Cynical chuckles

Another conversation thread floating around the internet these days is speculation about Oracle and the future of the JCP. Specifically about this little nugget from December of 2007:

Resolution 1 (proposed by Oracle, seconded by BEA)

"It is the sense of the Executive Committee that the JCP become an open independent vendor-neutral Standards Organization where all members participate on a level playing field with the following characteristics:

  • members fund development and management expenses
  • a legal entity with by-laws, governing body, membership, etc.
  • a new, simplified IPR Policy that permits the broadest number of implementations
  • stringent compatibility requirements
  • dedicated to promoting the Java programming model

Furthermore, the EC shall put a plan in place to make such transition as soon as practical with minimal disruption to the Java Community."

I actually got an email recently that started "When Oracle starts the Java foundation...". Ethics and consistency aren't exactly the LPOD's reputation: he's famously a fan of a quote attributed to Genghis Khan: "It's not enough that we win; all others must lose". This resolution in 2007 was all part of a control game played by Oracle, no high-minded principles involved at all. Now that they have a different point of view, it's clear that this resolution being honored is about as likely as pigs growing wings.

But Java is likely to be in pretty safe shape. It's a key piece of technology in too many of Oracle's businesses, so screwing Java up too badly would hurt them more than almost anyone else. Well.... Mostly. Oracle's universe is defined by the enterprise datacenter. Stuff outside of the datacenter makes as much sense to the core of Oracle as bicycles make sense to fish. But when they got Sun and Java, they got a lot of stuff outside of the datacenter. It does not compute.

It's Solaris I'm really fearful for: I wish the Illumos folks well, but the data on Solaris so far is pretty discouraging. If only because the rate at which key technologists from Sun have been fleeing Oracle's culture of fear has been so high that there's almost no one left.

[ String LPOD="Larry, Prince Of Darkness"; don't know where I first heard this, but it fits ]

August 8, 2010