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Open Source Oracle

OpenSolaris Governing Board Closing Shop? 234

echolinux writes "Frustrated by Oracle's refusal to interact with the OpenSolaris community or speak with the OpenSolaris Governing Board, the OGB has issued an ultimatum to Oracle: designate a liaison to the OGB by August 16th or the board will 'take action at the August 23 meeting to trigger the clause in the OGB charter that will return control of the community to Oracle.'"
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OpenSolaris Governing Board Closing Shop?

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  • lolwut? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wmbetts ( 1306001 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:36AM (#32901464)

    So they're trying to force Oracle to give them a liaison by threatening to cut their own throats? Great move I'm sure Oracle will get exactly what they want.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:37AM (#32901476)

    Yeah, except CDDL doesn't allow forking.

  • Re:Sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by allcar ( 1111567 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:42AM (#32901570)
    It is sad. I find it really depressing to find the Oracle logos all over the Sun site and Java downloads. I guess that Sun were just too nice a company to prosper in the cut throat world of modern IT.
  • Re:lolwut? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ( 1853046 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:43AM (#32901596) Homepage
    It looks like they don't have any real power anyway, so they're basically telling Oracle they will no longer work to Oracle's benefit for free.
  • Re:Sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Third Position ( 1725934 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:49AM (#32901700)

    This is not exactly a surprise. Oracle has a deep and abiding interest in Oracle's bottom line. How does Open Solaris contribute to that? It doesn't, hence Oracle losing interest fast.

    As painful as it may be to acknowledge, this is actually a rational approach. Look no further than the fact that Oracle ended up eating Sun, not the other way around. I like Free Stuff as much as the next guy, but that doesn't change the fact that if you're in business to make money, you'd damn well better focus on things that make you money.

  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:50AM (#32901708)

    No, it seems more like "If you don't appoint 1 person to sit at a table, we'll dump responsibility for the whole thing on your lap... where you still won't have anyone pay attention to it, so we may as well all just cut to the chase and declare OpenSolaris dead."

  • Accepting reality (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThrowAwaySociety ( 1351793 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:54AM (#32901800)

    Uhhh.. that will show them?

    "If you don't give in to our demands...we'll give up & stop existing?"

    It's not like they can really threaten Oracle into submission. Sometimes, you just have to roll over and ask, "Honey, are you really in this for the long run, or are you just screwing me?" If you don't like the answer, you just pack up and leave. No need to go all psycho.

    What were we talking about again? Oh yeah. If the organization disbands, Solaris loses some of its credibility as an open platform with a healthy, involved community. Not a death blow, but better than prolonging a charade.

  • by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:58AM (#32901874)

    I'm sure they'd find plenty of customer still willing to use Solaris proper

    Are they willing to pay for it though? Oracle removed the ability to download and use Solaris 10 for free. This isn't 10 or 15 years ago, Linux and *BSD are more then capable of doing most of the loads you would throw at Solaris an RHEL has the cooperate support and a sane company backing it.

    Oracle seems to be looking at Solaris the same as they look at their Database product. Oracle Enterprise Database, even for all its irritations and faults does get the job done very well and does shine against it's competitors, Solaris doesn't have that same position any more. There are many just as good products out there.

  • Re:Sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:02PM (#32901964)
    Well developed open projects however allow for greater mindshare leading to more people using their commercial offerings. Look at Red Hat, because RHL was well used on people's personal desktops, it made sense for them to push a company towards Red Hat's commercial products. Same thing with Ubuntu, because many people who use Linux are comfortable with Ubuntu, when a small business looks to consider Linux, Ubuntu is their first choice. Solaris has a lot of features that could be very handy for businesses, but without experience, most tech people are going to recommend BSD or Linux because it is what they have worked with.

    Support a community well and it will pay you back. Alienate a community and you are suddenly competing against better entrenched products.
  • Re:Sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:07PM (#32902050)
    OpenSolaris as the basis to Solaris 11, or simply dropping Solaris 10 and going with OpenSolaris as the primary OS would have brought a more modern environment and significantly improved package management and patching while still maintaining the expected stability from Solaris. Oracle seems to prefer to keep Solaris archaic. They just killed their best beta platform.

