Earlier this year came the news that Oracle was buying Sun. And now this?
After today’s news, it sure looks like its going to happen sooner than later. What next? IBM sells off its application servers and Rational software to Microsoft?
Java has already grown rather stagnant. There’s little innovation or exciting things happening in the Java world these days. The few interesting things that are out there, don’t seem to get any attention (can you say GWT?). Most of the “thought leaders” that I followed into the Java world, have moved on. I can’t substantiate it, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find that most of the non-corporate sponsored open source projects commit levels are a fraction of what they used to be three years ago.
One of the unique things about the Java community was that although Sun owned Java, they really weren’t a software company. Yeah… there’s Solaris, but they didn’t even know what to do with that outside of running it on their servers. Sun took an engineering interest in Java, but never did figure out how to really make money from it. That left Java fairly open. Lots of freedom for small companies to make a dent.
Yes, the big guys were there playing the Java space – IBM, Oracle, etc, but… they didn’t own it.
One thing Oracle knows how to do is make money off of software. Have you ever tried to buy a license for Oracle? Hold on to your wallet – tight! Although I’m sure Java will always be free, look for Oracle to use Java as leverage to pull you into its fold.
Furthermore, beyond the core DB server, I have yet to work with any software written by them that’s even remotely usable. Working with Oracle still brings back memories of the “Certified Novell Engineer” and the Encyclopedia Brintannica volume of books that came along with it just so you could figure out how to get two computers to talk to one another (if you’re old enough to remember those days. ).
I just can’t see how this is good for Java in the long term.
Now SpringFramework… er… SpringSource, original antithesis to the Java Corporate community, is being purchased by a very odd suitor. What’s the point of this? More and more I feel the Spring Framework is becoming that what it was originally designed to combat – complexity in Java. When it takes a 800 page book to cover the material, its no longer simple.
Don’t get me wrong – I still like using the SpringFramework, and given that I’ve been working with it since pre-1.0 days, the complexity has been manageable. Starting from scratch is a fairly daunting task. I also believe has one of the best, most consistent APIs I’ve worked with.
Its possible that Oracle won’t change Java and its possible that VMWare won’t change Spring. Its also possible that Duke Nukem Forever will ship, but it ain’t likely.
With all this change happening and the rising interest in other languages – Java two years from now will be much different and quieter place.
What do you think?