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Oracle Asks Apache To Rethink Java Committee Exit

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the with-sugar-on-top dept.

Java 266

CWmike writes "Oracle has asked the Apache Software Foundation to reconsider its decision to quit the Java SE/EE Executive Committee, and is also acknowledging the ASF's importance to Java's future. In a message released late Thursday, an Oracle executive made conciliatory gestures to Apache. At least for now, the ASF doesn't seem eager to rejoin the committee. 'Give us a reason why the ASF should reconsider other than "please,"' ASF president Jim Jagielski said in a Twitter post on Thursday. The Java Community Process is 'dead,' Jagielski said in a blog post, also on Thursday. 'All that remains is a zombie, walking the streets of the Java ecosystem, looking for brains.'"

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First Trout! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34518094)

I am a fish!

They reconsidered (5, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518098)

Answer is still no.

Re:They reconsidered (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518118)

I'm wondering what Oracle's angle is on this. They haven't been particularly concerned with developers walking out in a mass exodus. Or is it just a matter of it looking really bad for them to lose that support?

Re:They reconsidered (5, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518212)

Look at Oracle's head honcho Larry Ellison... A macho alpha male that MUST under all circumstances have control. The moment Ellison leaves Oracle will collapse since corporations like his do very badly with their hallowed leader.

Once you see that you see the angle of Oracle. Oracle I think really doesn't give a flying f**k and they are now starting to understand the jello nature of Open Source. By jello I mean you squeeze jello hard and all you get is ooze coming out between your fingers. I would be really surprised if Oracle caved in. I bet Ellison is thinking, "no f***g way some open source hippies are going to make me bend, me a billionaire"

If you think I am being harsh, look at Ellison when he takes "time off" like sailing! This is not a guy I would ever want to hang out with. At least with Bill Gates I could play cards...

Re:They reconsidered (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518412)

What's wrong with sailing? If you had said "no holds barred bloodsport" that might have fit your argument a little more.

Re:They reconsidered (5, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518462)

I don't think the GP's point is that there's something wrong with sailing. More that when most people "take time off," they do so to go bird watching, or to take the kids to Disneyland, or just to lie around on a beach getting tanned. Ellison "takes time off" to command the crew of a multimillion-dollar racing yacht that's the fastest in the world.

Re:They reconsidered (1)

ocdscouter (1922930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518526)

I was wondering if there wasn't an oblique reference to something Ellison did while sailing during a particular "time off". (This one time at yacht camp...)

Re:They reconsidered (2)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518570)

I spend 25 weeks every summer racing sailboats, 3-4 times a week.

And ellison's boat isn't the fastest in the world, but it is among them. The fastest went 55 knots in 25 knots of wind.

Re:They reconsidered (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34518826)

I spend 25 weeks every summer racing sailboats, 3-4 times a week.

And ellison's boat isn't the fastest in the world, but it is among them. The fastest went 55 knots in 25 knots of wind.

What planet?

Re:They reconsidered (1)

Elbart (1233584) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519022)

Thank you for that laugh, kind Sir or Madam.

Re:They reconsidered (1, Informative)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519054)

Earth, of course. On most wind angles, the sails provide propulsion by being airfoils, not things for the wind to push against. Further, when sailing nearly upwind, the speed of the wind across the sails is the wind speed plus most of the boat speed, so it's possible to get a very high speed of wind over airfoil.

It's complicated, and you don't need to understand the mechanics unless you like sailboats, but, yes, it is possible to move faster than the wind speed. If you have a chance, watch iceboat racing sometime. Same principle.

Re:They reconsidered (2)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519186)

Look at the bolded text in the post you replied to.

He was wondering on what planet summers were 25 weeks long. Not on what planet you could do 55 knots with a 25 knot wind.

Re:They reconsidered (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519492)

Planets with two hemispheres? I know snowboarders who chase winter around the world for half of the year.

Re:They reconsidered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519292)

It's complicated, and you don't need to understand the mechanics unless you like sailboats, but, yes, it is possible to move faster than the wind speed. If you have a chance, watch iceboat racing sometime. Same principle.

I still don't think any of that will get you 25 weeks of summer per year ;)

Re:They reconsidered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519588)

I think the GP (different AC, BTW) meant "on what planet do you have 25 weeks of summer per year".

Re:They reconsidered (1)

claytonjr (1142215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519174)

He must sail his boat around Gulf Coast, near Mississippi, where the 4 seasons are Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer, and Christmas.

Re:They reconsidered (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518704)

Thanks for clearing that up. Yeah that is exactly what I meant.

Re:They reconsidered (1)

BigFootApe (264256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519444)

The days of gentlemen skippers are long gone. America's cup teams now use professional crews and professional skippers. USA 17 (the current cup holder) was helmed by Russell Coutts. Larry didn't "command the crew", Russell did. Larry's most important task was to support Russell financially and organizationally.

