign country or something. Things were always just a little bit different, and when I say "things" I mean everything.

It's just too bad IBM makes such kick-ass hardware, otherwise AIX would have died a natural death long ago.

Re:First post (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927968)

I have a colleague who works with Lattice QCD and he occasionally uses the AIX-based QCDOC front-end machine. "Foreign country" is more or less exactly how I'd describe it, and I refrain from LARTing him whenever he asks "obvious" questions with it. Even the staple UNIX stuff is different — cp, cat, no switched support for gzip or bzip2 on tar. It's like something from fifteen years ago.

Re:First post (0, Troll)

aexiphixion (529171) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927314)

I don't see how IBM is taking any heat for not opening AIX. They fully support Linux, SUSE and Redhat, on all P-series and Z-series hardware, plus AIX supports Linux code. AIX has the highest install base of the unix flavors and is continuing to gain market share. Sounds like a good formula to me, why change? If anything, IBM offers linux support to sway some that install base to AIX. I've looked at running linux on some of my POWER5 hardware and I honestly can't find a use for it. Cost of ownership between the two is negligible

You mean, as in, Linux? (3, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927339)

I suggest looking through the Linux kernel change histories sometime. There are a _lot_ of IBM email addresses in there.

And not just there. Have a look at most Apache projects too, for that matter.

There's a reason why SCO went after IBM. Well, ok, a second reason, beside the obvious "because SCO is on a pump and dump scheme." Like most lies, SCO's "IBM took our IP they had used in AIX and put it into making Linux enterprise-ready" is based on a small grain of truth, although in this case one irrelevant to the lawsuit. The truth is that IBM did donate that much code to Linux, and some which, indeed, is a part of why Linux is enterprise-ready OS instead of an academic toy. At any rate, a lot of that is either AIX code or it uses techniques developped for AIX.

If you read the RTFA, even there they spell it out repeatedly: "It prefers Linux and its own proprietary version of Unix, called AIX." ("It" being IBM.) Or even better: "IBM helped put Linux on the map, funding programmers to improve the operating system and offering early pledges of support that indicated it was safe for customers to use. The company has more than 600 programmers at its Linux Technology Center, but it's actively involved in many open-source projects besides Linux."

So basically IBM _does_ put a lot of money and work into a F/OSS OS. It's not AIX, but in hindsight, a lot of us actually prefer it that way. The great Unix fragmentation happened precisely because everyone wanted to make their own flavour deliberately incompatible to everyone else's, trying to lock their customers in. And that's how Unix lost back then, and why nowadays we have Windows instead on most computers. Does anyone (other than MS) want _that_ to repeat verbatim again? Not me, anyway. So thank goodness that IBM contributes to Linux this time, instead of trying to divide-and-conquer the F/OSS OS market with an OpenAIX.

I don't know exactly how "open" OpenSolaris is. Maybe it's really open, maybe it's one of Sun's usual smoke screens. No idea. I couldn't be bothered to care about it at that point.

But even OpenSolaris is a very new development. What I'm getting at is: IBM was putting its money where its mouth was, _long_ before Sun.

So excuse me if I find it outright funny to see someone claim that IBM isn't doing anything there.

Re:You mean, as in, Linux? (5, Insightful)

htd2 (854946) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927670)

Your posting gives the impression that IBM is a huge donator to OpenSource projects and Sun with the exception of OpenSolaris which you are unsure about isn't.

Let me soothe your concerns, in fact Sun without OpenSolaris dwarfs IBM in terms of OpenSource contributions, as has been pointed out on a number of occasions more code in RedHat was donated by Sun than any other commercial company IBM and RedHat included. This excludes Sun's donations such as OpenOffice and it also excludes a huge amount of IP donated by Sun in the form of properly documented standards Patents and interfaces that most of the other commercial donators to OpenSource had to be dragged kicking and screaming to.

Re:You mean, as in, Linux? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15927817)

> But even OpenSolaris is a very new development. What I'm getting at is: IBM was putting its money where its mouth was, _long_ before Sun.

Sun open sourced NFS, RPC, and libc while IBM was still pushing Microchannel.

So excuse me if I find your claims fatuous.

Re:You mean, as in, Linux? (5, Insightful)

gdamore (933478) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928621)

But even OpenSolaris is a very new development. What I'm getting at is: IBM was putting its money where its mouth was, _long_ before Sun.

Ever hear of, oh, NFS. No? How about RPC? These Sun contributions to open source predate IBM's involvement with FOSS by a long time. Heck, they even predate the whole FOSS movement. Except for the University of California, Berkeley, I doubt any institution has ever given as much or as freely to open source as Sun has, as early as it did, or technologly that has done more to contribute to the developments that ultimately led to the Internet. And they have continued to support open source (and open standards) throughout their history.

Get your facts straight next time.

You also said:

I don't know exactly how "open" OpenSolaris is. Maybe it's really open, maybe it's one of Sun's usual smoke screens. No idea. I couldn't be bothered to care about it at that point.
Then WTF are you doing posting here? You obviously haven't looked into it. Yes, OpenSolaris is mostly OpenSource (there are a few closed bits, but they are not necessarily critical bits anyway). And guess what? Just because Sun has control of OpenSolaris, doesn't mean you can't download the whole source tree and fork it and start your own project. (Some folks have already done this, check out the PPC port of Solaris, or the port of Debian userland to the Solaris kernel, for example.) That is what Open Source means.

