Sun Microsystems has unveiled a board of stewards that will guide the developer community for the Solaris 10 operating system towards self-governance.
The board contains five members, two of whom were elected by the OpenSolaris pilot community: Al Hopper, an engineer consultant with Logical Approach and Rich Teer, independent Solaris consultant and author of "Solaris Systems Programming".
Sun appointed two of more board members, chief technology evangelist Simon Phipps and senior staff engineer Casper Dik, from its employees and picked Roy Fielding, co-founder of the Apache Software Foundation at the fifth member based on his experience and role in the open source community.
The board will have a nominal chairmanship that rotates among its members, but the members will essentially act as peers.
The formation of the board forms the next step in the process of opening up the source code for Solaris 10. Sun has promised to release a buildable version of the source code under the Common Development and Distribution Licence (CDDL) before 30 June.
The greatest challenge for the board will be to avoid "being loved to death" by Sun Microsystems, Fielding said in a conference call. Because the company has a great interest in OpenSolaris becoming a success, there is a risk that is stays to close to the development process.
The OpenSolaris Community "needs to be able to act separately from what Sun does internally. It needs to be able to [?] promote through meritocracy rather than through assignments of work projects," he continued.
Fielding pointed out that Sun's decision to create the board acknowledges the independence of the developer community. But since most members of that community initially will be Sun employees who currently work on the software and who depend on the project for their careers, there still is a risk that internal Sun politics influence the direction the software is taking.
Sun also has faced criticism because it forces developers to subject themselves to the CDDL, a licence that Sun designed and that has the official status of being open source.
Some in the open source community, including the Free Software Foundation, however consider the licence to deviate from the true meaning of open source because it separates OpenSolaris from the larger open source community.
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