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Sun Microsystems

Sun Closes Solaris Source Sales June 30 138

Vardamir writes: " It appears that Sun is no longer interested in distributing the source code to their Solaris Operating System, even for a charge of $75.00. 'Thanks for your interest and welcome to the Solaris[tm] 8 Foundation Source Program. Please note that the Solaris 8 Foundation Source Program will be canceled effective June 30, 2001. In addition, both the secure chat and code-exchange sites will also be terminated on this date.' Get it while you still can, bzip it, and upload to a gnutella server!" Hasn't exactly been that long a ride since this idea was first floated, but it never seemed to be the roaring success that Sun perhaps thought it would.
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Sun Closes Solaris Source Sales June 30

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    The more I read about Sun, the more I wonder why they were invited and integrated so tightly into the GNOME project. Sun is dangerous. You may think they're better than Microsoft because they do Unix and Java, but according to pure RMS tenants, they are not.

    I have a feeling Sun will be the downfall of GNOME.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Oh, please. Take a deep breath, step back from the keyboard, and pledge not to watch any Oliver Stone movies for at least six months.

    I'm amazed at how highly many people in the Linux community think of themselves and their work. When you talk provately with people from all the big companies in this industry, they will tell you, without exception, that Linux is a toy built by kiddies compared to Solaris, HP/UX, and AIX.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    StarOffice is not Free (as in speech)... the project you are looking for is OpenOffice.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Although the weakness of DEC's hardware was a contributing factor in their downfall, it was not the pimary cause. I believe, and am well supported by others who were victmized, that DEC lost ground because they had an attitude problem. They thought they owned the marketplace and they acted very heavy-handidly with respect to both current and future customers - DEC marketing and sales thought they could get away with it because they thought they were the only game in town. By the time the realized they weren't the only horse in the race, they were so far behind that not even all of Microsoft's money could have saved them.

    So, Arrogrance and Greed was DEC's problem, IMHO. Sun has this problem too, but not anywhere near as bad as DEC once did.
  • Maybe I read it wrong, but it sure sounded like Timothy is promoting software piracy in the post of this story. How completely irresponsibile can slashdot get. Just when I think slashdot is getting better, some idiot goes and posts some crap that suggests everyone become software pirates. Timothy deserves two slaps upside the head.
  • Strength of the platform is not simply an issue of raw CPU cycles. When discussing Sun, we are not talking about "ordinary" desktop computing. Sun excels in supporting the mid- to high-range of networked application services. To a lesser extent they also serve the needs of intensive engineering/visualization workstation applications.

    A PC is still just a PC. There are massive I/O considerations that the PC architecture(s) just do not yet properly address for this arena. Intel has led PC designers in the effort to enhance the PC with fancy northbridges and burstable, high-speed, special purpose busses, etc... This is still arranged around a core that is descended from the original PC-AT.

    If your machine uses are centered around desktop console use, or the simple servicing of an IP stack (like a web-server), then a PC is usually the best dollar/performance machine in the world. Just don't make the mistake of thinking that these are the only significant areas of computer application. They are probably not even the most significant.

    Jeremiah Cornelius

  • The IDE model is extremely inexpensive, and the dual processor 1U netra is under $5000, I think.

    No, this is not an e10k, and you can't partition it, but it is a solaris machine nonetheless.

    Also, solaris is available for FREE for intel and sparc, so there can't be any argument about accessibility for Solaris. The source effort must have failed for other reasons, which I guess to be lack of enthusiasm.


  • > So get UltraSparc's score, double it, and you
    > get ... 876, which is more than the shoddy 573 the P4 gets

    And you double it how? I'd be impressed if you could show me where you could buy an UltraSPARC that ran at 1.8GHz. I'm assuming the fastest Ultra you can buy is the 900MHz one, and the P4 kicks its butt. The key is that the P4 does run that fast, but nobody knows how to make an UltraSPARC run that fast, even if they wanted to.

    Also note that you'd need to double the speed of the memory bus, and halve all latencies in everything, especially the RAM, to get double the SPECcpu score.

    Sun's *SPARC cpus are way behind everyone else, but they keep selling them because they put them in very reliable machines and sell good support. Their good name helps, too. High processing speed is not their forte.
    Read Silicon Insider: http://www.realworldtech.com/page.cfm?Section=Colu mns&Subject=Insider, he has some comments on SPARC.
    #define X(x,y) x##y
  • because solaris is just doing a much, much better job.

    --

  • "Get it while you still can, bzip it, and upload to a gnutella server!"

    How can you upload anything to a gnutella server?



    --
    Fredrik Borg
  • It was the submitter that said that. Geez, not only do people not read the articles attached to Slashdot stories, they don't even read the blurb!
  • the idea of Sun taking any of, say, Linux and integrating it into the Solaris kernel is a joke.

    Oh, I don't know. I'd kind of like to see this [alsa-project.org] replace OSS as the UNIX standard.

  • You're right, of course. Incidentally, I've been tracking comp.unix.solaris for a few weeks now, and the amount of ill will between between Linux supporters and Solaris admins is, while not overwhelming, a little bit unsettling.
  • by szo ( 7842 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2001 @04:58AM (#125726)
    It's not slashdot's opinion, it's the submitter's.

    Szo
  • You put up your post, in a public forum, fully aware that it would be read, in such a manner.

    Sun released their source code, under very specific guidelines. Which included not re-distributing it.

