OpenSolaris Turns 2

Posted on June 14, 2007

Happy, Happy Birthday from all of us to you……. OpenSolaris is 2. Just like a child, it feels like much longer than that and you’re not quite sure what you did before they arrived.

The last year has been a good one for us. A lot of growing pains still, but we’re getting our footing and growing. The OGB has finally been replaced with a proper board. The code has surpased the number of builds leading up to Solaris 10’s initial GA. The community ranks continue to grow.

When I look a head I see a very different set of goal than we’ve had in the last 2 years. And I see a lot of new hope. I think the key now needs to be diversity and new offerings. We need to gain more acceptance among established Solaris shops and still reach out to new users who have been interested in Solaris yet reluctant. We need to do things in a fresh and new way…

And if you read that last paragraph 3 times fast it blurs into Project Indiana. There has been a lot of useless debate and chatter about Indiana but I don’t see anything to discuss… it must happen or we’ll die. We all know that big change is due, but when will it come? How will it come? The divisions I’ve seen over Indiana are almost religious: “Change needs to come! The time is at hand!” “Ya, but thats not it” “No, actually this is it!” “Um… no, we’ll wait.” But the best thing about Indiana is that it will be community owned and seperate from Solaris GA releases, so both groups are right.

What we’ve found in the last 2 years is that killer features like DTrace, ZFS, and SMF are exciting to people, but simply not enough to attract and keep people. A large community of people are waiting for our technologies to be integrated with their OS of choice, whether it be OS X or FreeBSD or Linux. They are checking out the technology and then going back and waiting. Lets learn from this please! If we want real traction we must embrase the future, and the future, at least v1.0 of it, is Project Indiana. And thats what will happen before we turn 3.

Oh….. I should point out what I think was a big accomplishment in our 2nd year: Joyent embraced the community and started hiring admins out of the community. Thats a good sign of growth and acceptance and as a company when we sell our product we’re selling people on OpenSolaris, and we’re glad to be the first company to do so.