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Sun Microsystems Operating Systems Software Linux

Sun Says OpenSolaris Will Challenge Linux 405

E5Rebel writes "Sun Microsystems has ambitious plans for the commercial and open source versions of its Solaris operating system. The company hopes to achieve for Solaris the kind of widespread uptake already enjoyed by Java. This means challenging Linux. 'There's an enormous momentum building behind Solaris,' according to Ian Murdock, chief operating platforms officer at Sun, who was chief technology officer of the Linux Foundation and creator of the Debian Linux distribution. Isn't it all a bit late?"
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Sun Says OpenSolaris Will Challenge Linux

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  • by inflex ( 123318 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:10AM (#20462629) Homepage Journal
    Consider MS with IE and then Mozilla with Firefox.

    MS Word vs WordPerfect 5.1

    What about Linux, itself was probably considered "too late" or such at the time "Everything's been invented/done".

    What about when Redhat was top dog - who'd have thought that Ubuntu would come along and change a lot of things.

    The point is, it's [almost] never too late, just sometimes you have a harder job ahead of you.
  • How can we lose? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:12AM (#20462647)
    I was first going to write a blurb saying "Great! How can we lose! Let the best OS win!"

    But on second thought, I can think of one bad scenario: OpenSolaris and Linux end up with different groups of users, where-as they previously would have mostly used Linux. This makes it harder for *either* open-source OS to get enough market share to attract ISVs, manufacturers writing device drivers, etc.

    I guess the best of both worlds is if Linux and OpenSolaris kind of merge, resulting in a single OS with the strengths of both (for example, the goodness of getting dtrace into Linux).
  • by udippel ( 562132 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:13AM (#20462657)
    (Just missed the FP, but still)
    this chance was missed a few times. The last one was when Nexenta was treated like a mother-in-law.
    If SUN wanted acceptance instead of l33t, GPL(v3) would have been the order of the day.
    As long as they dangle about with CDDL, they might as well pass away. Don't get me wrong, CDDL ('cuddle') is quite a good FOSS licence. But it has its problems with a coexistence side-by-side to GPL. And GNU is, love it or hate it, thousands of great applications; and moreover a licence accepted by the majority of FOSS developers.

    I hope(d) Ian would have the power to apt-ing Solaris, but he doesn't seem to. And when you read the OpenSolaris lists, you find as much ego-tripping as on OpenBSD or Mac. They rather sink with pkgadd.
    And I cry for them, yes, because SunOS is the greatest kernel around, with limited hardware support. Back to licencing and square one.
  • by javilon ( 99157 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:14AM (#20462661) Homepage
    yes, and there is something that solaris has that linux doesnt. ZFS.

    If zfs is not ported to linux due to license problems, Ill install solaris on my home file/backup server.
  • by Tanuki64 ( 989726 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:36AM (#20462845)
    ...or *BSD, or Linux. I am working with Linux, I am developing under Linux. My programs compile for *BSD and for Linux. I am pretty sure they would compile and run as fine under Solaris. So why am I using Linux? It has the best driver support, the best documentation, the best software support. Would I change when *BSD or Solaris get the same quality of support? No, why should I? They have to be better and solve at least one problem, I have with Linux. Currently I have no problems with it. Would I change if there was a problem, which one of the others solve? At once. As I said, I could not care less, which one of the three I use.

    So please could anyone tell me, what are the USP's of Solaris?
  • by tji ( 74570 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:37AM (#20462861)
    After looking at newer Solaris offerings, one thing that struck me as a good option is to use Solaris as my Host/Hypervisor OS, and use Linux within Xen VMs on top of Solaris. You get Solaris advantages at the root { ZFS, Solaris Zones, Stable Unix platform, good management tools } while still running any instances of Linux I want, enclosing my services in lightweight Linux VMs.

    Last time I checked, Xen was not fully ready for prime time on Solaris. But, that was quite a while ago. If it's Xen is stable, and has good management tools, Solaris would make a good hypervisor. For security reasons, I think it's also nice to have different OS's in the hypervisor and VMs -- making it less likely a single exploit can rip through all layers.
  • Sure, XFS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Junta ( 36770 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:43AM (#20462933)
    I can do XFS too (I know you made a mistake, and mean ZFS). However, I will point out:
    $df -h .
    Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on /mnt/t/something 16T 1.1M 16T 1% /mnt/t/t
    $df -k .
    Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on /mnt/t/something 17100669952 1056 17100668896 1% /mnt/t/t

    I just ran this on my laptop (an 'average' system, though I assume your system with 16 TB of storage is not really 'average'. I too can have big block devices with a single filesystem, big deal. Go commercial, ala GPFS and you can do bigger ( ystems). I just have a hard time having enough storage to build such a filesystem. The biggest real block device (not sparse) I have readily available not on GPFS is an 8 TB ext3 filesystem.

    ZFS's power is not the filesystem size. It unifies a lot of things historically in different layers. I.e. software raid, storage pools, dynamic new filesystems, long term snapshotting. Most of these can be done without ZFS, but the creating filesystems and long-term snapshotting can be done with such ease and efficiency when all the 'layers' work together, and that is what ZFS brings to the table. I will say ext3cow would give me the single feature that most appeals to me about ZFS, and the rest I can do using LVM and such.

    In the end, ZFS is the single point that tempts me in general about Solaris, but I'm not about to jump platforms when I know enough 'tricks' to get 'good enough' out of my existing platform.
  • Re:OpenSolaris (Score:3, Interesting)

    by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:46AM (#20462965) Homepage
    Great documentation--

    This is probably correct. With a "--".

    I recently had to try to read the spagetty which is the OpenSolaris TCP implementation and frankly it felt exactly like this "--". Great documentation--; for very line, through the entire monolythic single multimegabyte .c file.

    No thanks, compared to that I will actually take BSD any day. That is actually documented. Both outside the code and inside it.

    It is quite entertaining to see Murdock making such claims. He actually forgets that the greatest strength of Linux is that most of its codebase is understandable. While it may be missing some high end enterprise bells and whistles a relative newbe can sit down and understand most of the code straight away. Granted, his attempts at coding anything for it may end up being futile, but he will like it none the less. On top of it he has the greatest possible documentation - the code and it is readable.

    Solaris codebase is anything but understandable. I have read some of the code and the best way to describe it is "brainnumbing exercise". As such it will always have a limited appeal to any new developer who is facing a choice of where to put his efforts.

    This is as far as developers are concerned. And as far as users Solaris is late to the party as well. Apple got there before it.
  • by setagllib ( 753300 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:46AM (#20462969)
    Allow me to clarify. The JVM currently has a lot of clever optimizations like lock coarsening. It's proving it's pretty smart. Now, imagine if the JVM could detect a certain procedure is doing a LOT of user-kernel switches, and therefore can be moved to kernel space. When it needs to communicate memory back to userspace, it can be moved back in, ideally, only one switch. This is a pretty simple optimization which has a lot of room for improving performance. Some processes like servlet containers and their servlets could, in theory, be moved entirely into kernel land, without having to program any kernel code at all. I wonder if this is planned for any JVM?
  • by setagllib ( 753300 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:53AM (#20463043)
    You've missed an important reality of FOSS development, which is that most projects have a core team (or, often, a Benevolent Dictator) which decides everything. No matter how much the users might want, that core team still decides what gets implemented and widely deployed. Look at Python vs Ruby - they're competing in a very similar space, and both growing in different directions, with uses for both of them. They simply cannot become one project without losing their individual advantages. But they can co-exist rather nicely, and cross-pollinate ideas that are compatible with both.

    Linux has Linus as the benevolent dictator. Linux is freakin' awesome, but other projects do things differently, and can often justify them one way or another. If these projects are allowed to bring those ideas into reality, and demonstrate their value, Linux could copy the ideas.

    Look at BSD's kqueue, spawned in FreeBSD. It's really good. Around the time it was spawned, Linux still had poll, and then later epoll, but epoll isn't that great. Now Linux is getting new event notification systems, of varying sanity, because kqueue has shown it can be done much better, even if the Linux guys don't quite agree with it in its entirety.

    For all we know, Linux might end up re-architecturing to have natural SSI like DragonFly plans to have. DragonFly can be a great proof of concept. And if, a few years from now, the market situation is such that implementing drivers, software support, etc. is easy, the developer resources can focus on making a competitive, usable product instead of playing catchup with basic hardware support. We'll see an explosion of useful, interoperable operating systems, that would have otherwise died just trying to be runnable at all. *Especially* with virtualization platforms reducing the amount of code necessary to get a live kernel, and improving debuggability, deployment flexibility, etc. The mere anticipation floors me.
  • 2 powers houses (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JeremyGNJ ( 1102465 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:54AM (#20463045)
    Windows + .NET
    Open Solaris + Java
    Linux + ????

    Basically leaves Linux as the bastard step-child with no framework of their own. They kind of have MONO...and they DO have java....but how long til "incompatibilities" start popping up, now that Sun is pushing into the OS market?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:00AM (#20463089)
    Back when linus released linux as open/free software, there were no other choices for a free operating system:

    - Minix had switched policy to 160$ for the diskettes.
    - The BSDs said that they were going to go free, but the board of directors didn't want to lose potential profits and that was constantly delayed.
    - MS-DOS is not an operating system.

    We were in a deadend. Linux was the right thing at the time.

    *After* linux took off, the others got scared and as a *reaction* to linux, started giving out open/free operating systems. The BSD alliance in fact went for "totally free -- you can rip it off and sell it and never give back".

    But the thing is, all these moved happened in REACTION to linux. We wasted a lot of time and money hacking device drivers for linux without any documentation. Now that our efforts have succeeded they want us to give it up and go fix Solaris bugs and write device drivers for it? Or fragment the community of hackers?

    Sorry. Been there, done that. Too late now.
  • by Ajehals ( 947354 ) <> on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:15AM (#20463213) Homepage Journal
    If OpenSolaris sees adoption on low end machines, it would provide an incentive to enterprise level customers to go the whole hog and buy Sun hardware to run it on. What could be better from a corporate point of view than having a single vendor to go to for all your support and other issues, not to mention that my experience of Sun support is pretty damn good.
  • by Marcus Green ( 34723 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:17AM (#20463223) Homepage
    According to Johnathan Schwartz of Sun
    ".. Java runs on more devices than Microsoft Windows, Linux, Solaris, Symbian and the Mac combined. Nearly 4 billion devices at this point, from smart cards to consumer devices, DVD players to set top boxes, medical equipment, all the way up into the majority of the world's transactional systems and 8 out of every 10 cellphones sold." twork_effect []
  • Sounds good to me.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by target562 ( 623649 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:20AM (#20463251) Homepage
    ...After years of migrating most of our datacenter operations from Solaris & IRIX environment to Linux, we have pretty much migrated everything back to Solaris. Reasons? Cost - Solaris licenses are free. Support is good, and also relatively inexpensive. Cheaper than RedHat Enterprise. Stability - We're talking interface stability, backwards compatability, etc. Storage - Linux's storage subsystems are still a joke. A hodgepodge of filesystems, and don't even get started on enterprise storage technologies such as fibre channel & multipathing, where the linux solution requires a spool of duct tape, a pack of chewing gum, and some string. Compatibility - Solarisx86 has had no problems running on any enterprise-grade server hardware (Dell, IBM, Sun). Many complain about Solaris not having the "driver base" of Linux -- but the question is, would you really want to run that hardware in your enterprise?
  • Yawn (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pecisk ( 688001 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:22AM (#20463273)
    Wake me up when Sun has:
    * Has as much open drivers as Linux has;
    * When it has ALSA (I know, it sucks sorta, but it works at least);
    * When it has very vibrant and lively developer and user community;
    * And when you don't have to release such PR to say 'momentum is building behind OpenSolaris'. I know hyping is sometimes quite cool, but it is just sick.

    People hype about ZFS. But do really there are mass defection to OpenSolaris because of that? I don't.
  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <> on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:24AM (#20463299)
    1.) Ditch the inhouse CLI tools - they suck and will never catch up with GNU. Maintaining them is pointless. Use the full spectrum of GNU CLI tools.
    2.) Use a pimped zshell as shell with a prime quality default setup and some good-looking, neat tutorials to get the Bash crowd in line for it.
    3.) De-suckify the entire grafical desktop stack, unifing GTK and QT with the same, one and only default theme that looks good.
    4.) Use APT as distribution system.
    5.) GPL Solaris and remove the distinction between Solaris and OpenSolaris.
    6.) Build a marketing army to push Solaris as "Mac OS X" for all non-Apple computers and 'the better open Unix variant / the better Linux' at the same time.

    There's only one big problem in all this: Sun. They are a technology driven company. Gigs like Apple or Canonical (Ubuntu) are vision driven and have a single boss who's considered king. They have a vision and they convey it to any opinion leader in the industry they care about.
    Suns staff wouldn't know a well designed desktop or a constently marketed brand if you showed it in their face. Just look at the video presentations from JavaOne. Anyone delivering such a presentation at Apples MacWorld would lose his job the next day. Sun is putting out CEO computable marketing babble and if at all they will only come through half way.

    Mind you, Solaris overtaking Linux is possible. Theoretically. Solaris has the prime advantage of not having an image torn to tiny bits and pieces by a thousand distributions - if Sun would do all the things mentioned above they could seriously capitalize on this distinction to Linux. But as I mentioned allready, they lack the vision and conceptual consitency to really pull through with it. That's my experience anyway.
  • by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:33AM (#20463383) Journal
    Ahh! and this is why I think competition from solaris is very good. If indeed OpenSolaris starts competing against Linux on the Destkop, and due to its "more commercial" (less zealotry) policy allows (or even promotes) closed source drivers to interact with the kernel via a stable ABI or whatnot making it more "commercial harware vendor friendly", then maybe, just maybe, a lot of companies will start publishing hardware drivers for it and it will support the newest hardware better than Linux.

    I would love that such thing happened, just to see how the hardcore open source Linux zealots react after Solaris starts to eath the tiny PC usage share.

  • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:37AM (#20463419)
    as will .NET once people have gotten used to it, forgotten the hype that surrounds it and started to find the same flaws in it as Java has (after all, C# practically is Java). even MS has said that they've done their thing with C# and the next version of VStudio wil be focusing back on native code.

    The probem is that even if it becomes a legacy language, it'll still be used... just like COBOL.

    As for which one is easier to use, I think that's a matter of the IDE you use. Eclipse is rather good and has some nice features too.
  • by Starker_Kull ( 896770 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:42AM (#20463477)

    Why do you think Microsoft is scrambling for OOXML standardization? Because the document format lockin is a huge, huge part of Microsoft's monopoly strategy. If they're forced to be an equal player in the office suite space, making Office largely replaceable, then Windows is largely replaceable too. When Linux + KDE + Firefox + can replace a Windows + Office + IE setup with lower costs, minimal training and solid vendor support (Canonical, Red Hat, ...), how much incentive is there to run Windows any more?

    I have little incentive to run Windows NOW. And you are absolutely correct, it's the standards lock-in that Microsoft is aiming for, because that is the essential thing - businesses want to be able to read their own (and other businesses') documents. But the potential to replace Windows has been around for a while. It's like watching mud harden, while Microsoft keeps dribbling in drops of water and stirring from time to time. The inertia Windows has in the business world is astonishing.

    Gradually the government switches, corporations switch, and finally users switch. The numbers indicate it's happening anyway, and the format war is just going to nail the coffin on Microsoft's monopoly. They never even had a monopoly on servers, gaming technology, etc. so the office is their last stand, and in a matter of days it will be confirmed that they have lost that too.

