Sun Microsystems chief executive Jonathan Schwartz has invited Linux creator Linus Torvalds to dinner to discuss how Sun and Linux can join forces, only a day after Torvalds publicly questioned the authenticity of Sun’s interest in serving the open source community.
"I wanted you to hear this from me directly," Schwartz wrote in an entry on his blog. "We want to work together, we want to join hands and communities. We have no intention of holding anything back, or pulling patent nonsense. And to prove the sincerity of the offer, I invite you to my house for dinner."
Schwartz was defending Sun against comments Torvalds made in a post on the Linux Kernel Mailing List. Torvalds suggested Sun is keeping some of the more interesting features of its OpenSolaris open source project, such as the famous ZFS file system, close to the chest because the company doesn't want to help Linux, which has hurt Sun's position in the market.
Schwartz begged to differ that Sun is punishing the Linux community for how commodity servers running the operating system trumped Sun's Solaris based hardware after the dotcom bust, a phenomenon that eventually led Sun to release Solaris as an open source project.
"Did the Linux community hurt Sun? No, not a bit," Schwartz claimed. "I draw a very sharp distinction, even if our competition is conveniently reckless. They like to paint the battle as Sun versus the community, and it's not. Companies compete, communities simply fracture."
Torvalds has taken issue with the fact that Sun has not released OpenSolaris under the GNU General Public License Version 2 (GPLv2), which currently governs Linux. The license for OpenSolaris is the Community Development and Distribution License, which Sun created based on the Mozilla Public License.