[SATLUG] [Fwd: Creation - San Antonio Sun Microsystems Users Group]

Greg Willden gregory.willden at swri.org
Mon Mar 22 09:05:37 CST 2004

Chuck Tetlow wrote:

>Its about the creation of a San Antonio "Sun" Users Group.  Very similar
>to our group -- just as the operating system is very similar to our
I guess I am a little skeptical about a Sun users group.  The thing I 
like about LUG's is that they are organic and grown from the bottom up.  
They are grassroots.

This SA-SMUG is a top-down corporate group.  Very different.

I'm not very impressed with Sun as a company.  They act like a bunch of 
different companies that all call themselves Sun.  One division will say 
"we love open-source".  The other will say "open-source is a nice toy 
but it can't compete with our super-duper enterprise Solaris wiz-bang". 

And then Jonathan Schwartz, executive VP of software at Sun claims that 
the performance of Solaris is now "at parity with or better than Red 


And all this time they were saying that Linux can't compete with Solaris.

Around and round we go.

The OpenOffice.org and Gnome people are great.  They understand the 
value of being open.

But then their Java folks are clueless about open-source.

Jonathan Schwartz says that the GPL encourages forking and that "Java is 
the antithesis of forking. It's about compatibility. That compatibility 
is of supreme importance,"

Let's not get started on the supreme (in-)compatibility of the various 
versions of Java.  We'll stick with the easier argument about forking.  
The GPL does not encourage forking, at least not the kind he is worried 
about.  The Linux kernel is "forked" every day.  But the "Linux kernel 
project" is unforkable because Linus Torvalds is at the head and he is 
an excellent leader.  And any changes that anyone makes to any version 
of the kernel are made available as source because of the great power of 
the GPL.  Besides that, everyone wants to stay compatible with Linus' 
kernel because of the great benefits received by leveraging the work of 
others.  It's all about cooperation.

In order for Java to thrive and stand any chance of competing against 
Microsoft in the long term it must be made open source.  Sun needs to 
stay at the head of the project and take a "real" leadership role.  It's 
all about cooperation.

In order for Sun to thrive and stand any chance of competing against 
Microsoft in the long term it must embrace open source across the board.

Sorry for the rant.  It didn't really start out as a rant but it seems 
to have turned into one as I wrote it.

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