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Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- BSD's de Raadt to Sin's Schwartz: "let me

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- BSD's de Raadt to Sin's Schwartz: "let me give an example of the duplicity of Sun"
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 15:44:50 +0200

Jonathan, I wish the above was true. 15 years ago I was the biggest Sun
fan. Today I speak as the project leader for another set of open source
projects -- OpenBSD and OpenSSH. OpenSSH will be better known to your
audience, as it is what they use daily to connect securely to and from
their Solaris (or Linux) machines. OpenSSH killed telnet and rlogin, for
those who still remember those mechanisms. We give our software
completely freely to the world, without even the standard encumberances
people see in the GPL or CDDL. Yet when we turn around and ask Sun to
give us documentation for the chips on their machines -- chips Sun
themselves designed, not via contractors -- Sun drags their feet.
Recently we tried to reopen these 10-year-old repeated requests, and
once again nothing positive happened. You may remember, because you and
David Yen were in an email conversation with us. Lots of nice open words
were exchanged, but no action. However, let me give an example of the
duplicity of Sun. (I wish I could use a lighter word). Two operating
systems run on Sun's latest PCI-e based (smallish) Ultrasparc-III
machines, the v215/v245 -- Solaris and OpenBSD. The latter system runs
on those machines because the code to support the non-processor chips on
the board had to be written after painstaking reverse engineering,
because Sun refuses to make available documentation for how these chips
are programmed. Now we will readily admit that not every programmer in
the world needs to know how to program these chips. But does every
programmer in the world need to know how to program every little detail
on Sun's processors, in system mode? Sun gets great press out of
UltraSPARC being all "open", but what use is supervisor-mode
documentation when the rest of the chips that the supervisor-mode code
has to communicate with are entirely undocumented??? The press does not
spot this problem, but Jonathan, you should clearly understand this is a
fallacy. There are two operating systems which surprisingly do not run
on the Sun v215/v245 -- Linux and OpenSolaris. OpenSolaris?? Yes -- Sun
isn't even open enough to give the OpenSolaris community enough
documentation to support their new machines. So I think that Linus is
right, and Sun has a long road ahead. 

Posted by Theo de Raadt on June 13, 2007 at 02:25 AM PDT 


"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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