> I for one would much prefer some concrete examples of "bad design" (to think over and perhaps fix or justify) than some vague handwaving. Oh, well.
Yep, the same applies to a lot of the BSD folks' attitude too, i.e. 'Linux is a mess', etc, and I have yet to see a list of specific issues in the kernel. You see criticism for udev and systemd, but to be honest they fix real issues and while they might be not the most beautiful design in some people's eye they get the job done. And no one forces you to use those two for example :)
Another point the descendants of Solaris seem to miss is that despite the open sourcing of Solaris 10 starting in 2005 it has not reversed the trajectory Solaris had. Many of the project participants will tell you that without the bureaucracy of Sun things would have turned out differently, but I have my doubts it would have made that much of a difference. Illumous and its derivatives are doing well as the basis for storage systems, but that does not magically turn it into a general purpose OS. If you look at their mailing lists you see development for ZFS/dtrace, storage and network drivers, but little else.
And Oracle seems to be most interested in milking the revenue stream from the install base of Solaris on one hand and at the same time move toward an application model with all the Exa* systems. And that certainly will not help more software to be supported on Solaris, i.e. the mongo DB reference made in the original email. And as the Solaris markets shrinks less and less commercial applications will be supported. Oracle seems to do ok with Sparc hardware development, i.e. see today's T5 hot chips talk, but it is pushing it into the massive DB server direction it profits from the most while its use in other sectors of the enterprise market is limited. And I am sure Oracle is making money on Sparc and will do so a long time into the future, i.e. I would not be surprised to see them selling T-somethings in a decade. Ironically most of the CPUs used for Exa* systems are x86-64.
If the rise of Windows as a server operating system to nearly 50% revenue of the server pie and Linux to 25% teaches us a lesson it should be that 'good enough' and 'familiarity' are potent forces. And while the time when Solaris was superior to Linux in every regard has passed a long time ago, any advantage Solaris might have today (i.e. ZFS, dtrace) is temporary as Linux equivalents mature. Btrfs is getting the needed enterprise hardening now while perf and LTTng 2.0 are really not behind dtrace any more imho. So give it another year or two for btrfs, time is on our side.
'Good enough' has killed many better alternatives, otherwise we would all be talking about OpenVMS :).