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Oracle Operating Systems Unix

Oracle Broadens Legal Fight Against Third-party Solaris Support Providers 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the friendly-neighborhood-corporation-looking-out-for-you dept.
angry tapir writes "Oracle is continuing its legal battle against third-party software support providers it alleges are performing such services in a manner that violates its intellectual property. Last week, Oracle sued StratisCom, a Georgia company that offers customers support for Oracle's Solaris OS, claiming it had 'misappropriated and distributed copyright, proprietary software code, along with the login credentials necessary to download this code from Oracle's password-protected websites.'"
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Oracle Broadens Legal Fight Against Third-party Solaris Support Providers

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  • What assholes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:15AM (#46097473) Journal

    I swear we all should hate Oracle more than MS or any other company out there. They are the next trolls of the IT industry since SCO lost.

    • Re:What assholes (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:19AM (#46097489)

      Remember, kids, Winners Don't Do Oracle.

      • by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:39AM (#46097557)

        Why is this such trash jobs and nut faces? Fair disclosure: I used to work at oracle as a yacht captain.

      • by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @01:35AM (#46097765) Homepage

        Heck; even Losers know better than to Do Oracle.

      • Re:What assholes (Score:5, Interesting)

        by kthreadd (1558445) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @02:17AM (#46097853)

        What is Oracle doing wrong here? From what I can tell by reading the article this firm distributed Oracle's binary updates, which Oracle charge a lot of money for. That's the way Oracle makes money on Solaris. The install media is a free download from Oracle's web site, but if you actually want patches you need a support contract.

        • by easyTree (1042254) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @02:33AM (#46097905)

          Fast forwards to the future where a single remaining company makes software - the remainder simply squabble over patents. Within that single company, only a single employee produces any output, the remainder are organized as multi-layer management-oversight.

        • by TitusC3v5 (608284) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @04:43AM (#46098325) Homepage
          What they're doing wrong is that they're suing somebody for doing EXACTLY what they do with their rebranded Red Hat distro. Yes, Red Hat is FOSS so it's fair game whereas the proprietary Oracle stuff is not, but that doesn't make it any less hypocritical or Oracle any less vile.
          • Re:What assholes (Score:5, Informative)

            by kthreadd (1558445) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @05:08AM (#46098381)

            What they're doing wrong is that they're suing somebody for doing EXACTLY what they do with their rebranded Red Hat distro.

            Except that Oracle downloads the publicly available source files from Red Hat and rebuilds them.
            This is not the case here. Oracle does not provide source code for their patches, only the binaries.

            Yes, Red Hat is FOSS so it's fair game whereas the proprietary Oracle stuff is not

            So it's not exactly the same then.

            but that doesn't make it any less hypocritical or Oracle any less vile.

            It sounds like all Oracle is doing is following the license.

            • by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:12AM (#46098973)
              Solaris isn't open source anymore. I doubt they download Solaris sources from RedHat?
              • by kthreadd (1558445) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @10:21AM (#46099985)

                That was my point exactly.

              • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @10:33AM (#46100081)

                True enough. But the (Sun) Solaris open source stuff lives on as OpenIndiana.

                As a former Sun employee whose job revolved a great deal around Solaris, it's sad to see it come to this. I understand that Oracle made "back" the money Sun had lost in its last years rather quickly, and that this sort of business practice was a part of that, but they're destroying whatever good faith Sun may have had in the FOSS Community in the process.

                I won't deny that Jonathan Schwartz was named the worst CEO evar [businessinsider.com], but it was during his time as CEO that Sun open-sourced Solaris, OpenOffice, Java, made a great deal on contributions to a looong list of OSS in terms of cash donations from the company and man-hours from Sun-paid staff. It's sad to see all that gone.

              • by Billly Gates (198444) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:05PM (#46100955) Journal

                But it was. So too bad. The courts have ruled touch luck in such cases. While Oracle can certainly claim later versions are proprietary which are true it is not illegal to keep distributing older sources that have a more liberal license. Oracle lost the IP by open sourcing it if you ask any lawyer. ... notice I did not say copyright. Just the IP part of sole ownership or patching.

