Wednesday Apr 15, 2009

GreenPeace: Have you heard Sun Microsystems is the first with response on climate leadership

Jonathan Schwartz, CEO, Sun, The Green Technology CompanyIn March 2009, the Greenpeace organization launched an IT Climate leadership Challenge to the CEOs of some of the largest IT companies in the world asking them to stand up and be counted in support of a strong Kyoto deal this year and lead the way in providing climate solutions across the economy. 

Greenpeace asked that these corporations provide real solutions for the imminent threat of global warming while also tackling the current economic crisis by turning climate change into a business opportunity. They outlined four specific criteria for IT companies as part of the challenge.

  • Publicly demonstrate their support for a strong Kyoto deal
  • Lobby their national governments to support strong global mandatory Kyoto regulation
  • Significantly cut their own company's absolute emissions
  • Ensure a large scale increase in their company's own use of renewable energy

  • The good news is Greenpeace has recognized Sun as the IT leader. And more good news come from New York City, where Sun is being recognized as part of the Uptime Institute’s Global Green 100 List. Sun's VP and Distinguished Engineer for Energy Efficiency, Subodh Bapat, is in NY to accept the prestigious award that honors the achievements of global corporations with a commitment to increasing energy efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of their enterprise IT and datacenter operations. More information here.

    Photo courtesy of Greenpeace.

    Friday Mar 20, 2009

    Breaking News: Sun Studio Express 3/09 is now available

    Sun Studio Express 3/09, the official build used for the Sun Studio 12 Update 1 Early Access Program, is now available on Solaris, OpenSolaris and the latest Linux distributions (RHEL/SuSE/Ubuntu/CentOS), feature highlights since the Sun Studio 12 release include:

    • C/C++/Fortran compiler optimizations for the latest x86 architectures from Intel and AMD including SSSE3, SSSE4a, SSe4.1, SSE4.2 compiler intrinsics support
    • C/C++/Fortran compiler optimizations for the latest UltraSPARC and SPARC64-based architectures
    • DLight - New tool to utilize and visualize the power of Solaris Dynamic Tracing (DTrace) technology
    • dbxTool - New stand-alone GUI debugger
    • Full OpenMP 3.0 compilers and tools support
    • MPI performance analysis in the Performance Analyzer
    • NetBeans IDE 6.5 including new remote development features

    Join the Sun Studio 12 Update 1 Early Access Program and evaluate the new capabilities of Sun Studio Software, provide feedback directly to the product team, and influence future product releases.

    Check out Kuldip Oberoi's blog or view the Sun Studio 12 Update 1 Early Access Program podcast to learn more.

    Download your free copy of Sun Studio

    Learn more about the Sun Studio 12 Update 1 Early Access Program

    Monday Oct 20, 2008

    Happy 10th Birthday NetBeans!

    NetBeans Sin 1998Sun and the NetBeans community kick off a week-long celebration of 10 years of NetBeans. Since 1998, NetBeans has grown from a student project into an award-winning open source IDE with an active and diverse following of software developers, students, instructors, and partners. In addition to highlighting key milestones and individuals, this week, community members can participate in the NetBeans Decathlon- ten interactive activities around the NetBeans project where users can enter for a chance to win prizes!

    A Brief History of NetBeans

    Originally called Xelfi as a student project, the goal was to write a Delphi-like Java IDE using Java technology itself. Attracting students and recent graduates in the Czech Republic, a company was formed to take the project from the academic world to the commercial one. The original business plan called for the development of network-enabled JavaBeans components. Jarda Tulach, who designed the IDE's basic architecture, came up with the name NetBeans to describe what they would do. The IDE would provide the best tooling for these components, and thus, the name NetBeans was coined.  Incidentally, when the specification for Enterprise Java Beans came out, it made more sense to work with the standard for such components than to compete with it - but the name stuck.

    In the 1999, the effort gained interest from commercial vendors, including Sun Microsystems who eventually purchased the company, renamed the commercial tool to Forte for Java and open sourced the IDE as NetBeans. Turning out to be one of the first of many Sun sponsored open source projects, netbeans.org was launched in 2000.

