Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Java Oracle The Almighty Buck

Oracle To Monetize Java VM 641

jtotheh writes "According to the Register, Oracle is going to make two tiers of Java Virtual Machine — a free one and a premium paid one. 'Adam Messinger, Oracle vice president of development, told QCon that Oracle plans to offer a "premium" edition of the JDK in addition to the open-source JDK. Both, it seems, will be based on a converged JRockit VM and the Hotspot JVM from Sun Microsystems. The converged JVM will be released under the OpenJDK project. ... Messinger didn't explain how the premium JVM would differ [from] the free version, but the premium edition will likely see performance tuning and tie-ins to Oracle's middleware.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Oracle To Monetize Java VM

Comments Filter:
  • mm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by chibiace ( 898665 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @05:18AM (#34152818) Journal

    the death of java?

  • by WolphFang ( 1077109 ) <muksihs.gmail@com> on Sunday November 07, 2010 @05:21AM (#34152830) Homepage
    Suicide? Sounds they are working on ending Java in a hurry. :(
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @05:28AM (#34152848)

    Pretty much, yes. At least, the end of themselves as an open-source company. It remains to be seen if their special sauce will be worth buying. It probably will be, for people who are already trapped into Oracle/Sun (just as it is with Intel's compilers, that just happen to smoke everyone else's on Intel hardware) but for everyone else the world will just go on as it has.

  • I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rumith ( 983060 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @05:28AM (#34152850)
    Either Larry Ellison is smart beyond my imagination, or he's too stupid to understand that he's basically killing MySQL, OpenOffice and Java - arguably the three most valuable software assets he bought with Sun.
  • by MrCoke ( 445461 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @05:28AM (#34152852)

    Why is this any different as Qt (also has 2 tiers)?

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Angostura ( 703910 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @05:32AM (#34152876)

    I suspect that Ellison evaluates 'valuable' in straightforward monetary terms. "Is Java making me money? No? It's not valuable"

  • by whiteboy86 ( 1930018 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @05:46AM (#34152916)
    ... people buying.. who are already trapped into Oracle/Sun...

    And this is children why Java, Obj-C, C# and other 'corporate' languages exist in the first place.
  • by polemon ( 743631 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:00AM (#34152956) Homepage Journal

    As I understand it, when the open source version gets adopted by a voluntarily group of individuals that keep developing the open source version, it might be forked pretty soon, so nothing of value would be lost.

    As for the commercial version, that is probably gonna end like many other Oracle products, that got forgotten. I'll linger around in Oracle's inventory, but nobody will care much about it. Also, the fork might overshadow the commercial version in a couple of months, since performance tunes, are not exclusive to Oracle programmers...

  • Re:mm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Slackware95 ( 1862096 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:01AM (#34152958)
    I agree with this statement, this is indeed the birth of new opportunity - A new technology to replace Java...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:14AM (#34153010)

    ... But after that it's going to cost you.

    "With Oracle it doesn't have to make sense. It just has to make money." -James Gosling.

  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:19AM (#34153028)

    If Oracle starts locking things up in the premium version, OpenJDK will be forked (there are already some shallow forks like IceTea that take OpenJDK and replace the remaining closed-source bits with stuff from GNU Classpath etc) and the community will shift.

    Its happened to OpenSolaris with the Illumos project and OpenOffice with the LibreOffice project.
    No reason it cant happen with OpenJDK.

    Although what might happen is that Oracle will find a way to write various APIs and licenses such that if you copy certain features from "Java Premium" you loose the patent grant given under the OpenJDK APIs.

  • by sg_oneill ( 159032 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:21AM (#34153036)

    Oh, the dot net crowd are going to eat Oracles lunch over this. Microsofts dot net is free as the wind (well not free as in speech, but whatever) and has a lot of "enterprise-y" features.

    Am I the only one seeing echos of the sad demise of Borland into irrelevance here?

  • Wow.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdfl[ ]com ['at.' in gap]> on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:21AM (#34153040) Journal

    How can the people at Oracle not see that this sort of maneuver will only _decrease_ Java's popularity?

    Why did Oracle buy Sun in the first place, exactly?

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:23AM (#34153046)
    People are not going to go and buy something to make Java apps work better. Perhaps companies who rely heavily on Java on the back end will, but more likely they'll just stop upgrading and switch to something else.

    I'm surprised Oracle even have such a grip on Java as they have. Why doesn't someone produce a comprehensive open source test suite analogous to the real certficiation tests? Then who cares if a JVM is officially blessed Java or just some offshoot.