            • by ReallyEvilCanine (991886) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @09:10AM (#46099429) Homepage

              It sounds like all Oracle is doing is following the license.

              I'd go with "enforcing" over "following", which is what they demand of others. I don't see any difference between this and the whole TomorrowNow fiasco. For those who weren't playing along back then, TomorrowNow was a company which grabbed up a bunch of Siebel people and tried to compete with Siebel supporting Siebel software. At the time, support contracts were required and cost an additional ~30% on top of the insane annual license fees. Dumber still, SAP bought TN knowing exactly what they were doing.

              TomorrowNow (illegally) downloaded every last bit of Siebel software, first from Siebel's servers, then from Oracle's after the take-over. They also got their customers to download customer-specific and locked software (special builds and patches) for them <boggle>, which they'd diff against the previous patches so that they could provide their customers with updates outside of official channels (which were unavailable because the customers had stopped paying for support). And in the end they were doing it from a bank of SAP servers on a single IP block.

              Fast forward to today. Another company is taking another company's proprietary software, and this time there seems to be a bit of whack-a-mole in play, since players in the current suit target may have come from previous defendants. If you read the linked articles, you see that the only claim dismissed in a previous suit was about the third-party provider "transferring" credentials; simply obtaining and using them on behalf of the customer as an agent wasn't illegal and so the charge was tossed while the rest of the claims are in litigation.

              Copyright. Property laws. Oracle may be all sorts of evil but this one doesn't appear to be overreach. Anyone is allowed to provide Solaris and Java support but they can't do it with someone else's stuff.

            • by Billly Gates (198444) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:03PM (#46100911) Journal

              The source code was freely available after the purchase by Oracle under a liberal license.

              So sorry Oracle can claim later iterations are HANDS OFF, but patching open sourced software is not. The courts have ruled that open sourcing an app does indeed imply that people can alter and redistribute it under the original license.

              Slashdot covered this last decade in another court case where a company bought an open sourced app and made it closed and tried to sue everyone into an oblivion. The court said NOPE you open sourced it.

              So yes Oracle is acting hypocritical as OpenSolaris and its Express offspring were open sourced and yes it is no different than Redhat.

        • Re:What assholes (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mysidia (191772) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:29AM (#46099079)

          What is Oracle doing wrong here? From what I can tell by reading the article this firm distributed Oracle's binary updates, which Oracle charge a lot of money for.

          The problem is it represents a departure from what Sun was doing. Enterprises already paid a lot of money for the Sun hardware, so they could get Solaris included with it.

          Solaris was never free for production use. If you want Solaris for production, you always had to either pay a large fee for each copy, or buy the Sun hardware which came at a huge premium, but included Solaris..... much like Apple includes MacOS with their hardware.

          Acquiring a vendor, AND locking down all the patch download websites for server firmware updates and OS updates, while requiring customers start paying extortionate rates to even continue basic software update service ------ is not the path to becoming a well-liked company.

        • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:36AM (#46099141) Homepage Journal

          The install media is a free download from Oracle's web site, but if you actually want patches you need a support contract.

          Yeah, we call that ass-backwards. Patches are part of the cost of doing business, and Oracle is simply making its customers financially responsible for Oracle's incompetence.

          Of course, if you give Oracle money, you deserve the fucking you get. But the legacy Sun shops are boned.

          • by Bigbutt (65939) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:52AM (#46099263) Homepage Journal

            Nah. The legacy Sun gear just gets decommissioned and is replaced by Linux or HP-UX (mostly Linux).

            [John]

          • Re:What assholes (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @10:21AM (#46099987)

            Patches are part of the cost of doing business, and Oracle is simply making its customers financially responsible for Oracle's incompetence.

            I have seen first hand how bad it could be. At some point we were buying lots of hardware. Quality wasn't great though. It was so bad, that we wrote scripts to file RMA cases on hardware which was often DoA or failed within a couple of months. They couldn't keep up with their contractual obligations to provide replacement parts. Alas, we had not negotiated proper sanctions in that case. In practice it cost them nothing to fail on delivering replacements.