    If you are going to insist, that companies like MS not hijack open source code, and repackage it as their own. Then you should allow them to use those same laws in the opposite manner. IP laws, are a two way street.
  • do you have a URL for that? I absolutely could not find it last time I looked.
  • Is this yet another sign that Sun is weakening? Their hardware sales are begininning to be impacted by x86 as their system line falters and their OS if being whacked (especially on the low end) by Linux and its BSD bretheren. As the x86-64 and IA-64 lines progress the advantages of Sun hardware shrink. Free Java simplementations are starting to overshadow the JDK, especially in the Linux community. Sun, like SGI, is well on its way to becoming another RISC UNIX vendor killed by Linux and NT on x86. (How would _you_ save them? replies)

    Also I think the Solaris code licensing fialure is do to the fact it wasn't an open project which would have allowed a "community" to be built around improving and enhancing Solaris. With the media cost so high, no one other than companies who base much of their biiz on Solaris would have any interest in seriously looking at the source.
  • by Augusto ( 12068 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2001 @04:56AM (#125730) Homepage
    ... to encourage people to get the source and put it Gnutella ?

    C'mon people, this is not open source, they were selling the source and are now cancelling the effort (who knows why). But by making little comments like that, you're making us look like a community of software pirates not open source advocates !
  • and look where SGI is right now... 6 months of cash left, pushing Windows and Itanium machines... (what about VA Linux, they're doing really good, too, right?)

    What happened to the innovative company that was once SGI? They became box movers... Except they thought they could compete with the likes of Dell, who're already accustomed to razor thin margins and no spending on R&D.

    Yeah... Sun should forget all about developing an OS and great hardware, and switch immediately to shipping 1 to 2 processor Intel/Linux systems.... That's the ticket!
  • Is this yet another sign that Sun is weakening? Their hardware sales are begininning to be impacted by x86 as their system line falters and their OS if being whacked (especially on the low end) by Linux and its BSD bretheren

    Oh come on! Yes, Sun are probably getting nibbled away by GNU/Linux at the bottom end (The Netra's are cute 1U's, but out the box as a web box, they suck in comparison to a nice Redhat/VALinux box), but when it comes to large scale (ie >4 CPU) boxes running highly critical systems, with high demands on reliability, they're leagues ahead of the competition, and innovating with the Serengeti range (UltraSparcIII based systems).

    Ok, so i'm a Sun admin in my day job, and it's not that there haven't been any problems with Sun, and their chips, but to say they're declining on the basis of x86 eating their market, is significantly exaggerating the state of affairs.

    As far as revenue goes, they're suffering along with many other tech companies as demand declines as dot coms (a big part of their market the last few years) go under, but they're certainly not being eaten alive by X86 offerings in their core market.


  • Will Solaris 9 ship GNOME as the default desktop environment or do you expect Sun to back away from GNOME? When does Sun plan to release Solaris 9 anyways?
  • They stop distributing the old programs. If you try to download an old version of Java, it advises you to get a newer version, or Star Office. Check it out on their website. They'll patch over holes, but they try to get you up and running the latest and greatest if possible.
  • by NitsujTPU ( 19263 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2001 @05:06AM (#125735)
    Rather than deal with continued maintenance of products that have new versions out, Sun tends to ask its users to upgrade to the newest version, and enforce this by killing off access to the older versions. Personally, I see nothing wrong with this (though having an archive available is always nice). Who wants a tech support call for a modified version of an outdated product? Especially if the problem is one that is fixed in a later version.
  • One, VMS is not Unix. I've only had access as a user, not a developer or admin, but I kinda liked it. It's clustering is awesome.

    Two, Intel doesn't need Itanium to beat Sparc, cpu-wise. A P3 1 GHz beats most of the Ultra-Sparc II line, and the P4 series beats the Utlra-Sparc III, including the 900 MHz model. And all this is on FPU-intensive code, like SDRC I-DEAS and custom CAE software.
  • The code doesn't need to be compiled: just read.

    You're right, we shouldn't start distributing it on CDs or anything like that, but Sun also shouldn't mind if people continue to look at it. If Solaris is worth buying, then it must be worth studying. Any non-patented ideas in that code could be useful in Linux. Two examples come to mind:

    • Jumpstart
    • SunPCi
  • Actually Sun provides deprecates Solaris versions for a fairly long period of time. A release is kept active for about 4 years (2 additional versions + 6 months) and then supported for another 5 years after that.

    They even document the Solaris lifecycle model on their site. (http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/2.6/lifecycle .html).

  • Rumours are that Gnome will ship with Solaris 9, but I don't know if it will be the default desktop. As for the release date, don't know, would have to look on the sun.com site for info. Sun is a BIG company, so I don't have any idea what the OS guys are doing.

  • by Biolo ( 25082 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2001 @06:55AM (#125740)
    DISCLAIMER : I work for Sun, so am biased, but the below comments are in no way endorsed by Sun or necessarily reflect any of Sun's official positions.

    I suppose the same applies to TCL? I believe one of the lead developers of TCL/Expect is in the full-time employ of Sun and has been for some time. Besides, GNOME spent a lot of time shouting at KDE for their proprietary library, so there is no way they will let anything proprietary into the GNOME source. So exactly HOW will Sun kill GNOME? If people don't like something Sun gets into GNOME, someone will put in a way to disable it, or more likely it won't get into the official version.

    I see all sorts of negative comments against Sun, yet no-one seems to have any real facts. Yes, Sun still has proprietary code, these things take time to change (has IBM open-sourced AIX? HP HP-UX? Oracle? ). Yes, they still don't really support Linux, but the Cobalt range still runs it, and Sun owns them, again, it will take time to change. I think they'll get there, probably only on the low-end high-volume stuff for quite some time, but they'll get there when the really mission-critical (which is mostly where they sell) guys start to demand it. Don't forget in Sun's marketplace it's maximum uptime and speed that counts, not a pretty desktop. That and CONFIDENCE, try selling a Linux solution for a banks core systems.. won't work (yet).. but Solaris is a serious contender.