Somebody mod the parent down, please!

Hypocrites... (0, Flamebait)

debilo (612116) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926887)

If IBM really cared about openness, they should open source AIX or OS/2 and shut up about Solaris.

Re:Hypocrites... (2, Interesting)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926916)

I don't know... IBM hasn't been out and about announcing how open-source AIX and OS/2 are (going to be) (any day now). The problem here is that Sun seems to want all the PR that a "leader of the FOSS community" deserves without actually dipping more than their big toe in the water.

Re:Hypocrites... (2)

debilo (612116) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926972)

I wasn't trying to defend Sun, I find their actions quite ugly too. I just think it isn't IBM's place to point their finger at others and whine about their competitors while their own offerings suck such as bad or even worse.

Re:Hypocrites... (4, Interesting)

chabotc (22496) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927078)

But IBM never claimed to opensource their OS's.. so i don't see what their 'offence' is, sun however does tout the 'we are all about open source' horn, but in practise is not so much

Also IBM isn't such an offender, they've contributed a lot to the kernel, apache, and many many many oss projects; Which is something i personally value a lot more then opensourcing OS/2 forinstance ;-)

Re:Hypocrites... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927236)

Also IBM isn't such an offender, they've contributed a lot to the kernel, apache, and many many many oss projects

Like Eclipse, for instance!

Re:Hypocrites... (1)

Excelsior (164338) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927739)

But who ever said you have to design in the open to be open source? I mean, thousands of smaller projects are generally designed by one guy in his den, without any public discussion. Are they not open?

I've read a number of open source licenses, and I don't remember any of them saying a thing about designing in the open. They all have different requirements, but they usually require that the source code be open (to different degrees). OpenSolaris is that. OpenSolaris is open source, and they are okay in my book calling themselves OpenSolaris.

In my opinion, I'm far happier with OpenSolaris being open source than I am about AIX and OS/2. I credit Sun for doing what they've done. The code was their property, and they were welcome to do what they wanted, how they wanted, and to what extent. I'm greatful they have made the source open, considering they didn't have to, and I think rediculous for IBM to criticize it.

Re:Hypocrites... (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928815)

Sun has at times recently engaged in actions that raise doubts about how much slack they should be cut. But please *do* remember OpenOffice. That was the first useable word processor for Linux (since MS bought out Corel and convinced them to drop WordPerfect). AbiWord just wasn't in the ballpark. KOffice was green and unready. Alpha quality.

And Linux NEEDED a word processor, not LaTex. And Sun provided one.
(This *doesn't* excuse their subsidizing SCO...but it *IS* a large contribution to Linux, even if I suspect their motives.)

Re:Hypocrites... (3, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926986)

The problem here is that Sun seems to want all the PR that a "leader of the FOSS community" deserves without actually dipping more than their big toe in the water.
I'd say that OSSing OpenSolars + JDS (the parts above and beyond GNome) + Looking Glass 3D + SPARC T1 is quite a step above "dipping their big toe". IBM acts as if they have the moral high ground simply because they've contributed to and promoted Linux. While their contributions are appreciated, I hardly see them as equalling that of releasing a complete OS.

As you said, consumers have been clammering for IBM to OSS OS/2. (Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock) We're still waiting.

IBM hasn't been out and about announcing how open-source AIX and OS/2 are (going to be) (any day now).
What would be interesting to keep an eye on is if OpenAIX or OpenOS/2 show up anytime soon. If they do, it could be indicitive that this FUD is all part of IBM's plan to promote their own OSS projects. Another thing to consider if this happens, is if they would have been released without Sun taking action first?

Re:Hypocrites... (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927522)

The problem is some of the OS/2 code is still owned by Microsoft. Stuff from back in the OS/2 1.x days when a lot of the code was still contributed by them.

-uso.

Re:Hypocrites... (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927641)

The problem is some of the OS/2 code is still owned by Microsoft.
Generally, I agree with this being a huge issue. However, Sun had similar problems with much of the Solaris code. Differently from IBM, however, they invested massive resources in cleaning out the codebase to make it suitable for an OSS release. IBM won't lift a finger to do the same unless they see massive consulting dollars behind it.

Re:Hypocrites... (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927761)

It would be nice if we could have the rest, though. Even if half the OS needs to be rewritten, the other half won't, and maybe some project like osfree won't be such a lead balloon.

-uso.

Re:Hypocrites... (1)

dontbflat (994444) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927010)

IBM doesnt want AIX to be open source. One open-source operating system is plenty, though, so there would be no point to making AIX open-source, IBM's Handy said. "There's room for a proprietary one and an open one. Once one is open, you don't need any more," he said. See...they only want linux to be open source. Not AIX. IBM has nothing to annouce.

Re:Hypocrites... (4, Interesting)

lewp (95638) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927051)

I wasn't so much saying the IBM guy is wrong, than I'm saying he's the wrong person to be pointing it out.

Between OpenOffice, OpenSolaris, and their work with GNOME, Sun has made plenty of solid contributions to OSS. Now they're supposedly opening the source for Java, which is the one thing everyone's been screaming about for the past five years and -- IMHO -- the only thing that keeps Sun relevant anymore.

I don't give a rat's ass about Sun, but they seem to be trying. Some douche from IBM doesn't need to be getting in their face because their OS code isn't open enough when IBM won't put AIX or OS/2 out there at all.

