Wednesday Sep 05, 2007

Headlines! Headlines! Headlines!

Solaris raring for a fight with Linux: "And we thought it was all about peace, love, and ... Solaris. But no, Sun is gearing up for one of the classic open source battles. We've had the various Linux distributions duking it out, and we've had MySQL versus PostgreSQL. Now we're getting Solaris versus Linux, and this is a fight that I believe may actually be worth having." -- Matt Asay

Interesting.

This "battle" tone is all over the web now. I'm not sure where it started, but it seemed to flame up last night around midnight. What I find interesting is that Matt uses the phrase "we're getting Solaris versus Linux" to point to an article titled "OpenSolaris will challenge Linux says Sun" which is actually an abridged article from the more aptly titled "Sun: Coders key to Solaris' rise" published last week.

I blogged about that original article because I loved the quote in there about the OpenSolaris Community. But the version that has people all worked up today is missing eight paragraphs of text from the original. Why? Read both of them and you'll see the clear difference in tone. And why all the wild headline changes, too? Even if you read the version Matt points to you'd be hard pressed to find anything in the article to substantiate the headline. I mean, really, this is silly. Sun's Ian Murdock and Marc Hamilton were talking about how the OpenSolaris community is growing, how the technology is improving, and some of the plans we are kicking around to improve things. That's pretty much it. So, where's the war here?

Oh, and also, the OpenSolaris community isn't taking the bait, which is very cool. This is now the second or third time recently where the community has utterly ignored media and/or blog flame fests. Heck, we've had enough of our own flames in the past, so perhaps we're moving on and just focusing on the job at hand -- building the OpenSolaris community organically and improving this technology openly.

Wednesday Jun 20, 2007

Many Leaders, Many Views

"[T]he rebellion over the current process shows is that process counts, that 'free and open' isn't just a slogan, and that absent a benevolent dictator an ill considered choice can be quickly reversed, re-thought, and re-invented for everyone's benefit."

That's Paul Murphy's conclusion about some of the recent debates within the OpenSolaris Community around Project Indiana. What I like about Paul's view is that he seems to recognize that the OpenSolaris community is actually a community now with a well articulated and distributed leadership model. That's my take on Paul's conclusion, anyway.

Now, we are still finding our way with all this, but one thing is clear -- there simply is no single leader running the OpenSolaris project or dictating community policy. There never has been, actually, and I doubt there will be in the near future as well. OpenSolaris was always different in this respect, but it's more apparent now as our profile grows every day. Instead of a single leader, our community has many talented people with strong views who earn their leadership based on their arguments and their ability to build consensus around their ideas. Now, that dynamic certainly exists inside communities with strong individual leaders at the top, but OpenSolaris has no individual leader at the top, so we govern the whole project based on a distributed model. What I like about all this is that it's based on democratic principles and offers serious incentive for a large number of people to grow individually while also contributing to the larger community. It will be fascinating to see this system scale over time as we move to an open engineering model with the main kernel gate walking across the firewall.
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