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Sun Microsystems

Solaris Might Become LSB-compliant 206

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the isn't-it-ironic dept.
lvv writes "Register: according to Sun's Jonathan Schwartz, Solaris - one of the most proprietary Unixes, might become LSB compliant OpenSolaris. Also some info about future of Solaris desktop (Gnome)."
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Solaris Might Become LSB-compliant

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  • Darn... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 10, 2002 @01:47PM (#4637443)
    For a second there I thought it said "LSD-compliant"... how cool would it have been to be able to hear the video output and see the audio output?
  • I use Solaris on a daily basis at work and love it! This would be great if it happens. With it's simple interface and usability I could see OpenSolaris becoming very popular. I am going to follow this one closely.

    • by Tet (2721)
      This would be great if it happens.

      I'm not too bothered about the whole LSB issue. But I'd love it if Solaris at least adopted the Linux FHS [pathname.com]. This is one of the best thought out and best documented standards I've seen in a long time. Everything has its place, and everything is given a rationale to explain why it's there. Solaris has inherited too many things from Unix that were poorly thought through at the time, but have stuck due to inertia.

  • by JamesCronus (592398) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @01:50PM (#4637460)
    hang on, solaris, becomeing linux compliant???? eh???????? i thought solaris, being UNIX was posix complient, and so didnt need to be LSB compliant. hang on wont this turn solaris into a linux clone, but linux is a unix clone................ i'm gonna go and lie down, i think i'm dreaming
  • by Clue4All (580842) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @01:53PM (#4637478) Homepage
    Solaris - one of the most proprietary Unixes

    I'm going to take issue with this statement. Solaris isn't open source by any means, but it's a free download on SPARC and until recently Intel platforms, and you can download the source after agreeing to Sun's license. You can make changes to the source, recompile anything you damn well please, and contribute changes back to Sun (I have done so myself), the only thing you can't do is redistribute it. It's not on par in the open nature of Linux or FreeBSD, but compare this to DEC/Compaq/HP Tru64 or HP-UX or AIX where you pay a huge sum of money for a binary CD. I'd hardly call that the most proprietary.
    • Unix has /etc/fstab, Solaris has vfstab.

      Unix don't start GUI in single user mode.

      Unix has a C compiler (not an application wich is sold separatly). C compiler under Unix is not only development tool but also installation tool.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Let me be the first to say, what the FUCK are you talking about? You made the original statement, perhaps you should have looked up the definition of proprietary first.
      • While I realise this is a troll, I just wanted to point out to others that most commercial UNICES do NOT come with C/C++ compilers. UnixWare, OpenServer, HP-UX, Solaris, DEC UNIX etc. do not come with C/C++ compilers.

        SunOS 4.x came with a K&R C compiler, but if you wanted ANSI C or C++ you needed to buy SparcWorks.

        Virtually the only UNICES that come with C/C++ compilers are the free ones, e.g. distributed with GCC. But first of all, these can not be called 'Unix' and second, GCC is available for most of the above commercial platforms anyway, so the point is moot.

        • GCC is a good compiler. It's neither as good as Compaq's C compiler on Alpha nor is it as good as Sun's compiler on Sparc, however. GCC couldn't even make 64 bit binaries until the 3.0 release.

          Although, the compiler is a minimal issue, I use Solaris as my desktop at work and we run it on the production servers. I've also worked with Tru64, etc. I've never worked with a UNIX so broken out of the box. It's a good 4 hours of work before you can comfortable use a Solaris system. Unlike many other UNIXes, which require post-installation work but aren't as ugly. (Ever service enabled by default, open mail relay, /bin/sh, insufficient path, hideously outdated drivers, 30,302 patches to apply, broken patches, patches that re-enable services you've disabled.)

          We recently purchased a Sun Fire 150 system to use for a few web-services. The system came preinsatelled with The Solaris Operating Environment version 8. It presented a minimally impressive configuration menu but it wasn't able to configure the NICs because it couldn't figure out what they were.

          Solaris may technically be a good Operating System, however I do not find it particularly excellent. I'll take MacOS X (or Server) over Solaris anyday. I'll even go so far as to say I'd rather use Debian than Solaris.
          • by alsta (9424) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @04:25PM (#4638244)
            Your frustrations with Solaris are most likely due to, forgive me if I sound condescending, inexperience.

