Reports are surfacing this week of a leaked email from Oracle HQ suggesting that the company may be taking the Solaris operating system towards a new proprietary-only future.
While the OpenSolaris project appears to still be alive and well, with Sun now firmly under Oracle's broad wing, the inevitability of a more commercial focus permeating previously open-source technology platforms may have started.
The memo stated that, "All of Oracle's efforts on binary distributions of Solaris technology will be focused on Solaris 11. We will not release any other binary distributions, such as nightly or bi-weekly builds of Solaris binaries, or an OpenSolaris 2010.05 or later distribution."
If Oracle does indeed now focus on commercial Solaris, the next Solaris 11 release is expected to make an appearance at some point next year. Although a Solaris Express is expected later this year — this is a free beta version of Solaris 11 for software developers to work with ahead of the full-blown release.
The memo itself was published by keen open source contributor Steve Stallion who commented that, " I can only maintain that the software we worked on was for the betterment of all, not for any one company's bottom line. This is truly a perversion of the open source spirit."
Open source programmer and consultant Carlo Daffara said, "Oracle has always been an opportunistic user of open source. With the term 'opportunistic' I am not implying any negative connotation: simply the observation that Oracle dabbled in open source whenever there was an opportunity to reduce its own research and development costs. If you look at the Oracle Projects website, it is clear that all projects are related to infrastructural functionality for the Oracle run-time and for developers tools (using Eclipse as a basis)."