Re: OpenSolaris negative publicity

Eric, while I agree on you that there are a lot of people out there over hyping OpenSolaris and FUDing Linux at the same time, I think that you shouldn’t take that as a measure of quality of the whole OpenSolaris community.

I’ve been using it every day at work for a month now, and OpenSolaris lacks lots of features to make system administrator life easier, starting from the software package or a non resource-hungry installer, hardware support, still-closed source bits… We all in the OpenSolaris community are aware of this problems, and we all are working on solving them. So, read this comment from an OpenSolaris enthusiast: nowdays Linux it’s easier to set up and administrate and it works on much more platforms than OpenSolaris does.

However, there is a 10% of shiny innovation, ZFS is just a brilliant solution and simpier than any filesystem/storage facilities on Linux. With DTrace you don’t need to stop and tweak services to know what’s going on, SMF is able to detect failing services and suggest how to solve the problem instead of throwing a stack trace on your face or annoying log messages. This doesn’t meant that is better than Linux, it just means that for a specific set of problems, it’s a better solution and saves you lots of headaches. For the people that this tools are critical to solve their problems, OpenSolaris has become a more than appealing platform.

Regarding FUD, let’s talk about the Linux community, this thread  is just an example around the FUD and misinformation on the licensing decisions of Sun from the Linux community. While lot’s of operating systems out there are integrating ZFS, they claim that the Sun commitment to openness and freedom is limited, since we have taken CDDL for OpenSolaris just because is incompatible to GPLv2.

The Linux community deserves respect on its decision of take the GPLv2 to protect their interest, but that doesn’t mean that the GPLv2 is the one and only free software. Sun deserves the same respect since the very first moment that CDDL is OSI approved. The OpenSolaris community could also blame the Linux project for not changing their license to get the huge hardware support linux has for CDDL and OpenSolaris needs. Have you heard anyone doing this? Don’t think so. Again, both parts deserves respect for their license decision as both licenses are OSI approved, both are free software although they are incompatible.

The most funny thing here is that GPLv2 version of ZFS from Sun it’s been out there for a while now.

Chris, all that I want to say, is that FUD and trolls are part of every open source community, and that doesn’t means that those communities are evil, it just does means that they all attract passionate users. and you cannot get the wisdom of the crowds without their stupidity.

P.S. I don’t know the author of the last quote, sorry for not referencing it.

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20 thoughts on “Re: OpenSolaris negative publicity

  1. I agree on almost everything you said.
    >Sun deserves the same respect since the very first moment that CDDL is OSI approved.
    But on this sentence i can’t agree.
    Sun deserves respect because they are moving toward digital freedom by releasing their software as Free Software.
    But writing their own license which is even incompatible with one of the most used Free Software license is just a bad thing. We have so much Free Software licenses and i think it would be much better if sun would have picked one of them instead of writing yet another license.

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  2. @pinky:
    Does that means that FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD doesn’t deserve respect? Because they have a GPLv2 incompatible license?
    CDDL was created to protect the interest of the company at the same time they can release their code as free software. It’s not a simple matter, and still, they deserve the respect to choose.

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  3. @Alberto:
    First, the BSD license is GPL compatible! See http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html
    Second, the BSD situation is different. The BSD licenses appear at a time where their weren’t that much Free Software licenses and the BSD license has clearly another concept than the GPL (copyleft vs. non-copyleft).
    Basically we have three categories of Free Software: strong-copyleft, weak-copyleft and non-copyleft. Today we have enough license i all three categories so that i don’t see any sense in writing yet another license.
    Also if we look at the most used Free Software licenses (GPL, LGPL, BSD license, Apache license and MIT license) you see that all of them are compatible (at least if we talk about GPLv3). I think this is an great advantage.
    And finally i haven’t say that Solaris or Sun doesn’t deserve respect. They deserve respect for many things, e.g for moving toward digital freedom by releasing (at least part) of their software as Free Software or for having technically great software like ZFS and Java.
    But i don’t think that they deserve credit for writing yet another license.

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  4. @pinky:
    I’m not claiming credit for write another license, the company is moving toward GPLv3 to avoid the proliferation. I agree with you on the point that another license was pointless.
    Anyway, I don’t think that the most used means the center of the world. And instead of blaming Sun for not using CDDL, some kernel developers should focus on innovation instead of FUD.

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  5. On licenses, I still don’t see what reason Sun could have had for choosing a GPLv2-incompatible license other than deliberately being incompatible with the Linux kernel.
    On technology, I’m sorry, ZFS, DTrace, and SMT didn’t convince me when they were proprietary, and they still don’t convince me. I think Linux has solutions that are as good or better for all three.

