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Sun Microsystems

Sun dropping Netscape Application Server Linux Port 110

Matt Fotter was one of the first to write with the news that Sun has decided to re-nege on their original promise to port Netscape Application Server to Linux, and will be re-leasing the new version next month, sans a Linux port.
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Sun dropping Netscape Application Server Linux Port

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  • In the words of Nelson on the hit TV show The Simpsons:

    "Ha Ha..."

    That will be all.

  • (for now).
  • Clone it? let's not. I've used NAS and it absolutely sucks.

    If this is true, then it not being ported to Linux isn't such a big deal except that it still could lock some people into NAS on some other platform (and thus lock Linux out of some shops).

    This kind of expensive junkware should be left to die.

    Well, obviously someone thinks that it is a worthwhile product. Maybe 'cloning' isn't the correct thing to do, maybe just building a similar package that is done right would be good enough. I don't know enough about NAS or any of its possible freeware competitors to say at this point.

    If you really want to run a website on java on linux (not a good idea with the current state of VMs on linux) you should look at Enhydra, Locomotive, or GSP. All of these are more useful than NAS.

    Maybe adding a conversion utility or compatibility mode to one of these products to allow them to be used as a functional replacement for NAS would be good enough.

  • Here's the link to the full article, not just the headline alert.
  • What you just said mirrors what MS said in those halloween documents to a T.

    Not quite. The difference is that when M$ 'embraces and extends' they do it in a non-standard way. Their version usually doesn't play nicely with others. Their motivations are different, they don't use cloning to enhance what you can do with Windows and expand choice, they do it to eliminate choice.

    You'd be doing exactly what MS does, find a product that works, make a blatant copy of it, and then sell it for a lower price.

    Give it away for free, including source code, actually. Increase what you cando with free software and give people new choices.

    But because it is now "open-source" that's supposed to make it all better for the company who made the initial investment to get product to market in the first place.

    Of course not, part of the point in doing this is to punish companies for not doing Linux ports.

    In a few instances, I've been impressed, but overall it seems that the open source doesn't really contribute anything back to the world, aside from source code.

    That isn't enough?

    Where's the innovation? At least MS was first on the block with a unified-browser interface (though it sucks!!!)... Then KDE appears and lo and behold, it's got an integrated browser!
    Where's the originality?


    If that is Microsoft's only 'innovation' then I am not impressed. I am not at all convinced that browser integration is even a good idea. I think that open source software's track record when it comes to 'innovation' can easily hold its own against Microsoft. Check freshmeat.net on a regular basis.

  • If the software becomes commoditized, so will we.

    Shrink wrap boxed software is already commoditized, but IT professionals aren't.
    It still takes skill to put together and localize even boxed software. There will always be a need for in-house developed custom apps, regardless of what some people think. That sort of software will never become commoditized even if all the infrastructure software (OSes, server software, generic applications, etc) does.

  • NAS, last I checked, was used on some of the higher-reliablity & performance sites on the 'net, like E*Trade & Travelocity. The perception of NAS is widely that it is "not perfect, but the best thing so far" from a performance & reliability perspective.

    Your thoughts? I personally am more partial to GemStone/J (which JUST got decent web integration) and WebObjects. The latter still leads the marketshare race, but with EJB standarization across the board, including on NAS, it's going to be interesting to see if this changes.
  • RSA hasn't contributed to PGP... they just developed an algorith that PGP can use, if you pay for your version.

    Especially when it comes to encryption software, I'd much prefer to pay for it than use a package that is "half as good"...

    If you look at the list of companies that license RSA, it's rather impressive. If those company's turn around and say they'll use GNUGP as their standard for encrypted commmunications, I'll consider a switch.
  • Microsoft.... -- Closed Source, Closed Protocals
    Sun, AOL, Netscape -- Closed Source,Open Protocals
    SGI, IBM (with Linux) -- Open Source, Open Protocals

    I dont know about you guys, but I am rooting for IBM (Who would have ever thought). In recent years, IBM has learned some lessons the hard way (remember OS/2). Both SGI and IBM make money off of hardware and service. but dont make much money off of software (this is where linux comes into play).
  • Hear hear!
    The level of naivete here is choking. How can anyone be sure that Sun will be better than MS? Don't forget, for any profit company, the main goal is to earn as much $, legally as possible. I shudder at the thought that with Jini, every electronic equipment will pay homage to Sun....
  • Good definition, CodeShark. Just wanted to add a couple of examples of common commercial application servers:
  • Actually, I think a rising star will be Enhydra: Open Source, Open Protocols.