    So, where does that leave us? Sun doesn't fit with "pure RMS tenants", well ok, show me an old-style computer firm that does! Those companies started with a pure open-source philosophy have a much easier time maintaining that philisophy than firms that grew up with the "what's mine is mine, what's yours is mine" marketplace that M$ et al forged. Sun has open-sourced a lot of its stuff, StarOffice, lest you forget, Java, etc. StarOffice alone may do more good for Linux's success than anything else, and don't forget Sun actually laid out hard cash to buy that just to give away, who else can claim that? Personally I think Sun is helping Linux incredibly, and whilst it may not be pushing it or supporting it on its own hardware, yet, Linux is certainly not being hurt by Sun's contributions. Can you say the same about Microsoft, to which you compared them?

    Just my two pence.
  • Not at all... Sun is among the few Unix makers that still supports (i.e. patches) its old versions. We used to run (don't ask why) a Solaris 2.4 server until a couple of months ago... It was always patched and up to date. Which other vendor has ever offered something like it?
  • Apple needs Java to work on Macs more than anything.

    I'm a Java developer and glad about every 1.2 / 1.3 JDK that is available, but why do you think that Apple needs Java? It seems to me that Apple's systems are very much end-user-driven, so that Java isn't really much of an issue. Java never really made it to the desktop (Swing speed issues etc.)
  • Sun's whole corporate history shows their commitment to avoiding the vendor lock-in you are accusing them of. The decision to market Unix systems in the first place, the open specification of Sparc, the open licensing of NFS and NIS, the adoption of SVR4c the participation in CDE, and the Java spec development process all illustrate this,

    This is a company that plays ball with the rest of the industry instead of following 70s-IBM and 90s-MS tactics. Sure, they have a good story on binary compatibility through a large range of hardware, better than anyone else's. But lock-in through binary compatibility is not where Sun is at.
  • They have ALWAYS been an enemy of Linux. Sun exists to sell Sparc boxes and Solaris. They wanted to sort-of help Linux to keep it as a buffer against MS. They didn't perceive Linux as a threat and that was their mistake.

    Keep in mind that only a few days ago Compaq announced two items of great importance to Sun.

    1. The transfer of the Alpha to Intel. Not just the chip, but the entire development group. This will give Intel so badly-needed expertese in the 64-bit arena. While the UltraSPARC isn't a match for the Alpha, they had Intel beated hands-down. This also kills the Alpha -- leaving only the Sparc and PPC as competitors for Intel (AMD, etc.) Sun is feeling the heat.

    2. The impending release of their Sun migration [linuxgram.com] tools. These allow much easier conversion of Solaris programs using the Solaris threading model to the Linux threading model.

    IBM has been going great guns for Sun -- remember the Telestra announcement? Replacing how many Sun servers with a single IBM Mainframe running Linux S/370?

    Sun is in everyone's sights. Their problem is McNealy's ego only allows him to perceive Microsoft (Bill Gates, actually) as the only possible enemy. The rest are unworthy of his attention.

    That cute little penguin is going to cause a serious eclipse in the near future. World Domination doesn't mean just Microsoft.


    --
    Charles E. Hill
  • >Not a good point since Nortel's stock has been plummeting and they have had huge layoffs in the past few months.

    I'm quite familiar with their stock, as I work for their major competitor (Lucent). Out stock has done its own nose-dive as well.

    Neither stock price has any bearing on the fact that they both still do about $5-6 Billion each per QUARTER in gross business.

    Both use Sparc/Solaris workstations/servers (dependingon capacity) to manage their switches and the switch networks. Both end up selling more than a few low- to mid-range ( If you ever have run a real server, you would know that Linux is just a toy.

    Thanks, that is exactly the attitude I am talking about. :-)

    I originally received Sun SysAdmin and NetAdmin certification on 2.6 and then took the "upgrade" to 8. I work mostly on workstations, embeded manufacturing systems and low-end servers and have done so consistantly since 2.4. I currently run this stuff in mission-critical environments. I *DO* know what I am talking about. :-)

    You are right, on LARGE systems (8+ cpus) Solaris is one of the best OSes around. I've also worked with IRIX on some big boxes and it, too is quite nice.

    HOWEVER, given the right hardware, a properly tweaked Linux system is quite capable of handling damn near anything Solaris can do on low- to mid-end ( = 4 cpus ) workstations and servers.

    THIS is the market that Sun was taking for granted. If their attitude continues, Linux will sneak up on them in the big-box arena in the next few years and they will be wondering what hit them.


    --
    Charles E. Hill
  • Solaris is still sold (for a lot of money) with the large (16-way+) servers like the E10000.

    Sun *DOES* care about the OS, because with Solaris they have a better lock on selling the hardware.

    With Linux you can put it on your existing Sparc systems then migrate to (cheaper) Intel systems whenever the need arises. As long as they are low-end ( =4 cpus ) workstations, you won't have a problem. The software should run with just a recompile. Linux is a foot in the door and a nail in the coffin for Sun.

    Look at Red Hat's latest PR -- about their quarterly results. Notice the bullet point about Nortel contracting for support to switch from "proprietary Unix" (that is Sun Solaris, BTW) on their Network Management Systems to Red Hat Linux 7.1.

    Remember IBM's announcement about Telestra -- the Scandanavian ISP that replaced a room full of Sun Servers with a single S/390 running Linux?

    McNealy is so focused on Bill Gates he doesn't realize that the cute little penguin he was so generously helping out is about to rip his leg off.

    IBM jumped on the bandwagon; Sun seems to have an "oh, isn't that cute -- a little OS" opinion of Linux.

    Sun had it's moment but it is gone. An eclipse is coming.

    Linux. Join us or die.

    --
    Charles E. Hill
  • When was the last time you looked at the blueprints of your car's engine, anyway ?
    Dude, maybe all you do with your car is drive it, and maybe all you do with your computer is run applications, but some of us do development on our cars and computers. Adding a cruise control to a car is a lot easier if you have diagrams for the wiring and vacuum routing, and writing a driver is a lot easier if you have the OS source, even if you're not modifying anything that's already there.
  • In my experience, Sun hardware is now priced at about the same as equvilant PC hardware.

