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James Gosling Grades Oracle's Handling of Sun's Tech 223

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the a+-for-killing-solaris dept.
snydeq writes "With the four-year anniversary of Oracle's Sun Microsystems acquisition looming, InfoWorld reached out to Java founder James Gosling to rate how Oracle has done in shepherding Sun technology. Gosling gives Oracle eyebrow-raising grades, lauding Oracle's handling of Java, despite his past acrimony toward Oracle over Java (remember those T-shirts?), and giving Oracle a flat-out failing grade on what has become of Solaris OS."
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James Gosling Grades Oracle's Handling of Sun's Tech

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  • Oracle's JAVA (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:10AM (#45947909)

    Yep, they have done so well with it that everyone turns JAVA off in their browsers. Gotta love the lack of security it gives.

  • by R.Mo_Robert (737913) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:29AM (#45947999)

    Even though it's since transitioned to Apache, Oracle still deserves to be graded on their handling of OO.o.

    Gosling didn't "forget" to grade OpenOffice.org; he was the (co)creator of Java. That's why this article is treating his assessment of Java as special. You wouldn't get that with OO.o.

  • Re:Oracle's JAVA (Score:5, Informative)

    by hlge (680785) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @02:37AM (#45948261)
    Dhu, The main usage of Java is on the server side, where it's fairly popular. Java skils is still the most sought after skill when it comes to developers. There are a few popular desktop applications written in Java, Minecraft comes to mind :) And of course we have the slightly modified version of Java that powers every Android application. So Java is still around and kicking..... As to the big Reds handling of Java, out of the gate it was pretty bad in it's interactions with the Java community. Not surprising as they axed most of the folks that where doing that part back at Sun...... But they actually got better with interacting with the Java community lately, could improve more but still kinda on the right track.
  • by thogard (43403) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @02:57AM (#45948339) Homepage

    ZFS is on the right path but it still isn't quite where it needs to be. For example I can't tell it not to reallocate blocks on write so I can't force overwrites of sensitive data -- which is required in several industries that Sun used to be strong in. Someone in ZFS land needs to create an ioctl/fctl to fix that. The boot system also needs to be clear if it is trying to mount a ZFS or UFS disk since that is a bit tricky when the disk looks like both. They should also fix the fsck stub so it knows about ZFS and have a /usr/lib/zfs/fsck even if it is just a link to zfs status.

    How is SMF better than init? They even bothered to break init so you can't pull SMF out the system if you don't want it. They now link init and smf to a number of libraries that have horrible security records. Do you want the main process in your system linking in libraries that need security updates on a monthly basis?

    I know how SMF is worse, it is slower to start up, it is indeterminate in its start up state and order, it keeps its data in unauditable binary files an it takes far longer to shut down. It also isn't very good at what init was, which was making sure programs always ran. Solaris 11.1 turns off auditing, then syslog before killing off all user processes which means you have no idea what a rogue process did when it was told the system is shutting down. That appears to be a result of someone at Oracle deciding all the disks need to be mounted before starting syslog, which requires lots of extra crud to be running like NFS, RPC and whatever YP is called this decade and it appears that stuff is all trusted to shut down cleanly without the need of logging. At least with init, you could have two different syslog entries for the different run levels so you could make sure everything was logged and audited.

    The number of bugs in Solaris 10 is far worse than Solaris 9. You can't build a light weight Solaris 10 or 11 system. Under 10, you could build a Solaris 9 container which would only run a bare number of processes but not any more since that feature was pulled out of 11. I have a number of Solaris 9 systems that are running less than a dozen packages but I'm one of the people who feel that if there isn't any unneeded software on a system, hackers can't use it hack the system.

    Solaris 11 also has managed to break decades of sanity of using ifconfig to build network stacks. Now there are other tools that do part of the job and then can allow ificonfig to finish the job.

    At least with Solaris 11.1 they created a tool to create smf xml files which means they are now no longer hand crafted which means a tool can be written to turn them back into rc.X scripts and they can be put back where they belong. Now if I could just remove svc.* without installing a fake to keep the contract open, I would be back up to the integrity level of a Solaris 9 system.

  • by Marsell (16980) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @03:19AM (#45948417) Homepage

    While Solaris itself is no longer relevant outside of some enterprise niches, it has an actively-developed OSS fork named "illumos", developed by former-Sun hackers working at several different private companies. There are several distributions -- I use SmartOS in particular, and OmniTI's OmniOS is also excellent.

  • by robbak (775424) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @03:23AM (#45948431) Homepage

    It is still there as an optional item in the installer, not selected by default (because that is the way it should be).

  • Re:VirtualBox? (Score:4, Informative)

    by gweihir (88907) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @03:56AM (#45948529)

    Indeed. As VmWare networking is now completely unusable, unless you are fine with not being able to ssh-in etc. in the free version, I have moved to Virtual Box, and there are simply no such stupid issues.

  • by Y2K is bogus (7647) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @04:15AM (#45948589)

    This comment, and the other 3 that replied to it before me, show a huge lack of knowledge or care. Oracle isn't very transparent, but it only takes a small amount of effort to see that neither MySQL or VirtualBox are in danger of perishing. There are many people who left Oracle/Sun/MySQL for Percona and MariaDB/SkySQL, but most of those people left for their own reasons and *many* left before and Sun or Oracle influence was upon them.

    I get to see it from the inside, and MySQL is growing and has more market share than either of the other competitors. The newest developments are really spectacular improvements. I get to see the walled garden from the inside, and it's anything but dying, it is in better shape as a product than it has ever been. Oracle is anything but stupid and doesn't have a track record of making stupid decisions with their products, which can't be said for some companies. Oracle is putting a lot of resources into MySQL to make it even better.

    VirtualBox is a fairly decent team and they are not just working on VirtualBox, there is a reason it continues to be developed and the technology doesn't have a dead end to it.

    I think that most of the comments I've read are uneducated and purely people spouting off uninformed opinions mixed with conjecture and hyperbole. The people I work with are the brightest group of people I've ever had the privilege of working with, there are some really notable folks that work on MySQL and you wouldn't know it unless you paid attention to the blogosphere.

  • by unixisc (2429386) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @04:15AM (#45948597)

    Illumos is itself an x64 only OS, which makes it worthless for most Solaris users who run it on SPARC, but there is a derivative of that, called Schillix, which is a SPARC specific open Solaris.

/earth: file system full.

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