            So what could we do, once we were short on functional hardware? It had to be compatible with the systems we were running, which meant there was only one place we could buy more hardware from. Turns out, hardware can be delivered on schedule, when you place a new order, but they could not do it, when the hardware failed a couple of months later. Failure to deliver replacement parts on time turned into additional sales for them.

            Until then vendor-lock-in had been a theoretical concept to me. It was only once I found myself in that situation, I realized what it was like in practice. In retrospect every step on the way to this vendor-lock-in was a rational decision. There was no single step on the way, which I could pinpoint as being a bad decision, but the outcome was a vendor-lock-in.

            Lesson learned, you have to worry about a potential vendor-lock-in frequently. At least before every major decision consider if that is leading towards a vendor-lock-in, and how you can get out of it again. At that point it became clear that the next rational decision was an investment in getting out of that vendor-lock-in.

        • by Score Whore (32328) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @05:56PM (#46104893)

          Yeah, anyone who reads the terms of redhat's service will find that they will shut down your access to the service if you distribute updates.

    • by Penguinisto (415985) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:22AM (#46097499) Journal

      Agreed.

      And (sadly) as soon as PostgreSQL gets the same featureset and broad industry acceptance...

    • Re:What assholes (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:41AM (#46097565)

      Funny it is sooo bad for providing support for Solaris and wrong to steal code that was opened sourced.

      But taking it from RedHat ... sure it is perfectly legal! Hey what is so bad for taking from Redhat and providing support? After all they opened it right?!

      Hypocrites.

    • by FlutterVertigo(gmail (800106) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:50AM (#46097611)
      I figure it's a matter of fear. They should look at it as a challenge - to provide better service. Where is their pride? (or do their landsharks allow them to have pride?) If they outdo everyone else, then the worst which can be said about them is, "yeah, because they have all of the inside information." If they can't provide better service with all of the aces they have up their collective sleeves, then there's something wrong.
    • Re:What assholes (Score:5, Informative)

      by NoKaOi (1415755) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @01:09AM (#46097687)

      Come on, at least read the summary if you're not going to read TFA. I wouldn't normally be defending Oracle, and Oracle may do a lot of evil things regarding IP (like trying to assert copyright on an API), but this isn't one of them. They're going after them for pirating their software and making money as a result. This isn't some kid or hobbyist pirating something, it's a for-profit company pirating software that's owned by Oracle, and not even just for use on their own computers but for clients that they're making money off of.

      Of course, their motivation for enforcing their IP is probably to get rid of the competition, but they're not trying to assert that competition is illegal. It's simple - if you're going to make money off of supporting software, don't pirate that software for your customers. If you think that software being non-FOSS is evil and you want to hold to that principle like a lot of the people who are going to whine about this, then don't try make money off of supporting that software.

      • by raynet (51803) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @02:16AM (#46097847) Homepage

        Yup, Oracle is right on this case. The companies can provide support for Solaris, as in how to fix and configure things and also distribute OpenSolaris but distributing Solaris updates that have been downloaded from Oracle's password protected support site or providing login credentials to Oracle's support site is not ok.

      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:56AM (#46099297) Homepage Journal

        I wouldn't normally be defending Oracle, and Oracle may do a lot of evil things regarding IP (like trying to assert copyright on an API), but this isn't one of them. They're going after them for pirating their software and making money as a result.

        Well, no. We're not talking about software here, we're talking about updates to software. Patches are fixes for the vendor's fuckups. Oracle wants you to pay for their fuckups. Even Microsoft doesn't expect that.

        Patches specifically address the failure of the software to live up to the stated purpose, and therefore they should be free to all customers in perpetuity. Anything else constitutes breach of contract on the part of the vendor, for not attempting to provide the product they promised.

      • by swb (14022) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @10:23AM (#46099995)

        I think this happens all the time with complex infrastructure.

