It was feared that Oracle might kill some of the core open source products it acquired from Sun. Much of that fear appeared baseless until Oracle started putting core open source projects to sleep.
It started off by stopping the funding to the GNOME accessibility project Orca. Then the company changed the licensing terms of Solaris.
Re-branded Oracle Solaris operating system, the UNIX OS is now available for a 90 days trial version and then users have to pay to buy a licence. Earlier, under Sun, the OS was available for free but users had an option to buy support from Sun.
That also sealed fate of OpenSolaris as Oracle mentioned that 'not all features from Oracle Solaris will be added to Open Solaris'.
Oracle may not even release the code of most of the new features of Oracle Solaris thus keep an edge over UNIX competitors and community version. 'Not all' is a vague and broad category.
Next blow to OpenSolaris came when Derek Cicero, Program Manager, Oracle (Solaris Core OS Technology Engineering), posted on the mailing list, "FYI - Oracle is no longer offering a free OpenSolaris CD shipping program at this time. As a result, we have removed all links and icons from the opensolaris.org site."
The final blow came this week when Steven Stallion, a software engineer posted an email sent "internally to Oracle Solaris Engineers which describes Oracle's true intentions toward the OpenSolaris project and the future of Oracle Solaris."
The email clearly says that "We [Oracle] will no longer distribute source code for the entirety of the Solaris operating system in real-time while it is developed, on a nightly basis."
Oracle also cuts out the core component of free the software movement -- developers.
Oracle email further says, "We will have a technology partner program to permit our industry partners full access to the in-development Solaris source code through the Oracle Technology Network (OTN). This will include both early access to code and binaries, as well as contributions to us where that is appropriate. All such partnerships will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but certainly our core, existing technology partnerships, such as the one with Intel, are examples of valued participation."
OpenSolaris is dead. It was a timely move by Nexenta to fork the project as Illumos. OpenSolaris developers should now look towards Nexenta.
However, the Oracle move may block Nexenta getting access to the code as it is developed. Nexenta said, “Illumos aspires to be the community built and maintained version of Oracle's OpenSolaris code. Illumos replaces the closed binaries from the upstream code, and aims to closely follow upstream releases - allowing continued independent development."
The fears have started turning true, and going by this pace, expect the demise of MySQL and OpenOffice soon.
In addition to killing of Sun acquired projects Oracle has also started withdrawing support from other Sun supported projects. "Oracle has shut down servers Sun Microsystems was contributing to the build farm for open source database software, PostgreSQL, forcing enthusiasts to scramble to find new hosts to test updates to their software on the Solaris operating system," reports IT News.
It is time for core community members to fork these two critical projects.
Pay your homage to OpenSolaris, set us a gravestone, engrave OpenSolaris on it and put a flower next to it.
Wait you need to buy more gravestone, causality reports have just started coming in.