decoration decoration
Stories

GROKLAW
When you want to know more...
decoration
For layout only
Home
Archives
Site Map
Search
About Groklaw
Awards
Legal Research
Timelines
ApplevSamsung
ApplevSamsung p.2
ArchiveExplorer
Autozone
Bilski
Cases
Cast: Lawyers
Comes v. MS
Contracts/Documents
Courts
DRM
Gordon v MS
GPL
Grokdoc
HTML How To
IPI v RH
IV v. Google
Legal Docs
Lodsys
MS Litigations
MSvB&N
News Picks
Novell v. MS
Novell-MS Deal
ODF/OOXML
OOXML Appeals
OraclevGoogle
Patents
ProjectMonterey
Psystar
Quote Database
Red Hat v SCO
Salus Book
SCEA v Hotz
SCO Appeals
SCO Bankruptcy
SCO Financials
SCO Overview
SCO v IBM
SCO v Novell
SCO:Soup2Nuts
SCOsource
Sean Daly
Software Patents
Switch to Linux
Transcripts
Unix Books
Your contributions keep Groklaw going.
To donate to Groklaw 2.0:

Groklaw Gear

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


Contact PJ

Click here to email PJ. You won't find me on Facebook Donate Paypal


User Functions

Username:

Password:

Don't have an account yet? Sign up as a New User

No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

Here's Groklaw's comments policy.


What's New

STORIES
No new stories

COMMENTS last 48 hrs
No new comments


Sponsors

Hosting:
hosted by ibiblio

On servers donated to ibiblio by AMD.

Webmaster
Sun and Brand X Open Source
Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 10:38 AM EDT

How quickly they forget. It was May of 2003 when Sun and Red Hat entered into a "global partnership agreement" and Sun put out a glowing press release about their new life together, their President Jonathan Schwartz, then executive vice president, saying this:

"The combination of Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Sun's x86 systems affirms our commitment to the open source community. This relationship is the first of many efforts we expect to drive together with Red Hat on the Linux and Java front. . . .The combination of Java and Linux gives customers a compelling, cost-effective, and reliable alternative to proprietary offerings from Microsoft."

Maybe it's not altogether fair to quote from the past. Things happen. We move on. Some of you probably have some old emails from when you first met your now-ex-wife that don't match your current feelings. It's often another woman that derails promises of eternal love and fidelity, and in Sun's case, sure enough, it's that hussy, Microsoft, with her elegant furs and chauffeured limousines that broke up the partnership.

And so Red Hat just got thrown out of a running car, hitting her head with a howl on the pavement, and the rest us, who attended the wedding with hope, are left having to decide which friend to drop when planning a party.

Sun said that the partnership represented its commitment to open source, so what does it mean when that same man only a year or so later, says Sun is going after Red Hat, that Red Hat is a proprietary company, and that Red Hat is Sun's enemy? We read articles that begin, "Sun and Microsoft are using a common strategy to attack a common enemy--Red Hat."

The plan reportedly is that both companies will attack Linux by attacking Red Hat. Schizo Sun will also sell Linux to anyone confused enough to buy it from a declared enemy. And, in fact, Sun's attacks on Red Hat have begun, in a blog war. Sun started it. Back on September 1, Sun's Schwartz said this:

"Sun is not a threat to GNU/linux. Innovation is not a threat to GNU/linux. dTrace is not a threat to linux. Nor is Solaris 10, nor Janus. Nor is our new comp plan. They are a problem for Red Hat. And Red Hat is not linux, despite what they say, and despite what the media (and IBM's ads) seem to conflate. To my friends in the media, you are confusing a social movement with a single company - that social movement is all about choice, innovation and freedom. Not dominance or dependence. In that light, no innovation Sun delivers, in comp models or bits, can be anti-linux. Let's get specific. Let's start calling a distro a distro."

I have another suggestion. How about we start calling a patent covenant with Microsoft a patent covenant with Microsoft? When some noticed with concern Sun's "Limited Patent Covenent and Stand-Still Agreement" with Microsoft, filed by Sun as an exhibit with their most recent 10K, whereby Open Office was not protected from patent infringement lawsuits by Microsoft but Star Office was, Mr. Schwartz believes they are just anti-Sun loonies, as he graciously put it on his blog on September 16, in a message to the "Open Office Community":

"Please do not listen to the bizarro numbskull anti-Sun conspiracy theorists. They were lunatics then, they are lunatics now, they will always be lunatics. We love the open source community, we spawned from it. We'll protect that community, that innovation, and our place in it, with all our heart and energy. . . . OpenOffice matters. Moreso every day."

All right. If Exhibit 10.109 doesn't mean what it says, then what does it mean? One possibility is that it means that Sun doesn't want to be legally responsible for work it doesn't control. OK. Why not cover the parts they do and did control? Why not at least cover everything up to the present? And if they don't control it, how come they hold a dual copyright with the Open Office project? They can't have it both ways. If it's theirs, why didn't they protect it along with Star Office? And if it isn't theirs, on what basis do they claim copyright rights? These are not rhetorical questions.

As Red Hat VP Michael Tiemann pointed out, they couldn't bargain for better than this? "You get what you negotiate for. Sun is showing us they care not at all...about the OpenOffice.org community." If IBM can pledge not to attack Linux with patents, despite not controlling the kernel, so could Sun stand behind Open Office.

Tiemann replied to Schwartz on his blog by writing that Sun's words might not be so trustworthy and we should go by Sun's deeds instead. Red Hat should know, should it not, just how much Sun's declarations of undying love for open source are worth?

"If you won't open source Java, you won't take the right positions on software patents, and you keep doing things that benefit nobody but Microsoft, why should [w]e trust what you ask us to do?"

Why indeed? Sun and Microsoft evidently have figured out from the SCO wars -- and it surprised them no end, I bet -- that attacking the FOSS community is suicide. So they have a new strategy: they will isolate Red Hat from the GNU/Linux herd, and they are now stalking it with the clear intent to destroy it. Meanwhile, they tell the community that this isn't about Linux? I think it is.

Clearly, Schwartz has his own definition of open source, one that nobody else uses, but what does he care about a bunch of loonies? Actually, he does care, because Sun needs the community. They very much want programmers to help them build a community around Solaris. And then what is the plan? To dump Linux, the kernel, I hear, and run GNU/Linux applications on top of Solaris.

