Thursday, January 27, 2005

First steps to open source

Sun is taking the first steps to open the Solaris code to the public. Already you can find the code to DTrace on the Open Solaris site and more to follow. There are a number of reasons for the decision to open up the operating system but for the community it's mostly an all win situation.

For example, more eyes looking over the code will help with the elimination of bugs and security issues because of them. There are of course other advantages, with regards to security it may well work both ways as some potentially dangerous bugs might be found and proof of concept exploits could be developed without Sun being informed.

They could render customer systems vulnerable to attack and although this is the case anyway with any open or closed system, because the opening of the source is taking place now the initial influx of bugs that are identified could be quite high rather than being more spread out as would be the case with open source projects. Given the past record of Solaris security, I'll bet there are quite a few problems identified.

DTrace is part of Solaris 10 and one of the main new features. The code is already available for download and more code will be appearing over the coming months. Sun is hoping that this will give more people the opportunity to develop applications for Solaris and allow a more community based approach. In the past it has always been a pain getting things to work under Solaris, things should now change and with more applications being developed and supported we'll see more people using it on desktop systems.

More Sun products should see the light of the open source treatment in the future too. As we have seen in the past, if one company does something they all do. The question is, will we see the same actions from other big software developers with regards to opening the source code to the public, for their major software products?

Post ID: 645, posted by jase at 11:45 PM
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