Monday Aug 13, 2007

Journalist, read thyself



Self-styled Cyber Cynic Steven J Vaughan-Nichols published this piece suggesting that recent developments in the IBM-SCO case may compromise the OpenSolaris project.

To be clear, I think that people like Steven J Vaughan-Nichols do an important job. There are times when self-conscious cynicism should be one's guiding light (as anyone who has recently wasted three hours of their weekend trying to get rid of a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesperson can tell you). Moreover, I can't comment upon the legal merits of his argument, being under-qualified (i.e. not qualified at all), not authorised and generally lacking the requisite ambition. But I can comment on the article itself.

To wit:

"Sun's Jonathan Schwartz -- then Sun VP of software and today Sun's president and CEO -- said in 2003 that Sun had bought "rights equivalent to ownership" to Unix.

SCO agreed. In 2005, SCO CEO Darl McBride said that SCO had no problem with Sun open-sourcing Unix code in what would become OpenSolaris."


As I read this, Mr J Vaughan-Nichols seems to be implying that Sun believes it bought the rights necessary to open source Solaris from SCO.

However, clicking on the link he provides that quotes Jonathan Schwartz, one quickly realises that Mr Schwartz appears to assert rights equivalent to ownership to Unix based upon Sun's agreement with AT&T in 1992. Which is not the impression I got from Mr Vaughan-Nichols' piece. With that in mind, the article may, perhaps, seem rather less Slashdottable.


ps. the views expressed here are not necessarily those of my employer


Wednesday Aug 08, 2007

Something must be done



Disparaging? Possibly. Disingenuous? Never in a million years.

Linux kernel maintainer Andrew Morton, reports ZDNet, was rather dismissive of OpenSolaris at LinuxWorld yesterday, inviting all to rally behind the cause of, er, monocultures.

Well, we don't expect Mr Morton to trumpet the great advances that OpenSolaris has made (which, not unreasonably, many in the GNU/Linux community are unaware of), and indeed, leading figures in the Linux community have in the past made even gloomier prognostications for Solaris.

But Mr Morton is right on the money (in the parlance of our times) with this comment:

It’s a great shame that OpenSolaris still exists...They should have killed it...They've fragmented the non-Windows operating system world and they continue to do so

Quite right. And let it not end there. Surely Sun might be further castigated for the UltraSPARC T2, which is continuing to fragment the non-Intel processor world. And it's a great shame that the Opera browser still exists, for they are continuing to fragment the non-Internet Explorer world. And let us not forget Gmail, which has fragmented the non-Hotmail world. And I really think it's time that O'Reilly pulled the plug on OSCON, fracturing, as it is, the non-LinuxWorld world.

Mr Morton also goes on to say that SystemTap will eventually have all the capabilities of DTrace. For reasons why that may not prove to be the case, you can have a look at Adam Leventhal's recent postings here and here.


ps. the views expressed here are not necessarily those of my employer


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