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Filesystems and commercial open source innovation

My friend Rusty pointed me to an article about ZFS File System Makes it to Mac OS X Leopard.

ZFS is a filesystem developed by Sun. The self-professed "last word in file systems" no less. If there's something Sun knows how to do it's design and implement kick-ass OS/hardware level software, and of course now (nearly) all Solaris code is open source.

This is the kind of innovation acceleration that Vanevar Bush was talking about for the post-WWII scientific community - now we're really getting there in the commercial, as well as academic, software community.

Google is gaining from, and feeding open source. So is Sun. So is Apple. Oracle is testing at the edges, others are tipping their toes in as well. Which makes you wonder about the people being left out. Specifically Microsoft.

Microsoft's inability to deliver a next generation file system is welldocumented (even on their own winFS blog). Let's see - even in the early '90s Windows was planning an object file system. Apple had a similar early '90s foray (Pink/Taligent), but now they don't have to - they just tweak some code from Sun.

The more we figure out how open source fits into "co-opetition" (I hate that non-word, but there it is) the faster software will progress. Being the biggest software company in the world isn't going to save you when Chinese and Indian companies start to bootstrap themselves on open source and feed back into it.

07:54 AM, 22 Dec 2006 by Mark Aufflick Permalink

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