    Enhydra is really giving a new meaning to dynamically generated content with their XMLc technology.

    Check them out: http://www.enhydra.org/
  • Most GNU programs have "embraced and extended" standard UNIX tools by adding nonstandard things. Half the damn things I try to compile depend on GNU specific extensions that they didn't have to use.

    Give me some examples... I have built a ton of stuff on Linux, Solaris and SunOS, and in most cases these days it is just a matter of running config and then doing a make.

    Most of the Debian distribution won't work if you try to use a regular old POSIX /bin/sh.

    Well, I don't use Debian, but I've used shells other than bash on Red Hat, SuSE, Caldera and Slackware (for example tcsh).

    I don't see how what MS does is worse than this.

    Maybe because MS doesn't give us the source code? And if they did, have you ever tried to port source written for Windows to any other platform? I have, and it isn't fun. All of their APIs are proprietarized (look at the Winsock API and how it has changed), all of them are highly Windows specific. All of them seem to change because of short sighted planning on Microsoft's part (Win16 vs. Win32s vs Win32 (and all the variants between 95, 98 and NT), and the upcoming Win64). There is no way you can compare difficulty in porting between Windows and anything else and between one *nix and another. I am still using code I wrote under 4.2BSD UNIX on VAXes in the mid 80's today. It compiles and runs with little trouble on several different *nixes.

    If you can't see how Microsoft is worse, then you need a white cane, dark glasses and a guide dog. No offense to blind people, because you may not be blind, but you sure can't see.

  • > overall it seems that the open source doesn't really contribute anything back to the world

    Apache? Perl? Tcl/Tk? Bind? Sendmail?

    Debian includes over 2250 packages. All free (speech), or else they wouldn't be in Debian. What do you get with Windows? Solitaire.
  • The whole point of open source isn't to innovate. If you look at the FSF's essays (at least the early ones) Stallman specifically states the point of free software is create a level playing field. A level playing field means little or no innovation. Free software is about commoditizing software. When was the last time you heard about a break through innovation in any of the commodities?

    How often does the proprietary software camp look at something free software has done and said, "Gee, I wish we'd done that." How often do you see posts saying, "We need an open source version of that software!"
  • Clone it? let's not. I've used NAS and it absolutely sucks. This kind of expensive junkware should be left to die. If you really want to run a website on java on linux (not a good idea with the current state of VMs on linux) you should look at Enhydra, Locomotive, or GSP. All of these are more useful than NAS.
  • As the article stated and many have said it's $35K per CPU. How many companies are going to buy NAS
    and go get there Debian or Redhat distributions
    that they downloaded for free? Probably none.

    They are targetting the E-commerce companies.. etrade, first union, C. Schwab, and the likes. They are in business and their primary target is to beat Microsoft and IBM. They don't want to throw money down the toliet on something noone is going to buy. I know everyone here is dying to
    throw $35K for an App server :)

    Linux is not an E-Commerce solution for companies.
    There is nothing wrong with that. Customers like to know they will have support enginners a phone call away.. I'm sure Redhat support and Debian developers would like 24x7 phone duty :)
  • PERL, TCL/TK, BIND, and SENDMAIL, I'll give you those... I'll even throw in X (and the ability to add more to that list as we deem fit)

    • Apache was derived from what? NCSA?

    • Linux (NOT bashing Linux here, afterall, I do use it for my file servers) is really just another variant of Unix.

    • X, I would say is innovative.

    • Motif was as well. But LessTif?

    • KDE and GNOME don't really bring much to the table that doesn't already exist. They're just free.


