So there is a
blog based debate between a Solaris kernel developer and a Linux kernel developer. The fun part of it is that it seems most people missed that the Sun guy basically changed debate in his rebutal. The Sun guy started out by saying that due to this and that cultural issue we can’t implement the features we want in Linux, instead we have to do it in Solaris. In his rebutal to the rebutal however he switched it to be a argument over wether a specific set of features in Solaris where more polished than in their Linux counterparts and also examplifying that since they have a known target in terms of hardware it is easier for them to do certain stuff (yet that would be true also for Linux on Sparc if Sun where to go that way in terms of OS).
I think the problem that Sun refuse to acknowledge is that if you cost ten times the competition then you can’t justify that price by features needed by 1% of your potential customers. The remaining 99% of custmers will just look at those features and think ‘yeah, could be useful if my company was a gigant like Coca-Cola, but for my small company the solutions that cost so basically do what we need.’
The claim that a 110% stable ABI for hardware drivers in the operating system is essential to be viable for people being able to support it is kinda funny considering how many 3rd part drivers are written for Solaris compared to how many are written for Linux :)
A good anecdote in the solaris hardware support department was that at my previous job we ended up buying a Token Ring/ Ethernet router just to connect a Solaris box to the network using its built in ethernet card since the only supported token ring card was Sun’s own and it cost 6 times the price of the router (and ten times the cost of Madge and IBM cards for Intel server).