Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is Oracle Doing what Sun Couldn't? I Can't Bring Myself To Think So.

I'm staring at my mug with the image James Gosling created - Tux standing in front of Sun's gravestone, consoling Duke's loss. Sun left us too early... it was always an amazing playground of tech, giving us cool stuff like Jini and JMX. I was ill at ease with Oracle before their acquisition of Sun, and now I'm even more so.

Still... I noticed that Oracle recently has done something that Sun hasn't been able to do. While Sun tried to govern Java with some sort of loose democracy known as the Java Community Process, it never was able to get consensus with the group and move forward. Perhaps Oracle's benevolent dictatorship is what the JCP needed - for now they have been able to get IBM to join forces with them and work on development of the OpenJDK.

This is a pretty big deal, as Gosling notes. Not only does this collaboration accelerate open Java development but this also possibly reduces fragmentation since IBM will be scaling down their work on the Apache Harmony JVM. RedHat's IcedTea implementation is already married to the OpenJDK codebase, and without IBM's backing of Harmony the OpenJDK implementation quickly becomes a de facto standard.

If Oracle can light a fire under the JCP and put significant engineering efforts around an Open Java development tookit... I dunno. Maybe things will turn out all right after all. I'm still pretty hesitant.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, nevermind. It was largely malevolent after all.
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/18/oracle_ibm_jcp_openjdk/

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