McHugh: We chose the licensing for Solaris for a reason, and when you start looking at it, we chose CDDL [Common Development and Distribution License], which is an OSI-approved license. It is very much similar to the Mozilla license, so it has a lot of benefits that people look at. One key one is when you're looking at adding innovation on top of it, doing works on top of it, it works really well. If you're looking at the OEM business and you're looking at other companies that will be adding value on top of OpenSolaris, they really appreciate the CDDL way of doing it because it gives them that flexibility to build on top.
InfoWorld: I've heard that you can't have ZFS or some of the other technologies mixed in with Linux because the license is incompatible because they use the GPL and you don't.
McHugh: Right, so the interesting thing is, if you look at ZFS and DTrace, which are the two key features that I think a lot of people in the Linux community look to and say, "Wow, those are really exciting." Frankly, they're coming and trying OpenSolaris because of it. In one way that's a compliment, and we like when they continue to remind people that [these are] innovations. But the fact is it's not that the OpenSolaris license and the CDDL are not compatible, because you can find DTrace and ZFS in Mac OS and BSD. What we're seeing is, as we're talking about open source communities evolving, open source licenses need to evolve as well. GPL was one of the first ones that were out there. We have products under GPL at Sun, as you know.
McHugh: Java, we also do OpenOffice that way. It makes sense for certain communities. We're not so sure just because the decision was made early on that it makes sense right now for us to do that. Also, GPL is evolving, so we have to wait and see how those discussions are going.
InfoWorld: Under what circumstance might you move Solaris to GPL?
McHugh: We are constantly in discussions [and] looking at it. We are a member of the Linux Foundation as well, right at the same level as Red Hat, Adobe, and the other guys. We watch, we learn, we follow it, but things are really driven by two standpoints. First, what are your customers' needs? And again, we have end-user customers in corporations, but we also have OEM customers and partnerships we're building. And we're also looking at what the right way is to get the technology out there and go from there. Clearly, clearly when anyone does that little exercise where they say, "If I could take these key features and build the perfect OS," they reach into Solaris and OpenSolaris and name a few of our features. Predictive self-healing, DTrace, ZFS, and the security components always come to mind.
InfoWorld: You mentioned an upcoming version of OpenSolaris. What are the plans for improvements to Solaris?
McHugh: We are coming out with our update 6 [for Solaris 10] in the end of October, and you'll see OpenSolaris come out in November. OpenSolaris [is] on a faster cadence. We're going to be coming out with six-month revs to OpenSolaris that are really driven at the developer, the Web 2.0 [angle], and going from there. What goes into Solaris 10 has already been in OpenSolaris, if you want to think of it that way. A lot of [the additional features involves] support for some on the Dunnington chip sets from Intel.