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Will Oracle Keep Funding Sun's Pet Java Projects? 234

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the money-to-burn dept.
gkunene writes "Oracle expects Sun to contribute to its operating profit right away. To make that happen, Oracle may pull funding and staff from projects such as JavaFX, Project Looking Glass, and Project GlassFish."
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Will Oracle Keep Funding Sun's Pet Java Projects?

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  • Looking Glass (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Monday April 27, 2009 @12:24PM (#27731745) Homepage Journal

    They're spending money on Looking Glass? I just went to the web site and they're still featuring the five-year-old demo video.

    -Peter

  • Better fish to fry (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Monday April 27, 2009 @12:31PM (#27731877)

    I think Oracle should just strike agreements with *all* PC OEMs to have Java shipped with whatever OS these OEMs are loading on PCs. I know Java is Open Source Software and that those who need it can download it free of charge.

    What troubles me is the exercise of having to repeat the installation procedure on so many machines. I recently installed 47 systems, six of them Kubuntu 9.0.4 systems with KDE 4.2.2. and the rest were Windows XP systems. It was not fun.

    So to Oracle..."You have better fish to fry...now do the needful." It will not hurt you (Oracle) in any way.

  • History (Score:4, Interesting)

    by UseCase (939095) on Monday April 27, 2009 @12:37PM (#27731977)

    I remember thinking the same thing when Adobe bought out Macromedia. I think there is hope for some of the larger more useful pet projects but Oracles primary is making there a new acquisition profitable. Anything not strong enough to adequately monetize will probably be Open Sourced or shelf-ed.

    So what observations can be made from other companies in our industry that have acquired companies with a strong library of technologies? What has lasted and what has fallen by the wayside historically speaking?

  • HTML/CSS/JavaScript is an insufficient platform for Rich Internet Applications (RIA).

    There's a reason why I specifically mentioned HTML5. Video, Canvas, Audio, SVG, Networking, Storage, multi-threading, etc. The platform meets and even exceeds the Flash and Silverlight platforms.

    This ain't your grandma's HTML, boay!

  • It all depends. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 27, 2009 @12:50PM (#27732197)

    Oracle wants to make money so a lot has to depend on the financial viability of each project.

    In my opinion the following will probably happen.

    1. JavaFX - This will probably continue only because Sun has put a TON of effort behind it and contrary to other post it is not another Applet. Microsoft has Silverlight, Adobe has Flash and Sun/Oracle will have an open source alternative with a free development platform called JavaFX.

    2. Glassfish - This will become the reference implementation for J2EE and Oracle will kill (as best they can) development on large scalability features out of it.

    3. MySQL - Oracle will try and kill it the best they can. Their focus will be to convert these users over to the free version of Oracle's own DB.

    4. NetBeans - This is a tough one. I am a heavy Netbeans user, but I see it being replaced by Jdeveloper now that Jdeveloper is free. I could see some of the features of Netbeans moving in to Jdeveloper. My hope is that they could take Jdevelopers speed and move it in to Netbeans :-)

    5. Hardware - I would guess that Oracle will focus the hardware to run their Application stack the best. I don't see it going away any time soon.

    6. Java - Oracle will do no better or worse than Sun in managing Java. Both companies have their issues and strengths.

    7. OpenOffice - Oracle will probably keep some developers on this project. It will probably only get a small amount of love because of the revenue that it brings in.

    8. Solaris - I see all of the cool features of Solaris (dtrace) moved over to Oracles Linux (if possible). That Linux version will run on "standard" X86 hardware or for "full support" it will run on the Oracle hardware (Sparc). This process will probably take 5 or more years.

    9. People - It has been said but I expect over 10,000 employees from Sun to be let go.

    10. Suns current CEO will go down in history as one of the guys who ruined a good company.

  • Re:It all depends. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Monday April 27, 2009 @01:14PM (#27732583) Journal
    Well, They specifically said that they were going to keep funding mysql already, while specifically saying that they weren't going to comment on the future of open office. So I think that says something.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 27, 2009 @01:15PM (#27732593)

    Try Netbeans. It has kick-ass code completion for Javascript, CSS, and HTML. Including the HTML5 features. SVG is best created in a tool like Inkscape or some other vector drawing program.

    I assume you know how to create and edit standards-compliant images?

  • by mpapet (761907) on Monday April 27, 2009 @01:19PM (#27732673) Homepage

    I would argue hardware is where Oracle saw the value in Sun. IMHO, there should be a home for Solaris at Oracle simply because it's a strong, viable server OS.

    History has shown Sun has terrible problems running open source projects larger than their own paid contributors. I don't see Oracle improving or even interested in this.

    Most of Sun's software projects will fade into oblivion as GPL'd abandonware because nearly all of them are also-ran projects started as Sun's version of things like Flash.

  • by H0p313ss (811249) on Monday April 27, 2009 @01:27PM (#27732791)

    How is something +4 Informative when no reasoning is given behind the thinking?

    Can you imagine the kind of twisted reasoning that led to that conclusion? Are we perhaps better off not knowing?

