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McNealy: "We Invented Open Source, Gang"

"We were the Red Hat of Berkeley Unix before Linus Torvalds was out of diapers."

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    In an outburst that he admitted himself was "a little Al Gore-ish," Sun's Scott McNealy earlier this week claimed, in front of Canadian journalists who were asking whether Sun was feeling "pressured" to open source Solaris: "We're the number-one donator of code to the open source community on the planet."

    "To say that we need to be pressured," McNealy continued, interrupting himself to say: "We invented open source, gang."

    According to McNealy - and to his EVP Software John Loiacono - the open sourcing of Solaris 10 which Sun hopes to complete by year's end is just "more of the same" from a company completely committed to the open source community.

    Speaking exclusively to LinuxWorld Magazine's principal analyst Bill Claybrook this month, Loiacono said:

    "Sun was founded on the principle of open source. We have contributed more lines of open source code than any other entity on the planet except for Cal Berkeley. By the way, Bill Joy was one of the founders of Sun and was instrumental in the BSD work that took place at Cal Berkeley. NetBeans, Sun Grid Engine, OpenOffice, and Solaris are all technologies that use the open source process, and we will continue to do so. We'll remain a heavy contributor on the open source front, and it will remain a key component of how we develop software."

    So the McNealy outburst is entirely consistent with Sun's current push to reestablish its open-source credentials. 


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    Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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    Most Recent Comments
    Dan McGarigle 06/26/08 04:05:32 AM EDT

    IBM's VM Operating was NEVER an 'open source' OS.
    It was/is licensed to IBM customers. IBM's VM system actually originated within IBM from the work IBM did on its System/360 Model 67, which was a mainframe originally designed and built in the late 1960's to support the "Time Sharing" use ( i.e. a service bureau ) of a main-frame in which multiple users could share time using directly attached "terminals" (keyboard + CRT). Time was sold for real money to subscribers, on a S/360 Model 67. Subscribing users could use the "Time Sharing Option" (TSO) for online work, and could submit batch jobs too.
    Dan McGarigle, IBM systems programmer for 34 years.

    Lee Man Tat 11/24/04 09:01:42 AM EST

    Can anyone tell me if IBM's VM operating system was open source too, before IBM PC/370? IBM closed the source when VM/PC was launched. Did Sun exist in that time? Who invented open source? McNealy will say Sun invented PC, Windows-liked GUI.

    John Koenig 11/23/04 06:13:44 PM EST

    Let's see:

    Al Gore invented the Internet...

    Scott McNeely invented Open Source...

    somebody 11/15/04 06:50:10 PM EST

    Would you please crowd the text of your articles into a smaller column width? They are distracting my appreciation of the great advertisements.

    Quotes 11/12/04 09:51:16 AM EST

    Let's see what McNealy has to say about the attacks on Sun that HP has been making, thanks to "Jonathan's blog" tirades against HP

    Scottie Dog 11/12/04 07:47:37 AM EST

    Let's see how Sun fares against the likes of Groklaw when they start dissecting the IP issues involved in open-sourcing Solaris. Good luck, they'll need it!!

    AlGoreRules 11/12/04 07:17:53 AM EST

    Isn't Sun's position on Linux though basically that they will jump on it if corporate America puts their core IT budget money into it, but otherwise they'll stick with Solaris?

    How much of a real commitment to open source is that?

    Vintage McNealy 11/12/04 06:56:58 AM EST

    What a joy to see McNealy's back on form. The technology world is going to be a duller place if and when he ever joins the ranks of retired firebrands!! Bring it on, Scottie. Let's have more of this - plus maybe even a run at the presidency next?