And the comment about there only being room for one open source OS is total bullshit. I hope his opinion doesn't represent the majority of IBM's staff.

Re:Hypocrites... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15927113)

OpenOffice is pretty relevent.

Re:Hypocrites... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15927465)

Actually he is one of the few people at IBM that "gets it". Of course, the kangaroo court of /. is ready to hang him for a PR faux pas.

This criticism may be IBMs way to apply pressure (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927883)

...on Sun to make the imminent open-sourcing of Java as free as possible.

I think this statement from an IBMer is much less about OpenSolaris than it is about Java.

And yes, Java is a huge matter for IBM (unlike Solaris).

Re:Hypocrites... (2, Insightful)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927160)

OS/2 will never be open sourced. AFAIK, Microsoft holds copyrights to some of that code.

Re:Hypocrites... (2, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927302)

Most likely, AIX may also have some code in it that prevents them from open-sourcing it due to licensing.

Keep in mind they're already in enough legal battles over intellectual property licensing. While SCO's claims regarding IBM and Linux may be trollish, the impression I get is that SCO WOULD actually have significant legitimate claims against an "open source" AIX.

The end result is that rather than opensourcing AIX (which would be a rather pointless endeavor as the impression I get is that IBM is "sunsetting" it in favor of Linux), IBM is simply taking all of the Good Parts from AIX which they can and merging them into Linux.

Remember, open-sourcing a product isn't always a simple matter of taking a snapshot of your source tree, making it public, and adding a new license. Frequently, a company may not own all the code in a program and can't open source it without ripping out some of their code and either spending time replacing/rewriting it or releasing what is essentially open-source crippleware. In a situation where there is no even remotely competitive open-source alternative (see Quake and Mozilla), it makes sense to release crippleware and let the community fill in the holes over time, as even if it takes the community years (Mozilla/Firefox) to fix the holes, it still puts them way ahead. In the case of AIX, there would be utterly no point whatsoever in releasing it if IBM were required by licensing agreements to remove critical parts. Unlike Mozilla, with AIX there's a healthy and robust open-source competitor which would be dominant in developer and user mindshare even if it were open-sourced in complete form.

Re:Hypocrites... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926974)

I can't imagine how many licenses, agreements, contracts, and who knows what else would prevent IBM from sharing AIX or OS/2 code. Besides, what does "if IBM really cared about openness" mean? Of course IBM cares about open source. For the love of Pete, they have a vice president in charge of linux and open source. More importantly, can you think of any company ANYWHERE, for-profit or not, that's done more than IBM has for open source? How much of the modern linux kernel was written entirely or with significant help from IBM?

Re:Hypocrites... (2, Informative)

cpuh0g (839926) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927027)

More importantly, can you think of any company ANYWHERE, for-profit or not, that's done more than IBM has for open source?

Sun.

Re:Hypocrites... (2, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927172)


More importantly, can you think of any company ANYWHERE, for-profit or not, that's done more than IBM has for open source?

Sun.

But, maybe not in the way you mean.

Sun's own tools have driven more people to install GNU software on a Solaris machine than any other thing has caused people to migrate to Open Source.

Back in the day, a Sun which didn't have GNU tools was not very useful. :-P

Cheers

Back in the day? (1)

mrcparker (469158) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927203)

I think that statement is relevant to this very day.

Re:Hypocrites... (4, Insightful)

debilo (612116) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927095)

I can't imagine how many licenses, agreements, contracts, and who knows what else would prevent IBM from sharing AIX or OS/2 code.
So their own business decisions prevent them from delivering what customers and the opern source community would like to see. IBM's fault.

For the love of Pete, they have a vice president in charge of linux and open source.
That doesn't really prove their commitment to open source in general beyond their commitment to making profit. Which is not a bad thing.

More importantly, can you think of any company ANYWHERE, for-profit or not, that's done more than IBM has for open source?
Yes, quite a few. Red Hat, SuSE, Novell, and even Sun, to name just a few.

How much of the modern linux kernel was written entirely or with significant help from IBM?
How does IBM's contributing to the Linux kernel compare to Sun open sourcing an entire OS?

Re:Hypocrites... (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927552)

How does IBM's contributing to the Linux kernel compare to Sun open sourcing an entire OS?

Not to mention having made such things as OpenOffice and NFS available. Oh, and that whole well-used language (which is now being open sourced) that a lot of projects are built on.

Re:Hypocrites... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15927697)

How much of the modern linux kernel was written entirely or with significant help from IBM?

How does IBM's contributing to the Linux kernel compare to Sun open sourcing an entire OS?

I would say that IBM's contributions to the Linux kernel really did help Linux become a competitor to the non-open Solaris. This hurt Solaris sales notably. So, Sun needed a way to fight back. They 'open source' Solaris. So... IBM did more by making Sun open source Solaris.

Re:Hypocrites... (3, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926978)

If IBM really cared about openness, they should open source AIX or OS/2 and shut up about Solaris.

IBMs donated some AIX features to linux and MS has some say in what happens to OS/2.

While I warmly thank Sun for their massive donations to free software, I wish they'd just STFU until they actually Open Source something. Most of the criticism they get is for flip-flopping on open source.

Re:Hypocrites... (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927086)

While I warmly thank Sun for their massive donations to free software,
Like OpenOffice (LGPL), OpenSolaris (CDDL - OSI Approved), and Project Looking Glass (GPL) just to name a few? You're quite right, they contribute heavily to Free, OSS software.

