Thursday, September 13, 2007

The next *really* big thing

I left this out on the opensolaris-discuss mailing list:

--- Dennis Clarke wrote:

> I think that the next really *big* thing will be Indiana as well as
> the
> nifty new pkg concepts.

I think the next really really big thing will be Indiana's fully free open-source no-Sun Microsystems-required-to-build unnamed successor that will have this great packaging system but that will also have this great modular load system so it will be able to internet self-install with basically a couple of megs on a USB or one of those little flash rams in digital cameras. I think this next really really big thing will not mention Sun Microsystems anywhere and will be used by more than 3 billion people on all sorts of hand-held or hanging-on-your-clothes devices with reliable viop, video-streaming, enterprise-class networking, military-grade encryption, self-regulated meshing, voice recognition, GPS, web, will be rugged and work anywhere in the world, from permafrost-thawing Siberia to the jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

These lovely devices will automatically use any kind of bandwidth available, and will have automatic bandwidth detection and evaluation, so people in parts of the world where the US FCC doesn't hold court will be able to utilize a much broader spectrum and push the envelope of speed and distance at minimized power consumption.

These devices will be the computers of the 21st century. Desktops are yielding their dominance to laptops, but within 10 years, laptops too will have yielded their dominance to these devices, and people all over the world will not see keyboards, but sexy (thank you Apple for bringing sexy back), small, and continuously powered and networked personal devices that will allow people anywhere in the world to speak with and see anyone else in the world they wish to at a word from their lips.

These devices, if the OpenSolaris community plays its cards right, will run a successor to Indiana (not necessarily the first child).

Did I paint a rosy picture? Did I take a snapshot from 1960 sci-fi?

One laptop per child will revolutionize computing.

OpenSolaris can do the same.

A few things must happen first, though.

The OpenSolaris community must be completely untangled from Sun Microsystems. Face it, you guys are crying about microsoft windows on Sun hardware. Why? Because you think microsoft sucks. Let me let you in on a little secret: plenty of people think SUNW sucks, and will not involve themselves in a project that's dancing the tango with SUNW, no matter how exciting the dancing might seem.

Why is it important for OpenSolaris to be able to run completely independently of Sun? You want to be able to use talent. You want to be able to use the talents of gifted and smart people from the Linux camp, from FreeBSD, from IBM, Intel, AMD, Apple, Microsoft, and the army of large for-profit corporations that make up the Global 5000. You want to be able to use the next uberhacker who will revolutionalize some fiber of the network with his scalable, distributed, unbreakable, unsuable social networking web 4.0 application in 3 years. You want to get all the people on your Skuldelev rowing in unison, so that you can take on the foggy new world of saturated global communications.

You feel it now? Sun Microsystems may or may not survive the next 20 years of accelerated globalization. OpenSolaris must. Unchain yourselves from the corporation and embrace freedom. Freedom to build from source, freedom to run on devices not invented yet, freedom to mold to your heart's content, freedom to let the software soar to heights undreamed of. In doing so, fulfill yourselves, and fill a need in mankind's struggle to extend care to all of its members.

Linux did it. OpenSolaris can too.

By the way, these devices will be designed and built in the People's Republic of China. Sooner than you and I can possibly imagine. So get rolling, because time is short.

Update on March 18 2009: Google's G1 running Android is getting awfully close to this.