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Sun Considering GPL For OpenSolaris

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the it's-spreading dept.

Open Source 215

narramissic writes, "At an event today to formally open-source Java, Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's president and CEO, and Rich Green, the company's senior VP of software had an exchange in which Schwartz put Green on the spot about using GPL for OpenSolaris: 'Are you averse to changing the license, Rich Green?' Schwartz asked. 'Certainly not,' Green responded, prompting the Sun CEO to fire back in a half-joking manner: 'Will you GPL Solaris, Mr. Green?' 'We will take a close look at it,' Green said, adding that it was possible that the familiarity and comfort level many developers have with the GPL may result in Sun adopting it for OpenSolaris." Another note about Sun's decision to use the GPL for Java comes from reader squiggleslash, who writes: "According to Jonathan Schwartz, the decision of Novell and Microsoft to '(suggest) that free and open source software wasn't safe unless a royalty was being paid' is what prompted Sun to finally come down on using the GPL for Java. So I guess every cloud has a silver lining."

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Money Pressure (3, Interesting)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830312)

Remember, SUN makes money on hardware.
Novell and Microsoft do not.

Re:Money Pressure (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830488)

Remember, SUN makes money on hardware.
Novell and Microsoft do not.

Yep. Microsoft doesn't make [xbox.com] any [microsoft.com] money [microsoft.com] from hardware sales [zunescene.com] at all. No siree. Not a dime. And Novell never made anything from hardware sales either [everything2.com] .

Re:Money Pressure (3, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830544)

Other than their keyboard and mouse operations all Microsoft hardware operations operate in the red.

Re:Money Pressure (1)

Sqwubbsy (723014) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830654)

all Microsoft hardware operations operate in the red.

I thought that was the case with Sun, too?

Re:Money Pressure (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16831824)

Man, this is Slashdot; please leave your common sense at home like the rest of us basement-dwelling butt-ugly smelly faggots.

Re:Money Pressure (1)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832110)

No, they certainly make money on the hardware. Have you seen the prices?

How else would they make money (which they occasionally do)? Selling hardware at a loss in order to give away more free software isn't profitable.

Re:Money Pressure (1)

swimmar132 (302744) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830844)

They lose money on the majority of their hardware businesses.

I think the only thing they make money on is Windows and Office and mice and keyboards.

Re:Money Pressure (2, Interesting)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830880)

You would have done better by never mentioning the Xbox, which has put MS over $4 billion in the red. I have no numbers to back my next statement up, but I am guessing they have not sold enough keyboards to make up for that amount.

Also, the Zune has not yet made a dime for MS, and I've seen rumors that it is also being sold at a loss.

In addition, Novell has not sold hardware for a long time. In fact, they haven't done it since they became a profitable software company.

Which *version* of the GPL (4, Informative)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831032)

More interesting than this, IMHO, is to note that for Java they choose to use the "GNU GPL v2 only" (plus Classpath exception) license, not the more common "GPL v2 or any later version".

This is what the Java FAQ says about it:

Q: What about GPL v3? Have you considered using that license?
A: While Sun has been working with the Free Software Foundation as an active participant in the development and review of the GPL v3 license, this license is not yet complete. It is Sun's strong desire to complete the open sourcing of its Java technology implementations in a timely manner, so we made the decision to use an existing, established license paradigm rather than wait for GPL v3 to be completed. Using GPL v2 does not indicate anything negative about GPL v3. Sun continues to be very actively and positively involved in this new license's development.

And, from this InfoQ article [infoq.com] about the GPLed Java:

GPLv3 was not chosen since it is not finished yet, but when asked if Sun will move to GPLv3 an official said "at this point we don't know what the final license will be."

Re:Which *version* of the GPL (2, Insightful)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831228)

This GPLv2-only licensing may create some practical problems in the future, but it is sensible from a business point of view, and I can certainly understand it. It's better to have their code in GPLv2 rather than not have it at all. We were given a gift, so let's not whine for a while.

Re:Which *version* of the GPL (1)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831474)

We were given a gift, so let's not whine for a while.

You're right, of course, and I'm not whining at all, simply noting the details of the license choice. And I just found this bit from Sun's Jonathan Schwartz blog [sun.com] :

And yes, we picked GPL version 2 - version 3 isn't available, but we like where the FSF is headed.

Emphasis mine. So apparently Sun likes the proposed GNU GPLv3!

Re:Which *version* of the GPL (2, Insightful)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831510)

I don't think this is really that interesting. Sun, being a big company, must run things past the lawyers. GPL v3 is not finished, and they are probably extra-extra-concerned about the patent revocation clauses and how exactly that stuff will be worded. So basically they're just covering their asses.