        Many of the customers who buy it can use it but they lack installation expertise and patch/upgrade expertise, so they outsource it. Chances are when they bought it it came with installation from the vendor which, if the customer is too small to have in-house install talent, means that the OEM farmed that out to a support provider.

        Time passes, IT turnover happens and they need to upgrade. They're still paying licensing and support costs.

        In comes the next consultant. Nobody can tell this person what the fuck they really own, the support accounts are hosed, in somebody else's name, no login access. The consultant has been flown in for a two day gig, the downtime has been scheduled for a month or more, and there's a lot of sad faces all around if this doesn't get done.

        A verbal discussion is had about licenses, support agreements, everybody thinks the bases are covered and then the expedient thing gets done. Consultant installs stuff, maybe even temporary licenses, until the customer can unfuck their accounts on the vendors hopelessly overcomplicated web site.

        I see this happen all the time and mostly blame it on vendor support systems being a few orders of magnitude too complicated. It can take days of wrangling and exchanging emails to unlock support accounts that vendors mainly use to protect their software licenses. It's gotten to the point where managing the system is easier than managing the support agreement and navigating the support site.

        Are customers to blame? Sure, but its a little fuzzier once you factor in turnover, the fact that they don't actively use the support account because nobody on site has that kind of knowledge, not to mention the never-ending "upgrades" to support sites.

      • by hackus (159037) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @01:28PM (#46102111) Homepage

        Like a lot of companies that refuse to change with the times, Oracle is getting its lunch eaten by Open Source.

        I won't miss them when they are gone.

        -Hack

    • by pooh666 (624584) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @01:27AM (#46097751)
      Everytime I see something like this it just makes me sad. I knew a couple of people who worked for Sun. It was always a pleasure to deal with them and they seemed, HAPPY. More and more it seems like everyone everywhere has something to grump about. Attack others, don't focus on your own products, win by any means, not by just being the best.. Kind of getting sick of it.
      • by Ash Vince (602485) * on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:17AM (#46098995) Journal

        Everytime I see something like this it just makes me sad. I knew a couple of people who worked for Sun. It was always a pleasure to deal with them and they seemed, HAPPY. More and more it seems like everyone everywhere has something to grump about. Attack others, don't focus on your own products, win by any means, not by just being the best.. Kind of getting sick of it.

        The problem is those lovely people at Sun were too busy being all nice to make enough cash to cover their own wages.

        Nice companies go under, companies who do anything legal they can in order to make money survive and then buy up the companies that failed at a liquidation firesale. This is a feature of the capitalist system we live in where making money is the primary consideration over what you produce being of value to society as a whole.

        Since this is how the system works though I don't see any reason to blame one company over another for being better at this game of dog eat dog when it is the system that encourages it that is really at fault.

        • by raymorris (2726007) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:43AM (#46099179)

          I've owned my own company for 20 years, most of providing services to business. In that time, I've seen a lot of competitors and customers come and go. My experience is that people like to do business with people who treat them right, so the good guys last. Assholes lose customers and partners pretty quickly.

          Mostly , it's clear during hard times in an industry. I've had customers ask me more than once prepay a few thousand files to get my company through a rough spot. Once or twice, the employees have purposely waited a week or so to come pick up their paychecks because they knew cash was tight. People don't do that for assholes.

          • by thaylin (555395) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @09:02AM (#46099353)
            To a point yes, after that no. After you get a few patents to lock people in the bigger asshole you are the better, until then you need to be nice.
          • by raymorris (2726007) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @09:32AM (#46099611)

            I butchered one sentence in my post. That should be:

            More than once, I've had customers offer to pre-pay for services in order to get my company through a rough spot.
            They don't do that because we treat them poorly.

          • by Ash Vince (602485) * on Thursday January 30, 2014 @07:41AM (#46108695) Journal

            I've owned my own company for 20 years, most of providing services to business. In that time, I've seen a lot of competitors and customers come and go. My experience is that people like to do business with people who treat them right, so the good guys last. Assholes lose customers and partners pretty quickly.

            Mostly , it's clear during hard times in an industry. I've had customers ask me more than once prepay a few thousand files to get my company through a rough spot. Once or twice, the employees have purposely waited a week or so to come pick up their paychecks because they knew cash was tight. People don't do that for assholes.

