|| ||Ian Murdock <Ian.Murdock-UdXhSnd/wVw-AT-public.gmane.org>|
|| ||opensolaris-discuss-xZgeD5Kw2fzokhkdeNNY6A-AT-public.gmane.org, indiana-discuss-xZgeD5Kw2fzokhkdeNNY6A-AT-public.gmane.org,
|| ||[indiana-discuss] Project Indiana and the OpenSolaris name|
|| ||Tue, 30 Oct 2007 23:40:46 -0400|
When Project Indiana was first conceived, it was envisioned to be a
community distribution of OpenSolaris--in other words, built by the
community and called OpenSolaris . My basic observation, as someone
who came into the OpenSolaris community from the outside - even perhaps
from the competition - and who represents the target market this
community needs to reach was this: That the packaging and presentation
of OpenSolaris as it stands today represents a barrier to adoption and,
thus, an obstacle to growing the OpenSolaris community and bringing in
new users. To lower these barriers, OpenSolaris needs to be more than
just the code base. It needs to be a binary that users can easily
download and install to get easy access to OpenSolaris technology. Put
another way, as I said in a blog post in June, we need to have a
better answer to the question, "Where do I download OpenSolaris?" .
Since that time, there has been much debate about what the Project
Indiana distribution should be called. Over the past few weeks,
the conversation on the lists has centered around the OpenSolaris
trademark, and whether or not Indiana, or any other distribution,
should have the right/privilege to carry the moniker "OpenSolaris".
I believe the debate fundamentally comes down to a question of
identity: Is OpenSolaris a code base that others (including Sun)
use as the basis for their operating environments, or is OpenSolaris an
operating environment in its own right? Given that much of the world
already assumes OpenSolaris is an operating environment - namely the
community version of Solaris - one answer to that question is clear to
me: OpenSolaris MUST be something new users can download and install.
Indiana is the first, and so far only, distribution created on
OpenSolaris.org containing only bits from other OpenSolaris
projects. It is, in a sense, a delivery vehicle for their
work. For all intents and purposes Indiana is OpenSolaris in
binary form. For all of the discussion that has gone on
around the name, very few people seem to disagree with this.
So, in a few days, the OpenSolaris community's Indiana project
will be releasing their first developer preview, and those
bits will carry the name "OpenSolaris Developer Preview". This will
no doubt be a controversial decision in some circles, but
in my view, it is imperative for our community to grow and prosper.
Does that mean OpenSolaris can't also be a code base that others
use as the basis for their own distros? Of course they can still
use it. But a core value of Solaris has always been compatibility,
so we (Sun), as the steward of the OpenSolaris trademark, have
hesitated to allow other distros to use the OpenSolaris brand
to identify themselves. With a binary that defines what it
means to be "OpenSolaris" from an application compatibility
point of view, we now have the opportunity to do just this.
Let's continue working together as a community to develop a set of
branding guidelines so that other distributions may also use the
OpenSolaris brand, provided certain conditions related to compatibility
and quality are met. The first step to a branding program is to define
the OpenSolaris binary core, and I invite the community to help define
it, using the Indiana bits as a first approximation, with the
understanding that it is OK to make mistakes, leaps of faith and
simplifying assumptions as we figure this all out. This discussion has
already begun and some very productive collaboration is
already occurring--many thanks to John Plocher for getting it started.
Once the core is defined, the second step is to build a branding
program around it that will enable other distributions that use
the core to identify themselves as OpenSolaris derived
distributions. As Sara has already mentioned, we have been socializing
this idea inside Sun for some time, and we now have sufficient
buy in that we are ready to bring the topic up to community discussion.
Again, I have no doubt this will be controversial. However, it is the
right thing to do for the community and, yes, for Sun too. The key
challenge the OpenSolaris community faces in the coming months and years
is to grow and attract more users, and having a simple, tangible thing
called OpenSolaris that bundles together what we're doing as a community
in an easily digestible form is a vital part of being able to do that.
And again, just because there is a need for OpenSolaris to be an
complete operating environment, it does not mean there isn't value in
seeing other operating environments derived from the OpenSolaris code
base (i.e., multiple distributions). Existing distributions can
continue as they have before, and distributions that wish to carry
the OpenSolaris brand will now have a path to doing so as well.
Followups set to trademark-policy-dev-xZgeD5Kw2fzokhkdeNNY6A@public.gmane.org .
"Don't look back--something might be gaining on you." --Satchel Paige
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