            I have never heard of a Sun Fire 150. Sun has a Fire V100 and Fire V120. These have two ethernet interfaces, which I think are called dmfe[01]. I don't have access to one so I can't verify that. You can figure this out by using prtconf(1M).

            To harden a Solaris box takes a little time. But it shouldn't take 4 hours. You basically need to make sure that RPC services are turned off and that you step through inetd.conf.

            Patching Solaris is a breeze compared to various Linux distributions, including Red Hat. Apply the latest MU and then either use PatchPro or Recommended clusters.

            You're right, Solaris isn't exactly point-and-click. Perhaps you should, as you suggested, stick with MacOS X.
            • I worked with Unix for more then 20 years. I installed and worked with at least 15 brands of Unix-es, most of them commercial. I am certified (by Sun) Solaris System Administrator. Most of my income comes from supporting Solaris shops as consultant.

              Yes, I believe that Solaris is most proprietary, which means difficult to support for those who support not only Solaris. Proprietary in the sense - don't adhere to historical Unix standards (posix != unix) and suffering from Not Invented Here syndrome. I will agree that most of commercial unix-es are proprietary. And I also agree that Sun contributed a lot to Unix and that pre SysV it had very decent product.

              By my observation many of Solaris sysadmins worked only with one Unix - Solaris. This is probably why there is so much controversy about calling it proprietary. The same as Windows users who know only Windows become very defensive about MS products.
              • Every release of Solaris ships with a companion CD which contains lots of GNU tools, including GCC, GNU make, autoconf etc. Also included on this CD comes KDE and GNOME.

                To continue this, Sun is moving towards GNOME and should have a supported release soon.

                How do you come to the conclusion that Solaris is the most proprietary, when comparing with DEC UNIX and HP-UX?
      • Unix don't start GUI in single user mode.
        Huh?? What makes you think that Solaris does? I've booted loads of workstations/servers into single user mode for maintenance and I've never seen it start up a GUI for it.

        As others have pointed out, most other Unices don't come with a C compiler either, but I will allow the fact that it's strange to have /etc/vfstab instead of /etc/fstab. Then again, Solaris isn't unique in having certain files with different names in different places.

    • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @02:43PM (#4637692) Journal
      Solaris isn't open source by any means, but it's a free download on SPARC and until recently Intel platforms, and you can download the source after agreeing to Sun's license. You can make changes to the source, recompile anything you damn well please, and contribute changes back to Sun (I have done so myself), the only thing you can't do is redistribute it.

      And if they'd done that ten years ago, when I (and others) had a significant need to hack up some min or features and no budget to buy into their source distribution package it wouled have been wonderful - and might have headed off the obsolescence of Solaris.

      Now, with Linux (+ GNU utilities + X + Gnome|KDE), and Free/Open/Net BSD, and Mach, and the rest of the Open Source world, it's too little too late.

      I've reverse-engineered OSes on IBM, Control Data, DEC, Mac, and Altos when useful to add features or custom hardware. But with Spark's RISC instruction set and Sun's insistance on keeping both hardware and software closed, the cost/benefit balance was tipped.

      I retired my last Solaris home machine on Dec 31, 1999, rather than upgrade it for Y2K.

      At work:
      - The serious networking software development is now done on NetBSD and variants. BSD desktops.
      - The ASIC development is still partly on Solaris ... because we still have legacy machines from when that was all the tools would run on. But the simulation farm was ported to Linux long ago. New machines are PCs and the Sun boxes will run - mostly as legacy desktops - until they die or become too painful to maintain.
      - And of course the administrators are still on Windoze - though it wouldn't surprise me to see them move to Linux in the near future.
      • You wrote:

        At work: - The serious networking software development is now done on NetBSD and variants. BSD desktops.

        That is quite ironic as Sun's OS used to be a BSD at one time.

      • Upgrade it for Y2K? What were you running, 4.1.3? I'm pretty positive all the later versions had Y2k patches that you could freely download from Sun's site.

        siri
        • Upgrade it for Y2K? What were you running, 4.1.3?

          yep, if I recall correctly.