    NetBeans Today

    Initially developed as an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Java language development 10 years ago, the upcoming release of NetBeans IDE 6.5 incorporates next-generation tooling for PHP, Ruby on Rails, Groovy on Grails, C/C++, and AJAX development as well. Boasting well more than 7 million downloads annually and hundreds of partners, NetBeans is now a large, vibrant, community.

    Take a retrospective tour, do the NetBeans Decathlon, and help us look forward to another decade of developer innovation!  For more information, please visit the NetBeans Birthday Site.

    Happy Birthday NetBeans!

    Wednesday Feb 27, 2008

    Open Standards, Open Source, Open Access to IP, and Open Dialog

    Bill Smith

    At Sun, we consider Open Standards, Open Source, Open Access to IP, and Open Dialog to be key tenets of our corporate philosophy. In this spirit, we'd like to offer the following thoughts given the recent publication of a series of documents (Open XML Policy Briefing) related to XML formats for office documents, their development, and standardization.

    Bill Smith, Director of Business Strategy, Sun Labs.

    Open Access to IP

    Sun pioneered the use of Non-Assertion Covenants (NACs) as a means to openly, clearly, succinctly, and unambiguously state our intentions with respect to patents, especially in standards-setting environments. NACs have a number of benefits, including their Open Source–friendly nature of not requiring any signed license. As a result their use is on the rise, with a number of companies issuing them in a variety of areas. However, not all NACs are equivalent (nor need they be) and in fact significant differences exist.

    With respect to ODF 1.0, Sun promises not to assert any of our patents against any implementation. This statement is unambiguous, clearly stating that any and all of our patents have been taken off the table in this field, subject to a reciprocity clause covering all patents held by a recipient. Our promise applies to all portions of the ODF 1.0 specification, including other specifications included by reference. In addition, our ODF 1.0 Covenant offers a prospective promise regarding subsequent versions of ODF in which development Sun participates.

    It has been suggested that our Covenant is non-standard. To the extent it is, we are happy to offer it as a model for others to copy – as has already happened.

    Open Standards, Open Source, Open Documents

    Sun has long supported Open Standards and Open Source and our commitment to them remains strong and unwavering.

    Sun, together with ten other OASIS members, supported the formation of a Technical Committee at OASIS to address the needs of individuals, corporations, and governments who had expressed the requirement to freely choose systems and software for their long-term document processing needs. By 2002, when the TC was formed, Open Source and XML-based standards had become well-established and well-regarded as mechanisms to support such free choice. The OpenOffice.org application had established itself as a leading Open Source office productivity suite but was lacking a companion Open Standards file format. XML was the sensible choice for such a file format and OASIS the obvious place to undertake its development.

    Starting with the OpenOffice.org XML format specification as input, the Technical Committee worked over a period of many months to produce a high-quality specification. From its inception, the TC performed all of its work, as required by OASIS process, in an open manner. All committee mail lists, document drafts, and comments are available for public review and publicly archived to help others understand and learn from ODF's development process.

    While the specification was being written and reviewed, developers at OpenOffice.org (many of whom are Sun employees) made changes to ensure that their Open Source implementation would be in sync with the specification when it was adopted as a standard. Availability of both a comprehensive specification of the ODF file format and Open Source implementations of products that support that format have fostered the emergence of a thriving market. Today, some 15 different products support ODF.

    ODF is well-specified, comprehensively documented, and has gone through a number of rigorous and transparent public reviews. V1.1 consists of 738 pages with 37 references to other specifications. A companion document, 53 pages in length, discusses accessibility issues in general, provides guidance to (ODF) application developers, and makes recommendations to content creators.

    V1.1 of the specification was developed in part to respond to accessibility concerns that were raised after publication of V1.0. The OASIS TC responsible for ODF established a subcommittee to investigate these concerns and it produced a report reviewing the issues and making specific recommendations. The Executive Summary of the report stated in part:

    The ODF Accessibility Subcommittee has identified 9 accessibility issues in ODF 1.0, and proposes candidate solutions to them. With these changes, we believe that ODF will meet or exceed the accessibility support provided in all other office file formats as well as that specified in the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0.

