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

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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  • IMHO, JavaFX has been a solution looking for a problem. Applets aren't coming back (thank God), so stop trying to create an ideal Applet platform. HTML5 is meeting that need well enough, thanks' much. Pulling funding from the JavaFX project would hardly even be noticable.

    Project Looking Glass is one of those things I'd hate to see go, but Sun hasn't exactly done much with it. Oracle needs to decide that they'll support it full hog as a core product or just leave the project to the OSS community. This noncommittal attitude has been leaving the project in limbo.

    Now Project Glassfish, that's a whole other ball of wax. Oracle screwed up Orion (the BEST J2EE server back in the day) to insane levels of uselessness under the guise of Oracle Application Server. (Hey look! Oracle is almost as good at naming as Sun!) Glassfish (aka Sun Java System Application Server) is modern, scalable, easy to use, and absolutely wicked when deployed. Oracle would do well to give up on OAS and just let Sun keep doing what they're doing with SJSAS/GlassFish.

  • NO (Score:1, Insightful)

    by youngdev ( 1238812 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @12:17PM (#27731609)

    We need javafx to be ported to linux and wait until gf v3 is ready for release.

  • by pohl ( 872 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @12:21PM (#27731693) Homepage

    I agree. Pulling funding for glassfish would be a horrible move.

  • by BabyDave ( 575083 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @12:23PM (#27731739)
    Wasn't that supposedly one of the main reasons that they bought BEA - to get Weblogic to merge with/replace OAS?
  • by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @12:29PM (#27731831) Homepage

    Applets are still used quite extensively, actually. And now we have webstart, which is more or less the same candy in a different wrapper.

  • by argent ( 18001 ) <peter&slashdot,2006,taronga,com> on Monday April 27, 2009 @12:35PM (#27731941) Homepage Journal

    One would hope that if the Open Source projects like Project Looking Glass, are worthwhile... they will be picked up by people who are using them. If they can open-source others rather than just killing them at least some can stay alive without showing up on the bottom line.

  • 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.

    Oracle may get some benefit out of BEA's product line or they might trash it. Doesn't matter either way. Oracle eliminated a competitor, bought a market, and is looking to reap the rewards of that maneuver. The tech is secondary.

    That being said, the Sun purchase is slightly different. Oracle and Sun have been a strong pairing on the high end of database deployments. Oracle needs Sun and their hardware to survive. It doesn't hurt that owning the business gives Oracle enough tools to hit IBM where it hurts...

    (I'll have to visit IBM sometime and see how many bloody stains I can find on the walls. There has got to be some serious head banging going on over there. ;-))

  • by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @12:40PM (#27732019) Homepage

    I'd take a WebStart client over an AJAX client any day.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 27, 2009 @12:40PM (#27732033)

    Java isn't really open source, that's why it's a huge pain in the ass under Linux.

    Yes, Sun released a version of Java under the GPL. It's the "next" version of Java, Java 7 or 1.7 or whatever they're deciding to call it.

    The current version of Java, the one that everyone uses, is most definitely not open source. It's free, sure, but it's licensed in such a way that Linux distributions can't package it. (Easily - some have worked around it, but the bottom line is that installing Java 6 on Linux involves an interactive process. It can't be automated.)

    The "open source" version of Java is missing large chunks of Java and is basically not at all ready.

    So, Java isn't "really" open source. It's "going to be" at some point in the future - or at least it was. With Oracle in control, who knows.

    (Sure, Oracle can't un-open source what was released - but since that isn't enough for a full version of Java anyway, it's not like it really matters.)

  • by javacowboy ( 222023 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @12:44PM (#27732105)

    HTML/CSS/JavaScript is an insufficient platform for Rich Internet Applications (RIA). Why do you think Flash is still so widely used? It's not just video. It's complex charting, graphics, animations, etc.

    If you think Flash and Silverlight are just going to go away, or that IE and its non-standard compliance and lack of SVG are just going to go away, you're dreaming in technicolour. Web standards will eventually hit a wall.

    I don't disagree that a lot of functionality (including video) can be implemented by all browsers that implement that new web standards, but it won't enough.

    Besides, JavaFX has distinct advantages over Flash and Silverlight. It integrates seamlessly with server-side Java code. It also shares the same APIs with JavaFX Mobile, which allows mobile and RIA apps to share the same code.

    Besides, do you really want the rich web to turn into a battle between two proprietary frameworks? Parts of JavaFX are already open source, and Sun is planning to open source the rest.

  • by AndrewNeo ( 979708 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @12:48PM (#27732155) Homepage

    Besides, JavaFX has distinct advantages over Flash and Silverlight. It integrates seamlessly with server-side Java code.

    So does Silverlight with ASP.NET code, doesn't it?

  • by javacowboy ( 222023 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @01:00PM (#27732355)

    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.

    P.S. Do development tools exist for these features? Flash/Flex, Silverlight and JavaFX already have development tools and IDEs.

  • by arthurp ( 1250620 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @01:06PM (#27732447)
    I'd be really sad to see JavaFX die. I know people hate applets and although I don't agree with them I can't really blame them. Applets have done some serious sucking over the years. But I think times have changed a lot. And especially with all the new JVM languages popping up I'd be really sad to see Flash continue to be the goto technology for interactive graphical web apps. This is partly because I hate flash though.
  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @01:11PM (#27732527) Homepage Journal

    More to the point, Glassfish has been sold with support to a number of companies. Unlike JavaFX (which has virtually no market share), a significant number of paying customers have bought into the Sun Application Server/Glassfish.

