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Fork Yeah! The Rise and Development of illumos

USENIX · Youtube · 26 HN points · 103 HN comments
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Fork Yeah! The Rise and Development of illumos

Bryan M. Cantrill, Joyent


In August 2010, illumos, a new OpenSolaris derivative, was born. While not at the time intended to be a fork, Oracle sealed the fate of illumos when it elected to close OpenSolaris: by choosing to cease its contributions, Oracle promoted illumos from a downstream repository to the open source repository of record for such revolutionary technologies as ZFS, DTrace, and Zones. This move accelerated the diaspora of kernel engineers from the former Sun Microsystems, many of whom have landed in the illumos community, where they continue to innovate. We will discuss the history of illumos but will focus on its promising future.
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Hacker News Stories and Comments

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Jan 10, 2020 · ilikejam on Linus: Don't Use ZFS
There were genuine reasons for the CDDL - it wasn't an anti-gpl thing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&feature=youtu.be...
morning_gelato
Danese Cooper, one of the people at Sun who helped create the CDDL, responded in the comment section of that very video:

Lovely except it really was decided to explicitly make OpenSolaris incompatible with GPL. That was one of the design points of the CDDL. I was in that room, Bryan and you were not, but I know its fun to re-write history to suit your current politics. I pleaded with Sun to use a BSD family license or the GPL itself and they would consider neither because that would have allowed D-Trace to end up in Linux. You can claim otherwise all you want...this was the truth in 2005.

toyg
Yeah, it's hard to understand this without context. Sun saw D-Trace and ZFS as the differentiators of Solaris from Linux, a massive competitive advantage that they simply could not (and would not) relinquish. Opensourcing was a tactical move, they were not going to give away their crown jewels with it.

The whole open-source steer by SUN was a very disingenous strategy, forced by the changed landscape in order to try and salvage some parvence of relevance. Most people saw right through it, which is why SUN ended up as it did shortly thereafter: broke, acquired, and dismantled.

throw0101a
And Cooper's boss:

> Simon Phipps (Sun's Chief Open Source Officer at the time), who had introduced Cooper as "the one who actually wrote the CDDL",[19] did not immediately comment, but later in the same video, he says, referring back to the license issue, "I actually disagree with Danese to some degree",[20] while describing the strong preference among the engineers who wrote the code for a BSD-like license, which was in conflict with Sun's preference for something copyleft, and that waiting for legal clearance to release some parts of the code under the then unreleased GNU GPL v3 would have taken several years, and would probably also have involved mass resignations from engineers (unhappy with either the delay, the GPL, or both—this is not clear from the video). Later, in September 2006, Phipps rejected Cooper's assertion in even stronger terms.[21]

So of the available licenses at the time, Engineering wanted BSD and Legal wanted GPLv3, so the compromise was CDDL.

ilikejam
I stand corrected!
notacoward
This needs to be more widely known. Sun was never as open or innovative as its engineer/advertisers claim, and the revisionism is irksome. I saw what they had copied from earlier competitors like Apollo and then claimed as their own ideas. I saw the protocol fingerprinting their clients used to make non-Sun servers appear slower than they really were. They did some really good things, and they did some really awful things, but to hear proponents talk it was all sunshine and roses except for a few misguided execs. Nope. It was all up and down the organization.
wolfgke
> Sun was never as open or innovative as its engineer/advertisers claim, and the revisionism is irksome.

For (the lack of) openness, I agree, but the claim that they were not innovative needs stronger evidence.

notacoward
Just to be clear, I'm not saying they weren't innovative. I'm saying they weren't as innovative as they claim. Apollo, Masscomp, Pyramid, Sequent, Encore, Stellar, Ardent, Elxsi, Cydrome, and others were also innovating plenty during Sun's heyday, as were DEC and even HP. To hear ex-Sun engimarketers talk, you'd think they were the only ones. Reality is that they were in the mix. Their fleetingly greater success had more to do with making some smart (or lucky?) strategic choices than with any overall level of innovation or quality, and mistaking one for the other is a large part of why that success didn't last.
admax88q
Java was pretty innovative. The worlds most advanced virtual machine, a JIT that often outperforms C in long running server scenarios, and the foundation of probably 95% of enterprise software.
notacoward
ANDF had already done (or at least tried to do) the "write once, run anywhere" thing. The JVM followed in the footsteps of similar longstanding efforts at UCSD, IBM and elsewhere. There was some innovation, but "world's most advanced virtual machine" took thousands of people (many of them not at Sun) decades to achieve. Sun's contribution was primarily in popularizing these ideas. Technically, it was just one more step on an established path.
admax88q
Sure plenty of the ideas in Java were invented before, standing on the shoulders of giants and all that. The JIT came from Self, the Object system from Smalltalk, but Java was the first implementation that put all those together into a coherent platform.
toyg
The thing is - it was a time of pirates. In an environment defined by the ruthlessness of characters like Gates, Jobs, and Ellison, they were among the best-behaved of the bunch. Hence the reputation for being nice: they were markedly nicer than the hive of scum and villainy that the sector was at the time. And they did some interesting things that arguably changed the landscape (Java etc), even if they failed to fully capitalize on them.

(In many ways, it still is a time of pirates, we just moved a bit higher in the stack...)

notacoward
> In an environment ... they were among the best-behaved

I wouldn't say McNealy was that different than any of those, though others like Joy and Bechtolsheim had a more salutary influence. To the extent that there was any overall difference, it seemed small. Working on protocol interop with DEC products and Sun products was no different at all. Sun went less-commodity with SPARC and SBus, they got in bed with AT&T to make their version of UNIX seem more standard than competitors' even though it was more "unique" in many ways, there were the licensing games, etc. Better than Oracle, yeah, but I wouldn't go too much further than that.

Just because Oracle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&t=2040s

I await the day the lawnmower defense becomes the new Chewbacca defense.

My argument is that employees are responsible for reading the contract, and if the contract have terms that might be problematic for open source contribution, the employee is responsible for finding out ahead of time what the policy is. (For Google, the policy is publically available[1], so it can be read by people who aren't yet employees.) If the policy is not acceptable to you, then you shouldn't work for that company.

[1] https://opensource.google/docs/

And if the policy changes --- such as for example, when Oracle suddenly changed the rules about Open Solaris, the solution is simple. You quit. Large portions of the core Solaris team left, soon after Oracle changed the rules.

Bryan Cantrill left Oracle, and he's done fine for himself. He's even made talks explaining what happened when Oracle screwed over Open Solaris:

"As you know people, as you learn about things, you realize that these generalizations we have are, virtually to a generalization, false. Well, except for this one, as it turns out. What you think of Oracle, is even truer than you think it is. There has been no entity in human history with less complexity or nuance to it than Oracle. And I gotta say, as someone who has seen that complexity for my entire life, it's very hard to get used to that idea. It's like, 'surely this is more complicated!' but it's like: Wow, this is really simple! This company is very straightforward, in its defense. This company is about one man, his alter-ego, and what he wants to inflict upon humanity -- that's it! ...Ship mediocrity, inflict misery, lie our asses off, screw our customers, and make a whole shitload of money. Yeah... you talk to Oracle, it's like, 'no, we don't fucking make dreams happen -- we make money!' ...You need to think of Larry Ellison the way you think of a lawnmower. You don't anthropomorphize your lawnmower, the lawnmower just mows the lawn, you stick your hand in there and it'll chop it off, the end. You don't think 'oh, the lawnmower hates me' -- lawnmower doesn't give a shit about you, lawnmower can't hate you. Don't anthropomorphize the lawnmower. Don't fall into that trap about Oracle." -- Bryan Cantrill https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

Dec 07, 2019 · tsomctl on JIT and Ruby's MJIT
> all corporations are alike

lol.

> "what you think of Oracle is even truer than you think it is. There has been no entity in human history with less complexity or nuance to it than Oracle"

> "this company is about one man and his alter ego and what he wants to inflict upon humanity"

> You need to think of Larry Ellison the way you think of a lawnmower. You don't anthropomorphize your lawnmower, the lawnmower just mows the lawn, you stick your hand in there and it'll chop it off, the end. You don't think 'oh, the lawnmower hates me' -- lawnmower doesn't give a shit about you, lawnmower can't hate you. Don't anthropomorphize the lawnmower. Don't fall into that trap about Oracle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2318&v=-zRN7XLCR...

pjmlp
As you wish, HN is not the place for this kind of quality content anyway.
"As you know people, as you learn about things, you realize that these generalizations we have are, virtually to a generalization, false. Well, except for this one, as it turns out. What you think of Oracle, is even truer than you think it is. There has been no entity in human history with less complexity or nuance to it than Oracle. And I gotta say, as someone who has seen that complexity for my entire life, it's very hard to get used to that idea. It's like, 'surely this is more complicated!' but it's like: Wow, this is really simple!"

"This company is very straightforward, in its defense. This company is about one man, his alter-ego, and what he wants to inflict upon humanity -- that's it! ...Ship mediocrity, inflict misery, lie our asses off, screw our customers, and make a whole shitload of money. Yeah... you talk to Oracle, it's like, 'no, we don't fucking make dreams happen -- we make money!'"

"You need to think of Larry Ellison the way you think of a lawnmower. You don't anthropomorphize your lawnmower, the lawnmower just mows the lawn, you stick your hand in there and it'll chop it off, the end. You don't think 'oh, the lawnmower hates me' -- lawnmower doesn't give a shit about you, lawnmower can't hate you. Don't anthropomorphize the lawnmower. Don't fall into that trap about Oracle."

-- Bryan Cantrill

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

armitron
Bryan Cantrill went on to peddle Node.js to the clueless shortly after that rant so I wouldn't put much weight on what he says.
bzbz
To be fair, Node is a hell of a useful tool, given the right context.

Don’t pigeonhole it into a box just because the box that he tried to pigeonhole it into isn’t the right fit.

a_imho
My takeway from the rant is that Oracle is upfront about being a business.
tinus_hn
A proper business serves to improve the world and make money doing so.

Oracle serves to make money in whatever sleazy way they can get away with, improving the world has nothing to do with it.

Or, as the classic Bryan Cantrill line goes, "Do not fall into the trap of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc
Queue Bryan Cantrill's (DTrace, Joyent) USENIX talk on Oracle and Larry Ellison:

https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=2034

Sniffnoy
Minor note, the word you're looking for here is "cue", not "queue".
quaquaqua1
In a figurative sense, one could theorize that the speech is being placed in a queue (line) of things to talk about next.
dreamcompiler
There's usually a reasonable sounding justification for word or phrase misuse.

"Wreck havoc" sort of makes sense because something got wrecked and the correct "wreak" is rarely used outside of that phrase.

A "mute point" makes sense because the point is now silent and the correct "moot" is an uncommon word outside legal circles.

People who abuse power need to be "reigned in" because it vaguely sounds like they are acting too much like a king, even though "rein in" is correct and it comes from pulling in the reins of a horse to get it under control.

Just having a reasonable sounding explanation doesn't make it correct.

jcranmer
I'm surprised he didn't bring up the joke about what Oracle stands for... One Rich Asshole Called Larry Ellison.
techntoke
I really don't want to watch a long video. Is there a link that lays out his thoughts in text?
neilv
The video has a text slide, but perhaps the more pertinent assertions are:

* Oracle was extremely straightforward about caring about only money. (In contrast to Sun, or even to the claims of investment banks.)

* Oracle was that way because it was the alter-ego of Ellison. (With funny bit about not attempting to anthropomorphize Ellison.)

(What Cantrill didn't mention, when alleging Ellison's simplicity, was Ellison's supposed intense competitiveness with, or hatred of, Bill Gates. I happened to bump into Ellison once, at an event, and seemed to see a hint of that firsthand.)

thesausageking
I linked to 34:00 min in, which is where the part on Oracle and Ellison starts and is only a few minutes long (and very funny). Bryan talks about his experiences being at Sun after it was acquired by Oracle and the sad demise of OpenSolaris.
dralley
Timestamp 33:40
andyjohnson0
Quote:

"As you know people, as you learn about things, you realize that these generalizations we have are, virtually to a generalization, false. Well, except for this one, as it turns out. What you think of Oracle, is even truer than you think it is. There has been no entity in human history with less complexity or nuance to it than Oracle. And I gotta say, as someone who has seen that complexity for my entire life, it’s very hard to get used to that idea. It’s like, ‘surely this is more complicated!’ but it’s like: Wow, this is really simple! This company is very straightforward, in its defense. This company is about one man, his alter-ego, and what he wants to inflict upon humanity — that’s it! …Ship mediocrity, inflict misery, lie our asses off, screw our customers, and make a whole shitload of money. Yeah… you talk to Oracle, it’s like, ‘no, we don’t fucking make dreams happen — we make money!’ …You need to think of Larry Ellison the way you think of a lawnmower. You don’t anthropomorphize your lawnmower, the lawnmower just mows the lawn, you stick your hand in there and it’ll chop it off, the end. You don’t think ‘oh, the lawnmower hates me’ — lawnmower doesn’t give a shit about you, lawnmower can’t hate you. Don’t anthropomorphize the lawnmower. Don’t fall into that trap about Oracle."

Source: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5170246

scarface74
How is this different from VC tech companies with no foreseeable path to profitable where the VC backers only hope is an acquisition or pawning their money losing investments off to the public market?
CharlesColeman
Those are small, and we haven't all used their products or been affected by them in some way or another.
scarface74
I don’t think Uber or Lyft could be considered small products that most of us haven’t used st one point.
alasdair_
I worked at Sun in Menlo Park in the 2002 post-bubble sadness, when the satellite buildings were slowly being closed and the free coffee was being scaled back.

I remember vividly a town hall with Johnathan Schwartz as the speaker (he was briefly CEO but wasn't at the time).

One of the engineers, after hearing a speech full of buzzwords but no substance asked "Okay, but how does this actually make us money?"

The engineer was politely told to shut up, focus on engineering and leave the "making money" part to the businessmen.

We all know how that worked out.

RIP Sun.

nikanj
To be fair, I think the businessmen did do most of the "making money" in the subsequent Oracle acquisition.
> on purpose, it's been documented that CDDL was intentionally made incompatible with the GPL

Citation needed. It’s actually been documented _by people that were there_ [1] that it was NOT the case that the CDDL was made intentionally incompatible with the GPL.

[1]: https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/bcantrill/fork-yeah-the-ri... (Slide 10) - or in video form with a longer explanation: https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc

Here's the full reference -- the point is that Oracle's a-hole is Larry Ellison:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

"As you know people, as you learn about things, you realize that these generalizations we have are, virtually to a generalization, false. Well, except for this one, as it turns out. What you think of Oracle, is even truer than you think it is. There has been no entity in human history with less complexity or nuance to it than Oracle. And I gotta say, as someone who has seen that complexity for my entire life, it's very hard to get used to that idea. It's like, 'surely this is more complicated!' but it's like: Wow, this is really simple! This company is very straightforward, in its defense. This company is about one man, his alter-ego, and what he wants to inflict upon humanity -- that's it! ...Ship mediocrity, inflict misery, lie our asses off, screw our customers, and make a whole shitload of money. Yeah... you talk to Oracle, it's like, 'no, we don't fucking make dreams happen -- we make money!' ...You need to think of Larry Ellison the way you think of a lawnmower. You don't anthropomorphize your lawnmower, the lawnmower just mows the lawn, you stick your hand in there and it'll chop it off, the end. You don't think 'oh, the lawnmower hates me' -- lawnmower doesn't give a shit about you, lawnmower can't hate you. Don't anthropomorphize the lawnmower. Don't fall into that trap about Oracle." -- Bryan Cantrill

forgot Iluminos/OpenSolaris story - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc#t=33m0s

https://blogs.eclipse.org/post/mike-milinkovich/update-jakar...

Note: Oracle ECM, WebCenter Content has no simple Virtual Document solution.

Definitely. There was an article here not too long ago about how even at an Oracle conference someone casually polled the attendants and found most would be happy to use something else and were exploring PostgreSQL or other options.

Then of course my favorite Oracle bit is from Bryan Cantrill https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&t=33m

I remember when Oracle bought Sun and the OpenSolaris guys didn't quite fit in.

"don't make the mistake of anthropomorphising Larry Ellison" - Bryan Cantrell

skip to 38:20 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

kakwa_
Just yesterday I came across one of his other videos, and I guess Bryan Cantrill still as a bit of grudge against Oracle:

Light ranting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm8P4oCIY3g&t=10m10s

A bit heavier ranting (with the fallout after his usenix ranting): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm8P4oCIY3g&t=14m21s

Selected quote: "Any explanation of Oracle that doesn't end with a nazi allegory does not fully explain Oracle"

Bryan Cantrill is really fun to listen to, is a tech veteran now, and is still as passionate and energetic as he was the first day (Another interesting video about programming languages he experienced during his (long by tech standards) career: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjFM8vw3pbU)

Warren Buffet doesn't understand that you shouldn't anthropomorphize the lawnmower.

https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=1983

nabla9
good roast.
teddyh
Quote is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc#t=38m25s
The great Scott McNealy quote about Sun really resonated with me:

> We kicked butt, had fun, didn't cheat, loved our customers and changed computing forever

... and in many ways, it seems like only a "lifestyle business" can really prioritize those over core revenue and growth metrics.

Bryan Cantrill's discussion is also great: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&t=2000

"As you know people, as you learn about things, you realize that these generalizations we have are, virtually to a generalization, false. Well, except for this one, as it turns out. What you think of Oracle, is even truer than you think it is. There has been no entity in human history with less complexity or nuance to it than Oracle. And I gotta say, as someone who has seen that complexity for my entire life, it's very hard to get used to that idea. It's like, 'surely this is more complicated!' but it's like: Wow, this is really simple! This company is very straightforward, in its defense. This company is about one man, his alter-ego, and what he wants to inflict upon humanity -- that's it! ...Ship mediocrity, inflict misery, lie our asses off, screw our customers, and make a whole shitload of money. Yeah... you talk to Oracle, it's like, 'no, we don't fucking make dreams happen -- we make money!' ...You need to think of Larry Ellison the way you think of a lawnmower. You don't anthropomorphize your lawnmower, the lawnmower just mows the lawn, you stick your hand in there and it'll chop it off, the end. You don't think 'oh, the lawnmower hates me' -- lawnmower doesn't give a shit about you, lawnmower can't hate you. Don't anthropomorphize the lawnmower. Don't fall into that trap about Oracle." -- Bryan Cantrill https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc
gtirloni
Yes, Oracle is bad. No, I don't love or even like them.

But quoting Bryan's dramatic speeches every time Oracle or Ellison are mentioned is adding next to nothing to the discussion at this point. It's a great way to incite anger though.

warent
This is actually the first I've heard the speech, so to me personally it added value at least.
sanderjd
Yep, I've stopped being annoyed by seemingly repetitive comments. On any given topic there is always both a gtirloni who has heard it a million times and a warent who never has.
nindalf
Oh I love repetitive comments.

Top comment on every article about an advertising company -> "remember! you're not the customer! you're the product!" followed by a bunch of folks praising this profound insight.

Fnoord
There's herds upon herds who do not realise that "profound insight" because of a lack of transparency. So when truth is being unleashed about e.g. Facebook, it allows for people to be waken up.

(FWIW, it has worked for me, though yes it was annoying.)

sanderjd
This is a great example of what I'm talking about. I'm pretty certain that concept put in those words was new to me in some HN comment at some point, and I'm even more certain it was already tiresome to tons of people by that time. This happens all the time.
cbm-vic-20
And it gives Tesla fans a scapegoat if the company does anything stupid in the future.
daveFNbuck
I clicked through to these comments because I didn't know who Larry Ellison was and wanted to get an idea of what the HN community thinks of this move. Seeing this as the top comment gives me a pretty good answer about that.
philipov
https://xkcd.com/1053/
tsomctl
My point is that this doesn't bode well for Tesla. My biggest complaint with Tesla is that they don't provide service manuals or have an open parts department for their vehicles. For comparison, pretty much every other major auto maker will sell you a book telling you how to fix anything on your vehicle, and will sell you the parts and special tools to do so. Not Tesla, and given what we know about Ellison, I very much doubt he will encourage this to happen.
mbesto
> Not Tesla, and given what we know about Ellison, I very much doubt he will encourage this to happen.

No, but he might put some board level pressure to get more rigorous about profitability. I know that's a dirty word around here, but Tesla is not exactly well known for it's cashflow prowess. Those are the types of things board members do...not figure out whether service manuals come with the product.

erikpukinskis
What would you expect a normal timeframe for an automobile startup to exhibit cash flow prowess?
mbesto
I expect an automobile company that is no longer considered a startup and is publicly traded to exhibit either (1) positive cash flow or (2) a clear path to positive cash flow.
illumin8
Actually, afaik, every auto maker used to be like this, and the only reason they provide those manuals is because they are required to by law in some states: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_Vehicle_Owners%27_Right_...

This is not a new problem, and consumers have been fighting to get quality documentation from auto manufacturers for decades now, but manufacturers don't want to give it voluntarily because it cuts off their dealerships from recurring repair revenue, where they make most of their profits.

I think the only reason Tesla doesn't comply yet is because they probably don't have any physical presence in Massachusetts, which passed the law in 2013.

We should all be ashamed that our government is so bought and paid for by the auto manufacturers and dealers that this information isn't mandatory to be made available online.

puzzle
You also know what this means for relationships between Tesla and Waymo. Let the fireworks begin...
martythemaniak
They do in fact have it:

https://epc.teslamotors.com/#/catalogs

FireBeyond
They do. And every single item on there down to bolts says "Contact Tesla" who, multiple people have confirmed, will say "Sorry, not available to you".

It's meeting the letter of the law, not the spirit.

Just like how in those few states where access to service manuals is legislated, Tesla makes you 1) make an appointment, 2) pay a fee, 3) show up to a designated location, 4) not be allowed to take copies, or photographs, and only allow your own hand written notes (no computers allowed), and 5) sets a time limit.

thorin
Not sure what you mean here, Oracle Database at least has great documentation although there is rather a lot of it:

https://docs.oracle.com/database/121/index.htm

almost_usual
"You have to go to a Tesla Service Center to get your wheels aligned. It costs 10x more than an alignment somewhere else but it's for your own safety. If you go to another shop to get an alignment our software will detect it and void your warranty. Welcome to the future!"
greglindahl
This example is a bad one. In fact, when Tesla's repair system is busy, they'll send you to a standard tire store.
almost_usual
>This example is a bad one. In fact, when Tesla's repair system is busy, they'll send you to a standard tire store.

We're not talking about past Tesla. We're talking about Tesla that needs to improve cash flow with Larry Ellison on the board. Do you really think this is hard to imagine?

dominotw
> For comparison, pretty much every other major auto maker will sell you a book telling you how to fix anything on your vehicle

Wow I didn't know this. I have hard time believing this. Where can I find this for my subaru 2019.

tsomctl
Really, modern vehicles require a subscription to a website. Hypothetically, you could pay for the 2 day access and scrape the site for your vehicle. For older vehicles, you can normally find the fsm/workshop manual with some creative googling.
None
None
dominotw
ok found it. https://techinfo.subaru.com

I had no idea this existed. thanks.

justinclift
> This site is optimized for Internet Explorer; we highly recommend using Internet Explorer version 11 or above for the best experience.

Ugh.

drcoopster
Your dealer.
dominotw
Nope. Just called my subaru dealer, they don't have any additional manuals for sale that aren't on subaru website. I did find this website though https://techinfo.subaru.com/
barrkel
Honda sells workshop manuals like they sell parts and tools - you just need to know the code, and you can get it shipped from any dealer who can deliver OEM parts.
dpkonofa
While I think I would agree with you normally, I don't think it makes sense to offer service manuals for Teslas. There's no way that the goodwill they would gain from doing so would outweigh any of the negative consequences when someone fucks up a personal repair on their Tesla and the company gets a bad rap for it. The number of people that would even bother self-repair for a Tesla is likely so infinitesimally small that it makes it more costly for Tesla to offer and support those services.

Additionally, I can't imagine that a service manual would be valid for that long considering that a lot of the service on a Tesla is mostly on the software side. They'd have to offer a hardware manual for the extremely limited amount of hardware and then a separate software website/app/portal to handle the software side. You'd likely be paying a subscription and they'd need to separate off whatever platform they're currently using at the service centers. Again, doesn't seem very cost-effective for the tiny base that would benefit from it.

As for the parts, there's a parts catalog online: https://epc.teslamotors.com/#/catalogs

midnitewarrior
Apple started the path to normalizing this, and I believe it's core to being responsible for the entire user experience. Personally, I'm not a fan of this, but I understand the motives aside from profit.