    Not too many governments have switched, because unfortunately the importance of an open and SIMPLE (meaning, simple to implement) standard for documents and archives hasn't 'clicked' - most people in those positions still think in terms of safety = 'paper' or 'Big Company', rather than 'clear standard'. Don't get me wrong, I would be delighted if the Office standard monopoly was broken, because that is still the key thing that keeps Microsoft relevant. But it's not happening yet. For instance, I use rather sophisticated spreadsheets that are highly tuned to the businesses they are made for, and they break under OpenOffice. The amount of time I spend tweaking them to just work even between versions of Excel is as great as the amount of time it took to design them in the first place! I would be delighted if a better spreadsheet standard, or just open document standard that incorporates typical spreadsheet functionality, was out there and useable TODAY... the lack of a clear and transparent document standard that 'just works' probably holds back a lot of businesses and wastes a lot of time.

    And of course, as the demand for Linux installations grows, and more vendors sell pre-packaged Linux, then hardware contracts will also require useful drivers or even documentation, and the hardware situation will be largely solved too. Sit back and relax, freedom has won and the liberation continues as planned.

    (Must... resistl....Godwin....Nooooooo....) You know, after Germany absorbed Austria, Czechoslovakia, mashed France and Poland, was bombing Britian, and Hitler signed the alliance with Stalin, and looked just about invincible, the Brits still managed to fight back, even bombing Berlin from time to time. One night, when Ribbentrop and Molotov were dining out, an air-raid siren went off from a British raid, and they had to scamper into an air-raid shelter. Ribbentrop kept insisting to Molotov that the Brits were done and finished. So, Molotov, responded, "If you are so sure that Britian is finished, then why are we in this shelter, and whose are these bombs which fall?"

    Don't underestimate your enemy; things only appear inevitable to those not actually watching the details. People said Microsoft was done and finished for the exact same reasons when they were delcared in 1999 by Judge Jackson a monopoly [], and an abusive one, and recommended seperating them into an application and an OS company. Almost 10 years later, and they are still here in force. I ain't relaxing yet.

  • Re:OpenSolaris (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @10:01AM (#20463657)
    While I have not looked at the OpenSolaris code for comparison, your claims about the Linux kernel being well documented and easily readable are not uniformly true. A few years ago I wrote a driver for the Realtek 8139 for eCos. Since the datasheet from Realtek is almost useless for determining how the chip is supposed to work (it contains lots of omissions and outright errors), I decided to look at the sources of the Linux driver - this was not much more helpfull than the datasheet. In the end, I looked at the OpenBSD driver, which *is* very well documented and easy to understand, even for people (like me) that know just about nothing about the OpenBSD driver model.
  • by Starker_Kull ( 896770 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @10:23AM (#20463853)

    True, but the trend is towards their defeat, by the combined pressure of free software and the surprisingly powerful Apple force. And the Apple force is deliberately not poised for commodity position, relying on proprietary, vendor-locked hardware. We're not through with Microsoft yet, but the situation now is much better than in 1999, even with the years of inertia building.

    Yep - I think that just the awareness of alternatives caused by Apple is good; once you look at one alternative, it's easier to look at others.

    Lots of the biggest companies have already switched to Linux in critical positions, and this trend is only increasing, and the big companies end up setting examples for the little companies. It'll all happen, sooner or later, and I'm just glad that, right now, 'most of us' can already run Linux with high confidence.

    True - it is easier than it ever was to just install Linux on a random box lying around and put it to use. I work mostly with small businesses, which generally are too small to have their own dedicated IT departments, and so they tend to go with 'the default', so my view is limited.

    Besides, speaking of WWII, the (reasonably) free market of the US won. It's only lately that the US has declined to abysmal levels of deficit and sanity, due in no small part to the kind of market practices that make Microsoft possible to begin with. The freest market tends to win, and open source may be the next big victor. Maybe I sound a bit too ideological saying that.

