Interesting article on Project Indiana -- Indiana's
Calling, Is Anyone Listening?
The first sentence of the article is
fascinating for me: "Telling the story of Project Indiana is not an
Ha. I'll bet. The article then goes on to talk about how many
seeing all this from the perspective of Linux. Well, of course they
are, my goodness. That's been the case for several years
now. In fact, this is
probably the most significant messaging issue around OpenSolaris -- and
Solaris, for that matter -- since we started the project. I can
arguing for a year before we opened that we should not fuel this issue
by criticizing or comparing ourselves to Linux in any way whatsoever.
Just get people focusing on OpenSolaris, growing our community
praising the Linux community for the outstanding job they've done
(which they clearly have). Not
that anyone listened, but that was basically my pitch. In other words,
we should just shut up and build our community, which we knew would
take years so just get started. I figured that we
needed to lead with humility as the single most important element in
order to have any shot at earning our own credibility so we wouldn't
seen from the perspective of Linux.
Well, two years later I can see that my efforts in this area were
basically meaningless -- for
both good and bad reasons. The
: The engineers participating all along didn't need the
lecture since they got the concept of community building because they
were already a community. That's been cool to see (but we have a lot
more to do). The Bad
Market perception had already moved well beyond seeing OpenSolaris from
the perspective of OpenSolaris. Instead, it would be compared to Linux
in almost every way possible, and changing this would take years. Plus,
our own flamers (the distinct minority who clearly lack credibility)
did their very best to continue picking fights with Linux and
distracting the OpenSolaris community on our very own lists. Oh, well.
What saved us? A few things. OpenSolaris was credible early on because
of the advanced nature of the code and the distinct lack of hype from
Sun. Plus, everyone thought we'd fail. Also we didn't have a king or
anything, so everyone who participated shared pretty equally in the
conversations. That's what defines the leadership model on OpenSolaris,
by the way. It's distributed widely and not focused on any one
individual. Anyway, OpenSolaris was just an engineering project
focusing on the phased opening of code and infrastructure to build a
little community around the concept of open development. That's it. In
that respect, we've been successful, and we've been slowly earning our
credibility as we build our community. Cool.
Yet as Sun hired a big Linux name in Ian Murdock a few months ago,
we've clearly started generating a lot more press coverage as a result,
and along with that comes the inevitable comparisons to Linux. Yet
again. Sigh. The increased attention is good, of course, and it will be
interesting to see how much longer the
media market sees OpenSolaris through a Linux lens. Clearly, a lot more
coverage is coming, so I hope we can finally overcome this Linux
perspective because the project has been standing on its own feet for
two years now and deserves to be seen from the perspective of it's own
successes and failures. So, if Indy's ideas can successfully build on
work that has gone before, that would be a welcome contribution.
Ok, back to the article and this quote right here: "'We came into this
with an understanding of
what we needed to do, which was in a world where so many more people
know Linux than Solaris, how do we figure out how to make the wonderful
technology in Solaris more accessible?' Murdock explained. To break the
Project down, Indiana is meant to create a binary distribution of
OpenSolaris within the OpenSolaris community, not inside Sun proper.
This is not to say Sun employees aren't involved in the process. Teams
within Sun are working on various aspects of the project, such as
installation, packaging, and GNU userland. In fact, Murdock said, some
of these efforts have been going on for some time."
The "distro" part of that paragraph is somewhat confusing since Sun
a binary distro (all
), and we've been working toward open development for
years, so none of that is new. But I think people get the point that
the distro model
will be changing, and that's explained pretty well elsewhere. And there
are parts of that change that are
very appealing and will help grow the OpenSolaris community
significantly. Regardless, the most important, part here is the
that much of this work has been underway for some time now. And the
fact that it's being highlighted now is cool.
Anyway, it's a pretty good
article on some of the evolutionary changes coming to OpenSolaris. A
lot of us are looking forward to the Indy project coming to fruition
along with many other projects in the OpenSolaris community that have
been underway for a couple of years. The SCM migration is probably the
most important, actually, and the most challenging, too. But as we grow
and evolve and look forward, we need to keep looking back from time to
time to understand the perspective of our history. It's difficult to
keep these things straight in a world of so many changing messages.
More on Indy here
and more on some of the related projects here
as well. Many additional links at both locations.