If a Tesla gets poor maintenance by an unskilled shop, when the vehicle crashes and kills the driver, Tesla gets the black eye and has to defend itself in the media and in front of the NHTSA. Tesla's stock takes the hit.

When a Mac crashes, it's because Apple's hardware or software has a bug (something in Apple's control). Apple doesn't have an open ecosystem like th.e PC world. When a PC crashes, you also have the hardware manufacturer to blame for faulty hardware. What about OS and other system customizations the manufacturer puts in there? Those coukd crash it too? All the public hears is "My Windows crashed." and Microsoft looks bad.

No fault is brought upon the consumer who thought a $220 PC was going to be a quality machine, not does it fall to the non-brand foreign bargain PC manufacturer for building a $220 that's doomed to provide an awful experience. Instead, the world hears that "Windows Sucks."

Given this, I appreciate why a company would opt to do the things Tesla has done in order to protect its brand. However, I try to avoid doing business with companies who do this, as I value consumer freedom.

mancerayder
All well and good -- solid arguments except when you consider things like:

Apple's Mac Pro (the big tower) had upgradeable RAM and video, and the newer versions (the little black shiny pretty cylinder) were soldered on.

That's less about lawsuits and support costs -- it's memory for God's sake and everyone else lets the consumer physically upgrade it, even many laptops. It's about going through the cartel to get the upgrade, which is marked up 3X, 4X. Apple is recent -- anyone remember Sun?

Retric
Playing devils advocate.

RAM is the #1 cause if computers crashes largely because people think cheap or overclocked RAM is fine. Windows would have a vastly better reputation if it was always paired up with good hardware.

simion314
>RAM is the #1 cause if computers crashes

Can you source this or is an opinion? I don't have facts by I think drivers are #1 issues for hard crashes.

notahacker
I doubt OSX would run slower if I doubled the RAM in my Macbook Air though, even if the RAM I bought wasn't the best.
yayana
This can happen if a cache doesn't support more and turns itself off or into some horrible mode..

But the real fight on stable RAM was over ECC, IBM is the only giant that took an actual stand on insisting on quality at a price. Apple realized they could keep the price.

FireBeyond
Most RAM in the world is produced by the same three(?) manufacturers. I'm not sure what Mac allows you to overclock RAM either...

No. This is the same Apple who one year ago was charging $1200 for 48GB of memory.

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pilsetnieks
The trashbin Mac Pro can also be upgraded - RAM, SSD, GPU and even the CPU. The problem is that the SSD and GPU use weird form factors and thus are hard to find and expensive.

It's the laptops where everything is soldered on.

apercu
Not just. I have a 2015 iMac. It was running out of memory so I went to upgrade it. Nope, soldered in. Ended up buying a new computer. Doesn't make me happy.
FireBeyond
> and in front of the NHTSA

Hardly. A fatality collision is rarely the subject of an NHTSA investigation, and "serviced by unqualified/unlicensed auto repair facility" is one, a big get out of jail card, and two, hands a whole world of liability... to said facility, not Tesla.

r00fus
> When a Mac crashes, it's because Apple's hardware or software has a bug (something in Apple's control). Apple doesn't have an open ecosystem like th.e PC world.

My only consistent hardware error on a Mac was my 2005 iMac (the 42lb one) when I upgraded the RAM and chose the wrong speed/timing. Genius bar told me to replace it with the stock RAM and it worked fine.

So yeah, upgradability and easy-maintenance can easily lead to problems even with a reasonably knowledgeable consumer or repair shop.

jen20
> Apple started the path to normalizing this

[citation needed].

As a consumer, I wasn't able to buy detailed service manuals for cars or TVs for long before I couldn't get one from Apple.

justinclift
Not sure about TVs, but car manuals have been around for ages. This link (not previously known to me) looks to have ones from early and mid last century:

http://oldcarmanualproject.com

greedo
How is Apple in control of 3rd party software? That's been as buggy if anything as any part of the OS.
simion314
This are very bad excuses, Did BMW,Ford or other car manufacturer had issues because people use a car service that is not "official" but is very convenient?

Is Tesla planing to open car services in all locations were regular services are or you will have to send the car back to the dealer so they send it back to Tesla and wait 3 weeks like you have to do with Apple.

About Apple,

-1 Apple sells expensive products and non-Apple PCs and phones come in different price ranges, so in average Apple products will be better quality.

- 2 Apple products break too, I have such a laptop and many other people can confirm that they have hardware issues and we also see that until justice is involved the issues are not acknowledged

- 3 Apple always had a good image in some demographics and it is not correlated with the fact they are trying to hide the hardware schematics, try to stop third party to repair the products, the good reputation was because of the software and hardware.

For the Apple fans that will downvote, also leave some factual reason why I am wrong, something like why do you think the new anti-repair movement is increasing Apple branding or what fact I got wrong.

FireBeyond
> Is Tesla planing to open car services in all locations were regular services are or you will have to send the car back to the dealer so they send it back to Tesla and wait 3 weeks like you have to do with Apple.

If you're really "lucky" it will happen while you're traveling out of state, and Tesla will tow your vehicle to the nearest facility and give you one of their rentals or partnered rentals, some of whom have "no out of state" policies on the replacement vehicle (remember, you're already 'out of state' - how are you planning to get home?).

kevin_b_er
I won't anthropomorphize the lawnmower, but since Larry Ellison is a person, and our broken US legal system consider Oracle a person too, then Oracle has already been anthropomorphized by judicial fiat.

Both are greed.

sys_64738
Whenever I read this and the java guy Gosling they are incredibly negative about Oracle. One wonders if there is something behind all this as it appears they were figures of respect and authority at their previous company. But upon being consumed by Oracle was that still the case? I get the impression that there is underlying bitterness and resentment festering here due to something like that.
geodel
Well Java guy got his picnic canceled by Oracle as he detailed on his blog. If I had been dreaming of eating hot dogs at picnic for months and it got canceled at last minute I wouldn't be happy either.
bitL
Important detail is that the picnic was fully paid already with no refund; cancelled because why should ex-SUN have fun/higher salaries, when the rest of Oracle haven't?
glogla
That sounds like a horribly toxic company. As expected of Oracle.
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EamonnMR
In the linked speech he goes over exactly what he thinks Oracle did wrong in excruciating detail. There's no mystery here.
dirkgently
It's like all the @$$holes in the same (board) room.
malmsteen
there are winners and people who complain. it's mutually exclusive
geofft
Isn't the whole premise of capitalism that people motivated by money will build useful things for the world? How did Ellison conclude that shipping mediocrity is more profitable than shipping excellence?
AlexB138
In large part by exploiting government contracts, as I understand it. Government procurement is about as far from a free market as I can imagine, and is pretty easy to exploit.
crankylinuxuser
Right now, there's a whole bunch of businesses and governments that are trapped on oracle. That's because they were the only game 20 years ago. And inertia and lockin is the game.

Where I work uses Oracle. And every dev and sysad wants away from it. And the answer every time is "we can't support forking our DB backend cause were too tied to oracle and its bugs".

And the prices go up and up. And everyone on it is effectively trapped. Even their competitor, Salesforce, is on oracle and wants off... And they can't.

geofft
Is there a standard capitalist solution to lock-in? (Or is it too new of a problem to have been researched?) This seems like a fatal flaw if your goal is even merely free markets and vibrant competition, not even improving society.

Perhaps one option is to remove government protection from trade secrets and intellectual property. Were it not for the threat of government interference, a competitor could easily arrange to get Oracle's source code leaked, and then the two of them would actually compete on quality of their support/service contracts.

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foolrush
> Perhaps one option is to remove government protection from trade secrets and intellectual property.

That isn’t necessarily “government” but a byproduct of a particular system that has spiralled into the bowl of capitalism upon capitalism; the lobbyists negotiated those laws on behalf of capitalism. Chicken egg issue that isn’t going away given how up to the neck capitalism is wired into government.

In Europe, some protections against that are enforced by government.

corodra
The problem is more sunk cost fallacy than just being a capitalist problem.

There’s an article from the Pinterest devs when they migrated from node.js to MySQL. They were thinking the conversion would cost too much and take too long. They already spent a lot of time and money to create Pinterest on node as well. Plus MySQL isn’t hot and sexy. But they knew a lot of the problems they were running into would disappear if they converted.

I think it took like a week of planning and like a weekend to accomplish. And the devs got to sleep at night after that. I’m missing details, you can google the article. It’s on their dev blog. Also I bring it up because it’s the only db conversion I can think of that is documented.

Thinking you have to stick with something because of investing so much time/money even though it’s not working, is a super dangerous thing in the long term. It’s a human problem more than a systems problem.

greenshackle2
Uh? They switched from a JavaScript engine to a Relational Database Manager? Are you sure you don't mean a NoSQL DB rather than node.js? I googled a bit but couldn't find the article.
justinclift
> Also I bring it up because it’s the only db conversion I can think of that is documented.

A more recent one, for future reference:

https://www.theguardian.com/info/2018/nov/30/bye-bye-mongo-h...

;)

tomatocracy
For every one of those database migration success stories, there's a potential TSB style disaster though[1]. Problems with migration are real and potentially very serious. It's not just cost if it goes to plan that needs to be considered - for business critical systems, 'don't fix it if it isn't broken' is a good adage for a reason...

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/TSB_Bank_(United_Kingdom)#Mi...

lordnacho
Not sure if you can call it "standard capitalist" but there are antitrust laws?
mdpopescu
As a general rule, I have found out that every time there is something that doesn't make sense ("smart people who want to make money should have figured out a solution to this!"), the answer is government interference with free trade.

In this particular case, while I'm always against Imaginary Property, I suspect it's more the government contracts part [1].

[1] https://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/larry-ellisons-oracle-starte...

crankylinuxuser
> As a general rule, I have found out that every time there is something that doesn't make sense ("smart people who want to make money should have figured out a solution to this!"), the answer is government interference with free trade.

Sigh. I guess that goes along with "government is evil in all sorts of ways".

Simply put, Oracle was the best product 20 years ago. Open Source DB projects were toys that would lose your data. So companies and orgs (and in our case, the govt) used what works.

We developed on that. That was what was available, and we used it and paid the licensing costs. Well, lockin is a thing; for us and our customers. If we were to spend the time making a branch to use $other_DB, we need to properly test that as well. Do stored procedures work? Is time/date working right? Is there a close mapping of privileges? Is the DB appropriately audited? Are there active devs on it?

All of those are YES for oracle. And its fuzzy about others. I'm sure we could defend using Postgres or other first tier open source DBs.... but how much work would it be to migrate? And for those customers who use Oracle elsewhere in their infra (multiple schemas for different webapps), they are unable to switch. They already have the DBAs in oracle. So, we'd have to support Oracle even after leaving.

It's a lose-lose. But I'm sure painting it in the libertarian "government interference with free trade" fits your worldview.

Because when I read

> "As a general rule, I have found out that every time there is something that doesn't make sense ("smart people who want to make money should have figured out a solution to this!")"

I see that the more likely solution is that I don't have enough information, and the surface answer is inadequate. There's a reason smarter people couldn't figure it out, and it's not because of pithy sayings. It's because the solution is a magnitude or 2 more complex than what it looks like.

tomatocracy
Oracle weren't the only game in town then though. Sybase and db2 were around, widely deployed and enterprise worthy at the time. The sales and lockin tactics which earned oracle notoriety were not unique either but they did that part 'better'.
scrollaway
You know how when you give an AI shallow directives in machine learning, it'll start doing weird things? Like that Roomba that got stuck permanently driving backwards, or the game AIs that figure out that standing still is the best way not to die.

Well it works like that for capitalism too. People optimize for the goal (money), not necessarily the hopeful outcome (useful things).

daveFNbuck
Mediocre things are useful. They can be much cheaper when you don't require excellence. The part of that quote that's more an indictment of capitalism is that they're inflicting misery and screwing their customers. That's what's not supposed to be profitable.
vibrato
Service contracts
krapp
>Isn't the whole premise of capitalism that people motivated by money will build useful things for the world?

No, the whole premise of capitalism is that people motivated by money will build things that make them money.

It's right there in the name - "capital"-ism. Capital is the means, motive and end.

geofft
So then it is not a morally defensible system, unless you believe the accumulation of wealth is inherently moral?

It seems surprising that capitalism is so easy to argue against on moral grounds. Surely it has some benefit for the society that lives under it?

sokoloff
> Surely it has some benefit for the society that lives under it?

It does seem that societies with generally capitalist systems flourish to a much greater degree than societies that are organized under any other dominant economic system.

dpkonofa
That really depends on what your definition of "flourish" is. The United States is really the only country that has "flourished" under a capitalist system and that's only if you define that through the definition of capitalism which is to say that there is more capital in the US than in other nations. Attributing that to capitalism, though, and not to years and years of industrial progress, human slavery, and, arguably, immoral behavior is somewhat naive, in my opinion.
blackoil
As per `Homo Sapiens` Slavery was a direct result of capitalism. Humans like all other resource were optimized for maximum o/p and profit, and if not for Hitler to have taken racism to home and to extreme. People may not have seen error in the way. Its how as society we don't rise against treatment of cows in factory farming.
icebraining
How can slavery be a direct result of capitalism, when the latter appeared thousands of years after the former?
adventured
There are no affluent, liberal Democracies that do not utilize a free market based economic system, ie some formulation of Capitalism.

Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands. Five of the wealthiest countries on earth, and generally considered five of the best to live in. None of those are Socialist systems. They all use the free market as the basis of their economic systems. Some with more or less government regulation, and with varying degrees of a welfare state. The same is true of the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, Japan, France, Switzerland, etc. All have private ownership based economies, allowing for the vast accumulation of private wealth via business and asset ownership. Germany for example ranks #3 in billionaires globally, and Sweden ranks near the top in billionaires per capita. That is impossible under any implementation of Socialism, which requires state ownership of the means of production and does not allow such accumulation of private wealth.

krapp
>Some with more or less government regulation, and with varying degrees of a welfare state.

The existence of government regulation means these countries do not have free markets, and all welfare programs are socialist in that they involve the government taking wealth from the people through taxation and redistributing it to those who haven't earned it by trading their labor.

>That is impossible under any implementation of Socialism, which requires state ownership of the means of production and does not allow such accumulation of private wealth.

You seem to have communism and socialism confused here, and you seem to be failing to see that socialism and capitalism exist on a spectrum, and most countries don't practice one or the other, but a mix of both.

sokoloff
The contemporary competitors to the US with different economic fundamentals (China and the USSR primarily) also experienced/inflicted slavery, immoral behavior, and industrial progress, yet they didn't see nearly the same level of economic or societal development for the overwhelmingly vast majority of their population over their time of heavy-handed central planning economics.

If you knew you'd be assigned at birth to a life of 10th to 90th percentile (by status/money/class) in a non-wartime country and it would be US, UK, USSR, or China and your birth year would be 1880, 1900, 1920, 1938, 1960, or 1980, how many would choose the USSR or China?

geofft
How much of this is simply that capitalism is more efficient at producing weapons of war, and the US was able to force the USSR and China to spend significant resources on defense?
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krapp
I don't believe the accumulation of wealth is necessarily moral or immoral, rather amoral.

Capitalism can and does benefit society, but so can other economic systems. Nevertheless, the purpose of capitalism isn't to enrich society, it's to enrich the owners and shareholders by accumulating capital.

The correlation between the quality or morality of a good or service and its value in the market isn't a strong one, since there are forces other than supply and demand at work determining value, and markets don't often optimize for greater societal good. If they did, agriculture and electronics manufacturing wouldn't depend on immigrant and forced labor, blood mining, and other immoral practices. Consumers put up with those things because the end result is bananas year round and cheap consumer goods.

I think the mistake comes in demanding that societies prefer only one or another model, due to projecting moral dimensions onto them which may not apply, rather than accepting a balance between systems intended to benefit the few, and systems intended to benefit the many.

danso
The "whole premise of capitalism" is that the economy and its profits are privately controlled. Whether that leads to building "useful things" for a country or the world is not a requirement.
mdpopescu
The only way to make a profit in a privately controller economy is to show people that your things / services are so useful that they are willing to give you money for them.

As a concrete example, for the last few years I have been donating to several fanfiction authors through Patreon because I want to encourage them to write more.

ionised
> Isn't the whole premise of capitalism that people motivated by money will build useful things for the world?

I hope not because that seems hopelessly naive.

rongenre
People motivated by money will figure out how to get people to give them money. That doesn't necessarily imply making a better product.
Rainymood
To be fair, this critque is more a critique on companies inside capitalism and it works when you remove all the Larry Elliot bashing and replace it with the word company:

>There has been no entity in human history with less complexity or nuance to it than companies.

>And I gotta say, as someone who has seen that complexity for my entire life, it's very hard to get used to that idea. It's like, 'surely this is more complicated!' but it's like: Wow, this is really simple! This company is very straightforward, in its defense.

>Ship mediocrity, inflict misery, lie our asses off, screw our customers, and make a whole shitload of money. Yeah... you talk to said company, it's like, 'no, we don't fucking make dreams happen -- we make money!'

>You need to think of companies the way you think of a lawnmower. You don't anthropomorphize your lawnmower, the lawnmower just mows the lawn, you stick your hand in there and it'll chop it off, the end. You don't think 'oh, the lawnmower hates me' -- lawnmower doesn't give a shit about you, lawnmower can't hate you. Don't anthropomorphize the lawnmower. Don't fall into that trap about companies.

I don't see the problem here to be honest. If people want to continue giving money to Oracle for their mediocre products ... that's on them, not on Oracle really.

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darkerside
It's even less of a critique than an observation at that point. Lawnmowers are useful, and if you thought they were friendly, you're using the tool incorrectly.
peteradio
Its unfortunate if you viewed Tesla as a game changer or a rising star. Bringing someone on with the character to marginalize all value for the quickest return, that might bother some. So if you were someone who wanted to give money to Tesla now you might think twice. This isn't about Oracle this is about Ellison.
Rainymood
Come to think of it that is indeed relevant and I completely skipped over that. I am bullish on Tesla and financially have skin in the game as well. So far Tesla has been quite volatile but I'm bullish on the long-term.
throwaway765456
I've always wondered how Mr. Cantrill felt when in 2015, after years of hearing his vitriol about Oracle, more than a few of his Joyent team left him to follow Mark Cavage to Oracle including Node.js frontman TJ. This would have been a substantial hit to the tight US development team. Has Mr. Cantrill spoken on how he processed that?
jen20
Probably best not to feed the obvious trolls, but I'd imagine somewhat vindicated when the self-same mistakes made by Cavage that took a long time to correct in Triton appeared in Oracle's cloud APIs a few years later.
bcantrill
I hit on some of this in the Reddit AMA that happened in 2015[1], but that AMA was asking the more general question about losing people, not the more specific question about losing people to Oracle. The answer is that it was of course gutting and surprising, and it took a while to process -- it was hard to not read it as a personal rebuke! But of course, people don't generally alter their career trajectory to spite others (that is, you don't hear "Yeah, my new job is a terrible team solving an uninteresting problem within an awful company -- but boy did I ever stick it to my former boss!"), but rather to seek their own opportunity.

So I came to accept that each of them (and there were quite a few!) left for the opportunity they saw at Oracle. As for why Oracle: at the time, they were building a de novo cloud, and they were doing it by hiring engineers away from other cloud providers, with a sharp focus on compensation. And in particular: for the ex-AWS'ers at Joyent, one of their former senior colleagues at AWS (Don Johnson) had gone to Oracle to take a leadership position[2]; I think it's fair to say that those who went to Oracle saw themselves as joining Don as much (if not more) than they were joining Oracle.

Of course, none of this made it any easier for me or for the team to swallow -- and it has been of little solace that those who left for Oracle have (of course!) discovered that Oracle is what it is, with several of them having now left Oracle for other opportunities[3]. They may have learned about themselves what Oracle taught me about myself: that in addition to the team I'm on and the problem I'm solving, the company's larger mission is, in fact, important to me -- and that Oracle's emptiness in this regard can be crushingly soul-depleting.

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/31ny87/i_am_the_cto_o...

[2] https://www.geekwire.com/2014/oracle-hire-100-engineers-seat...

[3] https://twitter.com/mcavage/status/969762887530037248

An interesting point of view is given in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc (Fork Yeah! The Rise and Development of illumos). There are some sections that briefly touch on how Solaris was open-sourced, and how incredibly difficult and time intensive it was to do because of how much code there was that belonged to other people/companies that had to be rewritten or just excised if possible. And despite all the effort they put in, it still didn't work out 100% of the way they wanted it to (thus the existence of illumos).
floatboth
As someone without a Big Company background, it just blows my mind how much corporate projects can depend on third party proprietary code..
Oracle culture is bad: https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=2500 Oracle money making abilities good
Twirrim
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is a totally different approach, for what it's worth. Feels no different from working at AWS etc. (other than OCI gives a damn about operational burden and paying down technical debt, rather than letting the fires keep on burning as long as the features are being pushed out)

TK is very much old school Oracle though. Doesn't feel like a good cultural fit with Google.

posixplz
I agree completely, having worked at a few Seattle based cloud providers. Perhaps TK’s personality did not fit with the new direction of Oracle, centered around OCI and its ethos.

Disclosure: I work at OCI.

tmikaeld
I don't know if it's a myth but, I've always heard consultants say that Oracle is run like a bank by bankers, even by Oracle consultants.

A lot of lock-ins, contracts and security... for Oracle.

cbm-vic-20
Nobody hates Oracle more than Bryan Cantrill.
andrewbinstock
Oracle and TK understand one thing that GCP does not: the importance of great support. Oracle charges a ton for top-tier support, but if you have a problem they can't solve remotely, they'll send a team of engineers to your site and work night and day until it's fixed. In extreme cases, they'll duplicate your hardware and software setup at their expense and run in parallel until they can duplicate and solve the problem. That is serious enterprise commitment.

Google has no cloud counterpart to that level of service. If TK brings an equivalent orientation that makes customers believe that GCP will do whatever is necessary to resolve a problem, he'll have contributed significantly to its success, IMHO.

fixermark
Google trying to grow a cloud counterpart for that level of customer service will be interesting to watch. If one tried to parachute a gaggle of Googlers into a company's site to make their systems work with Google Cloud, I imagine the end result would be the company's existing infrastructure being entirely rewritten from scratch before any changes were made to the Cloud infrastructure.
kbenson
> In extreme cases, they'll duplicate your hardware and software setup at their expense and run in parallel until they can duplicate and solve the problem.

I knew there must have been a good reason they overcharged everyone for everything...

In all seriousness, I imagine this is the type of thing you can do when you have (or traditionally had) close to a captive market for specific things (government contracts) that allows for massive profits. It's easy to throw a few tens of thousands of dollars at black swan support events so you can point to those as examples of what you're paying for when people point out that you've been repeatedly found to violate contracts and fraudulently misrepresent yourself.[1]

1: https://www.mercurynews.com/2010/07/30/whistleblower-details...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc
SOLAR_FIELDS
Entertaining talk.

The part that grandparent is quoting starts at about 38 minutes in.

Nov 06, 2018 · cyphar on At least it wasn't Oracle
No, the Solaris team quite almost immediately after the OpenSolaris re-proprietarisation in late-2010[1]. Sun was acquired in 2009. This was fast but not immediate, the reaction was mostly in relation to how Oracle treated OpenSolaris and not the acquisition itself.

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

Oct 28, 2018 · 2 points, 0 comments · submitted by btown
Oct 28, 2018 · zawerf on IBM acquires Red Hat
Can't mention Oracle/Sun without linking to this amazing rant:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&feature=youtu.be...

Havoc
Love it. Gotta ask though - is that guy on meth or something? Hour long speech at top speed...
Oct 28, 2018 · btown on IBM acquires Red Hat
Obligatory link to one of the best rants ever presented against Oracle as an acquirer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&t=34m

"Do not fall into the trap... of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison... If you put your hand inside a lawnmower, it will get chopped off. The lawnmower doesn't care... The lawnmower doesn't want to kill open source. The lawnmower just can't think about open source. The lawnmower can't have empathy."

Sun Microsystems, especially after hearing more about the company, it’s culture and products from this [0] talk posted in this [1] comment in this [1] thread.

[0] https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc [1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18217952 [2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18217762

Twirrim
Good products, engineering. Badly managed.

One of the crazier things Oracle found when they were buying them was that the sales staff were given commission based on the total value of the sale, with no requirement for a profit to be made. People in the sales team would merrily sell stuff that cost $200,000 for $100,000, and earn a tidy commission, even though it meant the company was hemorrhaging.

linksnapzz
It was also great if you were an academic and needed equipment for a cool research project.