  • Re:Wow.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by headLITE ( 171240 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:29AM (#34153068)

    I don't get it. JRockit was always proprietary. Why should they make it free just because they have the good sense to consolidate their JVM projects into one?

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sc4Freak ( 1479423 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:34AM (#34153080)

    Well, as a manager, that's his job - to maximise the wealth of the company shareholders. If Java isn't making money (directly or indirectly), then he needs to institute change so that it *does* make money one way or another. Otherwise he wouldn't be doing his job (and then he'd be fired and replaced by the board of directors).

    Maybe tiering the JVM is the best way to maximise shareholder wealth, maybe it isn't. Either way, it should be obvious that any corporate manager would see "valuable" in a purely monetary sense. Even if Oracle decided to keep the JVM completely free, it'd be because they believe that keeping it free would make them more money than charging for it (maybe they think it'd drive sales of their other products or something like that, who knows). Everything a company does, even if it seems altruistic, is somehow contributing to the company's bottom line.

  • by hvdh ( 1447205 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:37AM (#34153090)

    Now try using SSE intrinsics. With Java, you can't do that. In C(++) you should get a nice speedup ending up several times faster than Java, unless you're bound by memory bandwidth.

  • by krischik ( 781389 ) <krischik@users.s ... t ['efo' in gap]> on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:42AM (#34153106) Homepage Journal

    We already got better languages like Scala for the JVM. The Ada for JVM project has been restarted as well. If it just the language you want to replace - that is not a problem.

    So what do you want to replace here? Ahh, well as you are an AC you won't answer.

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:47AM (#34153116)

    Maybe killing those technologies is something he wants... . It is not uncommon for companies to acquire another just to silently kill of the technology.

    Personally I started looking into postgresql because to be honest I don't trust oracle and I'm certain mysql is the next thing onto the chopping block. It is a shame that a lot of providers (vps is to expensive here) don't see this coming and the number of hosts with postgresql support is very small.

  • by rennerik ( 1256370 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:54AM (#34153136)
    ... Ballmer et al are wringing their hands nefariously as they see the future of C#'s marketshare increase by leaps and bounds. And that's good for Microsoft in every way, since every application written in C# instead of Java means a license for Windows is being purchased to run each copy of the software. In web apps, it's a server license; in workstation applications, it's a desktop OS license. Either way, it's a win-win for Microsoft, and a massive loss for Oracle.

    Not that I mind, per se. I prefer C# in every way to Java... but from Oracle's perspective, I don't see how they see this would do anything but hurt Java and their reputation that's rather ubiquitous.

    Now if only Mono would get their asses in gear and not lag so far behind .Net versions, there would actually be an open source OS alternative to running modern C# applications.
  • Re:mm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @06:58AM (#34153148)

    I'm personally hoping someone will come up with an open-source implementation of C# not based on the .NET libraries or the Mono toolkit, but a pure native-code compiler, with selectable manual or automatic memory management. I believe C# is 'better than the orignal' Java. It's only drawback is that it's tied to Micrsoft and Windows.

    It's pretty obvious that Oracle is hell bent on either making bumper profits off Java or killing it. They won't have it any other way.

  • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @07:03AM (#34153166)

    If Oracle starts locking things up in the premium version, OpenJDK will be forked (there are already some shallow forks like IceTea that take OpenJDK and replace the remaining closed-source bits with stuff from GNU Classpath etc) and the community will shift.

    I'm sure that Oracle will find some obscure patent- or other issue to crush the free version. That is what patent law exists for, after all: to help build monopolies.

    Oh well, I guess it's time to start looking for another language to start new projects in.

  • Re:Wow.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ChunderDownunder ( 709234 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @07:10AM (#34153180)

    Agreed, provided the core JDK remains contributed to the openjdk project under the GPL, this discussion seems tainted by FUD.

    JRockit historically sped up BEA's Weblogic and it sounds like nothing more than Oracle's existing offerings benefiting from a pluggable interpreter that uses JRockit. The difference being it'll re-use more of the existing VM codebase.

    Hotspot itself exists in several flavours inc 'client', 'server' and the community contributed 'Shark' based on LLVM. To this Oracle will soon add JRockit in the premium binary-only release.

  • by devent ( 1627873 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @07:15AM (#34153206) Homepage

    Or maybe you just talking crap? Eclipse, Netbeans, Freemind, Visual Paradigm, Lotus Symphony. All have a lot of users and I'm using Eclipse all the time. For GUI apps I couldn't care less what language is used, for them are 99,99% of the time waiting for user input. In fact, sometimes Firefox is way slower then Eclipse.

