Friday, February 26, 2010

Opening up some details of OpenSolaris under Oracle

The OpenSolaris Annual Meeting is under way on IRC. (The meeting itself is one of those odd side-effects of the old constitution, it's never really been used as a proper meeting.)

We were fortunate enough today to have Dan Roberts along to answer questions. A log of the session is available - for the conversation with DanR look just after the noon mark.

Positive, simple and straightforward:

Oracle will continue to make OpenSolaris available as open source, and Oracle will continue to actively support and participate in the community


Oracle will also continue to deliver OpenSolaris releases, including the upcoming OpenSolaris 2010.03 release.

In terms of investment:

Oracle is investing more in Solaris than Sun did prior to the acquisition, and will continue to contribute technologies to OpenSolaris, as Oracle already does for many other open source projects

Questioned on open development:

Oracle will continue to develop technologies in the open, as we do today

with the caveat:

There may be some things we choose not to open source going forward, similar to how MySQL manages certain value add at the top of the stack.

(Although the model that came to my mind was the fishworks/analytics add-ons that go into the open storage systems. So that's not a change.)

In reply to a question "for 'regular' users and contributor to Open Solaris - do you figure that anything will change in terms of how open solaris is delivered and how developers contribute?":

Love to see the tech journal crowd participating! And yes, regular users will find things mostly unchanged. Contributors also.

On the subject of User Groups, there's already been some outreach (as I've noted before). Part of the story here is that Oracle have a group for community support, so that group will take over the support that has come from Sun in the past. User groups still look after themselves, but wil be centrally supported (if they want and need it) through the new route. I also expect some user groups to form relationships with other organisations such as the independent Oracle User Groups, and all user groups will be free to take whatever steps they wish to in that area.

Support is an area that has been contentious recently. On this:

And Oracle will ensure customers running OpenSolaris have an option for support on Oracle Sun Systems where it's required, though given the very little sales here this will not be something we expect many customers to deploy going forward. Solaris is our focus, on both SPARC and x86.

(Read it this way: if anybody wanted support, they should have paid up. I've heard what "very little sales" means. My one concern in this area is support for Solaris/OpenSolaris on 3rd-party systems.)

All in all, though, thanks to Dan for sticking his head above the parapet. And - while there are clearly devils in the details - it's clear than Oracle plan to keep pushing OpenSolaris forward, so rumours of its death have been greatly exaggerated.


Anonymous said...

Cool. Maybe Steven J Vaugh-Nichols can shut up now.

Anonymous said...

Great news, I hope Oracle plan to expand on the Toshiba laptop option as well...still waiting here in Australia.

Lets hope there is continued investment in the desktop as well.

shmerl said...

Good news. Let's hope that "some things we choose not to open source" will not change the picture drastically, comparing to the model which Sun was using. It's a pity no one asked about plans on open sourcing C/C++ compiler.

Peter Tribble said...

shmerl: questions have been asked about the compilers, but they aren't part of the OpenSolaris project as such. (And DanR has no responsibility for the compilers so wouldn't have been the right person to ask.) Nevertheless, those questions have been sent to those responsible, to see if we can get an answer.

Unknown said...

I'm wondering if, in the interests of increased transparency and the stymying of fraudulent law-suits like the infamous SCO Group's one against Linux companies, now happily winding down into ignominy, if Oracle might join hands with Novell (a la Sun with AT&T) and release all current and previous releases of Unix SVRx, under the GPL V3?

It would be a good investment in stability in the marketplace.

Anonymous said...

Could you find out what the reasoning is behind pulling the plug on Glassfish Web Stack?

Andrew Steinborn said...


Wrong person to ask.

Anonymous said...


Do you happen to know whose leg we have to hump to get some answers?

Anonymous said...

...2 months later...still silence...people worried...people switching to linux...why should we do?

Anonymous said...

4 months later.... still silence... people ever more worried. Switching to Linux and FreeBSD in droves. Jive forums silent other than the occasional obligatory fanboy posts.

2010.03 vaporware. Perhaps merely throwing a bone the community's (errr... uhm... what little remains of it) way in attempt at damage control.

Pushed to 2010.1H. More damage control vaporware? 9 days and counting....

Shouldn't there be a haiku in here somewhere?

Anonymous said...

It's almost the one year anniversary of the infamous screw job that took place on
#opensolaris-meeting channel.