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OpenSolaris Is One · That was quite a launch, this time last year; hundreds of bloggers, hundreds of thousands of words. I think it kind of worked. As of now, geeks choosing a server-side OS for geek reasons have a handful of choices: Linux, Solaris, one or two of the BSDs. I care about the geeks and I don’t care that much about the CIOs, because during the first decade of my career, while the CIOs were talking about MVS and VMS and Tandem Guardian and AS/400, the geeks were quietly saying “Unix” and generally Getting Shit Done. If we can give hands-on people good technical reasons to use Solaris, they will; otherwise not. I still want a GNU/Solaris userland, please. Want Dapper Drake on Solaris? Done. [Update: That Nexenta Alpha 5 is now out, with Dapper, OpenSolaris 40, 11,800 packages, JDK via DLJ and tons of other juicy Gnu + Debian + Ubuntu goodness.]
OpenSolaris Blogs Oh My · They told me they were going to try to get lots of people to blog about the launch, but this is remarkable: this morning they knew about 132 bloggers and 215,000 words, and there’s another dozen pieces every time I turn on my aggregator. The communications and culture shift happening here is maybe just as interesting as OpenSolaris itself. Herewith observations, and pointers to some particularly sharp-edged samples. A new thing is in the world ...
The Unix Horse Race · The big OpenSolaris launch is today; there’s a huge crowd of bloggers giving you the deep technical poop, so I’ll stick to sports metaphors. I don’t know what the word “Unix” means legally, but if it’s got a real fork(), it’s Unix to me; that includes GNU/Linux and the BSDs and Solaris. Which is to say, they’re more alike than they are different, and they’re all pretty good. Nobody cares much about the history now; it’s about fast, reliable, and cheap, and that’s as it should be. If you look at the core engineering teams for Linux and Solaris, neither of them is dramatically bigger than the other, so I think the race is pretty fair. My personal take? At the moment Solaris is ahead in scaling and observability and production management. The good Linux distros are ahead in installing and packaging (“In the Beginning there was nothing. So God said apt-get install light”) and user interface. Is there a downside? The BSDs might get crowded out in all the excitement, and that would be sad. Aside from that, it’s gonna be fun to watch. And the people who are lined up to bet are waving real money, lots of it.
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