    What people don't realize is that only because an application is written in C or C++ you don't need the same amount of code and abstractions that you have with the JVM. You need memory management, exceptions, logging, threading, etc. You need it all in a "native" application, and the JVM is a "native" application anyway (it's written in C++). So what you have in Java is a tiny bit more abstraction, which gives you so much more productivity for the developer.

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drerwk ( 695572 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @07:18AM (#34153214) Homepage

    ...MySQL, OpenOffice and Java - arguably the three most valuable software assets he bought with Sun.

    But not valuable enough to keep Sun in business for themselves.

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @07:19AM (#34153222)

    Well, as a labour camp guard, that's his job - to maximise the pain and misery of the interns of the gulag.

    Fixed that for you, doing your job is never an excuse for anything.

  • Consistent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mseeger ( 40923 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @07:30AM (#34153250)

    At least they are consistent: first they killed OpenSolaris, then they managed to split the OpenOffice community and now they will marginalize Java. I am sure they have something in store for MySQL too...

    CU, Martin

  • by Lennie ( 16154 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @07:45AM (#34153298)

    "it might be forked pretty soon, so nothing of value would be lost."

    compatibility ?

  • by Lennie ( 16154 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @07:52AM (#34153336)

    (And it took years to get it to perform in anyway sane).

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @07:53AM (#34153340) Journal
    Yes, because allocating short-lived objects in a modern JVM is a very expensive operation. No, wait, it's an increment on a pointer value stored in a register. Disposing of them is marginally more expensive, but if only very slightly. The cost is roughly equivalent to allocating a C++ object on the stack.
  • Legacy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sgt101 ( 120604 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @07:59AM (#34153368)

    1000's of big companies (telcos, utilities, retailers, gov, defence) use java in their back office, and... well everywhere.

    This may cause them to change their policy for new software development, and it may also squeeze the java developer market badly, but for sure there will be strong arguements for splashing £50k here, £90k there, £20k somewhere else, on getting the new JVM to pick up the performance of application x, y, z which are long in the tooth and a pain in the arse.

    The alternative is to rebuild, which carries risk - although would be a good move in the long run. In the meetings someone will say "yeah, but we are all dead in the long run" and that's that basically. As a CIO you just pay over £50k, get your users back on side, keep your job for another year, collect your bonus, put another years pension contrib into the pot.

    So, Oracle will make money, lots of money, off this. You guys can squeak, MS will cheer, the Python community will see a boost (perhaps), but Larry and co will be richer.

    Mysql (in the future) = Oracle feather light (down load it and run it and you are up and going in less than 1hr - oracle normal = 6hrs to setup?) But, if you are an enterprise DBA then you want the management and recovery features that Oracle gives you (as well as the scaling - even though it gets so mind bendingly expensive).

    Open office - who cares?

    Oracle bought Sun to be IBM mark 2. Expect them to buy Accenture next.

  • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @08:11AM (#34153412) Journal
    It is not about having a better language, it is about having a language with a larger sales department. Face it : most language use decisions in companies are made by clueless bosses once the salesman from a few proprietary companies have met him. So it will be either Oracle's new and fancy java ("he said it will be really easy to develop, faster than ASM and work cross-platform without any work") or Microsoft C# or a variant for the .Net platform ("they said it is better than Java and they just drag and drop to do GUI, it HAS to be a powerful language")
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @08:18AM (#34153436)

    Back in 'the day' JRocket (BEA) was more feature-rich and faster than the Sun JVMs; and had a pricetag. I don't remember anyone complaining about BEA. "Grr. How dare a company introduce a JVM for profit! Corporate bastards!" How is this any different? Why can't Oracle have a superduper JVM they charge money for and have a free one? There's an infinity of software companies that operate with this model. Also why are you angry with Oracle? You should be angry with Sun for mis-managing it's assets and living in business-model-fairytale-land which resulted in their having to sell out. Thanks to Oracle Java didn't 'go down with the ship' and all the Sun employees didn't lose their jobs.

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Savage-Rabbit ( 308260 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @08:21AM (#34153448)

    Well, as a manager, that's his job - to maximise the wealth of the company shareholders. If Java isn't making money (directly or indirectly), then he needs to institute change so that it *does* make money one way or another. Otherwise he wouldn't be doing his job (and then he'd be fired and replaced by the board of directors).

