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Oracle CEO, set to buy Sun, hails Java at conference

Paul Krill | June 3, 2009
Larry Ellison reassures JavaOne attendees that Oracle will continue to support the technology, post-merger

McNealy said he and Ellison first had a conversation about Oracle and Sun joining together 20 years ago.

Prior to Ellison's appearance, Gosling was lauded for his work in creating Java. In an interview on Tuesday, though, Gosling was noncommittal as far as what his plans were post-merger. Asked if he would stay on at Sun after the merger, he said, "I have no idea."

"It depends how things go," Gosling said.

Attendees at JavaOne offered mixed reviews of the planned merger, with some expressing concerns about Oracle's open source intentions. Sun has offered software such as Java and the Solaris OS via open source.

"I think the end result [of the merger] will be a good thing as Oracle is a major user of Java technology," said Trygve Laugstol, CEO of Artekk, a Java-oriented consulting firm in Oslo, Norway. "I'm concerned about if they will keep Sun's current open source strategy as I see it as a critical part of the strategy for keeping the [Java] development sphere open, free and available for anyone to participate and compete."

Another attendee had similar concerns. "I'm just a little bit worried," about what Oracle will enable as far as source code and downloadable materials, said Robert Nowak, a software engineer.

But another attendee expressed relief. "It was reassuring to see Larry talking about an ongoing commitment to Java," said Ian Robertson, lead architect at Overstock.com

He was less impressed with the outlook for JavaFX as an industry player, though. "I think Sun may have missed the boat by a few years on JavaFX with [Adobe] Flex and Flash  out there," Robertson said.

As for the fate of the JavaOne conference itself, McNealy offered vague speculation about this year's event being the last but afterward said he did not know if the conference would continue in future years. It would continue if Sun remained an independent company, he said.

Sun at the event announced a beta release of its Java Store, to make available Java applications online. Monetization plans still are being ironed out, though.

"The objective of the store is very simple: it is to give the whole Java [community] access to the distribution that we've all built out," said Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz.

 

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