Monday, August 29, 2005

The good, the bad, and the ugly

Let's start with the good:

We've now got SMBIOS integrated into OpenSolaris. I think it's the systems administrator in me showing, but I find this really exciting!

Now the bad:

I know I don't work for a living at the moment, but still keep an eye on some systems for former colleagues. And one of them suffered a power cut recently. Not just any power cut either, by the sounds of it. I've already alluded to one of the problems, and I had to roll back the SMF repository on another machine, but worse was to come.

Basically, it fried a Netra T1. I managed to persuade it to power on from the lom prompt, but it immediately starts vomiting errors. No system, no ok prompt, just errors. Looks like it can't even run POST. This looks like a dead system to me, beyond hope of repair. That's bad.

And the ugly:

SJVN has been emitting more mindless drivel. I see two choices here - either he's genuinely incapable of understanding licensing, or he's got an axe to grind and is using his journalistic position as a veneer of respect.

The article - at least the snide part about Sun - is simply plain wrong. Using CDDL as the license for OpenSolaris doesn't give Sun control. Exactly the opposite: with CDDL as the license Sun have less control of what people can do with OpenSolaris than they would have had if they had used the GPL.

And as for failing to build a significant programming community, well for one thing they already have gotten a major community, and for another thing getting a handful of part-timers to build Solaris on the cheap was never the driving force - Sun spent a huge amount of cash on building Solaris, and open-sourcing it, and it was done for sound business reasons - such as to open up new markets - not to outsource development. (Or kill the penguin, or introduce submarine patents into Linux, or any of the other stupid reasons naysayers put forward.) Of course, once the open source plan became known, a huge bunch of use started clamouring to get involved so we can modify and improve Solaris in the ways that we want.

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