I don't mean to take away from Larry's abilities as a sailor, but simply to point out the commitment required of sailors at the top levels of competition. It's no longer the hobby it was 30 years ago. It is a life and a career.

Re:They reconsidered (3, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518224)

What the CEO thinks is a bunch of basement dwellers tinkering with OpenSolaris and OpenOffice vs "The" webserver for the internet (even if it's those same set of people tinkering with it).

Apache is a big enough name that hopefully the IT guys heard they were leaving and flipped out a bit.

 

Re:They reconsidered (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518228)

I don't think Oracle is particularly concerned with anything other than its core products and profit-making from those. I think the philosophy has emerged there that it's becoming less important to do things that may have nebulous or down-the-road benefit in favor of only putting effort into things from which you can draw a straight line to profit.

Re:They reconsidered (1)

nigelo (30096) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518274)

...less important to do things that may have nebulous or down-the-road benefit in favor of only putting effort into things from which you can draw a straight line to profit.

Which has been Oracle's apparent MO since the beginning, I would say.

Re:They reconsidered (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519052)

I don't think Oracle is particularly concerned with anything other than its core products and profit-making from those.

What?

Oracle has been acquiring companies up the vertical* for many years.

I think the philosophy has emerged there that it's becoming less important to do things that may have nebulous or down-the-road benefit in favor of only putting effort into things from which you can draw a straight line to profit.

I think they've been trying to avoid corporate bloat while still making acquisitions that make sense.

*And by 'up the vertical', I don't mean 'where the sun don't shine'. I mean middleware, consulting, etc.

Re:They reconsidered (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518398)

Oracle uses a bully business model. With their database product, they charge and are paid unbelievable amounts of money and can demand prices based on the hardware you run their software on. (You can afford to buy a big beefy server, so you much also be able to afford a big beefy price for the SAME software you had before you upgraded your hardware!)

They have been successful with their ridiculous model. So it stands to reason that when they bought Sun, they can just step right up and start bullying some more and continue to get their way. They failed to factor in the fact that users have pre-existing expectations of "free" and "open" that is simply not a part of Oracle mindset. So their newly acquired "free stuff" is rapidly losing value due to the new ownership and management.

Already, The Document Foundation has abandoned Oracle's ship and took LibreOffice with them. Now ASF has left the ship as well. What's next? Will VirtualBox OSE become something else soon? What about MySQL?

In this case, whatever Oracle touches is turning to dust because they do not have a pure heart.

Re:They reconsidered (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34518444)

I thought MySQL was already forked to the point of too many prongs.

Re:They reconsidered (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519026)

And PostgreSQL has gained interest and mindshare. Microsoft is probably giddy with excitement over all the fragmentation.

Re:They reconsidered (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519210)

About time. Postgresql is an excellent database. It's the best general purpose one, IMHO - for a variety of reasons, including the ability to deploy as many as you need in your cluster to get fantastic performance (whereas other supposedly faster databases are slower since you can't afford the license fees to scale indefinitely).

Re:They reconsidered (4, Insightful)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519190)

Its is not the "free stuff" that is valuable, or "rapidly losing value". What is of value is the "goose that lays the golden egg" - ecosystem of developers (paid and casual) and users that use the stuff, improve it, and especially *provide support to others* (which is what everyone really wants - from client companies to Stallman). Oracle sees the value as the software, but the greatest value is in having the 'mind share' of an active community (something Microsoft are famous for recognizing, even if they treat their users all like criminals). With a big community you can make money, since companies will pay for support and customizations of widely used stuff (eg. market leaders such as Apache HTTP and Tomcat) but you need a 'light hand on the tiller'.

Oracle may deride Sun for messing up sales (yes, it was unnecessarily hard to buy stuff from Sun due to their crap sales process) but Oracle are just as clueless when it comes to maintaining a valuable established ecosystem. The Oracle management are destroying shareholder value by totally misreading where the value in Sun's assets really lies (dinosaurs! but that is typical of chief executive management, what made you successful a decade ago may ot be required anymore when the world outside your walls has evolved).

Re:They reconsidered (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518966)

I'm wondering what Oracle's angle is on this. They haven't been particularly concerned with developers walking out in a mass exodus. Or is it just a matter of it looking really bad for them to lose that support?

And they're still not particularly concerned. It doesn't cost them anything to say "please come back". If they really wanted Apache back, they'd give them what they want, which is the compatibility kit licensing.

Re:They reconsidered (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519042)

I'm wondering what Oracle's angle is on this. They haven't been particularly concerned with developers walking out in a mass exodus. Or is it just a matter of it looking really bad for them to lose that support?