I wish they'd just STFU until they actually Open Source something.
This statement does not jive with your previous statement. Either Sun releases Free, OSS software (in which case they have a right to be heralded) or they don't (in which case they should STFU). Since I just rattled off three Sun OSS projects at the drop of a hat, I'm thinking that the former is the true case.

Re:Hypocrites... (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927175)

You misunderstood me (understandably, because my original post was not clear).

I should have said:

I wish they'd just STFU about a product's forthcoming license opening until it actually happens.

I wasn't disputing Sun's contributions to Open Source, just saying perhaps they should hold off announcements until they're actually ready to like, you know open source something.

Re:Hypocrites... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927251)

just saying perhaps they should hold off announcements until they're actually ready to like, you know open source something.
Now THAT I can get behind. :)

Unfortunately, it has little to do with the issue at hand. OpenSolaris is fully released, and has several distros based on it. So this rant of one IBM executive is completely baseless and probably intended to promote IBM at Sun's expense.

Re:Hypocrites... (2, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928082)

So this rant of one IBM executive is completely baseless and probably intended to promote IBM at Sun's expense.

Agreed - and of course it's intended to promote IBM at Sun's expense.

Isn't it crazy that IBM, who's contributions to F/OSS (whilst large & also warmly thanked for) are dwarfed by Sun's contributions are able to get away with this?

The reason I suspect is Sun's flip-floppiness & skittishness when it comes to F/OSS - they contribute much, but also help spread a litlle anti-F/OSS FUD, etc. IBM's stance hasn't changed for what? eight years now.

CDDL is part of that problem I think - as the article notes, linus had 10 times as many people contributing to linux in his first year than Sun - with all their resources - had contributing to opensolaris in its first year.... A pity.

Re:Hypocrites... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15927235)

IBMs donated some AIX features to linux
I find it ironic that the NIM bits for installing AIX from a Linux machine (NIMOL) are distributed as binaries only.

Re:Hypocrites... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926989)

I don't know about AIX, but OS/2 is tainted with Microsoft code and will thus probably never see the light of day. If it wasn't for that little snag, it would probably have happened already.

For anyone who cares (all 2 of you -- especially you, Dad), IBM is going to stop supporting OS/2 on December 31st of this year. Now we just need netcraft to confirm it's (un)timely demise.

Re:Hypocrites... (3, Insightful)

Aim Here (765712) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927435)

You do realise that IBM are in court right now, for the heinous crime of taking large gobs of its own AIX code and putting it in Linux, aren't you?

The key paragraph (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926908)

For me the key paragraph is
IBM's business agenda, though, doesn't include lavishing praise on a rival operating system. It prefers Linux and its own proprietary version of Unix, called AIX. Solaris now runs on x86 computers such as IBM's System x servers as well as on Sun's own Sparc-based computers. OpenSolaris is designed to appeal to developers, who have the power to sneak software into companies the same way Linux snuck in during the 1990s.
Hey guys (and gals), they're trying to get our vote!

Re:The key paragraph (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927089)

Hey guys (and gals), they're trying to get our vote!

Maybe they are, but IBM is still on our side for this battle anyhow. IBM's big money comes from services, Sun's big money comes from expensive hardware. Even though Solaris runs on x86, Sun is basically trying to make Solaris a value proposition for it's hardware. If Sun doesn't have a distinct Solaris value, people will then start to switch to Linux on x86 much quicker. Sun is attacking this on two fronts. 1) Free solaris just enough so that those who have pressing needs for freedom from that controll do not switch for Linux on x86 platform, 2) offer an x86 platform of their own to try and controll the flow of movement (minimize it) into the x86 market for their customer base. Also, since they are probably (I think) aware that they can't stop the x86/Linux tsunami, they can at least hold it back long enough so as not to kill their revenue base while they transition. They might also be trying to look for nitche markets (like the Mac)

Re:The key paragraph (3, Interesting)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927658)

Maybe they are, but IBM is still on our side for this battle anyhow. IBM's big money comes from services, Sun's big money comes from expensive hardware.


Apparently you've never priced Sun and IBM hardware. Sun's bottom end x86 server is $745, or $945 for a dual core Opteron. They're lowest end SPARC is $3145. IBM's bottom end x86 server is $1129. They're lowest end p-series is $2995 for a PPC970, for an actual POWER5 system it's $3399 and then you have to license the software on top of that.

Claiming that Sun is selling overpriced hardware just indicates that you really aren't in touch with the market.

Re:The key paragraph (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928549)

Oh really. Hmmm, how about pricing out their $32,000 enterprise servers with an IBM x86 farm equivalent?

Re:The key paragraph (1)

1lus10n (586635) | more than 7 years ago | (#15929276)

but sun also sells x86 hardware, its not an apple to apple comparison.

Re:The key paragraph (2, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15929234)

I don't think that the GP ever claimed that all of Sun's hardware was overpriced, or for that matter that IBM's hardware wasn't equally overpriced. Frankly I think they're both damned expensive, although I think as you scale into the high end, that it becomes very hard to compare one two the other.

At any rate, your price comparison doesn't really address the GP's point, namely that Sun is a hardware company, and IBM is a services and consulting company. Sun's products are always going to be, like Apple, designed around the concept of selling more hardware. IBM's hardware, on the other hand, is really an entre so that they can sell you a whole lot of maintainance/consulting/"transformation" services.

