where is the HP community?

Posted on Nov 19, 2004

Simon is interesting in his analysis of Martin Fink’s attack on Solaris. There’s some polite rebuttal of Martin’s opinions, as well as some less than polite stuff. Given where I work you can probably take a reasonable stab are where I’d sit. In the end you’ll have to read all of the commentary and make your own mind up.

But how feasible is that? As indicated, there are a bunch of comments from Sun supporters who think that Martin is off base. Are there any comments supporting his position? A quick glance at Technorati doesn’t show anything relevant. So perhaps, in the blog world, you’re only going to get one side of the argument.

Why is that? Whilst HP has a few blogs online it’s a bit later getting to the game than Sun. Maybe they don’t get it yet. I was also a bit worried about the leader from Mark Potts, who writes:

So, I got asked to a Blog here at HP …

“Asked”? As has been discussed at endless length, one of the interesting things about blogs is the idea of authentic voice. Whilst Mark may well be able to manage that, the idea that people are being targetted to start a blog as part of a program to “catch up” makes me nervous. How long before an email goes around to all blogging staff saying “Hey people, Product X launches today, so please remember to reference it in your blog entry this morning!”

Another aspect of this that got me thinking was the “community” that people keep talking about. In his latest entry, Martin Fink says:

I should have said, “the Solaris/x86 developer community is significantly smaller than the Linux developer community”.

Notice that he compares the Solaris/x86 developer community with the Linux developer community. Two things about that:

  • It’s not obvious why we should distinguish between the Solaris/x86 developer community and the Solaris developer community. Unless you are building hardware support or some other type of low level code Solaris is Solaris on all platforms.
  • We’re comparing Solaris against Linux. It’s not the Solaris developer community compared with the HP developer community. (Does HP have a developer community these days? My last HP system was an hp300 workstation more than ten years ago.)

Companies who are switching their customers to some flavour of Linux like to portray the world as Sun vs. Linux. If you think for a moment that’s obviously daft, as it’s Sun vs. HP or Sun vs. IBM that they really care about. This leads to another thought - do these companies that are switching their customers actually have any kind of investment in the Linux developer community that they are riding? I imagine that they contribute back source code and employ a few Linux developers, but is it core to what they do? Long term, is there an HP Linux developer community or an IBM Linux developer community?

Trust me, the Solaris developer community and Solaris stability, performance and availability are a big deal here at Sun. It’s been that way for a long time, it’s like that now and it will continue to be so for a long while yet.