Saturday, July 2, 2016

How Oracle’s Business As Usual Is Threatening to Kill Java

Sean Gallagher:

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Oracle has quietly pulled funding and development efforts away from a community-driven technology where customers and partners have invested time and code. It all seems to be happening for no reason other than the tech isn’t currently printing money.


Oracle employees that worked on Java EE have told others in the community that they have been ordered to work on other things. There has also been open talk of some Java EE developers “forking” the Java platform, breaking off with their own implementation and abandoning compatibility with the 20-year-old software platform acquired by Oracle with the takeover of Sun Microsystems six years ago. Yet Oracle remains silent about its plans for Java EE even as members of the governing body overseeing the Java standard have demanded a statement from the company.


This top-down control has caused discomfort among the previously collegial Java community. First came the 2010 departure of James Gosling, the creator of Java. “Just about anything I could say that would be accurate and honest would do more harm than good,” he wrote about his departure. He would later tell eWeek’s Daryl Taft that Oracle’s micromanagement of the Java team had stripped them of any decision-making power. Gosling’s new role amounted to being trotted out at events like a retired ball player at a sports convention.

Update (2016-07-02): Landon Fuller:

Java EE is a distinct beast, and to put it politely, not highly esteemed. Deprecating that design avenue seems wise to me.

Jeremy W. Sherman:

I wonder how much “get me the heck away from Oracle and Java” was an impetus behind IBM’s embrace of serverside Swift on Linux.

Update (2016-07-08): Jeff G (via Hacker News):

Today, a large part of my business is migrating companies off the monolithic Java EE containers into lightweight modular containers. Yes, even the tried and true banking and financial industries are moving away from Java EE. Every company has a different set of specifications for what parts they may use in a Java EE stack, but rest assured, its all going by their choice and being as small of a footprint as possible. When companies buy cloud images and the pricing is based on memory size and numbers of cores, it gets real easy to understand why they don’t want to run these stacks that require lots of resources for only needing to use less than 10% of what a Java EE stack may offer. It because it costs more to run crap that you will never use.

Oracle and I have always had a love-hate relationship over the years, primarily because they represent the quintessential corporate identity that many of us love to hate. That, along with my Apache open source roots, Oracle and I have no historical love for each other. That said, I have to somewhat defend Oracle on this decision. Many of us see this sea change. I am sure Oracle sees it as well. Oracle isn’t stupid. They see the writing on the wall.

Comments RSS · Twitter

Leave a Comment