Oracle is going to be so nice to Java! (Plus: An escape plan)

Oracle used the opportunity of its recent OpenWorld conference to proclaim that it has nothing but good things in mind for Sun once the EU finally relents and allows the merger to go through. Some highlights:

  • Larry Ellison proclaimed that he would pour more money into Sun's products than Sun had, though he mostly focused on Solaris and SPARC. Scott McNealy proclaimed that Oracle's existing use of Java "speaks for itself" -- but at the same time noted that, if Oracle really botched things, Java's GPL'd status would mean that it could always be forked. This is somewhat disingenuous -- Oracle would retain the rights to the Java brand, and moving the enormous installed base to a platform with another name, even if it had much the same codebase, would be an epic struggle -- but it was interesting to me that it was floated at all. It certainly strikes me as a non-reassuring reassurance, even if it was just meant to point out that Oracle was aware of their need to treat Java well.

  • James Gosling promoted NetBeans and Glassfish, while admitting that he had no idea whether NetBeans and Glassfish would survive absorption into the Oracle product line, which already has its own application servers and IDEs, thank you very much. Gosling also cheekily noted that he was looking forward to working for Oracle because "I have never worked in a software company before, so it will be an adventure."

  • At least one attendee remarked on the cultural contrast between JavaOne and OpenWorld: more suits, fewer body piercings; more smartphones, fewer people hanging out to check mail or surf at public terminals; and no beanbags for relaxing on in spare moments.