It's the same old plan that Caldera had and that SCO formed its own twisted version of. Run Linux apps on the Unix kernel. That way, they get to hem you in to a sorta-almost-open part-proprietary world and make a buck off of you. And they kill off Linux or send it to academia and then Microsoft is happy. As I seem to remember SCO's CEO Darl McBride saying once, the money is in the operating system, not the applications. Why do you think everybody wants you to dump Linux the kernel and use absolutely anything as long as it isn't the GPL?

What about Sun's licenses? What is their track record? I suggest you read about Sun's "Community Source License Principles". Or if you don't have time, read this assessment from the Report of the Software Licensing Committee of the American Bar Association's Intellectual Property Section:

As the open source movement has gained credibility in the marketplace, however, the term has been applied to many projects that do not fit within the foregoing parameters. For instance, Sun Microsystems has introduced a "Community Source License Agreement" that is an attempt to capture some of the spirit and momentum behind open source initiatives, but contains significant restrictions that make it substantially different from the "classic" open source licenses such as the GPL and BSD-style licenses. The Sun license in some instances requires the licensee to pay Sun a fee; it also contains restrictions on modifications that do not pass a large set of conformance tests, and purports to treat the source code as "confidential information," even though it is available for download from the Internet.

The application of the term "open source" to projects licensed under proprietary models, such as the Sun Community Source License, could help lead to reducing the term "open source" to a marketing gimmick and to confusing developers about the rights associated with various programs available under the "open source" banner. Software developers must ensure their lawyers have an opportunity to review the license agreements associated with "open source" programs before they download and use these programs in their own projects, and that their lawyers carefully review the licenses that accompany programs billed as "open source" software to ensure the licensing and other contractual restrictions are consistent with the expectations, goals and risk tolerances of individual clients."

Words to live by. Ask your lawyer to review any license before you so much as sneeze in the direction of the code, let alone download it and work with it.

Sun explains what Open Source means to them on their SunSource page:

Sun also continues to believe that the appropriate license should be used for each business and customer situation. We still believe that Community Source is appropriate when intellectual property sharing and compatibility are important, that Standards Source is appropriate when there is an established standard for the software, and that proprietary licenses make sense for high value situations.

You can read about Standards Source here and you, or your lawyer, can read the Sun Public License here. It includes this clause, 2.2(d):

(d) notwithstanding Section 2.2(b) above, no patent license is granted: 1) for any code that Contributor has deleted from the Contributor Version; 2) separate from the Contributor Version; 3) for infringements caused by: i) third party modifications of Contributor Version or ii) the combination of Modifications made by that Contributor with other software (except as part of the Contributor Version) or other devices; or 4) under Patent Claims infringed by Covered Code in the absence of Modifications made by that Contributor.

With all the talk about Sun open sourcing Solaris, it's good to remember that a great deal depends on what license they release it under. It doesn't look like it's going to be the GPL, judging by a Sun Solaris kernel guy, Eric Schrock, who wrote this on his blog:

". . . [T]he GPL doesn't align with our corporate principles. . . . Because we own our intellectual property, we can make a licensing decision that reflects our corporate goals. And because we've put all the engineering effort behind that IP, we can instill similar beliefs into the community that we spawn. These beliefs may change over time: we would love to see a OpenSolaris community where we are merely a participant in a much larger game. But we'll be able to build a foundation with ideas that are important to us, and fundamentally different from those of the Linux community."

Psst. I have a word for you. If it's fundamentally different from the ideas of the Linux community, it probably isn't Open Source.

Someone wrote that if they choose some Brand X Open Source license that isn't compatible with the GPL, for example, all they will be offering you is the chance to help them improve their products for nothing, to which Eric wrote in response:

"If we do end up being GPL-incompatible, the only downside will be that you cannot use the source code in Linux or another GPL project. But why must everything exist to contribute to Linux? I can't take Linux code and drop it into FreeBSD, so why can't the same be true with OpenSolaris? Not to mention the many benefits of being GPL-incompatible, like being able to mix OpenSolaris code with proprietary source code. . . .

If you contribute, you will helping improve your software, which you can then use, modify, or repackage to your heart's content. You will be part of a community. Yes, it won't be the Linux community. But it will be a community you can choose to join, either as a developer or a user, as alternative to Linux.

Sun is hoping that making source code available will cause a community as large, as diverse and as enthusiastic as that around Linux to gather around Solaris. . . .

Clever people have already noticed that we have begun a (invite only) pilot program; several open source advocates are already involved in helping us shape a vision for OpenSolaris."

Sun says they will "create an open-source project around its Solaris 10 operating system by the end of the year". It all raises some questions that need answering. Microsoft would, no doubt, like to isolate GPL code and cut off its air supply, but should they have community help in accomplishing their dream? Sun and Microsoft have already announced that they have discussed "areas of technical integration, such as the file system in Solaris and Windows". If that is the plan, the GPL is not likely to be a part of that.

So it's good to be clear. Even loonies need to know when it's raining, so they can pack an umbrella. And with patents being the next battlefield, the deeper question is, might it perhaps be time to reevaluate what qualifies as a true open source license?

It all comes down to how you define Open Source, and while Sun is free to set up any type of community it wishes, don't call it Open Source unless it truly is. Find your own phrase. It's unseemly to misappropriate a title and twist it to suit. Call it Brand X Open Source, if you like, if the shoe fits.

And as the old song says, there ain't nothing like the Real Thing.

Update:

Scott McNealy:

"'Every state and local government builds its own one-off, best-of-breed custom jalopy' for a data center or e-government portal, and 'it digs a deeper hole by going open source,' Sun Microsystems Inc. chairman Scott McNealy says."


  


Sun and Brand X Open Source | 662 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Sun and Brand X Open Source
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 02:11 PM EDT
You have me laughing PJ... gawd

[ Reply to This | # ]

Scott G. McNealy said Linux was in trouble in 2003
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 02:14 PM EDT
Scott G. McNealy visited the University of Michigan campus back in 2003 and said
Linux was in trouble with Intellectual Property issues. They thought Linux was
going down. Soon after that statement, this alliance happened.

Maybe they thought SCO had something on them at the time?

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 02:22 PM EDT
Bingo, what is the best way to get free programming? Call it "Open
Source" and keep all the rights.

wb

[ Reply to This | # ]

Is the OpenOffice bit paranoia though?
Authored by: jobsagoodun on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 02:23 PM EDT
At the risk of being unpopular; there is a problem for MS with letting
openoffice off the hook. If they did that, its hard to quantify what openoffice
is - for example there would be nothing to stop OpenOffice.org from widening the
scope of the project to include some other MS patented tech. They could even
become a Linux distro with all sorts of patented codecs & drivers & mail
systems(!). It would be a reverse trojan horse to get at MS protected 'IP'.