    I don't think Java it self is necessarily what you should look at to make money. It's products built with Java that make money. Products like Java stand and fall with a strong developer community and convincing a significat portion of the worlds developers to use a some programming language is very, very, very hard. Universities, for example, are full of people who tried and failed to create and popularize new programming languages and the same goes for all sorts of companies that had the same idea. Making all of Java available for free was the best way to assure that it was widely adopted by a strong developer base. Had Sun made any serious attempt to charge for a "premium" edition or perhaps giving away the "basic" Java package and selling "advanced" features it would have caused Java to fail. You are better off making only a "premium" edition and distributing it for free because otherwise any developer using the "regular" edition gets the feeling he/she is a second class citizen, never mind the fact that startups for example frequently need the "advanced" or "premium" features but can rarely afford to pay insanely expensive license fees to pay for them so they will typically choose something free and that adversely affects the growth of your developer community..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @08:27AM (#34153472)

    That's exactly what I was talking about. You people are content with the fact that Hotspot has pretty fast memory management, ignoring the fact that it needs a significant area of memory reserved just for being able to bump that pointer without triggering a collection every couple milliseconds.
    Oh yes I know, RAM is cheap. Hardware is cheap for corporate applications, desktop and mobile apps need to make due with what the user has.

  • by dna_(c)(tm)(r) ( 618003 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @08:33AM (#34153502)

    Once you're convinced you need such features, chances are you are able and willing to pay for these. The rest of the community could continue steering clear of using vendor lock-in bait for their mission critical applications in Java. It is the classical trick of offering a small incentive so that your codebase is no longer vendor neutral.

    Most Application Servers support reloading classloaders, so you can already restart apps without restarting the AS (or the OS of course).

    If we're talking about hot swapping parts of code (bug fixes etc. like you can in a debugger) then this will introduce a whole new class of problems - what version of the software is running at a particular point in time? Kind of Continuous Disintegration...

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @08:42AM (#34153534) Journal

    Frankly, the fact that you think the GUI builder is part of the language or the platform is laughable.

    OK This is slashdot. You dont read the original article. But don't you read the comment you are replying to? The GP is not saying "GUI builder it part of language". GP says decisions are made by morons who could think so.

  • by Teckla ( 630646 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @08:43AM (#34153536)

    While in theory this could be fine for Java, I can't imagine it will be being how poorly Oracle has handled things so far.

    From my perspective, it's perfectly fine if Oracle has decided to try to aggressively monetize Java. The real problem, in my opinion, is their lack of clear and detailed communication.

    To announce there will be two JVMs without giving us details is insanely stupid of them. It leaves developers, like me, uncomfortable with moving ahead on Java-based projects. It's the not knowing that's the killer. Will the free version continue to meet our needs? We don't know, because Oracle hasn't given us any damned details. Just some vague announcement that's leaving everyone uncomfortable.

    The same applies to Java on OS X, too. Oracle, once again, leaves us wondering what they'll do. They should have already announced their intention to either pick up where Apple is leaving off, and ship future versions of Java for OS X directly, or not. That way, the open source community could make a decision whether or not they want to do that work. And then developers that want to also target OS X could start making some decisions.

    But no, Oracle is being tight lipped, leaving OS X folks wondering and uncomfortable about the future of Java on OS X.

    Oracle just sucks at communication, and I've already halted my personal Java projects, and have started seriously considering alternative technologies to replace Java.

  • by andre1s ( 1688402 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @08:56AM (#34153608)
    You do realize that Google uses Java extensively ?
  • Re:mm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gru3hunt3r ( 782984 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:02AM (#34153644) Journal

    I agree - the fact Google uses/relies on Java is really an Achilles heel for them. I'm 100% certain that when Larry bought Sun he scratched a 10 year itch he's had for how "Sun ought to run their business" - by making two versions of java one "free" crippled, and another enterprise one. Get 'em hooked, then bend 'em over and make 'em take it up the ass and pay for the service - that is the Oracle business strategy isn't it? Ellison could care less if anybody new ever uses/deploys Java -- because the installed application base alone in fortune 500 companies (existing oracle customers) is easily enough to pay 10x for what Sun cost. It's a freaking mint, and I think he's doing the right thing (for his shareholders) - he's not interested in the long term business plan, only short term revenue.
    Killing mysql (a competitor they were losing business to), killing open office was just icing on the cake, and monetizing Solaris were just a few of the ways he's planning to make money.

