The Value of the Community

Google considered a move to OpenSolaris? All that glitters is not Chrome: "Two years later, Google has yet to broadly embrace OpenSolaris. Google isn't one to take the short-term view on performance. Linux has a strong, vibrant community dedicated to improving its performance and extending its reach. OpenSolaris, while a great project, still lacks this widespread community involvement. In Linux, Google benefits from the contributions of Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Red Hat, and others. With OpenSolaris? It would be more of a solo act." -- Matt Asay.

I share Matt's views on the strength and value of the Linux community. That's what we are working towards for OpenSolaris -- a global community that contributes and thrives.

I don't at all think we'll be a solo act forever, though, and we always knew it would be a solo act initially. But Intel is contributing to the project now, and there are a number of individual contributors on multiple projects from multiple regions around the world. Contributions have been small in number for good reason, though: the project is still young, and we've been slow in getting tools and infrastructure outside to enable open development across the entire project. However, the early participation we clearly see will only increase as the main kernel gate moves outside (some other projects gates are already outside), and as we build out the community package repositories for the OpenSolaris distribution. This way we can engage the community at multiple levels. Globally speaking, though, we are a small community right now. But we are very much moving in the right direction and especially in some emerging markets. We'll earn our way as we go. Wouldn't have it any other way. Linux earned its way over many years, and we should have to do the same.
Comments:

As optimistic as I like to be I can't see OpenSolaris enjoying the same level of community until Sun relinquish control of code to some sort of foundation (new or existing).

Posted by Che Kristo on September 08, 2008 at 02:39 PM JST #

I don't think OpenSolaris will ever be just like Linux in that regard. But that's ok because the two technologies and communities were created under very different circumstances and at different times. However, that doesn't mean we can't build a very large global community with many corporate and individual contributors. Stay positive. :)

Posted by Jim Grisanzio on September 08, 2008 at 03:07 PM JST #

One of the biggest drawbacks to anything other than Linux is the amount of open source code that is developed using GNU utilites.

Some of it has to be adjusted to work with Solaris build tools since GNU has added features to it's tools that don't exist on other systems.

I can't fault the Linux developers for this since their systems come pre-installed this way and they are merely using what they find for free with the Operating System.

I know that there is now a /usr/gnu/bin directory but it would be nice to see /usr/sfw/bin/gcc linked against GNU's ld as opposed to Solaris' ld since that in itself along with gmake would solve some of these issues.

It would be nice to see the usual Solaris build tools sitting alongside a complete GNU build environment on the same box but in completely different directories.

alan

Posted by Alan Pae on September 08, 2008 at 09:11 PM JST #

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