So its likley that OpenOffice was excluded because thats what MS's lawyers would
reccomend, and this dosen't mean they're tooling up for the PatentWars just yet.
It is possible that they are, but I wouldn't read too much into the openoffice
thing.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun and Brand X Open Source
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 02:25 PM EDT
Linux (RedHat) is proprietary.
Java, OpenOffice (Sun) is open source.
M$'s stuff is shared (open) source.
I start to get the picture.
Down with proprietary, all hail open source.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Beware of Hybrid source.
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 02:27 PM EDT
What Sun is proposing is neither fish nor fowl. It is not FOSS, so they should
expect to pay to develop it, but it is not wholly proprietory, and so they hope
that they can talk someone in working for them for nothing.

Developers should avoid this type of hybrid source like the plague.

A good first step would be to take Bruce Perens' advice (with regard to
OpenOffice), and "...stop assigning the copyrights of their modifications
to Sun and keep them under their own names, licensed under the General Public
License and in the open version only."

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT
Authored by: chriseyre2000 on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 02:29 PM EDT
This is slightly off topic. The link below is a recent edition of the .NET Rocks inrernet radio show. What is interesting here is the anti-GPL stance of the microsofties.

.NET Rocks

They seem to assume that you can't make money from a product that contains GPL code. Ask IBM or Red Hat about that. I think that the following scenario would be allowed: You obtain a GPL extension for Eclipse (in simple terms an extensable java development environment, but really a portable development platform and editor fot everything and nothing). You alter the GPL component to add an extension point keeping the interface to the extension as BSD (and therefore GPL compatible). You release this component as GPL. You then produce a commercial extension that is not open sourced. This would result in a combined product that contains multiple compatable licences. I think that this would be permitted. This would be the strongest counterexample to the claim that the GPL is viral that I can think of. Feel free to pick holes in this idea.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Microsoft reference is priceless.
Authored by: GrueMaster on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 02:30 PM EDT
Except you didn't mention that she is a heavy smoking alcholic with every
venereal decease known to man.

Sure the fur coat looks shiny, but you should never judge an OS by it's GUI.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun and Brand X Open Source
Authored by: orgngrndr on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 02:31 PM EDT
Only microsoft could turn a losing court battle (M$ and Sun over java)and it's
settlement, to thier benefit.

There is little doubt that this agreement arose out of the settlement between
Sun and M$ for java. If that is the case would not there be oversight by the
courts, and more importantly, the government.

Perhaps these people might find this interesting:

http://www.microsoft-antitrust.gov/



OG

[ Reply to This | # ]

This might ruffle some feathers.
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 02:49 PM EDT
OpenOffice.org reveals its marketing ambitions. Link

[ Reply to This | # ]

PJ, you have trolled
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 02:49 PM EDT
I respect this web site and read it every day, but this article is a troll at
worst, flamebait at best. It begins by referring to Microsoft as a
"hussy", then continues with the pleasant imagery of Sun performing
spousal abuse on Red Hat. That's enough to invalidate whatever pertinant info
might be in the article.
Concerning Free Software and Open Source Software, I am firmly in the Free
Software camp, that's why I also take issue with PJ seemingly interchangeably
using the terms GPL, Free Software, and Open Source. You cannot equate Linux to
Open Source as she does, because Linux is NOT Open Source, it's Free Software.
You also can't say that not being GPL compatible is the absolute kiss of death
to a license or community. Apache's license at this very moment is GPL
incompatible. Trolltech's QT spent a loooong time being GPL incompatible.
Neither community was considered 'evil' as a result. It is Sun's software, and
their right to license as they see fit.
I support your premise here PJ, but your article is a troll.

jaymzter

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun and Brand X Open Source
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 02:54 PM EDT

Linus Torvalds is WAY cooler than Jonathan Shwartz, and he doesn't even need a pony tail!

Seriously though, this Shwartz guy is more schizophrenic than the average presidential candidate. We can't listen to anything he says because it will probably change in a month or two. What we do know:

  • SUN was late coming to the Open Source table, and is still waffling.
  • SUN has taken large amounts of money from, and signed agreements Microsoft.
  • SUN doesn't currently have a successful business model.
  • Bill Joy bailed out of the company he helped to start.

That's enough for me. I am personally just stepping away so I don't get spattered with Sun's blood while they commit suicide. I suggest you do the same.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Perens' view on the subject
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 03:17 PM EDT
Bruce Perens' thoughts on the matter are at:
http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/36920.html

He is asking developers to stop assigning copyrights to Sun when they add their
own code to OpenOffice. Rather, he recommends retaining their own copyrights.

One of the most interesting things was Sun's response, quoting from
LinuxInsider's article:

But Sun spokesperson Russ Castronovo said, "He [Perens]
can make whatever call he wants to make. There is no
change in the protection being offered to the OpenOffice
users."

This is either an oversight or a carefully crafted response: they say protection
for "users" _not_ "developers."

Hmmmmm.....

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun and Brand X Open Source
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 03:24 PM EDT
Sun faces two ways on open source.

But, credit where it's due, they have the longest history of any company still
in the business today. In the 1980s, when Sun was making huge contributions,
the likes of IBM were being thoroughly proprietary, while Linux didn't exist.

And today, OpenOffice is one of the most important projects anywhere in the
business.

[ Reply to This | # ]

GNU/Linux on top of Solaris
Authored by: fb on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 03:29 PM EDT

There's nothing particularly new about this. Sun "unbundled" the compiler and other development tools a long time ago. I and many, many other people replaced them with GNU tools and fast became accustomed to working on systems that were SunOS or Solaris in name only.

In that sense, Sun pushed a lot of customers into the open source world as hard and fast as they could. I think what a lot of customers realized pretty quickly was that Solaris and the Sun hardware were utterly unimportant. Linux would do just as well for many applications. Or better. And on much cheaper hardware.

You'd have to be just, well, delusional to think that running your usual applications, but having "Solaris under the hood" on overpriced hardware, could represent a value proposition to anybody with an ounce of sense.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Going against FOSS
Authored by: RPN on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 03:37 PM EDT
'The plan reportedly is that both companies will attack
Linux by attacking Red Hat.'

I find this so ignorant on the part of MS, Sun and anyone
else who thinks like that. These so called clever managers
really don't get it at all.