    Low spec PC for single user, Blade 1000 workstation, $1000.

    Medium spec PC, eg small website, Ultra 5 or 10, under $10,000.

    Higher spec PC, eg Database, Enterprise 220, under $30,000.

    Yes, the high end stuff is very expensive, but then there are no PC generic equivilants for the E10K.

  • John Ousterhout was at Sun for a while, after leaving Berkeley, however he left Sun, formed Scriptics, which was supposed to promote TCL, then apparently he is now working for interwoven. His homepage is at http://www.scriptics.com/people/john.ousterhout/.
  • Yes, replying to myself....

    Here [scriptics.com] is a page which docuements TCL moving into, and out of, Sun's sphere.

  • YYeah sorryy, bounced on the 0 keyy one time to manyy.
  • ...all most of us (this includes a lot geeks as well) want is a stable platform that is maintained by a competent company so we don't have to. Hence the real-life success of companies like Microsoft...

    Non sequitor. What does M$ have to do with a stable platform maintained by a competent company?

    When was the last time you looked at the blueprints of your car's engine, anyway?

    Get thee to an auto parts store. See that big rack of maintenance manuals?

    Now that I make good money as a software geek, I pay other people to do my vehicle maintence; but when I was in grad school, rolling nickles to come up with lunch money, I checked the maintenance manual (and its diagrams) pretty often in order to keep my clunker running.

    And engine blueprints are several orders of magnitude less useful than source code; you can't modify an engine with just the blueprints, and the blueprints don't give you full documentation of the engine's behavior.

    Tom Swiss | the infamous tms | http://www.infamous.net/

  • It's called Windows 2000.

    How does a platform that requires weekly rebooting when simply used as a light duty client (I only run Exceed, Netscape, and Bloated Notes on my Win2k box at work) qualify as "stable"? (Perhaps when compared to Windows 95, when I had to reboot daily (at least)?)

    I also thouroughly enjoy the way that a slow DNS lookup will cause the entire machine to lock up - leaving me unable to even move a window on the screen - until it resolves, or times out.

    I won't even discuss the hideousness of the user interfaces.

    MS might not be the "nicest" company in the world, but nobody looking at the success of Windows would argue that the are not "competent."
    Competent in marketing, yes. Competent in the crafting of a decent computer operating system, no.

    Tom Swiss | the infamous tms | http://www.infamous.net/

  • Perhaps because you have to pay for Forte C++ to compile it? Have you looked at how much Forte C++ costs? You check it out yet?? Good thats why it wasn't a BIG success. Sure you can find a bug or add a module or do whatever but if you can't compile it what good is it to you?
  • Why, that reminds me of a Red Hat box booting up and saying "Starting sendmail..." and then hanging. You can't get to any other login screens, you have to reboot and do Interactive startup and not start sednmail.

    Sure, it's easy to fix, but MS aren't the only ones who do it..
  • I paid for Solaris 8. Oh, the day it arrived! How I ran upstairs and eagerly installed it!

    To be honest, compared to Debian it sucks. I have been told that Solaris is better than Linux for some things, but for everything I do, Debian is/was clearly superior.

  • > Solaris still has the most scalable SMP tech. There's a lot to be learned by groveling through that code.

    *cough* *cough*

    Sorry, Solaris doesn't even come close to having the most scalable SMP code. That honor belongs to SGI's IRIX (currently 512P on Origin 2000 and Origin 3000) and Cray's Unicos/mk (approximately 1800P on the largest T3E I'm aware of). A measly little 64P Solaris UE10000 system cannot come anywhere making that claim.

    Note: Yes, there may technically be some larger SMP systems in existence running one-off operating systems; I am limiting my discussion to commercially available (at some point) systems.

    I will agree, however, that there is a lot to be gained from reading Solaris code. However, I wouldn't advise doing so and then bringing ideas into your operating system kernel of choice. Sun lawyers may very well have a heyday with you if that happens.
  • Are you saying that Star Office is ONLY free as in free beer? Because their website [openoffice.org] says that StarOffice is dual licensed:

    GPL/LGPL and SISSL

    In part, their site states:

    Dual licensing of the OpenOffice.org source code provides open and free access to the technology both for the GPL community and for other developers or companies that cannot use the GPL. Dual license is common practice in open source projects like Perl and Mozilla. Through the combined use of GPL/LGPL and SISSL, developers will have a high degree of freedom yet compatibility and interoperability will be preserved. You can freely modify, extend, and improve the OpenOffice.org source code. The only question is whether or not you must provide the source code and contribute modifications to the community. The GPL and SISSL licenses allow different ranges of flexibility in this regard, but in the end, regardless of the license used, any and all incompatible changes must be published openly.

  • What does M$ have to do with a stable platform maintained by a competent company?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    It's called Windows 2000. MS might not be the "nicest" company in the world, but nobody looking at the success of Windows would argue that the are not "competent."
  • You probably have it misconfigured. I have three machines here running Win2K, and two of them run some pretty heavy duty apps (Photoshop, 3D Studio, Visual C++). Hasn't crashed on me yet. The majority of people on the web (either through posting or doing reviews or whatnot), the "word on the street" if you will, says that Win2K is damn stable. Thus, personal experience (neither mine nor yours) counts for nothing.

    As for MS's operating systems, Linux could learn somethings from Win2K (just as Win2K could learn things from Linux) Win2K sheduler gives much better response to GUI apps than Linux's does, its GUI is much smoother, and some of the internals (look in an OS case study) are much more suited to a desktop OS. On the other hand, Win2K could stand to dump the Win32 environment subsystem paradigm, and pick up XFS and UVM while it was at it.
  • ... to encourage people to get the source and put it Gnutella ?

