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  • #16
    Just browsing the Oracle website it's clear that Solaris has a pride of prominence. They're looking to sell complete solutions (hardware + software) so you're basically looking at the old Sun stuff with Oracle atop.

    I do understand, however, that Oracle hasn't put a lot of resources into pushing Solaris forward (in terms of development). I was just referring to the marketing aspect.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by ryao View Post
      The entire situation where people think that the GPL will magically solve things is unfortunate because the CDDL provides patent protection, which makes it a better license for fending off patent trolls than the GPL.
      Whether or not GPL magically solves anything is of no concern here as CDDL is GPL incompatible, again obviously intentionally by Sun (and I don't blame them, it would be insane to hand off your best tech to the competitor which is crushing you).

      As for better patent protection through the licence, if that was of key importance to Linus and the rest of the devs they could just aswell go with GPLv3 or modify their current GPLv2 licence to add patent protection clauses.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by XorEaxEax View Post
        Whether or not GPL magically solves anything is of no concern here as CDDL is GPL incompatible, again obviously intentionally by Sun (and I don't blame them, it would be insane to hand off your best tech to the competitor which is crushing you).

        As for better patent protection through the licence, if that was of key importance to Linus and the rest of the devs they could just aswell go with GPLv3 or modify their current GPLv2 licence to add patent protection clauses.
        The GPL had two major flaws:

        1. It had no patent protection.
        2. It did not allow derivative works to contain proprietary modules.

        Those problems would have prevented adoption of their code. 1 would have opened the door for Oracle to sue people for using it after they acquired Sun; the GPLv3 would address this, but it did not exist at the time. 2 would have made Open Solaris based distributions impossible for people to legally create because Open Solaris had some proprietary bits that Sun did not own.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by ryao View Post
          The GPL had two major flaws:

          1. It had no patent protection.
          2. It did not allow derivative works to contain proprietary modules.
          The second is certainly no flaw in my book, and certainly not according to Linus either, which he has often stated.

          Originally posted by ryao View Post
          2 would have made Open Solaris based distributions impossible for people to legally create because Open Solaris had some proprietary bits that Sun did not own.
          What does this have to do with Linux?

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          • #20
            A Few Things

            Let me share how I understand some of this stuff. My "knowledge", if you want to call it that, comes from reading stuff like online news articles, Simon Phipps's forum posts on Groklaw, stuff like that, so keep in mind that I really don't know any more than anyone else who reads publicly available information.

            The Fucking License
            From what I've read in the past and from how I understand the licenses from reading them directly, the CDDL is considered to be incompatible with the GPL because the CDDL mandates several restrictions that are not in the GPL and the GPL explicitly prohibits most types of extra restrictions that are not part of the GPL to begin with. Because the GPL does not permit such additional restrictions, combining CDDL code with GPL code would violate the terms of the license of the GPL, but it would not violate the terms of the license of the CDDL code. On the other hand, removing the additional restrictions from the combined work's license would be a violation of the CDDL part, since the CDDL requires those restrictions. In other words, the CDDL requires something that the GPL prohibits.

            So, since combining GPL and CDDL would result in the license on the GPL part being violated, then the aggrieved party would be the copyright holder(s) of the GPL part, not the copyright holders of the CDDL part. In this case, that would mean that if CDDL-licensed ZOL was brought into the GPL-licensed Linux, it's the Linux license that would be violated, not the ZOL / ZFS license. In many (most?) jurisdictions, only the agrieved parties with title can bring suit, so in such jurisdictions, it would mean that Linux kernel developers could sue anyone trying to distribute this combined work, but Oracle wouldn't be able to sue, since only the kernel copyright holders' rights would be violated, not Oracle's rights.

            However, since title to the kernel is very distributed, that means that there are a lot of potential litigants out there. One or a couple such litigants are not a realistic threat. Alone, their contributions might be considered trivial, or in a worst case scenario, those contributions can simply be rewritten. However, imagine if a company who wants to destroy Linux went out and bought up the copyright to kernel code from as many past and current kernel contributors as were willing to sell theirs. This company could conceivably gain title to a very large portion of the Linux kernel. A lawsuit from such a hypothetical company would be dangerous.

            Also, and I never really understood how this works, but in some jurisdictions - I believe Germany is one - anyone can sue for a violation like this, not just an agrieved title holder. In other words, the license bullshit is not mere ideology. The Linux kernel, due to its decentralized title ownership, cannot afford to violate its own licenses.