Re:Money Pressure (1)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831628)

Remember, SUN makes money on hardware. Novell and Microsoft do not. Not quite. MS makes money on software, yes, but Novell makes money on support, not by selling software per se. A fairly large portion of SUN's money comes also from support.

Re:Money Pressure (1)

spitzak (4019) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831840)

Yet when asked why Apple does not open-source their code (or otherwise allow others to make machines using it), the response is "Apple makes money on hardware, not software!"

Brilliant! Apparently you can use that reasoning to argue for anything

Re:Money Pressure (1)

Iron Condor (964856) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831934)

Remember, SUN makes money on hardware.

Do they?

There was a time when I understood what exactly Sun makes money on. They had some proprietary hardware (the sparc achitecture) and they had an OS that took advantage of the strengths of that HW. Fine. But these days, sun servers are just Opteron boxes, no? And the OS is opensourced.

So how exactly are they making money?

Re:Money Pressure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16832042)

Sure they do, I'm using a genuine Microsoft mouse right now.

That would be awesome! (4, Interesting)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830318)

Sorry for the fanboyish response, but I think releaseing various parts of Open Solaris under the GNU license would lead to some great developments. As I understand it, that would enable a lot of features of the Solaris kernel to be imported into Linux and vice-versa.

Of course, there'd be a problem with that whole "gnu's NOT unix" thing... ;)

Re:That would be awesome! (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830568)

On the other hand, the CDDL is a Free Software license (according to the FSF and the OSI), and is not Copyleft (or 'viral' if you prefer), so I would consider it to be more interesting than the GPL. For everything I've tried, my Solaris box is nicer than any Linux machine I've used (although I really don't like the Solaris userland), so I don't really see what Solaris would gain.

I think Sun made a very clever choice with the CDDL for Solaris. It's Free, and the Linux guys can't just take the best bits and surpass them. At the moment, some of the BSD guys are doing so (taking ZFS and DTrace, for example), but Solaris has gained a lot from *BSD over the years.

As someone who uses a variety of *NIX platforms, none of which is Linux, I don't really see what Sun would gain from using the GPL, and I can see what they would lose.

Re:That would be awesome! (2, Interesting)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830592)

>so I don't really see what Solaris would gain.
Device drivers

Re:That would be awesome! (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830716)

The driver models used Linux and Solaris are sufficiently different that a port from one to the other is non-trivial. You could use the Linux driver as reference for writing a Solaris driver, but that's about it, and you can do that already (the *BSD guys already do that when Linux gets support first).

Re:That would be awesome! (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832238)

and I can see what they would lose.
What would Sun lose?

Re:That would be awesome! (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830582)

Sorry for the fanboyish response, but I think releaseing various parts of Open Solaris under the GNU license would lead to some great developments. As I understand it, that would enable a lot of features of the Solaris kernel to be imported into Linux and vice-versa.

And I'm sure that there wouldn't be any little companies from Utah [sco.com] that wouldn't just LOVE to see that Unix code REALLY get imported into the Linux kernel.

Where's those guys with their "itsatrap" tags when you need them?

Re:That would be awesome! (0)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830636)

Given that Sun has given away it's kernel as it is, I don't see how they're any safer with regards to trade secret litigation than they would be if they go the GNU route.

ZFS (1)

ArbitraryConstant (763964) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830886)

If it were released under the GPL, it could be imported into the Linux kernel.

I think this is awesome.

I can't decide whether Sun has balls of spent Uranium or if they're just really disparate. Possibly both. But I really like this, and I hope their services and hardware businesses benefit accordingly.

Re:ZFS (4, Insightful)

EvilRyry (1025309) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831132)

ZFS has some really awesome features. Pooling, snapshots (no, not quite like LVM), RAID-Z, and native compression and soon encryption.

I'd love to see all this in Linux but I'm thinking even if it were GPLed there would be a lot of work to do to port it. And of course after its ported, the Linux devs would probably make a big stink about accepting it using lines like "a file system should only put files on a block device!" ZFS however is a different approach to storing files and in many ways much better.

Re:ZFS (1)

volsung (378) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831940)

Hopefully this guy [wizy.org] will finish his port of ZFS to FUSE on Linux someday, in which case a lot of the work will have been done. You will still have to do some cleanup to make it run again in kernel space, and port it to the Linux VFS layer, of course. His choice of FUSE is in part due to the license, I imagine. A kernel port of the ZFS code could never go into the Linux kernel due to the license issues between the CDDL and GPL, where as this is perfectly fine in userspace.

That said, it's too bad the FUSE port has stalled (no commits for 5 weeks now). I want ZFS bad, but trying to admin a Solaris box feels like having my hands chopped off. Nothing is where I expect it to be.

Re:ZFS (2, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831728)

I can't decide whether Sun has balls of spent Uranium or if they're just really disparate. Possibly both. But I really like this, and I hope their services and hardware businesses benefit accordingly.

