EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.13.08

Memo to Sun: Make ‘Open’Solaris an OpenSolaris and Even FreeSolaris

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Java, Kernel, SUN, UNIX at 9:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What does “open” mean anyway, especially these days?

[More Open Than Open]: “I am constantly amazed at the flexibility of this single word.”

Jason Matusow, Microsoft (for background see [1, 2])

There’s a lot to a name and if Sun Microsystems believes it can fool people with the name “OpenSolaris”, then it ought to remember the effect of keeping Java closed. Until Sun departs from the CDDL (or duality) it’s better to stick with GNU/Linux and not even poke OpenSolaris with a bargepole.

You can’t beat GNU/Linux with a half-hearted Linux, licence-wise. Sun ought to consider taking OpenSolaris — and probably ZFS too — into the realms of the GPL domain, just like Java. The sooner, the better. If Rich Green was correct, then merging will become a possibility too. Here is the latest decent review of OpenSolaris, but like many others it’s focused on technical characteristics alone. It concludes with:

Although the OpenSolaris development community still has a lot of work to do before the operating system is ready to take on Linux on the desktop, the progress so far indicates that the project deserves further attention. We will keep an eye on future releases to see how the platform evolves.

Licence-wise, it’s worth considering what Groklaw has just had to say.

The CDDL can’t hold a candle to the GPL as far as benefits to programmers or end users. Period. CEOs might love it, but programmers? Why would they? What’s in it for them? Sun needs to make up its mind. Is it open source? ? I don’t care if it chooses to be open, proprietary or mixed, but I can’t see any reason why anyone would contribute code under the CDDL for free, unless you just get a thrill out of helping Sun make money from your unpaid labor, as I explained back in 2005. I continue to view the CDDL as a problem, in part due to the Sun-Microsoft agreement, which includes patent elements, and I remind you of what Dan Ravicher of PubPat.org said about CDDL back in 2005: “My advice is that developers should ask themselves if they really want to work on software distributed by a company that has expressly retained the right to sue them for patent infringement if they don’t give their improvements back to the company.”

On the other hand, a recent interview with Rich Green of Sun indicates that at some point Sun will switch the license to GPL.

At the end, the licences play a tremendous role. Just recall the recent lesson that was taught by Zimbra.

Additionally, as pointed out the other day, Sun appears to be offering OpenSolaris as just a ‘free sample’ that gets young people addicted to the proprietary Solaris. This is something to watch out for and be careful of. What about Sun’s view on patents?

“Business-method patents are an unwarranted and dangerous extension of the patentability standards. As the article suggests, the method in question may have been used for many years in slightly different contexts and is now being transferred to a computerized system; will that now mean that the pencil and paper method becomes an infringing use? And if you as a lawyer advise a client on a tax strategy or a method of doing business, could that advice be a patent infringement? It is too ephemeral for a patent, and ought be knocked down altogether.”

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Bilski!

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  2. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  3. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  4. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  5. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  6. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  7. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  8. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  9. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  10. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  11. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  12. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  13. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  14. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  15. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  16. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  17. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    Links for the day



  18. Mobile Linux Not Just Android: Jolla, WebOS, and Firefox OS News

    Links for the day



  19. Google's Linux Revolution: New Gains for Android, Chrome OS (GNU/Linux)

    Links for the day



  20. Free/Libre Databases News: MongoDB, NoSQL, and MySQL Branches/Forks

    Links for the day



  21. Open Access on the Rise: Textbooks, Journals, Etc.

    Links for the day



  22. Finance Watch (Watching What's Not Being Watched): Economic Warfare/Class Injustice

    Links for the day



  23. Climate and Ecology Watch: News About a World Being Destroyed

    Links for the day



  24. Copyright News: DRM, Censorship, Megaupload, Hypocrisy, and Impact on the Internet

    Links for the day



  25. Sharing Works: Latest News Stories About Crowd-sourcing, Sharing, Transparency

    Links for the day



  26. Links 12/4/2014: Games

    Links for the day



  27. Links 12/4/2014: Applications

    Links for the day



  28. Links 12/4/2014: Instructionals

    Links for the day



  29. Political News: Protests Face a Ban, Covert Actions Continue, Cold War Era Imperialism, Privacy, and War on Justice

    Links for the day



  30. Ubuntu News: Themes, Unity 8, Meizu Phone, Ubuntu Touch, and Elementary OS

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts