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DTrace co-creator quits Sun, hits delete on Oracle

Bryan Cantrill dreams of eternal sunshine

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The co-creator of DTrace has seemingly erased all memory of Larry Ellison’s Oracle from his mind, after quitting Sun Microsystems for an engineering veep role at Joyent last week.

Bryan Cantrill is the latest in a long list of Sun men to quit the firm, following its takeover by Oracle earlier this year.

His exit came just a week after Greg Lavender, the lead developer in charge of the Solaris operating system at Oracle, left the company.

Worse still, the OpenSolaris Governing Board, which is supposed to steer the open source version of Solaris, is mulling disbanding because Oracle has had zero contact with the board for the past six months.

DTrace - developed by Cantrill, Adam Leventhal and Mike Shapiro - was of course added to Sun’s Solaris 10 operating system way back in 2004. The software was seen as a gift to sysadmins because it granted them thousands upon thousands of ways to check on a system’s performance and then tweak the server box while it was still running.

Sun later ported DTrace to FreeBSD following its decision to open source the software and the analytics tool has been a mainstay of Solaris and OpenSolaris ever since.

Sadly, the same can no longer be said of Cantrill, who walked from Sun Oracle on 25 July.

In a blog post the kernel engineer said he had no regrets about working at Sun for the past 14 years. At the same time, his missive read like yet another obituary about the Oracle-owned firm.

“One of Sun’s greatest strengths was that we technologists were never discouraged from interacting directly and candidly with our customers and users, and many of our most important innovations came from these relationships,” he opined.

“This symbiosis was critically important at several junctures of my own career, and I owe many of you a profound debt of gratitude - both for your counsel over the years, and for your willingness to bet your own business and livelihood on the technologies that I helped develop.

"You, like us, are innovators who love nothing more than great technology, and your steadfast faith in us means more to me than I can express; thank you.”

But, as pointed out in a comment on the blog post, Cantrill edited out any mention of Oracle, presumably to make his mind spotless again. ®

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