          I'm pretty positive all the later versions had Y2k patches that you could freely download from Sun's site.

          And in fact even 4.1.3 worked pretty well on new year's day, much to my suprise. Major exception was the version of calendar manager (which wouldn't display any appointments after 1999 - and hadn't even during 1999). So if I ever discover that I really need to do something on the old machine (before I throw it out or some bitrot sets in) I can power it up again.

          But by that point I'd already gotten fed up with a decade of Sun's now-it's-open-kinda, now-it's-closed-again vacilation, on both hardware and software (and Apple's too, for that matter.) I'd determined years before that open source was where the action would be. (Chosing Linux over *BSD was tougher, given BSD's more standard build enviornment and its function as the canonical exchange platform for network software. Jury's still out on that, but it still looks like I picked the winner.)

          By Y2K I'd bit the bullet long since and been on Linux for some time. New year's was just an excuse to cut the apron strings. So I moved the last server (the MTA) off from it, and pulled the plug. (And saw a significant power bill reduction. B-) )

          After all: If I'm not going to use Solaris any more (except maybe on work sites where somebody ELSE can do the sysadmin drudgework), why bother burning my precious manhour-capital upgrading it?
      • by magellan (33560) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @04:31PM (#4638275)
        "But with Spark's RISC instruction set and Sun's insistance on keeping both hardware and software closed, the cost/benefit balance was tipped."

        First, Sun's hardware is not closed. Sun does not own SPARC. SPARC International does (www.sparcinternational.com). You can license the SPARC instruction set from them.

        You can buy boards from Sun and build your own SPARC computers.

        You can buy complete SPARC computers with no Sun hardware at all from Fujitsu.

        You can obtain a license Solaris for single SPARC CPU systems for free (beer).

        Solaris 8 is also available for Intel-based computers. Solaris 9 added no features of use for Intel, so the lack of availability for Solaris 9 is irrelavant.

      • ...with Spark's [sic] RISC instruction set and Sun's insistance on keeping both hardware and software closed...

        What is closed, exactly, about Sun's hardware and software? Solaris is extremely well documented (if not fully documented; regardless, it makes Windows envious), CDE and X Windows are standardized, SPARC is an IEEE standard, and other important hardware components, such as SBus, PCI, SCSI, and IDE, are also standardized. If their hardware is so closed, why do Linux, NetBSD, and OpenBSD run well on Sun-branded machines with comendable peripheral support?

        I think the only thing that makes Solaris "closed" is that Sun's compiler (~$1000, now-a-days) is required to build their Solaris source distribution. For a business, a few thousand dollars isn't that big of a deal, especially given that the Sun compiler provides optimizations targeted for each type of SPARC cpu.

        In fact, I look forward to SPARC-based systems being one of the safe-havens from Intel and AMD if/when Palladium and "user untrusted" computing tries to take over. PowerPC and MIPS will also be important in the Palladium age. It's important to keep our options open, especially when our current popular "open" systems turn against us.
    • In Slashdot-land the word 'proprietary' doesn't have a well-defined meaning, it is just a general-purpose pejorative.
    • MAybe i'm not _geek_ enough but i really didn't think there are levels of proprietaryness. Is not something either proprietary or not proprietary? "Wow this is the most useless software i've ever used." .. responce, "You mean it's more useless than than the other useles software you have no use for, wow that's damn useless..?" My responce to the article, "Wow that's damn proprietary."
    • "free download"?

      Not really [sun.com]. Solaris 9/SPARC is free with a registration, Solaris 8 still costs $20 to download. I'm pretty sure it cost money to download 9 until recently. If you want a real giggle, look at the prices they charge for a multi-CPU license.

      • Solaris 8 was a free download for systems with 8 CPUs (IIRC) when it was current.

        Solaris 9 is a free license and download for single CPU boxes. It has been free since it was released.

        Service contracts for hardware include OS updates. Every sane business will have some sort of service contract for their servers. The prices you see quoted really only kick in if you buy a secondhand box or a clone.
  • O.K.! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @01:53PM (#4637480) Homepage Journal
    I think that this will finally earn them the right to increment a Major Version Number!
    • Re:O.K.! (Score:1, Funny)

      by Faggot (614416)
      Well, that and the fact that they've run out of decimal space for SunOS 5.X. And suits don't speak hex.
      • that and the fact that they've run out of decimal space for SunOS 5.X. And suits don't speak hex.

