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The Future of OpenSolaris Revealed 342

ywlke writes "A few hours ago, an internal Oracle memo was leaked to the osol-discuss mailing list at opensolaris.org. It details Oracle's plans for Solaris and OpenSolaris; namely that OpenSolaris, the distribution, is dead. Solaris Express has come back from the grave, and source code will still be CDDL, but won't be released to the public until some time after it is incorporated into a binary release. What happens to the community now is anybody's guess." The full text of the memo is available on the mailing list, as well as apparent confirmation from an Oracle employee. That said, no official announcement has yet been made.
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The Future of OpenSolaris Revealed

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  • by AnonymousClown ( 1788472 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @03:16PM (#33244378)
    I thought it was a new O'Reily title and this was a book review. Doesn't that sound like a title of a book? The Animal on the cover would be some old Gypsy looking into a crystal ball.

    Never mind.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nametaken ( 610866 ) *

      O'Reily uses the image of a gypsy looking into a crystal ball on the cover of an Oracle book? TACKY!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by think_nix ( 1467471 )

      I thought it was a new O'Reily title and this was a book review. Doesn't that sound like a title of a book? The Animal on the cover would be some old Gypsy looking into a crystal ball.

      Never mind.

      lol ;) but TFA

      Solaris is the #1 Enterprise Operating System. We have the leading
      share of business applications on Solaris today, including both SPARC
      and x64.

      With everything going on at SC-Oracle these days , really sounds like they are wayyyyyy to full of themselves ok I will give them the SPARC , but #1 Enterprise ?? Depends on what.. So many of our customers that we had on Solaris have gotten so scared (over these last few months , because of the Oracle aquisition ( and I am talking paying Enterprise customers, not open) we have had to move them to AIX or linux, depending. Sad day for Solaris in general imho.

  • Oh Oracle (Score:5, Funny)

    by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @03:17PM (#33244396)
    Oh Oracle, what do you have up your sleeve next? Maybe you'll want to change the spelling of "MySQL" to "MY! SQL"?
  • Wait! (Score:3, Funny)

    by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @03:21PM (#33244444) Journal
    What does Netcraft say?
  • He didn't have a chance. The Oracle Beast disrupted him down to the cellular level.

  • So that Oracle can sue me into oblivion for copyright infringement? (See: Java / Android)

    And don't tell me that they're different situations - that'll only stay true until Oracle sees an opportunity to 1) crush a perceived competitor in the marketplace, or 2) take huge sums of money from anybody using their technologies who isn't already paying huge sums of money for the privilege.

    I can't wait until they get around to killing MySQL.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *

      I can't wait until they get around to killing MySQL.

      Everyone is using Postgre SQL anyway.

      • by 0racle ( 667029 )
        If they were, more opensource tools would support it. Honestly, I'm hoping more will realize that it's in their best interests to support at least both MySQL and PostgreSQL.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Marsell ( 16980 )

      Most of OpenSolaris was under the CDDL, which provides protection from patent claims from Sun (now Oracle). So if you used OpenSolaris, they wouldn't have a case through copyright infringement -- it's an approved open-source license -- or through patents they hold. Reality is complicated, so it's always a good idea to read the license code is released under: http://www.opensource.org/licenses/cddl1.php [opensource.org]

      In other words: your concern about OpenSolaris specifically is unfounded. DalvikVM wasn't make by Sun and r

      • Linux has a long way to go before it has something as mature as ZFS, and I wouldn't trust important data on anything less.

        If you like ZFS/Solaris then okay, but you can hardly call ZFS "mature" compared to ext

        • by Marsell ( 16980 )

          Except that Ext and ZFS are in different classes. Ext provides few of the protections that ZFS does.

          I'm only aware of two filesystems in the same class: ZFS and Btrfs. I'm looking forward to the day I can use Btrfs on production, but until then there's just ZFS. Ext is a non-contender here.

