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Does Java Speak for Itself?

October 21, 2009

At Oracle OpenWorld last week, it was suggested that, with regard to the Oracle and Sun merger, "Java speaks for itself." I wasn't at Oracle OpenWorld myself, but, for example, Josh Fruhlinger reported Sun's Scott McNealy as saying that Oracle's existing use of Java "speaks for itself."

Meanwhile, Java Champion Bert Ertman, in his Impressions from Oracle OpenWorld: "Is Oracle good for Java?" post, wrote:

the official statement being made by Sun

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I have no idea if Oracle is

I have no idea if Oracle is good or bad for Java. I hope it's good, but dragging out the merger forever is doing real damage. What scares me is imagining what would happen if the deal falls through. Sun's existing customer base is running for cover. Who can blame them? I wonder what Java is worth on it's own. If the deal falls through, I think we'll find out.

I don't think Oracle is

I don't think Oracle is dragging out the deal. The problem is the European Union has not approved the Sun acquisition. They opened an antitrust investigation in September, and that may not be completed for several months. Few commentators that I read are of the view that the deal will fall through.

I'm not sure what financial value could be put on Java. It's a mature language today. There's an enormous amount of operational code written in Java out there. It's not going away no matter what happens. My guess is that the intent behind saying "Java speaks for itself" was to tell Java developers not to worry, because Java is "bigger" than Sun and Oracle, Java is beyond any single company (like C++, perhaps?).

But, Java has traditionally been most fully supported by Sun, so... there are a lot of possibilities, I think.

It's definitely not Oracle's

It's definitely not Oracle's fault, but buying MySQL has got to be the worst business decision made by Sun in the last 10 years.