"What kind of discount will we need to give you to make sure you're doing all this work on SPARC/Solaris equipment?"

"100%"

"Done!"

...and then they'd send you the servers you need, and perhaps one extra that ....accidentally...fell off the truck.

Fork Yeah! The Rise and Development if illumos by Brian Cantrill https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

Quote copied from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5170246

"As you know people, as you learn about things, you realize that these generalizations we have are, virtually to a generalization, false. Well, except for this one, as it turns out. What you think of Oracle, is even truer than you think it is. There has been no entity in human history with less complexity or nuance to it than Oracle. And I gotta say, as someone who has seen that complexity for my entire life, it's very hard to get used to that idea. It's like, 'surely this is more complicated!' but it's like: Wow, this is really simple! This company is very straightforward, in its defense. This company is about one man, his alter-ego, and what he wants to inflict upon humanity -- that's it! ...Ship mediocrity, inflict misery, lie our asses off, screw our customers, and make a whole shitload of money. Yeah... you talk to Oracle, it's like, 'no, we don't fucking make dreams happen -- we make money!' ...You need to think of Larry Ellison the way you think of a lawnmower. You don't anthropomorphize your lawnmower, the lawnmower just mows the lawn, you stick your hand in there and it'll chop it off, the end. You don't think 'oh, the lawnmower hates me' -- lawnmower doesn't give a shit about you, lawnmower can't hate you. Don't anthropomorphize the lawnmower. Don't fall into that trap about Oracle."

atonse
Oh Bryan Cantrill... (don't worry, not criticizing him below)

This is someone whose mind seems to be going at 500mph all the time. I used to love his (and counterparts') early talks on ZFS, but yeah, I've found that pretty much any talk by him is packed with interesting info, but you may have to watch it at .5x speed (even if you're a native english speaker).

His talks on dtrace, ZFS, containers, are all very interesting (most on YouTube).

hyperion2010
How did I know that I'd find this talk at the top when I poked my head in here :). I must rewatch that segment at least once every 6 months even when not prompted by people linking to Brian's other, often more technically rewarding talks.
michalstanko
Minor correction - it's Bryan Cantrill, not Brian (according to Wikipedia).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryan_Cantrill

insertcredit
If that's the best technical talk you've ever seen, I have to feel sorry for you. Cantrill may rant all he wants about Oracle but he's not exactly doing better, with all the peddling of node.js to the masses. It is rare for me to see someone come up with so much bullshit in one talk: https://vimeo.com/230142234

Since I don't want to end with a negative note, here is a personal favorite as far as best technical talks go:

https://tinyurl.com/hzpccxj

jolmg
Here is the expanded URL of the tinyurl link to halve the changes of getting a 404 or similar in the far future, and maybe allow finding the content via the Wayback Machine in case infoq also disappears.

https://www.infoq.com/presentations/We-Really-Dont-Know-How-...

cipherzero
Could you maybe add a comment about what your favorite tech talk is? Right now I’m staring at a tiny url hoping I’m not going to be rick rolled.
cataflam
It's We Really Don't Know How To Compute! by Gerald Jay Sussman
toomuchtodo
Previous HN discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3163473

Direct download link for slides: https://github.com/strangeloop/2011-slides/raw/master/Sussma...

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3tVctB_VSU

bcantrill
Would you mind be slightly more specific about the "bullshit" in the talk you linked to? In particular, that talk is emphatically not "peddling node.js to the masses", but rather explaining why we are moving away from node.js (and attempting to do so in a way that is thoughtful and reflective rather than reactionary and dismissive).
TimTheTinker
Although not strictly technical, this is a great talk. Bryan effectively communicates both the history and the mindset of Sun Microsystems and its open-source software heroes, and the bitter disappointment of being taken over by Oracle.

I love this quote (about 33:15) summarizing Sun Microsystems:

Kicked butt, had fun, didn't cheat, loved our customers, changed computing forever.

"It makes me very proud to have worked for a company for whom that is completely accurate. We should all be so lucky as to have that be our epitaph. That is all I want out of my life. That and my family. [...] That is Sun. But that's not Oracle." --Bryan Cantrill. (A very excellent Oracle rant follows immediately after.)

Word on the street is that Apple's ZFS integration was mostly finished and it was going to be announced at WWDC. Sun opensourced ZFS under the CDDL. But then Oracle bought Sun, and Apple's lawyers wanted to make sure Oracle wouldn't try to sue them over ZFS somehow anyway. Negotiations between Apple and Oracle for a clear ZFS license fell through. Without legal go-ahead the feature was pulled from macos at the 11th hour and buried.

When ZFS was opensourced under the CDDL, lots of people complained that they should have chosen a clearer, more permissive opensource license. Other people said it was fine, because the license was good enough and Sun is full of good people. The way everything played out, its clear the first group's concerns were valid.

Its a huge shame. ZFS is a fantastic piece of engineering. It was ahead of its time in lots of ways. It would take years for btrfs to become usable and for apfs to appear on the scene. If not for the weird licensing decision, zfs would almost certainly have landed in the linux and macos kernels. We almost had an ubiquitous, standard, cross platform filesystem.

For more history about Sun and Oracle, this talk by Bryan Cantrill is a great watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

Hah, I think a lot of bcantrill's talks could be classified as rant/talk hybrids ;)

Here's his 2011 diatribe against Oracle (after they bought Sun, which he worked for at the time):

https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=34m00s

qaq
Yep that one is pure gold
15 years ago I worked with Oracle and guys from Oracle on a marketing side (they contracted me to help out with their marketing side), I definitely got that vibe. Years later, there was this talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc And it kind of all makes sense.
If you're a HN reader, I highly recommend Jason Lemkin's writings. Gitlab is a classic case of a bottom feeder late follower: https://www.saastr.com/dont-confuse-room-at-the-bottom-with-... .

And what that means is, yeah, either they keep burning $$$ every month and selling more of the control to VCs to feed the war chest until they maybe buy 2nd place, find an acquirer (and with that much ever-increasing VC control, a likely push), or yeah, layoffs will happen. Gitlab is extra interesting because their definition of innovation is biting off even more surface area (e.g., CI), and therefore even more burn.

Keep in mind.. all this says zero about how nice the product quality is or how friendly the people are. But just in the same way you don't get mad at what happens if you stick your hand in a lawn mower (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&t=34m7s) ... there are financial forces at play from being a high-spending bottom feeder that are hard to escape. Possible, and I wish them luck, but that's a real bet.

fnord123
AFAIK, Github went for growth. Gitlab went for cash flow. Gitlab is profitable and, imo, their product is comprehensively superior to Github.

>Keep in mind.. all this says zero about how nice the product quality is or how friendly the people are.

Then don't use the term bottom feeder since that means the people are making a shitty product with no ethics to really innovate. It says the people are shameful hacks and the quality of the product is bad.

In reality Gitlab is a better product and the people involved should be proud of their work.

lmeyerov
The term bottom feeder refers to going after the "leftovers" that premium market leaders leave on the table: lower-paying, more demanding (e.g., requires open source), higher acquisition cost (closeted international markets), etc. Good B2B companies often raise prices as they deliver more value and build brand trust, and as they establish the market, bottom feeders will pop up and spot the missing chunks. However, they are forced to play catchup in terms of features and with less $ (or a LOT of VC $). Says nothing about being nice, smart, and high quality, just the market & financial pressures.

No label is ever 100% accurate, but a lot of that dynamic has played out here pretty clearly..

lmeyerov
I don't think their official statements match that? They say their fundraising approach is 2yr runway, which is only 6mo longer than the advice for a regular VC-backed startup, and they've been raising increasing amounts ~annually.

Based on that, having 275+ employees, and their stated IPO targets, I ran the numbers recently. My guess was their costs are ~$40M year (admirable: I expected way higher but they focus on non-US hires and pay only 50% percentile in _local_ markets: super low!). Likewise, their stated IPO and growth targets make me guess they make ~$20M/yr. So two different reasons to believe they're burning... ~$20M/yr. The positive thing for them, which they're not public about but I'd guess, is while they're probably growing OK in regular accounts (hard competition vs bitbucket, github, etc.), they're probably Super Great on retention + internal expansion, so net negative churn, compounding factors, etc. I think they _can_ stop hiring and let revenue catch up, though other forces take hold then: so it does look like they're on the classic growth-over-control VC treadmill (despite saying they're not), and will keep ceding control to VCs.

fnord123
I think you may be correct and my information was out of date. According to the strategy documents that Gitlab publishes they seem to have changed direction towards growth via SaaS:

https://about.gitlab.com/strategy/#sequence-

""" During phase 2 there is a natural inclination to focus only on on-premises since we make all our money there. Having GitHub focus on SaaS instead of on-premises gave us a great opportunity to achieve phase 1. But GitHub was not wrong, they were early. When everyone was focused on video on demand Netflix focused on shipping DVD's by mail. Not because it was the future but because it was the biggest market. The biggest mistake they could have made was to stick with DVDs. Instead they leveraged the revenue generated with the DVDs to build the best video on demand service. """

Apr 19, 2018 · 1 points, 0 comments · submitted by gliese1337
Do not fall into the trap of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc#t=38m28s (quote at 38m28s)
"Fork Yeah! The Rise and Development of illumos" by Bryan Cantrill

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

He starts with a nice history of SunOS and Solaris, goes into open source, then midway through (33:00) he goes into a brutally honest rant against Oracle. Even better is that Oracle was one of the sponsors of the conference.

tgtweak
Great talk by bcantrill.

Don't put your hand in the lawn mower.

cbcoutinho
Just watched this talk - what an emotional ride!
blendo
I cut my unix teeth in the early '90s, on SunOS, and Cantrill really keeps the history relevant.

But truly, his Oracle rant was one for the ages. And this from me where our system RDBMS is Oracle, sigh.

Bryan Cantrill's USENIX talk - Fork Yeah! The Rise and Development of illumos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

He gives a history of SunOS, Solaris, and OpenSolaris up to the Oracle acquisition, and then onto post acquisition and the creation of illumos. It's a brilliant talk and a must-watch for any Unix enthusiast or historian. Bryan is an incredibly engaging speaker.

And remember,

> Do not fall into the trap of anthropomorphising Larry Ellison. You need to think of Larry Ellison the way you think of a lawnmower. You don't anthropomorphize your lawnmower, the lawnmower just mows the lawn, you stick your hand in there and it'll chop it off, the end. You don't think 'oh, the lawnmower hates me' -- lawnmower doesn't give a shit about you, lawnmower can't hate you. Don't anthropomorphize the lawnmower. Don't fall into that trap about Oracle. — Brian Cantrill (https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=33m1s)

And

> I actually think that it does a dis-service to not go to Nazi allegory because if I don't use Nazi allegory when referring to Oracle there's some critical understanding that I have left on the table […] in fact as I have said before I emphatically believe that if you have to explain the Nazis to someone who had never heard of World War 2 but was an Oracle customer there's a very good chance that you would explain the Nazis in Oracle allegory. — also Brian Cantrill (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79fvDDPaIoY&t=24m)

hinkley
Wired did an article about high tech connected homes. The section on Larry Ellison had an anecdote about how Larry got frustrated with his system and threw the remote at a wall, smashing it.

He made one of the engineers drive out to his house with a new one on a Saturday night.

Now, the fact that this story is true is telling enough, but what sort of experience did the writers have with Larry that inspired them to put in that story that paints him as a petty, tyrannical manchild?

tedunangst
It's Wired. Tangential anecdotes, the wilder the better, are their existence.
gist
> He made one of the engineers drive out to his house with a new one on a Saturday night.

Did it occur to anyone that that engineer might be happy to be picked as the one to drive out and do that? To some people that is the way to get noticed and stand out with the boss (or king, whatever).

> tyrannical manchild?

Like any anecdote we don't know the full story here and exact circumstances. Just the fact that juxtaposed against what people have be told about Ellison it appears that he must certainly be 'a tyrannical manchild'.

hinkley

    threw the remote at a wall, smashing it.
That’s a tantrum. Is there any empathetic version of this story where someone over 45 looks like a grownup doing it?
joeblubaugh
This is the most Hacker News “please rich daddy notice me” thing I’ve read in years.
paganel
Maybe it was sarcasm? I hope it was sarcasm, at least, or that the OP is young enough and hasn't had the chance to learn yet.
legohead
Ellison is the kind of guy who lands his private jet late at night, knowing he will have to pay fines for night noise, then sues over it.
mc32
I think the google guys did the same, no? Not that it makes the behavior better or normalizes it, but just that he's not the single exception.
andrewem
I hadn't heard of this, but it's true: www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Judge-clears-Ellison-for-landing-at-night-2909426.php
oh_sigh
Ehh...Larry has a point. If you care about noise levels, don't use weight as a proxy - just use noise levels. Why can a big, quiet plane not land at night, but a tiny noisy plane can?
hawkice
Noise is ephemeral and therefore harder to prove.
smitherfield
As the other guy says, it's hard to prove in court which noise came from which plane, but besides that, they may have used weight as a proxy for distinguishing between military and civilian aircraft ("tiny noisy planes" tending to be military), and, also, perceived loudness[1] is a function of both decibel level[2] and pitch[3] (that is, a whistle will be at a higher decibel level than a drum we perceive as equally "loud"). It's intuitively plausible that larger planes tend to make lower-pitched sounds.

[1] amplitude

[2] amplitude * frequency

[3] frequency

revelation
"It is regrettable that a dispute about one airplane has consumed so large a quantity of human and economic resources and that the parties have found compromise so difficult"

So much hate. Just because someone has enough money to file a lawsuit and keep it alive for years doesn't mean the other side should somehow be penalized for not compromising with the fool.

krylon
I kind of feel for Bryan Cantrill and his blood pressure. Getting this worked up cannot be healthy.

But damn, few people are that much fun to listen to when ranting.

theoh
There's another aspect, which is that some people find his aggressively dismissive style personally abusive and distressing.

I don't know enough to validate this perspective, but it's something for all of us to consider:

https://blog.valerieaurora.org/2016/10/22/why-i-wont-be-atte...

krylon
> some people find his aggressively dismissive style personally abusive and distressing.

Thank you for pointing this out.

There are many cases of what I call the "brilliant jerk" in programming.

Personally, I deal very badly with confrontational behavior. And it makes me rather sad. If I can deal with people by being friendly (or at least polite) and soft-spoken, it can't be that hard, now, can it?

And there are some examples of brilliant programmers that are also nice people and very pleasant to deal with. Richard Hipp of SQLite and Fossil seems to be this kind of person. If I cannot be as brilliant as him, at least I want to be as friendly and respectful as him.

It seems that a lot of software projects have begun adopting codes of conduct. I tend to feel a little ambivalent about this phenomenon, because it attempts to codify things I think should be the natural state of people interacting. But maybe in the long run, it is necessary to be a little more formal about this.

And still, when Bryan Cantrill gets sufficiently worked up about a subject, he is very entertaining to listen to.

barrkel
Personally, I have a hard time favouring diversity and safe spaces over good software and solid architecture where the two goals compete. I'm also aware that the competitive streak in me pushes me to excel, and without it - without an element of technological one-upmanship in my personality - I'd be much less ambitious and I'd have achieved far less.

So overall I don't think Bryan is wrong, per se, to take the tack he does within the pool he plays in; it's just a pool for type-A personalities (in the system dev domain), and not the right place to play in if you're starting out, or are otherwise fragile. Build up your skin and chops in smaller ponds first. Stay out of them if you don't feel comfortable swimming there, because the discomfort of competition actually serves a purpose for those swimmers.

(Yes, some people can pursue and sustain excellence without the heat of competition. But not everyone is like that.)

theoh
> (Yes, some people can pursue and sustain excellence without the heat of competition. But not everyone is like that.)

Sounds like an argument for pluralism, not for "one size fits all".

barrkel
I was deliberately invoking the irony of using diversity to promote competitive environments, yes.
theoh
I'm not sure how extreme a claim you are making. What you wrote could also be interpreted as asserting that the status quo (macho, competitive, whatever) should be preserved because of the contribution made by guys who thrive on that. And that it's too bad if some other people choose not to contribute as a result.

I can't imagine how collaborators on a single codebase could self-select into different groups with different communication styles. By Conway's Law, the codebase would have to be restructured and factored into parts that the groups could work on in relative isolation. This is a big architectural obligation to incur for the sake of preserving some casual braggadocio or competitive inconsiderateness.

throwaway0071
It's the first time I read this blog post (thanks for sharing) but it's not surprising to me.

I always cringe when I see people quoting Bryan because that's exactly my experience interacting with him on mailing lists or watching him give talks.

At this point I don't have the energy to deal with people like him. I just accept him as a natural occurrence in our field. I certainly praise does who do have the energy for fighting that.

oblio
I'm also quite combative in discussions. And then someone told me: be careful not to win the battle (current conversation) and lose the war (attention and possibly the respect or friendship of the person you're talking to).
bigzen
While I agree with the lawnmower sentiment, should we really write off unethical behavior by comparing humans to machines?
protomyth
If you watch the video, Brian Cantrill most certainly does not write off Oracles’s bad behavior, quite the opposite actually.
robert_foss
I can't tell you if it is right, but it does effectively communicate the lack of decency in anything Oracle does.
derefr
Machines are one of the only things most people are familiar with that don't hold to all the same values that living beings (humans, other mammals, most vertebrates) usually do. (You might call Ellison a "force of nature", but that might not play well for people who attribute an "eventually-consistent omnibenevolence" to nature.)

Really, without the metaphor, what's going on is that Larry Ellison has modified himself to hold the values that a corporation holds, in order to more efficiently drive said corporation toward optimizing on its corporate goals (i.e. increase share value, etc.) Where human values and corporate values are in conflict, Ellison has chosen to forget about his human values and, effectively, become the avatar of the corporation's interests. He's the "ideal CEO", in about the same way as Locutus of Borg is an ideal CEO.

A better analogy for this effect, for those who understand it, would be to compare Ellison to a https://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Paperclip_maximizer, but that's not really that well-known a meme.

slavik81
What values are shared by all mammals?
GuiA
Care for the young?
noir_lord
Their own young, a fair few species (lions come to mind) kill the young sired by other males.
mmirate
> Really, without the metaphor, what's going on is that Larry Ellison has modified himself to hold the values that a corporation holds, in order to more efficiently drive said corporation toward optimizing on its corporate goals (i.e. increase share value, etc.)

Hmm. I wonder why this augmentation is newsworthy/nontrivial/frightening. Perhaps our human frailty makes this feat truly difficult even for an average CEO?

chc
Why is it frightening for somebody to focus solely on accumulating lucre and not to care about other people or society at all? Because hurting people is bad.
mmirate
In our society, hurting people is usually expensive, so it goes against the first goal unless it is done in a way which isn't expensive.
jimnotgym
I suppose because (like the Paperclip Maximizer analogy mentioned in this thread) maximizing your immediate profits is not the same thing as maximizing shareholder value. It is unlikely that trying to get a professor sacked does anything but reduce your shareholder value. This kind of behavior does not make you the ultimate CEO and other humans know it, it makes you an asshole. So it's not difficult, it's just worse.
mmirate
Ah, so it's that only Ellison has managed to make such a PR blunder under this modification (and thusly reveal he is modified). Makes sense.
yuhong
I am seriously disliking the current debt-based economy now for this reason and more. There are other examples of its effects like Mozilla, Google, and VCs (I have several Twitter threads with @BrendanEich about that one). Sun and Oracle are probably worth mentioning here too, including Jonathan Schwartz.
rhinoceraptor
I highly recommend his recent talk on technology leadership:

https://youtu.be/9QMGAtxUlAc

userbinator
The other memorable quote I've heard is "Oracle is an acronym for One Rich Asshole Called Larry Ellison".
throwaway6845
Other RDBMSs Are Clearly Less Egregious
DonbunEf7
"Oregon Ripped-off, America's Cup, Larry Ellison."
lostlogin
It probably worked better when Oracle was the race winner.
B1FF_PSUVM
One Relevant Argument Counter Life Eternal
Cue the ever amazing Bryan Cantrill Oracle rant: https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=33m8s
SmartOS's LX branded zones seem kind of cool to me, and may hit an interest point for you. Basically, SmartOS is an OpenSolaris variant where they use Solaris Zones for docker images, but they've implemented a Linux syscall table API so you can create Linux "compatible" containers from a Solaris kernel (and also full access to ZFS, etc). You can see a talk here[1] where Bryan Cantrill goes over the reasons you might want to use containers, SmartOS and how LX branded zones. Warning though, he's an extremely engaging speaker, so not only are you likely to watch all of that 40 minute talk, but you might feel like binging on some other talks of his, so here you go.[2] 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coFIEH3vXPw

2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&list=RDQMdV_4MNC...

> and which is run by the lawnmower.

More on this reference, the brilliant slam down of Oracle by Bryan Cantrill: https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=1981

Sep 16, 2017 · 8 points, 0 comments · submitted by tosh
"Don't make the mistake of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&t=33m

titzer
lol. +100
> is this just people being hyperbolic, or is is truly that terrible?

I'm on the outside looking in and don't have any special internal insight, but they didn't just pull this robo-RIF idea out of their ass spur-of-the-moment. Oracle is the kind of place that maintains a robo-layoff system, which pretty much says all you need to know.

"What you think of Oracle is even truer than you think it is. There has been no entity in human history with less complexity or nuance to it than Oracle."

https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=33m

snuxoll
“We make money” - no truer words have been spoken. Hell, I work for a medical billing company and even our company mission has something about helping patients in it (and literally, our company sends bills and insurance claims to collect revenue).
mr_overalls
There's a fascinating book by Joel Bakan called The Corporation, which applies the DSM criteria for diagnosis of mental illness to the modern corporation. It concludes that the modern corporation is functionally equivalent to a psychopath (even created that way by law) - an entity whose destructive behavior, if unchecked, leads to scandal and ruin.

Based on the stories I've heard about Oracle and Elison, I've often thought that Bakan might have had an inside informant at the company.

https://www.amazon.com/Corporation-Pathological-Pursuit-Prof...

DonHopkins
And you know somebody had to program the robo-RIF script. Wanna bet they had to run it on themselves when they were done?
fasquoika
Oh man, so many good quotes in that talk. "Do not fall into the trap of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison"
_asummers
"There is no need to have an open mind about Oracle. That wastes the openness of your mind."
If you are interested, this talk says a lot about what was cool about Solaris, its place in history, the troubles it encountered, and what was wrong with Oracle's approach, leading to little-known open-source forks.

https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc (entitled: Fork yeah! The rise and development of Illumos)

All of that lives on with Illumos and SmartOS and companies like Joyent. You can even run Ubuntu inside a zone.

But such reactions happening now seem to indicate that people missed the attempted reproprietarization of OpenSolaris or at least missed out on marketing for the successors? Well here's what I see as kind of the canonical video detailing everything up to that drama point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc As far as I understand it Oracle has been pretty irrelevant for things to do with Solaris since then.

On the topic of Oracle and its corporate culture, you may also want to see part of the talk "Fork Yeah! The Rise and Development of illumos" by Byran Cantrill[1]. The language he uses to talk about Oracle is rather colorful.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&t=33m

digi_owl
Cantrill seems to have a flair for using colorful language in general...
Aug 24, 2017 · _pmf_ on A straight talk about btrfs
> This is a bit of a tangent, but I think it's important to remember that a huge corporation like Oracle has quite a different decision making process than individuals.

I'll just leave this here for people to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

Oracle Solaris is on life support because they don't have any of the old engineers. They have not worked on ZFS or DTrace since then (and the illumos community has massively improved those projects in the meantime). Recent news makes it look like Oracle Solaris may be killed quite soon.

That was the result, they tried to mistreat the OpenSolaris community and then Oracle no longer was competitive in the Solaris space.

If you want to learn more, check out bcantrill's talk. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

"...shit mediocrity, inflict misery, lie our asses off, screw our customers and make a whole shitload of money..."[0]

0 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&t=2147

sz4kerto
I meant the database, not the company.
erhardm
By using the DB you have to deal with the company.

By giving a grant to a company that is (apparently) more ethical will signal what kind of behavior you encourage, hence choosing to work with MariaDB over OracleDB.

sz4kerto
Well, OK, but e.g. REFRESH MATERIALIZED VIEW ON COMMIT might be more valuable to you than working with a more ethical company. YMMV, of course.
scriptproof
And also send letter to FCC to encourage repeal Net Neutrality, try to make use of API copyrightable, try to steal Android revenues from Google with debatable reasons, and so ones... That is for the company in general, but for the customers of their database, there is also much to say.
Bryan Cantrill gave the most wonderful rant on Oracle/Ellison at LISA XXV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc (rant starts at 33:00)

Two gems from the rant are, "You actually don't need to be open-minded about Oracle," and "Don't anthropomorphize the lawnmower."

nickpsecurity
That was great. Moreover, it gave me an idea. Oracle has been going after Android in patent suits. Joyent had patents on Solaris-based technology for cloud-style stuff Oracle might be interested in. Joyent was acquired by Samsung, a major Android vendor. I wonder if part of Samsung's motivation was countering Oracle with the I.P. Joyent had.
> not a leaked version of it.