    All of the subcommittee's recommendations were accepted and adopted as part of ODF V1.1.

    The small number of issues listed in the report is in large measure the result of the requirement by the ODF TC Charter to reuse other open standards and concepts whenever possible. To the extent those standards are accessibility friendly, ODF is. By reusing standards, ODF reduces complexity (though not functionality) and length (though not completeness) while enhancing interoperability. ODF is able to “stand on the shoulders of others,” thereby reducing duplication of effort and facilitating consistency across a broad set of applications and implementations.

    Questions have arisen regarding ODF's support for financial formulas, and V1.2 will address these questions. ODF 1.0 did not specify a financial formula language. While the TC found that this mechanism did not present significant short-term interoperability issues, it was recognized as a long-term issue and is being addressed in Version 1.2.

    Rather than base its financial formula language on a single implementation or application, the TC chose to specify formulas based on broad industry experience and best practices, by examining a number of applications and their formula support. The financial formula language in ODF 1.2 is based on a review of over 10 different products and their formula languages. ODF V1.2 is expected to be published in final form later this year.

    Is ODF perfect? Certainly not, but those responsible for its development and maintenance have demonstrated a willingness to engage in Open Dialog and respond to issues in a timely fashion using agreed-upon procedures. That is the mark of a truly Open Standard.

    Open Dialog

    All Sun employees have a responsibility to engage in Open Dialog, question conventional wisdom, and offer honest views (which are occasionally contrarian!). We ask questions, challenge assumptions, and propose solutions in a collaborative fashion, working across traditional boundaries for the benefit of our customers and Sun as a whole. We recognize and respect that not all companies support such diversity of opinion, questioning of authority, or collaboration with others. For us, it's just business as usual – and we thrive on it.

    Sun has supported and will continue to support participation in Open Standards efforts. We believe that Open Dialog coupled with direct discussion of technical issues can result in superior specifications (and interoperable products) in short time periods. The development of XML, the foundation of ODF and OOXML, is an excellent example of this approach that brought together partners and competitors to work towards a common goal – a pattern we would like to see repeated.

    Wednesday Oct 31, 2007

    Welcome to Indiana!

    Default Solaris GNOME ThemeIn 2005 Sun formally announced the open sourcing of Solaris. In May of this year, the community announced a new OpenSolaris project code named -- Project Indiana -- to build a binary distribution of OpenSolaris.

    Today, the OpenSolaris community has announced that collectively, we've reached the first major milestone with Project Indiana by releasing a preview of the binary distribution of OpenSolaris. These bits will carry the name OpenSolaris(TM) Developer Preview.

    By making a binary distribution of OpenSolaris, the community is giving  developers what they want and expect from OpenSolaris.

    Why is this important? This is about re-engineering the way OpenSolaris technology is brought to the Free and Open Source community. It is about making it more accessible to students, developers and startups. The first official release of the distribution, planned for the first half of CY08, will be aggressively targeting this mass adoption. The Developer Preview release is intended for anyone who wishes to help develop and test the distribution.

    The OpenSolaris Developer Preview distribution consists of a “Slim Install” Live CD, (only available for x86 platforms at the moment, SPARC to come soon). The Live CD includes a basic core operating system, GNOME desktop environment and a new graphical installer, with the option to install an the operating system from the Live CD. After the installation, additional packages can be downloaded by using the new Image Packaging System (IPS).

    So check it out!

    Tuesday Oct 23, 2007

    Sun's Chief Open Source Officer Discusses the Monetization of Open Source



    During the 2007 OSCON event in Portland, several of Sun's open source experts sat with Ted Neward from OnOpenSource and discussed topics they felt were relevant to customers, developers and users of open source technologies.

    Here are a few segments featuring Simon Phipps, Sun's Chief Open Source Officer compliments of On Open Source.



    Monetization of Open Source - Part 1 (video)

    Monetization of Open Source - Part 2 (video)

    Monetization of Open Source - Part 3 (video)

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