        Is there anything wrong with a 5.10.0 release? That's how most free software projects seem to handle minor versions past 10.

      • I like your idea! It would be fun: Solaris Version 0x1f
  • by steveadept (545416) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @01:56PM (#4637490)
    In another fantastic display of pandering, Schwartz noted, "OpenSolaris will be based on UnitedLinux, because that's the direction everybody's going, isn't it? Isn't it?"
  • Sun and standards (Score:5, Interesting)

    by germinatoras (465782) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @01:58PM (#4637499) Homepage

    A lot of us like to accuse Sun of being no better than Microsoft at a lot of things. This may be true on some level, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. While their motivation may be purely profit-driven, at least they are taking the approach of "Linux is getting popular, so we should be more like it", rather than "We need to squeeze every last $0.01 out of our locked-in customers".

    Lately, Sun seems to be establishing a good track record for openness. They've created a fairly decent platform-independent programming language and development environment, and have made their Solaris environment look more like the other Unices out there. They are starting to come out with Linux products, or at least are talking about them. Even the source code to Solaris 7 used to be available for purchase on CD-ROM (although they may have backed away from that).

    I hope that this is more than just a bid to recapture lost market share, but a real committment to play fair and adhere to open, published, and somewhat popular standards.

    • by Richard_Davies (250599) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @02:15PM (#4637577)
      > While their motivation may be purely profit-driven

      Um - aren't pretty much all (profitable) companies profit-driven?

      I mean Microsoft, Red Hat, Sun, IBM, etc - none of them are charities right?
      • by be-fan (61476)
        There is a difference between profit driven and profit obsessed. Microsoft is profit obsessed. Almost *everything* they do is there to further their own bottom line. Other companies (IBM and RedHat for example) are profit driven, in that making a profit is their number one priority, but they do non-profit oriented things as well that help the community. Just take a look at all the open source IBM projects. [ibm.com] Do those help IBM? Maybe to the extent that they enable enterprise level applications and thus create a demand for more IBM h ardware, but that's indirect, and still helps the community in the process. Compare this to Microsoft's open source projects. Let's see, the only one I can think of is the CLI. Not only is the CLI directly profit-related (the more people that use it, the more people that are tied into Windows.NET) but it doesn't help the community a whole lot because it's under a draconion license.
      • >> While their motivation may be purely profit-driven

        Um - aren't pretty much all (profitable) companies profit-driven?

        I mean Microsoft, Red Hat, Sun, IBM, etc - none of them are charities right?


        As a general rule I would call a company purely profit-driven when they fail to take ethical and/or social consequences of their business decisions into consideration.

        While big corporations like Sun and IBM might be doing the right thing because it helps drive revenues, Microsoft has never allowed ethics or social consequences get in the way of their single-minded drive for profit through world domination. Or shouldn't that be world domination through profit instead?

        Umm, come think of it that way, Microsoft isn't a good example of purely profit-driven company either. For them money is largely a means to global domination and therefore a resource (aka air supply) that must be squeezed away from their competitors. Incidentally, this is largely why Open Source Software is good for anyone but Microsoft or their remaining parasitic cronies.
      • Um - aren't pretty much all (profitable) companies profit-driven?

        Of course. While this gets thrown about as a bad thing, a company must have profit as one of its highest motives.

        You can talk about doing all sorts of wonderful and interesting things _as well as_ turning a profit, but let's face it: If you don't turn a profit, you only get to do the other stuff once.

        -JDF
    • Re:Sun and standards (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      And don't forget OpenOffice.org...
    • I hope that this is more than just a bid to recapture lost market share, but a real committment to play fair and adhere to open, published, and somewhat popular standards.
      • Please disregard the above lapsus ...
        I hope that this is more than just a bid to recapture lost market share, but a real committment to play fair and adhere to open, published, and somewhat popular standards.

        Well certainly it is just a coincidence that they do this now that they seriously feel the pain.