It's a fork. If you're interested how it came to be check out this epic talk by Bryan Cantrill https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

From my perspective, if this rumor is true, it's a relief. Solaris died the moment that they made the source proprietary -- a decision so incredibly stupid that it still makes my head hurt six years later.

Fortunately, Solaris was open long enough that we in the open source world were able to fork it with illumos[1]. And because illumos became the home for many of us that brought Solaris its most famous innovations (e.g., ZFS, DTrace and zones), it should come as no surprise that we've continued to innovate over the last six years. (Speaking only for Joyent, we added revolutionary debugging support for node.js[2], ported KVM to it[3], completed and productized Linux-branded zones[4], added software-defined networking[5] and developed first-class Docker integration[6] -- among many, many other innovations.)

So illumos (and derivatives like SmartOS, OmniOS and DelphixOS) is vibrant and alive -- but one of our biggest challenges has been its association with the name "Solaris": I don't think of our system as Solaris any more than I think of it as "SVR4" or "SunOS" or "7th Edition" or any of its other names -- and the very presence of Solaris has served to confuse. And indeed, it is my good fortune to be working with a new generation of engineers on the operating system -- engineers for whom the term "Solaris" is entirely distant and its presence as an actual (if proprietary) system befuddling.

So if the rumor is true (and I suspect that it is), it will allow everyone to know what we have known for six years: Solaris is dead, but its innovative spirit thrives in illumos. That said, I do hope that Oracle does the right thing and (re)opens Solaris -- allowing the East Berliners of proprietary Solaris to finally rejoin us their brethren in the free west of illumos!

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

[2] https://github.com/joyent/mdb_v8

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwAfJywzk8o

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrfD3pC0VSs

[5] http://dtrace.org/blogs/rm/2014/09/23/illumos-overlay-networ...

[6] https://www.joyent.com/blog/triton-docker-and-the-best-of-al...

zxv
"Vibrant and alive" matches my experience with the SmartOS community. I have watched daily discussions with Joyent folks and the community, and it has been a delight.

Another factor feels critical for me as well. Troubleshooting has felt much faster on SmartOS and Triton due to the quality of logging and monitoring methods. Troubleshooting feels like O(1) because one often knows where to look and the tools are there to gather the data.

Triton and SmartOS are killer technologies, but the quality of interactions with the community are no less so. That's what makes them true open source, IMHO.

phs318u
Bryan, I just wanted to say thanks for everything. I remember attending a Sun event (as a corporate C dev) where they introduced this thing called DTrace, and a very excited young engineer (clearly the smartest guy in the room), managed to infect us all with his enthusiasm. Though I haven't worked with Solaris much since then, I always was impressed with the quality of the engineering. I think I might check out Illumos this weekend :-)

Edit: Apologies for misspelling your first name.

bcantrill
Thank you for the kind words! One of the things that's exciting about illumos right now is I see so many young technologists who remind me of that excited engineer you describe. ;) For example, look at the presentations from this year's OpenZFS Developer Summit[1]. Yes, there are some established names there, but there are also new ones -- young engineers who are attracted to this system for the same reason I was two decades ago: for not the system itself but for its community of talented, passionate technologists who emphatically believe in innovation in the operating system.

So hoping that you do indeed check out illumos this weekend; I think you'll find that while some of the names have changed, the spirit remains vibrant!

[1] http://open-zfs.org/wiki/OpenZFS_Developer_Summit_2016#Prese...

patrickg_zill
A quickie take can be found on LX zones in this slideshare deck, also by bcantrill http://www.slideshare.net/bcantrill/illumos-lx

Big fan of Solaris and zones, though at the moment using a mix of other technologies.

One thing I did notice about Solaris at least in the Linux 2.6.x days: Solaris is amazing at handling low-memory situations. Once I logged into a server that was swapping continuously via SSH and had about 2MB RAM left over - it was still somewhat response; while under Linux of that era it would have bogged down under the same situation.

RantyDave
Solaris does some odd things when emulating Linux memory. IIRC Linux will "always allocate" then randomly shoot things in the head if it overstepped the mark. Solaris will block until it can allocate the memory but that can be a long, long time. It's also possible (probably only on 'too small' boxes) to allocate memory faster than the ARC can get out the way (you can limit it, https://gist.github.com/RantyDave/4c3a3683a5403040434dda2ead...).
dom0
Even current Linux kernels behave very poorly under memory pressure (ssee the various 'kswapd 100% CPU issues', but also many issues with OOM, kernel panics and so on).
amyjess
No kidding. If not for earlyoom [0], every few hours my machine would grind to a screeching halt with the hard drive thrashing (and yes, I got rid of swap ages ago but it still happens) because the kernel doesn't know what to do with large amounts of RAM being used. Before discovering earlyoom, I would powercycle my machine whenever it happened because a powercycle was faster than waiting for the kernel to finish its tantrum.

[0] https://github.com/rfjakob/earlyoom

lamontcg
Is there a family tree anywhere of OpenSolaris/Illumos derived distros and what their userspace utilities 'look' like?

I'm mostly interested as a developer of config management tools where our support tends to look like "shrug, probably acts like solaris". I just want a rosetta stone for those distros, particularly when it comes to packaging and service management.

I'd be nice to know which ones are dead and which ones aren't as well, we're still carrying around definitions for nexentacore that i'm not sure are useful to anyone any more.

protomyth
They have a base list at http://wiki.illumos.org/display/illumos/Distributions but it probably is a starting place and not quite detailed enough for the information you want.
lamontcg
Thanks that's actually a better start than anything else I've seen.
alexellisuk
@bcantrill - I read about your implementation of the Docker remote API through Triton. Is this something that's open source that we can play with? The Docker Captains were talking about platforms available for the Docker engine today
bcantrill
Yes -- it's open source[1], as is all of our stuff.[2]

[1] https://github.com/joyent/sdc-docker

[2] https://www.joyent.com/blog/sdc-and-manta-are-now-open-sourc...

bsmithx10
@alexellisuk - If you need any help exploring docker on triton or lx-branded zones on vanilla smartos, you should definitely stop by #smartos on irc.freenode.net. There are about 40-60 active high quality SysAdmins / Engineers that can answer any questions and point you in the right direction. I've never received such incredible support, and I'm not even a customer. I recall one event where I was trying to run a KVM branded zone on a CN running on an esxi host using the vmx3net drivers and it would just core dump. 2 hours after talking to (The Man, The Myth, The Legend) rmusttachi, he had a new platform image compiled and running that fixed the min mtu size bug that was in the illumos vmx3net driver. "NEVER EXPERIENCED ANYTHING LIKE THAT" in any other community. Alexellisuk, I will warn you... once/if you switch... trying to go back is difficult, and your forehead might get sore, depending on how hard you slam it on your desk when you try to use something like "Mesosphere". "Come on everyone, lets create custom docker images to handle dynamic Marathon port assignments because I don't have an IP" (dig + awk to find https... ...isn't https 4...4..."STOP" "WRONG" it's ${PORT4} which is 10240... ...I sadly live in this reality at the moment) /barf.
RantyDave
I dunno, I think the word "Solaris" helps as being an enterprise (tm) thing - stops SmartOS from being a mere fringe OS into being a fringe OS that people have and do rely upon.
dermotcanniffe
Bryan, I've been glad to follow your post-Solaris endeavours. It was a pleasure working with you and others in Solaris Performance, bringing DTrace, ZFS, Zones, SMF etc. to market. You guys were ahead of your time.

I'm sad for any Solaris staff who are losing their jobs - hopefully they can transfer employment to the Illumos world with relative ease.

brendangregg
While I'd love to think that illumos will rise and be great like Solaris was again, after several years I now think that's an incredible long shot.

The death of Solaris may well be a death blow to illumos as well. It sounds like Oracle, the owners of the Solaris code and copyrights, aren't seeing a future for it. That's an incredible vote of no confidence from the very owners of the code. And the positive energy they have put into Solaris at large for years (marketing, sales, staff) will cease.

While I loved Solaris and illumos back in the day, in the end I'm glad I left and switched to Linux and FreeBSD. I'm working on similar technical challenges with much bigger impact. It's been more difficult, but also more rewarding.

ryao
What would we need to see from Illumos for it to qualify as being great like Solaris was?
Annatar
It's already great: SmartOS is the best one can get when it comes to running a cloud, public or private, and if that cloud must, without compromise, function correctly in the face of even the most severe failures, hardware or software wise. Zones + ZFS + fault management architecture (fmadm(1M) / svcadm(1M)) make it possible.

Have a piece of software which must run on GNU/Linux? No problem, it'll happily run inside of an lx-branded zone with zero performance penalty, where both it (/usr) and the illumos native commands will be available (/native), so one can keep one's cake and eat it, too. Otherwise - there are 14,000 packages ready to run, something Solaris never, ever had.

It's not a desktop operating system, it doesn't have that kind of a mass adoption. But on the other hand, when one considers just how Windows-like GNU/Linux became (systemd), it's better that it doesn't: it does one thing and does it well, and that's powering the high performance, massive clouds. For desktop, there's macOS, and that's fine.

RantyDave
FWIW the packages are essentially NetBSD and the dependencies can be spectacular (pkgin in git). But lx works really, really well.
X86BSD
I know I speak for many in the BSD camp when I say we thank you too for ALL your work in our corner of the open source world.
scarmig
Is it fair to judge Solaris by the fact that Oracle has mismanaged it? I don't mean to imply that Solaris necessarily had a brilliant and uncomplicated future before the acquisition, but it turned it from a product developed as a (profitable?) labor of love into a tool to extract ransoms from hostages. A vote of no confidence from a parasite just speaks to how valuable it is to the parasite, not any inherent value.
Pretty much anything by David Beazley or Bryan Cantrill

Discovering Python (David Beazley)

http://pyvideo.org/pycon-us-2014/discovering-python.html

David finds himself in a dark vault, stuck for months sifting through deliberately obfuscated pile of old code and manuals. All seems lost, but then he finds Python on a vanilla Windows box.

Fork Yeah! The Rise and Development of Illumos (Bryan Cantrill)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

History of Illumos, SunOS, Solaris, the horribleness of Oracle

These are not technical, but they are entertaining.

wyldfire
I'm glad you brought that dabeaz talk up, I really enjoyed that one myself.
ra7
I'd also add Raymond Hettinger's talks on Python with my favorite one being this famous one:

Beyond PEP 8 - Best practices for beautiful intelligible code

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf-BqAjZb8M

grin Here we go...

For "laughing at ourselves" and oddities of computer languages, there is "Wat" by Gary Bernhardt: https://www.destroyallsoftware.com/talks/wat

For an opinion on the Sun to Oracle transition, there is "Fork Yeah! The Rise and Development of illumos" by Bryan M. Cantrill, Joyent. His Larry Ellison rant makes me smile: https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=33m00s

joshschreuder
All of Gary Bernhardt's stuff is great, he has some other talks up here: https://www.destroyallsoftware.com/talks/

And his screencasts are worth the money too (#notsponsored)

vayarajesh
I had a good laugh watching the Javascript video :)
kbenson
As people usually point out when he comes up, just about any Bryan Cantrill talk is at least entertaining, and usually contains a good amount of technical, historical and personal information in various amounts.
avodonosov
It's like a tech talk combined with a stand-up comedy, two-in-one.
qwertyuiop924
That's Bryan's talks in a nutshell. And it is glorious.

Standout moments from his talks:

-"The Lawnmower"

-"Nazis in Oracle Allegory"

-"AWK"

-"Architectural Review Board (Keep your compiler people in little boxes)"

-"madvise MADV_DONTNEED writes lazily to disk?"

-"A piece of on-the-fly software engineering (or: you're f*ked)"

Also, from Brendan Gregg's lighning talk in 2013:

-"SO LET's JUST CUT THEM OFF!"

-"Their reporting software also couldn't handle decimal points"

robert_foss
Do you have any links?
qwertyuiop924
No, but they're all on youtube, and I can give you names.

-"The Lawnmower"

from Fork Yeah

-"Nazis in Oracle Allegory"

Manta (both talks, IIRC)

-"AWK"

Manta (New Relic), and Surge 2013 (aka "Middle Management: Cancer or Poison?")

-"Architectural Review Board (Keep your compiler people in little boxes)"

Surge 2013

-"madvise MADV_DONTNEED writes lazily to disk?"

Surge 2015 ligtning talk (or a crime against common sense)

-"A piece of on-the-fly software engineering (or: you're f*ked)"

Surge 2013 lightning talk

Also, from Brendan Gregg's lighning talk in 2013: -"SO LET's JUST CUT THEM OFF!"

-"Their reporting software also couldn't handle decimal points"

Both from surge 2013 ligtning talk.

mintplant
Bryan is responsible for one of my favorite comments on this site:

> Anyone decrying Oracle as "evil" is falling into a trap that I have warned about: they are making the mistake of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4261851

evan121
Here's a great "wat" talk for Angular: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_Wp-2XA9ZU
jjjack0
Bryan Cantrill is funny, but I take some of that talk with a dose of salt. See Danese Cooper's youtube comment "I know its fun to re-write history to suit your current politics."
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venkasub
"Wat" has influenced me so much that, whenever I hear some cliched or meaningless argument, Watman projects himself onto my retina.
qaq
"His Larry Ellison rant makes me smile" +1 great talk
qwertyuiop924
Oh god yes. And from the Manta talk, to paraphrase:

I believe that if you talk about Oracle without going into Nazi allegory, than some understanding has been left on the table. In fact, I firmly believe that if you were talking to someone who hadn't heard of WWII but was an Oracle customer, that you would explain the Nazis to them in Oracle allegory:

Wow. Really?

Yes, it's true: Larry Ellison owned a whole country

Oh god! The humanity! Just imagine the licences on that thing

I know, it was terrible dude, just ask Poland

Also, for another excellent talk by Bernhardt, this time about the differences in philosophy between Python and Ruby, which gives a very fair critique of them both: https://vimeo.com/9471538.

smoldyr86
I worked for Oracle Social as a software engineer for some Facebook Pages WYSIWYG application, and this is their business model - as explained to me - when I asked, "Who is going to be buying our product?"

My manager: "Oh, so we have all of these enterprise customers that purchase software from us. Basically, they are presented with a list of all of our various enterprise applications [FYI, there's a TON of them] with check boxes next to each one. Our application licenses are sold using a subscription model. Most companies don't bother reading the list and just pay for everything, which will include ours."

WTF? I wrote some of the Ruby on Rails code for the application my team was working on. Also, this was in 2012; Facebook Pages had just been released, and no one even understood why a "Page" was the name given to a concept in which businesses could establish Facebook accounts in order to promote their brand and products, but a "Page" contained multiple "web pages" of content within the larger "Page" object.

In short, our product sucked at every level and even I, a member of the development team, didn't know how to use it. But because it was on the almighty "Product List", it added millions of dollars to Oracle's net income, despite the fact that I'm guessing hardly any customer knew what it was, let alone knew how to use it.

I resigned shortly after the first release, so I have no idea what happened to the product or how long it remained an official Oracle enterprise software application, appearing on the "Product List".

While it was nice being 26 years old and making a $70,000 salary, receiving a nearly-guaranteed $10,000 annual bonus, having a 401k package with company-matched contributions, getting full healthcare benefits which included a FSA, and being able to order all of the free snacks and beverages that one could think of simply by telling the secretary to add them to the supply list . . . I just couldn't work at a place where innovation didn't matter, the customer didn't matter, and even the product didn't matter. Not to mention that, after having worked there, with 100 other people, for 3 months, maybe 10 people knew my name (and my product team consisted of 8 people - I'm only including 5 of them in the 10). I happened to discover one day that I was the youngest employee there, and I'm pretty sure that people didn't like me based on that fact alone.

Oh well, I applied for a similar job at a digital marketing agency down the street the next week, and soon thereafter, began working again, now earning a salary which was $10,000 greater than what I made at Oracle (and which included all of the same benefits).

selimthegrim
/s/Oracle/Intel as a software green badge and this sounds spookily identical to my life right around then too, right down to the salary and people not liking me because I was the youngest employee.
qwertyuiop924
...Which reminds me of another favorite quote from Cantrill. To paraphrase:

My one regret is that I couldn't tender my resignation over [Oracle killing OpenSolaris] because I'd already left.

joatmon-snoo
As a univerity senior, thank you for this. Oracle was already low on my list of companies to apply to for a full-time job, and this put the nail in that coffin.
None
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senderista
If you're in the Seattle area, you still might want to consider Oracle Cloud (I don't work there). They've poached a shit-ton of senior AWS engineering talent, and from what I hear they're developing a kickass product.
Looking for reason, logic or restraint in lawnmowers[1] demanding utter, total and complete control and submission to their DRM demands is rather futile.

In all my time in the digital broadcasting industry, there was no logic or thought given from legal teams demand complete prevention of any kind of recording or usage beyond extremely draconian DRM terms. At the ISP/IPTV provider I worked with, at no point noone stopped and thought about how these provisions affect the users. DRM was demanded by content providers (or you didn't have content) and every year the demands for more control, spyware and lockdown of devices increased.

The fact that there is practically no concern given to fair use (which should be laid down by law, but has been trivially worked around by content providers' legal teams) means that as soon as technical DRM capabilities will expand, you'll soon only watch and listen to art on completely locked down devices that will call home constantly to make sure you've paid enough and seen enough ads. Removing DRM is already illegal under DMCA in USA anyway.

Cory Doctorow can explains and outline the utter catastrophe of modern state of DRM and draconian copyright laws better than I ever could in the new episode of The Changelog podcast [2].

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

[2]: http://5by5.tv/changelog/221

userbinator
Cory Doctorow

Two related articles from him which also give a lot of good background on this:

http://boingboing.net/2012/01/10/lockdown.html

http://boingboing.net/2012/08/23/civilwar.html

...and one from RMS:

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.en.html

I love your video and your comment:

> https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=2132

> Make money, make money!

:D

qwertyuiop924
My favorite is the line about not anthopomorphizing Oracle. Or, from one of his other talks, The Nazis in Oracle allegories.
Oracle killed OpenSolaris. They literally moved Solaris back to being closed-source. With no justification, even, beyond Oracle not liking open-source. Undoing the massive amount of work the Solaris team made in order to open-source it in the first place. There's no more source code releases for Solaris now.

Unsurprisingly, almost all the core Solaris team walked.

This talk is informative: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&t=33m

Mentioned in the article but always amazing - Bryan Cantrill on Oracle killing Open Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

"Don't make the mistake of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison"

Slightly relevant - about Oracle and its single-minded pursuit of money over all else: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&t=33m
jlarocco
I don't understand Oracle hate. Yep, they're all about making money, but at the end of the day, that's what most businesses are doing, and the ones who say otherwise are bullshitting you with crap their marketing department made up. Only in start-up bizarro world can a company give away free products and have negative or zero profit margin and be considered "succeeding".

It makes no sense to me to hear people working at for-profit companies complaining that other companies only exist to make money. It's inconsistent, at the very least.

Open source is great, volunteering is great, sharing and giving stuff away is great, etc., but businesses and corporations only exist to make money for the people who own them and work for them.

ccrush
Actually, companies exist to allow investors to put money up to finance a certain venture without liability for the actions of the employees and representatives of the company. So if you, for example, decided to invest in a company but do no work for that company, and then the company's employees use your money to buy a boat and attack other boats and steal their cargo and sell it for a profit then you could sell your shares in the company for a huge profit or get paid dividends once the company sells the pirated goods. And you couldnt be sued for their actions. Historically, corporations were invented specifically for businessmen to be able to invest in state-sanctioned piracy in the middle of the second millenium in Europe. Today, their purpose is pretty much the same, except instead of robbing sea-faring merchants, they're robbing their customers. In any case, making money is a side-effect of corporations. They could be losing money but growing tremendously and if they continue to attract investors then they are still technically a successful company.
vmateixeira
Spot on
aryehof
Companies are not only about making money. They are also about being good citizens in the markets and environments they are involved in. They have duties and resposibilities to customers, workers, shareholders, competitors, suppliers, regulatory authorities, the community and the environment - amongst others.

To me, Oracle discounts and in some cases shows disdain for, being a good corporate citizen.

zippergz
I dislike Oracle because their products (at least the ones I've used) are horrible to use, and insanely expensive.

Edit: I'm talking about the Oracle database products, not Java, the stuff they acquired with Sun, etc.

jlarocco
That's completely fair, but the parent poster commented about Oracle trying to make money and linked to a 5 minute rant about it.
cneumuel
Working for the man (and in DB dev), I am obviously biased. However, I'd be interested in what you actually find horrible to use and compared to what.
mr337
Seriously? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oracle_America,_Inc._v._Google....

Shall I go on?

jlarocco
I'm not sure how that changes anything I said.

FWIW, Google does it too: https://www.scribd.com/doc/40513712/Google-v-US-Complaint

And I understand, the cases are not the same at all, but it highlights that Oracle is hardly the only tech company who will take to the courts to help themselves make money.

Oletros
Is this a joke?
pron
Are you aware of any company in Oracle's position that did not sue? Are you aware of any company that has ever done what Google did, at that scale, and was not sued?
krasin
>Are you aware of any company in Oracle's position that did not sue

Sun Microsystems, obviously

lmz
So, how did that work out for them?
Oletros
So, what was the outcome of Oracle vs Google?
pron
Oracle made many arguments -- patent and copyright infringement. The patent claims were rejected, but after an appeal, the appeals court ruled that language-level APIs (i.e, not REST APIs or other protocols) are copyrightable, at which point (another) court debated the question of fair use by Google, and ruled in Google's favor (i.e, that their use of Java's API does not constitute an infringement of the API's copyright). Oracle have announced their decision to appeal the ruling.

In the meantime, though, it seems like Android is about to adopt Oracle's OpenJDK, under the open-source license granted by Oracle.

Oletros
OpenJDK was released by Sun, not by Oracle.
pron
I didn't say it was released by Oracle; It is owned by Oracle and licensed by them to Google and anyone else by the GPL to do with as they please.
Natsu
They got a huge buyout while everyone with a clue left the company, as I heard the story.
pron
Obviously not. They didn't have the resources or the time to sue; they were on the brink of collapse and already involved in talks of acquisition. Google fully expected them to sue[1], but got a reprieve due to Sun's troubles.

Android was released in September 2008, with the first phone in November. At that time Sun was in acquisition talks with IBM (and maybe HP), which fell through in 3/09. In 4/09 -- about six months after Android was released -- they announced their agreement with Oracle[1]. That's hardly enough time to even prepare such a lawsuit, let alone carry it through, and obviously Sun had much greater concerns at the time.

[1]: Because no such action had ever gone un-sued.

[2]: see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_acquisition_by_Oracle#Hist...

a_imho
I would wager in some way it is more honest to state you are doing professional business and here for the money, than creating mottos about disruption and doing good (or not doing evil) etc.

The surprising part is when customers of BigCo could be borderline labeled as fans - for me, at least.

gaius
Oracle may be "evil" in many people's eyes but at the end of the day they just want to sell some products and services. Same with Microsoft, same with Apple. Compare and contrast that with Google and Facebook who make their money off your private data.
jacquesm
Both Oracle and Microsoft use some pretty creative means to inflate their income. See also 'free audits' by the BSA, which are nothing less than the setup for a shakedown. I've seen quite a few companies that waved the need for such an audit only to be presented with a bailiff and some guys in suits claiming to have received 'information' about illegal software being used on the premises.

This can get ugly - and expensive - real fast because in a large enough corporation it is stupidly easy to miss a detail and this will then be used to put in a claim of a few 100K worth of extra licenses that you need to buy to make the problem go away. It's the mafia, only now with bits and bytes and weird licensing terms that only they know how to interpret.

This is one of the main reasons why everything I do uses open source. The only time these companies still get some money through me is when I buy new hardware and MS levies their tax.

If all Oracle and Microsoft wanted to do was to 'sell some products and services' that would be one thing. But really what they want is to extract as much money from companies that use their products as they can get away with and if they have to use strong-arm tactics on sufficiently locked in customers to get that they'll be more than happy to do so.