It's a question of business models, and which company really is more compatible with open source in general. I think they both could be, but IBM is a bit closer to the model which seems to have worked for other OSS companies so far.

And yet... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926923)

Linux is STILL for fags.

Good ol' IBM and why OSS is not meant for big comp (1)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926926)

Complaining about how Sun's OSS software isn't that opensource is merely a ploy by IBM in order to copycat Suns' projects and start making a profit. IBM is as ignorant as SCO. However, Sun has everyright to not be allow access to certain parts of code that might be pure proprietary. If they are funding the project than why should those that are not complain that they are not being 'that' open with their project?

This is why I think opensource is not that good for conglomerates such as IBM, SUN, etc. because they are all competitors to each other and would you share a secret to your enemy? That's suicide from a business standpoint!

Wow, you really don't get it! (1)

Lost+Found (844289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928431)

It is largely thanks to the collaboration of competing conglomerates such as IBM, Red Hat, Novell, (even Sun), Oracle, Intel, AMD, HP, SGI and others on the Linux kernel that has made it so fantastically capable. We wouldn't have the world-class portability, the performance, support for all the hardware under the sun, CPU/PCI/memory hotplug, multiple journalling filesystems, etc. without the above named companies realizing that they can get _more_ ROI via controlled cooperation than with proprietary engineering. These companies compete with each-other in the market place and then pay their engineers to collaborate on making the OS better. It is a hugely successful strategy. The fact that Sun doesn't get it (and sometimes tries to /fight it/) makes Sun stupid and obsolete.

IBM is just pissed that: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15926931)

a. HP just dethrowned them as the largest IT company and
b. IBM cannot steal ZFS from Sun because they can't "see" it.

boo hoo.

btw, websphere sucks - i've been working on getting wsad to talk with db2v8.1 for 2 weeks to no avail.

Typical IBM FUD (1, Flamebait)

cpuh0g (839926) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926933)

What else would you expect from IBM? Their entire Linux strategy is based on the idea of luring people in with Linux and then signing them up for ridiculously overpriced "consulting services' that usually results in a recommendation to purchase their own proprietary hardware running AIX and ever more extensive service contracts and recurring revenue for IBM. They are now seeing customers running Solaris 10 on IBM hardware and more and more requests for Solaris 10 instead of their own stuff and its not a pleasant prospect to see where the trends are heading for IBM.

When they open AIX and their Power chips like Sun has done with Solaris and SPARC, then they can compare and see how things stack up. For now, its just alot of sour grapes from an aging dinosaur to one that has recently been seen rising up again.

Re:Typical IBM FUD (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927279)

They are now seeing customers running Solaris 10 on IBM hardware and more and more requests for Solaris 10 instead of their own stuff and its not a pleasant prospect to see where the trends are heading for IBM.

Really? Do you have any unknown info to share? Because if you look at their stock and corporate info, they are losing ground, not gaining.

Re:Typical IBM FUD (1)

portmapper (991533) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927903)

> When they open AIX and their Power chips like Sun has done with Solaris and SPARC, then
> they can compare and see how things stack up. For now, its just alot of sour grapes from
> an aging dinosaur to one that has recently been seen rising up again.

Sun could start with releasing hardware docs for SPARCIII and their chipsets.

They are just afraid. (1)

dontbflat (994444) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926948)

IBM is afraid to make their code open source because it could "take the processors in a different direction". What a load of bull. There is no reason that the open source community would make the power pc's not backward or forward compatible. You just have to tell them what direction you are going so that they community can adjust. I applaud Sun for starting to open its OS, and for it opening up Java.

Just like Sun's other "open" products? (2, Informative)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926958)

So this is just like OpenOffice.org then? I've read a lot of complains that OO.o is tightly controlled by Sun.
Sun should just do as AOL did and spin off their open source projects as a seperate company.

Re:Just like Sun's other "open" products? (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927685)

Yeah, then Google can "own" the product by hiring the lead developers and closing the development, a la FireFox.

IBM is wrong (5, Insightful)

pinky0x51 (951042) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926960)

Whether IBM is right or not that OpenSolaris has a development community, OpenSolaris is true Free Software.
Free Software is not about a development method but about a way of licensing software. Free Software can build in a community process and in a in-house process as proprietary software can be developed in a community or in-house. It's not the development method which makes something Free Software it's the license.

Sad to see that even such a big company with such a big "linux-centre" like IBM doesn't really understand Free Software.

Re:IBM is wrong (2, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927018)

The key question is; if Sun tries to kill OpenSolaris development, can they do it?

Re:IBM is wrong (2, Insightful)

pinky0x51 (951042) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927043)

>The key question is; if Sun tries to kill OpenSolaris development, can they do it?

No, because OpenSolaris is Free Software, so everyone can use it, study it, adapt it and (re-)distribute it.

Re:IBM is wrong (2, Insightful)

ahl_at_sun (853337) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927105)

The key question is; if Sun tries to kill OpenSolaris development, can they do it?
Ignoring the question of why Sun would try to do that (some sort of exotic open source poison pill?), I suppose they could turn off the juice on OpenSolaris.org, but even that wouldn't shut down development. The code is in the open and it's under a license that explicitly allows people to use it and modify it. No one -- not even Sun -- could keep people from building their own distros, doing their own development, and building their own communities (all of which is happening today with Sun's encouragement).

