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26 September 2008, 09:47

Opinion: Linux Foundation's misguided attacks on Solaris

Dj Walker-Morgan

The Linux Foundation has taken a major wrong turn in attacking Sun Microsystems' Solaris, and indulging in the kind of FUD spreading that would bring shame on any other corporation that tried it.

Jim Zemlin attacked Sun and Solaris saying "The future is Linux and Microsoft Windows. It is not Unix or Solaris" following on by saying Solaris has almost no new deployments and is a legacy operating system offered by a company with financial difficulties.

This is not advocacy, Mr Zemlin. Sun is a member of the Linux Foundation and you don't turn on your own membership. Solaris may not be a GPL-licensed operating system, but it is available under an open licence. Sun is an active contributor to open source projects. Dtrace and ZFS in Solaris are features which Linux could well do with. Solaris has been hardened in industry, and rather than demeaning it, Jim Zemlin would do better if he had actually looked at what Solaris has actually achieved.

What is most depressing about Zemlin's statement is that apparently the Linux Foundation thinks the future is about a duopoly of operating systems. A duopoly is as bad a monopoly, and what the world needs is a range of innovative operating systems, with differing philosophies and code bases to push forward the state of the art. Solaris, OpenSolaris, OpenBSD, FreeBSD and Mac OS X are all operating systems which in different ways make people aspire to do better.

By devolving into FUD slinging, the Linux Foundation shows signs of turning into the kind of abusive corporation that have done so much damage in the past to the development of open standards, open cooperation and honest discussion.

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