    C'mon people, this is not open source, they were selling the source and are now cancelling the effort (who knows why). But by making little comments like that, you're making us look like a community of software pirates not open source advocates !

    I'd have to agree. If Sun has decided to close up shop on Solaris 8 source then we should respect it.We should not act like a bunch of kids and post it up where ever we can just because we are upset with Sun.


    We are blind to the Worlds within us

  • I dont see why anyone would need he source to Solaris. It cost $75 to look at it and you couldnt do much with it anyway. I guess for a learning experienceit would be o but you have the BSD's and Linux to look at (and also Minix) if you wanted to learn something. I suppose a company developing apps for Solaris could use it to find out some better design techniques for there apps to work with Solaris but to license it and then have to pay to access it, I am not suprised it was not a big sucess. Why pay for something that you can EASILY get for free from the alternative Unix's?
  • Preach it, brother.

    I get a kick out of how quickly most of the group here will pounce on a company that violates the GPL, but at the same time the majority of the group here has no problem with violating other licenses themselves such as passing around code that is not supposed to be redistributed, or passing around CDs and calling it "fair use".

    And doing so only gives companies like Microsoft more ammo to use against the open source community.
  • Preach it, brother.

    I get a kick out of how quickly most of the group here will pounce on a company that violates the GPL, but at the same time the majority of the group here has no problem with violating other licenses themselves such as passing around code that is not supposed to be redistributed, or passing around CDs and calling it "fair use".

    And doing so only gives companies like Microsoft more ammo to use against the open source community.
  • It seems Solaris is washing its hands of this code completely - not even going to support it. For all intents and purposes, its as close to true abandonware as you can get.

    Shame on you for smoking such wonderful stuff and not sharing. :)

    Seriously, they are not abandoning Solaris which is where the label abandonware comes into play. They are just not offering the source to Solaris any longer. They still support Solaris.
  • Also I think the Solaris code licensing fialure is do to the fact it wasn't an open project which would have allowed a "community" to be built around improving and enhancing Solaris.

    Yea, I'm waiting for the California-style [ariannaonline.com] blame shift. You know, the press release with McNeally saying:

    "Oh yes, we tried open source. It failed miserably, because open source just doesn't work." (soundbite inserted for easy PHB digestion; open, read and repeat 500 times)

    Then the UNIXland PHBs have their ammo to say no to open source in their companies. (Hopefully, this will lead to more tech PHBs living in homeless shelters, and more 1950s culture companies going over the brink.)

    *scoove*
  • I find your comments interesting. I've never used VMS (before my time), but my understanding is that VMS was a victem of over-complication. I've always thought (been told) that Solaris is basically the best Unix implementation. Also, Sun hardware (albeit way overpriced) is incredible. Intel's Itanium is just barely catching up with the Sparc II, let alone the Sparc III. I agree that Sun is in danger (especially of 2.5+ kernel, not so much of win2k) of losing to Intel systems. However, if you need to run a huge database today, your not going to run it on Linux or win2k, you're going to put in onto Solaris box.
  • Here are the facts:

    Solaris is ten times the OS as Linux as much as I love linux. While I personally hope (because I am cheap) that the linux 2.5 and 2.6 kernels get us closer to a Solaris like OS, that day hasn't arrived.

    Sun Doesn't need PR, good or bad. The reality is that engineers know that Solaris is dependable for large scale 24/7 operations. Otherwise they wouldn't fork out the rediculous prices for Sparcs. So whatever these RMS pricks say is irrelevant. I don't know why Sun even bothers courting them in the first place.

  • Perhaps they're gearing up for a greater availability of Solaris 9 source code off www.sunsource.net...

    The Solaris 8 source code forums weren't a great success. I'd have appreciated some notice about this though, this is the first that I've heard about this.

    It's be a pity for Sun to completely pull out of making the source code available, but I did hear recently that they're suspending projects so as to make people available to work on projects that actually make money, what with no recruitment going on in SUNW at all, I guess some projects have to fall by the wayside.
  • To be honest, compared to Debian it sucks. I have been told that Solaris is better than Linux for some things, but for everything I do, Debian is/was clearly superior.
    Why on earth did you buy the Solaris source code if Solaris didn't even meet your requirements for an OS to run? Solaris isn't a great home OS anyway, but nothing'd run my Oracle DBs better...
    Anybody with a clue'd download the source code anyway, and not pay Sun $75 ;)
  • Media cost so high? I paid nothing to download the Solaris source code off Sun.com...
  • How about you actually read the page linked to in the headline of the story?

    http://www.sun.com/solaris/source/

    See, underneath the announcement that we're discussing it says "Get Solaris 8 Foundation Source"? Then underneath that it gives two methods - Option 1, downloading, or option 2, purchasing for $75 a media kit. Sheesh.
  • Oh, I don't know. I'd kind of like to see this (ALSA) replace OSS as the UNIX standard.

    Don't get me wrong, I didn't mean that there's nothing in Linux/BSD/whatever that shouldn't be in Solaris, but do you actually think Sun would copy and paste GPL'd code into the SunOS 5.9 source tree, compile and forget? Highly highly unlikely.
  • as a commerical software vendor with your source totally closed, you're able to integrate GPLed code without anyone knowing about it. I'd keep a close eye on Sun over the next 12 months.

    What a joke. Firstly, check out http://www.sunsource.net. Secondly, check out Sun's contribution to the internet and Unix in general over the last 20 years. Thirdly, Solaris source code may not even be pulled from the publics eyes, good presumption there. Fourthly, Solaris source code will presumably still be available to third level institutions and Sun customers. And finally, Sun have got so many good engineers that the idea of Sun taking any of, say, Linux and integrating it into the Solaris kernel is a joke.
  • No, the spec benchmarks are whole-system benchmarks. They are most decidedly not just "a bit of maths." All official spec numbers are reported as being run on specific systems, not just simple cpus. Go to http://www.spec.org/ to read up on the spec cpu benchmarks.

