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Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's greatest contribution to the English language came with his discussion of "known unknowns" and "unknown unknowns." Known unknowns tend to encourage one to seek out the truth or the future course of development, but unknown unknowns can be paralyzing, as we wait for the picture to clarify before making decisions. In light of the the merger limbo Sun's been in, with all the unknown unknowns that entails, it makes sense that we've had very little direction from the company on Java's future -- and certainly very little from the top executives.
But the longer the drama drags out, the more we're actually going to need some direction. And it looks like Sun's going to give us a little, with a big conference call on Thursday on a number of Java EE technologies: Java EE 6 itself, along with GlassFish Enterprise Server and NetBeans. The latter two are of particular interest because Oracle's competing products make their future particularly uncertain. A number of Sun middlewigs will be on the call -- Tom Kincaid, executive director of the Sun application platform; Kevin Schmidt, director of product management and marketing in the application platform organization; and David Folk, director of developer tools engineering -- but no bigwigs (anyone heard anything from Jonathan Schwartz lately?).
And about that drama -- well, the EU and Oracle are still on a collision course. If you'd like to hear other people's opinions about how Oracle should react, you can take your pick from "suck it up and make a deal" to "don't give an inch to those Eurocrats."