Tuesday, February 16, 2010

OpenSolaris: Oracle, where art thou?

After a prolonged wait, Oracle have now completed their takeover of Sun. Late January, they presented their plans for taking Sun's products forward.

OpenSolaris wasn't even mentioned.If you look carefully, it's on a slide, but that's about it.

That silence has continued. OpenSolaris has - publicly at least - been completely ignored by Oracle. It's as if we don't exist.

Somewhat perturbed by this state of affairs, I asked for a communication channel to be established between Oracle and the OGB. This was ignored. The OGB pointed out (in pretty strong terms) to those Sun staff that we do have communication with that some level of contact was needed. We haven't heard back.

It's not as if we're asking for much; the very basic start of a conversation. I've no doubt that Oracle are very busy, but not even bothering to say hello?

Recently, Oracle sent a welcome letter to (some of) the OpenSolaris User Group leaders. While any contact is welcome, the manner in which it was done was unfortunate. It ignored OpenSolaris as a whole, ignored all the other groups that make up the OpenSolaris community, and completely bypassed the Governing Board. This is shockingly poor treatment.

I've attempted to make contact. Again, this approach has been completely ignored. I have not even been accorded the common courtesy of an acknowledgment.

I'm not the only one. It's clear that the OpenSolaris community are very concerned, and they're being left completely in the dark. Ben blogged an Open Letter to Oracle and that doesn't seem to have elicited any response either.

At a most basic level, this is simply impolite. Even downright rude. Is it a sign of something more sinister? Well, nothing at all has been said that would allow anyone ta make a judgment, but it's fuelling the FUD machine.

Needless to say, this is pretty inauspicious start to a relationship. It's about time for Oracle to stop avoiding us and make their intentions known, especially with the OpenSolaris Governing Board Elections just round the corner.


Alvaro Lopez Ortega said...

My take: The community has suddenly lost relevance. It used to be something important for Sun, something the company would take care of. Now things seem to be different. Let's see how it goes from now on. The beginning of this new phase is certainly worrying.

Emilian Bold said...

Don't worry, Oracle has been doing this with about any community.

In the one situation where they were pretty clear about (Kenai) they backpedaled and changed it from a direct shutdown to a migration to java.net.

So I don't think it's a sign of anything -- just of some more or less bureaucratic process within a much larger company.

They are probably doing battle plans for products / services that will produce money. Only when they have the figured out they'll probably be more clear about their plans in regard to the various open-source communities Sun had around its products.

Gopi said...

I'm sure you would have seen this email.


Anonymous said...

this is most unfortunate. opensolaris is one of the stronger portfolio-items when it comes to visibility and attraction for users. it generated a lot of interest and excitement and differentiates nicely from linux. oracle should recognize the unique potential in having an open source server os, not least in the face of the rising regulatory demand for open and transparent product in this space.

JimDesu said...

From my experience as a former Oracle employee, I wouldn't expect much contact for a while. Oracle is so hobbled by its internal turf-wars that it destroys the vast majority of the value that it purchases (I saw this twice-hand with the PeopleSoft and Siebel mergers, where several superior facilities were destroyed or marginalized to protect facilities with more powerful incumbent VPs). My take would be to keep your fingers crossed for Solaris and hope for benign neglect.

Anonymous said...

> "opensolaris is one of the stronger portfolio-items when it comes to visibility and attraction for users."

imho opensolaris has already sufficiently bad image that only blind enthusiasts will bemoan it's eol.

Diego Calleja said...

Are communities less important for Oracle? Sure, but I don't think it's a bad signal, it's something you should expect. How many time it took for Sun? Give Oracle time.

Andrew said...

So what exactly is the status of OpenSolaris? I looked at it a few years ago and found the installation brutal. Nexenta looked interesting but had little if any resources behind it. It seemed like OpenSolaris was more like an internal make-work project for Sun developers.

Anonymous said...

Opensolaris is a great OS, I have used it for more than a year now. But because of this uncertainty I migrate my servers and desktop pcs to FreeBSD. Oracle is as evil as microsoft.

Anonymous said...

I see they've pulled the GlassFish Web Stack for Solaris downloads as well.


Ronan Miles said...

As Chairman of the UK Oracle User Group - which is a totally independent group from Oracle but which does have sway with Oracle, I am happy to talk to any UK & Ireland based OpenSolaris community leader about a) our experiences with prior Oracle acquisitions and the effect on UGs & b) the specifics of what this means for the OpenSolaris communities in the UK.

It would be outside of my User Groups remit to offer help to other countries but I can show a global map of (major) Oracle User Groups at http://www.iouc.org.

My contact details can be found at http://www.ukoug.org/about/directors_directory.jsp?parent=20&id=7

Cliff said...

This is the latest on OpenSolaris support: http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/press/161333