OpenSolaris: feel the earth quake…

OK, now it's not FUD. This may be the wake up call for Oracle, or the end of OpenSolaris (as it is now) …

The following is a summary of Monday's OpenSolaris Governing Board action
concerning the future of our community. On behalf of, and at the direction
of the entire OGB, I have also sent a copy to Jeb Dasteel, Oracle's Chief
Customer Officer.

-John

The OGB was chartered* in 2006 to govern a Solaris development partnership
between Sun and an open source development community. Since then, four sets
of board members have done their best to advocate for the community and
ensure that the co-development partnership ran smoothly. With Oracle's
acquisition of Sun in February and the election of the fifth board this
March, things changed – the Sun/Oracle half of our partnership no longer
seems to exist. Most of the Oracle staff, including OGB members and
candidates, executive liaisons, senior Solaris management contacts,
community leaders, website support staff, mailing list contributors and
bloggers, have stepped away from the partnership and stopped interacting
with our community.

Without the Oracle part of the partnership at the table, there is
effectively nothing for the OGB – or development community – to do. The
flagship OpenSolaris distro is absent, the IPS repositories are stagnant,
the build instructions no longer work for the sources that exist, even the
architectural reviews of community-developed components are being held
behind Oracle's closed doors. It is as if the spirit of open, collaborative
development centered around the Solaris operating system has died.

Oracle's communication blackout, combined with its disengagement from and
disenfranchisement of the community has made it extremely difficult for the
OGB to continue in its role of being an advocate for the collective
improvement of OpenSolaris.

At Monday's board meeting, we evaluated three options for the OGB's future:

1. Continue waiting for Oracle to communicate with the OGB,
2. Work to revitalize the community without Oracle's involvement, or
3. Acknowledge that the co-development partnership envisioned in 2005 is
not something that Oracle wishes to support, and disband it.

The result of the spirited discussion that followed was a motion that
combined all three – we would wait another month for Oracle to appoint a
liaison to the community so that we could begin the work of revitalizing it;
however, if that didn't happen, we would disband the OGB and return control
of the community to Oracle. Here is the text of the motion:

Motion by Neale Ferguson: The OGB is keen to promote the uptake and open
development of OpenSolaris and to work on behalf of the community with
Oracle, as such the OGB needs Oracle to appoint a liaison by August 16,
2010, who has the authority to talk about the future of OpenSolaris and its
interaction with the OpenSolaris community. Otherwise the OGB will take
action at the August 23 meeting to trigger the clause in the OGB charter
that will return control of the community to Oracle. Seconded by Dennis
Clarke. Approved unanimously.

Since none of us on the OGB – or, for that matter, in the community as a
whole – wish to see the community dissolve, we fervently hope that this
message will be seen for what it is – a call for action by Oracle that will
result in a revitalized and active community. As long as Oracle is willing
to re-engage, this board remains committed to working with Oracle to make it
happen, no matter how long it may take.

/s/ -John Plocher
OGB Chair

* http://hub.opensolaris.org/bin/view/Community+Group+ogb/charter

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