    Then there's PGP/B - it's free already, source codes available... but then GNU goes and makes GNUGP presumably to evade RSA's patents. Why shouldn't RSA get money. They expended the real $$$ and effort in the first place.
  • If the software becomes commoditized, so will we.
  • That whole Internet thing came out of scientific labs (here and in Europe) If you do not know, whatever they do it is not just "open source". Its "public domain". Even better. And innovative enough IMO.
  • Simply put, an application server is a translator between HTML requests and (a back end business application (usually a database). My guess is that this definition doesn't really answer your question, so, let me offer a progression which may help you understand where the "web server" ends, and the "application server" begins.
    1. No frills Web Server: can serve static HTML pages, images and links.
    2. Web Server + basic CGI: adds basic forms processing
    3. Web Server + Advanced CGI, or Extensions and database on the same machine (such as Apache's mod-perl to mySql): complex applications including database access, etc.) In this example, mod-perl is actually functioning as an "application server" with Apache being the web server.
    4. Web Server with extensions such as mod perl (or the NSAPI, ISAPI, etc.) with the database on a separate machine: complex applications, etc. This would be a true "application server", like NAS.
    5. Finally, there are extremely high end systems such as Bluestone's SapphireWeb or IBM's Web Sphere where multiple numbers of machines are linked together; there can be multiple HTTP servers, multiple application servers, and even multiple RDBMS layers.
    Hope this helps.





  • Slip of the hand there...

    The first sentence should have read: Simply put, an application server is a translator between HTML requests and a back end business application (usually a database).

  • People who need to leverage existing legacy applications using tech such as Java, CORBA, EJBs, etc are the people who need such 'bloated app server'

    Hate to rain on your parade, but Java, Corba, EJB's, etc. have nothing to do with the bloat in app servers. And they are not tools for accessing legacy applications, they are tools for more easily creating effective middle layers between the back end databases and the users.

    Consider this: I could have a Java Application, a C++ application, a VB application, and even Perl/CGI applications running over the 'net all communicating with an ORB (Object Request Broker) at the same time, and have the ORB process the requests as an application server - transparently to all of the users.

    Don't knock what you don't understand.

  • There is absolutely no reason why open-source products cannot be innovative. Just because Microsoft rightly surmised that open-source development "cream skims" the best ideas from proprietary development streams doesn't mean that no innovation takes place. Proprietary houses "cream skim" all the time.

    Let's face it -- true innovation is a rare thing, no matter what the development model. And up to now, many of the "rising stars" of the open-source movement have been playing "catch-up" to already-existing proprietary products.

    The argument against innovation in open-source development is really the same as that which says open-source can't work in the first place. In order for the open-source development model to work, programmers/developers must be receiving some sort of payback/reward for their efforts. Proprietary houses can't see what it is -- to them, reward = salary. That's why you hear about how open-source products "exploit" coders.

    Now that we've established that open-source does indeed reward developers, there should be no logical grounds for the belief that open-source cannot innovate. Unless it's true, that is, that creative people and the creative process only respond to monetary incentive -- and in my experience, the direct opposite is usually true.

    Kythe
    (Remove "x"'s from

  • no real mention made of lost innovation due to loss of competition as it becomes a commodity.

    The only case where commoditization eliminates innovation seems to be with closed source software like Microsoft. One only has to look to freshmeat.net to see that multiple forks and competing packages can flourish even in a completely commoditized market. Even long time, successful open source packages like sendmail, bind, Apache, Linux, etc. all have multiple competitors. But in commercial software, once a market seems to get commoditized, it seems like all the commercial competitors give up or are rudely pushed aside.

  • Damn straight.

    Best written post I've seen in a long while, as it goes straight to the core of the "M$ wants to take over the world" vs. the struggle for "code freedom" led by Linux and others.
  • Stu Charlton writes:

    They WANT business servers to become commidities. They want message queues, tp monitors, ORB's, web servers, app servers and file/print sharing to be all rolled into ONE commodity product: Windows NT.

    That's not a commodity. That's an integrated product intended to build a business server monopoly. They are mutually exclusive. If you have a monopoly on an class of items, it is not a commodity, no matter how many times you call it one.


    Microsoft has always been about selling in volume to drown competitors in a sea of dirt-cheap prices. Getting to that level requires a commoditization of the market.

    Volume and low price does not make something a commodity. A large volume of magazines are printed every month, yet they are not a commodity. Why? Because you cannot replace one Cosmopolitan, or even Forbes, with, say Money magazine, they serve different purposes, they have different information. Newspapers, on the other hand, are perpetually on the verge of being a commodity, since a great deal of the paper is spent serving roughly the same AP and UPI articles to the readers.

    A commodity market is typified by minor product differentiation. Microsoft always tries for drastic product differentiation.

    ----
  • Well.. wat about Microsoft Bob...
  • I think it wont even cost $35.000 to port it to Linux, so they only have to sell one of them to get even. By the way - I'm not sure, but I think FreeBSD is used a lot more in "commercial environments", so porting it to FreeBSD would be a better idea. On the other hand, FreeBSD can also run Linux-apps :)
  • Don't forget Zope [zope.org] from your list of application servers.

