Kenai: Sun sets up its own community website

Sep 14, 2008

The Sun enterprise established a website, Kenai, which will host its own Open Source project code.

Sun Microsystems has described itself all along as the "biggest Open Source undertaking," participating in over 750 Open Source projects, therefore requiring its own hosting infrastructure. They claim then that Project Kenai would serve the open source world in the best way.

Currently in beta, the project is based on the Ruby on Rails web application framework, and integrates Mercurial and Subversion sources, Bugzilla for issue tracking, and Sympa for mailing lists. Further details are in Sun developer Tim Bray's weblog.

Among the Sun projects associated with Kenai are virtualization software XVM Server and JRuby, the Ruby Java implementation. Information about establishing further projects is on their FAQ page.

As Sun's chief Open Source officer, Simon Phipps, asserts in his blog, "I am keen to fix the problem of the proliferation of open source licenses." The company will work together with the Open Source Initiative (OSI) on their solution. The OSI recently released a report dealing with the license proliferation issue. It recommends methods whereby licensors can make easier selections, licenses that "do not play well together" can be avoided, and multi-license compatibility is easier to understand. Kenai offers only the OSI-"recommended" licenses to developers of new projects ("Licenses that are popular and widely used or with strong communities"). Phipps suggests that other licenses are not necessarily excluded, but would be considered as part of a second phase. Even Sun Microsystems, in giving away its free open source Java, rather than relying on its own licenses, uses the GPLv2 license instead.

The concept and layout of the Kenai website are reminiscent of project hosting sites such as Google Code and Sourceforge, which possibly plays into the Kenai motto "We're More Than Just a Forge."

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