    I imagine this conversation happening in the Oracle board room:
    Ellison: "we gotta nip this free software thing in the bud boys, next thing you know our stupid customers will be expecting our stuff for free too." (look of disgust)
    Henchmen #1: "yeah boss, but how we gonna pay for it? the shareholders will never buy it"
    Ellison: "those morons at Sun have been doing it wrong for years boys, what have I always told you"
    Henchmen #1: "the customer will always pay more?"
    Henchmen #2: "who cares if it's crap, ship it anyway?"
    Henchmen #1: "who cares if my jet wakes people up? i'm rich?"
    Henchmen #2: "nothing is sweeter than making the customer pay up the ass for crap?"
    Ellison: "no, well - yes, I've said all those things, but I'm talking about how I'd run Sun, how I'd make everybody pay for Java, nobody should expect to use it for free"
    Henchmen #2: "oh yeah boss, that was a good one"
    Ellison: "look at this boys, it's like it's a god damn christmas - we stop mysql for a few years while the community 'forks' or whatever, you realize how much revenue that is going to protect for us?"
    Henchmen #2: "oh yeah boss, that's alotta money"
    Ellison: "then we kill open office, teach anybody who bought it a lesson, nothing is free - you want to use it - you should pay for it"
    Henchmen #2: "yeah boss, keep going"
    Ellison: "you realize how many of our customers depend on Solaris - they can't replace it for at least a few years, in the meantime we can tear them a new asshole and let the money flow out"
    Henchmen #2: "that makes sense"
    Ellison: "and then there's Java, wow.. what a stupid bunch of dumbfucks Sun was, I'll replace their free love society with Larrys pleasure palace where you have to pay me for some action"
    Henchmen #2: "you mean metaphorically right boss?"
    Ellison: "hard to say, all i know is that in the next few years boys, we're definitely going to be busy screwing all Suns customers up the ass, and charging them for the pleasure of it"
    Henchmen #1: "so you mean basically we're going to do business as usual here at Oracle Co.?"
    Ellison: "exactly"

    The key word in business is "momentum" - the Sun acquisition took momentum from so many projects, and anybody that was using those projects (for commercial purposes) now is in the unenviable position that they need to either starting pay Oracle, or try and find a viable competitor (at least 5 years). In the short term everybody will pay, do you realize how many billions of dollars we're talking about - in 5 years they'll wash rinse repeat. This is the cycle we should expect to see in the future - I think it will be very good for Oracle (bad for the community, but nobody really gives a damn what those free-loving hippies think anyway)

    Remember Fortune 500 CIO's can't risk their enterprise to free "crippled" versions of software, they can't use unproven forks, if something goes wrong - it's their ass (and bye bye stock options), they'll choose free only when they absolutely have to. Nobody cares how much money "they save", it's a corporation, it's not about saving, it's about CYA.

    Oh my god I hope the folks at Oracle never get ahold of ASF.

    I have to admit - the folks at Oracle are brilliant (from a shareholder perspective) because they get how big businesses work.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:05AM (#34153662)

    How is this news? It's not like JRockit VM was exactly available for free:


    I see this as being more of the same - if everyone's panties didn't get in a bunch every time some entity tries to make a $ off of something then maybe you'd understand that.

    So, while I'm no fan of Oracle how about we all just shut up and be happy that the JRockit features are going to be merged with already excellent HotSpot VM.

    If Oracle wants to add "special sauce" to the JVM so that thier stack can offer more to thier customers then so be it so long as it doesn't impede the open source JVM.

  • by boorack ( 1345877 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:07AM (#34153676)
    For me Java/Oracle problem is more about platform than it is about language. In the old times there were platforms, like UNIX, Windows or Netware. OS/Hardware combo was a deployment platform. Now we have JVM, .NET and web browser - these are the new major platforms (plus niche things like Erlang BEAM, Parrot, Ruby/cPython interpreters, to some extend LLVM).

    Let's take JVM as an example: you have defined instruction set (bytecode), well defined ABI (this one is much better than in conventional operating systems) and well defined set of standard services (standard libraries). You also have class loader which somewhat resembles dynamic linker functionality in the conventional OS. Oh, and there is a pretty damn good debugging/profiling/monitoring infrastructure built in. And from application programmer point of view JVM is pretty much like a OS. Programmer can use many languages to target this platform, not just Java. It is possible to implement almost any language on top of JVM (albeit some things have no practical sense, for example C/C++ with its pointer arithmetics).