They probably see ASF as a big community player and want them on board; but unless ASF can put Harmony through and gain 100% acceptance as a Java implementer without the conditions that Sun/Oracle have imposed then there is no reason for them to stay in the JCP.

If they really want to bring ASF back, they'll let Harmony use the test kit as ASF desires without limitation. That's probably all it would take.

Re:They reconsidered (2)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518678)

If Oracle's attitude toward the Java community is still an overlord over serfs, what's to consider? Christ, what's the upside for the ASF in staying:? Seriously.

Best quote ever. (5, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518128)

'All that remains is a zombie, walking the streets of the Java ecosystem, looking for brains.'

Best quote ever. Hopefully, Oracle will get the clue and realize that you have play nice, even when you own the toys. Otherwise, you play alone.

Re:Best quote ever. (4, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518262)

I would really be surprised if Oracle reconsiders. Oracle and Ellison himself are alpha males with no compromise. Oracle revolves around Ellison and I doubt he cares. He probably just thinks, "screw off I am here to make money not be an open source hippie!"

Larry Ellison believes in growth by acquisition. He does not do it organically and so he really does not care about Java other than he has control and is able to sell it to the enterprise. He does not care about third parties! He only cares about how Oracle can make more money. It would not surprise me if Larry is thinking of taking Java private to f**k over IBM and everybody else. But hey I think IBM just signed a deal with Oracle...

King Midas (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34518174)

Oracle has the Midas Touch. Everything they touch turns into a profitable venture--I mean, if you don't count the ones that became completely useless as a result.

Re:King Midas (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519430)

Oracle has the Midas Touch. Everything they touch turns into a profitable venture--I mean, if you don't count the ones that became completely useless as a result.

You have completely misunderstood. There is no better way to make a profitable venture than selling something that is useless. The trick how you succeed in the selling, but once you have done that, the opportunities for consulting are endless.

Re:King Midas (1)

thanasakis (225405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519712)

"not a Midas touch of Gold, but a Midas touch of death"

I like when people talk (-1, Offtopic)

kubitus (927806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518178)

no offense meant!

Cynical but true... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34518402)

I'm sure even Larry and Company realize the importance of not angering every single one of your customers. If you drive absolutely everyone off your ubiquitous application platform, and no one wants to develop for it anymore, you don't get the opportunity to lock them into your products.

Granted, every single Sun customer I've talked to (including myself) is running away from Solaris and SPARC as fast as they can. SPARC hardware was great, the OS was good for an enterprisey Unix, but everyone's scared to death of Oracle quadrupling the price for next year's service contract and making a mess of support.

When it comes to hardware and Solaris, Oracle doesn't give a damn. What they do care about is their application platforms. Almost every CS program in the country is pumping out Java coders, many enterprisey applications have been written in Java/J2EE over the past 10 years, etc. Keeping developers interested in the Java/J2EE ecosystem is important long-term. Even if they don't want to support non-Oracle apps on Java, having a critical mass of Java coders means they have someone to maintain the disasters that they have to integrate like PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and other Oracle-developed products. If people stop writing for the platform, and Oracle doesn't at least maintain the illusion of an open standard, the platform goes away, as does the lock-in opportunity.

Although, I've never seen an acquiring company come down so hard on acquired customers before. Friends have been telling stories of their Oracle reps coming in and trying to double the price of their service contracts since the takeover. The entire secondary/hobbyist market for Solaris OS and SPARC hardware is toast because you can't even get firmware updates for hardware without Oracle service contracts. Maybe someone is realizing that they need to lighten up a little?? Nah...

Re:Cynical but true... (3, Interesting)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518888)

Although, I've never seen an acquiring company come down so hard on acquired customers before. Friends have been telling stories of their Oracle reps coming in and trying to double the price of their service contracts since the takeover. The entire secondary/hobbyist market for Solaris OS and SPARC hardware is toast because you can't even get firmware updates for hardware without Oracle service contracts. Maybe someone is realizing that they need to lighten up a little?? Nah...

Recently, someone analyzed Oracle's latest financial reports and discovered something interesting. Although Oracle appears to be very profitable, it all comes from maintenance contracts. Take away the maintenance revenue and they lost money. This means that Oracle probably doesn't give a rat's ass about Java or who they alienate, as long as they can continue to milk the cash cow of maintenance revenue.

Re:Cynical but true... (1)

Doomdark (136619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519056)

but everyone's scared to death of Oracle quadrupling the price for next year's service contract and making a mess of support.

True. And while I don't know the exact details (wrt is it factor of 4 or something else), I do know that support contract costs have already risen; and this is big part of why my employer is urgently working on moving systems that still run on Solaris boxes (minority) to run on linux systems (which is already majority). Likewise there are projects to move DBs off of Oracle; although mostly to MySQL which may not be complete solution. But at least for now MySQL support is still much less expensive than Oracle DB, and may remain so because of different profiling (expensive "enterprise" DB, slightly less expensive "medium-size" mysql).