Sun makes the vast bulk of their money from hardware sales and support. They have little (if anything) to lose from GPLing Solaris.

Contrast this to, say, Microsoft, who makes most of their money from software sales. Clearly, GPLing their software would be financial suicide.

Re:That would be awesome! (2, Informative)

johansalk (818687) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832262)

No it won't, for the simple reason that Linus is "a bastard, and proud of it!". Just google "linus" and "solaris" and see how dismissive he is of it, calling it "a joke", just like he's been dismissive of the BSDs.

Re:That would be awesome! (2, Insightful)

BalkanBoy (201243) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832368)

That's not a fanboy response at all - it's probably the only other response, beyond any financially motivated ones, that makes sense. Solaris is considered by many (with more than just passing knowledge of UNIX) to be still 'l33t'-er than either Linux or BSD (I beg to differ of course, being a Linux/BSD 'fanboy' and all). Eventually any technical differences between those two (Solaris, Linux) ought to fade, and we could have a great, free, open-source, commodity server OS that anyone can look at, improve, etc. Now if we can get something like the Mac OS X type of GUI going with Linux on the desktop.... where would that leave other 'windowing' operating systems? :)

Re:That would be awesome! (1)

shrewd (830067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832522)

"Of course, there'd be a problem with that whole "gnu's NOT unix" thing... ;)"

linux is not GNU.

Aw, that's just DANDY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16830322)

That means that there will be that many fewer PS3's to buy!!!!!!

Re:Aw, that's just DANDY! (1)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831044)

Wrong thread? [slashdot.org]

Makes more sense than Java (0)

unPlugged-2.0 (947200) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830330)

I think putting OpenSolaris under GPL makes much more sense than doing the same for Java.

There are very good models of developing OS under GPL such as Linux. This would make it a very easy transition to get the GPL model into OpenSolaris.

Also this would no doubt attract a lot of the linux developers out there and as any open source project knows the number and management of developers is ultimately what makes it the top dog.

Also though it is slightly off-topic I also think that Java under GPL would not benefit as much because the model of contribution is really not as easily understood as the OS world.

Re:Makes more sense than Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16831002)

I don't think java was released in order to gain more contributions - Sun seem to be able to cope quite well on that front. I think it was done in order to get java accepted in to Linux distros. I think Sun could see a threat from mono which despite being the spawn of Microsoft was GPL'd. And mono just got accepted into Gnome, which may have shaken Sun a bit since they use Gnome on Solaris. Mono is installed by default as a dependency of Gnome on the latest Ubuntu distro (Edgy).

Re:Makes more sense than Java (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831094)

``Also though it is slightly off-topic I also think that Java under GPL would not benefit as much because the model of contribution is really not as easily understood as the OS world.''

With all the complaints about the Java community process being slow and bureaucratic, and the free Java implementations lagging behind in features, I think having a good, open source Java implementation is a Good Thing in it's own right.

Also, I don't know what you mean by the model of contribution for Java not being as easily understood as the OS world. It's not like there aren't [python.org] any [ruby-lang.org] successful [inria.fr] open [sourceforge.net] source [call-with-...uation.org] programming [gnu.org] language [gnu.org] implementations [lua.org] yet [haskell.org] .

Another dumb move (-1, Troll)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830350)

Sun has made some of the worst strategic decisions in the IT industry for the past decade or so. Why would GPL'ing their main products be any better? Where are they going to make money? Bake sales? Are they going to pay their people with warm fuzzy feelings? Yeah, Sun may do it. But I'm betting it'll kill them long term. In fact, now may be a good time to short the stock, and expect the payoff to be complete in about 5 years.

GPL'ing a product has NEVER been successful for the company or person owning it. This won't be any different.

Re:Another dumb move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16830448)

GPL'ing a product has NEVER been successful for the company or person owning it. This won't be any different.

According to you, its not been successful for Linus to GPL his kernel, or for Stallman to GPL emacs and gcc?

WTH you talking about?

mod parent down

Re:Another dumb move (4, Informative)

xzvf (924443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830626)

Sun does two things well. Rock solid hardware and excellent service. GPLing Solaris and Java allows them to limit resources spend on software development. In addition, GPL compatible Solaris and Linux will blur the lines between the OS as they adopt each other's best features. Linux and Solaris might become binary compatible. Sun can focus on selling hardware and services.

Re:Another dumb move (3, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831180)

Sun does two things well. Rock solid hardware and excellent service.

Not to mention the fact that, although it is true that Sun is gradually open sourcing all of its software, most of what Sun makes it enterprise software. What company is really going to use Sun's RFID software to run a warehouse floor, or use Sun's identity management software to manage authentication and access control for an entire enterprise, and not get a support contract from Sun? Open sourcing this type of stuff probably doesn't impact Sun's sales negatively one iota. Open sourcing Java may be riskier, but I'm curious to see how it really pans out.

