In "What's a Linux guy doing at Sun?", Ian Murdock had detailed the similarities and differences between Solaris and Linux along with outlining some of his hopes for the future of the Solaris Operating System. Among the many questions that he posed were "How do we improve support for modern development workstations--i.e. laptops?" and "Or...how do we get creative so that we don't have to support 1,001 different laptops?". Murdock also mentioned the possibility of bringing over some of the current POSIX extensions found in Linux over to the next-generation Solaris Operating System. During this session Ian had also mentioned the possibility of using Solaris Zones in a similar fashion to how Sequent's DYNIX could switch between BSD UNIX and AT&T UNIX, but for Sun's purposes between Linux and Solaris environments.
Installation, User Environment, Packaging, and Release Mode are areas that Murdock classifies as "familiarity problems" with Solaris -- and areas where Sun will likely improve upon in upcoming Solaris releases. He didn't mention whether apt-get would be used (though he mentioned apt-get and its benefits several times), but improved package management seems to be a priority on Murdock's Solaris TODO list. Ending off this conference Murdock had mentioned that Sun would be working on both short and long term solutions for addressing the "familiarity problems" and improving Solaris while maintaining backwards compatibility. A big announcement on Solaris OS is expected for an upcoming anniversary, which could very well be the OpenSolaris anniversary on June 14. We hope to hear more information on the future of Solaris later in the week at JavaOne. Based on what we heard today, Solaris will be seeing quite a few improvements and may become increasingly attractive to current GNU/Linux users.
Ending off the day was a community reception with drinks and conversation. Phoronix will be covering Sun Microsystems' JavaOne conference all week long, so stay tuned.
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