    It's worth remembering that truly free markets are truly unstable and lead to monopoly without a power structure that actively resists and breaks up incipient monopolies... as for WWII.... well, my response is too long for this text-box to contain without skidding off into serious off-topic land... ;)

    I think you are right about open source being the eventual victor, but I want eventual to be before I retire! The landscape does look more promising than in 1999, though. I think Microsoft just needs one more really big, enterprise screwing bomb to push it over the edge.

  • Re:OpenSolaris (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @11:21AM (#20464557) Homepage
    I would love to see a newbie doing all that guesswork just to recover a fucked MBR.

    As someone who has had to recover Solaris software raid out of f*** state on multiple occasions I can ensure you that it did not use to be any better. In fact it was worse. Booting, repopulating devices, devices missing, having your MBT f**** up. Yep. Been there seen that. An all of the great three - linux, bsd and solaris. All of them suck equally bad so I will not recommend a newbie doing any software raid in the first place. Disclaimer - I have not tried opensolaris for this though

    I lost, completely lost, 320GB of data due to the piece of shit Truecrypt for Linux, supposedly "stable". If you have 320GB of data, if you are brave enough to play with LVM and software RAID and you also smack TrueCrypt on it. Well... You are expected to have enough clue to have backups... If you do not...

    The great about solaris is that it WORKS. Right there and then: it just works. May I suggest that you run a couple of hundred of servers with it in an Internet facing environment first. I have suffered from it and I have seen the lot. F*** up filesystems, MBR cockups, software raid bloopers, applications managing to make the kernel through the Sparc equivalent of GPF from the depth of the scheduler (something linux has not done for a very long time), the lot. Granted it has been a while, and most of it was not under OpenSolaris which has supposedly been "improved". Though as people say, once you get burned you stay away from it.

    the scheduler, while this isn't an issue on Solaris. Now do not get me started here either. Since the day of 2.5 every Solaris release has been released with a scheduler that has been heralded as the best and above the rest. In every f*** release the marketing droids has screamed that Solaris is right, everyone else is wrong everyone's else scheduler sucks and Solaris is the best. After that they accepted "everyone else" scheduler concepts in the next release. Sorry mate, people here have not forgotten the abomination of lightweight threads. People have not forgotten the screams of Solaris marketing droids about the greatness of the N:M model. There are also people who have had to program the actual scheduler internal priority tables and retune it for job loads different from default. All of this just to find out that the next release completely fucks it up to move to different semantics from the ground up. Rinse, repeat...

    Do you like it or not scheduler is always a flamewar because every scheduler sucks. Just it sucks differently for different people so there will always be one to flame away (especially after failing a testcase miserably).

  • Re:OpenSolaris (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @11:39AM (#20464813) Journal
    How long would he have a job if he said "Sun is fifteen years behind Linux in penetration. The distance between Linux and OpenSolaris is insurmountable. We may find a niche with some enterprises, but we will never overtake Linux."

    To be honest, I think it's all a good thing. Lots of free operating systems give guys like me more cud to chew, more options to bring to our bosses and/or clients.
  • by draggin_fly ( 807754 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @11:56AM (#20465079)
    1. Bill Gates worried that he was too late when he formed his computer company.

    2. Lots of folks thought Linux was "too little, too late" and a duplication of Unix efforts.

    3. The majority of IT folks around me thought the Apple OS switch to BSD (that is, MacOS X) was too late.

    4. Sun already has great support and some great applications; maybe the OpenSolaris effort (like OpenVMS) won't succeed but I don't think it'll have anything to do with coming too late.

  • Re:How can we lose? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:05PM (#20466111) Journal
    It's worth noting that you can do something similar with FreeBSD jails and Net/OpenBSD sysjails; have an isolated environment presenting a different ABI and running a completely separate and isolated userland. The Solaris implementation is currently a lot more polished, however.

    It has some interesting potential for consolidation; you can pull a hard drive from a Linux server, plug it into a BSD or Solaris machine, and with a tiny bit of tweaking have the system run as a virtual server.

  • by SwashbucklingCowboy ( 727629 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:49PM (#20466837)

    But it just may be slowing it down:

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen