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. Microsoft's and Bill Gates' Biggest Patent Troll (Intellectual Ventures) Suffers Setback and Nokia is Dead While Patents Scattered to Microsoft Patent Proxies

    Microsoft's patent collectors (trolls) are to have a feast with Nokia patents while Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's largest patent proxy, continues to attack companies including Motorola



  2. Patent Racketeering Continues With Nadella: Motorola the Latest to Join the FUD Campaign

    Nadella continues Ballmer's campaign of intimidation and alienation, showing that nothing has changed at Microsoft, not even the FUD



  3. Links 23/4/2014: GNOME Maps Application, LG in Headlines

    Links for the day



  4. Links 22/4/2014: More GNU/Linux Gains, Syria Updates

    Links for the day



  5. Links 21/4/2014: New Games for GNU/Linux, Some NatSec Politics

    Links for the day



  6. Site Focus for The Remainder of the Year

    What we plan for the rest of 2014 and why



  7. Links 20/4/2014: EFF FOSS, Easter Drone Strikes, Copyright Industry Fear of Google

    Links for the day



  8. Links 19/4/2014: Slow Easter News Day

    Links for the day



  9. Links 18/4/2014: New KDE, Kubuntu, and More

    Links for the day



  10. Some Perspective on Heartbleed®

    Our views on the whole Heartbleed® bonanza, which seems like partly a PR stunt (for multiple stakeholders)



  11. Microsoft is Leaving Windows -- Including Vista 8.1 -- Vulnerable to Non-Government Crackers, Not Only to NSA

    Microsoft makes it ever more evident that securing users of Windows is not at all a priority, and perhaps not even a desire



  12. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day



  13. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day



  14. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  15. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  16. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  18. 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



  19. 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



  20. 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



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

    Links for the day



  22. 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



  23. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  26. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  29. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



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

    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