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Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- Sin's Schwartz to Linus: "I invite you to

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- Sin's Schwartz to Linus: "I invite you to my house for dinner. I'll cook, you bring the wine."
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 13:50:07 +0200

Wednesday Jun 13, 2007
An OpenSolaris/Linux Mashup

To non-technical readers of this blog, or those uninterested in the ebbs
and tides of the free software world... this might be a good entry to

I was just forwarded a pointer to this note
[] regarding Sun and OpenSolaris,
written by the eponymous Linus Torvalds. And I wanted to respond


First, I'm glad you give credit to Sun for the contributions we've made
to the open source world, and Linux specifically - we take the
commitment seriously. It's why we freed OpenOffice, elements of Gnome,
Mozilla, delivered Java, and a long list of other contributions that
show up in almost every distro. Individuals will always define
communities, but Sun as a company has done its part to grow the market -
for others as much as ourselves. 

But I disagree with a few of your points. Did the Linux community hurt
Sun? No, not a bit. It was the companies that leveraged their work. I
draw a very sharp distinction - even if our competition is conveniently
reckless. They like to paint the battle as Sun vs. the community, and
it's not. Companies compete, communities simply fracture. 

And OpenSolaris has come a very long way since you last looked. It and
its community are growing, as a result of more than ZFS (although we
seem to be generating a lot of interest there, not all intentional) -
OpenSolaris scales on any hardware, has built in virtualization, great
web service infrastucture, fault management, diagnosability, and tons
more. Feel free to try for yourself (and yes, we're fixing
installability, no fair knocking us for that.) 

Now despite what you suggest, we love where the FSF's GPL3 is headed.
For a variety of mechanical reasons, GPL2 is harder for us with
OpenSolaris - but not impossible, or even out of the question. This has
nothing to do with being afraid of the community (if it was, we wouldn't
be so interested in seeing ZFS everywhere, including Linux, with full
patent indemnity). Why does open sourcing take so long? Because we're
starting from products that exist, in which a diversity of contributors
and licensors/licensees have rights we have to negotiate. Indulge me
when I say It's different than starting from scratch. I would love to go
faster, and we are all doing everything under our control to accelerate
progress. (Remember, we can't even pick GPL3 yet - it doesn't officially
exist.) It's also a delicate dance to manage this transition while
growing a corporation. 

But most of all, from where I sit, we should put the swords down -
you're not the enemy for us, we're not the enemy for you. Most of the
world doesn't have access to the internet - that's the enemy to slay,
the divide that separates us. By joining our communities, we can bring
transparency and opportunity to the whole planet. Are we after your
drivers? No more than you're after ZFS or Crossbow or dtrace - it's not
predation, it's prudence. Let's stop wasting time recreating wheels we
both need to roll forward. 

I wanted you to hear this from me directly. We want to work together, we
want to join hands and communities - we have no intention of holding
anything back, or pulling patent nonsense. And to prove the sincerity of
the offer, I invite you to my house for dinner. I'll cook, you bring the
wine. A mashup in the truest sense. 


President, Chief Executive Officer,
Sun Microsystems, Inc. 

Posted on 12:14AM Jun 13, 2007 | Comments[0] 


"Live cheaply," he said, offering some free advice. "Don't buy a house, 
a car or have children. The problem is they're expensive and you have 
to spend all your time making money to pay for them."

        -- Free Software Foundation's Richard Stallman: 'Live Cheaply'

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