These fears are well-founded; Oracle is competent at squeezing more money out of existing customers. That's why they are so profitable.

Re:Cynical but true... (2)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519246)

Shame you use MySQL, it's worth looking at Postgresql.

Re:Cynical but true... (4, Interesting)

ozbird (127571) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519236)

I attended the InSync10 conference earlier this year. One of the presentations described - in colourful language - all of the ways that Oracle will "f**k you over" - if you let them. The only way to deal with Oracle is to fight back; migrating away from their products is one way to negotiate with the PFYs in sales (who apart from being under unrealistic quotas, probably view Larry as a god.)

Too bad Mono isn't more mature (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519270)

If Mono were more mature and available on non-x86 hardware, I think .Net would be giving J2EE a serious run for the money over the next few months or a couple years.

Having coded for both, I can attest that .Net is a much cleaner library design, and far quicker to learn. Most importantly, it doesn't introduce drastic architectural changes with each dot update.

Re:Cynical but true... (1)

Mike Van Pelt (32582) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519352)

I'm sure even Larry and Company realize the importance of not angering every single one of your customers. If you drive absolutely everyone off your ubiquitous application platform, and no one wants to develop for it anymore, you don't get the opportunity to lock them into your products.

Hey, it's always worked for Intuit.

Looking at the bigger picture (5, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518450)

Was it ever a good idea for Apache to participate in Java in the first place, knowing that the exact situation that they are complaining about today existed when they started, and has existed for the entire time they've been developing?

When we're finished with this one, we can think about Open Source projects and .NET .

Bruce

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34518550)

I've thought about .NET... the answer is still no.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (1)

lakeland (218447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519460)

Which is a shame, because from a technical perspective I really like .NET.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (2)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519768)

People that think Microsoft is more evil that Oracle simply haven't been paying attention. Oracle is basically suing Google for cloning Java. Microsoft has actually *helped* Novell clone .NET.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34518602)

You meant that in a "look at this Java mess, why the fuck would anyone want to mess around with MS?" way, right? :)

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (5, Insightful)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518646)

I don't know the answer to that, but I do know this: there is a *lot* of Java out there, being served by Apache based servers. From a strictly business standpoint, Apache is in a good position to know what devs want. And by extension, they know what businesses want. Oracle would be foolish to lose that expertise and insight, to what is a huge market.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519256)

This debate has nothing whatsoever to do with the Apache webserver.

Re: Doh (1)

hexwyrds (948410) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519386)

Tomcat is an Apache based server

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519450)

tomcat?

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519802)

I don't know the answer to that, but I do know this: there is a *lot* of Java out there, being served by Apache based servers. From a strictly business standpoint, Apache is in a good position to know what devs want. And by extension, they know what businesses want. Oracle would be foolish to lose that expertise and insight, to what is a huge market.

Really, what kind of relationship does Apache have with its customers? I think the assumption that Apache knows what businesses want is not based on sound reasoning. It's in the same vein as say for example .. "Linus knows what businesses want because most of them use Linux" which is provably crap.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (1)

asc99c (938635) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518650)

It isn't black and white - but the shade of grey has been getting darker since the Oracle takeover. I'd say they've taken a pragmatic view that Java had a lot going for it, despite not being 100% open. It seemed to me the shine had been coming off Java for a while before the Oracle takeover anyway - there are plenty of gems in there, but getting useful stuff done still seems a bit cumbersome.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (5, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518666)

This is what really puzzles me about this whole thing. Now that Sun has been acquired by the Evil Empire (tm), everybody acts like Sun was some paragon of Open Source virtue. Sun always approached open source very timidly, and only ever seemed to make the bare minimum gestures toward open source, just enough to generate some good press about it. None of Sun's "open source" licenses have been anywhere near what most people would consider really "open". Open Source has always been more about marketing than philosophy with Sun.

Given this, all Oracle has really done so far is explicitly state some of the restrictions on the software that were basically already in place, just not actually in writing, with Sun. However, since Sun was a "good" company and Oracle is a "bad" company, everyone is suddenly abandoning ship. Oracle is likely to keep all of this software, especially Java, just as "open" as it ever was (that being not very open at all). However, since Sun was a techie darling and Oracle has long been seen as a villain within the community, everyone is acting like everything's changed even though very little actually has.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (3, Interesting)

fwarren (579763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518856)

Not much has changed? Programmers have forked OpenSolaris, programmers have forked OpenOffice, and now Apache is forking "Open" Java.

It reminds me of a joke where a Jewish guy is so impressed by visiting a Catholic church he becomes a Catholic. So he tries calling his wife, son and daughter to tell them the news. All three are to busy to listen and hang up on him. The punchline is essentially "I have only been a gentile for 10 minutes and I have already found 3 Jews I don't like."

