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OpenSolaris R.I.P.: The Day is Finally Here

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: OpenSolaris R.I.P.: The Day is Finally Here
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 15:59:41 -0000

« Oracle Finally Unveil…OpenSolaris R.I.P.: The Day is Finally Here.

13 Aug '10 - 20:26 by benr

This is a real thing. This is not hype or idle rambling. OpenSolaris is,
as of Friday the 13th of August, 2010, dead. Read the full skinny in the
leaked internal email to Solaris Engineering. 

Here is the short version: OpenSolaris is dead. No more
real-time/nightly code pushes. OpenSolaris 2010.05 will not happen, nor
will any in the future. Solaris 11 Express will be the new "developer"
release which will be available through OTN. Solaris will remain open
source, but code will only be released after the product ships, not

Now, lets go bit by bit. 

Today we are announcing a set of decisions regarding the path to Solaris
11, and answering key pending questions on open source, open
development, software and binary licenses, and how developers and early
adopters will be able to use Solaris 11 technology before its release in

So, Solaris 11 is the new hotness and the "community" is reduced to
"early adopters". 

Solaris must stand alone as a best-of-breed technology for Oracle’s
enterprise customers. We want all of them to think “If this has to work,
then it runs on Solaris.” That’s the Solaris brand. That is where our
scalability to more than a few sockets of CPU and gigabytes of DRAM

This goes on for a while, but the message is clear. Solaris needs to not
simply be another UNIX OS... it needs to be, as it was in the 90's, the
enterprise platform of choice. 

We will continue to grow a vibrant developer and system administrator
community for Solaris. Delivery of binary releases, delivery of APIs in
source or binary form, delivery of open source code, delivery of
technical documentation, and engineering of upstream contributions to
common industry technologies (such as Apache, Perl, OFED, and many, many
others) will be part of that activity. But we will also make specific
decisions about why and when we do those things, following two core
principles: (1) We can’t do everything. The limiting factor is our
engineering bandwidth measured in people and time. So we have to ensure
our top priority is driving delivery of the #1 Enterprise Operating
System, Solaris 11, to grow our systems business; and (2) We want the
adoption of our technology and intellectual property to accelerate our
overall goals, yet not permit competitors to derive business advantage
(or FUD) from our innovations before we do. 

This, really, isn't so bad. But again, no community, just end-users. A
return to focus isn't a bad thing. 

We will continue to use the CDDL license statement in nearly all Solaris
source code files. We will not remove the CDDL from any files in Solaris
to which it already applies, and new source code files that are created
will follow the current policy regarding applying the CDDL (simply, that
usr/src files will have the CDDL, and the very small minority of files
in usr/closed might not have it). 

Ok, so existing code will not be closed. So, no drastic change. 

We will distribute updates to approved CDDL or other open source-
licensed code following full releases of our enterprise Solaris
operating system. In this manner, new technology innovations will show
up in our releases before anywhere else. We will no longer distribute
source code for the entirety of the Solaris operating system in
real-time while it is developed, on a nightly basis. 

So here is the killer... what I've been afraid of. No more nightly code.
The upshot is that the code will still be available following releases
to assist with DTracing, debugging, etc, but you won't get real-time
updates. The biggest downside is that you can't see bug-fixes as they
are put-back, and obviously anyone developing on Solaris is always
playing catch up. It says "full release", so I can't expect that code
will ship with each Express release. Maybe it will, I hope so. 

It goes on to say that "technology partners" (such as Intel) will have
full source access via OTN. 

We will encourage and listen to any and all license requests for Solaris
technology, either in part or in whole. All such requests will be
evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but we believe there are many
complementary areas where new partnership opportunities exist to expand
use of our IP. 

This is a sticky place. Code is shipped CDDL post-release, however they
want to establish partnership opportunities. Clearly they are trying to
ensure any businesses which rely upon Nevada will not escape from the
partner programs and thus revenue opportunities for Oracle. 

We will deliver technical design information, in the form of
documentation, design documents, and source code descriptions, through
our OTN presence for Solaris. We will no longer post advance technical
descriptions of every single ARC case by default, indicating what
technical innovations might be present in future Solaris releases. We
can at any time make a specific decision to post advance technical
information for any project, when it serves a particular useful need to
do so. 

Flush... there goes ARC. So the external view into Solaris development
is now closing. We now only see what they wish us to see. 

We will have a Solaris 11 binary distribution, called Solaris 11
Express, that will have a free developer RTU license, and an optional
support plan. Solaris 11 Express will debut by the end of this calendar
year, and we will issue updates to it, leading to the full release of
Solaris 11 in 2011. 

So, back to the old days. 

All of Oracle’s efforts on binary distributions of Solaris technology
will be focused on Solaris 11. We will not release any other binary
distributions, such as nightly or bi-weekly builds of Solaris binaries,
or an OpenSolaris 2010.05 or later distribution. We will determine a
simple, cost-effective means of getting enterprise users of prior
OpenSolaris binary releases to migrate to S11 Express. 

There is the axe on OpenSolaris, present and future. The distro isn't
coming. No nightly. No BFU's. 

We will have a Solaris 11 Platinum Customer Program, including direct
engineering involvement and feedback, for customers using our Solaris 11
technology. We will be asking all of you to participate in this
endeavor, bringing with us the benefit of previous Sun Platinum
programs, while utilizing the much larger megaphone that is available to
us now as a combined company. 

And here we see again, its "back to the future" . Pay to play. 

The Verdict
Frankly, I'm not surprised by any of this. Saddened, certainly, but not
shocked. The sleigh ride is officially over. 

As far as the community and governance is concerned, the OGB played
right into Oracle hand. It might as well have been engineered this way.
On Monday, the 16th, the OGB will disband and default on the charter.
Great work guys! Thanks for truly representing the needs and desires of
Ora...I mean, the community. 

As a community and governance, OpenSolaris has been a non-stop, end to
end failure. Hands down. At every turn, it failed. 

As an open source project, it was luke warm at best. 

What I will miss is having full access to Solaris Engineering. What's
happening, where we're going. That was amazing. An all access pass. I
will truly miss that. 

The plus side is, that for all the ups-and-downs, the code is out there.
They can't take that back. And we have reasonable assurances that it
will stay out there following "full releases". That's not ideal, but its
something. Something very valuable. 

As for me... Illumos will now carry the torch, and I'll participate in
that with all the more gusto. This blog existed prior to OpenSolaris and
it will continue to be a Solaris blog after. Solaris is the best
platform on earth, it continues to be, in any given form


(GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can 
be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards 
too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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