The obvious defense - you don't have to do business with them at all - is one that is becoming a more and more viable choice. Twice now I have encountered a company that had transformed their internal applications to be web based using Apple products rather than Microsoft and licensing terms and costs were the main reasons given. I suspect this is going to be a trend of sorts and maybe this will be one backdoor that will allow 'linux on the desktop' to enter companies too (it would allow them to re-use the hardware they already have).

Of course MS has a whole 'TCO' dog-and-pony-show to prove that you'll lose money that way, based on all kinds of funky reasoning which sounds believable to pointy haired bosses.

It would be nice if 'the new Microsoft', Oracle etc. stopped waging war on their customers.

ddorian43
What are these "apple products" you're talking about ? Just computers ?
danielconde
You have a good point. It's a spectrum. There are software companies that thrive by using different models. Some are based on open source, some are based on closed source and some even mix the two. Some other companies as listed elsewhere are ad-companies and give away software to bolster their eco-systems.
shadowfiend
The problem here isn't asserting that businesses and corporations exist to make money.

It's asserting that they only exist to make money. Or that that is in any way natural.

For a company to focus entirely on making money when they don't have enough money to operate is, let's say, understandable. But since companies are run by humans, and humans are quite adept at balancing different goals at the same time, it's not at all beyond reason to expect a company that is making money hand over fist to also focus on more than just that. It's not at all bad to judge them if they choose not to do that, nor to consider them worse than other companies that both make money hand over fist and choose to focus on more than just making more money.

It is in no way inconsistent to work at a for-profit company and complain that another company only exists to make money. Even if you are the chief executive of a for-profit company that both makes money and has additional goals beyond that, you aren't being inconsistent. But if you aren't the chief executive? If you are an employee whose day-to-day job actually isn't directly to make money, even if it is, somewhere above you, being guided by that goal? That doesn't even come close to inconsistent, IMO.

Most businesses are making money. That's not the same as being all about making money. Confusing the two is a really good way to discount the companies who manage perfectly well to make money without losing their souls to that goal[1].

[1] - I'm not really saying Oracle is one of these companies; I've never worked for them or interacted with them (though I've heard plenty of tales). I'm taking issue with the broader statement, because I think it's a fundamentally problematic lens to view the world through.

jlarocco
> It's asserting that they only exist to make money. Or that that is in any way natural.

There are plenty of companies that exist to make money and have additional goals.

But, gigantic, publicly traded corporations don't fall into that category, and they exist exclusively to make money. If they tell you otherwise, their PR people are trying to fool you.

I'm also tempted to say a business whose number one goal isn't making money for its owner and employees should probably be registered as a non-profit or a charity or something else, and not a corporation, but I guess there's no reason they couldn't be a corporation.

thaumasiotes
> I'm also tempted to say a business whose number one goal isn't making money for its owner and employees should probably be registered as a non-profit or a charity or something else, and not a corporation, but I guess there's no reason they couldn't be a corporation.

Um, what does "corporation" mean to you? Can you identify anything that you would call a "non-profit" that is not also a corporation?

andrewaylett
At least in the UK, there's the concept of an unincorporated association. The one I chair is definitely non-profit, and (not being incorporated) we're not a corporation.
ajdlinux
To many people "corporation" == "for-profit corporation", even though that's definitely not true with the standard legal definitions of "corporation".
pron
You're right. I think many people in tech today are not used to Oracle's old-school style. They've become accustomed to companies like Google and Facebook that want to make money and collect as much private information about as many people as possible; they want money and unlimited power. Or companies like Google and Apple that want your money and your mind, that, like Big Brother, are not content just having power over you; they want power over you and your love. That a company would just want your money but not your love and allegiance, or that it wants your money without also trying to brainwash you or spy after you indeed seems strange these days.

BTW, I agree with the idea that companies shouldn't only be about making money, but also care about other things, like the welfare of their employees. But companies like that are virtually nonexistent among America's tech giants.

low_battery
Really? Oracle the old school angel versus brainwashing big brother spying evil corporations.
pron
Oracle is no angel; I'm not aware of any altruistic -- or even non-solely-egotistic American tech megacorp. But I do prefer their brand of old-school evil (unbridled greed; we'll sue you into compliance) over Google's (we're going to spy on you and collect data on you and you're going to love us) or Apple's (we'll turn our customers into religious fanatics, who don't just pay us but also worship us).
Natsu
I don't read GP post as a defense of Oracle. And I say that as someone who fully expects Oracle to build a slot into their servers that you can feed POs to in order to fill it back up when the cash sunk into it is running low.
simula67
Both of you may be right. The company exists to make money for the shareholders. But to make money for shareholders it has to treat its customers well, it has to treat its employees well, it has to treat its partners well and it has to obey all the laws. Management who value these things are often referred to as having 'high levels of integrity'.

Good shareholders should look for management exhibiting high levels of integrity. Like Warren Buffet said :

"In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy."

At least in the public's eye, Oracle has lost the perception of having any integrity.

tremon
The company exists to make money for the shareholders

Actually, that should be circumstantial. The primary reason for a business to exist is because it provides value to its customers. If the value provided (and monetized) is more than the business' operating costs, it gets to continue to exist.

Shareholders are an artifact of unnatural growth, not a fundamental property of business.

saiya-jin
those are some strong assumptions. people don't start companies to serve others, and if by any chance they won't lose money but actually earn something that would be nice.

maybe that's the world you would like to see, and maybe one day we will have it, but it's not the world we currently live in.

why is it so hard for some to accept that money is, overall, by far the strongest motivation force out there? Remove it, and >95% of population will not show up for their crappy work next day. it might not be the best motivator overall and has some drawbacks, but it works so far surprisingly well and we came to this situation by long evolution.

Angostura
> why is it so hard for some to accept that money is, overall, by far the strongest motivation force out there?

Because the evidence is circumstantial at best. Money, is of course important. But the strongest motivator? Not for many people.

saiya-jin
ok, then do that test of removing salary, indefinitely. since it's not the strongest motivator, maybe secondary one, most would still come, right? now how many would show up next day?
tremon
Basic income is a great way to test that, yes.
arcticfox
I agree that taking extremes is a useful tool, but this isn't the best example.

What if you took away 100% of people's time off? No weekends, no evenings? Nobody is coming back to that either.

TheOtherHobbes
>But to make money for shareholders it has to treat its customers well, it has to treat its employees well, it has to treat its partners well and it has to obey all the laws.

Sadly not. One of the tragedies of capitalism is that it's much easier to run a profitable business by sharking everyone than by being a good citizen.

The optimal ethical position for profit is not the same as the optimal abstract ethical position.

This is why markets are a bad thing. If profit is your only measure of morality, you don't have a working mechanism to protect you - and everyone - from choices that produce short-term gains but long-term disasters.

arcticfox
> This is why markets are a bad thing.

... well, that's extreme. The ownership of the company should be working to avoid long term disaster. In most industries this happens all the time.

Actually, some of the main instances they don't (financial industry) is because of government support. If you're allowed to fail and get bailed out, then there's no reason to avoid disaster.

danielconde
Bryan Cantrill is very passionate in the talk recorded in this video. Now I learned something about illumos.
https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=2732
ZenoArrow
Did you not read what I said? It doesn't matter whether it's a fork or not. If Oracle wins the current lawsuit over Java, it's arguable they could go after OpenZFS too as the lawsuit is based on whether the design of software (not the implementation, the design) can be owned by a company.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oracle_America,_Inc._v._Goog....

"The appeals court reversed the district court on the central issue, holding that the "structure, sequence and organization" of an API was copyrightable."

Annatar
Java and illumos are licensed under two completely different licenses, and neither illumos code base, nor OpenZFS are an application programming interface.
Oracle has nothing whatsoever to do with OpenZFS. As in zero, nada, zilch. And because of CDDL, Oracle cannot take back the source code from illumos (which contains OpenZFS code) without open sourcing the code to Solaris again:

https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=2732

That is my understanding, yes -- but the NSE and (McVoy-authored) NSElite chapters of the saga pre-date me at Sun. Before my "Fork Yeah!" talk[1][2], from which this is drawn, I confirmed this the best I could, but it was all based only on recollections of the engineers who were there (including Larry). I haven't found anything written down about (for example) NSElite, though I would love to get Larry on the record to formalize that important history...

[1] https://www.usenix.org/legacy/events/lisa11/tech/slides/cant...

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

qwertyuiop924
Good to know I (probably) got it right.
luckydude
The NSE was Suns attempt at a grand SCM system and it was miserably slow (single threaded fuse like COW file system implemented in user space). I did performance work back then, sort of a jack of all trades (filesystem, vm system, networking, you name it) so Sun asked me to look at it. I did and recoiled in horror, it wasn't well thought out for performance.

My buddies in the kernel group were actually starting to quit because they were forced to use the NSE and it made them dramatically less productive. Nerds hate being slowed down.

Once the whole SCM thing crossed my radar screen I was hooked. Someone had a design for how you could have two SCCS files with a common ancestry and they could be put back together. I wrote something called smoosh that basically zippered them together.

Nobody cared. So I looked harder at the NSE and realized it was SCCS under the covers. I built a pile of perl that gave birth to the clone/pull/push model (though I bundled all of that into one command called resync). It wasn't truly distributed in that the "protocol" was NFS, I just didn't do that part, but the model was the git model you are used to now minus changesets.

I made all that work with the NSE, you could bridge in and out and one by one the kernel guys gave up on NSE and moved to nselite. This was during the Solaris 5.0 bringup.

I still have the readme here: http://mcvoy.com/lm/nselite/README and here are some stats from the 2000th resync inside of Sun: http://mcvoy.com/lm/nselite/2000.txt

I was forced to stop developing nselite by the VP of the tools group because by this time Sun knew that nselite won and NSE lost so they ramped up a 8 person team to rewrite my perl in C++ (Evan later wrote a paper basically saying that was an awful idea). They took smoosh.c and never modified it, just stripped my history off (yeah, some bad blood).

Their stuff wasn't ready so I kept working but that made them look bad, one guy with some perl scripts outpacing 8 people with a supposedly better language. So their VP came over and said "Larry, this went all the way up to Scooter, if you do one more release you're fired" and set back SCM development almost a decade, that was ~1991 and I didn't start BitKeeper until 1998. There is no doubt in my mind that if they had left me alone they would have the first DVCS.

Fun times, I went off and did clusters in the hardware part of the company.

muizelaar
There used to be a paper on smoosh here: http://www.bitmover.com/lm/papers/smoosh.ps but it's gone now. Do you mind putting it back? I'd like to read it again.
luckydude
http://www.mcvoy.com/lm/bitmover/lm/papers/
burfog
You weren't the only one to do SCCS over NFS. The real-time computer division of Harris did it too. That version control system was already considered strange and old by 2004 when I encountered it.
qwertyuiop924
1 man using perl can outpace 8 on C++. Who would've thought? /sarcasm. But seriously, I think this is one of the classic instances of what is now quite common knowledge about dynamic scripting languages: They let you get things done MUCH faster. I think the tools group learned the wrong lesson from this, but OTOH, who would want to start developing all of their new software in perl? And given that python hadn't caught on yet, there really wasn't much else out there in the field.
ryao
> there really wasn't much else out there in the field.

What about shell scripts?

jschwartzi
Or LISP.
qwertyuiop924
Firstly, the mention of LISP would have probably sent most of Sun screaming and running for the hills at the time. Secondly, LISP has never been very good at OS integration, one of the most important things for many software projects.
qwertyuiop924
Shell scripts are even more miserable to write than perl, and are missing a lot of features you want for most applications
dtamhk
>> Evan later wrote a paper basically saying that was an awful idea

Is this paper available online? Thanks.

luckydude
https://www.usenix.org/legacy/publications/library/proceedin...

And for the record, Evan was somewhat justified in not saying I had anything to do with Teamware since I made his team look like idiots, ran circles around them. On the other hand, taking smoosh.c and removing my name from the history was dishonest and a douche move. Especially since not one person on that team was capable of rewriting it.

The fact remains that Teamware is just a productized version of NSElite which was written entirely by me.

If I sound grumpy, I am. Politics shouldn't mess with history but they always do.

vithlani
And progress is held back again due to some empty suits having no idea what they have on their hands -- just protecting turf. Reminds me of how Javascript began.
bcantrill
Wow, jackpot -- thank you! That 2000th resync is a who's who of Sun's old guard; many great technologies have been invented and many terrific companies built by the folks on that list! I would love to see the nselite man pages that the README refers to (i.e., resync(1) and resolve(1)); do you happen to still have those?

Also, even if privately... you need to name that VP. ;)

Some background on the shift to Oracle from Bryan Cantrill (creator of DTrace at SUN Microsystems) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

He wasn't thrilled about it.

reiger
Bryan is a smart funny guy, but he's an opinionated asshole that represents everything wrong with silicon valley engineer "rockstar" culture.

I didn't rewatch the video, but have seen it and met him dozens of times back in the OpenSolaris then Joyent days. He seems to simplify things to portray cause and effect that do not exist due to the complexity of real life.

I trust his ability to engineer a brilliant product, but I don't trust his ability to create a lovable product - it's all about the engineering goodness to him, and not solving the real world problems. Joyent's financials and yearly change of directions will probably back that up...

Oracle is Oracle - there are good things and bad things about a process driven company with 2000 products, but understand there is massive bias in Bryan's video - he didn't get his way and he wants people to know it.

nickpeterson
Oh, I understand that, but I find the video entertaining, and I will say that I often have trouble finding viewpoints from places like Oracle, IBM, and SUN. Ever notice how there are tons of videos/tech talks from Microsoft, Google, and the Open Source crowd, but places like Oracle/IBM/SAP it feels very vaulted?
reiger
As a former product manager from one of the vaulted companies we had tons of video around business benefits and use cases, but very little on the implementation part. Look for the curated video channels for the big vendor players.
krebby
Best quote from this video (there are a ton): "Don't make the mistake of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison".
None
None
I agree, many of the open source licenses are not pairwise-compatible. But the fact that GPL is a strong copyleft license makes collaboration more difficult. And the idea that CDDL was made specifically to be incompatible with GPL is at best a speculation. See Bryan Cantrill's video about the history of Solaris [0] and about different licenses [1] [0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm8P4oCIY3g
chimeracoder
> But the fact that GPL is a strong copyleft license makes collaboration more difficult.

The problem is that both the GPL and the CDDL prevent further restrictions to the license. This actually has very little to do with the copyleft; plenty of other licenses (including the CDDL) prevent further restrictions on redistribution, even without imposing a copyleft.

As a counterpoint, here's a 2011 video of Bryan Cantrill claiming that it is "emphatically not the case" that the CDDL was specifically developed to be GPL-incompatible: https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=1375
awalton
It may not have been the "original intention" of the license, for whatever value of "original intention" that means, but it certainly was used for exactly this purpose - to keep the code out of Linux. Whether or not it was just a "happy accident" the CDDL was not GPL compatible, or whether it was engineered to be that way, I believe is mostly a moot point. (Though I'm still nowhere near believing Bryan Cantrill on this point. The executives and lawyers could have easily done this without the software developers involved ever knowing until after the fact.)

The GPL incompatibility was a well known fact before both of those tools were released, and it's frankly unbelievable this point wasn't raised internally at Sun before OpenSolaris walked out the door, given how much public discussion went into the license after it was first announced. The Sun executives knew exactly what they were doing when they chose that specific license for distributing D-Trace and ZFS.

bcantrill
I think all concerned (executives, lawyers, engineers) were simply trying to do the right thing by our source base, Sun's customers and the budding OpenSolaris community -- we really weren't trying to placate (or alienate) the Linux community, and didn't really factor in how the Linux community perceived its own license.

As for OpenSolaris, there were a couple of constraints with respect to the GPL: first, we didn't want to dual license (i.e., GPL + something else), because that was a mess that could lead to a license-based fork -- something we definitely wanted to avoid. Second, there was great concern about simply using the GPL because of exactly the ambiguity that's highlighted here: in 2005, we had many independent hardware vendors that had entirely proprietary Solaris drivers -- it was important to us that those be allowed to stay proprietary. We all liked the BSD license, but we also liked the idea of a weak copyleft -- and in that regard, the license that best captured what we were after was the MPL, despite some (minor) issues too that needed to be cleaned up. In the end, this is what we did (the CDDL is really just a cleaned up MPL) -- but (to be clear, and for what feels like the millionth time) we did it because of what we were trying to do for our own software and community, not because we were somehow trying to punish Linux.

As I've said before, one of my most vivid memories of the whole process was immediately after we launched OpenSolaris, standing in the conference room where we had just hit the carriage return, chatting with Chris Nadan from Sun Legal. We were both wondering aloud how long it would take for DTrace to show up in Linux -- but not from the perspective of license compatibility: we both accepted as a given that Linux would either view the licenses as compatible enough or wouldn't care about any incompatibility (after all, this is years after NVIDIA's binary drivers). Our only discussion was how much members of the Linux community would care about DTrace and how difficult the port would be technically. I remember saying that "maybe it will be two months, and maybe as long as two years." Of course, it was only a month or so later that SystemTap emerged from Red Hat -- and it became clear that Not-Invented-Here Syndrome would prove to be a much stronger force than any technical desire to assimilate DTrace or ZFS into Linux...

None
None
ryao
The NIH syndrome by established Linux developers definitely slowed down Linux's adoption of these technologies. However, the inability of Sun's marketing to promulgate how awesome its technologies were to the next generation of developers slowed down adoption even further. In my case, information about how awesome ZFS is did not reach me until about 5 years ago (I started contributing to the Linux port soon afterward) while information about how awesome DTrace is did not reach me until about 2 or 3 years ago.

I was barely even aware that a company called Sun existed until about 8.5 years ago when I was given access to a shell account on Solaris 9 at my university for a class on C at age 18. At the time, there was nothing to tell me that ZFS and DTrace even existed, much less how awesome they are. Back then, I had spent my entire life stuck in the desolate wasteland that is Windows computing with a tiny bit of LAMP sprinkled into my life that I had used to play webmaster of a Pokemon fan site between ages 10 and 15. Years later, I realized that I really disliked writing PHP.

Maybe things would have been different if Sun had tried fighting Microsoft for the PC market, but the knowledge that anything better out there existed just did not make it to me. I did not learn about Sun's technologies until I started actively looking for good technologies in their respective categories. I found out not long after my searches began, but it would have been nice had there been a bit more advertising.

These days, I cannot imagine going back to computing without ZFS and while I do not quite have DTrace available to me yet, when I finally do, I imagine that I will feel the same about DTrace too.

None
None
"You actually don't need to be open minded about Oracle. You are wasting the openness of your mind. Go be open minded about lots of other things. I mean, let's face it: it's work to be open minded, right? I mean, you've got to constantly discard data and be like "ok, I need to be open minded about this". No, with Oracle, just be close-minded. It's a lot easier. Because the thing about Oracle, and this is just amazing to me, is, you know: what makes life worth living is the fact that stereotypes aren't true, in general. It's the complexity of life. And as you know people, as you learn about things, you realize that these generalizations we have, virtually to a generalization, are false. Well except for this one, as it turns out. What you think of Oracle is even truer than you think it is. There has been no entity in human history with less complexity or nuance to it than Oracle." -Bryan M. Cantrill

https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=33m1s

And later on he warns:

"Do not fall into the trap of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison!" -Bryan M. Cantrill

Dec 03, 2015 · kozhevnikov on Swift is Open Source
Aside from the hilarious description of Oracle [t=2107], it's worth watching "The Rise and Development of illumos" [1] as it discusses some consequences of signing away copyright on your contributions to an open source project.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

lobster_johnson
Can you or someone summarize the salient points, for someone who doesn't have time to watch an hour-long video?
acqq
The slides are here:

http://www.slideshare.net/bcantrill/fork-yeah-the-rise-and-d...

The direct link to the Oracle part:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&t=2107

lobster_johnson
Super, thanks!
insulanian
It's a good watch. Don't skip it.
lobster_johnson
I find his speaking style extremely irritating. I can't take more than a few minutes of this. I'm sure it's full of substance, though. Perhaps there's a transcript somewhere?
acqq
I hope Bryan once publishes the annotated presentation? I'm also one of those who have problems following the narration in the video. Until then, I've posted a link to the slides here (see my other post).
nbaksalyar
Sun Microsystems released the Solaris operating system source code, but required all contributors to handle the copyright ownership on their code to Sun.

Then, shortly after Sun acquisition, Oracle closed the Solaris code and got away with all contributors' copyrights.

Nov 15, 2015 · shmerl on The Birth of ZFS [video]
I doubt they'll ever learn though. As Bryan Cantrill put it[1], Oracle is like a landlord. They simply can't comprehend such things.

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

iwwr
That's a great talk, thanks!
dbdr
> Oracle is like a landlord

I think the actual expression Bryan uses is "lawn mower" :)

This talk of Cantril's was in the same vein, and also really amusing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc The "don't anthropomorphize Larry Ellison" bit was fantastic and made all the better by the fact that Oracle was a USENIX sponsor. That's also why this single talk had the disclaimer sidebar.
unoti
The section of interest here about "Don't anthropomorphize Larry Ellison" starts around 33 minutes in.
nemo
Oh, yeah, sorry, should have given a timestamp.
According to Bryan Cantrill that is not at all accurate https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=1364

* Edited for wrong link

baldfat
Listen to it and the whole point he is making is we had to make way for proprietary drivers and not to block it being compatible with GPL.

Seem very much a grammar Judo to say we didn't go out of the way to be anti-compatible with GPL but we invented a copy left license so we could never be compatible with GPL.

bestham
Well how much work can you expect a for-profit-company to do in order to release their software as open source? They choose a licence that worked for them, then and there because of reasons. This included the work on ZFS.

There are operating systems that have licences that permit the ZFS code in the kernel. What reasons did SUN have to specifically block the Linux kernel but not BSD / Darwin ? The choice of license has everything to do whit what license SUN was comfortable using and nothing to do with keeping GNU/Linux out of the party.

If the answer is that a lot of their competitors at the time were invested in GNU/Linux and thus could not use their code, that is a very short sighted move.

baldfat
> Well how much work can you expect a for-profit-company to do in order to release their software as open source?

A lot actually I expect them to make open source software and in all regards this has happened.

http://www.infoworld.com/article/2914643/open-source-softwar...

Fedjmike
Couldn't they have dual licensed it under both the CDDL and GPL? CDDL for when they distribute it with the closed drivers, then additionally distribute the source under the GPL allowing it to be used in Linux.
protomyth
Probably not, since that would have allowed someone to add GPL-only code to it which couldn't be distributed with the whole.

The video is very good and you can follow-up with https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6XQUciI-Sc

yrro
I don't understand; Sun would not have been obligated to accept contributions that were not similarly dual-licensed...
protomyth
The same theory as the GPL, why allow people to use your work if you cannot use their additions in return?
Yes, indeed. I was just focused on ZFS itself. There was a great talk about all that by Bryan Cantrill: https://youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

He says what he thinks about Oracle there ;)

I'm going to copy my comment from below verbatim because that one is being downvoted and this one isn't despite saying the same thing.

---

[Google] are first, and foremost, the worlds largest advertising company. This is how they make their bottom line and it will come at the detriment of anything else. however, they value reputation too- so it's likely this will be fixed in future. But let's not throw exaggerations around. Google are not "for the people" but they're not against them either. Google are the new lawnmower[0] except they generally do things we like right now. [0] https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=2084

uxp
At my last job, we did something similar to what iOS 9 is now doing, where we migrated a survey engine to serve all forms over https. There was high fiving and champagne all around the engineers desks, while media was freaking out that their impressions took the sharpest reverse-hockey-stick in the world. Ad networks are seriously the worst when it comes to https traffic. Given the dozens of redirects and pixel injections and iframes slapped into a media page, it's nearly impossible to serve secure traffic since it only takes one network to downgrade the https request to http and then the page is "broken".
alanh
Who or what exactly do you refer to as “media”? Is this what this company called their advertising division?
uxp
The people who monetize content and the viewing of content. Generally for places where impressions and traffic sourcing/funneling to a site is a higher stream of revenue than selling or marketing to customers. Think of Gawker, not Uber.
acqq
> Given the dozens of redirects and pixel injections and iframes slapped into a media page, it's nearly impossible to serve secure traffic since it only takes one network to downgrade the https request to http and then the page is "broken".

You mean, then the specific ad is broken, as long as its ad router isn't fixed to use https?

wlesieutre
Right, the browser gives you an "Only secure content is displayed" notice and the page works fine.
fein
Ever worked with affiliate ad funnels before? Everything looks like it was coded by the bosses 14 year old son. Pages served under https containing tracking pixels under http, iframes sourcing http endpoints, various obscure analytics setups without any semblance of ssl...