            I don't think your small business is comparable to a corporation the size of Sun or Oracle.

            Completely different rules apply as your point about staff not picking up their pay when time are tight illustrates as most people who work for large corporations would immediately jump ship if they though their was any danger of not being paid at the end of the month.

            Also, you probably have no large institutional shareholders such as pension funds or venture capitalists. If you did you can be damn sure they would not like you doing your utmost to maximize their returns by screwing over everyone else.

            This was the sort of big capitalism I was referring to in my post, sorry for not making that clear.

        • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @08:57AM (#46099313) Homepage Journal

          The problem is those lovely people at Sun were too busy being all nice to make enough cash to cover their own wages.

          No, they were too busy being incompetent to succeed in the marketplace. Unfortunately, I don't think it was a technical problem, I think it was one of management. Over and over again, Sun bought successful companies and then sacked everyone who knew how the product worked, then ran the product into the ground. THAT is what led to the demise of Sun, and it's what's leading to the demise of HP

    • Re:What assholes (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @04:18AM (#46098231) Journal

      I swear we all should hate Oracle more than MS or any other company out there. They are the next trolls of the IT industry since SCO lost.

      On the plus side, Oracle shows signs of being stupid evil, which is a self-correcting problem in the long run. It's pragmatic evil that you really have to worry about.

      Seriously, will Oracle make some additional money by freezing out 3rd party support minions? Sure, at least in the short term. Does a proprietary big-iron UNIX need a reputation for help being hard to find and expensive(more than it already has)? Like an extra hole in the head... If you want to sell expensive software and hardware, you either need to offer unbelievable ROI or commodify the hell out of everything you don't sell that your customer will also need. MS did it with MCSEs, Apple did it with 'apps', IBM supports Linux more or less entirely for this reason.

      Unless you feel damn lucky about the value of your product, such that you think people are willing to pay through the nose for it, trying to squeeze the customer in areas that aren't your core expertise is a short term gain that cuts your own throat. If you are really that good at selling support, you probably don't need to squelch your competitors by other means. If you aren't, can you be assured that your customers will continue to put up with buying expensive hardware and software, only to deal with getting support only from you, for a pretty penny? Not a good long-term bet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:16AM (#46097477)

    people with vast amounts of money, use it to get any other money that anyone else might get ...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:23AM (#46097503)

    O.R.A.C.L.E.

    One Raging Asshole Called Larry Ellison ;)

    As someone who used to work with their databases, they're pretty darn good, but the business side of things just make you want to run screaming...

  • by Ignacio (1465) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:41AM (#46097567)
    They *really* need to stop getting trigger-happy every time they see their own feet...
  • by liwee (3407373) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:45AM (#46097597)
    Oracle Linux Support [oracle.com] offers support for any existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux installations. Is this a case of pot calling the kettle black?
    • by Neo-Rio-101 (700494) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @02:30AM (#46097899)

      Absolutely... but Oracle have a case with other people redistributing their Solaris patches. I'd say that they've got a legitimate right to the proprietary code that they own.... and Linux is GPL, so that's not a conflict of interest for Oracle. Their goal is "profit at all costs" anyway. That's the only ideology Oracle understands.

      On the other hand, it really says something about Oracle's "support", if other companies are providing updates for Larry's "Yacht OS" and are winning significant contracts.... to the point where Oracle wants to fight them over it.

      • by jklovanc (1603149) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @03:53AM (#46098157)

        On the other hand, it really says something about Oracle's "support", if other companies are providing updates for Larry's "Yacht OS" and are winning significant contracts.... to the point where Oracle wants to fight them over it.

        It is easy to undercut pricing if you don't have to pay for writing the software or update manuals and can just steal them.

      • by FireFury03 (653718) <`slashdot' `at' `nexusuk.org'> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @04:40AM (#46098321) Homepage

        Absolutely... but Oracle have a case with other people redistributing their Solaris patches. I'd say that they've got a legitimate right to the proprietary code that they own.... and Linux is GPL, so that's not a conflict of interest for Oracle. Their goal is "profit at all costs" anyway. That's the only ideology Oracle understands.

