Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Moving OpenSolaris forward

Unless you've been living under a rock for a while, it should be clear that the OpenSolaris Community isn't in the healthiest state. Oracle, as the new owners and sponsors of the project, have been spectacularly uncommunicative. The Governing Board have been left completely powerless, reduced to the role of spectators as Oracle withdraws behind its own barriers and what's left of the external community starts to engage in infighting.

So, and this hasn't been an easy decision, we have resolved:

The OGB is keen to promote the uptake and open development of OpenSolaris and to work on behalf of the community with Oracle, as such the OGB needs Oracle to appoint a liaison by August 16, 2010, who has the authority to talk about the future of OpenSolaris and its interaction with the OpenSolaris community. Otherwise the OGB will take action at the August 23 meeting to trigger the clause in the OGB charter that will return control of the community to Oracle.

Now, and sorry Ben, this isn't a "start talking to us or we'll just shot ourselves in the head" ultimatum. We're already on life support, if there are no signs of life then life support will be turned off.

Continuing on, or waiting indefinitely, merely perpetuates a lie. All is not well, and we would all be foolish to believe that it is. To do so would simply be delusional.

It may be nice for some to think that Oracle will ride up on a white charger to save the day. Even if that were to happen, it wouldn't really change the reality of the situation: that the current state of the community is essentially incompatible with the OpenSolaris charter and constitution, and that we need to move forward to a new organization that has new methods of governance. To get there (wherever that is) implies sweeping the current governance away. Oracle may not be prepared, but the OGB is brave enough to recognize that necessity and take the first steps. We would prefer to do so in concert with Oracle, hence the request that an official liaison be made available.

This move should also serve as a reality check and wake up call. Nobody - either within or outside Oracle - should have any excuses for being unaware of how bad things have become.

OpenSolaris stands at a crossroads. Many routes are open, there are choices available and decisions to be made. Simply standing still, wringing our hands and waiting indefinitely for Oracle to show up with a map, isn't an option. We need to break the shackles that tie us to this place and move forward.


T.J. Yang said...

Thanks for the action taken. I support this action.

Anonymous said...

Oracle's delay can only have evil purposes. They can't be waiting in order to say "we want to make an even stronger commitment to open source than Sun," and Sun's commitment probably wasn't strong enough (no fully-open development cycle from Mercurial -> DVD, no source for the stable version as you get with RedHat, compilers that phone home).

Anonymous said...

Good job here, Peter. 100% agree. The realist in me sees the OpenSolaris ship sinking but the optimist still has fingers half crossed.

Regards--- kgunders

xavier said...

I am a OpenSolaris user. Please do something to save OpenSolaris, I do not want to replace my OpenSolaris Sun Fire X2270 server with Linux. I think the best OS for running my Glassfish v3 Enterprise Java App. is OpenSolaris.

Thank you in advance, this is the best OpenSolaris related notice I have read since Oracle took Sun.

Anonymous said...

+1 - it's time for action.

chronics said...

I'm assuming this means that their is no scheduled release date for the latest OpenSolaris version. Is any development actually taking place on this or has everything just come to a complete stop till we hear from Oracle.

BTW thanks for the update, at least we know the OGB is trying to do something about this

Anonymous said...

First of all I completely disagree with the statement "Oracle's delay can only have evil purposes." That's just silly and troll-like.

Why is the OpenSolaris community waiting on Oracle at all is the real question? Isn't that the whole purpose of open source in the first place?

Why not strike out and move forward without Oracle? Notice I did not say 'fork'. I really don't want to see Open Solaris turn into 30 thousand different distros.

I do want to see a strategy and movement forward. Bickering and speculation don't help.

So again, why not simply forge ahead?

Anonymous said...

The problem with "simply forging ahead" is that the vast majority of OpenSolaris work is still done inside Oracle.
So you start chugging along without coordinating things with Oracle and next they show up but walk a different way.

At that point you can either drop your stuff, merge endlessly, or essentially fork. Neither is a good option.

The best of these tree options is to consider Oracle to be useless in the community, and fork. And then bear the consequences - namely that your fork is more or less considered irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention those binary bits that we've long been waiting on with bated breath to fulfill Sun's promise of open sourcing Solaris.....

Anonymous said...


OpenSolaris 2010.xx = Solaris 11 + NexentaOS (with community)

same sources,differents markets