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Observations From Sun's Group Manager of OpenSolaris and LAMP Development

Posted by marinasum on March 7, 2008 at 11:00 AM PST

Kuldip Oberoi
Kuldip Oberoi, group manager in Developer and Community Marketing at Sun, is responsible for maximizing the outreach of OpenSolaris into the application developer community worldwide. His responsibilities include product management and marketing of Sun Studio (C, C++, and Fortran compilers and tools) and Sun HPC ClusterTools, as well as adoption of the LAMP stack (Ruby, PHP, Python, and others) on OpenSolaris.Kuldip is a second-generation Sun employee: His father worked in graphics for Sun's hardware and software divisions for many years and is now at Apple Inc. While studying Computer Science at Cal Poly in the early 1990s, Kuldip interned in Market Developing Engineering at Sun. For a few years after graduation, he built device drivers for Apple and then consulted on the development of Web applications, mostly on the Java platform. In early 2002, Kuldip joined Sun's developer program team and then advanced to product manager for Sun Studio. Currently, he leads a team dedicated to promoting the adoption of OpenSolaris with application developers.

I've known Kuldip since he joined Sun in 2002 and count him as a friend. We chatted recently about his thoughts on OpenSolaris and application development.

OpenSolaris and Project Indiana as Related to Development and Distribution
Kuldip strongly encourages developers to build applications on the Solaris OS across industries, including high-performance computing, no matter what programming language they use—Java, C, C++, Fortran, Ruby, PHP. A recent article on Sun Developer Network, Why Develop on the Solaris OS?, explains the reasons in detail.

Since Sun made Solaris OS open source through OpenSolaris, the community has grown by leaps and bounds. See this Q&A with Jim Grisanzio, community manager for OpenSolaris engineering. Jim's popular blog addresses a variety of related topics, including how to build and connect communities.

"What's more, Project Indiana serves as a repository for OpenSolaris," says Kuldip. "Developers who work on other open-source projects should adopt Project Indiana as a venue for distributing their technologies." Given that Sun champions OpenSolaris and that the primary mechanism to acquire software once you're running on OpenSolaris would be through its repository, what better place to package and deploy your project's software than the repository? Doing so would be a win-win for everyone and would ensure a wide audience reach.

Beyond Java Development
Kuldip is keen to change the perception that Sun is all about Java development. "Sure, [the] Java [platform] is extremely important and the latest JavaFX [technology] represents a heavy investment from Sun," he muses. "Remember, though, that Sun is also interested in Ruby running both natively and indirectly on the Java virtual machine, in PHP, and in other scripting languages. Don't forget C, C++, and Fortran either. Support from Sun is truly all-encompassing."

Lately, Sun has attracted many talents from the open-source community, not the least of whom is Ian Murdock, the inventor of Debian Linux who's now a Sun VP. Other examples are Charles Nutter and Thomas Enobo, core developers of JRuby. Many other leaders in open-source projects are now working at Sun, benefitting not only Sun but also the platforms on which their projects run. See Kuldip's posting on this subject for more details. Another win-win!

"It's a Great Time to Be a Developer"
"In software development nowadays, a ton of innovation is going on and choices abound. Developers have a lot in their toolbox: technologies, languages, tools, platforms, which they can take advantage of while building applications," Kuldip tells me, enthusiasm in his voice. "It's a great time to be a developer! Open source represents a big part of the choices and the Web is a wonderful facilitator for this environment."

The key, then, is to make the right choices. "Check out Solaris Express Developer Edition 1/08 and OpenSolaris Developer Preview 2," urges Kuldip.