    In other words, Sun has contractual obligations to continue with Glassfish, and Oracle has inherited those obligations. They can't just drop support.

  • by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @01:13PM (#27732565) Journal

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

  • Unlikely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eravnrekaree ( 467752 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @01:16PM (#27732617)

    Pulling funding from JavaFX would probably be a bad idea since JavaFX is meant to keep Java competitive with .Net and Flash platforms which are rapidly taking over web and application markets. There is a big market in content design so it seems ridiculous to cut funding to those projects and they would shoot themselves in the foot. I see it more likely that MySQl is in danger, since this is heavily overlapped with oracles own database applications.

  • by javacowboy ( 222023 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @01:17PM (#27732633)

    IE 8 has specifically omitted support for SVG. Seems Microsoft has a conflict of interest in regard to Silverlight. There's no way an RIA application will be deployed if it doesn't support the browser with a 70%+ installed base.

  • by rbanffy ( 584143 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @01:40PM (#27732969) Homepage Journal

    I am astonished to hear Project Looking Glass is still around.

  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @02:10PM (#27733521) Homepage Journal

    Applets are still used quite extensively, actually.

    Used? Yes. Extensively? No. There are too many competing technology for embedding applications in a web browser, and Java's applet API is the least powerful among them.

    And now we have webstart, which is more or less the same candy in a different wrapper.

    No it's not. JWS applications don't use the applet API and do not run in a browser window. They're just like non-embedded applications, except that instead of typing "java main class" or executing a JAR file, you execute an XML file that tells your JRE the URLs it needs to download. You might use a web browser to obtain the XML file. But you can also have a local XML file that you can run without firing up a web browser.

    Even at Sun, people mostly agree that applets aren't really useful. They're probably be around as long as Java is, but if Oracle has any sense, they'll stay in maintenance mode with no more API development.

  • by ManWithIceCream ( 1503883 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @02:16PM (#27733617)
    I'm so happy that Sun managed to release Java under the GPL before it was bought. I can't imagined what would happen if Oracle got a hold of Java without the community being able to fork it if nessecary.
  • Re:Looking Glass (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @02:22PM (#27733723) Homepage Journal

    1998 called. It wants its Java cliches back.

    Performance issues used to be a big problem with Java. That's long since been solved. The conventional wisdom was that these caused by Java being an "interpreted" language. That hasn't been true for a long time, and even when it was, it was only a minor factor in Java's performance issues.

    Aside from the big overhead in firing up the runtime (still a problem, but not an issue for a service application, like Looking Glass) the biggest impact on Java application performance was bad source code compilers. Sun was in such a hurry to get the thing to market that all the early compilers were hastily adapted from C++ compilers, and created code that was inefficient and full of memory leaks — this on a platform that was specifically designed to make memory leaks impossible!

    The Oracle acquisition is like a big second chance for Java, and a lot of other Sun technologies. Finally, they're under the control of a management hierarchy that doesn't consistently shoot itself in the foot!

  • by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @02:44PM (#27734041) Homepage
    Web start apps work perfectly offline without having to download extra functionality that differs between companies, is always up to date, works like a real application on and off line.

    Those are 3 good enough reasons.
  • Re:Hmmm; Lets see (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rackserverdeals ( 1503561 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @03:04PM (#27734377) Homepage Journal

    They day they announced the merger, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said that Solaris/SPARC was still the biggest place where Oracle was being deployed.

    With all the pushing that Oracle has been doing towards Linux, their customers don't seem to be following. The question must have been raised whether Oracle should be leading their customers in OS choice, or following.

    Oracle won't drop Linux, but they'll probably do more what IBM does. They'd rather sell you on AIX but if you want Linux you can have it.

  • by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Monday April 27, 2009 @04:13PM (#27735627) Homepage Journal

    ``Intel, IBM and Sun basically duplicate a heck of a lot of work trying to do the same thing: make silicon add faster.''

    But the competition between Intel and AMD is what has been driving CPU speeds up.

    ``Microsoft and the Linux community likewise do the same thing with operating systems.''

    Again, there is a lot of progress being made because of competition between the various camps. Good features are being cloned, new features are being added, and performance and security are being improved.

    ``Flash/Silverlight/JavaFX/GWT: redundant.''

    Perhaps. Or maybe we'll see some good come from it yet.

    ``PHP/Rails/J2EE/.Net: redundant.''

    Rails gave a major boost to the web development landscape. Competition from .NET has caused Java to improve massively.

    ``And it's not just the companies that duplicate efforts. All their users and those who develop for these platforms duplicate efforts as well.''

    This is true, and a lot of time and effort has been wasted. On the other hand, one has to wonder if we would really have been better off if that hadn't happened.

    The trick is that having multiple projects that cater to the same market allows evolution to occur. Each project can move in its own direction, and the world will vote with its feet and cause the projects that make the best choices to thrive. This functionality can then be incorporated by the competing projects, or not, as they see fit. I do believe we end up with better results this way than if we wanted to always avoid duplication.

The optimum committee has no members. -- Norman Augustine