        I'm curious about the legal situation with respect to bugfixes in the EU: EU warranty law requires the vendor to warrant that a product is free of manufacturing defects, and there is no time limit to this warranty. It could be argued that any bug in software is a "manufacturing defect", and therefore the vendor needs to provide bugfixes forever more. Courts would probably say that it is unreasonable to require the vendor to engineer patches for very old software. *However*, if the patches are already being produced anyway, is it reasonable for the vendor to only allow their current support customers to access the patches, rather than making them freely available to anyone who has bought the defective product in the past?

        So whilst I'll agree that the code is proprietary and other people shouldn't be redistributing them without Oracle's permission, I do question whether Oracle shouldn't be legally obliged to provide those patches to everyone who bought Solaris anyway.

  • by TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:47AM (#46097609)
    11 !

    [Old Oracle joke --- probably before your time ... ]
  • Good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gweihir (88907) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @01:07AM (#46097667)

    That will accelerate the move away from Solaris. It is more of a problem than a solution anyways these days.

    • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

      by russbutton (675993) <russ.russbutton@com> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @01:41AM (#46097775) Homepage
      There ya go. There's no better way to kill off Solaris, not that they really needed to try...

      Sun made good hardware back in the day. I had a Sun Sparc 2 I ran Solaris 2.7 on until it was about 14 years old. Imagine trying to run anything on a PC or a Mac that was 14 years old and expect it to hold up. The only reason I retired the Sun box was that I just wearied of running my mail/DNS server at the house off my DSL line.
      • by i.r.id10t (595143) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @01:09PM (#46101873)

        Top of the line 14 year old PC would be a P2 w/ 100mhz fsb at 350, 400, or 450mhz. Up to a gig of ram, CD R/RW drive, IDE or SCSI hard drive of 10-30gb.

        Still very usable as a basic desktop system (surf web, email, light wordprocessing) or a server for a low-traffic domain (ie, wouldn't withstand the /. effect but for everything else.....)

        • by russbutton (675993) <russ.russbutton@com> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @02:05PM (#46102589) Homepage
          My Sparc 2 had a 40 mhz processor and 96 MB RAM. I retired it in 2006, so it dated back to 1992. Back then, PCs were 386 boxes with about 8 MB RAM.

          My Sparc 2 was fine as a mail, DNS, http, DHCP and http proxy server. Rock solid. I used it as a proxy server back in the day when my internet connection was a phone line to Best Internet Services. My son had a Win 95 PC on a thin-net line to the Sparc 2 and the http proxy got him out to the web over the dial-up IP connection.
    • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:11PM (#46101039) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, next month I'll be decommissioning the last Solaris-based machine that any of my clients use and replacing it with some flavor of linux, and they're very happy about that. I'm super happy about it since administration is so much easier on Linux, with proper tools for all kinds of things Solaris can't do, or only does poorly because I've cobbled up a bunch of scripts to merge information from several management utilities to get data that's readily available on linux in /dev/, /proc/, or /sys/. I realize there's still a small niche for Solaris, but it's growing smaller and smaller every year.

      Now, if wordpress would just bloody start supporting PostgreSQL I'd never need to visit oracle.com. HyperDB is murder compared with a Pg cluster. And, yeah, Maria - good effort but people still want something they've heard of.

  • by crutchy (1949900) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @01:09AM (#46097693)

    makes for a cheap marketing campaign for linux ;-)

  • exactly by this kind of practices, which make it a sort of oversized patent troll. In the lifecycle of each corporation there are various phases: start-up, growing/innovator, mainstream, dinosaur/conserver, dying. A company like IBM managed to go back from stage 4 to stage 2 by taking some radical decisions. Oracle didn't. Now the only way forward for Oracle is toward stage 5. All dinosaurs eventually die. Remember Blackberry !!!!

