Making Solaris a better Solaris than Solaris
By esaxe on May 27, 2007
The "Making Solaris a better Linux than Linux" quote referenced in the Slashdot post seems to have elicited a wide range of responses from folks in the community. Some folks have expressed that they don't want to see Solaris "become a better Linux", out of concern that Solaris would lose some of it's differentiating strengths (backward compatibility / stability being a frequently raised example). Others on the thread have pointed out examples of things in the Solaris environment that they feel represent barriers for adoption...which in turn has elicited more debate as to whether those barriers are really barriers, and then more debate still as to how best to deal with them. :)
At the SVOSUG meeting, Ian gave some background describing where he's coming from, why he decided to join Sun to advocate for OpenSolaris, and his vision for Project Indiana. The devil is in the details, and it's pretty clear there are many of them, but the modivation and idea behind Project Indiana (or at least my take on it) seems fairly simple. Provide OpenSolaris with the features it needs to appeal to, and be welcoming of Linux enthusiasts and/or folks who would otherwise reach for a Linux solution.
At the meeting, I said I felt that the goal shouldn't necessarily be to make Solaris a better Linux than Linux..but to make Solaris a better Solaris, such that it appeals to Linux enthusiasts more than Linux itself does. The difference is where you set your sights. I don't believe there's any shortage of opportunity. While OpenSolaris is superior in many ways, I believe it's deficient in others. I note myself carrying around a short mental list of things that (for me) are missing, or deficient in OpenSolaris that I suspect could represent an adoption "show stopper" for someone else. My short list represents the feature gap that exists between where OpenSolaris is, and where (as a developer) I wish it would be.
I suspect that such a list would vary depending on who you ask. For Project Indiana, I would imagine that characterizing what this list would look like from the perspective of a Linux enthusiast, as well as someone who tried (and gave up on) OpenSolaris would be a useful start.
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