  • by hubert.lepicki (1119397) on Monday April 27, 2009 @01:38PM (#27732937)
    Well, I AM using openjdk for commercial development with Java... it's 99% free software. Sound already works, GUI/3d works, web start... well, with 50% chance ;). No JavaFX yet but I'm sure they'll discontinue it anyway. The point is that Java (OpenJDK) is usable environment for developing and running GUI and web apps. Despite some missing bits it fullfills my needs in 100% without any closed-source blobs. It is not like with OpenSolaris (I feared that they'll go this way), where you can't use it without kernel binaries - here you can just grab a copy, compile and use.
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Monday April 27, 2009 @02:00PM (#27733327) Journal

    Ever since Microsoft got away with a slap on the wrist, Oracle has been buying their way to a monopoly. They give excuses for purchasing competitors (some of which might even be true), but their core aim is to be the big fish in the pond.

    Buying their way to a monopoly is very different from buying their way to being a big fish in a little pond.

    Note that buying BEA still makes then only the second-biggest middleware firm (SAP still being larger in that market).

    I agree that Oracle wants to be the dominant competitor in each of the markets it competes in, BUT that is not the same as having monopoly position.

    Truth be told, aside from the Sun acquisition, most of Oracle's acquisitions in the past few years have been about horizontal growth -- getting Oracle middleware products into markets where they had little presence (finance & banking, insurance, etc). There has not been so much of them buying competitors in markets they already have a big presence in, which is where the monopoly fears should come.

  • OpenOffice (Score:3, Interesting)

    by crow (16139) on Monday April 27, 2009 @02:03PM (#27733381) Homepage Journal

    It's all speculation at this point, but the project I'm concerned about is Open Office.

  • Re:Hmmm; Lets see (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mpapet (761907) on Monday April 27, 2009 @02:49PM (#27734155) Homepage

    Oracle's stated goal is not just to own the server, but the desktop space.

    Sun doesn't have a more useful desktop in any way. Who knows though, there have been plenty of dumb decisions in corporate America, thinking Sun's desktop is viable may be one of them.

    But you think that Oracle bought Sun for its hardware and will now switch to Solaris, and drop Linux? Is that correct?
    It's not that simple. Solaris has more features for big iron. For commodity hardware, Linux absolutely rocks. IMHO, they can easily support both Linux and Solaris on the Sales/Service side and not confuse anyone or cannibalize either customer base. But they desperately need to do a better job at running OSS-like projects if they want Solaris to stay vaguely relevant.

  • Natural monopolies (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pseudorand (603231) on Monday April 27, 2009 @02:51PM (#27734181)
    I think that the entire computer industry is a Natural Monopoly [wikipedia.org]. Think about it. Intel, IBM and Sun basically duplicate a heck of a lot of work trying to do the same thing: make silicon add faster. Microsoft and the Linux community likewise do the same thing with operating systems. Flash/Silverlight/JavaFX/GWT: redundant. PHP/Rails/J2EE/.Net: redundant. And it's not just the companies that duplicate efforts. All their users and those who develop for these platforms duplicate efforts as well.

    These technologies aren't identical. They each have some nice features that appeal to some small subset of the user and developer bases, but the majority of uses can be implemented on whatever technology stack is available. The differences either force developers to learn multiple ways of doing things and learn about multiple sets of quirks of each tech stack, or get tied to one particular stack and risk having major parts of their skill die if that platform looses support.

    That said, I think Oracle should probably dump as much of Sun's crap as possible. A platform either needs 110% support, needs to implement lots and lots of features, needs to fix bugs as if the earth itself depended on it, needs to be cheap and easy, or needs to not waste everyone's time in the first place.

    Think about the PC. Microsoft and Intel got the 10% right that did 99% of what 99% of potential customers needed. It was affordable, it worked well enough, and it was easy to use. Since then, they used their economies of scale to take off, and now, for all the academic imperfection of i386, it's a really good, really stable platform. Even Windows (save some Visa graphics drivers) is a pretty stable platform by this point.

    True, competition from AMD made Intel get of their ass with x86_64, multi-core, and virtualization, but AMD did it all while maintaining 100% backwards compatibility with x86. i386 is like an open standard that anyone can try to do better than Intel. If they do, they make money and Intel plays catch-up. If they don't KEEP doing it better... well, they they can just get some dumbass CEO to buy a shitty GPU maker.

    True also that perceived competition from Linux has probably made Microsoft work a bit harder and cleaning things up. But in reality, Linux just proved that the *nix market really IS a natural monopoly and killed the other *nixes. Linux hasn't truly provided competition to M$ yet because it's not trivial to port an app from Windows to Linux. Wouldn't it be nice if there was just one OS to worry about (or better yet, one browser).

    The true problems with technology today are: 1) Providing fast, reliable (read: clustered/redundant) full-featured (no limited SQL or proprietary database access methods) access to server-side data without compromising security on the server and without bumping into firewalls while forcing the end-user application developer to have to learn as little as possible about how that works. No specifying port numbers. No knowledge of http caching. Transparent (to the developer) statefullness. Minimal, simple interface for handling failed requests that uses the programming language's own error-handling mechanism (i.e. exceptions).

    2) Full-featured client-side programs (read: 3D, video, multiple windows, local filesystem with appropriate security and space limitations) that can be written in any language, work on any client platform, don't compromise security on the client even though you're running untrusted code and don't require deployment of a browser plug-in or other runtime environment.

    Oracle should aim big and do that, and keep it simple and easy instead of trying to tie developers to their language (Java) and/or platform (.NET).

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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