    It has a couple of advantages over the others listed:

    • It's Open Source
    • It's not a bloated-pig-from-hell
    • It's not just a really dodgy windows port (or has CF been properly ported to Unix now?)
    • It's Open Source
    • and it totally rocks.
  • here [photo.net] is a review of NAS, subtitled "Why the Netscape Application Server (Kiva) Sucks".
  • I've got a bookmark to their page and am very interested, but haven't had much extra time in the way of doing an evaluation.

    So I'm posting this question (and may even do an "Ask Slashdot") here: does anybody have performance figures, independent evaluations, experience that they would like to share?

  • Repeat the cliches? I got pissed at Netscape plenty of times all on my own, thank you.

    I guess you have your examples of where they're great and I have my examples of where they suck, is all. I don't see you meeting me point for point.

    It's all pretty subjective in the end. Microsoft has done some good things also.

    Which browser am I in right now? Netscape's of course! Hope that makes you feel better. :-)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Read the story! It's not Sun, it's the Sun-Netscape Alliance, and this is a former Netscape product. I suspect there weren't any Sun employees at all involved in this decision.
  • gee, this seems rather obvious, i mean sun only really makes money off selling thier os... and their computers, so why give us one of thier key marketing tools..... if they want to sell netscape servers they can make x dollars, but if you have to use sun to run that netscape server, they make x+2000 dollars.
  • There are better application server packages out there, at whatever level you need (from HTML::Mason to ColdFusion to EJB), many of them free or more affordable. I'm ok with them backing off on this, if the reasons are valid (lack of demand, I can believe).


  • Or at least that's what ZD would like you to believe. :)

    "Ooooo!! Ahhhh! Sun and Netscape back away from Linux! Don't spend money on it! It's dead! Be afraid, be very afraid.. be uncertain.. be very uncertain.. be very doubtful!"

    Oh ye of little faith. The "no demand from corporate customers" excuse was used by Oracle. They ended up changing their minds. So will these guys. And even if they don't, how hard can it be to make an application server? ;)

    Sun just wants first crack at this new software.
  • If they won't do a port, let's just clone it and release a free, open sourced version.
  • As a previous poster noted, worse than MS.

    AOL buying Netscape is like putting a frog in a pot of water and then slowly turning up the heat. I won't know that it's being killed.

    Of course Sun (who seems to be in control of the servers) is going to 86 officially or unofficially everything but Solaris. They want to move boxes.

    I think the renaming of everything (except the browser) to iPlanet sums it all up. Netscape is gone, they just don't know it yet. For all intents and purposes, they are part of Sun.
  • Sun make money by selling hardware. Period. Everything else they do, from Solaris to Java to thinking about buying StarOffice is aimed at keeping their hardware market viable and its margins high. If you don't believe me go and read their quaterly reports.

    I'm pretty sure NAS runs on more platforms than just Solaris, and people who run that kind of thing (even on Linux) are unlikely to use PC hardware - they'll run it on Sparcs, Alphas and HPs.

    I reckon this was a neutral move for Sun/Netscape as far as increasing their harware-market clout was concerned. It was probably just to save the effort of porting a product they didn't think anyone would buy.
  • by ChrisRijk ( 1818 ) on Tuesday July 27, 1999 @06:42AM (#1780666)
    Full story [zdnet.com]

    Btw NAS costs $35,000 PER CPU! They cite "lack of demand" as a reason for not doing the Linux port (yet). Btw they only sold 75 copies in the last 3 months. (and that was their best yet). Given the cost, it's not surprising Linux demand is low - it's an app for really high end stuff.

    Here's a press release [yahoo.com] about the next version, to ship next month.

  • I guess Sun just think that Linux was going to kill Solaris on x86 and they're moving toward crushing it. How long before StarOffice (which is rumored to have been bought by Sun) is no longer available on Linux?

    Anyway, they'll obviously fail... If they think that running after something they can't compete with on the low-end and pissing off Unix geeks who like Linux is good, wait till they it the wall.

    Linux was their only chance to open a breach in the Microsoft monopoly and they're not even taking advantage of it!

    Just one more reason why GPL'd software is better... Hey, KOffice will be better then StarOffice anyway!

