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Sun Microsystems Java Programming

Interview With Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz 75

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fireside-chats dept.
Engadget recently grabbed a few minutes with Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz. They were able to get some great information on the JavaFX Mobile platform as well as Java on the iPhone and how the struggle against Microsoft is going with respect to open source.
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Interview With Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz

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  • by swordgeek (112599) on Friday May 02, 2008 @05:48PM (#23280142) Journal
    First of all, this was on Engadget Mobile, so it's strictly limited to porting Java to portable devices.

    That said, here's a typical question:

    "Jonathan, we have videotape of you mooning the CEO of Apple and saying "Not until after hell freezes over you SOB." This seems to indicate some difficulties in getting Java on the iPhone."
    "Absolutely not! There aren't any technical challenges to porting Java. We can completely get it done man, just as long as Apple doesn't screw around again. There are no technical problems. Technical issues aren't there. Nope. No way."

    The sooner someone smashes that pony-tailed freak in, the better.
    • The parent has a point. Just because Mr Schwarz is a CEO of a household name and just because he's talking about open source doesn't make it a worthy article. It's full of drivel and very boring to read. Our humble down-modded first-poster was trying to save us a bit of time. There is nothing new in this engadget article. Slow news day.. move along!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If judge Kimball rules that SCO had no rights to sell sun a license to open source solaris, will Sun go to bat for the Open solaris community or leave them hang under a legal cloud?

    Open Solaris may soon be legally encumbered once again, because Sun and Schwartz failed to do due diligence in finding out who really owns unix.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by davecb (6526) *
      Huh? Judge Kimball might rule that SCO
      ripped off Sun, but not that Sun didn't
      buy licences from Bell back when they
      together wrote Solaris 2 (Solaris 1 was
      BSD, you may remember, for which you
      still had to buy a Bell 32V license)

      --dave
    • by njcoder (657816) on Friday May 02, 2008 @06:58PM (#23280678)
      Uhm, Novell and SCO had an agreement where SCO would be the licensing agent for Unix. Whether SCO had a right to sell licenses isn't the issue. SCO was supposed to sell licenses, send 100% of the license fee to Novell and Novell would send SCO back 5% which was their fee for acting as the licensing agent. The only thing Novell is saying is that SCO didn't give them the money. That's not Sun's fault.

      If you go to a store and purchase something, you give the cashier the money, but the cashier puts it in their pocket instead of the register, the store owner can't come take what you purchased away from you.

      From my limited understanding, I think it wasn't just SYSV licenses Sun purchased. SCO had a good product called UnixWare that had very good driver support in the x86 world. I think I remember reading somewhere that part of Sun's licensing deal with SCO was for drivers, which I would assume were for SCO's UnixWare and not just for Unix SYSV licenses. So what SCO owes Novell for what Sun paid them, may not be the entire amount.

      Regardless, I highly doubt Sun wouldn't indemnify the OpenSolaris community. They indemnify customer's they sell RedHat and SuSE to. So to even think they wouldn't indemnify users of their own codebase is just ridiculous.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by argent (18001)
        Uhm, Novell and SCO had an agreement where SCO would be the licensing agent for Unix.

        What exactly they were to be the licensing agent for is one of the things that's under question.

        If you go to a store and purchase the cash register, and the cashier puts the money in his pocket, that doesn't necessarily mean you get to keep the cash register.

        Was "the right to sell transferrable source licenses" one of the things that SCO had the right to sell to Sun?

        Well, if SCO has to pay Novell 2 million, then I guess Nov
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by njcoder (657816)
          But Novell already stated they won't be pursuing Unix copyrights. [pcworld.com] So OpenSolaris has nothing to fear, which is what the original poster was trying to imply.
          • That's a valid response to the original post. The analogy I was objecting to wasn't.

            Though I do have one objection to Novell's reported announcement:

            "We're not interested in suing people over Unix," Novell spokesman Bruce Lowry said. "We're not even in the Unix business anymore."

