Blastwave: Unofficial Update

09 Aug '08 - 07:02 by benr

I am in no way qualified to speak with regard to whats going on around Blastwave, but given that there are no official statements and lots of rumors and speculation I'll share some info. Please note that I consider both Phil Brown and Dennis Clark as friends and am completely impartial, at least for this post.

If you've visited Blastwave.org recently you'll notice that parts of the site are "missing", you may also have noticed that Genunix was down for a bit. Threads regarding this issue have appeared both on OpenSolaris Discuss and comp.unix.solaris. A nice lengthy discussion was had with Dennis Clark today in #opensolaris, however I shall not quote that conversation directly, over 250 people were in the room at the time.

In the simplest possible terms, Dennis Clark and Phil Brown are in the process of parting ways. Phil Brown is the creator of the CSW (Community SoftWare) effort including the popular apt-get like pkg-get which has been the center of what people think of Blastwave. Dennis Clark is the man behind Blastwave which has provided the large infrastructure and pool of resources around CSW. These two have been intertwined for a very long time and, due to difference over future direction has escalated into separation. Because of this intemate relationship between CSW and Blastwave over so many years this disconnect does, in many ways, resemble a messy divorce.

As seen in Dennis Clarks email to OpenSolaris Discuss lawyers are involved and action is reportedly being taken against Phil Brown. Furthermore, Blastwave Inc is in progress of incorporating in Canada. CSW now has a new home suncsw.de in Germany.

Blastwave is still in operation for now, and thanks to the various Blastwave/CSW package mirrors users should have been minimally impacted, if at all.

For more information please read through the 3 message threads linked above so you can read from the participants themselves. Phil and Dennis are both active members of the community, if you have questions or concerns I encourage you to respectfully and courteously contact them directly via email, lists, or IRC.

In closing, I will remind everyone that both Dennis and Phil have done amazing things for the Solaris community for many years, and they both have intentions (it would appear) to continue doing so; albeit separately. For years and years they provided the Solaris community, unrecognized by Sun at the time, with high quality software on both SPARC and X86. Regardless of which side you take or which story you read never forget that both Dennis Clark and Phil Brown, together with countless maintainers and volunteers, deserve our lasting respect and appreciation. I'm personally saddened to see the division, but thankful for what they accomplished together.


- - C O M M E N T S - -

This is going to impact us as the community… and it means I will have to expend a lot more energy at maintaining my own (fledgling) software stack.

UX-admin (Email) - 09 August '08 - 12:22

I noticed problems yesterday when pkg-get started failing when it was unable to locate mirrors.html.

This is horrible news for the Solaris admin community.

Joe - 09 August '08 - 13:30

Please be clear, both Blastwave™ and CSW intend to continue…. while the situation is uncomfortable at the moment, long term this may actually benefit the community by building two competing systems.

A large part of the rift was caused by plans for the future and disagreement over how to proceed. One sticking point is that Dennis wants to move to a S10 based build system with increased IPS integration and is considering commercial services such as paid support and Blastwave on a stick (USB Key). Phil, reportedly, feels strongly about sticking with a Solaris8 build system and wants to attract more maintainers.

So, again, its sticky right now, but this could be a good thing for the community long term.

benr - 09 August '08 - 18:31

Hi Ben,

Ive chatted to you a few times on IRC and via email. I’m the dude who is a Linux fan first then Solaris :)

Anyway, I have been reading your blog as often as possible, and watching the open solaris community in the hope it can compete with the Linux comunity (as we all agree cometiton is good).

The problem I am having is it seems everyone in the Open/Solaris camp are fighting about something or another…... if its not the opensolaris community its the Sun about somehting… Sun’s shares are falling and to be honest with the tech they have Java, ZFS, Dtrace, Solaris etc… im surprised the only people sticking with Sun are the “hard core” Sun fans.

I am just to scared to use the Solaris/Opensolaris for anything because of the rifts and lack of comunity…. yes you can argue linux is broken into billion of communities but they are all ploding along, but we have the major players, Redhat/Centos/Ubuntu/Fedora/Debian/Suse etc….

With Sun we have Sun it self and opensolaris. Opensolaris is new and its already caused some issues (because of Sun’s control of the community). Sun is losing value and I am not sure how they will turn it around.

All in all its like everything falling apart…. Im not trolling just want this to be sorted, I think Opensolaris could be great for the community but if Sun falls over… im sure Opensolaris will also…

Kashif (Email) - 10 August '08 - 00:59

I’m always interested in both sides of the story.
Thanks for providing this balanced overview.
Dennis seems to get most of the heat…

Rainer (Email) (URL) - 11 August '08 - 10:07

Translation: I want to tell both those assholes to go fuck themselves, but that would be politically incorrect.

MIndblowing Maahiya (Email) - 11 August '08 - 10:39

, , , , ,
, , .

LeonPoxllcixy (Email) (URL) - 11 August '08 - 11:23

This should clear a few questions : [[http://www.blastwave.org/dclarke/blog/..]]

The next item is the mirror sites that do not yet know they are picking up packages from the wrong site.

Dennis

Dennis Clarke (Email) (URL) - 16 August '08 - 21:55

Odd kind of “blog”... coments dont show up automatically… and if they are moderated, there is no “comment awaiting moderation” notice that I can see.

? ? - 10 October '08 - 18:27

To be “completely impartial, at least for this post” would require that both sides actually have their voice heard.
The “other side” to Dennis’s stories, can be seen at

[[http://www.opencsw.org/history]]

? ? - 10 October '08 - 18:29

I dunno .. seems like the same phil guy running around shooting his mouth off everywhere and he has two german puppy dogs that follow along going bark bark bark. based on the stuff heard in other places he cries to anyone and everyone. probably best to ignore him .. hopefully he will go away …

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