They could attack Red Hat and that would be hideous for Red
Hat, grossly unfair to everyone involved with it and
painful for the rest of the community seeing it happen. But
Red Hat is one of many distributors and it is a
distributor, it isn't Linux. For every Red Hat they close
down there are dozens more distributors, most of them small
scale operations they can't stop popping up and/or based in
countries that they cannot touch them in or stop people
downloading from.

If you want to stop Linux it seems to me chasing the
distributors is dumb for two reasons.

First they aren't Linux and you just drive its distribution
down to the micro distributors/P2P networks etc you can
never hope to control. Linux isn't a company you can screw
into the ground but tens of thousands of individual
copyright holders in dozens of countries. The Internet
guarentees means to distribute their creations for others
to integrate and distribute. There is only one way out.
Learn to live with it. Otherwise you die sooner or later
and more or less painfully for your employees and
shareholders.

Second it is guarenteed to alienate a lot of people who
won't touch your products again and go round advising
employers, colleagues, freinds and family not to. Great
business development model (not!). And guess what those
people will be advised to do in the current environment?
There are other alternatives but most will advise go Linux.
That's certainly my advice.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Too bad the FOSS community can't trademark the name 'Open Source'...
Authored by: Groklaw Lurker on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 03:41 PM EDT
Or can they? It would have to be done in a way that authorize the use of the
term 'Open Source' with a product based upon the terms of the license
accompanying the product - or perhaps only certain pre-defined licenses could
use the term 'Open Source' with whatever product they accompany.

There would have to be some sort of non-profit entity to hold and control the
trademark and ensure it is only used to benefit the FOSS community.

GL

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here please
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 03:49 PM EDT
.

[ Reply to This | # ]

At least the new Sun is consistent
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 04:04 PM EDT
Sun and Microsoft are using a common strategy

Well, we've known Sun had gone over to the bad guys since they helped to fund the SCO attack (by "buying a license", i.e. donating $millions to SCO's barratry plan).

Do we need to pay attention to them any more? They're just another money-losing proprietary-software company headed for oblivion (the stock, which once hit $60, is currently at about $4). Sun played an important part in the history of the computer industry, but they've had no new ideas since about 1990 (Java is not a new idea), and the world has moved on.

Microsoft is dangerous to us. Sun is not. Let's not take our eyes off the ball.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I'll put this up in a god frame
Authored by: Vaino Vaher on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 04:17 PM EDT
I will frame this beautiful piece of fiction and hang it on the wall in my
offfice!
PJ, you have a way of saying what I am thinking, but that I am not able to
express. I wish they had been my words. I would be so proud!

And for Sun: Actions speak louder than words. I belive that one day they will
regret the path they are now taking. There are many casualties among Microsoft
allies. I do think that Microsoft intends to get rid of one more competitor,
this time in the corporate server room segment. In the process they intend to
criple or kill Java as well.

But I hear that Groklaw is going to focus on Microsoft next. It *is* hard to go
to sleep these days, isn't it, Bill? How is your consience today, by the way?

[ Reply to This | # ]

The toxic boyfriend; continued....
Authored by: Latesigner on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 04:34 PM EDT
In June of last year PJ took a good look at Sun and labeled it "the toxic
boyfriend" and warned the GPL community about it's fatal charm.
"Look at what they do", said PJ.
Her warnings were heard, but alas, RedHat was already ensnared.
Getting burnt hurts, especially when you should know better.
I think one lesson is plenty, it's time to show these guys the door.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sunopen sourcing Solaris???
Authored by: Rasyr on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 04:55 PM EDT
Please correct me if I am mistaken, but isn't IBM getting sued by SCO for
open-sourcing parts of AIX?

Won't this put Sun under the lawyer's targeting as well?

Sorry, but I am not sure enough of the open source development methods to see
how Sun can do this without putting themselves in the same position as IBM...

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS isn't a hussy
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 05:00 PM EDT
MS is the nasty woman (or man) from the TV soap opera's who charms people of the
opposite sex, takes what they want from them, and throws them away.

As a serious question for you all, of all the (current and former) Microsoft
partners, who HASN'T been shafted?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Open Source - paranoid girlfriend
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 05:06 PM EDT
Poor Sun. The romance with open source has been long and intense, but now the
jealous nature of the hussy is becoming clear. All Sun did was attend a patent
lunch with Microsoft. A lunch for goodness sake! It wasn't like bodily fluids
were exchanged or anything. And now open source is ranting and raving about
being betrayed and throwing Suns underwear out of the apartment window. Sheesh!

[ Reply to This | # ]

BSD is both fundamentally differnt, and open source
Authored by: Tyro on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 05:51 PM EDT
The GPL is not the basis for the definition of Open Source or Free Software.
The BSD license came first, and is even more open. Unfortunately...

Since most people don't like getting ripped off, and having to pay for code they
wrote, the BSD license ran into problems. The GPL is an attempt to address
those problems, while retaining most of the open features. It's been
significantly more successful (as measured by the amount of software developed
under any particular license being the degree of success). But this doesn't
make the GPL the touch-stone. There are several free licenses, and more that
could be rated so if anyone took the time and effort to get them certified. But
the only one that came out of a corporation that I can remember is the MPL.
(OTOH, I don't know where the CPL originated, merely that IBM was the first user
that I know of.)

I will be really surprised if Sun comes out with a license that could be
certified as Open, not because they can't, but because I believe they won't.
(That comment about "Because we own our intellectual property, we can make
a licensing decision that reflects our corporate goals." is a dead
give-away.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Munich goes ahead.
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 07:17 PM EDT
Link

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun + OpenOffice.org + the way forward
Authored by: Frank Daley on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 07:23 PM EDT
The strategy for the OOo community is clear - Sun has to let go of OOo in the
same way that IBM let go (reluctantly) of Eclipse.

OOo is now such a vital component in the struggle for interoperable standards,
it can no longer be tied to Sun's apron strings.

Thank you Sun for picking up the OOo/StarOffice project, nurturing it and
helping it grow. However, it has now grown up and OOo needs to be released from
your over-zealous parenthood.

By releasing OOo to a truly independent foundation, Sun will be more successful
with StarOffice than it ever thought possible. Every OOo 'win' is a potential
win for StarOffice. For a variety of reasons, a percentage will always opt for
StarOffice. If the installed base of OOo is 2 billion users, Sun will sell lots
more copies of StarOffice than if the installed base of OOo is 500 million
users.

Sun, what about it? OOo has grown up, it's time to let go.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What happens to Java?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 07:31 PM EDT
I've said it before and I'll say it again: we need to start thinking about what
happens to Java when Sun dies.

