"Built Entirely from Closed Engineering Efforts"

When to use Solaris vs. Linux: Operating system comparison: "So what's the difference between OpenSolaris and Linux? First and foremost – Linux distributions will use the Linux kernel and OpenSolaris distributions will use the Solaris kernel. This important to note, because while Red Hat Enterprise Linux is built entirely from open source Linux, Solaris is (or was until recently) built entirely from closed/propriety engineering efforts by Sun Microsystems engineers." -- Ken Milberg, Search Enterprise Linux

"Built entirely from closed/propriety engineering efforts by Sun Microsystems engineers?" Sorry. Not quite.

The OpenSolaris kernel is over 40,000 files now (kernel, system commands, libraries, networking, filesystems), and there are thousands of files from BSD and thousands of files from AT&T and many of those of files are core to the system. And, of course, there are many other bits that come from other open source communities. Also, since we started opening in January of 2005 (that's four years ago, not "recently" as suggested above) the OpenSolaris community has been contributing. We have about three hundred contributions integrated from a couple of hundred contributors in two dozen countries and also contributions to projects and other distributions as well.

Now, given the obvious infrastructure constraints this nascent community has been working under, that relatively modest contribution level could be seen as a pretty good start. It's something to learn from and build on with the opening of more infrastructure and the creation of new package repositories in an effort to increase contributions. That's pretty much what we are doing. Are we behind on some of this? Yep. Are we satisfied with where we are? Nope. Are we "entirely" closed? Nope. In fact, that assertion is entirely wrong. Is all of this well known in the community? Absolutely. So, although it's true the majority of code in the kernel has been written by Sun engineers, we've never stated otherwise. It's simply the reality of where the project is at the moment and how it evolved. But to understand where the project is going you need more context, and that perspective is not offered in the quote above. Nor is it present in the paragraph that follows the quote and concludes the article. I'm not saying the article is all bad. There are some positive things in there about OpenSolaris, but the overall impression you are left with is that this is all a half hearted attempt to jump on some bandwagon. And, well, I just disagree.
Comments:

>> I'm not certain that as a company, Sun would have been smarter to stay with pure Solaris and their SPARC-based architecture and played to their strengths.

I'm extremely happy that Sun did not stay on the proprietary path and did go back to x86 after killing it off.

If the x86 port had stayed dead then there probably wouldn't be an OpenSolaris today.

What the author really missed was how much of the proprietary code in Solaris is being replaced by other open source projects.

Sun's snmp was replaced by net-snmp. The packet filtering firewall was replaced by ipf and so on. This is in Solaris itself as well as OpenSolaris.

alan

Posted by Alan Pae on January 07, 2009 at 08:22 PM JST #

Jim,
"Fear not, I'm betting on the 'trusted' core of Solaris within OpenSolaris for ALL our betterment going forward." :-)
Interesting aside, kudos to HYUNDAI [auto and truck] for their tangible 'Pro-Consumer Confidence' announcement addressing our shared GLOBAL 'crisis of confidence' in these uncertain times.
Mind you, doesn't hurt they are insuring themselves [literally] against financial losses incurred by such a program.
Still the same, nice to see HYUNDAI stop blaming credit worthiness for an obvious 'lack of trust' within fellow humans.
Time to construct my latest IT hardware for emerging software! :-)

Posted by William R. Walling on January 07, 2009 at 08:22 PM JST #

You need to stop reading all that linux FUD.
If the linux droolies weren't such IN YOUR FACE server huggers, I might be inclined to listen to them for more than a minute.

Now, if only Oracle XE was available for open solaris ...

Posted by bunny evans on January 14, 2009 at 06:17 AM JST #

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