And when all your impression pixels are refused because of insecure content warnings (because your server is serving over https), your impressions stats dive harder than a lead zeppelin.

What's broken is the total lack of standardization for any of these companies, which makes sense given that most of these guys are slinging diet pills and brain supplements to the LCD; Great devs don't usually gravitate to industries like that.

They are first, and foremost, the worlds largest advertising company.

This is how they make their bottom line and it will come at the detriment of anything else.

however, they value reputation too- so it's likely this will be fixed in future. But let's not throw exaggerations around. Google are not "for the people" but they're not against them either. Google are the new lawnmower[0] except they generally do things we like right now.

[0] https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=2084

Almost anyone who cares about this lawsuit is automatically someone whose opinions don't matter to Oracle. Oracle only cares about executives at large orgs with large budgets to spend on Oracle's enterprise software. And those people don't care about Java or Oracle's reputation among people outside their community.

To understand Oracle's motivations it is necessary to review what Bryan Cantrill said about the company:

"As you know people, as you learn about things, you realize that these generalizations we have are, virtually to a generalization, false. Well, except for this one, as it turns out. What you think of Oracle, is even truer than you think it is. There has been no entity in human history with less complexity or nuance to it than Oracle. And I gotta say, as someone who has seen that complexity for my entire life, it’s very hard to get used to that idea. It’s like, ‘surely this is more complicated!’ but it’s like: Wow, this is really simple! This company is very straightforward, in its defense. This company is about one man, his alter-ego, and what he wants to inflict upon humanity — that’s it! …Ship mediocrity, inflict misery, lie our asses off, screw our customers, and make a whole shitload of money. Yeah… you talk to Oracle, it’s like, ‘no, we don’t fucking make dreams happen — we make money!’ …You need to think of Larry Ellison the way you think of a lawnmower. You don’t anthropomorphize your lawnmower, the lawnmower just mows the lawn, you stick your hand in there and it’ll chop it off, the end. You don’t think ‘oh, the lawnmower hates me’ — lawnmower doesn’t give a shit about you, lawnmower can’t hate you. Don’t anthropomorphize the lawnmower. Don’t fall into that trap about Oracle." [1]

Nothing that Oracle does makes sense without understanding this.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&t=33m

userbinator
Nicely summed up as "ORACLE: One Rich Asshole Called Larry Ellison."
simi_
For me this just puts into perspective how much it sucks to have Java as the language powering Android. Would a rewrite in (say) Go even be possible? I guess you could machine translate a lot of boring stuff like support for a gazillion devices, and the memory footprint savings would be quite substantial.
jsingleton
It's not just Android. Google is a massive Java shop and a lot of their stuff is written in it. They have plenty of Java expertise in all areas.

It's also the main language taught at universities, which helps with hiring. I've heard that Google's public use of Python is more for PR. If you want to change this then the way is to change what educators are teaching.

Java is probably one of the reasons why they acquired Android. Possibly even one of the reasons Android is written in Java.

I once knew a senior Java architect who turned down a job at Google. This was back in the "who needs another Yahoo!" days. Needless to say they regretted that decision.

aikah
> Would a rewrite in (say) Go even be possible?

The problem isn't rewriting Dalvik in Go or language X,Y,Z.The problem is the APIs used by Google -- and Oracle copyright claims on them.

Furthermore Dalvik supports most languages of the JVM so do you really want to impose a single language in place of Java, Clojure, Kotlin, Scala, Jruby, Jython and many more ? do you think all the programmers using these languages would be happy if forced to migrate to Go ?

Ask yourself that question.

fauigerzigerk
Is it really more difficult to compile to Go source code than to Dalvik/ART byte code? Using Go as a compilation target would allow other languages to benefit from structured value types and goroutines.
aikah
> Is it really more difficult to compile to Go source code

And who's going to write a Java/Clojure/Scala/Jyton/JRuby/Kotlin/ to Go compiler ? when Google couldn't even write their own language for the android plateform at first place ?

fauigerzigerk
If a platform is popular, language creators will want their languages to run on it, especially if that platform solves some of the problems the old platform has (like excessive memory consumption in the case of Java).

Rich Hickey has complained about the lack of composite value types for instance, and I can imagine that many language creators would love to use green threads based concurrency without actually having to write the low level code for it.

Go is a minimalist language. Many people want more sophisticated type systems and other modern features. So there's a great opportunity for other languages to stand out without having to compete with Go itself. Every time Java adds some functional programming support, the Scala community has to defend its raison d'etre. There would be no such issues with Go and that alone would be a real incentive for language designers to put work into a compiler.

aikah
> There would be no such issues with Go and that alone would be a real incentive for language designers to put work into a compiler.

I don't know what you're talking about.

You can use Go to write android apps already so let the people that like other languages already supported by Android do the same. Nobody's going to rewrite Java or Scala in Go. As I said earlier, if Google wanted to do that it would have done that 5 years ago. They are clearly not interested in betting all their mobile strategy on a niche language.

fauigerzigerk
I'm not saying it is going to happen or that it has no drawbacks. What I'm saying is that Go has some benefits as a compilation target.

And no, you can not write Android SDK apps entirely in Go today. What you can do is write a library or command line tool and call it from a Java app.

drivingmenuts
They probably wouldn't but then again, they're taunting the lawnmower (mentioned above) and seem to forget that the lawnmower has a lot of money and willpower.

I'd say it's time they dumped that lawnmower and came up with something to replace it.

aikah
They also had the money to buy Sun Microsystems , they didn't. They had the money to use something else than Java on Android , they didn't. They're not going to move to Go, they'll just pay and make a deal if Oracle wins.
bliti
Main issue is making people move away from one language to another. You'd have to let people use their existing code base with the new language (like apple did with swift). Could it be possible without another similar lawsuit?
simi_
Call them "legacy apps" and run them over a compatibility layer. Hardware will gradually get good enough to run the old Java apps without hiccups, and the apps that get translated to Go will run about as fast as the Java-Android versions [citation needed], but with oodles of memory to spare.
toyg
if the API is copyrightable, your "compatibility layer" would also infringe.
bad_user
Oracle tried their hand with copyright infringement, because copyright is far stronger than anything else that's IP-related. However, here's the thing:

1. Oracle is basically arguing about APIs being copyrightable and if APIs are deemed to be copyrightable, we're fucked as an industry ;-)

2. Oracle, because of the Sun acquisition, has many, many interesting patents related to programming languages and virtual machines. Consider that Sun was involved in the research for making Smaltalk VMs fast and they also developed Self. The IP for all the fancy techniques used in Java's HotSpot VM? Well Sun owned it. Do you think Go is safe because it's not based on Java, or because it doesn't have a Java-like VM? Think again, at the very least it has a garbage collector ;-)

Thing is, if Google would have cloned OpenJDK, they would have been safe because of the GPL license. But they didn't, they used Apache Harmony instead, a project that never passed the Java TCK because Sun never allowed it to.

mikekchar
I always think is is somewhat interesting given the Java trap [1]. In some ways RMS was very prescient (not entirely surprising), but had Sun not released Java under the GPL, we could easily be having this discussion about IceTea.

The "Don't be ridiculous, nobody is going to sue you for using/implementing Java/C#/whatever" attitude was always frustrating, but I have to admit I didn't actually expect it to really happen :-P

[1] http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/java-trap.en.html

throwawaykf05
APIs are pretty much confirmed to be copyrightable, as far as I can tell. The SC denying cert to review this appeal essentially confirms the Federal Circuit's interpretation. All that is left is to decide on fair use, which could still let Google off, but that defense assumes copyrightability.

But I disagree "we're fucked as an industry", though there could be some inconvenience. The Sega etc. cases still hold, and they essentially say that copying interfaces for binary compatibility / interoperability is fine. As far as statically compiled languages are concerned, that's all we need. If some API creator sues, we can always create / adopt a different API and map it to the binary instructions in the SPI.

tzs
As far as I've been able to tell, the Federal Circuit's decision sets no precedent. It is only binding on the trial court in this particular case.

Their decisions on patents set precedent, but for copyright they are supposed to follow the precedent of the numbered circuit that the trial court is in, which would be the 9th in this case. Future copyright cases in the 9th will still be appealed to the 9th Circuit, not the Federal Circuit, unless they are also a patent case.

I think there needs to be a change to the way appeals work in cases like this. In federal trial courts, there is a thing called supplemental jurisdiction which allows a court to hear claims that they would normally not have subject matter jurisdiction to hear if they are part of a case with other claims that they do have jurisdiction to hear.

For example, suppose a business deal goes bad, and ends up spawning a lawsuit involving federal copyright claims and state contract claims. Copyright claims must be heard in federal court. Federal courts normally would not have jurisdiction to hear state contract cases, but because of supplemental jurisdiction the federal court will hear the state contract claims too. If the case was just a state contract case, it could not be brought in federal court.

The idea behind supplemental jurisdiction is that in case like my hypothetical business deal gone bad it really is one case that just happened to generate issues that fell under different jurisdictions. If tried separately there would be much overlap in witnesses, documents, and other evidence. It would be an inefficient use of judicial resources and unduly burdensome on the parties and the witnesses.

At the appellate level, the court is examining the trial court's application of the law, not the trial court's determination of the facts. The appeals court works off the transcript and documents from the trial court, and the only people that have to appear physically are the lawyers arguing for the parties.

I think it would make a more sense to let appeals from multi-issue cases to go to multiple appeals courts, each appeals court only getting those issues for which it sets precedent. So in a case like Oracle vs. Google, tried in the 9th Circuit, copyright issue appeals should go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and patent issue appeals should go to the Federal Circuit. In cases like my hypothetical copyright and state contract case, if tried in the 9th Circuit, appeals on copyright issues should go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and state contract issues should go to a state appellate court.

Oletros
Oracle failed to assert any patent related to virtual machines
dozzie
> Think again, at the very least it has a garbage collector ;-)

...which was not invented by Sun. GC is like twenty years older.

bliti
Was openjdk a feasible option at the time?
pakled_engineer
Yes but Android's policy is avoid GPL whenever possible, which is why they rewrote their own Dm-crypt mod and other standard tools also Oracle already tried and failed to sue over Android http://www.infoworld.com/article/2615512/java/open-source-ja... (2012 article)
noir_lord
> 1. Oracle is basically arguing about APIs being copyrightable and if APIs are deemed to be copyrightable, we're fucked as an industry ;-)

In the US, in Europe where we are somewhat more sane on this issue I'd look forward to a boom in software development the like of which we've never seen.

The implications for the US software industry are pretty horrify though, it makes software patents look mild.

fauigerzigerk
Why a boom in software development?
toyg
parent thinks the industry will flee to safer European shores, because the local legal climate is much more liberal than the US when it comes to software (for example, patent trolls are very rare over here).

In practice this is unlikely for a number of reasons, in particular the fact that Europe is way too expensive for the industry that spearheaded third-world "offshoring".

noir_lord
That would be the case except if you where a US software company fleeing a legislative climate that made it hard to do business are you going to put your HQ/major business units in Berlin/Paris or a third-world country.

These are large primarily sales driven organizations so first world transport links and infrastructure matter.

fauigerzigerk
It's not just unlikely, it's completely nonsensical from a legal perspective. If Google's Android division were located in Europe, that would make zero difference for their legal fight against Oracle.

The only way to avoid US law is to not trade in the US at all, otherwise someone should have told Samsung and SAP before they paid hundereds of millions to Apple and Oracle respectively.

You might enjoy this talk by Bryan Cantrill, where he describes the Oracle acquisition of Sun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&t=34m7s

> "what you think of Oracle is even truer than you think it is. There has been no entity in human history with less complexity or nuance to it than Oracle"

> "this company is about one man and his alter ego and what he wants to inflict upon humanity"

Edit:

And how could I forget this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79fvDDPaIoY&t=24m

> "and then, the Nazis invaded"

> "for a while I tried to not go to Nazi allegory when talking about Oracle but I actually think that it does a dis-service to not go to Nazi allegory because if I don't use Nazi allegory when referring to Oracle there's some critical understanding that I have left on the table"

selimthegrim
You forgot the bit about "The Larry Ellison Institute for the Prolonging of Life: <stage pause> namely his"
twoodfin
Hadn't seen the second talk, which is (no surprise) technically interesting as well as highly entertaining. Thanks!
Flenser
YouTube should suggest some of his other talks too. There's more oracle stuff in the illumous day and Surge talks, and he also has very humorous segments in the Surge 2013 and 2014 Lighting talks.
waihtis
Hah, awesome. The sentiment he puts into portraying Oracle truely tells something about the company.
plorkyeran
My favorite quote from that talk has always been:

> You need to think of Larry Ellison the way you think of a lawnmower. You don't anthropomorphize your lawnmower, the lawnmower just mows the lawn, you stick your hand in there and it'll chop it off, the end. You don't think 'oh, the lawnmower hates me' -- lawnmower doesn't give a shit about you, lawnmower can't hate you. Don't anthropomorphize the lawnmower. Don't fall into that trap about Oracle.

Aug 11, 2015 · bcantrill on G is for Google
Ugh, yes. For those who don't necessarily have the context: in January 2002, Solaris management elected to "defer" shipments of Solaris 9 on x86.[1] Technically, it was not EOL'd (and support was never removed from the operating system) -- it was merely "deferred." Of course, everyone (rightly) inferred this to be the death of Solaris x86. We in Solaris engineering knew that this was entirely asinine (and that x86 was handily outperforming SPARC) and we continued to test x86 and assert that it function (that is, if you broke x86, it remained grounds for work to be backed out)[2]. In October 2002, thanks to the work of Solaris x86 activists outside the company and Solaris engineering inside the company, the decision was reversed[3] -- but the damage was done.

The only upside (such as it was) was that the loss of trust helped accelerate the argument internally to open source the operating system, which we finally did in 2005 -- a system that lives on today in illumos.[4][5] So in the end, Solaris x86 (like many Sun technologies) represented both the company's worst (capriciously killing it) and its best (open sourcing it, giving it eternal life). Nothing about Sun was simple!

[1] http://www.cnet.com/news/sun-delays-solaris-9-for-intel-chip...

[2] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/06/07/sun_to_reprieve_sola...

[3] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/10/04/sun_to_unbundle_sola...

[4] http://www.slideshare.net/bcantrill/fork-yeah-the-rise-and-d...

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

Not true at all.

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&feature=youtu.be...

carussell
We have some Sun people saying that was the reason, and some of them saying that it wasn't. That sounds like an ambiguous draw to me.
None
None
> CDDL is and was created with the purpose of being GPL incompatible, because Sun did not want Linux to be able to use ZFS and DTRACE

Not true at all.

* https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/31ny87/i_am_the_cto_o...

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&feature=youtu.be...

I highly recommend a section of Bryan Cantrill's talk where he covers Oracle - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&t=2100 lasts two or three minutes.
easytiger
For someone who can't watch videos, can you summarise?
Gibbon1
Listen, and understand! That Ellisonator is out there! It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you give it money.
Jan 07, 2015 · bcantrill on OpenZFS on illumos
Yes, by inheriting the OpenSolaris legacy, illumos was essentially born in production, having been used in production very nearly since its inception. We at Joyent have our own illumos-derivative, SmartOS[1], that is the foundation of our own public cloud -- and of our (open source) orchestration software, SmartDataCenter[2] and of our object storage system, Manta[3]. OmniTI has OmniOS[4] which they (and others) have deployed extensively into production. Delphix (the origin of this post) has DelphixOS[5] which forms the basis of their data management virtual appliances, also widely deployed in production. Finally, if you're interested in the (complicated) history of the system, you might be interested in a talk that I gave a few years ago[6] that is somewhat infamous for its candor. ;)

[1] http://smartos.org

[2] https://github.com/joyent/sdc/

[3] https://github.com/joyent/manta

[4] http://omnios.omniti.com/

[5] https://github.com/delphix/delphix-os

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

ebiester
Is there a good link to the differences between SmartOS and illumos? Why does the fork exist?
takeda
As I understand SmartOS was designated to be a host for VMs, for that reason Joyent ported KVM to Solaris and made it so it can be booted from USB drive. So for example updating system is as simple as loading new version on USB drive and rebooting the system.
bcantrill
SmartOS (like OmniOS, DelphixOS and the others) isn't a fork -- we're a downstream repo that merges from upstream on a daily basis, and regularly upstreams our own work. This model has been very successful for illumos (in my opinion) because it has allowed for a broad degree of experimentation in production-oriented systems while still having a conduit for getting successful experiments upstream. And by the time we go to upstream something, it's generally been running in production for us for a while (and ditto other downstream repos), giving reviewers confidence and allowing us to maintain very, very high quality in illumos itself. (Prakash alluded to this in the linked blog post, and it's absolutely essential to assure that downstream repos can frequently merge.)

The net is that we have found the work going into illumos to be exactly what you want upon integration: innovative, pragmatic work that has already proven itself in production.

Jan 03, 2015 · bcantrill on ZFS vs. Hammer
We forked this system four-and-a-half years ago, and have done a ton of work in the open; at this point, we identify ourselves much more strongly with illumos than we ever did with Solaris. We also have plenty of folks who have contributed to illumos who never worked for Sun and never contributed to Solaris; to us in the illumos community these are not "Solaris fragments" any more than they are "SVR4 fragments."

As for Oracle, trust me that I hate them as much as anyone[1], but raising Oracle with respect to illumos absolutely is FUD: the project isn't related to Oracle in any way (or any more than it is related to AT&T, which also holds copyright). Even where there are Oracle copyrights, this is open source, and the CDDL is an air-tight license that (sadly) has been battle-tested by Oracle's own lawyers. Thanks to the explicitness of the CDDL around things like patent, there really isn't much that Oracle can do. And indeed, given the massive Oracle-owned Solaris patent portfolio, the same cannot be said for other non-CDDL systems that may infringe those patents -- illumos is (perversely) the only one actually sheltered from Oracle bad behavior in that regard.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc#t=34m0s

thrownaway2424
Ok it _is_ FUD but I'm saying I can understand it.
He's actually suggesting SmartOS[1][2] and OmniOS[3], which are both illumos distros that are very much alive, having forked from OpenSolaris over four years ago.[4]

[1] https://smartos.org/

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8571961

[3] http://omnios.omniti.com/

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

SwellJoe
That's probably a wrong choice, too, for most Linux users (though there are some reasons a reasonable, and technically competent, person might choose an Illumos system, if you're doing it because a random crank on the Internet tells you to, you probably don't know enough to understand those reasons and the quite large tradeoffs you'd be making).

Regardless, it's one example of many where the author exhibits a very poor grasp of...well, everything he talks about. Dunning-Kruger effect is funny that way.

bcantrill
You realize that you're just talking in ad hominem circles? You acknowledge that there are reasons that a "reasonable and technically competent person might choose an illumos system"; is it as least possible that someone advocating that choice might not be merely "a random crank on the Internet"? And given that this is potentially a reasonable choice, how does advocating it represent "a very poor grasp of [...] everything"? If there are specific technical arguments to make here, please make them; the repeated personal attack is unwarranted -- and unpersuasive.
SwellJoe
Yes, I find the whole article so full of wrong that I didn't think it needed more than simply calling it "wrong". Though seeing how many upvotes it now has, I guess I was wrong.

But, if you insist, let's break it down a bit:

"...FreeBSD...also ships with ZFS as part of the kernel and has a jails which is a much more baked technology and implementation than LXC."

Which is an assertion that would require significant citation and specification about the ways in which the author believes jails to be superior in order to be a useful claim. I believe it is an assertion based on ignorance of either Jails or LXC, or the ways those technologies have been used historically and are being used today. For most of the uses I see talked about on HN, LXC is the "more baked" implementation. While Jails has existed for a long time, it was not intended for the purposes we're using LXC for today in Docker and similar deployments. The tools exist, the resource management exists, for LXC and they don't, or are quite rudimentary for jails. To suggest someone choose jails where they are currently using Docker and LXC is to suggest they live with a large variety of limitations and pain points, and in a lot of cases to simply not do what they are currently doing, or to do it in wildly different ways. All to avoid the minor pain that is represented by SystemD for most users.

In short: Jails are not (currently) a reasonable alternative to LXC in that context, and it exhibits some kind of ignorance to suggest them.

Continuing on, despite your suggestion that he is talking about SmartOS or OmniOS, he quite clearly is not. He specifically mentions Solaris while mentioning the others as other options:

"Speaking of zones and Solaris, if that’s an option for you it’s probably the best of breed stack right now. Rich mature OS-level virtualization. SmartOS brings along KVM support for when you HAVE to run Linux but backed by Solaris tech under the hood. There’s also OmniOS as a variant as well."

That paragraph clearly is recommending Solaris, specifically. If you'd like to argue that Solaris is a reasonable alternative for most Linux users, it's a conversation I'm going to opt out of. I'm pretty sure we'd be speaking completely different languages.

"If you absolutely MUST run Linux, my recommendation is to minimize the interaction with the base distro as much as possible. CoreOS (when it’s finally baked and production ready) can bring you an LXC based ecosystem."

So, CoreOS is the Linux option he recommends? The same CoreOS that uses SystemD? Indeed, was among the first distros to embrace SystemD with gusto. CoreOS, that is remarkably different than all other Linux distros. All because "Linux is becoming something different than it was"? So, in response to Linux becoming something different, he recommends people switch to something that is utterly different, like an entirely different operating system (FreeBSD, Solaris(!), etc.) or a Linux distribution that rethinks everything, not just the init system (CoreOS).

All to avoid something being different. It absolutely boggles my mind, and I have hard time responding with anything other than derision; for that, I apologize.

You're right that I haven't been particularly persuasive, and have been quite abrasive. This article just really rubbed me the wrong way.

justincormack
It is a terrible article, I think we can all agree.

Its CoreOS point is stunningly ignorant.

However, Zones and Jails are a good substitute for LXC; they are not yet such a good fit for the Docker way of using containers, which is somewhat different. But for a whole system image type model like LXC they are both great.

SmartOS is doint great things with Linux compatibility, both through emulation and KVM, it is worth looking at.

mbainter
"That paragraph clearly is recommending Solaris, specifically."

He says, as he quotes a paragraph that specifically calls out SmartOS and OmniOS -- both of which are under the IllumOS branch of OpenSolaris.

"So, CoreOS is the Linux option he recommends? The same CoreOS that uses SystemD?"

The problem he's raising isn't that linux is going to be different, and if you think it is you need to re-read. Try doing it with your --with-reading-comprehension switch. It being different is just a statement of fact, the problem statement was separate.

CoreOS is not a distribution in the classic sense. It is a platform for deploying containers, and in the use-case they've setup the author clearly believes it will allow you to still be successful in spite of systemd.

Ask anyone who worked on Sun or MySQL whether they think Oracle has been a good steward, even compared to a volunteer-run foundation after the initial sponsor went bankrupt. For example, let's see what Sun's Bryan Cantrill had to say.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

No, Oracle isn't a steward. At best they're just using those projects at cash cows. At worst they intended to destroy their erstwhile competitors instead of trying to outdo them. What they are most definitely not doing is devoting the resources necessary to improve or even maintain the health of those projects or their communities.

As for contributions to Linux, here are some figures.

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/09/google...

Oracle doesn't even crack the top ten (none/unknown/consultant don't count). For a company that makes so much revenue selling open-source-based products, such as repackaging Red Hat's work and selling against them, 1.3% is a pretty paltry figure. What's really sad is that they contribute even less to anything else, from the Apache or OpenStack foundations down to the zillions of smaller independent projects. Just about the only comparable company with less open-source visibility is Amazon.

Lastly, don't think I or others can't see how your claims keep getting changed or reduced as you're proven wrong again and again. First it was about startups not valuing collaboration, then about Oracle producing more useful open source, then about being a good steward of the open source they've acquired . . . and even that isn't true. What's next? Saying we should still worship Larry because (as far as we know) he hasn't actually killed any babies for three whole months? Stop fawning and learn about the topic.

jiggy2011
1.3% is likely more than most meaningful contributions of most of the latest web 2.0 of startups. Most startups do not contribute to open source at all, especially not any parts of their core product.

The rest of this comment is weird personal attacks.

Ironically (and not surprisingly), Oracle themselves do not abide by this, and freely copy the APIs under copyright of others where and when it suits them.

