Blastwave.org

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Blastwave.org Inc.
Type Private
Industry Computer software
Founders Dennis Clarke
Headquarters Toronto, Canada
Area served Worldwide
Products Software packages
Owners Dennis Clarke
Website www.blastwave.org

Blastwave.org was a privately held corporation specialized in building and supporting open source software packages for Oracle Solaris, as well as various operating system distributions based on OpenSolaris. As its primary product, it provides an independent software repository for Solaris in a similar manner to the repositories for Linux distributions.

The objective of the Blastwave project was to allow Solaris and OpenSolaris users to freely have pre-packaged open source software in accordance with specified standards. It was created in a time when Sun hardware and Solaris tools were very expensive and thus it was difficult to create a project to support open source users. The lead design engineer for the software architecture was Philip Brown who was a member of the original six software advocates that advised Sun Microsystems Inc. to re-release Solaris on the x86 architecture. The primary financial sponsor and business lead was Dennis Clarke. The software was in SVR4-compliant package format and ready to run via the simple package utilities such as pkg-get written by Philip Brown and designed with the same sort of friendly interface as apt-get within the Debian project. The Blastwave project was very popular by 2007 and had many thousands of commercial users. Software quality was tightly controlled and testing was a key part of the release process. After many years of explosive growth with many software package maintainers there was disagreement within the project over how to proceed, regarding whether to continue to support Solaris 8, among other things. In late 2008 a small team of maintainers backed up all software and the maillists from Blastwave.org and forked out a project called OpenCSW taking Philip Brown with them. Within a few years, Philip Brown resigned from that project and therefore no leadership from the original Blastwave project remained. The pkg-get tool written by Phil Brown was designated as unsupported, in favour of a new open source pkgutil tool written within the OpenCSW project. A small selection of maintainers did remain with Blastwave for a few more years and they did release thousands of software package updates with the same level of testing and quality control as well as the addition of SHA256 software package manifests. Dennis Clarke was elected as a member of the OpenSolaris Governance Board at the same time that Sun Microsystems Inc. was seeking a buyer for the languishing company. Ultimately Oracle Corporation purchased Sun Microsystems Inc. and then took actions to cancel the OpenSolaris project. The Blastwave project served its purpose of creating a software package base for Solaris users in a time when both the hardware and the software tools were very expensive. As of late 2012 there were no more maintainers of software at Blastwave other than Dennis Clarke himself. While being a passionate advocate for open source and free software he is often outspoken and in a rage over the legal actions taken by Oracle Corporation to close down the community created project www.wesunsolve.com he "pulled the plug" on Blastwave. The intention that Oracle Corporation and the Solaris market shall have no further free benefits from Blastwave.org Inc. The US TradeMarks were allowed to languish and the site has been shut down. The OpenCSW project remains.

There still exists some 4,000 software packages for both the SPARC and x86/AMD architectures that support Solaris on various mirror sites worldwide. The software was built to support Solaris 8, 9, and 10. Solaris Nevada as well as Solaris Express Community Edition were never officially supported, however the CSW software set from Blastwave was reported to work well. Older Sun hardware architectures were officially supported, as well as the latest generation Sun UltraSPARC hardware and multi-core AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon implementations.

The "Blastwave Software Stack" was a commercial-grade software service product. Software packages were continually being updated and released to commercial users of Solaris the Blastwave mirrors. There was also an internal tree simply called "testing" and it was used for QA processes before a package enters the new packages stage. The addition of Solaris-native virtualization technology under the brandname "Solaris Containers" allows the Blastwave stack to function within Solaris 8, 9, 10 native zones. The Solaris Containers software under codename Kevlar was originally tested in the public at Blastwave.org and testing results proved that Solaris Containers or Zones could provide complete development environments within Solaris 10 servers. This feature ensures that Solaris customers may retain their legacy software investment and also implement the latest LAMP stack features within those Solaris virtual hosts. Also, the overall cost of operating a project that had needed many servers in a "farm" was vastly reduced. Essentially the overall cost of ownership of Solaris had fallen to commodity levels.

The Blastwave build stack was a set of servers that housed the build environment. This stack allowed members of the Solaris and OpenSolaris communities to gain access to both tools and expertise such that they may build software in accordance with set standards. Release was performed continuously and to many mirror sites world wide.

As of 20 September 2012, Blastwave has ceased its operation, and its Web site is no longer accessible.

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