Re:Another dumb move (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831912)

Or at least we might get dtrace on Linux :)

Re:Another dumb move (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830664)

Where are they going to make money? Bake sales?


I'd imagine from selling computers, the same as they've always done. I don't think OpenSolaris is a profit center for them now, so GPL'ing it shouldn't cost them any profits (at least, not directly).


GPL'ing a product has NEVER been successful for the company or person owning it.


Ever hear of an a little OS called Linux? It's done fairly well under the GPL...

Re:Another dumb move (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16830998)

Ever hear of an a little OS called Linux? It's done fairly well under the GPL...


Haven't you hurd? It is called GNU/Linux :)

Re:Another dumb move (2)

Shaman (1148) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830702)

Earth to NineNine: they haven't charged for Solaris or Java all along. They are a services and hardware company. If Solaris technologies move to Linux, then Sun has only to be sure that their hardware is the best supported Linux product to make a go of it. This is smart, good business and it's about time Sun figured that out. OpenSolaris won't be closed because for now it's got a lead on SPARC hardware as well as some features which are unique to Sun but over time it is obvious to all but the most clueless that Linux is where the community is putting the majority of effort and one would have to be a complete cluebie not to see that it is not slowing down or conceding defeat on any front.

Re:Another dumb move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16832192)

Slightly wrong, they do actually charge for Solaris. The free (as in beer) download of Solaris (not OpenSolaris) is for non-commercial purposes only. So for me to use it instead of a linux box for my cvs repository and file server at home is fine, but using it as the webserver for my company would cost me a $99 per year licence.

I may switch to OpenSolaris for that, but I am tempted to buy the licence.

Re:Another dumb move (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832242)

Actually, Solaris x86 used to be fairly expensive. I looked at buying a copy, 'just because' a number of years ago, before they turned Solaris 7 loose for free (the first free version). It was beyond my means as a non-commercial individual.

Re:Another dumb move (0, Flamebait)

Zarluk (976365) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830824)

Where are they going to make money?

If you find yourself in need for support in Java or Solaris, who do you prefer to ask for help? Micro$hit?

BTW: why is your web-site down for so long? Running Winblows?

LOL

Re:Another dumb move (2, Funny)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831148)

Surely you're toking, mister Nineman.

Re:Another dumb move (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831332)

Sun has made some of the worst strategic decisions in the IT industry for the past decade or so. Why would GPL'ing their main products be any better? Where are they going to make money? Bake sales? Are they going to pay their people with warm fuzzy feelings? Yeah, Sun may do it. But I'm betting it'll kill them long term. In fact, now may be a good time to short the stock, and expect the payoff to be complete in about 5 years.

Sun will make money exactly the same way they do now - hardware sales and support contract.

Solaris has never been a significant revenue stream for Sun. Heck, they haven't even had a nominal charge on it for years.

GPL'ing a product has NEVER been successful for the company or person owning it. This won't be any different.

Well, it'd be pretty disastrous for a company with a revenue stream derived primarily from software sales, but that hardly describes Sun.

Re:Another dumb move (1)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831818)

Well, it'd be pretty disastrous for a company with a revenue stream derived primarily from software sales, but that hardly describes Sun.

Not necessarily... Trolltech was under proessure to release QT under the GPL. They did it ... did it hurt their business? Not in the slightest... in fact, they became even more successful. Ninenine has an axe to grind with free software, that's all. His "GPL'ing a product has NEVER been successful for the company or person owning it" just shows how uninformed he is.

Re:Another dumb move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16831406)

Why, Mr. Ballmer! I never expected to see you here!

What about checking facts for a change? (1)

orzetto (545509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831562)

GPL'ing a product has NEVER been successful for the company or person owning it.

Surely, you may want to talk to the CEOs of MySQL [mysql.com] and Qt developers Trolltech [trolltech.com] , who release their projects under the GPL and do turn a profit. In the case of Sun, as others already have mentioned, they make money on the hardware, and commoditising software is only good for them.

Of course, these are corporations. Speaking of private persons, what about a certain Linus Torvalds, who is now fairly well-off?

Excellent (4, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830378)

This could be a bigger boon than a lot of people realize. The licensing differences between Solaris and Linux are one of several factors slowing them from adopting ideas and code from one another. OpenSolaris users could benefit from ease of importing more cutting edge features from Linux. Linux could benefit by having access to some of the cleaner implementation ideas from Solaris. I've felt for some time that much of what holds linux back is the unwillingness to adopt newer and better features out of a fear that a given distribution will be less compatible with others and because Linux is trying to wear many hats. Too many decisions are made to benefit its use as a server or make it easier to use on a portable, while leaving it behind others for a workstation.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Re:Excellent (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830614)

And in the end one of them dies because they're exactly the same thing. I really don't see what the point of GPLing OpenSolaris would be.

