Andrew Morton on OpenSolaris: Part II

Following up from Part I.

More quotes are emerging from Andrew Morton's keynote at LinuxWorld in San Francisco -- Linux Kernel Maintainer: Get Involved!: "I think it's a great shame that OpenSolaris still exists," he continued. "I wish they had killed it. They've fragmented the non-windows os world and for no reason. There is no reason why they couldn't have gone to Linux."

Wild stuff, eh? You know, I've been saying that OpenSolaris is a successful project based on what we've accomplished so far. But at least for right now, we are still a work in progress and all this takes time. No need to rush. No need to shoot our mouths off. Just go about the business of building our community. Well, I can see now that we've actually come much further than I had thought. When the big guys start saying things like what Morton is saying about the little guys, that's a very clear sign that someone's not happy about what may happen in the future. Maybe the big guys aren't so big? Maybe the little guys aren't so little? Attacks like these are actually complements, and the OpenSolaris community should be proud. I certainly am. I remain disappointed that Microsoft hasn't slapped us around yet, but that day will come I feel certain. And I'm also disappointed that I've been so supportive of Linux inside Sun for so long. I feel embarrassed. Oh, well. Live and learn. Move on.

What's really cool, though, is that in these last two articles I learned that Intel is largest corporate contributor to the Linux kernel. That's really excellent since Intel is also getting involved in OpenSolaris.

The little guys that support and created the largest filesystem on earth(ZFS). The little guys that debug the largest production applications on earth(DTrace). The little guys that support the largest commity servers (m9000). The little guys that created the only 8 core opensourced CPU(Niagra 2).

Its not so bad being the little guys, if that is what we have done.

Posted by James Dickens on August 08, 2007 at 04:19 PM JST #

Totally agree. I'm more trying to point out that we are seen as the little guys by many. It's true that we have a much smaller community than Linux, but we certainly aren't little in terms of engineering. And that's sort of what I'm trying to get at here: we may not be so little after all. :)

Posted by Jim Grisanzio on August 08, 2007 at 04:24 PM JST #

somebody should really tell andrew that the non-windows is already packed with alternatives, some of which are arguably better than linux. Openbsd, Freebsd, Netbed, OS X, Solaris, dragonfly bsd.
i think the problem is that he saw what the opensolaris community and sun can do and is getting affraid of the competition. plus their own biggest contributor is now on board.

Posted by nacho on August 08, 2007 at 04:37 PM JST #

nacho ... yep .... and also Patrick Finch gets at one of your points as well:

Posted by Jim Grisanzio on August 08, 2007 at 04:40 PM JST #

"When you have both Intel and Microsoft on your case, you know you're doing something right." -- Nicholas Negroponte

(well, on a somewhat smaller scale :-)

Posted by Volker A. Brandt on August 08, 2007 at 04:45 PM JST #

also, wasnt linux invented to provide a free unix like ALTERNATIVE to propietary unices in the first place?
ahh, the irony of life!

Posted by nacho on August 08, 2007 at 05:01 PM JST #

Forget the non-linuxes, one look at is sufficient to show that linux itself is \*terribly fragmented\*
Binary bits on one linux distro doesn't work seamlessly on another. The point that is missed is, the fragmentation is more to do due to the multiple integrators & distro creators than multiple kernels.

Irrespective of how important a person is, I have seen some closed minds on both linux lists as well as opensolaris lists :(
But the SNR is relatively low on opensolaris lists :)

Jonathan put it well in his blog when he said: "it's not predation, it's prudence"

(This blog has a negative comment by "Theo de Raadt" of OpenBSD. The comment seems genuine. Can issue OpenBSD has be addressed).

Posted by Shiv on August 09, 2007 at 08:37 AM JST #

Oops...a terrible typo in my earlier posted comment.
I meant "But the SNR is relatively HIGH on opensolaris lists :)"

Posted by Shiv on August 09, 2007 at 10:30 AM JST #

Spot on, Jim.

Have we really come so far in only 2 years that the Linux powers-that-be are worried? wow! :-)

Looks like there will be more frequent and more heated Linux FUD battles in years to come.

Posted by Brendan Gregg on August 09, 2007 at 11:28 PM JST #

I am an avid Linux user. But I don't see what all this animosity towards Solaris is all about. Solaris is a great OS and I enjoy working with it everytime I can. Some friends and I just got some second hand Sunfire machines and we have been like little kids playing with it. I was so excited when we finally got Solaris 10 installed on it. I really enjoy playing with it and working with it. However, that does not mean I love linux any less. I don't see myself using Solaris on my home machines or my laptop, the same way I don't see myself installing linux on these beautiful Sunfires. I wish all this stupid animosity towards Solaris, BSD and all the other unices stop.

Posted by Roberto Uris Guerra on August 10, 2007 at 04:38 AM JST #

People went with Linux because principally, back then BSD was in a two-year legal limbo, and there was no enterprise grade alternative that was gratis and free to develop on/for.

Nowdays people finally have the free/gratis enterprise alternative, and now that something better than Linux is available, some at leat are starting to perceive that Linux's role will diminish.

Our prime example here is Mr. Morton. There is far more hidden behind those statements than was give out. It might well be true that from his deeply entrenched position, Mr. Morton doesn't hear much about OpenSolaris; this I believe to be the truth.

However, he will. And I think he realizes it, if not recognizes it.

Posted by UX-admin on August 10, 2007 at 10:51 AM JST #

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