[illumos-Developer] OpenIndiana and illumos, part 2

Albert Lee trisk at opensolaris.org
Thu Nov 18 12:21:36 PST 2010

OK, Garrett's attempt forced people to respond really defensively...
so let's try again.

For the record, here are goals (and anti-goals) of illumos that are
relevant to OpenIndiana:

- The ability to run software built for Solaris 10 using interfaces
that weren't already subject to change between releases (obsolete
interfaces need not apply)
- The ability to run software built for Solaris 11 on a best-effort
basis, since it is both an unknown and a moving target
- No consideration for the converse ability to run software built for
illumos on Solaris 11 (that is not to say it won't happen to work, but
it won't be a concern for development)
- Freedom to introduce new features in a way that is incompatible with
Solaris 11
- Freedom to remove features with known and limited affect (obviously
not subverting compatibility, but compromises are inevitable)

This is the big picture, and the goals are near what OpenIndiana can
realistically hope to achieve. Sometimes there seems to be the
appearance of a false dichotomy. What illumos (not just Garrett) needs
is not all that complicated, and it's mostly for the OpenIndiana
developers to work closely with the illumos developers on changes that
have an impact outside of ON, so illumos can have a proper
self-hosting platform. There has been unfortunately little high-level
communication between developers of illumos and OpenIndiana and not
enough overlap in membership, and that needs to change.

In any case, users choosing to use what was explicitly stated to be
the first development release of OpenIndiana in production certainly
made a mistake (although possibly the real issue for many was choosing
to deploy the OpenSolaris development build in the first place), and
we *should* not feel responsible for the effects of that decision.
However, as a conscientious person I believe that we *can* move
forward with illumos without completely abandoning them.

oi_148 is nearly done, and I apologise for the delay, I have approval
to finish performing the RE tasks today with our current bits and get
it out the door. I believe our originally stated plan of providing an
illumos build for this release in an additional repository is feasible
(and I've been doing regular builds) and provides the illumos
developers what they need, and Garrett has agreed that it is

So let's make sure we're all on the same page. Given illumos'
self-imposed constraints, what are the primary concerns of


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