    I'll admit however that this is probably more the ZD FUD machine at work, but still, Sun should have kept the Linux port (how hard can it be?) just for appearance.
  • The Alliance has sold out to the Dark Side of the Force, clearly. This is probably why George Lucas didn't want to make the last 3 parts. It's too gruesome, with Sun/Netscape/AOL coming under the power of Darth Maul and the loss of billions of innocent bytes of code/data, by the destruction of their heavily-populated file. The new Death*.* is the most destructive weapon ever built.
  • Well, I would say: no biggie, tons of other top app servers out there will/already do support Linux (which is certainly true), but every mention of app servers just reminds me how cool JSP and EJB are. And how slow Blackdown is. Linux needs a top-notch JVM before its server-side Java can take off. Check out WebTechniques benchmarks of GNUJSP on apache on Linux. The poor author adores the OS and webserver, but, even with tweaking, it still took SECONDS to server a simple JSP. No joke. What we need from Sun is not their app server, but their support for a real Java2 on Linux. Maybe IBM can do it. . .
    --JZ
  • That sentiment is just the kind of thing that scares the suits away from Linux. Not that I think it's a bad sentiment, just making an observation.
  • You mean Sun + Netscape + AOL + CompuServe + Winamp + ICQ
  • um... Lucas writes:

    If the software becomes commoditized, so will we.

    Almost certainly not. Oranges are a commodity, farmers are not. More on topic, there are many fields based on commodity information, most of the sciences, law and medicine come to mind. As software becomes commoditized, programmers will become a more professionalized field. A good thing if you ask me.

    ----
  • I'm not planning to shed any tears over this one. Writing web applications under NAS is a long, laborious process. You have to jump through hoops just to get all the information you need to build a service, and even then, you have to work around a significant number of bugs in the server.

    If you want to use server-side Java, at least use the Servlet API. There are plenty of open source implementations of it, and it means you'll be able to port your code to other web servers if you need to.
  • I'm not planning to shed any tears over this one. Writing web applications under NAS is a long, laborious process. You have to jump through hoops just to get all the information you need to build a service, and even then, you have to work around a significant number of bugs in the server.

    If you want to use server-side Java, at least use the Servlet API [sun.com]. There are plenty of open source implementations [acme.com] of it, and it means you'll be able to port your code to other web servers if you need to.

  • Look at the ads MS runs for SQL Server in the mags that SQL Server admins presumably won't read, such as Business Week.

    It states that you'll need fewer admins because the software is that much easier.

    Good thing I'm in no way involved with SQL Server, but this seems to be happening across the board in the MS world... "Smatter" apps that require fewer admins... where are they all supposed to go?
  • First of all, since I'm an Alliance employee, I want to explicitly include the standard disclaimer. This is my opinion, not that of my employer. Nor is this information "official" communication of any sort.

    But, frankly, the ZDNet article doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Sure, Netscape announced that it was going start including Linux as a strategic platform. And Netscape has released Linux versions of its Directory and Messaging servers to prove this point. And ASFAIK, they will continue to release Alliance servers on Linux.

    But neither the Alliance nor Netscape has suggested that they would release their application servers on Linux. It doesn't even make sense that they would.

    First of all, the Java support on Linux just isn't there yet. Both NetDynamics and Netscape Application Server need extremely fast and stable JVMs in order to do their jobs. Blackdown just doesn't cut it.

    Secondly, there is absolutely no demand for it. When customers are spending six and seven figures for application server software, and similar amounts for hardware, few clients are willing to use Linux. Whether this is right or wrong, it's true. I've never had a client ask me about Linux support for NAS.

  • Web Server != Application Server

    People who need to leverage existing legacy applications using tech such as Java, CORBA, EJBs, etc are the people who need such 'bloated app server'

  • >Based on the attrition rate here, within four months, no engineers will be left.

    Not true - there have been hardly any departures in the netscape server groups that are now part of the Sun Netscape Alliance - or shall I call us iPlanet ...
  • by Axe ( 11122 )
    ...Capitalistic or not it came as an OPEN standard. That's the point.
    I was mostly referring to WWW, as it why internet catched on in the masses. That was done by goverment labs. We can argue whether DOD or DOE (in US, don't know all these TLA's in Europe) are capitalistic or not, it was open source and it was innovative..
  • The insane price of $35k per CPU is for NAS, the application server.