            Since Linux is UNIX in every sense of the word that remains meaningful, that's hardly true.

            It's kind of a real-life example of Russell's Paradox. If they do pursue UNIX copyrights but exclude Linux, they would be keeping a definitio
        • I've been a Sun shareholder for about 7 years now. I hate to admit how much this has cost me, not to mention my retirement funds.

          The question I would like to ask CEO executives, is when are they going to stop selling hype and start selling proudcts that sell and make the company some money? As it is now, they only seem to be able to generate hype and and more stock options for executives. Otherwise, I see little reason to expect Sun will exist much longer. After all, any new startup can generate hype, w
          • by njcoder (657816)

            Frankly, I can't understand why I should continue to hold this worthless stock and my best best for "making" any money seems to be selling the stock (now down 99.9% from where I bought it for a loss so that I can defray other tax liabilities.
            Sun stock seems to make the dollar look sound.

            Sounds like you bought during the dot com era when Sun's stock price really shot up. Even McNeally was questioning analysts why his company's stock was trading at 10x revenues. You're not going to make your money back. It took a long time for the stock to find it's bottom. The market went crazy with a bunch of companies, Sun included. It's not their fault the stock went up so high. While many of them benefited from this, in the long run I think it really hurt the company. Though it's their own fault

    • They already have aping apple covered.
      They OWN star office & run X windows so aping Xerox PARC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xerox_PARC [wikipedia.org] is well & truly covered.
      And they're buying innovation left right & centre.

      So it seems as though (beneath it all) they're REALLY aping Microsoft. (^-^)
      All they have to do is ape Microsoft some more & enter into a cross-licensing deal with Novell.

      Perhaps they are secretly destined to rule the desktop of the 64bit age.
  • jPhone (Score:4, Informative)

    by weston (16146) * <{westonsd} {at} {canncentral.org}> on Friday May 02, 2008 @06:38PM (#23280508) Homepage
    "the Sun software apparently looked eerily like the Apple iPhone's software; in fact, the platform Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz showed off is already being dubbed "jPhone" based on the striking resemblance to Apple's goods.... Scott McNealy alluded to the copying of Apple's modus operandi by wearing a black t-shirt..."

    It doesn't surprise me when I see Apple-Sun coherence or imitation. Schwartz's roots are in NeXTStep/Cocoa development. I'm actually surprised there isn't more with Schwartz at the helm.

    • Good point! I don't actually know, but I guess it has to do with Sun's focus on servers lately, and the fact that the customers of their workstations used to be scientific people not very concerned with desktop elegance.
    • by DECS (891519)
      The "jPhone" was just an OpenMoko device with a poorly drawn iPhone interface clone photoshopped over the top.

      Schwartz' Lighthouse design made some nice looking NeXTSTEP apps, but that has more to do with NeXT than anything Sun acquired. Have you seen Sun software? There isn't anything that doesn't look like ass, even if some of it is great underneath.

      However, in the mobile arena, there isn't much great underneath AND it looks like ass. Look at the jPhone pics:

      Sun Tries to Jump on iPhone Bandwagon with jPho [roughlydrafted.com]
  • I don't know what it is, but Sun seem to want to be Apple for some strange reason.
    • I think Sun just wants attention.
      I've heard STORIES of a long lost era in which SUN was relevant, but come on, srsly.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Facetious (710885)
      Sun's identity crisis is not new. "We're a hardware company! No, Software! Software! We're pro-open source. Except when we buy an open source company like MySQL, then we like to close things off. We also love Linux! No, Solaris! We wish you all would love Solaris like you love Linux. Why can't you love us?"
      • Re:Sun... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by njcoder (657816) on Friday May 02, 2008 @07:26PM (#23280870)
        Yes, hard to believe that a multi-billion dollar corporation with tens of thousands of employees would choose to focus on more than just one product. I guess companies like HP, Apple and IBM must have this same identity crisis?

        I can just picture you running into your local Staples and yelling "Make up your mind! Are you a pen store or a staples store?"

