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Does the Fate of OpenSolaris Tell Us Where Unix Is Headed?

Sep 03, 2010, 01:36 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)


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"It's not easy to pin down the exact date of the birth of OpenSolaris, but it's really easy to nail the date of its demise: Friday, August 13, 2010. This was the date a leaked Oracle internal memo was released on the Internet : a memo that effectively announced the end of the OpenSolaris Project, just over five years after the general release of the OpenSolaris code and 830 days after the first official release of an OpenSolaris distribution from Sun Microsystems.

"The life of OpenSolaris may be relatively brief, particularly compared to the decades venerable Unix has been in existence. But its tumultuous history serves as an important lesson in how not to manage an open source project. More importantly, it raises questions about the long-term viability of the Solaris operating system itself and, by extension, the entire Unix pantheon of operating systems.

"OpenSolaris was conceived as early as September 2004, when Jörg Schilling and two other community members met with 440 Sun developers in Santa Clara for an initial summit. There are varying versions of what happened at the meeting, but the end result was clear and public: The pilot program was soon announced and the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) was submitted to the OSI for approval in December that same year."

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