Post Indiana Developer Preview 2

8:04 am Indiana, OpenSolaris, Sun

Time is flying. They always say the older you get, the quicker it goes, and that seems true for the latest release of the OpenSolaris Developer Preview, codenamed Project Indiana. The announce mail pretty much covers most of the changes since the last release, and another incremental step towards really changing the delivery model of software for Sun has been made.

Shrinking down to a single CD image has proved massively useful for me as a remote worker, and it’s given me the flexibility of testing several ISOs on the run up to the release, without hurting my broadband plan too much – I can’t help but think that it will give 1000’s of people in developing countries with poor network infrastructure an opportunity to try it out. While the application availability on is still poor, the introduction of OpenOffice fills the gap for pretty much all my needs in my day job. I can now install the packages I care about, and my disk feels lighter. Thank you to everyone who’s worked on this over the last couple of months – your patience and dedication are appreciated. Thank you to everyone who have downloaded and installed it, and more importantly, given us feedback.

But controversy continues to be the compromise for that progress.

Stephen’s two blog posts, here and here nail the issues for anyone who hasn’t caught up. It’s been a roller coaster ride over the last few months, both personally, for the project and the wider community. John Plocher has been rocking on putting together a set of draft guidelines for trademark usage and branding, after the official response from Sun on the continued plan to call it OpenSolaris.

At a personal level, being on this project is massively challenging. Not only in the desire to create the best possible user experience while encouraging continued open development, but also in terms of community dynamics and finding the right line to walk between my Sun commitments and my community ones, namely the OGB. There’s no question that there has been a shift in the community, both indicated by Sun’s rightful desire to name the artifact OpenSolaris (of which I agree with), and the interesting discussion in around the independence of OGB members. Dalibor’s “Finishing governance before finishing bootstrapping is a bad idea” quote highlights one of the main concerns I’ve had from the start – you can’t just switch to a self governing community overnight, you grow into it. Nor can you expect to apply a model that works in one community to another. We are all different. OpenSolaris, comically, is no exception.

So where next for the project? I’m hopeful that it will turn out just fine, perhaps naively so, but I can see people trying out the developer preview and realizing that it’s not too bad. Most of all, we need to execute in a regular and predictable fashion, as a community in as transparent an environment as possible. United. Not just Sun, but everyone.

8 Responses

  1. Mads Says:

    As a Solaris proper / enterprise customer, I can’t help but to hope Indiana will be killed off quickly rather than becoming as Ian has threatened.
    Why this is a problem? because Indiana strays far from Solaris thus killing the compatibility contract making the impact of Indiana similar to what happened when HP decided to kill off mips.
    (on a personal note, I really just don’t see the point in Indiana – if I’d wanted linux, that’s what I’d be installing).

  2. nacho Says:

    I don’t really see where the naming controversy can affect Indiana from en engineering and technological perspective; it really shouldn’t.
    I like many others are not against an Opensolaris binary distribution, the technology behind Indiana is not the problem and I am in fact happy with what I’ve seen so far, it is enough to say that I’m using it to write this lines. I am against the way we reached this state, we were forced to it, we didn’t get here because this was the natural evolutionary path (it might or might not have been eventually, i don’t know)
    so all I ask is, stop using the Opensolaris name, let us finish the trademark discussion as a community, let us create a policy and feel free to get involved, ask permission to use the name, and if the community is ok with it, then go for it but no sooner than that
    In any case, thanks for the great effort, I look forward to seeing great things in Indiana and I also really hope you get another term as part of the OGB

  3. Ché Kristo Says:

    As an enterprise customer you will continue to receive support for many years to come on Solaris 10. Please look at for more info on this.

    As for Indiana killing the compatability I think you are being alittle bit sesationalist.
    first of all Indiana does not claim to be a GA release of Solaris and never has, if Sun wish to base Solaris.Next on Indiana they may choose to maintain compatability.
    From a business perspective it would be suicide to their *very large* legacy market, for this reason I doubt will be breaking ABI’s and API’s that you have relied upon until now.

    And as to why you don’t see the point of Indiana. If you want Linux then go ahead and install it. Personally I wanted a polished desktop opensolaris, Indiana fulfils that need for me and many others…

  4. UX-admin Says:

    “Personally I wanted a polished desktop opensolaris, Indiana fulfils that need for me and many others…”

    But there are ways to have a polished desktop without Solaris trying to immitate something that he is not, something that he should never become.

    Otherwise, like you wrote, we might just be indirectly forced to forget Solaris and install the original, which in this case would be that “something”, namely Linux.

  5. Ché Says:

    @ UX-admin
    GNU tools are not Linux tools they are *nix tools that can be just as useful on Solaris and on BSD and Linux

    Gnome is not the Linux desktop, it is a desktop for *nix’s…including Solaris just because you don’t want a well integrated Gnome desktop on Solaris doesn’t mean there aren’t others that do. If you don’t want to use it then don’t, no one is forcing you to.

  6. Mads Says:

    Ian has declared that Indiana will eventually become (go see advocacy-discuss@opensolaris earlier this month for details). If he gets his way, then the current direction of indiana spells doom for the forward compatibility guarantee.

  7. gman Says:

    Mads: I disagree. Binary compatibility is massively important for Solaris, however there’s going to have to be compromises to that that will be carefully thought out. OpenSolaris (Project Indiana) provides the *perfect* environment to be able to change things around, so we really can get it absolutely nailed for Solaris. Don’t dismiss things just yet, it’s way too premature.

  8. UX-admin Says:

    GNU tools are not Linux tools they are *nix tools that can be just as useful on Solaris and on BSD and Linux

    GNU stands for “GNU is Not UNIX”. And it’s not. Everything else is propaganda.

    I *hate* Linux because of GNU; it’s non-standard garbage. I want System V, and Indiana is setting GNU as the default (/bin/bash? Who’s bringing the gasoline? I’ll bring the rope!)