One recent, concrete and particularly brazen example is the llquantize() DTrace aggregating action, which was added to illumos[1] after Oracle forked OpenSolaris by closing it.[2] Oracle has copied this API verbatim in Oracle Solaris 11.2[3], despite not holding copyright to it. One presumes that they didn't copy the implementation (it's open source, but with a weak copyleft that would prevent its inclusion in closed source software like Oracle Solaris), but by Oracle's principles in the Google case, they would have violated copyright. While I would love to pursue this on a purely personal level, the reality is that the principle itself is wrong: Oracle actually should be able to implement the llquantize() API, just as Dalvik should be able to implement the Java APIs. But it would make my day if llquantize() could somehow be used by Google's lawyers to show that Oracle themselves do not abide by the perverted and depraved principle that they espouse...

[1] http://dtrace.org/blogs/bmc/2011/02/08/llquantize/

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

[3] http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/solaris11/d...

fpgeek
As I've noted below, Oracle's API copying goes all the way back to their beginning. After all, Oracle doesn't own any of the original SQL copyrights (and somehow I doubt they've ever licensed them from IBM).
webreac
sadly they are bad at copying. For example, Oracle sql has substr instead of the standard function substring.
CameronNemo
DERIVATIVE WORK! No seriously, does it have the same arguments?
webreac
In 2014, compliance with sql92 should be a minimum.
pron
Except that the ruling differentiates between languages (which are not copyrightable) and APIs, which are. Google claimed that all of the Java APIs are part of the language, while the court ruled that only 3 (out of fortysomething are).
windsurfer
May I ask why languages are different from APIs, since both are programming interfaces?
tomsthumb
It mostly has to do with the way you squint and look at it. You're a smart guy, give it a few goes and it'll make sense.
AnimalMuppet
To whoever downmodded the parent: I'm pretty sure it was sarcasm. That is, I'm pretty sure when he says "it has to do with the way you squint and look at it", he's saying that there really is not much difference.
jpadkins
sarcasm generally does not add signal to the conversation, so it is downvoted here like humor and other noise.
Dylan16807
Of course sarcasm itself does not add signal, but a valuable comment can be sarcastic. It is only noise if it wastes time.
tomsthumb
I felt that that particular piece of sarcasm added more to the conversation than a simple statement of my agreement, which is distinct from an upvote, however, I was also unaware of this general policy/behavior of the forum as it is mentioned in neither the FAQ nor the guidelines. Thanks for the heads up.

edit: just to be clear, this is not sarcasm.

xg15
So, what about i.e. java.lang.Iterable, java.lang.Exception or the boxing classes - APIs which are directly referenced in the language specification?
pron
The court ruled that 3 of the forty-something packages are considered a part of the language, but the rest aren't.
georgemcbay
SQL is actually both a language and an API.

There are a lot of built-in functions (the API part) that are just expected to be in every implementation (TRUNC(), UPPER(), LOWER(), etc, etc).

Because this is Oracle we are talking about, I am not sure if you are being sarcastic. But just in case you are not, my experience with Oracle is quite the opposite of what you describe. Oracle is sold on the golf course, and they exist purely for profit. Most Oracle consultants I know (quite a few) who actually develop software using the tools, gladly admit they work with Oracle because they can charge high fees. In fact, if I asked them their opinion on this specific incident they might actually approve - given the end result is that their knowledge is safe from newcomers.

All this is anecdotal of course - but this is a good talk that gives a pretty nice perspective on the whole thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&feature=player_de...

rbanffy
> Oracle is sold on the golf course

This is sadly true for most proprietary IT. What would be the solution? A rigid code of ethics that would prevent IT executives from meeting their vendors outside the office?

I once worked for a company that had its CTO fired because he accepted a trip to Paris (so he could speak at a vendor-sponsored event), but only after buying a couple million dollars of inadequate and overly expensive hardware. Now he's a senior exec at said vendor.

Hint to senior IT execs: if one of your providers names you "Executive of the Year", watch out: it's probably because you are their most profitable cash cow.

mjolk
>This is sadly true for most proprietary IT. What would be the solution?

Not a solution, but I think this is in the right direction:

A business model in which IT execs with purchasing power have a vested interest in seeing the business succeed -- either financially or from an purely-engineering perspective. I believe the first point speaks to itself. The second, while it aligns with my bias that engineers make better tech execs (the engineer that 'works his way up' comes with perspective, knowledge, and wisdom), I still believe that engineers look after each other and at least know when they're fucking over the next guy for some wine or a couple days in a different city.

Unfortunately, this is my only suggestion because it's hard to do an ethics-test that's relevant and it's reasonably difficult to fire execs that you know aren't honor-bound.

>A rigid code of ethics that would prevent IT executives from meeting their vendors outside the office?

I've been taken out for drinks by vendors trying to close a deal. None have yet. When I grow a personal business to the point of free trips, there's a chance I'll take those if they don't interfere with my performance or come with a moral price-tag.

Which is to say, there's nothing inherently wrong with meeting salespeople outside of the office -- it's a just a conversation and "practice business." If the vendor is selling something interesting, who knows, maybe it's worth comparing against your current solution.

This is somewhat of a cherry-picked hypothetical anecdote, but I wouldn't choose any solution that makes for pissed-off engineers or burns money.

>I once worked for a company that had its CTO fired because he accepted a trip to Paris (so he could speak at a vendor-sponsored event), but only after buying a couple million dollars of inadequate and overly expensive hardware.

That's just corruption and lack of oversight. I realize that at some point, you have to trust the decisions of your CTO, but if he doesn't have significant skin in the game (and a couple million dollars isn't chump change to the company), this purchase order should have triggered a review of the proposal.

bananas
I think you just described most corporations. Despite the PR otherwise, they're all rotten to the core like this.

However in this specific case, if Mozilla issued a takedown to w3schools, would we be up in arms about it? Vendors are generally pretty tight with documentation when it's a cut-throat sector.

ZoFreX
> if Mozilla issued a takedown to w3schools, would we be up in arms about it?

Yes, yes we would.

rbanffy
w3schools? No. I wouldn't.
etfb
Yeah, w3schools is not a good example. Stack Exchange, however...
MisterBastahrd
Doesn't help that their own website is barely Web 1.0. It's damned near impossible to find anything in their documentation unless you've already memorized all the hoops you need to jump through.
ams6110
asktom.oracle.com is something of a gem within that site. The navigation isn't great but there's a lot of good "how to" questions and answers there. I found it very helpful when I was working with Oracle. Also I recommend Tom Kyte's books. He's definitely an Oracle evangelist, but he knows what he's talking about.
justthisonce12
I know it's a pretty popular view to skewer Oracle, considering how much money they make from licensing and how little they seem to do.

From the other side, I work at a medium-sized consultancy that handles Oracle databases as well as other products. I work with open source, big data technologies (Hadoop, Mongo, Cassandra), and I talk to some of our top Oracle guys sometimes. Oracle does everything, and it does it damn-near automatically - look at the concepts guide (http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E11882_01/server.112/e40540.pdf) if you want to see how many types of JOIN an Oracle DB can choose from. Exadata has more, I think, and half the performance stuff isn't even documented, it's just buried in query plans. I'll tell an Oracle guy, "hey, we just got hash-bucket joins", or skip scans, or some other enhancement, and it's like the OSS competition is still in the 90s compared to what Oracle can do.

You can complain that Oracle charges a lot of money, but in a lot of cases it's NIH syndrone. Drop in Postgres instead, then spend 6 months tuning it, or spend the difference buying extra hardware to scale out. Roll your own ERP, and forever have a small dev team of 4 guys who cost you half a million dollars to support it, because you didn't want to buy off-the-shelf, because your pride as a developer stops you from learning someone else's tool.

altcognito
I agree with a lot of what you say but....

> and forever have a small dev team of 4 guys who cost you half a million dollars to support it

You lose me there. Don't tell me I won't need people to run my Oracle databases. Moreover, I'll need "Oracle" people, who earn 2x what those other 4 guys earn.

jasonwocky
I think gp's numbers are off. But for sure, if you need ERP anywhere near the scale of what Oracle offers, it'll definitely cost more in the long- and short-runs to ROYO.
Goladus
I've generally heard few complaints from experienced DBAs about Oracle database software, other than it sometimes being overkill.

Most complaints I've seen relate to stuff like this. Bad customer service and destructive behavior.

kokey
I spent many years bashing Oracle. Sometimes it's for the pain of the installer being different to deploying open source software, other times it's for the bill the company had to pay to Oracle. Then I actually started working with the database product, and this was to use Oracle to be a warehouse for MongoDB data. The experience has made me fairly positive of the Oracle product, fairly keen to avoid MongoDB in general, and has also spoiled my experience of MySQL and Postgres since because of features I've been spoilt with.
chris_wot
I can understand MongoDB and MySQL - but what features were missing from Postgres?
hibikir
For me, it's mostly performance features: Last time I checked, Postgres' query planning was based only on the rather configurable, yet completely static stats tables and a few config parameters, and it didn't care very much about its experience running queries. So if for some reason I can't add quite enough stats gathering, and I know a often used query is still slow, my only choice to fix it is to do some really terrifying things to the code so that the join order is dictated by the query.

In Oracle, not only is the DB going to actually look at the query's real performance by itself, but i can just tell it to change the way it runs at runtime, if all else fails.

There's also data warehousing tricks that, AFAIK, Postgres does not support. In Oracle, if I have a star pattern, I can make the queries run without actually touching the fact table, only querying indices.

That said, exadata is voodoo, compared to how much more predictable Postgres' behavior is. But there really is a case for it if you really are building the DB equivalent of the Titanic.

joevandyk
Postgresql supports index-only scans now, since 9.2.
Yes, as I have elaborated upon at length[1], the ZFS engineers have long-since left Oracle -- and the open community's ZFS (that is, OpenZFS) has become the ZFS of record.

One clarification: Oracle can't actually cherry-pick back OpenZFS bug fixes because they are (ironically) violating the CDDL by not making available source code. This isn't an issue for the code for which they hold copyright -- but that doesn't include any of the bug fixes and features that we've seen in OpenZFS since 2010. And yes, it is absolutely negligent, but of a different sort than you intended...

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

kev009
Cheers Bryan, that's a great one of your talks and thanks for the interesting licensing comedy.
Ha! So, I guess my disclaimers have been made for me. ;)

In terms of trust, I would tell you that trust needs to be earned -- and that it can only be earned one day at a time and that it can be frivolously spent away with a single bad decision. (Trust me that Joyent has learned this the very, very hard way.) So I would say that you should force anyone to earn your trust. That infrastructure is such a trust business is part of why I so fervently believe in open source as a business strategy[1]; companies can change (or be bought) and earned trust violated by a new regime -- but open source can always be forked and its communities liberated from such abrogations.[2]

So while I would (of course!) tell you that Joyent is worthy of your trust (and ask for the opportunity to earn it), I would at the same time say that the open source projects we lead (SmartOS, node.js and -- yes -- DTrace) are the components in which you can have absolute faith.

[1] http://www.slideshare.net/bcantrill/corporate-open-source-an...

[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

imthatguyama
> Joyent is worthy of your trust

Anyone remember the "life-time" hosting fiasco?

rdw
Really appreciate the open source software, but I recently had some trust issues with Joyent the service. Cloud servers switched from tiered transfer rates (with a generous free tier) to on-demand pricing, with only a month of notice. It wasn't possible to monitor one's own bandwidth usage before the switch, so we were caught off guard by our bill jumping by nearly 30%. It would have been more trustworthy to grandfather in servers started under the old pricing plan.
bcantrill
I hear you -- and trust me, this kind of stuff is awful because even when you're actually trying hard to not screw anyone, you still accidentally screw someone. In terms of this in particular: we did really try to roll this out without abrupt notice or unpleasant surprises, so I'm sorry to hear that we missed the mark with you. If it was more than just annoyance, feel free to reach out to me directly (my first name -- spelled correctly -- at joyent.com) and I'll try to right the ship.

Again, my apologies -- and to my point, trust is very hard to earn, and very easy (too easy) to piss away. :(

rdw
Thanks for the gracious reply! I'm sure that you and everyone working with you at Joyent is a fantastic individual.

And yeah, just illustrating how even the best-laid plans of the best of us can't always work out great for all customers.

As rasur mentions, illumos has inherited the Solaris heritage -- and added quite a bit to it besides.[1][2] There are now several vibrant variants of illumos, including SmartOS[3][4], OmniOS[5][6] and DelphixOS[7] -- all of which are open source, and all of which feature advancements in the core differentiators of the system including ZFS, DTrace and zones. Because we collectively have been entirely separate from our Solaris legacy for over three years now (and because we are entirely open source where Solaris is entirely closed source), the differences are actually substantial -- and I don't really think of our system as "Solaris" any more than I think of it as "System V" or "7th Edition" or anything else in our long and complicated ancestry...

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YN6_eRIWWc

[3] http://smartos.org/

[4] https://github.com/joyent/illumos-joyent

[5] http://omnios.omniti.com/

[6] http://omnios.omniti.com/browse.php

[7] https://github.com/delphix/delphix-os

lmm
Have any of the open-source variants implemented ZFS encryption yet?
ketralnis
Not directly (Sun open sourced v28, but encryption shows up in v30), but there are other solutions to that problem. e.g. FreeBSD has geom_eli which can happily underly ZFS or any other filesystem (http://www5.us.freebsd.org/doc/handbook/disks-encrypting.htm...)
angersock
So, to a newcomer, what are the things that these flavors offer over, say, stock Debian?
nosequel
Try reading the linked slide deck for a start.

ZFS, Zones, DTrace, Crossbow, etc., etc.

thelambentonion
While I haven't had a chance to use illumos in any of my projects, the Service Management Facility (SMF)[0] and Fault Manager Daemon (FMD)[1] are two big reasons why I'm looking at switching from FreeBSD to an illumos variant for my home server.

It's been a little while since I've used Debian, but I don't believe any systems comparable to SMF or FMD have been implemented[2].

[0] https://www.illumos.org/man/5/smf

[1] https://www.illumos.org/man/1M/fmd

[2] I'm not sure how well systemd compares to SMF, and I'm mostly interested in FMD/SMF due to how well it can handle ZFS fault management.

Something that wasn't really covered here but I think might be important is culture. If we were to jump back 6 or 8 years ago, most of us would want to work for google because of their whole "not being evil" schtick, as well as the amazing campus and all the money. But with every little thing that happens, when you realise that Google (like a lot of companies, granted) is in it for the money, one might become a bit less excited.

I think a decent amount of good software engineers has a fairly strong ethical code, and would rather not make deals with the devil. Some companies (Google was one of them) seemed to make their deal about making the best services in the long term, and not about making things about money.

I remember watching a talk about the history of OpenSolaris. Including the absolutely mythical phrase "Don't make the mistake of anthropomorphising Larry Ellison."(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc#t=2298) But after that comment he goes into the very sad details of how OpenSolaris ended up becoming closed source by Oracle. After this , many many very competent engineers left Oracle almost immediately(within 90 days). The talk is worth listening to (it's about 3 minutes after the Ellison jab), and the guy giving the talk gets extremely emotional about it. The power of the social contract with the OSS community was extremely strong.

No matter how much money you can give, a lot of people end up following ethical and moral rules. I'd think Corporate culture is about 75% of software engineer's decision of where to work.

That was a deliberate choice of word, yes?

https://twitter.com/LarryLawnmower

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc#t=1982s

Don't fall into the trap of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison.

Considering that you were the reason that Bonwick came to Sun and Bonwick was the reason I came to Sun, I guess that makes me a descendant of sort of Guy Harris...

Also, not sure if you saw it or not, but I gave you a shout-out in my history of SunOS/Solaris/OpenSolaris/illumos[1]. I'm sure I got some of the history slightly wrong from that era (it did, after all, predate me at Sun), so accept my apologies in advance...

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

luckydude
Holy crap, you got my wife cheering you. Thanks a lot from me and her Bryan. Great shout out.

Very cool talk too. You should continue to talk about how the kernel team ruled.

Given the environment, you probably already know that there's a great talk called 'Fork Yeah! The Rise and Development of illumos' at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc .

The reason why it's relevant here is that this is not the first time that Oracle has closed-sourced an open-source project bought up from Sun. Oracle seems almost paraconsistent towards open-source in a very interesting way: they seem to view the GPL as a good way to get other companies to help them out without cheating (e.g. OpenJDK), but if they're going to do most of the development in-house anyway it seems they're much more willing to close the source (OpenSolaris, now apparently MySQL).

Could anyone comment on whether there's a larger pattern that I'm missing there? And are there other open-source technologies which were obtained from the Sun buyout which are also in danger which we should know about?

wyck
Open source that I know of:

OpenSolaris - OpenIndiana

OpenOffice - LibreOffice

Ksplice - Discontinued support for non Oracle linux

MySql - MariaDB

cowchase
Hudson CI - Jenkins CI
None
None
SoftwareMaven
Ksplice still supports many flavors Linux and, if you use desktop Ubuntu or Fedora, you are welcome to use it for free. What you can't do is purchase new licenses for non-Oracle Linux if you aren't a grandfathered customer.

Disclaimer/Source: I work on the Ksplice team.

nodata
As cool as Ksplice is (and as stupid as Red Hat were not buying it), I don't know anybody that will use it now that Oracle bought it.
buster
So, it's not really working anymore on non-Oracle Linux.
iffyuva
There is DTrace software (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DTrace) whose documentation also disappeared. My friend pointed out while exploring DTrace to profile ruby apps.
m-r-a-m
VirtualBox...
chatmasta
Hopefully DotCloud isn't following the same pattern
gaius
The pattern you are missing is that Oracle, formerly Sun, paid Monty a billion dollars for MySQL, which he happily accepted. And let's not forget that MySQL was ALWAYS dual-licensed.
jeremycole
You should really consider that at no time would Monty himself have received a wire transfer for a billion dollars. This "Monty got a billion dollars, what more does he want?!" thing is repeated all the time, but it's just not true. The MySQL companies were bought by Sun for a billion dollars, but Monty did not own 100% of the companies (or even close) -- MySQL was substantially owned by a bunch of VC companies and other executives, all of which got the lion's share of the money.

Since tax records in Finland are public, you can see how much Monty made from this acquisition (approximately) here:

http://www.iltasanomat.fi/kotimaa/art-1288338449921.html

(Ulf Michael Widenius income for 2008, ~16.8M EUR)

cmsefton
Sun didn't become Oracle, Oracle purchased Sun, so it wasn't Oracle who paid Monty. When Monty sold MySQL to Sun he believed them to be a good fit for the project, and they would keep it going in the spirit he hoped for. He could never have foreseen it would be sold to Oracle.

And yes, it has always been dual-licensed, but as Monty himself says: "The basic idea for our dual-licensing was this: if you bought a license then we waived the GPL restriction that you have to redistribute your code as GPL. You could change, modify, extend, distribute, and redistribute the copy in any way you wanted (but of course not change the license of the MySQL code). The license was for any version and usage of MySQL, for now and forever." [1]

[1] http://monty-says.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/thoughts-about-dual...

lmm
The writing was on the wall for Sun at the time. Maybe Monty couldn't have predicted it would be Oracle specifically, but he should certainly have seen that the continuity of Sun's operation could not be relied upon.
michaelhoffman
Sun Grid Engine used to be open source, but now Oracle Grid Engine isn't. But what's far worse, in my opinion as a user, is that Oracle made many of the existing documentation and community support resources hosted by Sun disappear.
beedogs
If it makes you feel any better, most of the big companies I work with are moving full-stop from Solaris on SPARC to Linux on x86-64.

People who make the purchasing decisions are finally fed up with Oracle's incompetence and utter contempt for the rest of the industry. It's a shame, but I won't really miss Sun when they're finally, mercifully put to death. I hate Oracle for what they did to that company and I wish nothing but ill toward them.

dspillett
The problem with wishing the company death is that we know what it will do in the final times. It'll become another SCO generally making life inconvenient for everyone for many years before we finally see the back of it.
flyinRyan
What do you suggest? They are making life inconvenient for everyone now and will continue to do so. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and put up with a one time pain and get it over with.
dspillett
Ideal world (i.e. never going to happen): let evil people keep buying their stuff and getting screwed by them, but keep the rest of us out of it!
flyinRyan
Didn't the financial crisis teach you that we can't be kept out of it?
laumars
We've already seen elements of this trait with their case against Google regarding Dalvik.
tomasquintero
Their support is atrocious and their pricing is outrageous. We maintain a lot of Oracle Sun hardware, and while it is great gear, it isn't worth the headaches Oracle puts us through.

We've happily defined Solaris as deprecated in our environment and are shifting to Linux wherever possible.

easytiger
This is near universal in all of the financial world except for some legacy systems
chii
because these sorts of resources are worth money, especially if instead of self-help, you had to pay a "professional services company" to help you.

By removing it, Oracle can lay claim to more professional services clients.

Or, it could just be incompentance on their end in maintaining the server...

cx91
Interestingly enough, the response seems to be people moving towards Slurm [1], at least for newly deployed systems.

Anyone know of other open-source resource managers out there?

[1] https://computing.llnl.gov/linux/slurm/

michaelhoffman
There are several I can think of: Open Grid Scheduler, TORQUE, Condor (ugh), and Slurm.
laumars
Oracle make a huge chunk of money from support contracts. I don't have any figures to hand, but when I used to work heavily with Oracle, the support contracts far exceeded the licence costs. And then they have the epic certification fees, on-site consultants and developers, and so on.

So as much as it pains me to say this, I can totally understand why Oracle have removed those resources because it's flies in the face of their business practices:

1. build something massively complex and counter intuitive to developer for and administrate

2. employ the best salesmen to encourage potential customers that your product is the most powerful and flexible tool out there

3. then charge your confused customers ridiculous support fees because they can't manage the solutions they've just bought

This is why my heart sank when Oracle bought Sun. The two businesses couldn't have a more different software culture (Sun Enterprises were, in my opinion, were one of the best for releasing open, well documented and well designed software)

DTrace was deliberately licensed in a way to be incompatible with the Linux kernel.

This was commented on directly by Bryan Cantrill on HN [1]. You should also watch his "Fork Yeah!" [2] and "Corporate Open Source Anti-Patterns" [3] talks for full context.

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4357507

[2]: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

[3]: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhgXQFk9noI

alanmackenzie
Great links.
ehsanu1
I want to point out a comment [1] apparently by the former chief open source evangelist, Danese Cooper [2], on the "Fork Yeah!" video contradicting Bryan Cantrill on this point. Here it is reproduced:

Lovely except it really was decided to explicitly make OpenSolaris incompatible with GPL. That was one of the design points of the CDDL. I was in that room, Bryan and you were not, but I know its fun to re-write history to suit your current politics. I pleaded with Sun to use a BSD family license or the GPL itself and they would consider neither because that would have allowed D-Trace to end up in Linux. You can claim otherwise all you want...this was the truth in 2005

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&lc=UEj5uH4rMafUnX... [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danese_Cooper

justin66
> Lovely except it really was decided to explicitly make OpenSolaris incompatible with GPL.

In fairness to both sides, pretty much everything that isn't GPL can be said to be incompatible with GPL, and almost anyone who decides to use something different than the GPL can be said to be deliberately incompatible with the GPL. That's just the nature of the GPL.

_delirium
Permissive open-source licenses (MIT, BSD, etc.) are GPL-compatible. But I think the question here is more one of motivation: was a decision made for reason X which had the side-effect of making DTrace's license incompatible with Linux, or was the choice of license made specifically to cause that effect? There appear to be conflicting accounts from people who were at Sun at the time.
justin66
> Permissive open-source licenses (MIT, BSD, etc.) are GPL-compatible.

I guess I have a problem characterizing them that way since the traffic is going to be purely one-way. The GPL code can't be used by the projects with more permissive licenses without some kind of dual licensing, can it?

_delirium
It depends on what level of compatibility we're looking at. It's true that MIT-licensed code can migrate to a GPL codebase but not vice-versa. But a different kind of compatibility (what I was thinking of) is whether you can maintain separate and separately-licensed codebases and legally distribute the combined binary. If DTrace were MIT and the Linux kernel were GPL, you could legally link them and distribute the result, so in that sense they'd be "compatible". Which isn't the case if you have a CDDL and a GPL codebase.
binarycrusader
Danese is wrong. Ask the other people involved; they don't agree with her.

Almost any copyleft license that Sun could have chosen at the time would have been incompatible with the GPL; and multi-licensing wasn't seen as a viable option.

It's all a moot point now anyway, but I wish some individuals would stop acting like Danese is the sole truthful source on this just because it fits their armchair conspiracy theories.

gillianseed
Danese actually _wrote the licence_ as per the requirements set to her by the Sun management. She is as such the foremost authority on this of those who has publically spoken on the subject.

Who are these 'other people involved'? Involved in what? Unless they were involved in the licence creation what do they really know?

