[oi-dev] Resignation as OI Lead

Joerg Schilling Joerg.Schilling at fokus.fraunhofer.de
Wed Aug 29 18:27:34 UTC 2012

[private to you Alasdair - but I could also make some public remarks]

Alasdair Lumsden <alasdairrr at gmail.com> wrote:

> But it is also in part due to frustrations with the difficulty of making 
> any progress on the project. OpenSolaris was maintained by a large 
> corporate entity. We however, are volunteers, contributing our personal 
> time to work on a project we believed in. For many of us this was the 
> first open source project we had ever contributed to, myself included. 
> The task at hand was vast, and we were ill equipped to deal with it.

The problem I see is that Illumos only seems to be open to ex Sun employees.

> But what really, right from the very beginning, upset me, was the lack 
> of interest from the large commercial players benefiting from Illumos, 
> and from those who had been paid to work on Solaris at Sun. Instead, 
> what we got, was grief regarding the name (Project Indiana seemingly 
> being a sore point for Solaris engineers, something I was completely 
> unaware of when we chose "OpenIndiana"), hostility towards IPS, and a 
> total lack of interest, encouragement or friendship from people many of 
> us looked up to when we were mere end-users of Solaris under Sun.

I am not sure who might have send hostile statements.
I am definitely very sceptic to IPS as I've seen to many problems that do not 
apply to the standard packaging system. 

Given the fact that all Solaris users I personally know, prefer the SVr4 
packaging system and /usr/bin in front of PATH, I believe that Indiana was 
a step into a direction that excluded traditional Solaris users. Well, 
this has been done by Ian Murdock who took my project proposal I send to Sun 
and mixed it with some Debian ideas....

Given the fact that the number of people that are useful for actively 
maintaining a OpenSolaris based distro is low, the first mistake was to create 
Belenix on the ideas of SchilliX but without collaboration. I know that was not 
you but we have several smaller effects into a similar direction that all 
together create problems.

It would be a pity if OpenSolaris would die.

OpenSolaris needs more collaboration and some planning on how different flavors 
can be created without making major components incompatible between distros.

> I lay the blame of this squarely on the lack of a successful general 
> purpose distribution of Solaris/Illumos. OpenIndiana was my attempt at 
> competing with the Linux distros, but our lack of progress has torpedoed 
> it. Nobody in their right mind would use OI - it ships severely out of 
> date insecure software, lacks some of the most common 3rd party apps 
> such as LibreOffice, and so much simple shit that should just work, such 
> as "pecl install", "gem install", "pip install" or whatever barfs due to 
> nonsense SunStudio flags, to the point you need a background in computer 
> science and compiler flags to get it to work. Not fit for purpose.

See above, with a source base that is reusable (i.e. it must create SVr4 
packages) the total effort for all OpenSolaris distros could be reduced.

> So what exactly are 3rd party software developers such as the FFMpeg or 
> MongoDB developers supposed to use to develop and test their software 
> on? Buy a SmartDatacenter? Install a storage product? Run it on a 
> database appliance?

This is part of OI?

> All of you, Joyent, Nexenta, Delphix, are complicit in the increasing 
> irrelevance of Illumos. OI, even in it's current current state, is by 

An important point here is the fact that Illumos repeatedly introduces changes 
that cannot be aggreed with for a general OpenSolaris continuation upstream.

Another point is that Illumos does not like collaboration.

Garret D'amore aproached me in June 2010 with his plans for Illumos and asked 
me wether I would be interested to collaborate. I told him, that for me it 
would important to have support for creating SVr4 packages and he agred.

He even offered to immediately integrate star (planned since 2004 - before 
Solaris 10) and to give me a seat in the Illumos steering board.

After the press release of Illumos, things looked different. Nothing has been 
turned into reality and it seems that Garret just intended to keep me from 
starting an own project before Illumos.

This is the current base for the problems in the OpenSolaris continuation in 
the time past Sun. If we do not manage to fix these problems, OpenSolaris will 
be no more than a fileserver for Nexenta and a web server for Joyent.

> Instead we got the Illumian farce from Nexenta, along with their senior 
> staff claiming OI is an existential threat to their continued existence. 

Nice to see that you see this like I do.

Garret started to bite against anything that could exist besides Illumos and now
Nexenta bites against anything that existst besides their distro.

> With the ZFSOnLinux port becoming increasingly popular (so many of the 
> Linux users I know are using it), and 

I see no real threat with that

> I hope, I really do hope, that Illumos does not become entirely 
> irrelevant. But when less and less software works out of the box, and 
> when heavily used products such as MongoDB, Varnish, etc don't support 
> Illumos (regardless of whether they actually work on it or not, what 
> matters is whether these projects will help end users when they have 
> problems), and when OI disappears and there's nothing left but a handful 
> of fringe distros or niche products, what then? You think Riverbed are 

If OI believes that it could exist as a solid unmeshed distro, it will be just 
one of what you call fringe distros.

> My thanks go to Garrett D'Amore; without his stellar efforts creating 
> Illumos things could have been catastrophically worse for us all. I hold 
> him in high regard and in no way hold him responsible for the current 
> situation with OpenIndiana, even if he did help spawn Illumian.

Garret is the base for the recent segregation which may become the base for 
the future death of OpenSolaris. 

Do you like to see OpenSolaris dying ot do you like to see it continued?

Do you believe that there is hope for OpenSolaris or will it die because 
some key people are not willing to talk about common interests?


 EMail:joerg at schily.isdn.cs.tu-berlin.de (home) Jörg Schilling D-13353 Berlin
       js at cs.tu-berlin.de                (uni)  
       joerg.schilling at fokus.fraunhofer.de (work) Blog: http://schily.blogspot.com/
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