  • by mattdm ( 1931 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @03:26PM (#33244518) Homepage

    From the memo:

    As one example, Solaris is used by about 40% of Oracle’s enterprise customers, which means we have a 60% growth opportunity in our top customers alone.

    That's wrong in so many ways it makes my brain hurt.

    Maybe there's a secret footnote showing that 40% of the enterprise customers which are not currently running Solaris are willing to try it -- that'd work out nicely to 60% growth.

    But somehow I doubt it.

    • by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @03:35PM (#33244654) Journal

      I'm a little suspicious of the apparent over-simplicity of the interpretation I'm about to lay out here, but I temper that with the understanding that this is marketing math.

      "top customers" == "Oracle's enterprise customers".

      40% of Oracle's enterprise customers are running Oracle (the RDBMS... remember that?) on Solaris. That means that 60% are running Oracle on some other OS. (Linux is prominent in that, I think. Can anyone find some statistics?)

      Anyways, that 60% (Oracle on non-Oracle OS) is the "60% growth opportunity" the market-droid is spewing about.

      • by nothings ( 597917 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @03:45PM (#33244798) Homepage
        Unpacking the math:

        If they have 40 customers and they grow by 60 customers, they'll have grown by 150%.

        To grow by 60%, they need to grow by 0.6*40 customers. That would be the same as 0.4*60 customers; in other words, they need 40% of the 60 customers remaining, not 100% of the 60 customers remaining.

        In other words, to grow by 60% they need only 40% of the market they're talking about. That's why the grandparent was critizing their math.

        • by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @03:58PM (#33244996) Journal

          And I'm point out that you're interpreting the marketing statement as someone versed and competent at arithmetic. I'm pointing out that it's marketing math, and therefore needs to be boiled down to 2nd-grade-level.

          I stand by my interpretation: 100% (current Oracle RDBMS customers) - 40% (Oracle+Solaris customers) = 60%.

          Remember: marketing math. Mathematics, Jim, but not as we know it.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @03:26PM (#33244530) Journal

    I was just reading on wikipedia last night that OpenOffice.org is a "limited" version of the office suite, and that most Linux installs (like Ubuntu) actually come with Go O-O instead because it offers full *.docx functionality that OpenOffice.org does not. Is that true?

    If so I've been recommending the wrong office suite to friends, coworkers.

    • by Svartalf ( 2997 )

      Ubuntu doesn't ship with anything other than the OpenOffice.org stuff as best as I can tell. If wikipedia's listing things the way you're describing, it's in need of an edit as it's wrong.

    • by xiando ( 770382 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @03:46PM (#33244814) Homepage Journal

      I was just reading on wikipedia last night that OpenOffice.org is a "limited" version of the office suite, and that most Linux installs (like Ubuntu) actually come with Go O-O instead because it offers full *.docx functionality that OpenOffice.org does not. Is that true?

      Go O-O really is a patched version of OpenOffice.org which has more features thanks to these patches. And yes, many GNU/Linux distributions give you Go O-o when you install "OpenOffice.org". The Gentoo ebuild for app-office/openoffice is, for example, the Go O-o version. OpenOffice.org is "limited" in the sense that you can get more features by applying patches who give more features, which is a result of it being very hard to get patches into this project.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by bazald ( 886779 )

      That's really interesting. Apparently OpenOffice.org + a useful patchset has been the norm for some distributions of Linux for some time, and there are builds for other platforms (Windows included) as well.

      http://go-oo.org/discover/ [go-oo.org]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go-oo [wikipedia.org]

      "About OpenOffice.org" confirms an ooo-build in Lucid Lynx. I'll switch over in Windows later today I guess. Maybe Go-OO should advertise better?

  • Sounds good to me (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @03:30PM (#33244592)

    OpenSolaris distributions were a joke. They would have been fine back in the 90s when it was acceptable for a free UNIX to feel unpolished, incomplete and buggy because even the commercial ones were that way.

