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10 Unanswered Questions to Oracle

02.16.2011
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I am in Stockholm attending the keynote of the Jfokus conference. Yesterday, the first day of the conference, was quite a good day and I bet it will be even better today, but at the moment I am bit upset listening to this Oracle guy trying to explain to me what a wonderful year 2010 has been thanks to Oracle's efforts. So here the 10 questions I would like to ask to this guy and I hadn't a chance to:

1. What do you think about the 2 years delay in bringing project lambda and project jigsaw to Java? If I say to my client that I made a mistake in my estimations and he has to wait another 2 long years to see the features he needs delivered, I don't think he would be so happy. So why should I be happy of the current situation?

2. Why have so many smart people, including James Gosling, the father of Java, decided to leave Oracle?

3. What do you think about Oracle suing Google for apparently no better reason than that day was raining and the lawyers couldn't go to play golf as usual?

4. What about the awful organization of JavaOne 2010 being just the ugly stepchild of the Oracle Dev?

5. Why have the same Oracle lawyers decided to ask to remove JUnit from NetBeans? Still raining?

6. Why did those lawyers also oblige Hudson's guys to change the name of the project?

7. Do you reallly have so many rainy days in California?

8. What do you think about Apache Software Foundation resigning from the JCP executive committee? Isn't it very bad news for the whole Java community?

9. What's the future of MySQL?

10. Which are Oracle plans for Java in 2011 (of course except making enough money with it in order to prepare the defense of the America's Cup)?
Published at DZone with permission of its author, Mario Fusco.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

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Guido Amabili replied on Wed, 2011/02/16 - 5:31am

Hi Mario,

Are your 10 unanswered questions inspired by those posed by Repubblica* to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi ?

But then I hope some Oracle guy will answer those unlike Mr Berlusconi.

 

* http://www.repubblica.it/static/speciale/2011/caso-ruby/ten-lies.html?ref=HREA-1

 

Martijn Verburg replied on Wed, 2011/02/16 - 7:48am

Hi Mario, I don't work for Oracle and I'm not affiliated with them but I've had a chance to speak with some of their lead technical people on Java recently at FOSDEM and other events. They of course weren't able to state anything officially, but here's my take on a few of your questions:
1. What do you think about the 2 years delay in bringing project lambda and project jigsaw to Java? If I say to my client that I made a mistake in my estimations and he has to wait another 2 long years to see the features he needs delivered, I don't think he would be so happy. So why should I be happy of the current situation?
Remember that the original quotes were done by Sun (primarily a hardware company), I suspect we'll find that Oracle (primarily a software company) will be delivering to the dates _they've_ set. Things like JavaFX distractions, the merger and endless arguments in the OpenJDK list about Lambda has caused delays as well.
3. What do you think about Oracle suing Google for apparently no better reason than that day was raining and the lawyers couldn't go to play golf as usual?
I think its about several reasons, $$ is obvious, making sure that no-one else tries to 'dilute Java' is another powerful reason methinks.
4. What about the awful organization of JavaOne 2010 being just the ugly stepchild of the Oracle Dev?
They're working with the JUG leaders/community to resolve this, I'm pretty confident that the next JavaOne will be a separate event (might be 2012 though) and be community driven in terms of content etc.
10. Which are Oracle plans for Java in 2011 (of course except making enough money with it in order to prepare the defense of the America's Cup)?
Get Java 7 out the door and keep Java as #1. Oracle is incredibly dependant on Java and despite some of their questionable community decisions I think they're going to work really hard to make Java stay on top. We all do need to make our concerns known. I think a happy wider community is a good long term thing for Java as it increases the size of the Java pie and that can only be good for Oracle. Cheers, Martijn

Mario Fusco replied on Wed, 2011/02/16 - 9:05am in response to: Martijn Verburg

Thanks for your answers Martijn. To be honest I remember that Sun/Oracle announced the project-lambda deadline (that was setup for Sep 2010) during the Devoxx conference in Nov 2009 and at that time Sun was already under the control of Oracle even if they were waiting for the EU approval. Moreover they declared they couldn't meet the deadline only 2 weeks before its expiration. They could at least do that a bit before, don't you think so?

Also notice that my question 7. is just a metaphor to actually ask: "How much Oracle wants to use their lawyers still?" that is also another way to ask: "are Oracle going to become a patent troll?". What do you think about it?

Cheers,
Mario

Chris Arthur replied on Wed, 2011/02/16 - 9:06am

I'm glad someone posted some kind of answers to these, but I have to be honest, that first answer is completely and utterly insufficient. I know they aren't official and they likely never would be, especially that first one. Its a cop out and a bad one at that. Sun is Oracle now, Oracle is Sun, man up and take the blame. Clients don't care who bought the company from whom they only see results or no results. Take the blame and move forward. It may very well be Sun's fault, but you're in the driver's seat now, so don't give me excuses.

Most of the rest of the answers to the initial questions can simply be blamed on growing pains. Like it or not Oracle owns Java and the rest of Sun's business now. Where Sun was not a litigation style corporation, Oracle most certainly is. Does it suck that they sue for what seem like crazy or even silly reasons? Sure, but that's who they are as a company. I don't particularly like Oracle, but that's how things go. 

By the way, I think that while these questions you posed are definitely inflamatory, they show the sentiment of the hard core Java development world, and this is something that Oracle needs to be aware of and figure out how to deal with. The good news is that my impression of Oracle is that it is a goal and immediate result kind of company hence the quick plan for Java 7 and then Java 8. From here on I hope they get Java under a hard and solid plan for expansion.

Michael Urban replied on Wed, 2011/02/16 - 10:11am

As far as why so many smart people from Sun have left Oracle, I don't think you really need to ask Oracle that one. James Gosling, and some others, have been fairly vocal on their blogs about why they were / are unhappy with Oracle.

When it comes to Oracle suing Google, Oracle might have done with Sun basically had to do, but didn't because they were afraid of  the community backlash. Even Gosling stated on his blog that the relationship between Sun and Google was not exactly a mutually beneficial one. Sun was investing a ton of work and Google was reaping all of the benefit. Although hewas quick to point out that he was not defending Oracle's actions.

There's one other question I would like to add to that list though:

* Even though NetBeans has been bundling JUnit for years with no legal difficulties, why did Oracle's lawyers suddenly advise them that they have to remove it? None of the other open source IDEs seem to feel they have to remove it. Is it perhaps to decrease the appeal of NetBeans to users and hope it will bolster interest in their own Oracle JDeveloper product? After all, a Java IDE without JUnit support is of limited use.

Jonathan Fisher replied on Wed, 2011/02/16 - 11:48am

Sweet, another "hate oracle" article! These never get old! Ever! really!

Loren Kratzke replied on Wed, 2011/02/16 - 2:04pm in response to: Michael Urban

I think the only significant difference between the current license and Oracles preferred license is the ability to continue to use a product while you sue the shit out of the people that created it (over copyright issues or whatever).

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