Re:Excellent (2, Insightful)

dunstan (97493) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831280)

As a long term Solairs SA, I can assure you that they're nothing like the same thing. While the OpenSolaris and Solaris Express releases are fluid, the GA release (at present, Solaris 10) is not. Sure, new functionality is added during the life of a major Solaris version (most recently, ZFS was added), but the existing published kernel API will not change. This means that device drivers and other software which links into the kernel (e.g. storage software) will continue to work.

This is not a minor issue. The big headache with any GNU/Linux distribution is the complicated and often intractable support matrices - a result of the fluid nature of the kernel API.

Re:Excellent (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16831484)

This is not a minor issue. The big headache with any GNU/Linux distribution is the complicated and often intractable support matrices - a result of the fluid nature of the kernel API.

Big headache for closed drivers. Tough shit on them. The Free ones get fixed when the API changes. The kernel developers have the right idea: you have our source... why should we help you hide your kernel source and in the process hamper our own development.

ZFS, ZONES, RAID-Z, DTrace, etc. (nt) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16830644)

ZFS, ZONES, RAID-Z, DTrace, etc. (no-text)

"Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like yelling." I fucking hate these bullshit new AC posting rules!

I can't write more than one reply per half-hour, and now using acronyms triggers a "lameness filter"?!!!

Re:Excellent (4, Insightful)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830954)

"OpenSolaris users could benefit from ease of importing more cutting edge features from Linux."

Linux would get DTrace, ZFS, etc. Those techs are about as cutting edge as it gets. What would Solaris get?

Re:Excellent (4, Insightful)

obi (118631) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831892)

a host of filesystems, maybe? truckloads of drivers?

Re:Excellent (1)

MechaShiva (872964) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832362)

Beat me to it. I'd be happy to give Solaris a spin round the block but the driver support for non-sun branded hardware has left a lot to be desired. Granted, Sun doesn't have any incentive to make this a top priority and I in no way expect them to. All I'm saying is it would be fantastic to see Linux drivers opened up to the Solaris devs and the Solaris features opened up to the Linux devs. That would really create a cooperative competition (if there is such a thing). Here's to hoping.

Re:Excellent (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16832690)

Virtual consoles, better pcfs, USB drivers, other drivers, ...

Great, but will it change anything? (3, Interesting)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830380)

It certainly removes one barrier. But look at Darwin. It's open source, but who else but a handful of people outside of Apple are working on it? So the point is not to knock the potential change. The point is will developers flock to Solaris as a result of this? Slowly but surely or not fast enough?

More cool stuff in Solaris? (3, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830576)

This is just my understanding, but Darwin doesn't have nearly as many 'interesting' features that don't already exist in Linux. There is some neat Solaris-only stuff that people have wanted to bring into Linux for a while, but have not been able to because of licensing problems, and the work it would take to clean-room it.

The thing that I always hear talk about is dtrace (currently CDL, and tightly integrated with the Solaris kernel), but looking at the WP article [wikipedia.org] on it, apparently it's been partially brought over to BSD and OS X. Then there are also containers and that "self-healing" fault-isolation system, which I don't pretend to understand.

Perhaps there are just as many cool, compelling features in Darwin that aren't talked about, and deserve being shared with Linux and other OSes ... but I've definitely not heard as much 'buzz' about them as you hear about some particular features of Solaris that are supposedly very neat.

Re:More cool stuff in Solaris? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830710)

There's nothing interesting in darwin. Anything neato that MacOSX does is done in a service, not in the kernel. Darwin's kernel is a combination of Mach and BSD called XNU. Mach is a pretty lame microkernel, as microkernels go... which is why the hurd is going from mach to L4. Of course, some would say the hurd is pretty lame, and that it deserves mach, but that's another conversation. The point is that there's no compelling reason to do anything with it, and many reasons not to touch it.

Re:More cool stuff in Solaris? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831452)

I seem to have heard that GNU/Hurd development was moving from L4 to something else...(checks)...Wikipedia seems to be confused as to whether its moving to "Coyotos" or whether there is only some talk about that, and of course the GNU/Hurd pages don't prominently refer to anything but Mach...

Re:More cool stuff in Solaris? (1)

naasking (94116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831724)

Wikipedia seems to be confused as to whether its moving to "Coyotos" or whether there is only some talk about that [...]

L4, as great a microkernel as it is, still has some serious security shortcomings. The Hurd devs are currently discussing issues with the Coyotos devs; whether Hurd will actually use Coyotos is unclear last I heard. You can see various discussions they've had on the coyotos-dev mailing list.

Re:Great, but will it change anything? (2, Interesting)

davecb (6526) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830888)

Actually, quite a number of folks who are my consulting customers use Darwin (really BSD) sources as the "reference copies" of programs they're adapting for their own use.