Their present marketing and business strategy is so incredibly stupid and
ignorant of the market that Sun's death is now inevitable. It's not just that
they've taken an anti-OSS position-- MS has done that and I'm not predicting
their death. It's that they just don't get it at all-- they have misunderstood
almost everything.

So what happens to Java folks? I'm sure not coding any major projects in that
language until we have some stability.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Yet another SISSL?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 07:49 PM EDT
Check out the 'On: compatibility and the OSD' thread on the OSI license-discuss list. It's very nice reading on how you can burn goodwill quickly if you use the 'spammer economics'[1] on a mailing list.

Sun's Bob Scheifler recently had some terse fun with Brian Behlendorf from the Apache Software Foundation, Larry Rosen, and others, by trying to 'understand the definitional boundaries of the OSD.', i.e. to figure out the most obnoxious license that still meets the OSD but allows someone to tie in compatibility restrictions. For his personal edification, only, of course. :)

b rian's reply

cheers, dalibor topic

[1] great definition of spammer economics on the autoconf list

[ Reply to This | # ]

Brand X Open Source - FSF or similar body must take out a trademark on the term "Open Source"
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 08:02 PM EDT
AFAIK this is the only way to prevent proprietary companies from co-opting the
term.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: Brad Silverberg starts open source company
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 08:42 PM EDT
Yes, that Brad Silverberg.

link

[ Reply to This | # ]

Don't you just love it.
Authored by: Brian S. on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 09:17 PM EDT
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/28/redhatblog_sun_letters/

How long before a fight breaks out in a bar.

Brian S.

[ Reply to This | # ]

and why not.....
Authored by: skip on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 09:30 PM EDT
'And then what is the plan? To dump Linux, the kernel, I hear, and run GNU/Linux
applications on top of Solaris.'

Hello? What's this? How exactly could one company acheive this then. I'm
intrigued. For the first time I find myself wondering if PJ hasn't got something
a bit twisted.

So what if I could swap Kernels? That'd be great, another victory for
Open-Source I would think. I rather like Solaris. I like Linux too. It's that
'choice' thing...

FOSS user's aren't sheep. If Sun, or anyone else tried to dictate what kernel
should be used, it just wouldn't work. I suspect Sun know this.

As for Red-Hat. They became a large company, and want to exist as an Enterprise
Linux provider, so this kind of treatment is only to be expected. The Corporate
world has no concept of pity, either they can take this kind of treatment or
they aren't going to survive, it's that simple.


---

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Mumbo, perhaps. Jumbo, perhaps not!"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • and why not..... - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 01:44 PM EDT
Sun and Brand X Open Source
Authored by: John Hasler on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 09:34 PM EDT
> I can't take Linux code and drop it into FreeBSD...

You can. You may only distribute the resulting derivative under the GPL, but
the BSD permits that.

[ Reply to This | # ]

A couple of points...
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 09:54 PM EDT

First, a Solaris engineer has quite publicly stated that it's not possible to take code from one UNIX/UNIX-workalike and drop it into another. Will someone please pass that along to the SCO legal team.

Second, it sounds like what SUN wants to do is to create an Open Source counterculture. Much like Microsoft tried to do when it originally discovered the Internet and the original vision of MSN was to be another dial-up service like AOL (before it was on the Internet) or CompuServe.

Remember what a stellar success the original MSN was? And that reminds me of what I was thinking about all these plans that Sun has for regaining the market leadership: They all sound remarkably like the plans that other, now failed, computer companies have already tried. The fact that those plans were attempted by companies that are no longer in business should have raised a red flag in the corporate hallways at Sun. That it hasn't makes me want to double and triple check any proposals that the folks at work have that involve bringing a lot of expensive Sun equipment into the data center. No sense in investing a lot of money in purple boat anchors. (Sun is, IMHO, already dead. They just don't realize it yet.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why not trademark 'Open Source'?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 11:13 PM EDT
The open software community (or rather their herders) should trademark protect
the name 'Open Source', together with some simple, but solid, conditions that
anybody claiming to be 'Open Source' has to adhere to.
The danger in not acting (and fast!), is that companies like Sun, to the delight
of Microsoft, can create confusion as to what exactly 'Open Source' means and
ultimately bring the whole open source idea into disrepute. (The U and D in
FUD)
Come to think of it, that might just be The Plan...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Can Groklaw help solve this?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 11:36 PM EDT
Can the Groklaw community create a set of tests that we can evaluate licenses
with, then post the answer with the reasoning?

What Groklaw does so well is argue with data, how do we use all of the bright
minds to create a method for exposing the pro's / con's of each license?

As we've found with the SCO lawsuit, unsubstantiated assertions die quickly in
the bright light Groklaw shines on the facts.

- Jon

[ Reply to This | # ]

Unbelievable
Authored by: Nick Bridge on Tuesday, September 28 2004 @ 11:48 PM EDT
I just can't believe this.

". . . [T]he GPL doesn't align with our corporate principles. . . . Because
we own our intellectual property, we can make a licensing decision that reflects
our corporate goals. And because we've put all the engineering effort behind
that IP, we can instill similar beliefs into the community that we spawn. These
beliefs may change over time: we would love to see a OpenSolaris community where
we are merely a participant in a much larger game. But we'll be able to build a
foundation with ideas that are important to us, and fundamentally different from
those of the Linux community."

Sun has done a number of things which I applauded, and I develop in Java
(amongst other things).

But other actions of Sun have had me shaking. Including teaming with Microsoft,
and also attacking Red Hat.

I have in the past recommended Sun as a good buy - not anymore. I think I'll
move on to a different language too. Perhaps I'll go back to Smalltalk (anyone
hiring?).

"Because we *own* our intellectual property ... "?????

These people just don't understand, do they?

"... we've put all the engineering effort behind that IP ..."

WHAT THE ...? Of course, there has been no engineering effort put into Linux.
I suppose the underlying implication is that anything "engineered" was
stolen. Am I mistaken? Is there a different way to read this?

I shouldn't worry, our community is built on freedom and smarts, none of us miss
a beat like that one! We can see that train coming from about a parsec away
(approx 3 light years).

And Sun starting to play the patent game (as little-brother - big brother owns
the patents) ... I never would have thought it!

Pass around that Knoppix CD! I've had many takers, everyone seems eager to try
it: maybe one of them actually will!

PS I switched to Linux 3 years ago. The only issue I had was running djra - a
Windows only application used to configure IBMs DB2 Data Propagator. It
apparently isn't needed anymore - a Java application has surplanted it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Best Way To Avoid Big Trouble Is To Leave The Big Players Alone
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 12:20 AM EDT
The way to beat M$'s game of embrace, etc., is to ignore them. Those
that take this advise will prosper based on their own good efforts.

