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May 6, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Not so much a SunOS 4.1.3 do or die club as a discussion group about getting Sun Microsystems Inc to fix Solaris so that systems administrators can support it sensibly, the Internet-based KOTF Keepers Of The Flame has recently been airing views on SunSoft Inc’s latest Solaris 2.4 release. Contributions include hearsay that Solaris 2.4 failed its quality assurance tests and will not ship until December to the notion that it is essentially a bug-fix release with few new features. Some applaud the de-railing of Sun’s train release model, others liked the regularity of it (but not all the patches). The train is SunSoft’s release model: it makes May and November Solaris deliveries, with whatever is not ready on the day having wait for the next one. (A less generous explanation says that using the train model [SunSoft] railroads customers into upgrading to the latest version of Solaris, installing hundreds of the bug fixes, and rewriting their code to use brain damaged System V libraries.) Keepers Of The Flame hears that some people in SunSoft did not believe the train the first one being release 2.2 – would really leave without them, but it did, and an amazing number of patches were needed to make the release usable. Keepers Of The Flame thinks new Sun Microsystems Computer Corp president Philip Samper abandoned it for the hardware side because he did not like the way unstable Solaris code was being shipped just to stay on schedule, and that he needs other Sparc suppliers to be able to jump aboard. Difference between Solaris 2.x and SunOS 5.x becomes important, says Keepers Of The Flame, as Sun Microsystems Computer Corp does not have to track SunSoft releases. Perhaps SunSoft will keep the train and Sun Microsystems Computer Corp will release SunOS asynchronously, it ponders. Keepers Of The Flame describes its raison d’etre as being as much as we hate it [Solaris], it is here for a while: let’s try to make it at least usable. It calls on Sun to correct any erroneous explanations.

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