Sam and Tom on JDS R3

Sam and Tom seemingly aren't too enamoured with the forthcoming release of JDS release 3 on Linux.  While they've given us a lot of support in the past, I'd have to take issue with some of their comments about the beta versions they were given access to (not least that I was under the impression that our beta participants were subject to an NDA and shouldn't be commenting on it publicly yet at all, but perhaps I'm wrong there).

They don't get any credit for their real contributions to very important open source projects because they don't have any people who actually understand or talk to individuals in the open source community," Hiser said. "They're not spending any time on the mailing lists."

Not quite sure which projects they're talking about here; Googling for sun.com addresses on the GNOME mailing lists alone turns up 65,000 hits, and that's without counting contributions to OpenOffice.org, Mozilla, Evolution, X.org... if they mean "we don't have many Linux kernel hackers" then no, we don't, any more than Red Hat or Novell have many Solaris kernel hackers, despite their offering products that are interoperable with (and in some cases run on) Solaris.

[But] the people they have now who rendered JDS release three have done a terrible job. I think they're going to find out that it's not going to do well at all.

What they're referring to here is the theme that shipped with JDS R3 on Solaris 10, which was also the default theme in our Linux beta release.  While I haven't heard many Solaris users complaining about it, there's no doubt that it wasn't to everyone's taste in the Linux beta.  Just for the record, since it's not mentioned in the interview, beta customers were given an update that reverted it to the JDS R2 look and feel while we refine the JDS R3 one to take account of their comments.

The Linux model is to give away the software and sell services," Adelstein added. "They're going to give away the software, but they don't have any services to sell.

I was under the impression that Sun was selling support-- a service that leads most enterprises to choose to buy their \*nix systems in the first place, rather than rolling their own.

Anyway... time will tell who's right and who's wrong.  Look out for the Linux version of JDS R3 in the next couple of months and make up your own mind :)

Comments:

Calum, Hang around on the Mozilla irc channels. You'll see developers from IBM,Novell,Redhat but rarely from Sun Beijing unless they have broken the tree. You might have read Ben Maurer's blog entries and the wiki on reducing Gnome's memory usage. IMHO, Solaris 10 with dtrace/libumem and the p\* tools would make determining Gnome memory issues much easier. The JDS team should be demonstrating this tool usage and pitching in. A slimmer Gnome would help run more Sun Ray's of a single Opteron server.

Posted by Yusuf Goolamabbas on March 03, 2005 at 03:59 PM GMT+00:00 #

I know that the Beijing team have done a lot of Mozilla accessibility work that they're finding hard to get back into the community-- whether that's down to communication or other issues I honestly have no idea, so I can't really comment on that.

Good suggestion re dtrace, although ironically I don't think many of the JDS team have much experience with it yet... the Linux release has been our focus since JDSR3 was delivered into Solaris, so we haven't all had much time to learn all the other cool new stuff in S10 :)

Optimisation for Sun Ray is on our radar now more than ever, though, and I'm sure as much of that work as possible will be done with the help of (and then returned to) the community-- we'd having nothing to gain by keeping it to ourselves.

Posted by Calum Benson on March 04, 2005 at 04:33 AM GMT+00:00 #

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I am an Interaction Designer in the Systems Experience Design team, arriving at Oracle via Sun where I've worked since 2000. I currently work on sysadmin user experience projects for Solaris. Formerly I worked on open source Solaris desktop projects such as GNOME, NWAM and IPS.

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