Many Open Solaris options (5, Informative)

andrewzx1 (832134) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926968)

There are a variety of very good Open Solaris distros now:

Belenix: http://belenix.sarovar.org/belenix_download.html/ [sarovar.org]

Polaris, Solaris for PowerPC: http://www.blastware.org/ [blastware.org]

Nexenta, the Solaris/Ubuntu mix: http://www.gnusolaris.org/gswiki/Nexenta_OS/ [gnusolaris.org]

And of course you can go straight to the official Open Solaris Communities page here: http://www.opensolaris.org/os/communities/;jsessio nid=6E46815A1C5CC33AC6470A9439DABAA6#all/ [opensolaris.org]

Fight IBM FUD with Open Solaris Fact.

I call BS (4, Insightful)

mihalis (28146) | more than 7 years ago | (#15926980)

IBM is just full of it. If OpenSolaris were not for real do you think they would have gone to the trouble of changing their source code control system from the in-house Teamware stuff to Mercurial (see this [selenic.com] ).

No, that is the kind of wrenching and disruptive change that you do if you're really serious about pulling in developers outside the corporate WAN. If it were a facade they could have built a more impressive facade much more quickly.

Progress is slow on OpenSolaris because unlike Linux in 1991, Solaris is already a mission-critical operating system in many enterprises, and because they are trying to pull in non-employee contributions whilst maintaining quality. This is actually difficult.

Disclaimer: I was on the invite-only OpenSolaris pilot program and got some free t-shirts (none of which fit).

Re:I call BS (2, Informative)

lowoddnumber (814033) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927428)

And here's the opensolaris.org tools forum/mailing-list where the revision control decision was discussed. Besides Mercurial, several other tools were considered. This was all done out in the open.

http://www.opensolaris.org/jive/forum.jspa?forumID =9 [opensolaris.org]

And here's an example of the ZFS team discussing the design of a new feature on the public forum.

http://www.opensolaris.org/jive/thread.jspa?messag eID=47936 [opensolaris.org]

I think IBM's comments are really meant to impose FUD. If you look into the project I think you undoubtedly will see that it is open now. As more time passes and, for example, the external contribution mechanism is streamlined with the move to Mercurial, I think it will *appear* open without question to outsiders and silly handline grabbing IBM fud-filled comments will not even make slashdot.

Re:I call BS (0, Troll)

BooRolla (824295) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927910)

Disclaimer: I was on the invite-only OpenSolaris pilot program and got some free t-shirts (none of which fit).

That is what you said, but this is all I hear:

"I do not have a receipt, I won it as a door prize at the Star Trek convention, although I find their choice of prize highly illogical as the average Trekker has no use for a medium-sized belt."

I am an outside contributor (5, Informative)

gdamore (933478) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927002)

I am an outside contributor to OpenSolaris. I have several projects which are currently in the process of getting integrated into Solaris.

It is true that the development model at Sun is a bit more "Cathedral" than "Bazaar", and there are still some technical and administrative challenges to solve (for example they haven't figured out how to get folks to directly commit to OpenSolaris yet -- you have to hand off code to folks at Sun who integrate your code and walk it thru the process.)

Development of Solaris has always been a tricky thing, and historically has had huge amounts of "process" to get changes. This is because there are numerous quality safeguards, and committees that have been involved. There are famous questions that every project integrating has historically had to answer: (is it i18n safe, what interfaces does it expose? does it conform to various standards already established? is it portable to both intel and sparc? etc. etc.)

Part of the review process also has to uphold things like Sun's binary compatibility guarantee. In any respects, the _quality_ of Sun's Solaris product is much higher, I think, than what you find in say Linux, where churn is a lot higher and quality and oversight controls a bit less.

Anyway, it is possible to contribute to OpenSolaris now, though its a bit of a rough road right now. But they are making it better, and I expect it will be a lot easier in the next year or so.

IBM's problem (1)

ChrisRijk (1818) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927024)

The way I see it, the reason IBM is acting like this is because they refuse to open source their own major programs (like DB2 and AIX).

So they can't say "Sun is doing a good job at open-sourcing their own software" because then they'd be asked "so why aren't you doing the same?" - and because nobody likes to admit a competitor is doing a good job.

So we get these mealy-mouthed attacks instead.

Given that DTrace has been integrated into MacOS X into Leopard:
http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/bmc?entry=dtrace_ on_mac_os_x [sun.com]
http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/mws?entry=dtrace_ on_macos_x_at [sun.com]
and that it's also being worked on for FreeBSD, isn't that proof enough?

FUD-tastic (5, Informative)

ahl_at_sun (853337) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927054)

How this blatant FUD could be confused with actual newsworthy content is a credit to IBM. The assertions put forth in the article seem to have only a casual relationship with reality. For example:
Sun could do "simple things" to build a real OpenSolaris community if it were serious about doing so, Frye said. "They would push their design discussions out into the forums, so people can see what's going on," he suggested.
Take a look at the discussions page [opensolaris.org] at OpenSolaris.org and that's exactly what you'll see. Not only are there discussion forums for established components (ZFS, DTrace, Zones, etc.), but for projects which are still in their early stages (e.g. BrandZ, Xen, clearview) that are encouraging community involvement for testing and development.