Only this is sort of the opposite. Sun, since converting to Oracle has been so obnoxious that they have already alienated 3 of their open source communities in less than 1 year.

With claiming ownership over others codes by threatening any who would host code someplace else, and by begging 3 communities to fork their code. Oracle is doing some outstanding work here.

Usually when one buys a company, you sell off everything of value before you destroy what ever is left. They seem to think they can skip step 3 ???? and go stright for 4. profit.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (1)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518936)

That's sort of the point though. All of these forks have happened based mostly on fears of what *might* happen and a general lack of communication from Oracle. People feared what Oracle would do, and since Oracle has, to this point, done nothing to either confirm or deny those fears, people are deciding those fears were well-founded and jumping ship, even though Oracle has not done anything much different than Sun did before.

One wonders what would have happened if, say, RedHat had bought Sun (leaving aside the financial impossibility of such a thing) and simply been silent for this long. I somehow doubt so many forks would have been created. Right or wrong, the impetus for most of this activity on the community's side has been based primarily on Oracle's pre-existing reputation rather than its actions.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (3)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519082)

You want actions? Just off the top of my head, there was the Google lawsuit, and the killing of OpenSolaris.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (1)

ByteSlicer (735276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519660)

They seem to think they can skip step 3 ???? and go stright for 4. profit.

There is no step 4. Step 2 [wikipedia.org] is the ? step, step 3 is Profit!

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (1)

tangent (3677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519064)

"Very timidly"? Nonsense. You want an example of open source timidity, look at Microsoft: how many substantial open-source programs do they provide? By comparison, Sun was profligate. Oracle is a clear regression back along the continuum toward the Microsoft end.

The question in my mind is, does Oracle actually intend to regress like this, or are we just seeing the fallout of standard merger problems? Is this all just stemming from mismanagement, resource allocation battles, and general confusion, or is there a mandate from the top to regress?

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (2)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519126)

Actually the CDDL, just like the BSD license, is considered by "most people" to be MORE open than the GPL. A corporation should have the right to produce closed-source software and link with other closed-source software, as well as make changes to the code, without having to share it. Restricting their ability to do so is not more free, or more open.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519466)

You are trolling right? The GPL has nothing to say about your "right to produce closed-source software and link with other closed-source software". It just isn't involved at all.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519558)

Really? So you can take GPL code, link it with your own, modify it, distribute it, and you don't have to re-release the source (taking it closed source)? Ya, I'm trolling.

the 'closed' nature of GPL? (1)

fireylord (1074571) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519568)

well the only thing 'closed' about the GPL in comparison to BSD licences is the Free Lunch counter (unless you give those downstream in the foodchain the same lunch menu)

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519170)

This is what really puzzles me about this whole thing. Now that Sun has been acquired by the Evil Empire (tm), everybody acts like Sun was some paragon of Open Source virtue. Sun always approached open source very timidly, and only ever seemed to make the bare minimum gestures toward open source, just enough to generate some good press about it. None of Sun's "open source" licenses have been anywhere near what most people would consider really "open". Open Source has always been more about marketing than philosophy with Sun.

What exactly "really 'open'"?

CDDL was open source 'verified' by the OSI. They GPLed Java. They GPLed OpenOffice. They gave the NFS spec to the IETF. They GPLed some of their CPUs (and allowed SPARC in general to be licensed by third-parties).

What exactly is/was not open source about Sun? Which company has done better?

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518768)

Was it ever a good idea for Apache to participate in Java in the first place, knowing that the exact situation that they are complaining about today existed when they started, and has existed for the entire time they've been developing?

Possibly. Certainly, the fact that Oracle is publicly appealing for them to return demonstrates that by participating, they have achieved an important role that even Oracle recognizes. Clearly, that influence wasn't enough to resolve their problems without leaving (perhaps because any suggestions they may have made that they were willing to leave over the issues weren't believed), but I don't think its at all clear that no that they have left, Oracle won't do something to accommodate their concerns to get them to come back.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34518900)

I think they at least had some hope that Sun would eventually see the errors of their ways. GPL'ing the J2SE VM and class library was a step forward, and the fact that the JCP even existed at all was an attempt at openness.

Now that Oracle runs the show, and has been threatening Google over Android (which uses Apache's Harmony class library), there's probably no chance of any realistic community involvement.

Re: The Licensing Picture (3, Insightful)

hexwyrds (948410) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519156)

I suspect it was neither good nor bad that Apache participated. One good outcome is a ton of AL-licensed core java code implementations, the copyrights of which are not owned by Oracle, and not under their control, easily integrated into most any OSS licensed language.