        As far as MySQL. It has always been dual licensed and some things were not always available in the community version. The things that were available under the GPL licenses will always be available. From the reports I've read, the things that are closed were in the works before Sun purchased them.
        • As far as MySQL. It has always been dual licensed and some things were not always available in the community version. From the reports I've read, the things that are closed were in the works before Sun purchased them.

          I've heard that response many times and I don't understand why people like you think it means anything. When a company is acquired, there are changes. Often huge changes. Changes to bring the company into line with the goals of the parent company.

          Schwartz has been regularly quoted [news.com] saying things like "open source [is] a fundamental business-model advantage, and not a cheap complement to throw to the community in order to drive sales of 'the real value.'" Yet this "in the works" business decision from th

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by njcoder (657816)
            MySQL had a sketchy open source relationship long before Sun were in talks to acquire them. The comments that Sun is close sourcing MySQL is disingenuous. Nothing is being "closed", just that some new features may not be released in the community edition. This was true before the acquisition. The Monitor product is one example. MySQL Cluster was also originally developed for paying customers first, then eventually opened.

            There is nothing stopping someone from developing similar features in MySQL's GPL'd
            • by tonyr60 (32153)
              Looks fairly clear to me that Sun will Open Source all of MySQL......

              http://blogs.sun.com/tpenta/entry/jonathan_on_closed_mysql_extensions [sun.com]
            • My point is that Sun isn't doing anything really different from what MySQL AB was doing.
              You've just restated your original premise and completely failed to answer my question which I will restate for you:

              Sun acquired MySQL AB not the other way around. So why is it that the former MySQL AB's policies wrt Open Source override Sun's current stated policies?
              • by njcoder (657816)

                Sun acquired MySQL AB not the other way around. So why is it that the former MySQL AB's policies wrt Open Source override Sun's current stated policies?

                Maybe you should be asking someone at Sun or MySQL these questions. I just don't see the big deal because nothing has changed WRT MySQL. The impression people were trying to portray was that Sun was going to somehow make the community edition less available, when in reality MySQL hasn't changed because of the acquisition.

                Maybe things will change. Maybe these things take time. It's not like Sun bought MySQL AB, fired all the 400 employees and replaced them with new employees that already know the direc

                • Maybe you should be asking someone at Sun or MySQL these questions.
                  Oh Jessuz christ! YOU are the one who trotted the excuse out. If you don't understand it, why are you parroting it?
                  • by njcoder (657816)
                    You came out of nowhere in this thread and asked me...

                    Why is it so crazy to expect that such a business decision would have been re-evaluated and brought into line with the CEO's public comments before announcing it?

                    As far as I understand it based on his comments in his blogs and other places, Schwartz wants everything released from Sun/MySQL to be open sourced. Mickos has a different opinion.

                    When MySQL was on it's own, they needed to generate revenue off of MySQL and Mickos' decisions were made with that in mind. Now that MySQL is part of Sun, and Schwartz stated that they plan on using the acquisition to basically be able to provide optimized hardware/OS platfo

                    • You came out of nowhere in this thread and asked me...

                      ooooh, nowhere. You got me, I am the phantom and thus everything I say is to be questioned.
                      Unlike Sun.

                      Again, you just keep parroting Mickos, an employee of Sun.

                      I don't see how people like you keep trying to attribute this to Sun when it seems like Sun has is trying to convince Mickos to do what the community wants.

                      Lol, Sun owns Mickos. There is no 'trying to convince' -- there is only allowing him to stray from the corporate direction.

                    • by njcoder (657816)

                      Lol, Sun owns Mickos. There is no 'trying to convince' -- there is only allowing him to stray from the corporate direction.
                      --

                      Since it's the weekend I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you're drunk and not really this dense. I thought the info I quoted would make it clear but let me spell it out for you.

                      Mickos is still running MySQL as if it was it's own separate company and trying to find ways to make money from MySQL. Can't blame him, this has been his job for years. Schwartz has other plans for generating revenue from MySQL and Mickos needs to understand this and get used to the idea that he doesn't need to

                    • You are a riot. Great soap opera you dreamt up.

                      Sun's internal politics is not a valid justification for a division of sun to step out of line with the CEO's stated direction. It may be the cause but it is not some sort of coherent plan, just a sign of bad management.

                      Just admit it, it was a bullshit excuse from the minute Mickos posted it and if you had applied a little critical thinking you would have never repeated it.
                    • by njcoder (657816)
                      How stupid of me to try and anthropomorphize people.
                    • How stupid of me to try and anthropomorphize people.
                      Yes, it was absolutely stupid.
                      Missing the forest for the trees, you do it.
            • Nothing is being "closed", just that some new features may not be released in the community edition.

              In other words, those features are closed source.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Facetious (710885)

          I guess companies like HP, Apple and IBM must have this same identity crisis?
          Actually, I think there IS something of a corporate schizophrenia. It's the effect of size and complexity. My point is that Sun has had a harder time defining its corporate vision than most.

          I happen to like Swartz. I think he inherited some corporate culture relics that he would rather do without.
          • corporate schizophrenia

            More like corporate multiple personality disorder, but that one and schizophrenia are often confused, even though they're quite distinct.

            Schizophrenia: auditory hallucinations (hearing voices) and paranoid or bizarre delusions.
            Multiple Personality Disorder (aka dissociative identity disorder): "a single person displays multiple distinct identities or personalities, each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment".

            Definitely MPD. Def-definitely, definitely MPD.

            [Factoid of the d

        • by dacut (243842)
          Nah, it goes deeper than that. Dealing with Sun as a target platform is frustrating as can be. Are they investing money on SPARC or is it dead? Do we need to verify our app run on Solaris 10 or are they dropping it for Linux? Should we develop our app for an old release of Java, or do we require our clients to have the latest version (including the OS patches required to install it?).
          • by njcoder (657816)

            Nah, it goes deeper than that. Dealing with Sun as a target platform is frustrating as can be. Are they investing money on SPARC or is it dead?

            Nothing from Sun has indicated they are giving up on SPARC. New versions have been coming out with their T1, T2 and Rock is coming next year. From what I understand Sun still makes more money from selling SPARC based machines than they do from their Intel/AMD boxes.

            Do we need to verify our app run on Solaris 10 or are they dropping it for Linux?

            This I don't get. When did anyone at Sun every imply they were dumping Solaris for Linux? When Sun started selling x86 machines, they also offered Linux on them as well as Windows and Solaris. But nobody is stupid enough to ask if they're

      • I was just thinking that I have no idea what Sun even sells anymore.
  • 2500 people laid off and dismal stock price. Off 3% just today.
    • by hey! (33014)
      Well, the pessimistic view might be that it already has...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Two and a half thousand people out of work, and your post is emphasising the stock drop? Way to give a shit about your fellow man, dude.
      • by imstanny (722685)

        Two and a half thousand people out of work, and your post is emphasising the stock drop? Way to give a shit about your fellow man, dude.
        Thousands of people died in Africa today, while your dumb ass is typing it up on Slashdot. Belittling others is your contribution to man kind? Insightful my ass. Go utilize a Kleenex, jerkoff.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Off ***23%*** just today, you mean.

      And the layoffs are no big deal. Sun has laid thousands of employees off almost every single year since 2000. Sometimes twice a year. Sun has lost almost half its value since the reverse stock split and since Schwartz took over. They lay people off, take hundreds of millions in charges related to laying off, then that reduces their profits the next quarter. So they lay more off. Yeah, that'll keep working. Morons.
      • by turgid (580780)

        They get a corporate tax discount for having layoffs. It's how they mitigate the cost of purchasing companies. (Cobalt, StorageTek, MySQL, whoever comes next).

        • by sethstorm (512897) *

          They get a corporate tax discount for having layoffs
          That is a problem that can be fixed. Cancel all tax breaks for any layoffs from anything that looks remotely like that.
    • They've not laid off 2500 people yet. Just announced plans to lay off 1500-2500. Which I suppose is more or less the same. Guess what? Google is planning layoffs as well. Special eh?
  • Where's the open source mobile platform that will run on top of third-party hardware?

    I think about this every time I look at the OpenMoko and Qtopia stuff. I don't think that producing hardware designs is a bad thing per se, but I don't understand why there hasn't been more effort at rolling out distro for mobiles hobbyists could install on existing phones they might have lying around.

    I understand there are Linux-based phones. But think about where FOSS computing might be if Linux and BSD had to wait for custom-designed hardware, or for a manufacturer to build a PC around that product. There'd have been nowhere near the growth.

    There needs to be mobile FOSS for more-or-less commodity hardware if there's really going to be a part for it to play in the growth in the mobile market.

    • by kTag (24819)
      Android from Google [google.com]. Where have you been for the past 6 month ? Challenge result are on Monday.
      • by sethstorm (512897) *
        The question is where are the phones that can run it and how can existing phones load that? Until then, consider it vaporware in the phone arena. Simulations and nonpublic hardware do not count.
  • like to say something. I lost my believe in Sun.
    Sure, they are the greastest (commercial) supporters of open source. No denying that.
    Great, my last OS-Project was a load of bullshit (unless you consider a really simple servlet type server interresting) but well, i do like open source, and try to to it when possible. Yeah just me, and probibly millions or others, well not everybody does the "great" next project. I just hope i am not the only one to believe in the power of individuals.
    In case your reading,
    • Sure, they are the greastest (commercial) supporters of open source. No denying that.

      There's plenty of denying that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by njcoder (657816)

        There's plenty of denying that.

        Sure you can deny the sky is blue if you wanted to as well. However an independent study created for the EU [businessreviewonline.com] says otherwise.

        The study also backs up Sun Microsystemsâ(TM) claim to be the biggest donator of open source code. The top ten business contributors were as follows:

        1 Sun Microsystems 51,372 Person-months 312m euros
        2 IBM 14,865 Person-months 90m euros
        3 Red Hat 9,748 Person-months 59m euros
        4 Silicon Graphics 7,736 Person-months 47m euros
        5 SAP 7,493 Person-months 46m euros
        6 MySQL 5,747 Person-months 35m euros
        7 Netscape 5,249 Person-months 32m euros
        8 Ximian 4,985 Person-months 30m euros
        9 Realnetworks 4,412 Person-months 27m euros
        10 AT&T 4,286 Person-months 26m euros

        Also from here [sun.com].

        "Did you know that Sun contributes more than $200 million per year of intellectual property to the open source movement, in dozens of open source projects? The companyâ(TM)s historical contribution tops $2 billion. WOW!"

        A list of some of the open source projects Sun contributes to [sun.com] can be found on that link.

        • by sethstorm (512897) *

          Did you know that Sun contributes more than $200 million per year of intellectual property to the open source movement, in dozens of open source projects? The companyÃ(TM)s historical contribution tops $2 billion. WOW!"
          I wonder how much of that is code that works around 32bit SPARC platforms and making it harder to throw in something more than a CG6?
    • Sure, they are the greastest (commercial) supporters of open source. No denying that.

      Say that when folks like bmc dont mind playing support/documentation games with their hardware, and hiding entire platforms(sun4m) behind The Iron Curtain in Solaris 10. Then they do a bit of a strange licensing issue with Java that keeps it somewhere between closed and open. I'm not surprised why you jumped ship.

      IBM at least has the decency to do openness, then cut machines out of the HCL. Sun just expects people to play along or be stonewalled.

  • The irony is Java originated from workong on small hardware devices, and now Sun is scrambling to make it dominant on popular small hardware devices. They've been missing many important junctures along the way since 1995, especially when iPhone or Android can comparatively come in overnight and usurp good portions of the market.

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