Sun has taken a gamble with M$ and will probably be bought or broken
up as a result. Sun is behaving much as they always have with the
expectation they will succeed as they always have. Slamming Sun hurts
us all.

I suggest that FOSS behave as model citizens of the technology community
rather than attack others' views. This is the time to reach out to the rest
of the community rather than attempt to dictate the rules for the rest. Give
the old companies time to figure out what they want to do in this Post
Industrial Society. Maybe they are not as bright as all the Groklawians.

[ Reply to This | # ]

There is ANOTHER downside in being GPL-incompatible!
Authored by: macrorodent on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 02:20 AM EDT
Eric Schrock wrote in his blog

If we do end up being GPL-incompatible, the only downside will be that you cannot use the source code in Linux or another GPL project.

He apparently does not notice or care that this cuts both ways: If the license of the "open"sourced Solaris is GPL-incompatible, code from Linux or other GPL projects cannot be embedded in Solaris!

Maybe he arrogantly thinks there is no code in Linux (or other GPL projects) worth using, but I suspect Solaris might have profited from GPL'd device drivers or code for the various Linux file systems, or some code enabling better Linux binary compatibility.

[ Reply to This | # ]

So what is Open Source anyway?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 02:55 AM EDT
Open Source != GPL.

GPL is just one of the many possible licenses which fall under the "Open
Source" category.

At the very heart of it, an Open Source license should allow the end-user access
to the code and should allow the end-user to run modified versions of that code.
It's about having _Open_ source, not about allowing those modifications to be
distributed or the product being free although ideally an OS product would allow
atleast bugfixes to be distributed freely.

With such respect MS's Shared Source is not an OS license as it does not allow
anybody to change the code, not even for their private purposes, Sun's however
does seem to be an OS license, even thought they'd retain all distribution
rights to it.

But this is just my view. I myself use BSD-style licenses (ZLib/LibPNG to be
exact) mainly because I'm a framework coder and I don't have anything against
companies using my code.

What I'm saying is; GPL is not the ONLY type of Open Source license and a
license CAN be very different and still be Open Source, even if some aspects of
that particular license are not to your liking. Open Source is about having
control over the source, nothing more than that.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun and Brand X Open Source
Authored by: muswell100 on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 03:27 AM EDT
Maybe this has been considered already, but let's think about the implications
of what is happening now:

Sun and Microsoft are now bosom pals (Sun + Microsoft = "Micro-Sun
Love-Child"). OpenOffice users are explicitly unprotected from any future
litigation Microsoft may choose to exercise against them for IP purposes, while
StarOffice users are considered safe. So what happens when OpenOffice market
penetration reaches some form of 'critical mass' in the eyes of Micro-Sun? All
the OpenOffice folk who have come to depend on the software are now left high
and dry with only two real business choices left: MS Office or StarOffice - the
only two suites offering the same range of general compatibilities (OK, the
pedants out there will rebut this, but my point is that corporate users will
perceive it that way).

Naturally, this results in a win-win situation for both Sun and Microsoft, as
they split the proceeds resulting from the damage brought about by the lawsuits
that Sun can deny any involvement in ("Hey, we're Open Source don't you
know") and which Microsoft can claim are nothing more than a defense of
their IP. And what if Sun were to sneak in some MS-proprietary code into
OpenOffice while no-one was looking? This would only strengthen the case.

It might well be worth the OpenOffice team keeping a close eye on their code,
don't you think?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Spooky how it reminds me
Authored by: inode_buddha on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 03:57 AM EDT
Does anyone else remember the fate of Corel's linux efforts? Here's one article about it anyway [winnetmag.com]. Quite frankly, if Sun hadn't bought Star Division I would be without an office suite altogether. Why does this all feel familiar?

---
"When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price." -- Richard M. Stallman

[ Reply to This | # ]

Turn the coin
Authored by: Sunny Penguin on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 04:48 AM EDT
For Microsoft this is a win-win.
If SCO-X / SUN can slow Linux, great;
If their minions are destroyed by everyone running away screaming from their new
corp. policies, well that helps the Microsoft bottom line as well.

---
Just Say No to Caldera/SCO/USL/?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Red Hat aren't that great and Sun aren't really so bad
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 05:20 AM EDT
This article and its tone reminds me of the old Commodore Amiga advocates
shouting about their belief and ignoring everything that anyone else said in
response. I don't think Sun deserve that much of a bashing, they aren't really
doing much wrong.

Sun is Open Sourcing Solaris and that is good; good for Solaris users at least.
It might not benefit Linux users but why should it? Open source does not mean
public domain. It simply means I have the means to adapt the product to my own
needs.

OpenOffice.org is open source and, more importantly, it is Free. That means
OpenOffice.org isn't reliant upon anybody. If Microsoft attack it and Sun pull
their support it can still be developed. And what would happen if Microsoft did
attack? Well, they would have to make their claims and reveal the infringing
sections, which would quickly be suspended from the distribution and rewritten.

I think I would like to see Microsoft go after OpenOffice.org. Microsoft have a
monopoly on this segment of the market, and if they did use patents to try and
kill OO.o they would fail. Public opinion would go against them and the attack
would give the US community the perfect vehicle, complete with anti-trust
elements, to call for changes to their patent legislation.

And Red Hat; are they really worth gushing over the way this article does?
Ultimately, I feel that Red Hat will prove to be much like Sun but without the
hardware. I know their contributions to Linux are very important, but where do I
anonymously download the latest version of Redhat AS? That's right, I don't, I
pay $1500. Red Hat aren't that far removed from Sun already.


Adrian

--
Footnote:
I didn't mean to write so much, I apologise for that. I also suspect that most
of it is nonsense. I apologise for that too. This is what happens when you have
a bulletin board that allows people to write stuff.

Also, no offence is meant to the Amiga fanatics of the early 90's, I was one and
I am talking from personal experience. I still think that with an IBM-clone
style license for the Amiga hardware we'd all be using PowerPC AmigaOS systems
today.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun and Brand X Open Source
Authored by: drreagan on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 05:21 AM EDT
So can anyone remind me what the relevance of Sun's UNIX strategy is to Groklaw?
I don't see them engaging in any spurious lawsuits against linux developers or
distributors as yet. Pretty much all I can see is that Sun aren't doing
business the way some people would like them to. I don't quite see the problem
with that - its their company after all.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun and Brand X Open Source
Authored by: figures on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 05:30 AM EDT
For me this is how "those that want to" will try to destroy open
source.