    NES - the Netscape Enterprise Server is a web server, and priced around $1k, offering legally licensed SSL and many features not found in the free web servers.
  • This exemplifies the rule every corporation needs to realize. People use Linux because they don't want to pay for software. If anything is going to be coded for Linux, the developers themselves have to look at how much it's going to cost them before they make promises.
  • If you read the book "Principles of Transaction Processing", co-written by a Microsoft employee, you'll notice one chapter dedicated to the future of transaction servers.

    They WANT business servers to become commidities. They want message queues, tp monitors, ORB's, web servers, app servers and file/print sharing to be all rolled into ONE commodity product: Windows NT.

    SQL Server is also a commodity: witness Windows 2000 Data Server edition.

    Microsoft has always been about selling in volume to drown competitors in a sea of dirt-cheap prices. Getting to that level requires a commoditization of the market.


  • The Netscape product line is all dead anyway. The version 4.0 of the server is the last in the NAS product line. I imagine that it would be pointless to introduce the product to a new platform when it will so be end-of-lifed.

    The new company is called iPlanet, and will be introducing new products combining the NAS and the application server that is currently sold by Sun (purchased from NetDynamics).

    This has little to do with various dark conspiracies that Sun doesn't like linux. It has more to do with basic common sense marketing of a product that is being replaced by newer technology.

    begin{opinion}
    It's a shame that some of the responses are of the form that "Sun sucks; this is FUD from Sun; oohhh, conspiracy; linux rool3z". Grow up people. Just because a company makes a choice doesn't mean that they oppose linux. This is simply a case of a company trying to combine two competing product lines. Anyway, I could go on this point, but I need to be productive on something else....
    /end{opinion}
  • Let's just wait a minute here... some points: Linux is a free operating system. Sun's isn't. Both can be considered "server class" operating systems. Why are people using Linux? Because it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, require costly hardware and service agreements, and so forth and so on. Why do people buy Sun stuff? It's a respected company and blah blah blah. Linux users are smarter than that. And there's no way in hell that Sun could get away charging I believe the figure quoted was $35k per CPU or something insane like that for a web server when a perfectly viable, FREE solution exists for linux, one that'll stand up just as well as Netscape Enterprise server. So they're just going back to targeting the PHB market who live and breathe "You get what you pay for". Makes sense, in a sick sort of way.
    - Dave

    "Take what thou hast and give it to the poor."
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I am a software developer from Netscape/AOL working in iPlanet. We have a significant investment in Linux, both in terms of the amount of money invested and the amount of internal developer mindshare. Linux is a Tier 1 platform for us, on the same level as NT and Solaris. The Sun folks we work with fully accept and understand this. As for the NAS team, I'm pretty sure it was mostly a market share issue for them. There is not nearly as big a market for their product in the Linux world as there is for other iPlanet server products.
  • I agree. Worse than MS. In fact, Netscape was worse than MS in corporate philosophy, as far as I can see. It just never had enough power to be as dangerous as MS, and was practically forced to do some good things (Navigator on Linux, Mozilla), but those were done in a half-assed way.

    Need I list the failings? Look at the very origin of Netscape. Look at the disregard for standards. Bugs that never got fixed or even acknowledged.

    But then, I've had to deal with Netscape's "implementation" of stylesheets. That's enough to turn anyone off.

    Part of Sun? Yes. What does a (i)Planet revolve around, after all?

  • I guess Sun just think that Linux was going to kill Solaris on x86 and they're moving toward crushing it. How long before StarOffice (which is rumored to have been bought by Sun) is no longer available on Linux?

    Anyway, they'll obviously fail... If they think that running after something they can't compete with on the low-end and pissing off Unix geeks who like Linux is good, wait till they hit the wall.

    Linux was their only chance to open a breach in the Microsoft monopoly and they're not even taking advantage of it!

    Just one more reason why GPL'd software is better... Hey, KOffice will be better then StarOffice anyway!

    I'll admit however that this is probably more the ZD FUD machine at work, but still, Sun should have kept the *promised* Linux port (how hard can it be?) just for appearance sake.
  • Maybe Sun/Netscape are waiting to see how
    IBM's Application Server - Websphere -
    will do on Linux, although I don't think that's a very good strategy in the long term.

    If WebSphere under Linux takes off, I think
    Sun/Netscape will quickly change their minds.
  • by tgd ( 2822 ) on Tuesday July 27, 1999 @07:41AM (#1780700)
    This isn't that big a deal. NAS is a very expensive product, and I doubt many places would spend that kind of money on the product and not run it on a Sun system, with a big ol' company behind it that you can sue when it doesn't work.