    Would Larry prove its intent to totally screw Java (I'm still not sure of it yet), we'd need to have another platform rather than another language. There are enough cool languages to choose from, but aside from JVM and CLR there are no viable, widely supported multi-language, multi-paradigm platforms. JVM is propably the best one available but as it ages, there are more and more shortcomings visible. Having enough support from companies and developers (and from Larry screwing up Java) one can design and implement a new VM addressing some additional things, like:

    - native support for dynamic dispatch (albeit OpenJDK7 seems to support it in some way) - what I mean by that is trying to achieve performance somewhat comparable to statically typed programs (now we mostly compare to C implemented couterparts, eg. JRuby vs. Ruby, Jython vs. cPython etc.);

    - support for big memory heaps - most VMs suck at this (except for Azul), so we have to slice server machines and run many instances of JVM on one machine, then cluster/farm these JVM which is both silly and troublesome;

    - better support for massive concurrency - again, most JVMs suck at this and Java thread model isn't perfect and isn't suitable for everything;

    - support for multiple independent garbage collector zones - some language may utilize this to mitigate concurrency/big memory heap problems (Erlang, anyone?); ability to use different garbage collection algorithms in different zones if it makes sense (ex. big heap as in Java vs. small heaps as in Erlang);

    - ability to execute on multiple target devices at once - to utilize GPUs/APUs directly from bytecode (maybe with some limitations), without those crappy hacks we see today; it also applies to memory management that seems to be a horrible hack in current GPGPU solutions;

    - better support for long running VM processes, mainly hot code loading (Sun JVM sucks at this but some other solutions like JRockit seem to do a better job), maybe some code versioning, better tools to administer / tinker with running VM process (similiar to what Erlang has);

    There is more than 15 years since Java was published. There is about 10 years since Microsoft built its CLR. And there is a lot of new things that appeared (GPUs, huge memories, multicores) and lots of new knowledge we obtained since then (look at all these JS interpreters in modern browsers!). There is also a pretty good base to build on (LLVM, V8, BEAM, PyPy and tons of other projects). On top of such VM we can implement various languages (including Java), maybe even better than JVM.

    With enough help from friendly enough companies (RedHat? Google?) we can propably do much better than JVM and leave Larry and his corporate cronies in the dust. As long as there is a good quality reference implementation we don't need to chase Java APIs nor we do need to beg for TCK access.

  • by PastaLover ( 704500 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:09AM (#34153684) Journal

    No reason it cant happen with OpenJDK.

    AIUI there is a major problem, one that apache Harmony is now faced with. Basically, to get a patent grant for your open source project you need to show that you have delivered a full implementation of the platform. To show that your implementation needs to pass the TCK tests. To get those tests (that are proprietary software, owned by Oracle), you need to agree to certain Field of Use restrictions. Which are incompatible with pretty much any open source license you can name.

    So while OpenJDK has Oracle's blessing and thus gets to get out from under this problem, any other open source project that forks off OpenJDK would lose access to the TCK and probably find itself in Oracle's crosshairs a couple months/years down the line.

  • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:10AM (#34153690)

    Considering that C# is Java with a fair few mods. I'm ambivalent whether that makes it substantially better than Java or just another Java, but the point is that once Oracle starts succeeding here, Microsoft and the new board might decide to take note.

    Whilst Microsoft has never traditionally done this kind of thing, they used to be run by engineers (sort of, you get where I'm coming from) where they wanted to try and achieve technical excellence, they are now run by businessmen who are only interested in the share price (and their bonuses). Note that Microsoft heavily licences java to use in C# (Gosling said they pay Sun, now Oracle 'tasty' fees very year).

    The only thing that might stop them from tier-ing .net is that they use it to sell other Microsoft software - you don't write C# code in notepad for example (try it! its hurts) or run it on anything other than Windows. Whilst you can do this today doesn't mean they won't crack down on it in the future - and you can so easily imagine them doing so.

    At the moment, only the truly open languages are safe to invest your time in. All the company-owned ones are poised to be monetised at the drop of a hat.

  • Re:mm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by aliquis ( 678370 ) <dospam@gmail.com> on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:13AM (#34153706) Homepage

    I agree with this statement, this is indeed the birth of new opportunity - A new technology to replace Java...

    You know a product is dead when even Microsoft offering is better.

  • by PastaLover ( 704500 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:22AM (#34153744) Journal

    The engine for those is usually written in C++.

  • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:23AM (#34153746)

    Does Scala allow me to build user interfaces? If not, it really isn't a replacement. What I need is something that allows me to build cross platform guis.

  • Monetize? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:29AM (#34153778) Homepage Journal

    Didn't you really mean marginalize? Not that this wasn't expected.

  • by obarel ( 670863 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @09:29AM (#34153780)

    In other words, Java will become the new COBOL - large corporations will still invest in it, because it's cheaper than replacing everything. But no startup would touch it because they can see it has no future.

    I don't really mind - I still program in C ;-)

  • by VendettaMF ( 629699 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:06AM (#34153942) Homepage

    I've been using C# for windows and iPhone development for 2 years now.

    But the long and the short of it is that it is a non-free non-open collection of code, libraries and other binaries and there is a definite risk attached to using it in ways that do not directly benefit Microsoft.

  • by Haeleth ( 414428 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:29AM (#34154064) Journal

    "Guys, Java is dead because it was bought by a litigious patent-loving company with monopolistic ambitions and a history of screwing its customers."

    "Fear not! We'll just switch to a semi-compatible clone of a semi-closed platform owned by a different litigious patent-loving company with an actual monopoly and an even longer history of screwing its customers. Problem solved!"

  • by jbengt ( 874751 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @10:30AM (#34154072)

    Face it : most language use decisions in companies are made by clueless bosses once the salesman from a few proprietary companies have met him. . . . ("they said it is better than Java and they just drag and drop to do GUI, it HAS to be a powerful language")

    As far as I can see, there's only one way to interpret it, and that's that the poster was quoting the legendary clueless boss, not stating his own opinion.

  • Re:mm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by makomk ( 752139 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @11:30AM (#34154450) Journal

    This seems like a good incentive to stick with open source projects that aren't tied to a single corporate owner, like PostgresQL. Companies still can and do offer commercial support for Postgres - in fact, some of them have the advantage of employing a number of the key developers - but there's no single company that can be targeted for a buy-up like this. (While Oracle could tray and buy all of the companies offering support for a particular option, one would hope that this would attract the attention of monopolies regulators.)

  • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @01:10PM (#34155132)

    No, I don't need any hand holding, I've probably started building apps (guis, realtime embedded, network drivers, educational logic proggies, etc) since before you were born. I was just lamenting that C++ programming isn't an uplifting experience, especially when it comes to guis. But then you probably see nothing wrong with writing network drivers with it.

  • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @01:12PM (#34155142)

    Yes, but then I still must have a JVM around. The point was that if Snoracle is going to fuck up Java, then I cannot rely on it and must look elsewhere.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2010 @03:08PM (#34156034)

    To those of you that a). don't understand the Java and JVM options, b). claim to understand the Java market place and/or c). think the sky is somehow falling, please consider the following facts, all verifiable.

    1. Oracle/BEA has for a long time offered a "premium" (paid for) JVM. It's called JRockit (with deterministic garbage collection).

    2. Sun also offerred a "premium" (paid for) JVM, mainly for high-end support, but seem to have little penetration (probably evidenced by the fact that Sun no longer exists)

    3. Oracle/BEA/Sun also offered "free" versions of their JVM. Oracle/BEA called it JRockit (without deterministic GC) and Sun called it Hotspot (that everyone uses and is now based on the OpenJDK since Sun open sourced it). You can still download these!

    4. Oracle has simply confirmed the existing strategy - that's been an option for years. ie: You can still purchase a "premium" JVM that contains a bunch of stuff for seriously "high-end" customers (this will now combine JRockit and Hotspot high-end features - no point having two teams competing internally on the same ideas. Pretty standard stuff for Oracle when you consider the strategy they implemented with WLS from BEA). For everyone else, that use the OpenJDK, everything stays the same. That is, you're not forced to purchase a JVM.

    Obviously it's much easier to jump to conclusions and pretend the sky is falling. Take some time to do some research before hitting the panic button. Might reduce your blood pressure.

  • Re:Shame Really... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @04:20PM (#34156542)

    (*) In order it to be a "sharp" the symbol in use must be (1) in italics, and (2) in a musical clef. In Microsoft's language definition it is neither, that makes those two vertical and two horizontal lines a "pound" no matter how much they want you to call it a "sharp".

    a) The pound symbol is that cursive L shaped glyph with the verital cross through it.

    b) Only in the US is # called the 'pound sign'. Canada calls it the 'number sign', most of the rest of the english speaking world calls it the hash.

    c) Technically you are correct that # isn't an actual sharp sign, but you are incorrect on both counts as to why. A sharp does not need to be on a "musical clef". And it has nothing to do with italics. The sharp must have true vertical bars, and slanted horizontal bars. A number sign must have true horizontal bars, with optionally slanted vertical bars.

    d) The language C# is called C-sharp. Wandering around calling it c-pound and actually arguing that this is somehow correct is just pointless. Why "c-pound" and not "c-hash" or even "c-octothorpe"?