            Why Oracle Bought Sun
            As I understood it at the time, the three primary reasons, ranked in order of priority, were as follows:
            1 - Protect Java from being heavily influenced by Oracle's competitors. Oracle had made very significant investments in Java (Sun was only the third-largest acquisition in Oracle's history; #1 and #2 were both Java vendors), and they were afraid that even with an open source license, Java falling into the hands of a company hostile to Oracle could result in architectural or political changes to Java that would make it harder for Oracle to profit from their Java businesses. Remember, IBM looked all set to buy Sun first and backed off due to concerns from anti-trust regulators. If Oracle didn't buy Sun, IBM could have come back and reworked their offer in such a way as to appease the regulators.
            2 - Oracle wanted to get into hardware, and acquiring Sun's existing hardware business was better than building from scratch.
            3 - Sun's treasure trove of IP.

            Everything else - MySQL, OpenOffice, etc. etc. - all of that was just icing. Oracle would never have spent anywhere near the kind of money it spent on Sun if things like MySQL were the main motivators. So while we sit here scratching our heads trying to figure out why the hell Oracle spent so much money on a bunch of technologies they then went on and fucked up, let's keep in mind that from Oracle's perspective, the Sun purchase got them exactly what they were after and in retrospect they probably consider it to be a very smart investment on their part.


            What Does Oracle Gain From Both ZFS And Btrfs
            I have no fucking clue. I do not know why they are investing in two advanced filesystems that have so much feature overlap and are positioned as direct competitors to each other. Maybe it's as Sergio and ryao suggest: artificial market segmentation. That's the only explanation that makes sense.

            On the other hand, I too have read that Oracle does not appear to be putting a lot of effort into furthering ZFS, so perhaps they are not that heavily invested in two directly competing technologies after all.


            Originally posted by ryao View Post
            The GPL had two major flaws:

            1. It had no patent protection.
            2. It did not allow derivative works to contain proprietary modules.

            Those problems would have prevented adoption of their code. 1 would have opened the door for Oracle to sue people for using it after they acquired Sun; the GPLv3 would address this, but it did not exist at the time. 2 would have made Open Solaris based distributions impossible for people to legally create because Open Solaris had some proprietary bits that Sun did not own.
            According to Danese Cooper (CDDL's primary author), the CDDL was designed to be GPL-incompatible intentionally because GPLv3 was in draft at the time and Sun's engineers, who did not like the license, asked Cooper to make sure the CDDL would be incompatible with the GPL. So to say that "the GPLv3 would address this, but it did not exist at the time" is not exactly true. The CDDL was written as a deliberate act of hostility against the GPL.

            As for proprietary modules in Open Solaris, my understanding at the time is that the situation was actually the other way around - that Solaris had proprietary bits, and these bits were removed during the introduction process of Open Solaris. But yes, I have read that a weaker copyleft than what was in GPL was one of the fundamental goals of the CDDL.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by ryao View Post
              The GPL had two major flaws:

              1. It had no patent protection.
              That may be your opinion, but it's obviously not what Sun was concerned with. They could easily have written out a guarantee of free IP licensing for anyone using their FS. That's done all the time with other licenses - for example, like how Google treated VP8. Instead, Sun told people that they could only be safe from patent attacks if they used the GPL-incompatible license and that if someone reimplemented their FS in GPL for Linux they'd be free to assert those patents. In other words, they very clearly wanted to use their patents to make sure Linux didn't get ZFS, so removing patents wasn't their main concern. Keeping them was.

              I don't blame Sun for this at all - it makes perfect business sense. I'd probably do the same thing if i was in their shoes. But trying to read your own motives into their actions is a losing proposition.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Serge View Post
                What Does Oracle Gain From Both ZFS And Btrfs
                I have no fucking clue. I do not know why they are investing in two advanced filesystems that have so much feature overlap and are positioned as direct competitors to each other.
                Well they started BTRFS _before_ they bought Sun (which got them ZFS), and the reason they started it is likely because they needed a stronger enterprise scale file system for their Linux offerings where they want to sell Oracle database solutions.

                Given that I'm hardly the only one with a deep distrust as to Oracle's open source commitments (just take this recent gem: http://www.dcdata.co.za/public/oracl...s-open-source/) it's a very important thing that BTRFS is currently being co-developed by a strong line of Linux focused/based companies outside of Oracle.

