[nycbug-talk] Sun News Roundup

Miles Nordin carton at Ivy.NET
Fri Mar 20 14:29:35 EDT 2009

>>>>> "pw" == Pete Wright <pete at nomadlogic.org> writes:
>>>>> "sk" == Steven Kreuzer <skreuzer at exit2shell.com> writes:

    sk> You are aware that Sun is the company behind ZFS, DTrace and
    sk> Niagara right?

I question Niagra on your list above, because it is excellent as a
software developer's trick, to look at the big picture and realize
they could create something competitive within their meager research
envelope, by taking advantage of their key asset: a working, ancient
CPU design with a miniscule gate count that still has first-rate
modern compilers and JRE's targeting it.  But as far as teh pinnacle
of CPU design the thing is pathetic.  It's like

  (Ultra 10) * 32 + integrated northbridge.

It's like some crap Cyrix/Via would come out with to compete with
Intel.  POWER is AIUI actually a modern design competitive with
Itanium, or with whatever CPU is secretly powering the cheap x86 stuff
everyone uses (whatever comes after the x86->[mysterycpu] translator

But the other buzzwords on your list are pretty solid basic
infrastructure, yes, and it seems like there is not so much prominent
funded work on basic infrastructure since post-free-software everyone
makes money on these little one-off contract jobs, bending existing
crap to rather boring day-to-day requriements.  Also the
scheduler/contract mechanism in Solaris looks like it might be pretty
good, And, I haven't used mdb, but I've the impression it's pretty

They also made some good purchases, like Lustre and VirtualBox.
Hopefully they wiill not be infected with Sunculture.  I've high hopes
for Lustre though I don't know if they are still actually doing work
at an enthusiastic pace post-purchase, or if they are like coding for
an hour a day and spending the rest of the time arguing on dumb
mailing lists or playing fussball <cough>.  VirtualBox is awesome, and
those guys are definitely still hard at work post-purchase.

IBM's basic software research is,...may be, similarly impressive, but
it's not really cooperating with the free software community so we
never see it, and I'm not sure things like LPAR and their weird AS/400
CPUs optimized for running dynamically-typed languages have a better
chance of ultimate survival than Sun has.

so, yeah, I guess, I agree Sun is one of the last hopes for large and
genuinely creative new funded projects.  but Sun culture is still
kinda fucked.

    pw> isn't that what freedom is all about though.  being allowed to
    pw> to something that serves your best interests?

are you oversimplifying things?  maybe just a _little_?

yeah, I sort of baited you because I've seen this argument play out
wrongly too many times already.

    pw> friendly fascism where you can't be trusted to act in a
    pw> responsible manner *and* look out for your best interests

where was ``act in a responsible manner'' in your last statement?
simplified right out, I think.

Personally I find ``trusted to act in a responsible manner'' a bit
paternalistic and authoritarian.  I do not think my rights and
freedoms come from someone more powerful ``trust''ing me not to abuse
them.  But that shouldn't mean I can't apply pressure to someone who I
see making a mess.  They can ignore me for a while, until too many
people say ``hey, knock it off,'' and at that point if the complainers
prevail I think we're generally happy.  This is called democracy.
It's rather expensive to operate and doesn't function with perfect
fairness and is sometimes frustratingly deferential to mediocrity, but
it keeps us out from under the thumbs of petty smug arrogant
simple-minded autocrats like yourself: When your argument starts with
what you imagine are first principles and ends with a heirarchy of
incontrovertible authoritarian force, this is no longer a democratic
social structure, and the fact so many supposed citizens of the Free
World find such structures mysteriously appealing frightens me.

I see that Sun is disrespecting the reasonable way with which certain
authors to whom I feel solidarity wish to use their copyright.  Can I
or can I not attack the reputation of the one doing this?  I'd like
to, because they are _trading_ on that reputation in a big way so I
have some hope of success, and attacking it serves my interest.  

But according to people like you, I am not allowed to push back
because they are ``acting in their interest,'' and whenever someone
big and rich is acting in their own interest the almighty godlike
Invisible Hand is at work, and we'd better all just stay the fuck back
and let it work its greedy magic, because THAT is the *core of
freedom* and if we did anything else we'd be like Soviet Russia.

well, bullSHIT.

Where the hell is MY best interest in your world-view?  

In any case, I can complain about whatever I like.

But as I predicted, broke-ass BSD-club pseudoethics tries to stop me
at step zero.  wake UP, goddamnit.  your tiny little libertarian REICH
is on fire.

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