One bad outcome of the many worthwhile contributions to OpenJDK is that Oracle owns them, they are copyright assigned, and clearly Oracle is not being a good actor in adoption of that code. The whole GPLv2+classpath exception, overloaded with a bevy of patent threats and outright ownership of the code, leaves something to be desired for anyone who champions reuse.

If one were to create the Joe language tomorrow, syntactically different enough from Java and dodging Oracle's patent troves, it would be trivial to adopt all of those AL .jars and extend the language immediately. Not so with the GPLv2 OpenJDK code, forking to borrow the patents is highly suspect, and the code can never be brought up even to GPLv3 and its patent assertions without the owners/copyright holders direct consent.

I sort of view this as a massive failure to the freedom of software perpetrated by Oracle, but no less by the FSF itself, and share my sympathies with all the non-employee contributors to OpenJDK who agreed to copyright assignment. Trusting a foundation such as the FSF with your copyright is one thing, but entrusting it to a for-profit to protect your code for public reuse is a bone headed move.

Of course, all assurances were made by Sun prior to the ASF embarking on Harmony (there was no FoU considerations at that time, that was injected much later in flagrant violation of the JSPA), and prior to their contributing Tomcat to the ASF, that they were moving forwards. Staying with it prior to the Oracle acquisition was questionable, but staying long enough to determine that Sun had polluted Oracle's earlier positions *against Sun* seemed sensible enough. Now that all of this has played out, and the OSS universes of Java, OpenOffice and MySQL all implode, it seems like Apache chose just the right time to exit stage right.

Agreed that .NET is interesting, once all threats of RAND are completely stripped away. MS would be wise to revisit their patent pledges at this time and address their criticisms, it could score them some serious open source credibility in this environment. Especially if they were to contrast themselves to Oracle's JVM ownership. Perhaps the Outercurve Foundation will help to win some of the necessary assurances. Clearly much of the future of computing will exist on portable and multivendor/multi-OSS project VMs.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519294)

+1 Funny. Bruce you've done a lot of good things and written a lot of good things but that statement is plain crazy talk. I won't even start about all the myriad of reasons why .NET is simply not an option for many Java developers - it's been flogged to death. The eventual successor to Java is not .NET, to many strings and too platform specific (disagree? well write something with WPF and see how many platforms you get it on, and there is no way the general Windows .NET developer will use Gtk+ bindings).

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519380)

Actually, I wanted folks to think about why .NET was also not a good idea.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519316)

So build something better.

Ok, so we have Java-- not open source friendly. We have C#-- not open source friendly. But at the same time, both are hugely popular. There's a gigantic demand for those types of environments here that isn't being met by anything in the open source community right now.

So bitch and moan about "oh we should move off Java, and we should move off C#", but there has to be something there to move *to*. Right now, there's jack.

And, frankly, until there's a as-good-or-better solution out there that's open source friendly, I think telling people "move off Java" is a waste of time... of course they're not going to move! There's nothing to move *to*!

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (2)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519366)

Google's "Go" language is interesting. But I don't see any explicit rights release from Google regarding it. Maybe we should nudge them for one.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519480)

Google's "Go" language is interesting.

Go might be a good start from a language perspective, but it needs huge amounts work before it even comes close to the level of C# and Java.

If you're going to replace Java, for God's sake, replace it with something that can build a decent GUI. Enough people have suffered over the decades from shitty Java GUIs, let's not subject them to any more.

Plus, Go is compiled, so it kind of misses the entire point. (I suppose the theory is that you ship your program with a just-in-time compiler? Does that currently exist?)

Plus, it's hard to Google anything related to Go because of it's stupid name. But that's relatively minor.

Personally, I'd like a solution based on JavaScript, with a couple of features added-- (optional) strong-typing and namespaces. The benefit here is that JavaScript interpreters get faster every year. The downside is the same as Go, you'd need to develop the libraries and GUI ecosystem.

But this all kind of distracts from my general point, which is: right now, the replacement for C#/Java *does not exist* in the open source community. Sure, if a hundred developers started coding their pants off on Go, maybe in 2-3 years we'd have something, but right now? Nada. This is a huge problem, if you're trying to get people to move off of C#/Java.

Re:Looking at the bigger picture (3, Interesting)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519562)

Apache should have known very well what it was getting into when it commenced the Harmony project. The TCK for the Java platform as a whole (excluding individual JSRs) was *never* free but rather licensed by IBM, Apple and others for a considerable sum. Apache maintains Sun changed the terms but I'm not convinced that beneath all the legal mumbo-jumbo regarding the JCP that there was clear agreement on a royalty-free TCK for Java SE.

I'm not condoning the actions of Sun/Oracle but the position should have been clarified and a specific perpetual binding agreement reached before a single line of code was written. Instead, development ploughed on *for several years* without an agreement - hoping Sun would 'come around' eventually.