                Originally posted by Serge View Post
                But yes, I have read that a weaker copyleft than what was in GPL was one of the fundamental goals of the CDDL.
                Sounds a bit weird as they were first pinning their hopes on GPLv3 which certainly isn't 'weaker' copyleft, but of course is also incompatible with GPLv2 and as such Linux (as it is licenced as GPLv2 ONLY), which was the most important point.

                However as GPLv3 was not finalized in time, the current weaker copyleft seems to me more a result of them finally basing the CDDL licence on the Mozilla Public Licence (which was GPLv2 incompatible), but that's just me speculating.

                Originally posted by Serge View Post
                The CDDL was written as a deliberate act of hostility against the GPL.
                GPLv2 to be exact, as the whole point was to make sure that Linux which was eating them alive, couldn't use their coveted tech.

                Let's not forget that during this time, Jonathan Schwartz as CEO of Sun was also running around verbally attacking GPL (with beauties like: 'You can't make it proprietary once you have licenced it under GPL!', well no shit Sherlock) as a result of them being killed in the market place by Linux.

                Ironically they later started licencing key technology like Java under GPL themselves, again showing that the anti-GPL thing was nothing but a business decision directed at Linux.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by XorEaxEax View Post
                  Well they started BTRFS _before_ they bought Sun (which got them ZFS), and the reason they started it is likely because they needed a stronger enterprise scale file system for their Linux offerings where they want to sell Oracle database solutions.

                  Given that I'm hardly the only one with a deep distrust as to Oracle's open source commitments (just take this recent gem: http://www.dcdata.co.za/public/oracl...s-open-source/) it's a very important thing that BTRFS is currently being co-developed by a strong line of Linux focused/based companies outside of Oracle.


                  Sounds a bit weird as they were first pinning their hopes on GPLv3 which certainly isn't 'weaker' copyleft, but of course is also incompatible with GPLv2 and as such Linux (as it is licenced as GPLv2 ONLY), which was the most important point.

                  However as GPLv3 was not finalized in time, the current weaker copyleft seems to me more a result of them finally basing the CDDL licence on the Mozilla Public Licence (which was GPLv2 incompatible), but that's just me speculating.


                  GPLv2 to be exact, as the whole point was to make sure that Linux which was eating them alive, couldn't use their coveted tech.

                  Let's not forget that during this time, Jonathan Schwartz as CEO of Sun was also running around verbally attacking GPL (with beauties like: 'You can't make it proprietary once you have licenced it under GPL!', well no shit Sherlock) as a result of them being killed in the market place by Linux.

                  Ironically they later started licencing key technology like Java under GPL themselves, again showing that the anti-GPL thing was nothing but a business decision directed at Linux.
                  Good counter-points, all of those. Unfortunately, I don't think we'll ever get honest answers to some of these questions. There have been a number of directly contradictory statements made by Sun execs and engineers over the years. Many of these people are spin-doctors. Even some that didn't start out as professional spin-doctors ended up going that way. And the job of a spin-doctor is to sell lies without actually lying.

                  Thanks for pointing out that Sun licensed Java GPL. It appears that Sun was much more friendly to the GPL when the code in question had appeal outside of Unix-like systems. Based on that, the idea that Sun was using the CDDL as a way of trying to get the best of both open source and proprietary licensing does seem to have some weight. On the other hand, the process of open-sourcing Java had begun many years before the open-sourcing of DTrace, ZFS, and the rest of that Unix tech. It's highly possible that the decision to license Java GPL predates the creation of the CDDL.
                  Last edited by Serge; 10-18-2013, 02:23 PM.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
                    That may be your opinion, but it's obviously not what Sun was concerned with. They could easily have written out a guarantee of free IP licensing for anyone using their FS. That's done all the time with other licenses - for example, like how Google treated VP8. Instead, Sun told people that they could only be safe from patent attacks if they used the GPL-incompatible license and that if someone reimplemented their FS in GPL for Linux they'd be free to assert those patents. In other words, they very clearly wanted to use their patents to make sure Linux didn't get ZFS, so removing patents wasn't their main concern. Keeping them was.
                    Sun did not just open source ZFS. Sun open sourced their System V Release 4 UNIX derivative, which included ZFS.

                    Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
                    trying to read your own motives into their actions is a losing proposition.
                    That is what people here are doing and it has nothing to do with ZFS.

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