Discussions

News: Sun still has issues with understanding Open Source

  1. Sun Microsystems may be talking about participating in the Open Source, but that participation is still dependent on whether the specific part of Sun you're dealing with actually understands that open source is, well, open, as shown by "An Open Letter to the OpenDS Community and to Sun Microsystems." OpenDS is a project building "a free and comprehensive next generation directory service." However, during one of Sun's "consolidation" efforts, project owner and committer Neal Wilson's position was eliminated, as well as the positions of the three other OpenDS owners and the OpenDS community manager. As a display of good faith (Mr. Wilson's term, although it definitely applies), the project owners elected a Sun employee as a fifth owner, to assure Sun's future participation and partial ownership in the project. However, they were informed that Sun's intention was to change the OpenDS governance policy such that the project was controlled entirely by a Sun-selected committee. Sun then strong-armed the project owners into agreeing with the change, at the cost of severance benefits. As Mr. Wilson says:
    This is most certainly not in the spirit of open source and open development that we tried to foster or that Sun claims to embody. Please note that I don’t feel that this action was representative of Sun’s true open source strategy, but was a relatively isolated incident brought on by middle management acting of their own accord. I believe and certainly hope that the public statements made by individuals like CEO Jonathan Schwartz and Chief Open Source Officer Simon Phipps are honest and that Sun truly does want to be a genuine community-focused open source company, and I have no reason to believe that they were aware of or involved with any of what happened with OpenDS. ... Unfortunately, if Sun is unable to ensure that their middle management is on the same page as the senior management setting the open source strategy and the engineers making it happen, then it won’t take too many more incidents like this (or the Project Indiana / OpenSolaris Developer Preview naming fiasco) for people to start to question Sun’s true intentions.
    Of course, Sun's "true intentions" have been questioned already, but incidents like this do nothing to make the concerns go away. Apache already has a standing issue with Sun's use of the GPL, which restricts its use of products. Code licensed under the GPL, isn't "free" according to Apache, meaning that Apache allows its code to be embedded and reused by commercially-licensed projects without virally infecting those projects. Sun's response, while understandable, hasn't been entirely reassuring. Hopefully Sun can correct the issues that resulted in the resignatio of all of the OpenDS owners.

    Threaded Messages (16)

  2. I wouldn't expect everything to go so smoothly. It is a shame. On the other hand, to put this into more context, there is an EU report from a couple of years back that quantifies (as best as it can) OS contributions from commercial companies. Sun is number 1, and the rest, including IBM and RH are a distant, distant, 2nd and 3rd.
  3. Yeah, between Java, Netbeans, Solaris and pretty much everything else Sun does getting opensourced on dev.java.net I think they "get it" much more than others. I don't recall IBM making WSAD a free/OSS product...
  4. >I don't recall IBM making WSAD a free/OSS product...
    But would you actually want it if they did? :) I haven't heard a single good report from local, large IBM shop...
  5. I don't recall IBM making WSAD a free/OSS product...
    so eclipse is just my imagination?
  6. I believe WSAD comes with a lot of extra plugins which are not OSS.
  7. I don't recall IBM making WSAD a free/OSS product...


    so eclipse is just my imagination?
    Damn, I like to think that all this shitty SCO/IBM thing was just a nightmare I had... Am I still sleeping ? Regarding Sun understanding of OSS, the real problem is much more about governance. They want to go OpenSource, but they want to keep control. A dead-end... "Should I stay or should I go ? If I go there will be be trouble. And if I stay it will be double..."
  8. More harm than good...[ Go to top ]

    I don't recall IBM making WSAD a free/OSS product...


    so eclipse is just my imagination?
    IBM WSAD and RAD are both pretty much piles of crap. It takes about a gig of ram to start before you click anything, the Websphere test environment is buggy (we couldn't get it to reliably start in debug mode at all), and it tosses up error messages on a regular basis. However I'd like to point out that most of our error messages are from the eclipse side, not WSAD/RAD. So in some cases, you get what you pay for (free Eclipse), and in others, you don't even get that (RAD). Anyway, back on topic... "genuine community-focused open source company" - what does this even mean? You want SUN to fund open source projects and get what exactly for their return on investment? While I understand the point of standards and interoperability, I've never understood the fascination with open sourcing everything at every level. SUN's ethics and strategy might be in question here like it is everywhere else, but I have to say that I'd be far happier to get a File.Copy() method from SUN in the JDK than more open source software. :)
  9. Re: More harm than good...[ Go to top ]

    I don't recall IBM making WSAD a free/OSS product...


    so eclipse is just my imagination?


    IBM WSAD and RAD are both pretty much piles of crap. It takes about a gig of ram to start before you click anything, the Websphere test environment is buggy (we couldn't get it to reliably start in debug mode at all), and it tosses up error messages on a regular basis. However I'd like to point out that most of our error messages are from the eclipse side, not WSAD/RAD.

