Closed Company

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-01-25 Print this article Print

Suns Loiacono said the Open Solaris move would impact the entire company, not just on the software side. He called it an opportunity for Sun to gain access to new and emerging markets and to address the issues around the open-source requirements facing many governments and companies today. "It allows us to re-engage with our academic base and the students, as well as expanding the number of developers working on the code. We also wanted to address the perception that the company was closed," Loiacono said. All key components of Solaris 10 will be open-sourced, including the code for containers and DTrace, which will be available on SPARC, x86 and AMD Opteron hardware.
The Web site went live Tuesday and contained information about the project. However, the full, buildable source code for Solaris 10 will be available only in second quarter of the year, Loiacono said.
Sun also plans a community advisory board consisting of two Sun employees, two members from outside Sun and one from the broader Sun community, and is taking nominations for the two outside positions. The board, whose members will be announced in March, will determine what processes are adopted going forward, Loiacono said. "There are a number of advantages of using the CDDL license, including that it makes it easy to reuse code; we cannot move users onto new licenses unless they agree to this; it makes it easier to follow and easier to use other code," he said. "We have cleaned up a lot of the definitions around sharing code. Users are also required to share and give back any modifications they make to the source code," Loiacono said. The reason Sun had shunned the GPL (GNU General Public License) was that it was "very viral and it is very difficult to co-mingle any other code with it. The only code that can be used with GPL code is GPLd code," he said. McNealy said the Open Solaris projects success will be measured by the number of new contributors and downloads, by adoption by other open-source communities, and by incorporation by OEMs. "It may well end up in scenarios we had not anticipated, like a set-top box or in a switching environment. We just dont know all the places it will go," he said. The software development model is changing, he said, and the community process model will gain greater traction going forward. "We are trying to get ahead of that and lead the pack. We are committed to Unix, to Solaris, to the Open Solaris community and to one word: sharing," McNealy said. "Weve always been about sharing, from open interfaces at the start. This is a model of back to the future, and this model with help developers, users and countries stand on the shoulders of our IP use model," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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