Eric Schrock's Blog

Jonathan on OpenSolaris

November 29, 2004

As Alan points out, Jonathan had a few comments about OpenSolaris in an interview in ComputerWorld. One interesting bit is an “official” timeline:

We will have the license announced by the end of this calendar year and the code fully available [by the] first quarter of next year.

I can tell you the OpenSolaris team is working like gangbusters to make this a reality. As soon as there is an exact date, you can bet that we’ll be making some noise. Jonathan also made a statement that seems to directly conflict with my blog post yesterday:

Is there anything preventing you from making all of Solaris open-source? Nothing at all. And let me repeat that. Nothing at all.

That’s a little different than my statement that “there are pieces of Solaris that cannot be open sourced due to encumbered licenses.” The point here is that there are no wide-ranging problems (patents, System V code, SCO, Novell) preventing us from opening all of Solaris. Nor is there any internal pressure to keep some parts of Solaris secret. The “pieces” that I mentioned are few and far between – a single file, a command, or maybe a driver. We’re also securing rights to these pieces on a monthly basis, so the number keeps dropping (and may reach zero by the time OpenSolaris goes live).

The other point is that we won’t be releasing a crippled system. Even if some pieces are not immediately available in source form, we will make sure that anyone can build the same version of Solaris that we do. We hope that these pieces can be re-written and released under the OpenSolaris license as quickly as possible.

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