    Oracle got rid of the free to download and use Solaris 10 as well. Sun moved that way to entice developers to develop and test on their platform. Oracle, instead of continuing that to keep developers, moved Solaris back to a pay only. Why would anyone pay to develop or test on Solaris when the competitors are free and just as good? Who is going to buy Solaris when the only thing tested on it is Oracle Database? Oracle is shooting itself in the foot.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:32PM (#32902502) Homepage

    The future of MySQL is iffy, too. All Oracle has to do is put the second team on maintaining it, and it will die. A database program has to be very reliable to be usable at all.

    We've already seen this with "MySQL Workbench". Since Oracle took over, all the MySQL GUI tools were wrapped into a central "MySQL Workbench" program. Which crashes frequently. (If you can install it at all. []) If Oracle can bring MySQL down to the level of MySQL Workbench, nobody will be able to use it.

    MySQL needs to be fully archived, including the revision history, outside of Oracle, just in case.

  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rattaroaz ( 1491445 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:33PM (#32902514)
    If you follow the discussions, the community around Opensolaris is not enough to maintain a fork. 99.9% of the OS is developed and maintained by Oracle now. It's not like the Linux kernel where numerous people/companies contribute. Legally, you can fork Opensolaris given the CDDL. But maintaining a fork is just not realistic. If it was as popular as Linux, then okay, but that is the problem.
  • Re:Sad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hylandr ( 813770 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:34PM (#32902532)
    When I was on the Oracle / Solaris website recently I noticed the environment was very old guard. Hailing to a day when Unix knowledge was a rare and expensive commodity.

    You could see it in the language that was used, 60's business rhetoric regurgitated for today's business masses that might still buy it. Now, I am looking for contracts that are migrating away from Solaris. Going to try and catch this wave early.

    - Dan.
  • Re:Sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by qwijibo ( 101731 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:35PM (#32902574)

    OpenSolaris provides insight into the directions Solaris is going. I've used my experience with OpenSolaris at home to discuss possible future directions at work once the features work into mainstream Solaris. OpenSolaris is to Solaris what Fedora is to RedHat Enterprise Linux. Giving your customers a chance to preview what's up and coming gives them an opportunity to suggest a direction before it's in the mainstream release. Sure, a lot of deadbeats benefit from making the OS freely available, but getting contributions from the unpaid community and giving your customers reasons to promote your products should be a good enough benefit to justify the business case to keep it going.

    I work for a hosting group in a large financial services company. We have over a thousand Linux and Solaris systems we support, with more being added all the time. We have numerous internal groups that need large Oracle databases on Solaris and we're happy to provide that. The people who write standards for the company are telling us to move away from Solaris and either move to Oracle on Linux, or for large databases, go to DB2 on AIX. When we're being told to drop Solaris, we really need something compelling to argue in favor of keeping it around. That is going to be much harder with Oracle's tight lipped approach to letting customers know what's coming up.

    At home, I run OpenSolaris using ZFS for all of my storage. I run Ubuntu under VirtualBox to get all of the benefits of ZFS on the hardware with the more user friendly features of Ubuntu as a desktop. This is working out great for my whole family. Unfortunately, it looks like I'm going to have to look for another OS for the bottom of the stack since Oracle appears to be dropping it entirely.

    OpenSolaris may not be a direct money maker for Oracle, but it has a very real contribution to their bottom line. With an enterprise database, you can get away with being secretive about everything. With an operating system that is much more widely used, that approach is not wise. Unfortunately, Oracle probably won't realize that until they've permanently lost several large customers.

  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Hopper ( 59070 ) <> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:43PM (#32902712) Homepage Journal

    Oracle had one plan when they bought Sun. Kill it and pump a few extra rounds into it, just to make sure.

    Nope. Oracle had a major goal when they bought Sun: create a vertically-integrated platform where they control everything from the hardware through the OS, applications, and support contracts. IBM has that sort of leverage with DB2 + Web Services on AIX, along with a killer international sales and support force with its fingers everywhere in the Fortune 500. IBM is really Oracle's main competition and has been for several years because they could offer whole-life-cycle, end-to-end support at a fraction of the cost of Oracle's offerings. The acquisition of Sun allowed Oracle to compete where it was getting hammered.

  • by CatsupBoy ( 825578 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:57PM (#32902928)
    What buttons do I have to click to get my free patches? Oh that's right, they don't supply patches for free anymore.

