Vaughan-Nichols about OpenSolaris
The IT media is full of people being short-sighted. Many years ago i´ve insulted a person of a certain profession and a certain group by saying that they didn´t choosed they job out of a calling, just because they Numerus Clausus (something similar in its impact to the Scholastic Assessment Test in the US. The Numerus Clausus is the enrollment limit for certain studies) wasn´t sufficient for something else. This comment haunted me for years.
Sometimes I have an inkling, that a similar comment would hold true for IT journalists: I know several IT journalists, that do their job as a calling. They are good at explaining things, they are good at analysing things and they are good at their profession. But: There are several people, where i have the idea, that they wouldn´t work in press, when they would be able to get a job in the IT business itself.
In the normal press we have the phenomenon that even former quality newspaper starts to consits out of fear, hate, tits and the weather forecast. In IT media we have the phenomenon that we see the “Tits sell approach” to this business. In order to reach higher amounts ofclick-throughs you need more page views. In order to reach more page views you need links from other sites and on this way those large “information” meta portals like Slashot live in a symbiosis with the IT press. So how do you get the attention of the thundering heards? Show tits … err … write about the imminent death of something. Stories the herd want to read. They don´t have to be well researched, they don´t have to be well written, they just need to have a good headline.
“Is Oracle getting ready to kill OpenSolaris?” written by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is such an article. It´s an example what happens if you don´t really have insight into a topic. I will not comment on this article. Ben already identified this as FUD and i want to refer to an older article about Linux, Oracle and Solaris about the consequences of a possible merger (Yeah, many people talk as Larry already owns Sun, but at the moment we are seperate companies acting as those. The regulation authorities and the stockholders didn´t gave they “Make it so” so far) for Solaris, for Linux and for Oracle. I will just quote from it:
To give you an example: Is it relevant to you what operating system is used in your NetApp Filer? Well ... the operating system of a database appliance is irrelevant, too. There is just a single point of interest: What is the best plattform for my application with the least time to market and the least amount of bucks spend to build it? This breaks down to a lot of technical questions. Do i put my money into a filesystem into development like Btrfs or do i use the market-available ZFS for example? Can i use DTrace or is there a need to develop your own tracing framework integrating application and the operating system? Can i use the same operating system from 1 proc to 256 procs (and no, SGI Altix is something completely different)? And so on ...
And to end this article: At the end Oracle isn´t a Linux company … it´s a middleware and ERP company. Mr. Vaughan-Nichols should keep this mind. In my opinion they contribute to Linux because they wanted a x86 Unix derivation at a certain point of time and Linux was the obvious choice. But what happens if this company owns an unix. Should give Mr. Vaughan-Nichols some food for thought. I don´t know what happens in the next time. But i´m pretty sure that the world isn´t that simple as the article in Computerworld wants to see it.