    Mark my words: By 2030, Oracle will not exist anymore in its current form. In fact, it may have dwindled into nothingness well before that date.

  • by LoadWB (592248) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @03:36AM (#46098093) Journal

    ...rather than suing companies which pick up its slack. I've tried on-and-off for several years to get support from Oracle on my Solaris machines. I'm even offering to pay for the support contracts which abruptly ended when Sun was bought out. It wouldn't have been such a problem if Oracle hadn't pay-walled the Recommended updates for Solaris. I'm having to move away from the venerable old operating system because of Oracle's neglect.

    That stench in the air is the SCO disease.

    • Oracle customers always get what they deserve. Solaris and SPARC have been dead for a long time. Oracle bought Sun for the same reason Compaq bought DEC back in the day: to bleed dry the customers who were stuck on a legacy platform with nowhere else to go. Oracle clearly recognized this when they bought Sun, but this is not something that they can say out loud and have the business model succeed.

      Using Solaris is the IT equivalent of a crack addiction. It's just as irrational. And users always find a way to justify the addiction. (Rehab costs too much and takes too much time. It's not that bad. It's not affecting my bottom line. I can quit any time.)

      • by LoadWB (592248) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @09:18AM (#46109393) Journal

        Well played. There's no way to argue against the conclusion that any argument would be akin to a crack addiction. Might as well have said Solaris users are the new racists or just gone ahead and invoked Godwin.

        • Denial. Recognize it and you have reached the first stage of overcoming addiction.

          Otherwise put up a well-reasoned rebuttal.

          I've seen the effects of Solaris addiction on a company first hand. The result is little different than a drug addiction. It doesn't cost much at first, then you start having to devote more and more of the budget to support. Some companies resort to breaking the law to feed their addiction (which is what this article is about). The best engineers leave for greener pastures. The company is relegated to only hiring the second-tier developers and admins that are still willing to work on Solaris, knowing full well that the cream of the crop have moved on. The competitive edge is lost and the company is in an inexorable death spiral, with no one on board with the skill to turn it around.

  • Suicide (Score:4, Interesting)

    by e70838 (976799) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @05:47AM (#46098499)
    It looks as if oracle is doing its best to make developers hate them. The problem is that developers of today often become decision makers of tomorrow. Oracle misbehaved about mysql, about java (very bad handling of security issues), about opensource software (open office, open solaris and java) and now even about solaris. I do not know if there are really short term benefits, but I think it is a long term suicide.
    • by kthreadd (1558445) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @06:26AM (#46098611)

      How is it misbehaving to stop another company from redistributing your proprietary binary blobs that you have copyright to?

      • by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @07:08AM (#46098761) Homepage Journal

        I guess it depends on whose rules you're following. On a legal level, no, it's not misbehaving.

        On the other hand, when you (or rather the company you've taken over) declares that, henceforth, Solaris shall be thought of as an open source operating system, and promotes the fact it's open source, and nearly a decade later you're finding legal loopholes the company you took over left in place, that you're using in order to sue people who treat it as one, then you're not exactly playing the rules you (or Sun) declared you were playing by.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @07:38AM (#46098855)

    Okay, so maybe Larry Ellison went on a booze cruise to Mexico with a bunch of hookers, got drunk, and named Darl McBride chief counsel of Oracle.

  • by netsavior (627338) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @09:42AM (#46099681)
    j/k... please don't sue.
  • by bored (40072) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @11:27AM (#46100517)

    What we need are some judges that realize that just because you didn't find the critical security hole when you tested said product, doesn't mean that the company isn't liable for assuring that the product you purchased remains useful for its intended purpose.

    Instead what we have are companies giving you shit, and then trying to charge you to fix their mistakes. Most other industries worked this out years ago, someone discovers your refrigerator's defrost unit catches fire and burns peoples houses down after its been in the market for a few years, the original company is generally on the hook to repair it.

    A few years ago, GE sent me a nice notice telling me that I should immediately contact a repair organization to replace the door on my 10 year old dish washer, or alternatively they would give me a $200 discount off the purchase of a new unit... All because it turns out they were catching fire.

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