    C-sharp is the clearly stated intention of the people who named it, and at the end of the day language rules are descriptive not prescriptive. The symbols use to write things do not dictate how we pronounce them. Written language is simply an approximation using a mix of tradition, convention, and convenience.

    The programming language was named "c-sharp". It was then rendered conveniently as C#. Suck it up.

  • Re:Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @04:40PM (#34156680)

    You know, I never quite figured out what this 'dangerous' thing meant when talking about C or C++. Yes, there's nothing stopping you from going *(int*)NULL = 1337;, but programmers are supposed to be intelligent detail-oriented people who after a few years of training can instinctively and deliberately avoid bugs both the subtle and the egregious without wasting time that is supposedly saved by higher-level languages like Java that do everything for you including tying your shoes for you in the morning.

    One can write in assembler too. We use C/C++ because we can focus on higher level problems without having to focus on all the minutia of assembler. We use C#/Java because we can focus on higher level problems without having to focus on all the minutia still exposed by C/C++.

    Being intelligent and detail oriented still involves spending considerable time taking care of those details. Using a language without those aspects means you can spend your time being more productive.

  • Re:Shame Really... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @05:22PM (#34156898)

    Reading even the second part of the first sentence of that, which I shall quote, since you are obviously too lazy to do so,

    to the extent it conforms to one of the Covered Specifications, and is compliant with all of the required parts of the mandatory provisions of that specification ("Covered Implementation"), subject to the following.....

    Nothing is "compliant with all of the required parts" of any standard. This is before we get onto all the exclusions. This document reads like it comes from a company that has been so used to getting away with evil that it has forgotten even how to lie properly. Trying to quote it to show Microsoft is okay is like trying to say that Ghengis Khan "traveled to many places" to show that he was a culturally tolerant kind of guy.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @08:36PM (#34157868) Journal

    You forget the cost of going through the collectable objects and invoking their finalizer.

    Vast majority of Java objects do not have finalizers (i.e. don't override Object#finalize), and VM is perfectly capable to figure that out and don't call it for them. This is even more true for short-lived objects - those have finalizers pretty much never.

  • Re:mm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oldhack ( 1037484 ) on Sunday November 07, 2010 @11:20PM (#34158712)

    You don't know Java.

    EE is bunch of specs, not a part of language to be implemented in the VM.

    Perl people (Parrot) would be the last ones, and by that I mean HELL NO, to produce anything as useful and comprehensive as the worst of the Java universe, including the god-awful JEB idiocy. At least the JEB idiots got it out the door.

    I hope Gosling would start up a project to continue Java lifeline. If there is a single software project that can measure up to Linux, it would be Java.

  • by Nethemas the Great ( 909900 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @01:54PM (#34163206)

    People can throw up all manner of alternative languages as equal or superior but the problem isn't the language per-se. It's the fact that there is a massive ecosystem built around and on top of Java that doesn't exist for these alternatives. Oracle knew this, and other things [slashdot.org] and will be leveraging them to their full potential.

    With Oracle no matter what their venture, it's always been about the money. They believe that their acquisition of Sun will net them more than their initial investment. They could care less about the long term health of Java so long as they can apply strategies to bring them ROI. Thanks to some beautiful foresight on Sun's part with the GPL and patent protections, Java for the time being is safe. I do not however, believe this will continue indefinitely. Oracle's task now will be to make what is available, and possible with open-source Java as limited and marginalized as possible so that moving forward the only reasonable choice will be to purchase their non-free offerings.

    At this point it's difficult to predict where things will go. I think that the sector most in doubt at this point will not be the desktop but rather the enterprise. Java is a well established platform in the corporate world, and given the present investments of IBM, Red Hat, the Apache Foundation, etc. in enterprise Java I believe we'll see it continue on. However, with the innovation fracturing from the J2EE specification instead of being sown back in as it has in the past. Instead of being partners in innovation as was the case with Sun they will now be competing against Oracle. Whatever happens though, I think it is pretty much a given that the Java world will not flourish as it did when Sun was at the reigns.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972