1) Confuse the Open Source Defintion
They obviously have issues with the GPL, so they'll try and do some FUD to try
and seperate the public's perception of Open Source from the public perception
of the GPL. We'll see them try to redefine what Open Source means so it'll
become a buzzword in the IT Industry and applies to their products (Which by
our definitions wouldn't be classed as Open Source). Hence they'll then start
touting how wonderful their Open Source efforts are, and how the GPL is some bad
cousin. This'll mean that their 'Open Sourzz' products will continue to get
selected for a lot of government projects. It'll be a wolf in sheep's
clothing.

2) Divide and Conquer
I think their plan to combat the Open Source Initiative is to divide and
conquer. I think there attacks on the GPL are part of this. There are some
Open Source advocates who have issues with the GPL, so they will exploit those
to start to fragment to community until no community exists.

I think the only good thing to come out of SCO was it brought everyone together
because it was an attack on linux and impacted a LOT of people. I think future
attacks will be more subtle aimed on those issues that divide the Open Source
Community. Let's face it, I think most Open Source advocates have less issue
with Sun than they do Microsoft. Therefore it's important Groklaw keeps us all
informed.

Thanks PJ

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT:Good article re: Florida
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 05:53 AM EDT
Delete this post if it is too political, but it does show why openess matters. link

[ Reply to This | # ]

Flame Bait
Authored by: Brian S. on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 05:54 AM EDT
I haven't seen it mentioned on Groklaw but its been floated elsewhere.

Two assumptions:

Sun makes their money on servers not Solaris.
Red Hat starts selling servers into Sun's market.

Will Sun buy out Red Hat?

Brian S.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oxymoron of the day.......
Authored by: cpw on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 06:29 AM EDT
"Corporate principles"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Definition of a blinkin' idiot.
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 08:46 AM EDT

It has been said that repeating the same plan and expecting different results is the definition of an idiot. Under this definition, Schwarz is an idiot.

Sun "open sourced" Java. Anyone who investigated found out that this offering bore absolutely no relationship to Open Source, outside of the bare fact that you could see some source, but not the source that Sun used to build their JVM, only a "reference" implementation.

The result? No open source community grew up around Java. There are other reasons for the lack of such a community, but I believe that the license and development model was a significant one.

So why does Sun think that a community will grow around Solaris, a far less compeling technology than Java, especially in the light of the rapid advancement of Linux?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun should simply start their own Linux distro
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 09:23 AM EDT
... and sell that on their Opteron boxes (and perhaps even on SPARC).

They can then can try to fight RedHat, Suse and Microsoft all they want, without appearing to be complete schizophrenics. They can say the same as apple, look, our solution is better, because we control the whole widget.

Really, if they could bring themselves to accept current market conditions (commodity hardware, commodity software), and could start to see them as complementary products to theirs (IT solutions), then they could have a great future.

Being a solutions company with good knowledge of and/or influence ove your own tech is better than being a solutions company that's fully dependent on someone else's stuff.

With Linux, they get it both ways: they don't have to do everything by themselves, yet they are able to do the Q&A and integration, with a nice hardware platform of their own for midrange systems, and Opteron for workstations and entry level systems.

They could build full thin-client OOo/Java/Linux/SUN/AMD based IT infrastructure based on a combination of their expertise and the hard- and software they have access to and can customize, and have a good go at IBM (big and mostly suitable for large corps only) and Microsoft (because it's either all MS or it's nothing, and who wants to put all their eggs in one basked these days).

Cheers,

Emile.

[ Reply to This | # ]

O/T PJ's "doing other things time"
Authored by: Brian S. on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 09:40 AM EDT
Have you noticed?

Normally when PJ posts a Sun article, things go quiet on the headline front.

Maybe she's getting some sleep, maybe there is a good story coming or maybe she
visited her Mom.

She utters the majic word Sun and everyone looks after themselves for the next
day.

Brian S.

[ Reply to This | # ]

A guide to the gpl is needed
Authored by: skip on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 11:50 AM EDT
It seems to me that Groklaw could really do with a comprehensive guide to the
gpl. Rather, one would be nice, and I think Groklaw would be the place to have
it.

I'd certainly be willing to contribute. I think something like an annotated gpl
(then perhaps other licences). I know that information is available on the GPL
elsewhere, but it's somewhat heavy going. I had to study the gpl in detail in my
undergrad days, and did not find it easy going at all, though my studies did
cause me to adopt it for my work.

I'd like something that explains it in nice simple terms.

Anyone else have an opinion on this?

---

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Mumbo, perhaps. Jumbo, perhaps not!"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun: Steady now...
Authored by: CraigG on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 11:58 AM EDT
Run Linux apps on the Unix kernel. That way, they get to hem you in to a sorta-almost-open part-proprietary world and make a buck off of you.
Steady, now.

First, "Linux apps" -- at least the open-source variety, i.e. most of them -- are really POSIX apps, so a recompile will already run them on *BSD, Solaris, HP/UX, AIX, ... That's what POSIX is for. A specific design goal of Linux is to maximize POSIX compliance, to ease porting of UNIX apps -- and it's worked; think about Oracle and other big-money server software.

Second, Sun's Solaris is a competitive product. Their Linux strategy was somewhat confused from the beginning. And it's still confused. But corporations change business strategies all the time -- sometimes for the better, sometimes turning towards disaster. And companies always like to imbue their current direction with some kind of moral glow -- which is generally quite silly; whatever they're doing, they're doing because they think it will be more profitable than available alternatives. That's the way it works.

And since that's just the way it works, could we please calm down these semi-hysterical namecalling attacks? It's one thing for RMS to see some moral armageddon in (for Heaven's sake) the way software is written and distributed; it's quite another for Groklaw to go off like some Slashdottie adolescent.

I respectfully suggest that we just wait and see what happens. Sun is a company in long-term trouble, whether they embrace Linux or not, and regardless of any chumminess or antagonism between them and Microsoft (or RedHat). If we dispassionately watch what Sun is doing, and analyze the outcome, we're likely to learn something.

Craig

http://airnet.net/craig/g4c

[ Reply to This | # ]

Shared Source is OK for some stuff
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 12:22 PM EDT
For any frivolous apps not mission critical to my business - like cutsie
easter-eggs - I wouldn't mind employees contributing them to some company's
shared source project.