    No benchmark is perfect, but the spec benchmarks come the closest to an general workload that can be considered comparable across systems.
  • Free Java simplementations are starting to overshadow the JDK, especially in the Linux community.

    What implementations are you talking about? I know of only the sun and IBM jdks, and I can't tell if you mean free or Free because of the word position.
  • Oh boodely boo. Different architectures. You're comparing snails and slugs.

    And your numbers are all up the wazoo too.

    An UltraSparc III @ 900MHz that you cite above has a little over half the MHz of a P4 1.7GHz. So get UltraSparc's score, double it, and you get ... 876, which is more than the shoddy 573 the P4 gets.

  • The parent to my post was saying that the superior numbers the P4 manages to pump through its CPU make it better than the Sparc.

    I was comparing the MHz:benchmark ratio of the processors, rather than the raw numbers.

  • With a calculator. It was a ratio 1800MHz:876 for the Sparc against 1700MHz:573 for the P4.

    Architecture is a big deal here. I believe the benchmark those figures came from only benchmarks the CPU speed, and doesn't take into account other parts. Sparc is more than a CPU, which was all the benchmark is a commentary on.

    If the test took into account overall systems performance, how much could be pumped through the bus, yay my north bridge runs at 100MHz, I can transfer twice as many bits per cycle, nyah nyah, my EISA card supports buffer writeback, bla bla bla, (eh?), rather than just seeing how many times it could divide 16 by 5, then it would be a more useful commentary on the state of the Sparc.

  • Sorry, I seem to have created some confusion. My mistake.

    There are so many other factors which go into performance than clock speed.

    Yes, I agree. The numbers (see the parent of my first post in this thread) were from someone's test which I understands just does a bit of maths through the processor.

    Saying that 'my processor did N operations therefore my architecture is better' is, as you say, inaccurate. That's what the last paragraph was attempting to say. :-)

    I'm not trying to disagree with your post, just to clarify mine. I agree with what you say.

  • This is complicity. The editors often comment when they feel compelled to *and* they also edit the comments (often to stir up controversy). That timothy did not just shows that he does not disagree with the gnutella sentiment strongly enough to edit it or comment on it.
  • You can't emulate the success of the Open Source community by trying to copy some superficial part of it without "Getting It."
  • Sun no longer makes any real money from selling the Solaris OS. They make their profits from selling Sparc hardware, and a little extra on the side from selling support services for Solaris. But they are primarily a hardware company.

    Sun offers the Solaris OS at basically zero cost, because more people will buy their hardware if they have an operating system to run on them.

    If you want to run Linux on your Sparc, Sun is not going to try to stop you- anything that encourages you to buy their hardware is a good thing.

  • Sun no longer makes any real money from selling the Solaris OS. They make their profits from selling Sparc hardware, and a little extra on the side from selling support services for Solaris. But they are primarily a hardware company.

    Sun offers the Solaris OS at basically zero cost, because more people will buy their hardware if they have an operating system to run on them.

    If you want to run Linux on your Sparc, Sun is not going to try to stop you- anything that encourages you to buy their hardware is a good thing.

  • An UltraSparc III @ 900MHz that you cite above has a little over half the MHz of a P4 1.7GHz. So get UltraSparc's score, double it, and you get ... 876, which is more than the shoddy 573 the P4 gets.

    Are you new to computers?

    What makes you think speed:clock is a meaningful benchmark?

  • You are absolutely clueless if you think that performance scales linearly with clock speed. There are so many other factors which go into performance than clock speed. Not to mention the fact that all processors are not clockable at the same rate. P4 is much more clockable than any other current processor (because of shorter pipeline stages), so why assume a five stage machine can clock as fast? What exactly are you trying to measure? All that says is that Sparc does more per clock than P4? So what? The P4 is still much faster because it clocks faster!
  • by VAXman ( 96870 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2001 @06:09AM (#125787)
    The most appropriate comparison to Sun is DEC. DEC had extremely strong software (VMS), and weak hardware (VAX), and very expensive machines. They were killed mostly because Sun put systems which were much cheaper and much faster (although of dubious quality, which has improved somewhat in the past 10 years). Sun now has reasonably strong software (Solaris), quite weak hardware (Sparc, although it is quite strong as far as scalability goes). I think Sun has quite a good chance to lose significant ground to Intel based systems with Linux or Windows, sold by Dell and Compaq. Intel is now competitive with Sparc (always has been at the low end, and just recently with Itanium at the high end). With Compaq's recent transformation, clearly they are trying to turn into a service company, and shed as much hardware design/manufacturing as possible. With this strategy they really have an excellent chance to reduce their costs and really beat Sun. You can bet Dell will continue to chip away at the low end markets also.
  • by VAXman ( 96870 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2001 @12:39PM (#125788)
    In pure CPU performance, a 1.7 GHz P4 absolutely slaughters any Sparc. Please note the comparing kernel compiles is entirely meaningless because you are targeting two different architectures; i.e. the compiler is doing completely different work in each case.

