Jonathan Schwartz, president and chief operating officer of Sun Microsystems Inc., has graciously agreed to answer questions from Groklaw. If there is anything you'd like to ask him or if you'd like to get something clarified, this is your moment. I'll collect the dozen or so best of the best and send them to him. Feel free to indicate your preferences as to the questions you'd most like to have him answer from those posted, also.
To get your thoughts flowing, perhaps you'd like to read this eWeek article about Solaris being open sourced or this one from Business Week. You might also like to read over his blog. Or perhaps you have a question about the Kodak settlement. Here is Sun's press release about that. Or maybe you are interested in more details about Sun's announced patent protection plan for Solaris. Or maybe you'd be interested in Forrester's paper? There's no point in asking him questions he has already answered, so please do read the linked articles.
I mention the blog because you will find a picture of him there. Looking at it reminds me that we will be talking with a human being, with feelings just like ours, so let's please be polite. Polite but substantive. I am sure I can count on you to come through. And I'll do my best too. Linus is hoping for the best from Sun:
"I'll be really happy if Sun ends up being a good open-source player," he said. "They have a great history from the '80s. Let's see if they can actually get back to it."
There are questions that I'd like to ask myself, although mine are in the category of things he might not want to answer, or can't, like what's in the Microsoft settlement agreement? Anything about the future and Linux?
I know. I know. But a girl can dream, can't she? If I didn't think big, I'd never have started Groklaw in the first place. What I'd really like him to tell us is what was Sun's position in the meeting with the Polish government on software patents and what is the company's position on software patents? And what exactly did Sun buy from SCO in order to open source Solaris?
"Arguably the most important question I asked Scott McNealy was, 'What proprietary code had to be taken out of Solaris in preparation for open sourcing it?' McNealy responded by saying that the process of open sourcing Solaris actually started five years ago. 'There were hundreds of encumbrances to open sourcing Solaris. Some of them we had to buy out, others we had to eliminate. We had to pay SCO more money so we could open the code -- I couldn't say anything about that at the time, but now I can tell you that we paid them that license fee to expand our rights to the code,' he said, referring to the February 2003 multi-million-dollar purchase of expanded Unix SVR4 license rights from the SCO Group."
I'd give anything to see that list.