This is in part because of the good quality of the code, and the company which stands behind it. In part it is because of the larger BSD community who stands semi-invisibly behind Apple... some customers really understand the strength of community. And finally, for the license-paranoid, in part this is because of the use of the very old and weak BSD license.... some customers really don't understand the community (;-))

Coming back to the main point of the discussion, adoption of the GPL by well-known fortune-500 companies is a step away from the world of Microsoft, SCO and FUD.

Definitely a change, and definitely for the better.

--dave

Re:Great, but will it change anything? (1)

Toveling (834894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831196)

Apple released Darwin under the APSL, which is not GPL comaptible [gnu.org] . The difference here is that Solaris code tenatively will be able to be used directly in Linux and other GPL projects, something not possible with Darwin or Solaris currently.

Open Source ist not about... (1)

my ID is not availab (1026826) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831348)

...changing/hacking the source but about just and only having the POSSIBILITY to view and hack/change the source. Open Source is a principle - not a method to $what-ever.

Yeah sure... (2, Insightful)

Serapth (643581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830394)

According to Jonathan Schwartz, the decision of Novell and Microsoft to '(suggest) that free and open source software wasn't safe unless a royalty was being paid' is what prompted Sun to finally come down on using the GPL for Java. So I guess every cloud has a silver lining. If you believe that, want to buy some old dot com stocks I traded for some swamp land a few years back? Honest, ill give you a great deal!

A company the size of Sun does not move that quickly, especially so far as legal matters go. Besides, there has been talk of GPLing Java before Christmas for months.

Sun saw a chance to take a shot at Microsoft/Novell and they took it. Can't say I fault them, but its fairly obviously a lie.

Re:Yeah sure... (3, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830534)

A company the size of Sun does not move that quickly, especially so far as legal matters go. Besides, there has been talk of GPLing Java before Christmas for months.


There's been talk of open sourcing it by Christmas, and reports that it might be under the GPL (and reports that it might be under a different license.)

That does not prove, however, that the Novell/MS deal didn't prompt the final decision for Sun. Certainly, they'd already done the analysis and had a pretty good idea of the pluses and minuses of the various options. But certainly the Novell/MS deal remixed those slightly, and might have tipped things in the GPL.

Re:Yeah sure... (1)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832044)

A Novell/Microsoft patent case against Linux has something else to think about now. I don't think Sun are in any rush to GPL Solaris but they're letting Microsoft know that Sun are the big winners in a big legal case between Windows and Linux.

They're basically saying "go ahead, drive an army of developers and users to us, see what good that does ya".

Wow. (1)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830414)

Thanks Sun, that would be great if OpenSolaris became available under the GPL along with Java. That would offer another very good open alternative to Linux. Something backed by Sun would be really good if Microsoft keeps up it's patent-FUD.

Did I wake up in some alternate universe or something, though? I mean, Novell sold the community out and now Sun is adopting the GPL?

Re:Wow. (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832104)

Issues of licensing culture aside, Novell has always be despicable, and Sun has always been cool. It's only because of judgements by various political factions amongst the Linux community that this has ever been in doubt.

And, uh, the Linux community doesn't define 'cool.' Just one or a few flavors of cool.

Did opening Solaris do anything? (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830452)

To me this sounds like a simple off-hand comment and unlikely to happen.

That said, can someone who is more familiar with the whole thing tell me: did has opening Solaris had much of an effect at all in any way? Has it stopped market share loss? Increased market share? Increased software availability? Has anything really changed?

Re:Did opening Solaris do anything? (1)

anlprb (130123) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830956)

Depends on what you mean by anything. If you mean has there been a large takeup of drivers or features, no. But that does not have to do with the license. It has more to do with the snail's pace that Sun's development process follows. The whole CAB thing is interesting, but you cannot get a feature into OpenSolaris without it being sponsored by a Sun employee. It is still and if Sun has anything to do with it, continue to be, a very cathedral approach to things. Now, it does slow down development which allows for more testing, better architecting and there is a ton of discussion, re: ksh93, that brings out ALL of the nitty gritty details of the ripple effect through the product. But it also shows one of the chinks in the OpenSolaris armor, fear of change. Fear of change is not a bad thing when betting tons of money, however, attempting to produce a more useful operating system, or "Operating Environment" as Sun likes to put it. In this day and age the need to be nimble and allow new features to be merged in a time frame that does not discourage contributors. The snails pace which features are argued back and forth is fine when you have 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year to work on a single feature. When you only have the off time that the programmer is working on this project, it becomes unmanageable. This is very similar to the way OpenDarwin worked. It seems to be running into similar problems, however, I will say that Sun employees are very willing to talk with anyone who has an idea. They are also very good, sometimes, at letting those on the outside know what is going on on the inside. There still is though very much a feeling of "We out here are only get to see part of the development process". This is manifested by defects not having all of the information necessary for reproducing the issue, or investigation notes. There are fields that are not visible to the outside world in the database. This limits the transparency with which the process can run. There are two types of developers, those inside Sun and those outside. These two classes have very different means available to them. It hampers some investigation and correction, especially when a defect refers to the information contained in a field that only Sun employees can see. The only thing that I could see fixing this is GPL'ing the code which would allow a completely non-Sun controlled version of Solaris to be built. This would remove the have/have-not barrier for developers and would allow cross-polination of good ideas. Driver support would also be a bonus. As it stands right now, only pure BSD drivers can be pulled over. But overall, it still very much seems as if the OS community is on a factory tour of an Operating System factory. We get to look through the glass, but we really can't touch the machinery.

