Thursday Aug 17, 2006

More IBM on OpenSolaris

So, today was IBM on OpenSolaris day. Well, last nite and today. I commented yesterday on this as well. Here are some links to stuff I found resulting from IBM's comments:


By the way, the conclusion expressed in the "Open Battle Royal" link up there is wrong. I never hit back at IBM on AIX. The press has been asking IBM about that, not Sun. I'm sure Sun has poked IBM about AIX being closed in the past, but it doesn't seem to be part of this round of press articles. Personally, I'm on record saying that it's just fine that AIX is closed and that's IBM's business, not mine. I also applaud IBM's contributions to various open source communities, most notably Linux, Apache, and Eclipse. It's fine for vendors to compete, but that doesn't take away IBM's contributions to the broader open source effort.

I'm quoted in the Cnet article, which seemed to contain the most hostile comments of the bunch. Which is unfortunate in general since we are working hard on this project to open up all this stuff and build a community, and we are trying to take advice from all who participate. And IBM is certainly welcome to participate in our community. I'm not sure they are offering advice here, though:

According to Dan Frye:
  • "Sun holds it all behind the firewall. The community sees nothing."
  • "It's a facade. There's lots of marketing, but no community to speak of."
  • "They would push their design discussions out into the forums, so people can see what's going on."
  • "They have done nothing to build a community," with only 16 non-Sun people contributing code to the project in its first 11 months ... Linux, in comparison, had 10 times that number in the same period after it was launched by Linus Torvalds in 1991-- and that was with no Internet and no advertisements.
Charming.

All I can say that the opening of Solaris is still taking place. Don't you think it's unfair to judge it so harshly when we're only a year into it? I think we've been pretty open about telling people that this would take time. The opening of Solaris is itself a multi-step engineering and community development process, and the OpenSolaris community is very much part of that process. Anyway, I read through all of the articles and I came up with a few links that may help offer some information around IBM's assertions. I think I have them all covered to one extent or another, but people can argue with anything, I suppose. Here they are:


Now, do we have more to do? Yep. But are we well on our way? Absolutely. Does all that equal "a facade" as suggested? Absolutely not.

And finally, when Frye mischaracterizes our progress and then compares that to the Linux community you should know that we are not comparing ourselves to the Linux community. Heck, it's hard enough just keeping up with OpenSolaris let alone bringing in another system and community into the mix. I've said many times that the Linux community impresses me massively, and the OpenSolaris community can learn a great deal from them. Both technologies and both communities stand on their own.
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