Now the corporate backing has dried up, any independent contributors have the right to feel aggrieved. But aggrieved with whom? Did IBM and others ever negotiate with Sun on Apache's behalf for TCK-licensing before commencing development? If not, was it a wise decision for the Apache board to endorse a second clean-room implementation when GNU Classpath was well on the way, albeit with a non-Apache license?

Does Larry Ellison read Oscar Kiss Maerth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34518482)

Why else would he act like he truly believes that intelligence can be eaten?

Well... (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518542)

...IN YOUR FACE! Sorry, but that is very on topic, and it is not very often that I can put in your face in all caps. Good Show ASF, good show indeed

Don't worry Oracle (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518592)

You can always run your Java stuff from WebSphere.

Its the old joke (3, Interesting)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518624)

What's the difference between God and Larry Ellison? God doesn't think he's Larry Ellison.

Seriously, Oracle is an arrogant blood sucking company with its fangs in the fortune 500 markets and government organizations. Oracle DBAs demand a high price, and make sure you can't really escape the vendor lock.

Its a house of cards, really. Oracle on a single system doesn't scale much better (if even) than PostgreSQL on a single system. Oracle's cluster solution is nice, but the expense is crazy. Only fortune 500s and governments can waste that kind of money. I don't know of any "new" business that chooses Oracle.

They are trying to kill MySQL, and while I hope it dies a quick but painful death, PostgreSQL offers far more features and equivalent performance for free. What they are doing with Java is crazy. They don't even know what they have or how to capitalize on it. This isn't like MySQL where it is a direct competitor to their cash-cow, this is a key infrastructure piece that gives them a solid foot-hold in the industry. By suing Google and the actions they are taking now, it just tips the scales a bit more toward other languages and environments and weakens their position.

But, Larry is an idiot. Periodic flashes of brilliance, followed by long periods of narcissistic retardation disorder.

Re:Its the old joke (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518718)

"But, Larry is an idiot. Periodic flashes of brilliance, followed by long periods of narcissistic retardation disorder."

Well.... I have a hard time equating people who have made their fortunes the way Ellison has with idiocy. On the other hand, he did build himself a samurai castle for a house...

Re:Its the old joke (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518778)

My response to that is this:

If you want to know what god thinks about money, look at the people he gives it too.

Re:Its the old joke (2)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518896)

And my response to that is if you are intent on appealing to mythological beings as models for human behavior analysis then you at least should have the honesty within your self to first realize that anything you can imagine you think you might understand about omnipotent behavior is more than likely very wrong; if such beings existed they would be so far out of your experience there's nothing you'd be able to say about them that would even approximate reality. Even if the Bible were some kind of cosmic "Be back later" note. In all likely hood the note would be written on some kind of formless interstellar plasma that would impart the wisdom of the universe to all who touched it. Not start an argument that most humans seem to feel compelled to solve with a knife.

So lets put the religious theories away, shall we?

Re:Its the old joke (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519406)

Lol, yet you venerate Ellison. Sure he's no idiot, but he's not a genius either. Just an alpha male going hard and canny enough to reinforce his circumstances ('luck' by another name). This is neither and exceptional, unique, nor rare talent (although being born in the US at the right time helps a lot - which accounts for some of the scarcity).

Re:Its the old joke (1)

rleibman (622895) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519540)

Bravo!

Re:Its the old joke (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519726)

And my response to that is if you are intent on appealing to mythological beings as models for human behavior analysis then you at least should have the honesty within your self to first realize that anything you can imagine you think you might understand about omnipotent behavior is more than likely very wrong; if such beings existed they would be so far out of your experience there's nothing you'd be able to say about them that would even approximate reality. Even if the Bible were some kind of cosmic "Be back later" note. In all likely hood the note would be written on some kind of formless interstellar plasma that would impart the wisdom of the universe to all who touched it. Not start an argument that most humans seem to feel compelled to solve with a knife.

So lets put the religious theories away, shall we?

As a long term atheist, maybe a subtle religious analogy escapes people.

"god" or any sufficiently important mythological figure can often serve as a metaphor. Like the expression "The devil is in the details," there is no explicit belief in any mythological devil. The devil represents evil and disputes.

Similarly, "god" in my post is nothing more than a metaphor for the source of money.

So, in case you missed the point, let me be a little less subtle.

There are many more geniuses who are poor than there are those that are rich. It seems to be a trend that the "jerseylicious" types have money showered upon them, where as good and decent, hard working people struggle.

So, Larry Ellison is rich? So what, look at most of the rich people and you'll see that it says nothing about character or ability.

Re:Its the old joke (2)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519382)

If you want to know what god thinks about money, look at the people he gives it too.

Ok; I give. Who is God giving money to?

