Will OpenSolaris and Linux Soon Be Trading Code?

Opinion: The GPL 3 may yet change into something that Linus Torvalds can bless, and if that happens, Linux and Solaris may trade code after all.

Sun Microsystems puzzles me sometimes.

Take, for instance, Sun president Jonathan Schwartzs recent announcement that Sun might dual-license Solaris under its own CDDL (Common Development and Distribution License) and the GPL 3 (GNU General Public License).

OK, Ill bite. "Why?"

Schwartz said, "We want to do what we can to drive more efficiency and cross-pollination between Linux and OpenSolaris."

Ill buy that. My question is, "Why didnt you just put Solaris under GPL 2 in the first place?"

Everyone, and I mean everyone, knew when Sun opened Solaris under the CDDL that it was incompatible with GPL 2.

Sun didnt do GPL 2, though, because, as Scott McNealy said last year at the Sun Network Computing meeting last year, "Sun has an obligation to its shareholders to leverage and protect its intellectual property. We are granting [access to our intellectual property] to people who are responsible and who are signed-up licensees of the CDDL."

Fair enough. Sun has stockholders and many of them and Suns own employees still arent that sure about open source. But, as I said at the time, Sun wasnt really looking at Solaris in an open-source way.

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