Re:Did opening Solaris do anything? (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832182)

The whole CAB thing is interesting, but you cannot get a feature into OpenSolaris without it being sponsored by a Sun employee. It is still and if Sun has anything to do with it, continue to be, a very cathedral approach to things.

Try to get a feature into the Linux kernel without having connections to somebody deeply involved in the Linux kernel development team.

And calling something 'very cathederal' has mixed meaning, considering the fact that 'The Cathederal and the Bazaar' was originally written as a polemic against the fairly 'closed' team developing Gnu Emacs. I bet you thought Raymond wrote it to criticize Microsoft.

A LOT of cool code that is ultimately released in a very open fashion comes out of 'Cathederal' style development teams.

Re:Did opening Solaris do anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16832282)

Tbere is nothing stopping anyone from forking OpenSolaris and create a completely non-Sun controlled version. Nothing in the CDDL prevents that. You can do it today.

If Sun GPLs OpenSolaris, it will simply be an alternative license for OpenSolaris, along with the CDDL. Whatever hurdles you have to jump through to get a change in to the official core will be the same hurdles for the GPL version as well, since the versions and community will essentially be identical.

GPL OpenSolaris simply makes integrating Solaris code in to Linux easier, but cross pollinating will porobably not happen as easily from Linux to Solaris unless the entire contribution and commiters are covered by the SCA that Sun requires.

Solaris - GPL'd? (1)

sloanster (213766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830456)

Wow, if that ever happened, wouldn't it be ironic - I can imagine a future where linux has been effectively preempted by the mega corporations, while Solaris is fully GPL'd and becomes the default first choice for the typical savvy unix admin.

In any case, I'll be getting to know Solaris 10 better in the coming months, but the GPL would just put it over the top.

Re:Solaris - GPL'd? (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16830870)

I can imagine a future where linux has been effectively preempted ...

It is like attacking the enemy from the front (Novell/M$ with a SCO preevaluation) and alongside (addressing developers attention) as well. Now wait who will further back and patronize (IBM?).

CC.

SUN GPL'ing OpenSolaris? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16830558)

Oh lordy, then what's the RMS fan club going to bitch about?

Re:SUN GPL'ing OpenSolaris? (2, Insightful)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831930)

Flash, proprietary drivers and patent-encumbered codecs.

Re:SUN GPL'ing OpenSolaris? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16832650)

>Flash, proprietary drivers and patent-encumbered codecs.

Here's a nickel, kid. Go buy a sense of humor. Oh wait, if we bitch long enough, maybe someome will GPL them too!

GPL DTrace for teh win! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16830698)

Seriously, it'd be beyond awesome to have DTrace ported to Linux.

Re:GPL DTrace for teh win! (4, Interesting)

[tsa] (183282) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831854)

Hm...

When you can get an open-sourced carrier-grade OS like (Open)Solaris at no cost,
why still Linux?

OpenSolaris surely currently lacks a lot of (x86) hardware support, no drivers
for widespread hardware, etc. - but as more and more users actively use and
support OpenSolaris, more and more vendors will provide those.

What I don't like about Linux - Linux (and a lot of Linux software), that is - is
the neverending story of changing APIs - use something, update something else - Oops.

I have a Linux system here, with at least three different versions of, e.g., BerkeleyDB.
1.85 compat, 3.something, 4.idontknow. API changes, incompatibilities, you name it.

Ever tried to compile popular Linux software on another Un*x? Whenever I encounter some
piece of GPL-licensed software, I can almost guarantee it won't compile on Solaris, Tru64, .. - without spending hours for #ifdef'ing and patching the source.

You want DTrace? Zones? Use Solaris. Is there any technical reason (no politics, please) where
using Linux actually offers any benefit?

(Yes, "smc" and all those java-based admin utilities suck. But commandline-based alternatives
do exist.)

This is not a flamebait. Serious answers will be appreciated.

