I'm a little dissapointed - particularly because of a couple of the Sun guys who were trying to hint it was still going to come out until very recently.
Well I guess thats my weekend filled with a migration to FreeBSD then!
"Solaris must stand alone as a best-of-breed technology for Oracle’s
enterprise customers. We want all of them to think “If this has to
work, then it runs on Solaris.” That’s the Solaris brand."
Someones going to get all passive-aggressive on everyone.
What will happen with OpenOffice? Will Oracle try to monetize StarOffice, making mass license agreements and apply the same closed-then-open model to StarOffice? Novell-OpenOffice existence will be severely damaged, and WE DON'T HAVE A SERIOUS OFFICE APP TO MATCH STAROFFICE.
I consider this a serious concern. Will we go back to StarOffice 5.2 days?
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
OpenSolaris is once.
If they repeat this pattern anywhere else in their currently-open-source lineup, I'm going to prod my FSF contacts (I'm a card-carrying member) to scrounge up some campaign funds to resume the "Java Trap" campaign and to advocate KOffice or AbiWord to replace OO.o, and Postgres to replace MySQL. I might even donate specifically for that cause.
The real problem out of the above, though, is Java.
If Java turns into an "IP base" that Oracle uses for suing companies over patents that they own on Java, this is going to hurt a lot more people than the sum total of losing OpenOffice, MySQL, and OpenSolaris.
1. Java is the language taught to beginning computer science and computer engineering students in accredited public and private universities across the U.S. Java is often used as the "gold standard" language when professors are trying to teach students a particular programming concept or system concept that is language-agnostic, because they know that the syntax of the language will not get in the way of students' understanding of the salient points.
Java was a safe bet under Sun -- especially in the years after they open sourced their own JDK. Now, is teaching Java in universities going to be as dangerous as teaching Microsoft C++ (using C++ primarily backed by the Windows API) or Delphi, or Cocoa/Obj-C?
The problem with teaching "closed" platforms to students is that they imprint on the first thing they learn, and they always end up going back to that when they are given a choice of what language to implement something in. So it biases students on using a particular platform. This is not really a problem if the platform is cross-platform and patent-free (like standard C++, or ANSI C, or GLib/GNOME/GTK+), but if the platform is closed, this means that the apps of the future will be written for a closed platform, too, which regresses the goals of the Free Software movement significantly.
2. There are an enormous amount of deployed lines of Java application code, ranging from the system level to middleware, to desktop apps, games, and web apps. Java ME is used extensively for all sorts of applications on mobile platforms. It appears where you least expect it. And it runs on umpteen different JVMs, many of them not licensed explicitly with a monetized agreement with Snoracle -- some of them are even Free Software, like GCJ/Classpath and Harmony. Are the users of apps that run on these JVMs, and the developers of these JVMs, vulnerable to Java patent lawsuits?
3. There aren't really any other languages that you can port Java programs to without much effort. The closest language neighbor to Java is probably C#. The ironic part is that Microsoft has been a better open source citizen about the .NET platform (at least as far as patents are concerned), because they made a "promise" that they won't sue Mono, or even more generally, some other unrelated project that just aims to follow in Microsoft's footsteps and re-implement .NET for any reason. But it is valid to doubt Microsoft's intentions on this, and to think that they might not cover some particular implementation detail under their promise if they really want to sue you. Therefore, Java developers who want to work with a very similar language (syntactically and library-semantically) are stuck going with the next nearest neighbor, which is probably Qt4/C++. But then you've got pointers and stack-allocated objects; Java kids have an allergic reaction to both of these.
TL;DR: Java filled an important hole in the educational and commercial segments, providing a useful Virtual Machine + JIT + static typing runtime, cross-platform, royalty-free, while happily allowing others to re-implement any part of the Java technology stack. Even Richard Stallman -- the most wary evil-corporation-doubter I know of -- had begun to have faith in this platform after Sun opened up the JDK. Now, under ownership of a bunch of absolute idiots who think they can foil our techno-cultural movement and make a cool buck while they're at it, we have reason to doubt whether Java is still a safe bet.
This is more than a sad day for (Open)Solaris. This is a sad day for Free Software.
My opinion is that we should give Oracle one more chance to f*** up. If they pull this stunt on any other piece of software, it's time to kick ass and chew bubblegum. Until then, I'm willing to let this slide, attributing it to mismanagement during the Sun transition. This news, by itself, isn't the end of the world for the vast majority of the people, who don't use (Open)Solaris. But it might be the harbinger of a dangerous precedent within Oracle. If that turns out to be true, then it's time for Free Software and Open Source advocates alike to inject renewed energy into the bazaar development model, and replace all software we depend on that is primarily copyright-attributed to Oracle, GPL or otherwise.
I always liked Sun Microsystems – in a way, it's the company Microsoft should have been, with more engineers than marketing creeps and pride in solid products. Over the years, I've had some opportunities to play with Solaris on Sun hardware, and although for other systems I'd much prefer Linux or one of the open *BSDs, it truly was something awesome to behold the sheer power and stability of that combination. They had some drool inducing geek toys...
In the same vein, I've always distrusted Oracle for being too deep in the large corporate cookie jar to do anything worthwhile. Now Oracle has its grabby hands on Sun Microsystems, Solaris, Java and MySQL. They killed of Sun, now it's Solaris' turn, and they are already suing Google for something Java-related...
I'm just saying BSD wouldn't bring Open Source to the current level.I'm not quite sure what you're saying here. Do you mean that if nobody used Linux then nobody would use BSD? I don't understand your premise: why would nobody use BSD if it wasn't for Linux?
Wrong in the article:
""Solaris 11 Express" as being a similar product to OpenSolaris, but it will only ship after Oracle's enterprise release."
Solaris 11 Express will be shipped at the end of this year, before Solaris 11 comes out. We have to wait 3 months or so before it arrives.
So, OpenSolaris has basically been renamed as Solaris 11 Express. Source code will be relased after Oracle releases binary upgrades (every 3rd month or so). Then, Illumos based OpenSolaris distros can synchronize with the Solaris 11 source code. Also, FreeBSD can sync to get latest ZFS. As of now, the source code is available before binary releases.
The differences Oracle has made, are basically: Rename OpenSolaris to Solaris 11 Express. To get the source code, you have to wait 3 months. Some Solaris tech will be closed (mostly server stuff, such as cluster tech, etc - no desktop user are interested in). That is it.
Personally, I think Solaris has never been in better shape. Oracle is investing heavily in Solaris 11 and in SPARC. The new SPARC machines will have 16.384 threads and 64TB RAM. In Solaris, a thread is treated similarly as a cpu. Massive scalability in one single computer, 16.384 cpus.
Sun had 35.000 customers. Oracle has 350.000 customers, paying BIG money. If Oracle can make only a few percent to switch to Solaris, then Solaris is increasing market share. Earlier there where only technological reasons to switch to Solaris, but Larry will make sure there are business reasons to switch, too. I believe Solaris will increase market share. The future has never been brighter!