Well we're at an exciting point here on the "eve" of the release of
GPLv3. In light of the impending release the question has been raised,
does it make sense to dual license OpenSolaris under both CDDL and
GPLv3? As OpenSolaris is already licensed under CDDL this means that
the question on the proverbial table is whether to add GPLv3.
Obviously, since GPLv3 has not been released, its difficult at this
point to definitively pledge support for the license or to rule it out.
That being said, however, it is an appropriate time to start soliciting
opinions from the community(ies). Whatever the final decision is, it
cant be one that Sun makes in a vacuum or that is dictated to the community.
Stephen Harpster, engineering director for OpenSolaris, kicked off the
dialog a week ago by soliciting feedback from the community on the idea
of dual licensing Open Solaris under GPLv3 . The
funny thing is no one responded...just kidding, it has produced a
maelstrom of impassioned responses. Rather than trying to sum up the
nature of the comments im going to take the easy way out and point you
to Stephen O'Gradys blog from Saturday since he has done a great job of
capturing the issues.
So thats the topic of the current community and its members...what about
new members we want to attract? One of the biggest reasons that Sun
would look to add GPLv3 is to win over new converts to "Free" Solaris and
to grow the community by bringing in folks from the GNU/Linux world.
What I personally would love to see is for the GNU crew to take the
Solaris kernel, wrap it in a GNUserland and create a distro that would
be as easy to install as Ubuntu (which I, a marketing guy, installed
recently in six easy steps that caused no feelings of inadequacy or
anxiety). We could keep a rocket-scientist Solaris distro but why
shouldnt there be multiple distros based on the Solaris kernel for various user types?
So this leads to the question, what does the FSF, the champion of
GPLv3, think of all this? Rather than pondering via inference and
guesswork, we asked them. At the end of last week, Stephen, Simon, Sara
and I held a call with Peter Brown, executive director of the FSF, and a team from the FSF to get their
thoughts on the possibility of dual licensing OpenSolaris. Peter and
crew were very receptive to the idea and gave us some thoughts to
ponder. It was a very good call and we ended with Peter and team
agreeing to put their heads together and think through the most
effective way they could help us with our decision. The FSF'ers
recognize the sensitivities around the topic and were going to give a think
about how to weigh in and in which forums would be most appropriate to
share their views with the OpenSolaris community as well as Free
Im very interested to hear what they come back with. Stay tuned...
Pau for now...