    • at least they are taking the approach of "Linux is getting popular, so we should be more like it", rather than "We need to squeeze every last $0.01 out of our locked-in customers".

      I think that they are squeezing the last $0.01 out of their customers. If you read the article, they [ Sun ] are marketing this to sites in 100 unit multiples.

      That said, I doubt that they will charge any more that that company from Redmond.

    • There has always been one very important difference between Sun and Microsoft, a difference which remains regardless of any new Sun licensing policy:

      Sun's products work.
  • all this time on 56k to download solaris 9 images for my Ultra 60, blew several days on configuring it to my liking and now sun has to go and do this... =P Oh well, I suppose I mucked up my sol9 install enough to warrant a reinstall anyways =)

    -- AcquaCow
  • by Snork Asaurus (595692) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @02:13PM (#4637566) Journal
    Solaris Might Become LSB-compliant

    Is Solaris already compliant with all the other bits?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    What does this have to do with least significant bits?
  • It only makes sense (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 10, 2002 @02:15PM (#4637572)
    Solaris doesn't make Sun any money. It's the hardware that keeps them afloat. Every developer they've got working on Solaris is a salary that doesn't go to working on the money-making hardware.

    Running Linux as their main system allows them to get an OS for free. Granted, it's not quite as polished or stable as Solaris, but they don't have to apply any development effort, people are willing to give their work away for free!
    • But you need Solaris in order to take advantage of their advanced hardware features. So the salaries are necessary expense. Linux has a LONG way to go to come up to being a enterprise class OS like Solaris.
      • People made similar claims about Irix and AIX. Yet both SGI and IBM are trying to close the gap. If Sun joins the effort it may not take very long at all. 2-3 years ago Linux didn't scale well. Today the fastest computer in the world is a Linux machine.
        • Speed has nothing to do with real production servers. Solaris is a fine example of that, it appears sluggish to newbies, but as the load increases Solaris and your app's don't bat an eye. Plus all the features it has to support dynmaic reconfiguration and other HA features. Linux is good and will continue to mature. Yes, Linux Beowuld clusters are fast, but they are special purpose servers not day-to-day production workhorses. Linux is still mainly used in the same small niche it always has. Also Solaris scales better than Linux, but a lot that is Sun hardware. Intel systems can't scale as well as Sun systems. IBM and others are working on Intel based NUMA systems that will address scaling with Intel. Also Linux HA features are still in very early development stage.
          • I don't see how your post contradicts mine. You don't seem to value supercomputing but do value a large number of simple clients. And that is an area where both IBM and Sun have a great deal of experience and technology which they might choose to port.

            My point was that current limitations of Linux are not permanent limitiations and scaling was an example of this.

        • Does 'close the gap' mean converging on all the existing hardware, and having open support for it all universally?

          That would, uh, mean Sun would have to rely on patent protection to protect their features. Rather that the fairly successful 'obfuscation' that's earned them their pay up until now.

          An example of 'closing the gap' would be: I am running Solaris right now on this SparcStation 10SX box (a dual headed one to boot!) because XFree just doesn't support the advanced hardware features of it's cgfourteen framebuffer(s) (yes, two of them on this particular SS10SX). Without the Sun X Server, this machine is doomed to be an 8 bit color machine, and that sucks.

          Granted, cgfourteen is probably considered obsolete by Sun, but it'd be cool to be able to run NetBSD on this box like I do on most of my other hardware (pkgsrc rules!, and I lost my wrestling match with Zoularis).

          Before I drift further off topic: Sun is like Apple: a hardware company that produces a value-add OS to reap the benefits of their expensive hardware. Like it or not if they open everything up they'd become just another Compaq, or be driven out of business.
          • No by "close the gap" I meant features which are generally found on higher end systems but don't exist for Linux. XFS being a good example until SGI's work Linux didn't have a filesystem with good performance on very large files. I don't see any incentive for IBM, SGI or Sun to extend the life of very old hardware.

            • I don't see any incentive for IBM, SGI or Sun to extend the life of very old hardware.

              Sadly, there doesn't seem to be much support anywhere for extending the life of old hardware. The days of putting free OSes on older hardware to extend their life seems to be fading. The frothy desire of 'leading edge' OSS developers to 'beat Microsoft'- read: all the eye candy bloatware projects.