    Now with other free (as in cost) clones feeling polished and professional, and OSX being user friendly and pretty, theres absolutely no execuse for a company to allow someething like OpenSolaris to exist.

    All OpenSolaris ever did was make me feel like Solaris was going backwards rather than forwards, I'm pretty sure I never had an install that 'worked' properly, there was ALWAYS something wrong. Same hardware runs Linux and FreeBSD fine, so its not the hardwares fault. My fault ... maybe, but considering I used to admin solaris boxes a few years back its not like I was completely clueless.

    If Solaris Express feels like it used to feel in relation to everything it had around it, then it'll be a great improvement.

    The only reasons I would use Solaris at this point are:

    I want to use high end Sun hardware, meh, probably unlikely at this point.

    I want a UNIX that doesn't feel like it was thrown together by a bunch of people on the Internet, a coherent experience.

    I would run Solaris for the same reason I run Mac OSX, I want a professional feeling polished OS. I want to get things done, not play UNIX admin to accomplish what should be trivial tasks. The only time I should see a commandline is when I need to do something completely out of the ordinary.

    Sadly, it seems that Linux's popularity killed Solaris, not because one was better or worse than the other, but because Solaris tried to act like it was Linux and just failed completely because Linux's real advantage is the surprising number of people that treat it like a god, they are a useful resource as we all know. No one will probably ever feel that way about Solaris so its just never going to get the support Linux gets from people without it having SOMETHING Linux doesn't have.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by daveofnf ( 766994 )

      no execuse for a company to allow someething like OpenSolaris to exist

      Be nice now... there's a community of programmers out there.

  • Illumos Fork (Score:5, Informative)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Friday August 13, 2010 @03:32PM (#33244616) Homepage Journal

    There are some excellent technologies in OpenSolaris, and it appears The Illumos Project [illumos.org] is going to be the place to find them.

    I'm not sure this is a bad thing. Oracle's played its hand, and as opposed to Sun's years of "oh, gosh, we don't know if we want to be open or not - how about almost-open?" Oracle said, "screw you guys, we're going to make money off this thing." I frankly don't care about them not releasing an OpenSolaris binary build - Linus doesn't post binary builds - but keeping the source changes secret until after the commercial release just doesn't deal with the realities of Internet Time.

    But, because of Oracle's decisiveness, the ON stack, the libc, etc. are all being done right now. I've tried once or twice to contribute to Nexenta and got stuck in the complexity of rebuilding a kernel, despite having done so in linux forever (to be fair the Nexenta guys were awesomely responsive so I didn't really have to do the build myself). This should be fixed.

    It might give the OpenSolaris^W Illumos community a chance to succeed, being actually open.

    • It might give the OpenSolaris^W Illumos community a chance to succeed, being actually open.

      And that may be the sole bright spot in this sad saga. An opportunity to cleanly and distinctively fork, so there's clearly Oracle Solaris and Illumos Open Solaris. The weird, coy, half-open thing the community had before was a losing proposition.

  • Yup, sure seems like MySQL is in real safe hands now.

  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @03:46PM (#33244804) Journal

    I'd had high hopes for Sun's stuff back in '85. But even before being eaten by Oracle they always seemed to be roadblocking any attempt to work with the guts of their system, even for internal use only. Meanwhile, Linux made good on the GNU promise and the freeing of BSD provided an additional open alternative OS (at least three of 'em if you count the project splits as distinct).

    I abandoned Solaris on the last of my own machines for Y2K, rather than shell out for upgrades. (Only Linux machines at home at the moment - except for one firewalled-off Windows machine for my wife to run student-Autocad and certain true Windows applications for classwork.)

    Some Open Solaris fans tried to claim things were more open than I perceived them to be. But this development underscores the correctness of my choice.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by segedunum ( 883035 )

      Some Open Solaris fans tried to claim things were more open than I perceived them to be. But this development underscores the correctness of my choice.

      They were never open. Sun came up with OpenSolaris because they were losing out big time to Linux suppliers and it was a feeble attempt to make Solaris look 'open source' when they were selling it without Sun giving up any control at all.