Components of OpenSolaris are also showing up in other operating systems: DTrace [opensolaris.org] will be in the next release of Mac OS X [sun.com] and FreeBSD [sun.com] . Speaking personally as one of the DTrace engineers at Sun, it's been quite a pleasure working with both the Apple and FreeBSD kernel engineers -- pretty decent community for a "facade".

IBM just wants Sun to have the same difficulties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15927070)

When Sun wants Solaris to do something for some business reason, they just change it.

When IBM wants Linux to do something for some business reason, they have to get the Linux developer base to buy into it.

Which one do you think is easier for the corporation to deal with?

Not for nothing, but... (4, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927071)

It beats the hell out of OpenAIX. On acount of being somewhat more... existant.

What's the problem (2, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927084)

It's at least as Open as OpenVMS!

Firewall?? (2, Funny)

ader (1402) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927110)

> "Sun holds it all behind the firewall."

Trans.: "I know a techie word and I'm going to use it."

Ade_
    /

Still not open source (1, Insightful)

Screwy1138 (976897) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927138)

The poster claims

"...he pointed out that OpenSolaris takes contributions from all comers, has active public mailing lists, open IRC channels, and several online communities, so Frye's description seems at least overblown."

With my apologies, if these things make something open source, .Net is certainly open source. But it's not. I congratulate Sun on what they're doing, but that's still not true open source. Making the definition of open source muddy is really not a good idea.

Re:Still not open source (1)

eldoo77 (817524) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927560)

Who died and left you in charge of what makes a project "Open Source." Just because a project doesn't line up with your ideals doesn't mean it isn't Open Source. Clearly OpenSolaris qualifies and if IBM disagrees, who give a flying ...

Re:Still not open source (1)

Screwy1138 (976897) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927657)

Cute response, but lacking any real content but flame.

Re-reading my post you might see I was actually saying something similar to you, that the 'conjecture' in the original post are arbitrarily trying to declare this to be open source.

My argument is simple, that open source is not served by having an arbitrary and subjective set of rules that make something open source. I was arguing the criteria that was presented in the post, not whether OpenSolaris is open source or not, I don't care.

As open source becomes more 'popular', everyone and their brother is going to claim to be open source, you're already seeing it. So, rather than making some random arguments that indicate something is open source, it would be useful to validate it against agreed to criteria.

Who Decides? (1)

eldoo77 (817524) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927701)

Who sets the standard for what defines "Open Source"?

Re:Who Decides? (1)

dbaigent (793307) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927919)

Many would say that the OpenSource Initiative (OSI) sets the definition. At least that's what OSI says. And they list the OpenSolaris license, called CDDL, as an "OSI Approved" license: http://www.opensource.org/licenses/cddl1.php [opensource.org]

Re:Who Decides? (1)

Screwy1138 (976897) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928860)

Thank you. I think the other guy just wanted an argument.

Re:Still not open source (3, Insightful)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927795)

So, out of curiousity, what exactly is "open source" in your world?

You can take Solaris get the complete source. Make whatever changes you want, build your own distro and release it. Sun could decide it was all a complete screwup and shutdown opensolaris tomorrow and you'd still be able to continue to develop and release your derivative code. Sounds like open source to me.

Contrast this to Linux. You can contribute patcehs to Linus. You can discuss it on IRC. You can subscribe to email lists. You can take the source and build your own. And Linus undeniably has private discussions with developers whom he has established working relationships with about the development of Linus' kernel. Additionally you cannot directly check your code into the mainline Linux kernel. Sounds about the same as the OpenSolaris development process to me.

Re:Still not open source (1)

gdamore (933478) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928737)

You are exactly right in that these critera don't make a project Open Source. But OpenSolaris is freely downloadable, modifiable, and redistributable. You can make your own distro. And Sun can't revoke that right away. So, by the standards that I think most knowledgable OSS folks use (including the OSI), OpenSolaris _is_ Open Source. IBM is just spouting FUD, and showing their general ignorance of both Open Source and their competition. About what you'd expect from a company that is worried because it doesn't have any real competitive advantage any longer.

So what's new? (0, Troll)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927188)

OpenSolaris has always been a lame marketing gimmick - and people with a serious interest in F/OSS don't need IBM to tell them that.

It's interesting to see IBM taking jabs at Sun, though. Perhaps those new Niagara CPUs have some PowerPC salesmen worried.

The Jabs Surprise Me (1)

raftpeople (844215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927579)

It's interesting to see IBM taking jabs at Sun, though

Typically, in recent years, IBM has been pretty classy about not disparaging competitors while Sun seemed to spend most of their waking hours trash-talking just about everyone.

When I see one company diss-ing another I tend to think less of them and I assume they are speaking from a position of weakness (which is what I have thought about Sun for years). So when I read this I tend to think like you are, is IBM worried about something?

Only 1 open source os needed? (3, Insightful)

jm91509 (161085) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927257)

One open-source operating system is plenty, though, so there would be no point to making AIX open-source, IBM's Handy said. "There's room for a proprietary one and an open one. Once one is open, you don't need any more," he said.

So bugger off *BSD. Very open-minded of him

Re:Only 1 open source os needed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15927813)

That would be bugger off linux, which BSD predates by a large margin.

I'm somewhat of a Blue Fanboy BUT (3, Insightful)

tweek (18111) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927336)

I don't see openAIX floating around.
Sure they've ported some of the technologies and added the opensource toolbox to AIX (imagine an RPM that can be installed on AIX and interfaces with the existing AIX package system).

