OpenSolaris Governing Board may dissolve

The group is frustrated by a perceived lack of communication by Oracle

Frustrated by what they consider poor treatment and lack of interest from Oracle, members of the OpenSolaris Governing Board are essentially delivering an ultimatum to the vendor, asking that it appoint a liaison to the group by no later than Aug. 16, or else the board will be disbanded.

That executive should have "the authority to talk about the future of OpenSolaris and its interaction with the OpenSolaris community," according to minutes of the board's meeting, held Monday. "Otherwise the OGB will take action at the August 23 meeting to trigger the clause in the OGB charter that will return control of the community to Oracle."

OpenSolaris is the open-source distribution of the Unix-based Solaris operating system Oracle acquired through its purchase of Sun Microsystems.

Community members work on code for OpenSolaris, but Oracle retains control over what is ultimately included in its official distribution. Board members have been upset with the lack of communication from Oracle over the timing of future releases, among other matters.

Some users have even suggested it might be wise to create an offshoot or "fork" of the codebase.

But not every OpenSolaris advocate believes disbanding the governing board is the right move.

"Frankly, IMHO, this is just the OGB throwing its hands in the air," wrote Ben Rockwood in a blog post. "The body has been useless for a long time, but only because it has chosen to be. ... It's never lead anything, and it isn't now."

"But the fact that it's a wet rag doesn't mean we should simply throw in the towel," he added. "A weak seat of power is better than no seat at the table."

An Oracle spokeswoman could not immediately provide comment Wednesday.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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Topics: business issues, unix, open source, Sun Microsystems, solaris, OpenSolaris, software, operating systems, Oracle
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