Re:GPL DTrace for teh win! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16832236)

> Seriously, it'd be beyond awesome to have DTrace ported to Linux.

I don't think you understand DTrace or the enormity of your comment. Solaris was practically rewritten to fit around DTrace, Linux would as well otherwise it would just be merely a gdb+.

Java, Shmava (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16830738)

Solaris, Shmolaris

Wake me when K-Fed open sources the Britney video.

BSD License (0)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831042)

Why not consider the BSD license? I am not a fan of the GPL and I think it is a bit restrictive. The BSD license appeals to both the F/LOSS and for profit companies. I am surprised Johnathan Schwartz failed to consider the BSD license.

Re:BSD License (4, Insightful)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831658)

BSD licence? Hello? I don't think Sun prefers a license where everyone (MS) can copy stuff from Solaris into their proprietary products without giving anything back. BSD license may have its place, but this is not it.

Thank you, Sun (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831046)

I support Sun GPLing Java and possible OpenSolaris. If I ever buy a rack server, I will make sure it's a Sun model.

Sunstroke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16831106)

Remember SUN Java desktop (cool) then they give FUD money to SCO and release Solaris under an obnoxious GPL-incompatible license. Are Sun totally schitzoid or is the business model playing Microsoft and the FOSS community off against each other? The Sun is shining at the moment, I just worry that tommorow they'll pull a Novell.

All said and done, GPL'd java is cool, I'm building Jikes, JamVM and ClassPath now to start (re-)learning Java while I wait for hotspot and javac to hit Gentoo's portage tree.

Sun may have taken MS $$$ to not GPL Solaris (0)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831192)

Wow, I nailed that on the head just this morning [slashdot.org] (about half an hour after the blog entry that I didn't know about); to me, this seemed obvious.
I can't help but think that the MS-Novell deal was the inspiration for this going into completion; the final straw, so to speak (or at least, the reason for the timing of the announcement). Consider it; Novell uses Mono and just got in bed with Microsoft.

Sun is in trouble, and according to FSF Lawyer Eben Moglen's (wild) allegations in his talk at a recent Free Software Foundation Associate Members [fsf.org] hip meeting, they previously (2005?) took a bribe from Microsoft to keep OpenSolaris incompatible with the GPL (in exchange for financing they believed was desperately needed for miniaturizing CPU size with Fujitsu to compete with IBM(?) in the server market). Sun is now flip-flopping like a struggling politician; they caved to the pressure of GPL'ing Java despite (allegedly) accepting a bribe to keep Solaris less free. Like many on Slashdot, I consider the FSF and the F/OSS development community greater long-term allies than Microsoft, so maybe Sun will release Solaris 11 or 12 under the GPL.

The Free Software Foundation has made no announcements on either of these developments. What does this mean for the GCC/Java code, which is largely functional? How would GPL'ed Solaris utilities impact use and development of the GNU utilities? (Yes, I realize that the Solaris utilities share code with BSD utilities given their common ancestors, but Solaris has the shiny stamp-of-approval from major security auditors.)

Re:Sun may have taken MS $$$ to not GPL Solaris (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831770)

The Free Software Foundation has made no announcements on either of these developments.

The FSF statement will come on Monday in the official Sun press conference. [sun.com]

It had to be said... (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831334)

If they're this optimistic about such, why not pull some build out that worked with sun4m and make it just as open as what exists today - even if it amounts only to being a olive branch to systems long since devalued by that move. That, and it gives a very compact/cheap option for SPARC that doesnt skimp on the hardware (unlike U5/U10's cheapened design).

Yeah Right (3, Funny)

Tharkban (877186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831732)

Yeah, Right....I bet they'll GPL java before they allow that to happen. :)

I Just Have One Question? (2)

Einstein_101 (966708) | more than 7 years ago | (#16831750)

What about hardware support?
 
Not to start an argument, but wasn't there an article [slashdot.org] posted on this very website telling us how OpenSolaris was/is the Linux killer*? So far how has that one panned out? Other F/OSS operating systems never really make it to relevancy because frankly, their hardware support is always years behind that of Linux. That very reason is why I switched (at least for now) from BSD, back to Linux.
 
*I must note that it funny that they compared OpenSolaris to SUSE - clearly the slowest of the major Linux distros.

Free DOES have a price (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832082)

You can't lock out competition.

Woot? 7p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16832142)

SLING you can comprehensiv3 Serves to reinforce

Spreading? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16832148)

Sun today.

Tomorrow.... The world!

Bwahahahahaha

ZFS (2, Insightful)

scott_karana (841914) | more than 7 years ago | (#16832490)

The best part about Sun being GPLed (the CDDL is a fine license itself) is that ZFS can be implemented as a kernel module rather than in FUSE. The idea of running non-trivial enterprise filesystem in user-space is abhorent to me.
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