              Examples include:

              The end of support of graphic hardware, re: S3 Trio64 cards 'deprecated' in XFree86 (I thought that was a Microsoft trick, dudes...)

              The murmurs being heard lately about bugs being ignored in NetBSD/Sparc on early SparcStation hardware.
    • > Solaris doesn't make Sun any money. It's the hardware that keeps them afloat

      I hear this a lot, but reliable (relative to /. anyway) sources inform me it's support where Sun makes $$$$.
  • Which LSB? (Score:5, Funny)

    by RomSteady (533144) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @02:40PM (#4637678) Homepage Journal
    At first glance, I thought this was an article about it moving from MSB (most-significant byte order) to LSB (least-significant byte order). While it only took me a second to figure out that it meant Linux Standards Board, it just goes to show that the biggest problem in computer science isn't a lack of standards...it's a lack of unique TLA's (three-letter acronyms).
    • Anyone who knows anything about computers knows that the problem is not y2k or y2.038k, but the fact that there is only 17536 TLAs around.
      • >Anyone who knows anything about computers knows that the problem is not y2k or
        >y2.038k, but the fact that there is only 17536 TLAs around.

        Virtually all computer professionals have been upgraded to handle ETLAs properly, so the transition should be minimal.

        Matt
    • You laugh about the lack of TLAs now, but you have no idea how close we came to naming it the Unix Standards Base!
  • Ugh... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by timbrown (578202)
    Just as long as it doesn't standardise around the Linux kernel</kidding>

    Seriously though, to what end? Although it looks nice on a specification list to boast of LSB compliance, from a brief perusal of the latest [linuxbase.org] version of the Linux Standard Base (1.3.pr3), this could have the potential to break backwards compatibility with previous Solaris releases (maybe).
  • Solaris (Score:4, Informative)

    by be-fan (61476) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @03:19PM (#4637874)
    Solaris is hardly the most proprietory UNIX. Over the years, Sun has revealed a lot about the inner workings of the OS. In addition to all the journal articles and whatnot (just browse through their Knowledge Base) they published books like Solaris Internals that detail the Solaris kernel in the way Understanding the Linux Kernel details the Linux kernel. A lot of ideas in the open source kernels have been inspired by Solaris. In fact, the slab allocator used in the current Linux kernel is a derivitive of the one presented in a Solaris kernel article.
  • I think it's a step in the right direction, but a small one.

    How long will it take until they realize they have to open-source Solaris and start some kind of "SolarLinux" distribution, so they can save at least some part of their business model? (hardware and service revenues)

    Longer than it took them to realize they had to support Linux just to save Java?
  • by magellan (33560) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @04:58PM (#4638402)
    The comment on Solaris being most propietary is an incredibly ingnorant statement. How can there be so many open source tools for Solaris if this is the case?

    Solaris started the standardization of commercial UNIX to the SVR4 standard. Tell me again how Solaris is the most proprietary?

    Solaris is UNIX98 compliant (and UNIX95 before that). Tell me again how Solaris is the most proprietary?

    Solaris is POSIX compliant (one of two threading models offered). Tell me again how Solaris is the most proprietary?

    Solaris 8 shippped with Linux compatability before AIX did. Tell me again how Solaris is the most proprietary?

    Much of Solaris' source is available for academia under the Solaris Foundation Source program, compared to NONE for AIX, HP-UX, Tru64, and IRIX. Not all source code is available, because much of Solaris is actually licensed from other companies (for example, CDE and Motif). Of course, the fact that this code is licensed from others, and is used by other UNIXES, suggests Solaris is indeed not proprietary. Tell me again how Solaris is the most proprietary?

    For those wanting to use Solaris' source code commercially, it can be purchased. This is openly licenseable. Something can be open without being open source. Tell me again how Sun is proprietary?

    NOTE: Yes, I know IBM opened the source of its original AIX's JFS (replaced by JFS2 in AIX 5.2). However, Sun has opened the source of quite a bit of its technology as well (see below).

