Community Development

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-06-14 Print this article Print

Giordano said Sun was aware that community development was "a magnet" for developers and OpenSolaris was designed to help the company engage more with its development community and enable those developers and partners to leverage the Solaris technology for their own purposes. "This means we are creating a platform for a whole new generation of innovation and will change the dynamics of the industry," she said.
OpenSolaris was also going to allow Sun and its partners to participate in projects that require open source, whether in government agencies or university computer science departments or in the startup world, where people were building embedded appliances, she said.
"The bottom line is that this move will expand the ecosystem and the market for the OpenSolaris technology," she said. While some in the open-source community have criticized Sun for creating the CDDL (Common Development and Distribution License) for OpenSolaris, which is not compatible with the GNU GPL (General Public License), and which they say will exclude Linux developers from participating in the project, Giordano said Sun believed that the open-source community was a community of communities. Read more here about Suns decision to use the CDDL for its Open Solaris project. "We are focused on expanding the ecosystem for the OpenSolaris community and have received tremendous interest from people in government, including China and Japan, and how the license enables them to mix CDDL open-source files with other open-source and proprietary files," she said. Sun has been working with a pilot community of some 150 developers from the financial services industry to contractors, ISVs and individual developers on the OpenSolaris project for several months now. Early on in that process, with very little involvement from Sun, a number of the participants in the pilot started collaborating on what it would take to do a PowerPC port, she said. "We have a number of projects and efforts already under way on OpenSolaris that will all be visible and accessible when OpenSolaris goes live on Tuesday," Giordano said, adding that some 1,000 Sun engineers across the world worked on Solaris. Asked how their responsibilities and daily job functions would change, Harpster said they would have to "interact with the outside world a lot more, but their day-to-day job functions and responsibilities will not change much." With regard to how the next version of Solaris development would be structured and coordinated, Harpster said that was being worked out and defined by the OpenSolaris Community Advisory Board and those details were expected to be made public sometime in the next quarter. The Sun engineering team had a roadmap going forward that they were working toward, but this was "mainly finishing up features that had been planned for Solaris 10 and finishing up projects that have not yet been completed," he said. But neither Giordano nor Harpster would comment on the time frame for the release of the next generation file system, ZFS, or Project Janus, which allows Linux binaries to run natively on Solaris. These features did not make the final release of Solaris 10 and were expected to be released with OpenSolaris, but can now only debut next year. Click here to read more about Suns decision to delay some Solaris 10 features. Giordano also stressed that Sun would continue to deliver its own branded, reliable enterprise version of Solaris for its customers, along with paid support and service offerings. "We will continue our proven development process, with the same amount of quality testing before a new version is released." Harpster added that the Solaris release cycles were based on many factors, including its hardware and middleware release schedules and the schedules of its ISVs. "I expect the release cycle to be pretty much the same as it always has been," 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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