    I'd be a lot more watchful about Sun's involvement in Jakarta, and what support they've had for the Java ports for Linux, than this. The issue is, was this a true demand based decision, or a political decision masked with a demand-based excuse? If its the latter, projects like the Java port for Linux, and Jakarta are probably on pretty tenuous ground.

    Wouldn't suprise me in that case if we stop seeing "official" status for Communicator ports for Linux. Thank god Mozilla's coming along quickly -- they can't do squat about that.

    Sun is a company that loves Linux because it helps them kick Microsoft around, but may be wising up to the fact that it'll probably turn around and kick them around too. They need to ensure that Linux dominates the low end server area that Microsoft represents a threat to them in, without becoming so capable that it takes over the high-end server area.

    Need I say, much kudos to SGI for being much cooler about their Linux support?
  • Web Server != Application Server



    People who need to leverage existing legacy applications using tech such as Java, CORBA, EJBs, etc are the people who need such 'bloated app server'



  • I'm glad to hear that, at least from the 'trenches' perspective, Linux/iPlanet ports are still present for the other server products (Mail, Web, directory, specifically). NAS really is a LARGE SCALE appliation (come on, 35K on a Free OS? What's wrong with that picture?), and it doesn't fit well on a LINUX box (at least not yet).

    I just hope this isn't a hint of things to come...
  • You forgeting one thing all those suns they sell run Solaris as a default setup, Sun wrote Solaris !!! So they sell software as well. They also wrote all the Java stuff :P
    Anyway sorry for the rant but I have a need to inform those who post bad info :)
  • They made 75 total sales in the last quarter, including new purchases and upgrades. The wording implies (to me, at least) that that does not reflect the number of CPU's or the variety of OS's; it's still one sale if it's going to run on a 4-way Xeon box, even though the price tag was 4 times as much. Since >2-way SMP performance is still a Linux weak spot, I can see that demand for NAS on Linux might be relatively low.
  • I suppose they could write an open source version of SQL Server in their now copious amounts of free time. :-)
  • Microsoft is fighting against the commoditization of software, through ads like the one you mentioned and other means. They don't want commodity software, because their business model depends on inter-software tie-ins (eg. SQL Server requires NT and really encourages IE too). This is not commodity software.

    A commodity is an type of item where everything is pretty much the same, like an orange, or wheat. There are differences (navel oranges, seedless oranges), but they all work as an orange, and they all do orangey things.

    Commodity software is similar. You have a job to do, and you aren't tied into any particular piece of software to do it. For example, NCSA httpd, Apache, Roxen, IIS and Netscape Server will all serve the same web pages, so basic web servers are a commodity market. Microsoft fights the commodity trend by trying to encourage superfluous proprietary extensions like ASP and VBScript, so people will say "It's not a commodity, look, httpd won't run my ASP pages". They encourage this with ads like the one you complained about.

    The Free Software community goes a step further, from commodity software to commodity information. Not only do you have choice in software packages, you have choice in source code. If you don't like the selection, fix one of the choices or use the commodity information to write a new choice. Run Apache and OpenSSL together into one binary, nobody will stop you.

    This is what I mean by the commoditization of the software industry. This will lead to much pain in the shrinkwrap software industry, but many good things for the real software industry.

    ----
  • I don't think RSA ever contributed to the development of any version of PGP, but they did grudingly allow the use of one of their libraries in it.

    I have yet to evaluate GNUPG vs. PGP, but if the GNU version is even half as good, I'll probably use it. I don't like dealing with sometimes free software like PGP. I don't want to have to think about if it's for corporate vs. private use.

    James

  • What precisely is an Application Server then?
  • What you just said mirrors what MS said in those halloween documents to a T. You'd be doing exactly what MS does, find a product that works, make a blatant copy of it, and then sell it for a lower price. But because it is now "open-source" that's supposed to make it all better for the company who made the initial investment to get product to market in the first place.

    In a few instances, I've been impressed, but overall it seems that the open source doesn't really contribute anything back to the world, aside from source code. Where's the innovation? At least MS was first on the block with a unified-browser interface (though it sucks!!!)... Then KDE appears and lo and behold, it's got an integrated browser!
    Where's the originality?


