Sun Selects OpenSolaris Community Advisory Board

Sun Microsystems today announced the names of the five individuals selected to participate in the OpenSolaris Community Advisory Board (CAB). The board was created to steward the evolution of the OpenSolaris community towards self-governance.

“The formation of the CAB is another major step forward in making OpenSolaris a reality,” said John Loiacono, executive vice president, Software at Sun. “These five individuals are passionate about open source and will be instrumental in growing the Solaris community and the promotion of new innovations.”

Board Members

The five-member board consists of two members who were nominated and elected by the OpenSolaris pilot community: Al Hopper, an engineer consultant with Logical Approach and Rich Teer, independent Solaris consultant and author of “Solaris Systems Programming.”

The three other members on the advisory board are Roy Fielding, chief scientist at Day Software and co-founder and member of the Apache Software Foundation, Simon Phipps, Sun’s chief technology evangelist, and Casper Dik, senior staff engineer at Sun.

As outlined in January, Sun plans to release buildable source code for the Solaris 10 Operating System under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) in the second quarter of 2005.

An Important Step

Analysts said the CAB announcement is an important step toward advancing the promise of an open-source community around the product.

However, Stacey Quandt, senior business analyst and Open Source Practice Leader at the Robert Frances Group, told LinuxInsider that with the governance model still in development, it is too early to deem the OpenSolaris community a success.

“The success of OpenSolaris will be measured by the ability for non-Sun employees to contribute to the development process,” Quandt said. “One of the hurdles that the advisory board will face is making it easier for developers without a computer sciencebackground and no prior Solaris coding experience to actually do a Solaris build.”

A Voice for Open Source

Phipps said he’s looking forward to helping set the governance, transparency and membership of the OpenSolaris community so that OpenSolaris stakeholders have an equal ability to influence the direction of the technology.

“I’m very keen to see the move towards the open sourcing of Sun’s software products and to help to facilitate genuinely open, genuinely transparent open-source communities around the technologies,” Phipps told LinuxInsider during yesterday’s conference call.

Fielding told LinuxInsider that his role on the board is to be a voice for the open-source side of the software world.

“As former chairman of the Apache software foundation, I helped incorporate that group and produce its governance model,” Fielding said. “Within this group I hope to lend that experience and see if we can find a proper self-governance model that works the way the OpenSolaris community wants to work.”

Major Decisions Ahead

Despite the enthusiasm, Quandt said there are still major decisions ahead. For starters, the new board needs to decide which development tools and the version control system that it will be available to the OpenSolaris community.

“Sun will succeed in building a community when not only Sun employees tasked with developing Solaris, but also non-Sun developers think of themselves as part of the OpenSolaris community,” she said.

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