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  6. @Mike:
    On license, yes they probably did for that reason. But still, is open source, is free software, it’s OSI approved. What’s the problem then? That Linux cannot take advantages of years of investment and innovation? What we are talkin about? Commitment to Free Software or commitment to Linux?
    Most people don’t see the difference. And while companies like Apple keep their most important piece of software (Quartz, Cococa, Aqua…) closed, lots of Linux folks buy their software and doesn’t spread FUD on them, even when they have posters on their shops saying that they are free software frendly.
    BTW, If you know something better than ZFS and Dtrace, please tell me so I stop trying improve a platform that I don’t really care about πŸ™‚

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  7. @pinky:
    btw, Apache License, Mozilla Public License, are not GPLv2 compatible, and regarding GPLv3, it’s most likely that Sun is going to adopt it once it’s released.
    Anyways, thanks for the link, πŸ™‚

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  8. Hi,
    The main point I’m trying to make is that some people with their trolling make your whole community look bad. And if anyone is able to stop that, it’s the other members of that community.
    If you want, you can read it as a “please hit him with the cluebat”.

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  9. Just a note: read the GPL announcement for ZFS that you linked to — to my disappointment it reveals that only ‘boot-strap’ code is GPLed. Consequently, Sun is purposefully keeping ZFS off Linux which it sees as a competitor (at least in this respect — as all the really useful stuff is not GPL compatible).
    – Just a thought …

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  10. @Note:
    Could you ask the FUSE ZFS developer how many help has got from the Sun ZFS engineers? Or perhaps the ZFS on FreeBSD ones?
    You would realize how wrong you are πŸ™‚
    But even if that’s true, we could say also that Linux is keeping their innovations away from any non GPLv2 compatible operating system. Which is as unfair as saying what you said.

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  11. Jeff,
    I don’t live in the USA, but the company does support Linux and x86 already, dozens of customers ask for that support and Sun will loose them if it attacks the Linux project with patent issues.
    So can’t see your point here, Sun has patentes because the rest of the industry has, it’s a Cold-War-like problem that has no easy solution and I don’t like it at all.

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  12. Every community has aggressive trolls, but none is as bad as the “author” of cdrecord. None.
    His arrogant presence and incredibly self-centered-warped-view on opensolaris.org (which actually has some people agreeing with him when it suits them!) has single-handedly pushed me away from the project and the opensolaris.org forums.

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  13. @FFalco:
    That’s a matter of how much attention do you pay to him. I’ve been involved in opensolaris for 5 months already, and I still don’t know what’s his name, and what he has said.
    Don’t feed the troll πŸ™‚

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  14. “So can’t see your point here, Sun has patentes because the rest of the industry has, it’s a Cold-War-like problem that has no easy solution and I don’t like it at all.”
    The problem is Sun has not granted these patent rights. So a Linux vendor or anybody else using this technology might be sued for patent rights.
    Contrast that with Red Hat which has given these its patent rights to open source developers.
    http://www.redhat.com/legal/patent_policy.html

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  15. @alberto:
    >btw, Apache License, Mozilla Public License, are not GPLv2 compatible, and regarding GPLv3, it’s most likely that Sun is going to adopt it once it’s released.
    That’s why i have written in the brackets: at least if we talk about GPLv3 πŸ™‚

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  16. @alberto:
    >What’s the problem then? That Linux cannot take advantages of years of investment and innovation? What we are talkin about? Commitment to Free Software or commitment to Linux?
    You could also see it more positive by saying: It’s that Solaris can take advantage form GPL projects of years of investment and innovation.
    I think it would benefits both and i think it’s one of the natural things in the Free Software world that Free Software enables cooperation. We shouldn’t destroy this advantage through incompatible licenses.
    By the way. The GPLv3 adoption of Sun has a crucial question mark. Will they go pure GPLv3 or CDDL/GPLv3 dual licensed. It’s crucial because if they decide to use dual-licensing that GPLv3 projects could take advantage from Suns code but Sun couldn’t take advantage from GPLv3 projects.

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  17. Interesting… Erich talked about the irritating fanboism exhibited by many OpenSolaris bloggers and you, Alberto, interpreted it as an opportunity to hype ZFS and DTrace. Did you miss the whole point of his posting?
    Pretty much everyone agrees that OpenSolaris technology is first-class. The hype, however, is drowning out even the Gentoo crowd. Just an observation.

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  18. @pinky:
    I don’t know what the plans are with GPLv3 to be honest.
    @sb:
    You seem to be very good at detecting somenone misspoints.
    Okay, so I encourage you to read carefully what I’ve said. in the post, and all the comments. Perhaps you will find another one missing other ones points.
    Love, me, Alberto.

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