OpenSolaris Turns 1: A Year in Review

Posted on June 14, 2006

This has been an interesting year… a long year thats passed in the blink of an eye. We’ve had some ups, some downs, and a hell of a lot of adjustment. I’ve been a Sun and Solaris zealot for years pursuing Solaris evangelism in any place I can, but in this last year I’ve been given the oppertunity to go almost literally from zero to hero. Two years ago I was the annoying guy in a Sun shirt that hung around the Sun booth answering questions faster than the Sun booth staff, now I’m working in the booth wearing a Sun badge representing the community as a whole. I really had a funny moment when I was at the MySQL Users Confrence and was alone in the booth, talking to users and potential customers.. what a change.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Sun planned to open Solaris and go out to build a community around Solaris, but when they opened their doors they found scores of people standing outside in the rain just waiting. Look at the evidence, the pilot started out small and intended to stay that way, but grew to 150 people and Jim was turning aways people en mass and I broke several “I’ll get you in!” promises (although I was happy to get around 10 of my guys in). When OpenSolaris went public 1 year ago, Joerg Schilling released the first OpenSolaris Distribution within a week. And after just 1 year we’ve got 111 putbacks (commits), 14,000 registered members, 39,300 posts, 30 users groups world wide, and 3 released distros. Thats a busy year.

I’ve had a range of exciting oppertunities to contribute in various ways throughout the last year. Prior to the release Sun flew me to Boston to talk to analysts at LinuxWorld Boston, talk about trust! I represented OpenSolaris at several Bay Area events including LinuxWorld SF, JavaOne, and the MySQL UC. I’ve created relationships with various product groups within Sun on ways they can better work togther with our community. I’ve become a leader in 4 diffrent communities and 1 project. I’ve been given the oppertunity to work with the Community Advisory Board (CAB) as a member of the Governance Working Commitee where I’m helping to draft the constitution. I’ve been part of Alan DuBoff’s establishing the worlds first OpenSolaris Users Group (SVOSUG). I’ve been able to speak on several occasions to groups reguarding OpenSolaris. And more…

I don’t list these tidbits to honk my own horn but to point out that prior to OpenSolaris I was a little guy doing what he could in a very limited scope. OpenSolaris has empowered me to be part of the effort, part of the team, not just a bystander watching and chearing from the sidelines. My only regret is that I’ve been so busy with OpenSolaris “stuff” that I haven’t had the time to do the coding that I want to do… but perhaps thats in the cards for year 2.

OpenSolaris is a big effort, and clearly there is a lot of work yet to be done and even after all this time many of us are still trying to understand everything. I’ve publically said many times that if there is one problem we have its scope.. that is, there are so many ways to contribute, places to put your efforts, and areas of interest that just keeping up on things is a full time job. But thats life and thats a really good problem to have.

So from me to everyone, from Jonathan down to the trolls on Slashdot, thanks for helping make this a great year and lets look forward to some truly great things in the year ahead!