    Sun licenses Solaris to direct competitors, such as Fujitsu, who design and fabricate their own SPARC chips and manufacture their own computers. This is more than HP or IBM do with HP-UX and AIX. Tell me again how Solaris is the most proprietary?

    NOTE: HP does a pretty good job here too, licensing HP-UX to both NEC and Stratus. IBM only licenses AIX to Bull, which resells IBM manufactured pSeries systems with Bull labels.

    Sun licenses Solaris for single-CPU SPARC and Intel computers for free (beer). HP, SGI, and IBM do not. Tell me again how Solaris is the most proprietary?

    Sun offers recommended and security patches to anyone, regardless of if they have a service contract or even have a legitimate Solaris license. HP does not do this. Tell me again how Solaris is the most proprietary?

    NOTE: IBM does a pretty good job here as well, offering critical patches for free.

    Sun uses SPARC chips, but does not own SPARC. SPARC International (www.sparcinternational.com) owns SPARC. You can license the SPARC instruction set from them. This is more than HP, IBM, or Intel do with PA-RISC, POWER, and Itanium. Tell me again how Sun is the most proprietary?

    NOTE: HP does sell its PA-RISC chips to Stratus, but the instruction set is not openly licenseable. IBM does not resell or license the POWER3, RS64, or POWER4 CPUs or their instruction set, and is pulling away from Motorolla on the 32-bit PowerPC front.

    If your definintion of non-proprietary has something to do with GNU tools, Solaris 8 and 9 ship with well over 100 GNU tools such as Apache, GCC, etc. Tell me again how Solaris is the most proprietary?

    The "Solaris is proprietary" myth is FUD that is being spread by IBM and HP, two companies who produce systems with more proprietary technology, and this is being propogated unwittingly by the Linux community.

    Sun is one of the major corporate contributors to the Apache project, and the largest corporate contributor to Mozilla. Sun contributed StarOffice, NetBeans, GridEngine, JXTA, the Solaris Internationalization framework, and other items to the open souce community. (www.sunsource.net).

    Sun has also been the leader in the fight against royalty bearing RAND licenses.

    Please learn a little bit about things before making judgements.

    And one last thing. We cannot have it both ways. We cannot insist companies open their source, and complain they are trying to destroy existing open source projects when they do. We cannot say UNIX and Linux need to converge, and then say it is bad if a major commercial UNIX vendor decides to make its UNIX variant 100% Linux compliant. What Sun is proposing is probably being considered by HP and IBM as well. There are good reasons for this. It standardizes UNIX/Linux without throwing away decades of engineering work making Solaris, AIX, HP-UX and IRIX scalable, robust operating systems.

    We really need be much more open minded about things. What good is it to be an open source advocate with a closed mind?
    • Um, JFS2 came out with AIX 5.1. Actually the 5.x series goes by AIX5L (for Linux Affinity). I do agree that saying Solaris was proprietarty was a bit ridiculous. Most UNICES are very open as compared to Microsoft. Even IBM is going more open. IBM has Linux running on everything. OS's will make noone money because everyone needs one and one is usually included when you buy a system. Pure software companies, except for maybe games, will not exist in the near future. The only way they will is if they have something nichy that is only needed by a few.
  • LSB != LSD (Score:2, Funny)

    by AskedRelic (620439)
    Heh, anyone else see LSD when they first looked?
  • This article is fake (Score:4, Informative)

    by Grim Grepper (452375) <Andrew275@gmail.com> on Sunday November 10, 2002 @07:08PM (#4639072) Homepage
    This article is fake, just like The Register's article on Cold Fusion. Read this [theregister.co.uk] to find out more.
  • Why not... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by joto (134244) on Sunday November 10, 2002 @07:18PM (#4639116)
    The directory hierarchy, and location of important files on Solaris can only be called one thing: confusing. So I bet they've always wanted to clean it up somewhat, but once they do it, it's better if they do it one big change, rather than piecemal, which will break things continually (instead of once).

    And if you are going to clean it up, you might as well look at how other people have done it. As for going for full LSB compliance, that might be a bit overkill, and a very surprising move away from the NIH-principle Sun usually follows. But I don't think it's going to have too many negative consequences.

  • 1) commoditize your hardware!
    2) commoditize your software!
    3) ???
    4) $$$!

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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