    If you think downloading a base image constitutes as using for free, then I'm afraid you are mistaken. It takes security patches and bug fixes to keep an OS in production quality working order.

    Maybe you just re-install every 6 months when the new media set is released? right!
  • Re:Sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pak9rabid ( 1011935 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @01:25PM (#32903416)

    Who is going to buy Solaris when the only thing tested on it is Oracle Database?

    People looking for a stable, tested OS to run Oracle on?

  • by CatsupBoy ( 825578 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @01:33PM (#32903538)
    Yes, you could download patches for free from sunsolve for many years before Oracle.

    This is not bashing, its the truth. Competitors such as IBM and HP currently provide patch information, downloads, and knowledge base articles for free, Oracle does not. And now they bled that mentality into Solaris.

    It's unfortunate to see an open community die like this, but if it can't survive without Oracle, then there probably weren't many people there to begin with.

    There were plenty of ppl involved and interested, but its based on a proprietary platform, of course it can't survive without the parent company's support. The larger point is that they are, seemingly, purposefully killing it.

  • Re:Sad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @01:36PM (#32903590) Journal
    For some value of 'tested'. When the only people filing bug reports are Oracle paying customers, you get something a lot less tested than when anyone can download and try it.
  • Re:Sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jgagnon ( 1663075 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @02:02PM (#32904024)

    Oracle probably only cares that Oracle software runs on it. Everything else is superfluous.

  • Re:Sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KonoWatakushi ( 910213 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @02:09PM (#32904098)

    Oracle doesn't care about you unless you're willing to spend a lot of money. That's not bad, that's just their business model.

    No, that is bad; in the long term it will ensure their own demise. Actually, never mind, that is good. It is just a shame that they are wasting all of Sun's innovation in the process.

    This is one of the great problems with investment in America; senseless greed ensures that the bulk of the money is concentrated in short-term high-return investments, which produce little overall value outside of these investments. The companies are set on a course for self-destruction, and the investors jump ship when appropriate.

  • Re:Sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hooya ( 518216 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @05:53PM (#32907104) Homepage

    > Not if they don't want or need a community around their product.

    The thing about that is that while you may not NEED a community around a product for making the next quarterly estimates, long term, I highly doubt that Solaris would have any edge over other OSs that do have a community around them.

    > I suspect Oracle are of the opinion that there's no money to be made selling Solaris as a general purpose OS

    Which is another reason why no money will be spent on Solaris to maintain any edge over other OSs.

    So, Solaris will die a death brought on by both edges of the sword. No money AND no community.

  • Re:Sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @07:32PM (#32907994) Homepage

    I'm using mostly SuperMicro boards (Intel everything, "recommended" FreeBSD hardware), but I have some other generic stuff in the shop.

    The one FreeBSD ZFS machien I've got that has more than 4GB (it has 8), as well as the low-utility ones, are the only systems I've not had stability issues with. FreeBSD 7.2, 7.3, and 8.

    Where is it that you see that you can use ZFS root only "for a long time now"? Are you one of those people who thinks "stable" is stable enough, even though it's strongly recommended against using it in production?

    I'm fairly new (6 months) to FreeBSD, having been a linux administrator since '98, using many different filesystems. This includes XFS and Reiser 3 and 4 when independent kernel patching was still required. It isn't since those days that I've seen the stability issues I've seen with ZFS on FreeBSD.

    Your idea of "supported" is apparently drastically different than mine, because I've yet to see information presenting these things as facts; are they only on the mailing lists? The ZFS documentation I've seen has been sparse, poorly written, or (essentially) provided by Sun (Oracle), with little FreeBSD specifics aside from "this should work, try it".

    The way I'm currently doing ZFS is to use a USB key for initial boot. This was working well until 8.0 came out and broke the USB stack, making booting from USB... "unreliable", at best. (Having the keys randomly fall off the chain until they were physically unplugged was also fun).

  • Re:Sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gmack ( 197796 ) <> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @08:25PM (#32908376) Homepage Journal

    The primary reason the Itanium died was because it preformed poorly for all but niche tasks. Intel's dream of super compilers that can take over instruction scheduling was wishful thinking.

    The final nail in the Itanium coffin was AMD forcing Intel to come out with 64 bit Xeons that ended up outperforming the Itanium.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982