Why is there no JFS2 for Linux? Why can't I mount a JFS2 filesystem on the SAN on my Linux machine? Why has the AIX lvm not been ported to Linux or why has IBM not contributed to the Linux LVM2 the ability to import AIX volume groups along with the requiste filesystem support on Linux? Why the hell don't I have lsdev, lscfg, lsattr for Linux? That alone would save me alot of effort.

Look the ODM is not the greatest thing since sliced bread but AIX has other good ideas that IBM should contribute instead of bitching about OpenSolaris. Shit they just want to sell more pSeries boxes anyway ;)

Re:I'm somewhat of a Blue Fanboy BUT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15927537)

As long as IBM is tied up in litigation with SCO, OpenAix is never going to happen. It'll be interesting to see, if Sun's strategy is successful, how long it will take for SCO to file suit against them even though Sun purchased a "perpetual" license.

Lock customers into Linux? (2, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927348)

...I like some of the things IBM is doing now, but never forget they are a very, very big company whose agenda always directed at making money for their shareholders. They have a business motive behind everything they do.

IBM is a big champion of Linux now, but it wasn't all that long ago that they were issuing stern warnings to those who foresake the safety of proprietary software about the dangers of getting "locked into open source."

IBM would probably happily lock people into Linux... whatever, exactly, that would mean... if they can figure out how to do it and can see an advantage to IBM in doing it.

DTrace in OSX (1)

ChrisA90278 (905188) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927467)

One good proof that Solaruis is really open is that DTrace is now in Mac OSX, or at least in the version of OSX released to Apple developers. I thinki that is a sign of an open project: When other projects can use your code in theirs. To be truely open code has to flow both ways to and from your project. Getting DTrace into OSX is a major contribution by Sun.

Ethis fP for GNAA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15927511)

I'm not sure Sun knows about their own OSS efforts (1, Informative)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927555)

Last year I spoke with a group from Sun's Santa Clara offices at the OSBC East conference in Boston, and asked them about Sun's open source efforts. After drawing blank stares, and a bit of hemming and hawing after requesting that they actually call someone ("Umm...give us a card and we'll get back to you"), they finally relented and made a few phone calls. Got the name of someone in Austin. Came back to Texas, and to this day I've never heard back from said individual, despite several attempts to contact him. (I'm truly confounded as to why Sun would show up at an open source conference, only to disavow their open sourcedness.)

Sun appears to treat its OSS efforts as some sort of "dirty little secret," so much lip service paid to the OSS community so we'll just go away and stop hounding them. At this point, I don't believe Sun is sincere about OSS, at least from a corporate standpoint. IBM's position appears to be completely justified.

Far from authoritative (1)

setantae (103317) | more than 7 years ago | (#15927581)

Dan Frye also said that there was no Internet in 1991, so you'll forgive me if I laugh everything he says off.

GNU Linux is a "facade", too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15927681)

IBM was right on. To take their point one step further, GNU Linux which they support is a facade, too. The GNU license is viral and not conducive to free, unfettered development. Look to a BSD-style license or Public Domain software for true freedom.

open source AIX then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15927899)

If IBM doesn't like the way Sun open-sourced Solaris, they should show how to do it by open sourcing AIX in what they deem is the "proper" way. Show the world how to do it.

If they can't put up, they should shut up.

(I also don't see IBM open sourcing the VHDL / Verilog code to their POWER 5 chip like Sun did with their UltraSPARC-T1 processor.)

Bunch of cheap Rhetoric (1)

andrew404 (643654) | more than 7 years ago | (#15928041)

Sounds like a pretty weak cheap shot on the side of IBM. There's not really a definition of a 'true open source project', the whole idea is that he who owns the project can call the shots how they see fit. Because it is Open Source, if IBM doesn't like how the project is progressing, they are free to fork the code and take it in their own direction. This guys whole gripe is that he thinks that IBM should have some right to hijack and redirect the project or get free benefits from the project without committing any significant resource to it. And at the end of the day, what does IBM care about openSolaris anyway? It's a competing product, which makes this guys comments amount to nothing but a whole lot of empty rhetoric

How about dual-licensing Lotus SmartSuite? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15929076)

I am SICK of using emulation layers. I want SmartSuite NATIVE or detoxed of enough ms spaghetti code so I don't have to limit my choices to the current options, NONE of which give me what SmartSuite does:

-Lotus WordPro, which is easier for me to use, neater, cleaner, and more visually aesthetic.

Lotus Approach, which by light years ahead delivers what most sane end-users would need or want out of a user-friendly, non-programmer, WYSIWYG database front end that produces forms, worksheets, charts, limited crosstabs, and fairly nice detail tables on the forms. Even the reports can have charts embedded.

NONE of this is available in Kexi, Knoda (is that a db front end?), Base, or anything else.

Please, IBM, let us have a dual-license/Open Source Lotus SmartSuite that is free of the crippling licensing that has to date made it untenable to release SmartSuite. If CodeWeavers can get ms orifice to install, then please sponsor them to make SmartSuite work. Mine WON'T, yet. They need your help. ***I*** need your help. Please be NICE: play ball. Sun, with all its sponsorhip and pocket change is NOT helping SO/OOo deliver to people like myself a database like Approach. They've HAD enough time, and haven't deliver. Why not now take the initiative, IBM? Geeks/devs would approach this just out of the sheer challenge and coolness factor of SmartSuite.

PLEASE!!!! PLEASE????
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