Frustrated by Oracle's delay in releasing the latest version of OpenSolaris, the OpenSolaris Governing Board (OGB) is growing uneasy over Oracle's lack of communication regarding the future of the Unix OS code.
At least two members of the board have even used the divisive "f" word, saying that they would be open to forking the code base from the Oracle version.
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The latest version of OpenSolaris OS, version 2010.03, was set to be released on March 26. As of almost a month later, it has yet to appear. And OGB, hounded by OpenSolaris users, can't get information from Oracle as to when it will be released.
"It is sad to watch people asking about some OpenSolaris ... release called 2010.03 when we are well into April now," wrote board member Dennis Clarke.
While the volunteer-led OGB organizes efforts to develop code for OpenSolaris distributions,
Sun Microsystems retained the trademark ownership of the name OpenSolaris itself. Oracle, which finalized its acquisition of Sun in January, makes the final decisions as what to include in the code base of its official distribution (though the code base can be reused at any time as the basis for other distributions).
Since January, company officials have appeared, at least to some, to be ambivalent about OpenSolaris, even as it has boosted support for its paid version of the Unix OS, Solaris. For instance, earlier this month, the company ceased offering free OpenSolaris install CDs, although the distribution can still be downloaded.
This change in management style has made some OpenSolaris users jumpy. In his email message Clarke expressed a willingness to fork the code, as did Schilling. "We [should] not ignore the current situation and thus be prepared to fork in case this is needed," board member Joerg Schilling wrote.
Several other members of the list, who were not board members, quickly showed enthusiasm for the idea as well.