She (Danese) is not 'wrong', she is either outright lying (to what end?) or telling the truth. Again she, as the person who actually wrote the licence obviously knows the truth.

And how is it an 'armchair conspiracy theory' that the Sun management did not want to allow Linux (their main competitor who was also eating their lunch in the marketplace) to use the technology they (Sun) was open sourcing?

From a business standpoint it makes perfect sense, and thus is entirely plausible.

That doesn't mean that there weren't Sun developers who had no interest in denying Linux use of Solaris 'tech, but they were not calling the shots, Sun management was. And again from a management perspective it makes no sense to give away your advantages to your main competitor.

binarycrusader
Danese is not actually the foremost authority on this, and she did not really "write the license". The license is based on the MPL (Mozilla Public License), and was written by Sun's legal staff in consultation with management and others inside of Sun at the time.

I know it would be wonderful to just wrap the licensing conspiracy theories up in a pretty bow because it fits your logical conclusions, but it isn't that simple.

I'm not saying that Danese is lying, just that she is wrong. There is a difference. Danese may have believed that it was done for the reasons she claims, but that doesn't make it so just because it's convenient to believe it.

There are far more people that have said that Danese is wrong that are qualified to do so; with that, I feel safe in saying she is wrong (nevermind my own involvement).

gillianseed
>Danese is not actually the foremost authority on this

Who else would be? And yes, she did write the CDDL according to both herself and according to Simon Phipps, certainly it was scrutinised and possibly altered by Sun legal staff, but her writing it (as per the prerequisites made to her by Sun management) is undisputed. It doesn't matter if the licence was based upon MPL, the final licence is not MPL, it instead reflects the requests put upon Danese by that of Sun's management (and legal staff).

>but that doesn't make it so just because it's convenient to believe it.

You are the one denying the words of Danese while offering nothing whatsoever to support your claims.

All you are doing is to claim that trusting the words of the person who wrote the licence is akin to buying into 'conspiracy theories', nevermind that everything she said also makes perfect sense from a business standpoint.

If anything comes across as a 'fairy tale', it's the idea that Sun would allow Linux to incorporate Sun's technical advantages at a point where they were losing to Linux in the marketplace.

The person who wrote the licence claims she was told to prevent this, business logic strongly supports her claims, yet you pretend it's some 'conspiracy theory' while offering nothing to support your claims.

>I'm not saying that Danese is lying, just that she is wrong.

Come on, she is either lying or she is telling the truth, you keep trying to dance around this. She (Danese) wrote the licence (nothing has been put forth disputing this), she says that making it GPLv2 (Linux) incompatible was a prerequisite. She either lies or she is telling the truth.

I believe her because:

A) I can't think of any reason for her to lie B) it makes perfect sense from a business perspective

>There are far more people that have said that Danese is wrong that are qualified to do so

How are they qualified?

deirdres
At this point in the history of the CDDL, it's very much open to question what anyone's motives were at the time it was written. It is likely that the various parties involved - even within Sun - had varying motives: Sun, like any other large organization, was not monolithic in its opinions nor even its behavior.

Whatever the CDDL was designed or hoped to do, the ultimate question of what it /will/ do may someday be decided by a court. In the meantime, Oracle - which is notoriously well-equipped with lawyers - apparently believes that the CDDL-vs-GPL question does not prevent it from porting DTrace to Linux. If someone disagrees with them strongly enough to… well, do what, exactly? …that will be entertaining.

In the meantime, why does anyone bother to argue about whether Danese wrote the CDDL, didn't write it, knew what Sun was really after in writing it, or tap-danced naked down Sandhill Road while writing it?DTrace is coming to Linux, CDDL or no CDDL. That ought to be cause for rejoicing, not flogging the dead license horse.

brendangregg
I may be able to help explain one factor that hasn't been mentioned, and might be related:

Imagine that at a previous company you worked for - and one where you signed a standard confidentiality agreement - you were privy to a sensitive legal matter.

After you leave the company, there is much public speculation about that legal matter.

You can weigh in, and share the sensitive legal details that you were privy to - that are not publicly known. Would you? Should you? Can you?

Does this help explain?

I doubt anything new is going to be found by continuing these discussions. I can say what will be found going forward - exciting new observability made possible by DTrace on Linux.

gillianseed
>I doubt anything new is going to be found by continuing these discussions.

Agreed, and just to make something clear, me believing that Sun did indeed create CDDL to be incompatible with GPLv2 is not something I hold against Sun at all, contrary I think it was the 'right' thing to do given their circumstances as a company, had I been a shareholder I would have been angry if they gave away technology 'crown jewels' to their main competitor.

On the other hand, wearing my Linux user hat I really want to have this great technology at my disposal :) (something which is now thankfully being rectified by things like DTrace / ZFS on Linux)

Anyway, as I said, this is what I 'believe', it doesn't mean it is the _truth_, I've just yet to come across anything factual which would make me think otherwise.

brendangregg
From Bryan Cantrill, father of DTrace - which was the first code to be open sourced under the CDDL - said this on HN:

> the reason the GPLv2 was rejected is actually very simple: the strong copy-left left way too much ambiguity for our IHV partners.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4357507

Jonathan Schwartz, CEO, was asked this question in 2005 and replied:

> “So if the Linux kernel were to implement DTrace, Sun wouldn’t employ the patents against them?” “Knock yourself out.”

http://radar.oreilly.com/2005/11/oscon-jonathan-schwartz-int...

Jonathan did not say "it's valuable technology that we've invested in creating, and we would defend that intellectual property."

What Jonathan did say was in line with his open source vision. There were many interviews at the time about it; eg:

> With the Java platform I'd guess we reach 20 to 30 percent of the Internet every day (powering the games kids play online, the intranet application at a bank, etc.). Each of these constituents may think about Java in different ways, but in each case Java "sells" my brand. If you believe that brand is central to the next wave of Internet monetization--and I believe it is absolutely central--then the more people that know my brand, the more benefit inures to me.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-9757417-16.html

If people are interested in continuing to research this for whatever historical reason, you'll find Jonathan gave many interviews about Sun's open source strategy. It's great for everyone, and Linux, that he succeeded in open sourcing what he did.

binarycrusader

  You are the one denying the words of Danese while offering nothing whatsoever to support your claims.
Oh really? How about this:

  Nonetheless she is wrong to characterise the opinion of
  the Solaris engineering team in the way she does. She is
  speaking this way because she lost an argument inside
  Sun, not because her view is representative of the views
  of Sun or its staff in the way she claims. She, along
  with many actual engineers, was an advocate of using GPL
  for OpenSolaris but the need to release rather than wait
  for one of {GPL v3, Mozilla license revision, encumbrance
  removal} meant that this was not possible. I am still
  furious with her for the statement she made at DebConf,
  which was spiteful and an obstacle to a united FOSS
  movement.

  S.  (Simon Phipps)
From:

http://web.archive.org/web/20110605051830/http://www.opensol...

  If anything comes across as a 'fairy tale', it's the idea
  that Sun would allow Linux to incorporate Sun's technical
  advantages at a point where they were losing to Linux in
  the marketplace.
As one of the first contributors to the OpenSolaris project who had many long and heart-felt discussions with various Solaris engineering and executives, I believe your assertions are flat out wrong. Jonathan Schwartz (CEO at the time) was fond of saying "A rising tide lifts all boats"

http://jonathanischwartz.wordpress.com/2006/11/13/a-rising-t...

Others have pointed out that this is demonstrably false as well. Have you also forgotten when Apple was considering integrating ZFS into OS X?

Your argument also seems specious given that the only "OS" that had issues with integrating DTrace or other CDDL-licensed technology was Linux. Apple and many others have had no problem integrating it. So if Sun was really not willing to give up their competitive advantage, why would they give away technology under a license that was reasonable for almost every competitor?

As others have also pointed out, not everyone believes that the CDDL and GPL are as incompatible as many would like to claim.

It's just like the silliness you see in the Linux kernel today where some kernel symbols are marked with a special macro EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL?

http://lwn.net/Articles/154602/

If the GPL was strictly incompatible in all cases, then why is the extra silliness needed?

gillianseed
I fully trust in Danese's description of the events in this case.

Not only because she (Danese) was the person who actually created the licence (and thus is the best authority on the prerequisites set by the Sun management), but also because it makes perfect sense.

Sun, a company whose Solaris product was suffering greatly under competition from Linux, would NOT want to offer up their systems technical advantages under a open source licence which would allow Linux to use said technical advantages. It seems purely logical to me.

Listening further to Danese, she describes the Sun management as wanting a copyleft style licence for the code, and that they were eyeing GPLv3, but not GPLv2 which was already available (again, GPLv3 code would not be compatible with the Linux kernel, while GPLv2 obviously would), however GPLv3 was taking to long to be finalized so they set her (Danese) on the task of creating a new licence.

brendangregg
I've recently been using DTrace on Ubuntu. I filed two bugs on the project page (https://github.com/dtrace4linux/linux), and Paul Fox fixed them quickly. I have more bugs to file, but I'm doing my part in making DTrace on Linux a reality.

It's very tempting to join these licensing discussions (I was at Sun, too, and many of us DID want to see DTrace on Linux), but I think that's a distraction from what's happening right now.

There are two projects porting DTrace to Linux, which is really exciting. I'm helping out.

Hey Bryan, I loved your Fork Yeah! talk at USENIX. Everyone who's interested in the history and future of Solaris and ZFS should watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc

I know it's a bit off topic but could you elaborate on the issues you see with BTRFS?

ballard
From an operations perspective, ZFS is a god-send. Correct me if I'm wrong, but AFAIK BTRFS lacks any significant quanta of improvement over ZFS, merely a "better licensed" non-invented-here mostly duplicated effort with a couple refinements that isn't nearly as well thought-out from the experience of ops folk.

- Online scrubbing rather than fsck, so there is little/no downtime if the filesystem were interrupted, i.e., datacenter power failure. fsck/raid rebuild of large filesystems can mean lengthy outages for users. - "Always" consistent: Start writing the data of a transaction to unallocated space (or ZIL) and update metadata last. - Greatly configurable block device layer: * RAIDZ, RAIDZ2, RAIDZ3, mirror, concat ... * ZIL (fs journal), L2ARC (cache) can be placed on different media or even combinations of media. - Send & receive snapshots across the network.

anon987
I totally agree.

From what I understand ZFS will never be supported for RHEL (and that's mostly what I work with) so I'm hoping for the best with BTRFS.

Mar 03, 2013 · bcantrill on DTrace Toolkit
Actually, we DTrace folks left the company[1]; the people doing the DTrace port to Linux are solid engineers, but they're not from the Sun acquisition. For more details on them and on their perspective on the port, see Kris Van Hees's excellent presentation at dtrace.conf last year.[2]

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc#t=44m16s

[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NElog3MvUC8

This idea of petitioning Oracle would be comical were it not so pathetic. In case it needs to be said, Oracle is a corporate sociopath -- it cannot empathize. One could have a petition with quite literally 6.9 billion signatures on it; it would change nothing. As I've cautioned before[1], do not fall into the trap of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison...

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-...

prezjordan
O.R.A.C.L.E. - One Rich Ahole Called Larry Ellison. Sorry to jump on the bandwagon here, I've just always loved that pseudo-acronym.
codemac
I loved this presentation. Thanks for all the work on Illumos!
Joeri
The odd thing that presentation doesn't cover is that if Oracle was really only about making money, they would be less evil. Oracle inflicts many, many wounds on itself, at the expense of their bottom line, because of an OCD-like compulsion to deny their customers what they want. Every product they have has less marketshare and revenue than it could bring in if they actually managed it in a way that is less hostile to their own customers.
arctangent
It's become popular recently to talk of corporations as psychopathic. I have to say I that I find this diagnosis quite compelling. There's a great documentary about this sort of thing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Corporation_(film)
batgaijin
That made me laugh on-line.
mikevm
Is that the new meaning of LOL?
javajosh
>do not fall into the trap of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison

Hilarious! That dude is the worst of the worst, and should be on the wall of any Oracle using companies engineers as a reminder of why you want to put in the extra hours to implement Postgres to deny that asswipe his next megayacht.

"As you know people, as you learn about things, you realize that these generalizations we have are, virtually to a generalization, false. Well, except for this one, as it turns out. What you think of Oracle, is even truer than you think it is. There has been no entity in human history with less complexity or nuance to it than Oracle. And I gotta say, as someone who has seen that complexity for my entire life, it's very hard to get used to that idea. It's like, 'surely this is more complicated!' but it's like: Wow, this is really simple! This company is very straightforward, in its defense. This company is about one man, his alter-ego, and what he wants to inflict upon humanity -- that's it! ...Ship mediocrity, inflict misery, lie our asses off, screw our customers, and make a whole shitload of money. Yeah... you talk to Oracle, it's like, 'no, we don't fucking make dreams happen -- we make money!' ...You need to think of Larry Ellison the way you think of a lawnmower. You don't anthropomorphize your lawnmower, the lawnmower just mows the lawn, you stick your hand in there and it'll chop it off, the end. You don't think 'oh, the lawnmower hates me' -- lawnmower doesn't give a shit about you, lawnmower can't hate you. Don't anthropomorphize the lawnmower. Don't fall into that trap about Oracle." -- Bryan Cantrill https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc
brudgers
This rant isn't even relevant to the complaint at hand...unless the point we are supposed to take away is that Oracle's attempt to collect data about its consumer market segment is mediocre. That is a legitimate critique.

Oracle's attempt is pretty lame in comparison to the methods of their tech peers. Apple, Microsoft and Google ship entire mobile operating systems filled with software to collect data and have built vast app stores filled with spyware that does not offer the user a chance to opt out.

But what makes Oracle's acts so lame is that the actually respect enterprise and don't bake the spyware in. Their peers, on the other hand, push BYOD.

drostie
I found it relevant because the link in question is a petition addressed to Larry Ellison about an Oracle business practice which was directed towards making money, at the expense of serving the userbase. I put it here precisely because it articulates why this petition might be, even moreso than other petitions, a futile exercise. The success of a petition fundamentally depends on two things: a receptive audience, and a bunch of people willing to make a little effort to say "me, too."
dexterchief
Relevant and hilarious. Good find!
kenj0418
I'm reminded of the book title "The difference between God and Larry Ellison". (God doesn't think he is Larry Ellison.)
TazeTSchnitzel
The Oracle bit of that video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&t=33m
warmwaffles
His rant is entertaining.
Though Jeff is indisputably the father of ZFS, the ZFS team was (and is) much larger than Jeff. Many of the ZFS team (including its co-inventor, Matt Ahrens) are now at Delphix [1], and continue to be very active in the ZFS community[2] via illumos, its repository of record[3].

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc#t=46m45s

[2] http://blog.delphix.com/matt/2011/11/01/zfs-10-year-annivers...

[3] http://blog.delphix.com/matt/2012/07/11/performance-of-zfs-d...

blinkingled
Brian - if only a few enthusiast users can use Solaris derivatives on their hardware, do you not think ZFS is just relevant for the Enterprise folks? Are any ex-Sun,Oracle people putting in efforts for more X86 hardware compatibility?

To me, ZFS and Dtrace are of no consequence if I can't use them on my own hardware. And I am sure there are many more people like me.

tzs
Doesn't FreeBSD include ZFS and Dtrace, and run quite well on x86 hardware?
3amOpsGuy
>> To me, ZFS and Dtrace are of no consequence

>> there are many more people like me

Recently I was wondering how can there be so many tech startups around just now. Nothing under the sun is new so how can they cut a living?

Ive realised this attitude (which there is absolutely nothing wrong with) is the reason. The established players leave gaps for their own reasons and the little guy comes along and seizes the opportunity.

Skipping over cheaply accessible best in class technology, at a philosophical level at least, seems akin to pointing a 12 gauge at your toes.

X-Istence
I run OpenIndiana on a variety of different X86 machines, both AMD and Intel without issues. So far compatibility hasn't been an issue that I've ran into and the operating system and everything around it is rock solid.

Much better than the Linux machines that were replaced.

bcantrill
Virtually all of the work that we do in the illumos community is on x86 -- and not merely keeping it functional, but actively advancing the state of the art. For example, we at Joyent ported KVM to illumos last year[1], and since that time we have deployed many thousands of virtual (x86) machines into production on (x86) hardware running SmartOS, our illumos derivative.[2]

[1] http://lwn.net/Articles/459754/

[2] http://smartos.org/

blinkingled
I keep a tab on those but I was more talking about real desktop/laptop/workstation class x86 hardware, not VM.

I have tried and given up running Solaris derivatives on bare metal even if for running just command line. The hardware /peripheral support just doesn't seem to be there.

dmpk2k
There is a simple way to guarantee that an Illumos distro works, and that's to use Intel for everything: chip, motherboard, nics, you name it.

Other setups can work, but you need to be very aware of this: http://illumos.org/hcl/

blumentopf
Bryan, what's your opinion re: the stability of the LLNL port of ZFS on Linux? The 0.6.0 release is apparently just around the corner and several high-profile people in the community, Russell Coker for one [1], have started using this on production systems. I'd love to make the move to ZFS as well but am still afraid of data loss. I started using XFS on Linux in 2002 and my gut feeling is that ZFS on Linux is now at or around a similar point of maturity. If you could share your opinion I'd be really grateful. Thanks so much.

[1] http://etbe.coker.com.au/2012/07/31/zfs-debian-wheezy/

bcantrill
I haven't used the LLNL port myself, but I would be shocked if it were not rock-solid. First, ZFS (unlike, say, DTrace) has reasonably limited dependencies on broader system implementation; you don't have to port other subsystems to get ZFS working. Second, even where it does have external dependencies, it can operate remarkably well when they're not functioning: because of its indirect checksums, ZFS can operate correctly (or at least, non-fatally) in the presence of nearly byzantine behavior from the I/O subsystem. Third, of the ZFS issues I've seen and helped debug over the years (and my data has been on ZFS as long as just about anyone's), none have manifested themselves as data corruption or (in the absence of physical failure that exceeded the redundancy of the pool) data loss. Finally, of these issues over the years, virtually all were fixed inside of ZFS itself -- there was no platform specificity to either the problem or the fix. (The exceptions being platform-level I/O issues that resulted in pathological performance -- but it's hard to call those ZFS issues.)

tl;dr: absent glaring port issues, ZFS on Linux is or should be at maturity of ZFS itself -- which is to say, very mature.

Anyone decrying Oracle as "evil" is falling into a trap that I have warned about[1]: they are making the mistake of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison -- they are infusing Oracle with humanity that it does not in fact have. Oracle is, as another commenter put it, a corporate sociopath. The inability to empathize is fine for a monopolist (and indeed, it's a terrific asset -- and after five months of working there, I concluded that it's the only thing that I think Oracle has any real talent for), but it's terrible for a technology company. In particular, the inability for Oracle to see anyone other than themselves leads to decisions that don't just erode trust, they destroy it beyond all repair. What you are seeing here are the costs of Oracle's decisions: it's what Oracle did to Hudson, to MySQL, to Java and to OpenSolaris. If you honestly don't understand that -- if you truly believe in your heart that the dismissal of Oracle is somehow merely Occupy-esque anti-corporate sentiment -- then you yourself probably have an inability to empathize that should bode very well for your future career at Oracle.

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc#t=33m0s

cmkrnl
The fate of OpenSolaris is quite sad. Do you think SmartOS and similar efforts will significantly diverge from Solaris in the future?

This thing with Oracle Linux - I always felt that Red Hat should've made RHEL (+ Desktop) freely available (including updates) since the beginning.

bcantrill
It depends on what you mean by "significantly diverge." If you mean "innovate", then yes -- absolutely. We already have tons of evidence of differentiated innovation in illumos[1][2][3] -- none of which can be brought back into Solaris.[4]

[1] http://blog.delphix.com/matt/2012/07/11/performance-of-zfs-d...

[2] http://dtrace.org/blogs/bmc/2012/06/07/dtrace-in-the-zone/

[3] http://dtrace.org/blogs/rm/2012/07/16/per-thread-caching-in-...

[4] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc#t=43m55s

Produce
>they are infusing Oracle with humanity that it does not in fact have.

Corporations are people too, you insensitive clod!

taligent
What has Oracle done to Java ?

As a developer they've done nothing but deliver very welcome new features to the platform and add stability that Sun could never bring.

chris_wot
Litigated.
23david
You're awesome. I watched the full vid of that talk a month ago or so and it really hammered home what matters.

What we do as developers matters. Our time on this world is short enough already. What reason is there to spend years of our lives to further the aims of a company that doesn't share our goals and hopes, and in the end may be acting completely opposite to what we believe is fair and honest competition? What a waste...

Looking forward to seeing more and more of the OpenSolaris/SmartOS/Lumiere innovation spread to the rest of the community now that Oracle has caused everyone to jump ship. In some really cool technical ways SmartOS is really advanced, but the usability definitely needs work... things should improve as more people start hammering on it. Would be good to see more cooperation/coordination between SmartOS & Linux distros.

The companies that are betting on ZFS -- Delphix, Nexenta and Joyent (and a bunch more that are less public about their work) -- are overwhelmingly (indeed, exclusively, to the best of my knowledge) on illumos and FreeBSD. Of these, Delphix in particular is of note because of the original ZFS core team members working there: Matt Ahrens (the co-inventor of ZFS), Eric Schrock and George Wilson -- not to mention important ZFS contributors like Adam Leventhal and Chris Siden.[1]

So illumos remains the repository of record for ZFS -- with a close relationship with those working on ZFS on FreeBSD. While the Linux port is certainly a Good Thing, it does not reflect shift in the epicenter of ZFS development...

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc#t=43m54s

Jun 05, 2012 · lflux on Oracle Sues Lodsys
See Bryan Cantrill's talk from LISA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zRN7XLCRhc&feature=playe... , where he has a good comparison of not anthromorpizing Larry Ellison and Oracle. Paraphrased, "Think of him of as a lawnmower. The lawnmower doesn't care about opensourcing Solaris. The lawnmower _can't_ care about it, it's a lawnmower".

Oracle cares about making money and protecting their revenue stream. Getting Lodsys of the backs of their customers is one way of doing that.

cwp
Yeah, I saw that - some great stuff in there, particularly on the history of Solaris. It's great context for understanding what's going on in the Illumos world.
Thanks so much for sharing this! Your other comment(link: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3871688) and this post show(link: http://skloverworkingwisdom.com/blog/index.php/performance-i... ) how common this is. In my personal experience, even startups do this.

Which I guess is more fault to US law having high severance cost, than people being sociopaths.

In fact, don't try to anthropomorphize the companies (Bryan Cantryl said that out loud recently about Oracle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v... , but it applies to all companies and all bosses).

michaelochurch
"Fault to US law having high severance cost"? No. That's not it.

When you factor in morale damage and the amount of managerial time spent on them, it's more expensive to run a PIP than to let someone go with a severance package.

PIPs are paper shields in a lawsuit, and do nothing about disparagement, which severance contracts usually cover. A PIP doesn't actually establish that the employee was an objective underperformer, only that he "should have seen it coming".

The real purpose of the PIP is two-fold. First, it's to make the employee feel like he deserves to be fired or that he has no recourse, even though that's not true. Second, it's to make the HR and finance offices look good because they "saved money" on severance packages, when what they actually did was externalized the costs to that employee's team.

PIPs make no sense. When companies fire people, it's typical to close out that person's computer access and take him out of the building immediately, as if it's a danger to have him in the building for another minute. Yet companies have no qualms about keeping an essentially fired employee in the office for a month on a PIP.

tomkarlo
PIPs have a purpose. Just as there has to be an orderly and codified system for promotion in larger companies (to avoid favoritism, etc.) there generally has to be a codified system for termination due to under-performance. A manager shouldn't just be able to fire one of his team arbitrarily when they haven't broken any rules/policy.

PIPs provide a codified, constructive way to deal with these situations; they make explicit to the employee that they're on the edge of being let go, and they force the manager through a process to demonstrate that the employee is not appropriately qualified or motivated for their job. No manager _wants_ to do a PIP. Frankly, it's usually easier to just pawn an underperformer off on on another team. But the reality is there are appropriate situations to do one where just passing the buck is unacceptable.

I have seen folks get PIP'ed and let go, and I've seen some come back and have a good career with the company. (Obviously the latter is less common.) In some cases where you have a young guy who just isn't stepping up, the PIP process serves as a wake-up call that the manager isn't kidding around.

Feb 19, 2012 · 2 points, 0 comments · submitted by DanielRibeiro
Jan 04, 2012 · 3 points, 0 comments · submitted by barrkel
Dec 19, 2011 · 10 points, 0 comments · submitted by kmavm
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