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. The 'Linux' Foundation is Acting Like a Microsoft ISV Now, Commitment to Linux and FOSS Deteriorates Even Further

    The Linux Foundation has just announced a new Microsoft-funded initiative that's pushing GitHub and CLAs (passing copyrights on code to corporations)



  2. Links 18/7/2019: OPNsense 19.7, Krita 4.2.3 and KDevelop 5.3.3 Released

    Links for the day



  3. Index: G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)

    G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)



  4. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 4: G 2/19 - Faites Vos Jeux…

    "Josefsson needs to bring in the “desired result” for his political masters in the Administrative Council if he wants to be in with a chance of reappointment."



  5. Media Not Interested in G 2/19, Which Demonstrates Patent Justice is Nowadays Impossible at the EPO

    The EPO spreads patent injustices to other countries and courts; the media is miraculously enough not interested, almost as though there's a coordinated blackout



  6. Librethreat Database Updated

    Database which keeps track of variants of attack vectors on Free/libre software now includes two more forms of threat



  7. A Look Back (and Forward) at Friendly Programming

    Historical perspective on computer languages and how to do better



  8. Red Hat's Freedom Reduced to Just Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN) and Microsoft as a Close Partner; Canonical's Ubuntu Just an 'App' for Windows?

    Free software is being snapped up by proprietary software giants and patent bullies that treat it as little more than an 'add-on' for their proprietary offerings



  9. Linux Foundation Apparently Celebrates Sysadmin Day With a Microsoft Windows Site!

    The Linux Foundation shows ‘love’ to actual GNU/Linux (the real thing) by apparently rejecting it and badmouthing it



  10. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 3: The Legal Line-up for G 2/19

    The deck appears to have already been stacked for G 2/19, a decision on EPO judges' exile to Haar (veiled disciplinary action/collective punishment by those whom the judges are supposed to 'oversee')



  11. Links 17/7/2019: VirtualBox 6.0.10 and Mageia 7.1 Releases, Mint Betas

    Links for the day



  12. Links 16/7/2019: Btrfs Gets 'Cleaned Up', Clonezilla Live 2.6.2-15

    Links for the day



  13. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 2: The “Difficult Legacy” and Its Dark Historical Shadow

    Assuming that he was informed, then it seems fair to say that Battistell’s little “joke” at the expense of the Boards was in very bad taste



  14. EPO Noise Machine Turned On as Haar Hearing Kicks Off, Patrick Corcoran Defamed Again

    The EPO does not want people to hear about Haar; it just wants people to hear about how wonderful the EPO is and there are some who have just decided to slander Patrick Corcoran again



  15. Microsoft is 'Doing Kamikaze' (神風) on Linux

    An analogy for what the Linux (only in name!) Foundation and Microsoft mean to Linux — or by extension to GNU/Linux and Free software whose largest repository Microsoft took control of



  16. The 'New' Linux.com Sometimes Feels Like a Microsoft Promotion Site

    Anything that the ‘Linux’ Foundation touches seems to turn into its proprietors’ agenda; one of those proprietors is Microsoft, which has a "Jihad" against Linux



  17. IBM is a Threat to the Internet, Not Just to Software Development (Due to Software Patents Aggression)

    IBM continues its aggression against technology — a fact that’s even more distressing now that IBM calls the shots at Red Hat



  18. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 1: Is D-Day Approaching for Battistelli’s “Difficult Legacy”?

    European patent justice isn’t working within the premises of EPOnia; a bunch of ‘show trials’ may in fact turn out to be just that — a show



  19. Links 16/7/2019: LXD 3.15, Q4OS 3.8 and D9VK 0.13f

    Links for the day



  20. Links 15/7/2019: Vulkan 1.1.115 and Facebook Openwashing

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft Office 360 Banned

    OpenDocument Format (ODF, a real standard everyone can implement) and Free/libre software should be taught in schools; it's not supposed to be just a matter of privacy



  22. Microsoft, in Its Own Words...

    Sociopathy, incompetence and intolerance of the rule of law, as demonstrated by Microsoft's top managers



  23. Microsoft's WSL is Designed to Weaken GNU/Linux (on the Desktop/Laptop) and Strengthen Vista 10

    What Microsoft does to GNU/Linux on the desktop (and/or laptop) bears much resemblance to what Microsoft did to Java a couple of decades ago



  24. Links 14/7/2019: Linux 5.2.1, Unreal Engine 4.23 Preview, Linux Mint 19.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  25. 25,500 Blog Posts and Pages

    With our thirteenth anniversary just a few months away we're at a pace of about 2,000 posts per year



  26. With WSL Microsoft is Doing to GNU/Linux What It Did to Netscape

    Embrace, extend, extinguish. Some things never really change even if they become an old and repetitive accusation.



  27. Allowing Bad Guests to Become the Hosts

    Why the so-called 'Linux Foundation', a nonprofit that acts more like a PAC controlled by proprietary software companies and people who don't even use Linux, is increasingly becoming a Linux-hostile front group



  28. Honesty and Collaboration Make Free Software Stronger, Microsoft is Inherently a Misfit

    In spite of all the lies Microsoft and its Web sites spew out on a daily basis, nothing has really changed and Microsoft is still attacking Software Freedom (mostly from the inside nowadays, helped by FUD proxies such as WhiteSource and Snyk)



  29. Patent Certainty Waning, But That's Still OK for Patent Trolls

    Patent maximalism remains a threat to everyone but patent lawyers (and patent office chiefs who measure their own performance only by the number of patents granted); best served are the patent trolls who extrajudicially attack already-impoverished parties behind closed doors



  30. GitHub is Microsoft's Proprietary Software and Centralised (Monopoly) Platform, But When Canonical's Account There Gets Compromised Suddenly It's Ubuntu's Fault?

    Typical media distortions and signs that Microsoft already uses GitHub for censorship of Free/Open Source software that does not fit Microsoft's interests


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

Recent Posts