Solaris & OpenSolaris: Serve a diversity of audiences
By pengyang on Sep 19, 2006
I read one of Jonathan's recent blogs: Who Cares About Bridging the Divide?, and I really like his opinion. I had to say that I totally agree with him on the idea: "Sun must serve a diversity of audiences."
Here is a snippet from his blog:"Developers care about bleeding edge innovation, but have little buying power; IT executives have all the buying power, but generally avoid the bleeding edge (unless they're supercomputer specialists)." That's just the case for Solaris/OpenSolaris.
As desktop engineers, we focus more on developing new stuffs for Solaris11/OpenSolaris: GNOME2.14/2.16, Firefox1.5.0.x/Thunderbird1.5.0.x(2.0 in the near future), Evolution2.6.2/2.8, GAIM2.0, Realplayer10, Gnome Meeting/Ekiga, Gnome Single System Administration, Trusted JDS... Those are really cool applications for Solaris. To compare with some other Linux distributions such as Ubuntu/Suse/Red Hat, we're almost the same for some applications. Actually, it's more user friendly in some aspects for the users in China: the Chinese font, the Chinese input method, the bundled stardict dictionary, etc. I like it after using it for sometime, really!
Due to the long development cycle, our latest released Solaris is still version 10. Then how about it? Old applications: GNOME 2.6, Mozilla1.7, Evolution1.4, no Firefox/Thunderbird available... Why don't we upgrade it? You can find the answer in Jonathan's blog above: The IT executives avoid the bleeding edge for its possible instability. And they're the people who can pay us money. Do the developers like it? The answer is no. They'd like the latest cool features for different applications. They don't need the support from our company so much, if there is a good community for them to get the answer.
OpenSolaris community is a good place to go. And it's still growing. We also have Solaris Express for the users to experience the latest development build for Solaris. It's cool. Maybe we can also release a minor stable build for the developing Solaris11. That way, the whole community(inside and outside) can know what we're working on and get involve much more.