    Here's the respectve SPECint numbers (of which, GCC is a component):

    P4 1.7 GHz - 573
    UltraSparc II 450 MMhz - 225
    UltraSparc III 750 MHz - 370
    UltraSparc III 900 MHz - 438

    And floating point:

    P4 1.7 GHz - 598
    UltraSparc II 450 MHz - 274
    UltraSparc III 750 MHz - 373
    UltraSparc III 900 MHz - 427

    As you can see, Sun products are quite sluggish in comparison to commodity Intel products.
  • When you talk provately with people from all the big companies in this industry, they will tell you, without exception, that Linux is a toy built by kiddies compared to Solaris, HP/UX, and AIX.
    Yes, and Windows is also a toy. Didn't stop it from thoroughly kicking Unix's ass in the corporate world. Linux runs faster and is more responsive than Solaris on single-cpu SPARCs. At least, that's what I hear from everyone who's compared. And Linux distros are complete and polished to a reasonable degree, and look like someone worked on them in the last 10 years. I love when I log into a Sun and EDITOR=/bin/ed, which I usually discover when trying to edit a crontab.
    Face it: if Sun were a software company selling Solaris, they'd be long since dead. They may have brilliant kernel hackers, but the userland feels unmaintained and obsolete.
    Linux on commodity hardware offers vastly more bang for the buck than traditional Unix on high-end hardware. The only logical role for high end hardware is problems that do not lend to parallelization, such as databases. And yet Oracle is attacking this problem space via parallelization too.
    There is an irrational attachment to 'big iron' which is not going to survive continued economic downturn and the increased visiblity of Linux solutions. Believe me, I know exactly the people you're talking about, and many are talented sysadmins. But they are a little isolated from the outside world - they still speak in terms of 'PC vs Unix' and merge the shortcomings of Windows with the shortcomings of the PC platform in their discussion.
  • I was thinking more along the lines of "Sun should follow SGI's lead". Why not drop Solaris, have engineers go to town on Linux for Sparc, and sell some support licenses and servers. Isn't that Sun's business model anyways?
  • Which part of "Linux for Sparc" needed to be bolded?
  • What will they do next? Un-open source StarOffice as well?

    Interesting tidbit: Talked to a Linux distributor a couple of days ago that wanted to do a "demo" type Linux CD. They wanted permission from Sun to put a DEMO version of StarOffice onto the CD ROM as well.

    Sun said "No". When asked why, they answered something along the line "because we want to make money again with it".

    Weird.

    -Martin

  • How appropriate your comment is when your homepage is mp3smuggler.com ... how does source code differ from mp3s?
  • Sun makes great computational boxes. A 400MHz AMD can give about the same performance as an old spark workstation running at 66MHz. How? I don't really know, but that's the way it works. x86 was always bad with math. Sun's implimentation was always beter. Newer boxes are, of course, much faster and the difference is still there. Anything compatible with x86 will be hampered.

    Another thing to consider is code compatibility. I've been working for months to make a large government application work with GNU tools. It's taking worlds of effort, which I will share if no one beats me to it, but that just might be my fault. Most science users consider the usual day of install time under solaris painful. Sun has support to help these people out when all else fails. If it were not for hardware compatibility problems, I would have gotten a copy of this for my x86. NT? You must be kidding me!

    They may loose some income from people who want to just run mail and web servers, but that will not kill them. At least, I hope not. I'd hate for their designs to get bought up by people who make blue man adverts.

  • Currently Sun is one of the companies that doesn't know quite what to make of little free OS we know and love.

    Ever hear of a little company called Cobalt? Or a little software venture called iPlanet?

    Sun get's Linux. It has for quite some time. The pressure to adopt it isn't as great as other companies because Solaris is the #1 commercial Unix platform.

    I'll bet a fair number of those JavaOne demo's also run on Solaris, NT, AIX, etc... That's sorta the point. Demo'ing them on Linux let's the marketing people leverage the hype. Sort of the marketing version of karma-whoring. Leveraging the hype is pretty much all they're after too, as most ISV's are having a difficult time figuring out how to make money selling software for Linux. Porting to Linux is easy, it performs well, and grabs attention. But the people on the other platforms are more likely to write big checks.

    Temkin

  • It's obvious why a company would release their code under a nominally open source license - they are looking for geeks to improve their code for free. Equally pathetic are the licenses of Inferno and Plan9: Bell OWNS your code, if you make any "improvements". Sun pulls this same kind of monkey business with their community source license, if I'm not mistaken. /*Rant People don't want to code for(not ON) a license-hampered OS in their free time, because there is not much of a sense of satisfaction in helping a large corporation for free. Netscape, Apple, and all the rest including Microsoft are attempting to beguile us with their so-called embrace of open source. Fuck that! Rant*/
  • It was my impression that many of the backend systems were Linux, especially for the J2ME applications.

    -Pete
  • by peterdaly ( 123554 ) <petedaly@NoSpaM.ix.netcom.com> on Wednesday June 27, 2001 @05:16AM (#125799)
    I was watching the JavaOne keynote's last week and something struck me as interesting. While JavaOne is a conference sponsered by Sun, the majority of the products that had on-stage demos were running under the Linux OS. Not all of them, but a lot of them were.

    I thought it was interesting how people kept coming up on stage and telling the Sun reps that this that or the other thing ran with a Linux backend. Once or twice they had the comment "oh....it runs on Linux?"

    If I worked for Sun, I would have taken that as a wakeup call. Currently Sun is one of the companies that doesn't know quite what to make of little free OS we know and love.

    I personally never thought it really made sense to release the Solaris code. Maybe they are starting to come up with a real open source strategy...at least we can hope.

    -Pete
  • Sun now has reasonably strong software (Solaris), quite weak hardware (Sparc, although it is quite strong as far as scalability goes)

    What are you talking about? try compiling a linux kernal on a P4 1.7 GHZ and an UltraSPARC-IIe 450 MHz and we'll see who has the stronger hardware. Hell, why not go all the way up to an UltraSPARC-III 700 MHz?

  • by grue23 ( 158136 )
    Does anyone know why Sun is stopping this program? I don't see any rationale given anywhere.

