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Musing on Sun

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Feb. 14th, 2008 | 04:52 am

As one can imagine I've been getting a lot of questions about the Sun acquisition.

"Will you still blog?"

"Will MySQL be rewritten in Java"

"Can I get a picture of you in the "Java, the best replacement for Cobol" t-shirt?"

I also hear things. Good stories about Sun, bad stories about Sun. A lot of past history on poor attempts at open source libraries which people still think are current.

A lot of very happy people over Open Office's existence.

Someone asked me if Sun was likely to be sold to Microsoft (huh?).

What no one has asked me so far is what should an open source advocate/programmer going into Sun should try to do.

In general I believe strongly in a combination of "let a thousand flowers bloom" and "be afraid to die until you win some victory for humanity".

More open source is good; software patents kill innovation.

A few thoughts:

Get Sun to deliver a patch for Dtrace to the Linux Kernel?

Open Source Teamware?

Open source the C compiler (is it already?)

What would you ask for?

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Comments {6}

awfief

(no subject)

from: awfief
date: Feb. 14th, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC)
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Honestly? I don't see Sun getting in the way of MySQL. At the end of the day, the developers still develop, though you're the one in the position to know how the architecture discussions are influenced by "corporate".

Mostly I'd go for "hire more smart programmers" and "if you have to take a developer off the core to build a tool like Enterprise Monitoring or Workbench, make sure you replace that developer".

That and "treat the Community like one of your best customers/partners". We should have keynote speakers, some more incentives to be part of the community, etc. Woo us like you woo a customer or partner.

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Ask for this...

from: bkarwin
date: Feb. 14th, 2008 04:01 pm (UTC)
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The same thing I've been asking Sun to do for the last fifteen years:

fix tar!

:-)

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Brian "Krow" Aker

Re: Ask for this...

from: krow
date: Feb. 14th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
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No kidding.... Solaris is dog old as far as the OS distribution goes. I believe that Sun is addressing this, but I do no know to what extent.

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Patents, licenses

from: dmarti
date: Feb. 14th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
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Copy Red Hat's patent policy: http://www.redhat.com/legal/patent_policy.html

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Brian "Krow" Aker

Re: Patents, licenses

from: krow
date: Feb. 14th, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for that. I'll see what Sun's is and compare them.

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Make Sun a commercial open source success story

from: robla
date: Feb. 15th, 2008 05:23 am (UTC)
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I think the biggest thing that Sun can do for the world right now is to demonstrate how a previously proprietary company can be a really commercially successful operation as a major producer of open source software.

Right now there's a perception (largely true, unfortunately) that the only companies that have open source production as a core part of their business model are either scrappy underdogs trying to disrupt the market or has-beens trying to recapture the magic. Sun has an opportunity to get past that, but the temptation is going to be to retreat into the past. Sun seems to be betting big on open source, but it's going to be a really tough job figuring out how to be both a prolific producer of quality open source software and how to make the kind of money that a $13+ billion/year company needs to make in order to be successful in the long haul. Hard problem, but if you can help solve it, that's a worthy lifetime achievement, because then everyone will be scrambling to be the next Sun.

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