Web pioneer quits OpenSolaris project

Noted technologist Roy Fielding has left the OpenSolaris project.

A high-profile figure in Sun Microsystems' OpenSolaris community has quit, accusing Sun of retaining too much control over the open-source counterpart to its Solaris operating system.

Roy Fielding, co-founder of the Apache HTTP Server Project and a key contributor to the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), announced his resignation last week in a message on the community's discussion forum.

"Sun didn't just make vague statements to me about OpenSolaris; they made promises about it being an open development project. That's the only way they could get someone like me to provide free labor for their benefit," he wrote in the message dated Feb. 14.

That hasn't happened, Fielding argued.

"Sun agreed that 'OpenSolaris' would be governed by the community and yet has refused, in every step along the way, to cede any real control over the software produced or the way it is produced, and continues to make private decisions every day that are later promoted as decisions for this thing we call OpenSolaris," he wrote.

OpenSolaris consists of an open-source code base, tools and a community of developers, not an end-user-ready distribution. Various distributions employing OpenSolaris have been released.

Sun should adopt the governing style of MySQL, the open-source database company Sun is acquiring, Fielding wrote. "That company doesn't pretend to let their community participate in decisions, and yet they still manage to satisfy most of their users. ... There's nothing particularly wrong with that choice -- it is a perfectly valid open source model for corporations that don't need active community participation."

Fielding did not respond to a request for additional comment.

Terri Molini, an OpenSolaris advocacy contributor at Sun, responded to Fielding in a prepared statement Wednesday.

"As a consultant, Roy was extremely helpful during the inception of the OpenSolaris community as well as an original member of the [OpenSolaris Governing Board]. His involvement with the community and his contributions in the creation of the governance model were invaluable. Sun wishes him well in all of his endeavors," she wrote.

"Open source technologies have many stakeholders and Sun is working with as many communities as possible to create an open source distribution of OpenSolaris," she continued. "We recognize that we will not be able to please everyone as we move through this process and in some cases, we'll have to agree to disagree on some points."

One close observer of OpenSolaris had a mixed reaction to Fielding's decision.

"There's a controversy here, there's a flare-up, it looks bad, but the commentary itself is not unprecedented in the open-source community," said Stephen O'Grady, an analyst with Redmonk.

Given Fielding's status as a technologist, his departure will have some effect but won't cripple the project, O'Grady said. "Certainly it's a [public relations] hit. ... But this isn't Linus Torvalds leaving Linux."

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
Use WhistleOut's technology to compare:
Mobile phone plans & deals
Mobile phone models
Mobile phone carriers
Broadband plans & deals
Broadband providers
Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?