    I think it's very useful for certain types of users to have access to the Solaris source -- not because they want to compile it, but because they want to be able to see how certain things work. When I was doing much more in-depth work with the TCP/IP stack (including TCP parameter tuning) and ATM on Solaris, it would have saved me trouble to be able to get a look at some of the source to better understand how certain things were behaving rather than having to tweak parameters semi-blindly and see what ended up working best. If had still been doing that work when Sun released the source code I would have been all over it. I'm sure I can't be alone, there must be other Solaris users out there with similar needs. These types of users also tend to be very proactive about helping Sun resolve bugs, and I would not be surprised if the speed of implementation of bug fixes has been improved with their help.

    As a side note, I also know that Sun had distributed source to certain (usually educational) institutions over the years prior to this program, including UCLA.

  • ...and nothing more... but as a commerical software vendor with your source totally closed, you're able to integrate GPLed code without anyone knowing about it. I'd keep a close eye on Sun over the next 12 months.
  • As long as people continue to buy Sun's SPARC-based servers and workstations, Sun will continue to pretend that Solaris is the begining and end of OS technology. If, on the other hand, commodity chips start stealing their market share, as happened with SGI and their MIPS-based systems, you'll hear another story.

    Sun's own Java people are very aware of how silly it is to pretend that Solaris and Java are tied together. But they have no say in the matter. When I worked there, everyone's favorite bitch was that they only had resources for three reference implementations of Java, and one of those three had to be Solaris/86 -- an OS almost nobody uses. It accounts for about 1% of JDK downloads.

    Have you ever noticed that some of the installation instructions for the Windows JDK seem to be written by people who don't have access to Windows systems? That's because they don't. Never mind that 90% of JDK downloads are by Windows users....

    __

  • Some geeks seem to think that everybody has all the time available to tweak and twiddle with everything they can get their hands on, while all most of us (this includes a lot geeks as well) want is a stable platform that is maintained by a competent company so we don't have to. Hence the real-life success of companies like Microsoft, Oracle and Sun...and the less-than-spectacular interest in Solaris Source Code.

    When was the last time you looked at the blueprints of your car's engine, anyway ?
  • Obviously you tried the x86 version of Solaris. Gee, I only paid $15 for Solaris 7 to find out how it sucked. How, you ask? It sucked mostly because it didn't support any video card manufactured in the two years before. In particular, it didn't support any video card I could buy at Best Buy or CompUSA. I had to go to a swap meet to get a card that it would run at better than 640x480x16. CDE looked positively ugly at that resolution. And it wouldn't do text mode beyond 25x80, while Linux usually has no problem with 60x80. I'll stick with Slackware until I have time to look into a BSD distro.

    On the other hand, I still keep it around for when I can pick up good obsolete Sparc hardware cheap.

  • by briggsb ( 217215 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2001 @04:49AM (#125825)
    ...it's because they finally figured out the "Network is NOT the computer [bbspot.com]".
  • by iomud ( 241310 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2001 @05:41AM (#125827) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps the often prohibitive cost of most sun hardware is that which contributes most to the failure of this effort. Had an effort been made to make the hardware as accessible as the software maybe things would be different.
  • You're actually comparing scalability. However, I would not make the comparison on the terms of these machines all being SMP. You actually have a mixture of different models for achieving application-specific scalability:
    • SMP - Sun
    • NUMA - SGI Origins
    • MPP - T3E

    SMP, by definition, has all processors sharing a common memory (uniform memory), with memory contention/bandwidth typically becoming the limiting factor on scalability.

    NUMA utilizes cache coherency strategies to add multiple memory pools, introducing the concepts of local (memory local to one or more processors, e.g. those on the same board) and far (non-local memory owned by other processors in the machine) memory accesses. NUMA reduces the contention for memory, thus achieves a higher scalability with the performance cost being in terms of memory latency on far accesses.

    Lastly, MPP is essentially NUMA without cache coherency, which is why programming MPP machines requires additional effort on the part of application developers.

    Certain types of applications favor different scalability models, so one machine does NOT fit all. For general purpose computing, SMP is typically the best bang for the buck, since the architectural complexity is typically less. However, with the right problem to solve, NUMA and MPP systems will fly past SMP, but typically cost way more $$$ to get there.

    Solaris probably cannot improve scalability much further with SMP with today's hardware. They are utilizing crossbar memory backplanes in the highend already to get to 64 processors. Bottom-line, I believe they are doing a darned good job on the SMP hardware they produce.

  • They can't. The source code is already available at Open Office [openoffice.org]. Probably, what Sun wants to do is sell a proprietary, "enhanced" version of StarOffice base on the Open Office code, but you could still get the open source version. Same as what Reghat is doing with Postgress. I don't see a problem with your Linux distributor shipping Open Office (although he'd have to check the site for the exact licencing agreement *sigh*)

    "What are we going to do tonight, Bill?"
  • by s20451 ( 410424 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2001 @05:17AM (#125834) Journal

    Is this yet another sign that Sun is weakening?

    Since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the Sun [sun.com]. I will do the next best thing -- read their source code!

  • by sllort ( 442574 )
    They can't sell it for 80 bucks, but when Kevin Mitnick stole it, is was worth 80 million bucks.

    We should each mail the district attorney in the mitnick case a copy of the Solaris Source code. Or maybe we could send it to John Markoff...

    sigh.
  • by Nyetworker ( 460181 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2001 @05:09AM (#125846)
    OK, why *would* we need it? Fair question.

    First, there are still many boatloads of legacy Sun equipment out there with proprietary drivers for hardware that's poorly documented, if at all. Access to Sun's source is a leg-up for anyone who wants to understand how such hardware works.

    Solaris still has the most scalable SMP tech. There's a lot to be learned by groveling through that code.

    Now think about people who have to support large Solaris networks - bugs and all. When you run up against a problem and can't get Sun to admit that it is a problem, your only recourse is to fix it yourself. Try that without source.

  • It's not like the Ed. don't edit submissions. They can very easily (and often do) trim posts of thier 'improper' comments. This is hardly unfiltered news.


    Carl G. Jung
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