Does he give out cash or checks? Or maybe bank transfers, I suppose being omnipotent he'd have hooks into that system too.

Re:Its the old joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34518890)

Well yes, but look at all the stupid stuff he's done after that :p

(Samurai castle ftw)

Re:Its the old joke (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519368)

Ellison was good, but most importantly *lucky* - as are all the billionaires out there. Fortune smiled on him and not on all the other, smarter, just as talented, and people with as good or better competing products. It is hindsight and historical editing that assumes that Ellison has some 'magical' quality that allowd him to get where he was. Sure he's good, but so are many others, and they happened to fall by the wayside due to accidents of history (eg. maybe missing out on the right contracts by a day, or any of a collossal number of uncontrollable factors) which meant they didn't get their snowball to a critical enough mass. Unfortunately you seem to have bought into the whole mythical mystique that is perpetuated about successful (and conversely, unsuccessful) people.

IBM (1)

Zancarius (414244) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518814)

Times like these make me wish IBM had bought Sun instead. At least they're a services company, so they know how that ecosystem works, and their existing investment in Java would've been better for us all...

Re:Its the old joke (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519304)

Oracle DBAs demand a high price because they have to put up with this shit on a daily basis. Frankly, you couldn't pay me enough to deal with Oracle licensing - I'm all for migrating to PostgreSQL on Linux if it will scale and is stable enough.

Personally I agree with Oracle suing Google (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519314)

Google did not deliver a JVM. They pilfered the Java syntax to compile for a different machine. No sympathy.

Re:Its the old joke (1)

lakeland (218447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519532)

Two new business examples choosing Oracle... (not really disagreeing, more FYI)

1) Startup that is bankrolled by VC funding. The VC bring in experienced managers, used to working in a big corporate environment and they immediately start trying to recreate a similar environment in the startup. That's across the whole board, DR/BCP, HR forms, etc. not just Oracle.

2) Small company starts to move from data is not important to data is important and the IT guy has no open source experience. He compares the price of SQL Server and Oracle, and at the standard edition level Oracle is cheaper. Later the company grows and needs partitioning - they're not going to migrate to SQL Server enterprise and they're unlikely to have run across EnterpriseDB.

Oh, and one point I would disagree on. I think MySQL's existence is good for Postgres. MySQL strongly focuses on ease of setup / use by beginners and I think that that competition is good for encouraging Postgres to cater for beginners.

Re:Its the old joke (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519770)

Oh, and one point I would disagree on. I think MySQL's existence is good for Postgres. MySQL strongly focuses on ease of setup / use by beginners and I think that that competition is good for encouraging Postgres to cater for beginners.

I have to disagree with the ease of use statement. I am mystified that *anyone* thinks that MySQL is easier to set up than PostgreSQL.

I mean, jeez

initdb -D /databasepath
pg_ctl -D /databasepath start

Is MySQL even close?

JCP directives (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34518676)

1. Serve the public trust
2. Protect the innocent
3. Uphold the law
4. (HIDDEN)

Re:JCP directives (1)

SiChemist (575005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518818)

Bravo, AC, Bravo!

Re:JCP directives (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519034)

"Dick Jo.., uh, Larry Ellison! I work for Larry Ellison!"

Question (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519028)

Can someone thats more involved in Java development give us some insite into what this means for large Java projects that are already well underway? I've got some vested interest in a few software packages based on Java and am slightly concerned about their future.

Re:Question (4, Informative)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519362)

In the short term: not much will change. The JDK will continue to be available. The developers will keep working on Tomcat, Hibernate, Spring and so on.

In the medium term, things might get weird. Apache will release Harmony with or without Larry's blessing, the only question is how compatible it will be with Oracle Java. Larry might decide to start charging money for Java. Java will definitely be around, but it's hard to tell in what form.

In the long term, we all die.

Re:Question (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519452)

Java is not going away, ever, so do not fear. It is GPL-ed so no one can take it away. Oracle can steer it towards its own interests but then Apache makes a package that works for your interests.

If you don't like Oracle then use the IBM equivalent. If you don't like IBM then use one of the Open Source equivalents. This is one of the many strengths of Java relative to its 'competitors' (they don't actually compete, since they either don't have as many features (eg. non-standard/poor multithreading in C++) or don't have several independent implementations that are designed to be perfectly compatible (eg. MS .NET and Mono have hugely different [non-portable] libraries)).

Java Compatibility Kit (1)

chris_7d0h (216090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519254)

Fine Oracle, give Apache a JCK already !
Do that and they will have a reason to care about the future of Java.

Anyone who jumped ship from Oracle to MySQL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519390)

should probably be rethinking that move. Sure am glad I dropped Oracle for PostgreSQL about 7 years ago... And Solaris? not even worth mentioning...

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