    Lucas----preparing to be flamed!
  • Only 75 copies? Excuse me, but could it really cost over $2,625,000 to do the Linux port? If not, that's a 3 month ROI.

    And isn't anyone else comforted by the idea that there are 75 more CPUs out there being used for really high end stuff on Linux?
  • Actually what really scares away suits is when they do a commercial port and people do an open sourced clone anyway. A free, open sourced clone of an expensive product will actually attract some suits (especially those of Sun/Netscape/AOL's competitors).

    Actually suits are only one part of the problem. I think it is more important for Linux to have credible software to fill these kind of niches than it is to worry about what commercial software interests we might step on a few toes of.

  • Feh. It's the kind of thing that scares the suits into supporting Linux. Try to imagine, for instance, this scenario:

    Company: Hey we just released this nifty server software for Linux! Hoorah!
    Sysadmin: Um, we've alreay invested in this GNU solution. You were a bit slow on the draw, there, guys. Sorry.
    Company: Doh!

    Linux users owe nothing to Sun. They've made it clear they owe nothing to us, so why do 'em any favors?

  • So long as NAS remains available for other platforms, I'd doubt this is anything like the conspiracy that (some of) /. is making it out to be...

    Doesn't NAS still run on Solaris, NT Server, HP-UX, and Digital Unix, at least? If Sun were really conspiring, I'd assume that they'd pull support for NT and announce a port for Linux. That way, people would use NAS on Linux on x86 at the low-end, and eventually, migrate up to NAS on Solaris on SPARC.


    Just because they're unixes, doesn't mean they're competeing... they have completely different markets, I think...
  • This isn't exactly earth-shaking. For one thing, if you're going to run a $35,000-per-CPU app server against $100,000 in database licenses, and pay $3,000 per seat of their development tools, which in turn hook into $4,000 per seat of Java development tools, saving some money on initial hardware purchase and OS licenses isn't exactly most companies' top priority.

    Second, the Netscape (neé Kiva) App Server and Sun (neé NetDynamics) App Server are being merged into a single product line, with the most likely outcome being a hybrid of the Netscape app server itself (fast and way scalable but has crappy tools) and the NetDynamics tools (widely loved and mature but sit on top of a merely-good app server).

    A port of either to Linux in the short term would be a distraction and would see few sales. The next rev, when the single poduct emerges, will probably be another story.

  • Sorry to be a wet blanket, but I think it's about time for a reality check here folks. First let's keep in mind what Sun's business is. It isn't selling software or hardware, it's making there shareholders money. Shareholders probably don't care where the money comes from, as long as it's a steady stream of nice positive numbers. If that offends you I urge you to sell any stock you hold in Sun, IBM, Microsoft, or the majority of other publically traded companies. I'm not saying that I agree with it, I'm just saying that this is the way it works. Now, Sun decided not to ship NAS on Linux. If you don't agree with it I would suggest that you either sell your stock in Sun or you sign a petition that you would be willing to purchase a copy of NAS if it is available for Linux. If you get enough people to do either of these situations then you could impact Sun's ability to make money so they would probably listen. IBM did with VisualAge for Java, I'll be willing to bet that Sun will too. For those who think that Sun's the next evil empire and anyone using Java, you are may be correct, but what you don't appear to realize is that almost every company wants to be in Microsoft's position. Think about it, if Bill G. even mentions a new product (regardlessn if it ever sees the light of day), Microsoft and its shareholders make money. IBM was once in this position and it was once an extremely hated company. Microsoft is now. Sun wants it's turn. Yes, Sun will probably use Java for this (if it is ever strong enough). Right now I continue to beleive that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. If Sun ever makes Java a viable application platform (instead of it's middle tier position now), then perhaps it can make ISVs port their applications to Java. If it runs in Java it runs on Linux. If it runs on Linux it helps Linux gain popularity. We can deal with Sun when/if Sun becomes the next evil empire. I've also read a whole lot of commenting about the Sun-AOL purchase of Netscape. We all really have nobody but ourselves to blame for this, and we should all be ashamed. When Netscape opened it's source it was the first real honest attempt to show that there was a better way of developing software and it was possible to make money. What happened, unfortunately, is few people took the time to contribute. As a result Netscape 5.0 was behind and they never retgained much market share from IE. If we had all contributed maybe Netscape 5.0 would have been out last year and it would have blown the socks of Internet Explorer. What's worse than Netscape going under is now other companies will say "Why open up the source? Look at how it helped Netscape."

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