However for any useful feature that is important to what we're doing, there's
not a chance we'd contribute it to a commercial organization's proprietary
commercial platform. It seems absurd for Sun to expect us to develop and debug
something, only to then have to pay for Sun for our own code. At least with the
GPL you don't have to pay someone else to use your own code.

My bet is that Shared Source will be great at getting useless cutsie
contributions from the community, but almost nothing of value.

[ Reply to This | # ]

PJ Please reconsider
Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 02:22 PM EDT
PJ,

You have performed a valuable service with Groklaw and I appreciate and admire
your accomplishment. However you seem to have an unusually sore spot when it
comes to SUN.

Please consider a few facts;

1) SUN is in competition with RedHat/IBM and entitiled to point out their
weaknesses, real and preceived.

2) SUN has taken steps to protect their customers (Star Office users) from
Microsoft in advance of Microsoft sueing anyone.

This is beyond what IBM has been willing to do so far for their Linux customers,
although IBM has done a lot to protect their customers by the way they are
defending the SCOG lawsuit. Elsewhere other have noted that IBM donated their
WebSphere product to the community as Eclipse, did IBM agree to allow their
patent sharing agreements to cover the now independant Eclipse community?

As a result of the SUN agreement anyone wanting to deploy Linux on a desktop can
purchase StarOffice (very cheaply), including support and a few additional
features and not be concerned about Microsoft attacking them over patents. Isn't
this pretty much what OSRM is selling, on a more limited scale?

I see no reason to villify SUN. I write much of this off to SUNs culture and the
personalities of their top executives. So what if McNealy and Ballmer played
golf. How many times have Gates and Palimisano been together and for what?

I just don't see the evil intent some, including you, seem to see. I also don't
see in SUNs culture, combative and competitive as it is, the negative aspects of
SCOG or Microsoft. That is the true indication of intent.

I challenge anyone to come up with any past action by SUN which was
intentionally illegal, or anti-competative on anything like the level of
Microsoft.

Many people have critized SUN for the way they handled JAVA. It was not as
sucessful as they might have hoped, but the primary reason for that is that
Microsoft attempted to embrace and extend it into incompatibility and
irrelevance, and at least partilly suceeded.

SUN deployeded JAVA in the broad daylight and took their lumps from both sides
but still went after Microsoft and won in court. Remember at the time Linux was
far less competitive on the desktop that it is now. One of the major reasons, in
my opinion, Linux has a shot at the desktop now is OpenOffice, which SUN bought
and them donated to the FOSS community.

While SUN is not perfect and is somewhat uncertain as to their future, I would
not count them out as a force for innovation in the future.

BTW what's wrong with SUN believing their products are the best ones availible?
I for one don't want to work for any company who's idea is to be second best.

---
Rsteinmetz

"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun and Brand X Open Source
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 04:21 PM EDT
For all the people complaining about PJ's article, try to
figure out if the following story is about SCO or SUN.

-----------------------
A dying company is being swept away by the Linux tidal
wave. It's stock is down more than tenfold from recent
heights and it has products only interesting to a very
tiny niche of the market. With nowhere else to go, the
dying company makes friends with longtime enemy Microsoft,
is given a big cash warchest, and immediately starts
trying to undermine Linux and the open source community.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The GPL prevents a "GNU/Solaris"
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 06:38 PM EDT
It's important to realise that Sun cannot ship any applications licensed under the GNU GPL alongside the rest of their OS, if said applications are linked against any closed-source libraries e.g. the Solaris C library, or any libraries with a GPL-incompatible license. If they do go "OpenSolaris", and want to ship GPL code in it, they'll have to make sure they pick a GPL-compatible license for the C library, at least (i.e. not the Sun Public License).
However, as a special exception, the source code distributed need not include anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component itself accompanies the executable.
(my emphasis)

[ Reply to This | # ]

ITS A DRAW!!!!
Authored by: Brian S. on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 08:26 PM EDT
or a tied game, whatever they say in the US.

Date of replay to be announced by PJ next time she has something important to
do. :-)

Brian S.

[ Reply to This | # ]

After Match Comment.
Authored by: Brian S. on Wednesday, September 29 2004 @ 09:21 PM EDT
"Sun does Opteron can-can for French bank"

"The bank shelled out for more than 100 of the dual-processor Sun Fire V20z
servers, which will be linked in to a grid computing system. The idea is to have
the boxes help BNP Paribas meet the Basle II risk management regulation."

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/29/sun_bnp_win/

Unfortunately for Red Hat I think it's on Suze.

Brian S.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Access-like DB
Authored by: psherma1 on Thursday, September 30 2004 @ 02:00 AM EDT
Tried Rekall?
I run it on top of postgresql. Very simple to setup, make forms, tables, etc.
Turned some small business folk on to it. And with PG, they can always move up
to something more sophisticated if needed later.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun and Brand X Open Source
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, September 30 2004 @ 02:58 PM EDT
If Sun won't idemnify OpenOffice, then why shouldn't I expect them to do the
same for the Java Community?

No more Java development for me.

I think I'll start using Python instead, and promote the Gnome and KDE Office
apps.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Whatever ....Sun and Brand X Open Source
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, September 30 2004 @ 03:13 PM EDT
Whatever, yawn. You know nothing about the state of the industry, yet keep
pusing this anti Sun stuff, while profiting on the side with your FOSS
relationships. Eventualy you will get caught and you will be the topic of
conversation.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Darl once said ...
Authored by: tanstaafl on Thursday, September 30 2004 @ 04:16 PM EDT
... that the money is in the OS, but if I'm not mistaken, his buddy Bill G.
makes better than half his profits from applications, like the Office suite. I
guess it stands to reason that this is just one more area in which Darl is
clueless.

As for the BSD license, what is there that says I can't port Linux code to BSD
packages? Is FreeBSD different from BSD? Other than BSD-derived packages that
I've found on my Linux system (whose source I haven't examined), I'm not
familiar enough with the various flavors of BSD to be authoritative; I _thought_
that BSD just asked for attribution in the docs or something, so why does Mr.
Schrock think that FreeBSD and Linux (GPL) are incompatible?

Basically, I want as few encumbrances on code I may write as possible (I don't
consider opening the source an encumbrance). If Sun doesn't use a real FOSS
license on Solaris 10 or OpenOffice.org, that's their right, since they own the
code, but they won't have me to do any donkey work for them, either. I want to
help those who help me, not parasitize me. I think a lot of other coders may
feel the same.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • whatever - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 01 2004 @ 03:21 AM EDT
Groklaw © Copyright 2003-2013 Pamela Jones.
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Comments are owned by the individual posters.

PJ's articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License. ( Details )