[Beowulf] Open Grid Scheduler (SGE)

Andrew M.A. Cater amacater at galactic.demon.co.uk
Mon Jan 24 23:59:43 PST 2011

On Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 07:49:30AM +0100, Jonathan Aquilina wrote:
> Clustering isn't the only one that oracle is doing something with
> turns out they are also doing something with OpenOffice.org. Its
> been forked to LibreOffice.
> Would really love to know what they are up to.

There's a distinction to be drawn here. Oracle appear to be divesting themselves of chunks of code
they no longer wish to maintain for certain small projects. Likewise, certain Sun hardware is no
longer of any interest to them (and the licensing terms for hardware support and Solaris have changed 
subtly - you now _need_ hardware support from Oracle to be able to download patches and security fixes
that were previously more freely available.)

SGE doesn't fit their picture - a Sun OEM has stepped up to carry on development, all's well.

In other areas, there have been forks, for good or ill.

OpenSolaris was (fairly unceremoniously) canned and the "open source", non Oracle employee developer community, 
such as remained, were effectively told they were not welcome. Various interested parties and distributions like
Nexenta have combined to form Illumos. They've taken the last available code dumps available to them and are carrying on.

Hudson - a build architecture tool - is a subtly different case. Oracle suddenly declared that they were trademarking
the name in Europe and the US and that they, effectively, now owned the community. The non-Oracle developers, who had
put in much of the work, were left in a difficult position. Oracle could exert undesirable pressure by use of / withholding 
the name. Following significant negotiations with Oracle which broke down, the original lead developer and others have
suggested a full rename instantaneously. Hudson should become Jenkins - Oracle are left with a worthless trademark, no
developer community and business will carry on as usual outside Oracle and Oracle infrastructure.

OpenOffice had already effectively been forked a couple of times - once by IBM, once by Novell and others - because Sun
weren't accepting patches. As Oracle took over attempts were made to re-integrate forked code. The outside developer 
community has been waiting many years for a proper Community Council. When Oracle appeared difficult/impossible to work
with, various vendors and others effectively seceded: forking the code, declaring UDI and a rename of the code and
establishing The Document Foundation to maintain it, continue supporting ODF and so on. Seemingly, the entire German
translation and localisation team moved across en masse, for example: it is _EXTREMELY_ unclear whether Oracle possesses 
the will or expertise in house to continue with OpenOffice at the moment. [The commercial product - still StarOffice - 
appears to have died a lonely, unloved and unmourned death]. 

Hence LibreOffice: much of the patched code that never got back to sun, a vibrant community. 
A massively stripped and pruned codebase in a consistent version control system, stripping 
out much code retained by people keeping it around because they didn't trust the VCSes as
they changed. [Michael Meeks pointed out in a blog post how many duplicated copies of icons 
LO had removed, for example].

In other news: it is possibly unsafe to use Java - it may become significa\ntly more expensive to do so. Virtualisation
with VirtualBox is feasible today - but it looks as if it will effectively become a fully closed source product.

I'm not sure that Oracle realised what goodwill they have thrown away or whether they know what they're up to.
The move beyond a single database product and ancillaries has proved interesting. 

I personally am now significantly distrustful of Oracle as a company. I would actively suggest to anyone prepared 
to listen that they consider not doing business with Oracle and that they should stop buying or using any of Oracle's products. 
Likewise, for them  to consider not recommending Oracle or their products to personal or business associates and not to be seen 
as otherwise supporting Oracle's activities in any way. 

In the hope that this helps clarify what seems to be happening,

All the best,


More information about the Beowulf mailing list