    So in some cases, you get what you pay for (free Eclipse), and in others, you don't even get that (RAD).
    Nah, 4.x had some real memory issues, but 5.x was a really nice IDE, miles before the competition when developing for WebSphere. Sadly 6.x wasnt really a step forward, partly due to an odd deployment model for the built-in 6.x server. Doesnt matter to much though, because money strong WebSphere shops will still use it...
  10. I don't recall IBM making WSAD a free/OSS product...


    so eclipse is just my imagination?
    RAD definitely is not open source and the license is a bit expensive. I don't know about others, but if WebSphere came with the source, I could atleast fix the bugs myself. It would also expose all the hidden API in WebSphere that RAD uses. Not everyone would have the stomach for it, but it would give 1 more option when things go bump in the night. peter
  11. I don't recall IBM making WSAD a free/OSS product...
    It's funny how people here blaming IBM for not open-sourcing WSAD hardly suspect Eclipse was initially an IBM project. Am I that old or what?
  12. I wouldn't expect everything to go so smoothly. It is a shame. On the other hand, to put this into more context, there is an EU report from a couple of years back that quantifies (as best as it can) OS contributions from commercial companies. Sun is number 1, and the rest, including IBM and RH are a distant, distant, 2nd and 3rd.
    As a consumer of open source enterprise software for the last eight years, I concur with this statement. From what I have seen during that time, Sun and JBoss/(now Redhat) are the no 1 contributors. JBoss paved the road for open source enterprise software. I do not see any other vendor that comes close to Sun in their open source contributions/free software offerings for SOA-based software. Danny Thornton http://www.soamodeling.org
  13. More to this story?[ Go to top ]

    I remember reading about this on The Register at the beginning of December, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/01/sun_openid_spat And as I recall there's more to this story, including unannounced changes to the governance terms of the project when the OpenDS guys were employees at Sun... Now, I'm as much for tarring and feathering people as anyone else, but there appears to be more to this story than implied above.
  14. Apache already has a standing issue with Sun's use of the GPL, which restricts its use of products. Code licensed under the GPL, isn't "free" according to Apache, meaning that Apache allows its code to be embedded and reused by commercially-licensed projects without virally infecting those projects. Sun's response, while understandable, hasn't been entirely reassuring.
    AFAIK Apache doesn't go round telling anyone how they license their own code. The ASF may have an opinion on licensing - but thats different from an issue.

    I assume this is a reference to the dispute between Apache and Sun on getting the TCK for Harmony? If so they you show a complete misunderstanding of the issue which is about Sun requiring a FOU restriction on Apache's code (i.e. Harmony) in order to get the TCK - which breaks the promises Sun made to Apache.
  15. Niall is perfectly right. In this very case (OpenDS), the main issue is that they fired Neil and 4 of his co-workers, the one who just initiated the project, and generated around 70% of the code. But it's much more an internal Sun problem than a problem understanding Open Source. Now, beside that sad situation for Neil & co, there was a little modification made back in April in the project governance. It has nothing to do with the license, but changed who owns the project. When OpenDS has been announced, Sun was the owner. In April, this has changed : "the 'owners' own the project" (as a 'owner' might be external to Sun, that means that at some point, the project could be driven by someone external to Sun). It has been changed back to the original version in mid-November. So Sun is back in full control. As I said in my previous post, the problem is not the license per se (even if it can be discussed ad nauseam), but the governance. If one private entity own the project, it can bend it to fit its own agenda. This is were we might have a problem. Opening the sources is not enough...
  16. Apache already has a standing issue with Sun's use of the GPL, which restricts its use of products. Code licensed under the GPL, isn't "free" according to Apache, meaning that Apache allows its code to be embedded and reused by commercially-licensed projects without virally infecting those projects. Sun's response, while understandable, hasn't been entirely reassuring
    If this is a reference to the current ongoing dispute between the ASF and Sun over the Java SE TCK, this is absolutely and totally false, and I'd like to ask that you update the main post with a correction to ensure that no one else adopts this incorrect understanding of the issue between Sun and the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). From the perspective of our fight with Sun over the Java SE TCK, the ASF has *no* issue with Sun over the GPL, the license they chose for OpenJDK, their implementation of the Java SE specification. None. OpenJDK is Sun's software, and they have the right to choose whatever license they wish. The issue between Sun and the ASF is a very serious one. Sun refuses to license the TCK under terms that allow the ASF to distribute Apache Harmony under the Apache license. The ASF is *not* asking that the TCK be put under a free or open source license (the TCK is Sun's proprietary, closed-source software), but rather that we be granted a license to simply use the TCK - as is required by the rules of the JCP - to test Apache Harmony that doesn't limit how Apache can distribute Apache Harmony, it's own independently created software. We're not asking for open source, not asking to redistribute, not asking to modify - just use. This issue is very serious. Our opinion, which isn't only held by the ASF, is that because Sun is trying to limit how *independently created* (IOW, has zero Sun software in it) implementations of the Java SE spec can be used, Sun is in violation of the JSPA, the governing agreement of the JCP, and public promises it made to the general Java community. More problematic than Sun being both in breach of contract and a liar, this issue fundamentally shines a bright light at the last dark corner of the JCP, one in which a rogue spec lead (Sun, in this case) can use the trappings of the JCP to gain and maintain market control of an area of the Java ecosystem. This is a very serious issue, and one will have serious repercussions to the Java ecosystem. I encourage all to contact your favorite JCP EC member and talk to them about this issue. If you wish to read about the core dispute between Sun and Apache, please read the open letter that the ASF sent to Sun. To get back to the subject ;) again, the ASF has no issue with Sun using the GPL for anything that they own, and that includes OpenJDK. In fact, using the GPL for the Java SE TCK would truly be a tremendous step forward. And yes, I personally do agree with the overall sense of the post. Sun's "Feudal" community model has it's pros and cons, and conflict with the general community is going to be a 'con' that we'll see over and over again throughout it's project portfolio. - geir
  17. The real problem is: Sun still has issues understanding business.