      Frankly, I applaud Oracle for finally being open with everybody rather than continuing Sun's sham. Now it and SPARC can

  • And thus the CDDL serves its purpose.

  • So what does that mean for the OpenSolaris connumity? Will Illumos [slashdot.org] wait for the delayed source code updates and try to stay a "spork"? Or will they decide to go it on their own (fork) and try keep as much compatibility as they can? It is definitely not a good situation for the OpenSolaris community.
  • Open Source Curious Newbie: "I wish to make a complaint"

    OpenSolaris Developer/Community Fanboi in the Forum: "Sorry, we're closing for lunch"

    Newbie: "Never mind that, my man. I wish to complain about this OpenSolaris Distro, what I downloaded not half an hour ago from this very user's group website."

    Fanboi : Oh yes, the, ah, the 2009.06... What's, ah... W-what's wrong with it?

    Newbie: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my man. It's dead, that's what's wrong with it.

    Fanboi: "No, no, it's ah... it's in code

  • As long as it remains CDDL it will go no where.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    WIPL = Want It? Pay Larry

  • by Glasswire ( 302197 ) <glasswire@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Friday August 13, 2010 @04:22PM (#33245306) Homepage

    Knowing Oracle it was obvious from the day the acquisition was announced that:
    1) Oracle will cripple, keep on life support or close-source all open source projects. Larry believes anything users want to use is worth making them pay for. Any open source projects that survive will be strategically useful (like letting a 'free' MySQL contaminate Microsoft's low-midrange database business revenue)

    2) Java is what Oracle really wanted in Sun acquisition (see announcement today of lawsuit against Google re Android Java use) and Solaris is useful only insofar as it is part of the value prop for selling Sun, now Oracle, hardware. Solaris will only be pushed by Oracle on non-Oracle hardware if they can make a good license business out of it. Expect that all use of Java in open source implementations will dry up and any commercial implementations will be expected to start pushing license dollars back to Oracle (Which is why somebody at IBM should have been shot for blowing the Sun acquisition over the few measly millions they were fighting over before Oracle pulled the rug out form under IBM -it could have been Oracle kneeling in front of IBM instead of IBM watching the underlying architecture of Websphere and everything else Java based owned by their biggest competitor)

    3) Open Solaris was a way to enable a user community (not really a dev community like Linux has) but since it can't be licensed (for money) and there's no really support/services business and it certainly doesn't help sell any Sun/Oracle hardware (which generally always runs the commercial Solaris) it has no place in an Oracle world.

    I'm amazed that anybody is surprised.

  • Illumos (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lennie ( 16154 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @04:25PM (#33245354)

    http://www.illumos.org/ [illumos.org] seems to be the closest thing to a community still left for the future of OpenSolaris.

  • by dogsbreath ( 730413 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @04:53PM (#33245702)

    Alas, poor Solaris!
    I knew it, McNealy, an o/s of infinite capability, of most excellent fancy.
    It hath bore my applications on its back a thousand times, and now how abhorr'd in my imagination it is!

    My gorge rises at it.

  • by upuv ( 1201447 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @09:02PM (#33247852) Journal

    Seeing Open Solaris killed off was fairly obvious. However combine the fact that they sued Google over Java issues raises interesting thoughts.

    These moves and inevitably others are already having consequences. Java as a platform for consumer products is now no longer a given. The assent of Android as the" platform of choice of hardware and software vendors puts Nokia, RIM / HP back in the picture. When just days ago they were an after thought in developers eyes.

    I've seen it before. People put business distant between them selves and anything with a lawsuit potential. So is the law suit over Java going to cause a massive migration away from Java?

    What is Solaris's future. I think it's rather short less than 10 years left. Price per grunt the upstart Linux is kicking it's butt despite all the very nice features of Sparc and Solaris

    Is this the first sign of another shift in IT futures?

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!