OpenSolaris is not dead (yet)

From the “It’s Not Over Until Ellison Sings‘ files:

The openSolaris Governing Board (OGB) has resigned, leaving the former Sun (now Oracle) open source operating system without a community board for governance.

Does this mean that openSolaris is dead?

Not quite. The key problem (in my view) is that Oracle has been unresponsive to the OGB’s requests on multiple issues of clarification. Without a line of communication about the future of openSolaris, I don’t think that the OGB really had a choice as they were operating in a vacuum with no information.

That said, as a working journalist, I know full well that Oracle isn’t exactly the most responsive of companies to begin with. Don’t get me wrong, I have tremendous respect for the excellent PR people that I’ve had the good fortune to work with at Oracle over the years, but Oracle as a corporate entity is not always going to be immediately responsive. Decisions are not made in the open, they’re made in the boardroom and open source or not, that’s the way that Oracle operates.

With Solaris 11 development now underway for a 2011 release, Oracle’s engineers (also coincidentally in my view the bulk of the contributors to openSolaris) are tasked with building the commercial Unix operating system. Oracle has told me that they are taking bits from openSolaris for Solaris 11 and there will also be new ‘commercial’ bits too.

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