[H-GEN] OpenSolaris!

James C. McPherson James.McPherson at Sun.COM
Sun Jan 30 21:28:56 EST 2005

[insert "I do not speak for Sun Microsystems" disclaimer here]

Benjamin Carlyle wrote:
> On Fri, 2005-01-28 at 17:16 +0000, Robert Brockway wrote:
>>On Sat, 29 Jan 2005, Benjamin Carlyle wrote:
>>>Groklaw (among others) has been tracking the recent development of open
>>>source Solaris, especially the CDDL license that Sun have released it
>>>under. The "official" groklaw response can be found at:
>>Although I must admin I have not reviewed CDDL I'm prepared to accept it 
>>as an OSS licence on the endorsement of OSI, at lease for now.
>>I don't agree that Sun is now competing with Linux (as stated in the 

 From my point of view (which is fairly standard across Sun btw),
we do not compete with Linux. Linux is a kernel and a social
movement, not a company. Linux is a source of innovation, just
like Solaris. Linux does things differently to Solaris and that
is part of its fascination for many people around the world.

 From what I have seen internally over the past 5 years at Sun,
there is a lot of respect for Linux within the Solaris engineering
community (which I have a part in), and the teams view OpenSolaris
as a significant opportunity to offer an alternative way of
implementing a {Unix-family} OS.

It really really bugs me that some people out there view Sun's
efforts at opening up Solaris as "Sun is going to take away the
pie from Linux." That has _always_ been a load of bollocks and
imho betrays an inability to think about what benefits could be
derived for Linux and *BSD. The pie is much bigger now whether
you're a GPL-purist or not. If you don't want to look at the
source in OpenSolaris, don't do it. Nobody is forcing you. What
Sun is doing is providing the opportunity to people who want it.

> <snip/>
> As I understand the situation, the main problem is GPL-incompatibility.
> The reason PJ sees OpenSolaris as competition to Linux is that combining
> the sources of the two does not appear possible under the present legal
> framework. To her mind, this sets OpenSolaris up in competition with
> linux for developer resources and talent instead of allowing talent and
> development effort to flow easily from one to the other.
> The CDDL is directly derived from the MPL (Mozilla Public License) and
> amounts basically to the same thing. Interestingly, while both licenses
> appear to pass opensource.org scrutiny my ad hoc internet searching
> (http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2004/06/msg00221.html) seems to
> indicate that debian does not accept the MPL (am I right on that one?),
> thus probably won't accept the CDDL. That seems strange, because the
> debian free software guidelines are almost identical to the open source
> definition at opensource.org.
> I'm still feeling out a number of issues with respect to open source
> licensing myself. Here is the text of my exploratory comment in response
> to the article (I never like to say anything definite ;):
[snip Ben's very good comment]

I encourage you to read Simon Phipps' blog entry re
PJ's article


The underlying issue really boils down to one that's much older - it's 
the battle between the GPL purists and the OSI pragmatists. Pamela says:

     But the problem is, bottom line, that when they say "the Open 
Source community" in their press release, they don't mean Linux. When I 
say "Open Source community," I do. ... The problem I still see is that 
Sun wants to drop the F and run its own race with the OSS part, defining 
it in their own narrow way, and by dropping the F I mean not accepting 
the GPL.

When Sun says "the Open Source Community" it means the meta-community of 
all projects using OSI-approved licenses and not, as Pamela does, the 
GNU/Linux fan-club. Sun's definition it not the narrow one - for 
example, OpenOffice.org uses LGPL so Sun finds the GPL perfectly 
acceptable in the cases where it's the right license
  Maybe the real need is for the GPL purists to be more accepting of the 
OSI approach and join the world of tolerant pragmatists

James C. McPherson
Pacrim PTS Engineer            828 Pacific Highway
                                Gordon NSW
Sun Microsystems Australia     2072

More information about the General mailing list