back to article Open source boss quits Sun Oracle

Sun Microsystems' veteran Simon Phipps quit his chief open source officer post at the Oracle-owned company yesterday. Phipps, who had worked at Sun for nearly a decade, confirmed his decision to walk in a blog post on Monday. His resignation marks the latest in a long line of big guns at Sun who have left the firm following …


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  1. wmesard

    Business Model

    (1) Business; (2) Model.

    Ya need both.

    One let's you sleep at night.

    The other earns you money so you can buy

    a bed to sleep in.

    1. Lou 2
      Thumb Up

      Infinite wisdom - The sayings of a wmesard

      Mind if I use that in our next exco meeting?

  2. Anonymous Coward


    As ever they are proud of the good things, but forget the failed business model and the technologies that languished in a dirge of indecision.

    Perhaps these ex Sun bosses that are leaving Oracle could start up a company together and deliver on the things they all blog they wished they had achieved.

    They could call it SunSet...

    and go riding forward into it...

  3. Ysean

    Open-Source is a farce

    While I am all for not being raped for essential day to day software, open-source as a business model is a farce. You can count the success stories on one hand. Compare this to the number of successful closed-source companies out there and you can't help but realize that open-source has been and always will be an utopian ideal which will never take over the world. Does it power a number of things? Sure it does. But, the companies using most of it would have bought the software too.

    For an open-source company it is just too difficult to turn a reasonable profit selling support.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Intergalactic News

      Thanks for reporting back from Mars. Here on Earth open sources keeps growing :)

    2. Anonymous Coward

      You can't count anything you don't know anything about

      "You can count the success stories on one hand."

      We have more than a handful of success stories in our company, which is very small, just 40 people.

      So your argument boils down to that "If I don't know something, it doesn't exist".

      It's not very common to people to reveal the level of their ignorance like that, brave move.

      You've heard about successes (but not the failures) of big companies because they pay hundred of millions for advertising, every year. Just to reach people like you.

      That's a measure of success only to someone who measures "success" as an ability to steal from customers and that's not what open source is made for.

      I don't wonder you haven't heard of it, it's not of your bussiness.

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Rose Tinted Glasses

    "Phipps took an arguably more Sun-like approach by announcing his departure from the now Oracle-owned pack through his own blog, in which he said that Sun had "achieved some amazing things"."

    Err, excuse me, Mr Phipps, but was not the problem that Sun achieved so very few amazing things.

    Are Oracle now trawling/phishing for a chief open source officer who can achieve many amazing things, for anything less is a depreciating liability rather than an appreciating asset?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Amazing things

      Sun achieved many amazing things.

      Jonathan Schwartz achieved very few amazing things, notable amongst them being the destruction of Sun.

  5. Numpty

    That was never Sun's model

    Sun's model was never to make money selling open source software support, though. It was to sell big SPARC iron, which it did very successfully until companies stopped buying SPARC iron. And they were too late to the x86 server party-- or in fact, they were too soon, but fatally decided to walk away just before everyone else turned up. And then they turned up again just as everyone else had already paired off and started making out in the kitchen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Too true

      I remember (as a Sun engineer) porting a software product to x86, in the very early days (Solaris 2.1/2.3). It took a weekend to get the basics running (including all the kernel stuff) but we were ordered to stop by our then VP.

      We ignored him, and kept it going skunkworks-style until we had a new VP. It sold very well, and still earns some money for Sun AFAIK.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Companies stopped buying SPARC? uhh, no.

      hate to burst your theory that "companies stopped buying SPARC", but Sun sells billions of dollars of SPARC kit every year, including right now in 2010. The problem was never SPARC. And as for the gentleman in this article, I'm sure he's a very nice guy, but he has no place in Snoracle that is actually interested in building products and selling them for profit.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    I'm sad

    Sun never released Forté 4GL (now known as UDS) as open source.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    "He reckoned the company had helped get "important software in the computer industry released under Free licenses that guarantee software freedom for people who rely on them, regardless of who owns the copyrights. Unix, Java, key elements of Linux, the SPARC chip and much more have been liberated.""

    Also, shareholders have been liberated of their property. Employees have been liberated of their jobs.

    I bet Larry gave this guy a kick in the backside.

    GO ! somwhere else !

  8. Anonymous Coward

    ... and another one bites the dusts ...

    You guys had it all, you played hard, partied hard, earned mega salaries but forgot the work hard thing.

    You forgot the guys in the backroom who had bright ideas and poured their souls into it, who slogged longs nights testing and designing stuff, who spent long nights in cold computer rooms, who spent hours talking to customers trying to sell your "vision".

    You had the fun, we did the work. We built the company, you gave it away. Really stupid us.

    I'm the muppet with the purple hair

  9. redstar

    Never quite sure what he did

    I can't fault Phipps' enthusiasm for his topic, but I never understood how he contributed in any way to Sun's revenues. He seemed to fly around the world being very learned, but did he earn the company any money, or did he make life better for customers in any way?

    I'm not saying he didn't - I'd just like to know what his job was.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      ... he did what McNealy said

      ... "kick butt and have fun".

      Although, while he surely had fun, I agree it never was obvious whose butt he kicked. Definitely not the butts of those @Sun which put procedural obstacles into the paths of those trying to rally external developers.

      Hmm - envy. In that sense, green, and "go" as imperative !

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