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Oracle to buy Sun …

Yes, it’s true. Oracle and Sun have both announced the marriage. Techcrunch has the full press release. ZDnet some other commentary.

A few people seem to be sweating about MySQL. It would not be stressing about MySQL too much. It could get spun off, who knows. It’s even possible, as some commenters on Techcrunch say, that Oracle might use the free MySQL offering to hammer Microsoft’s database market from the bottom-up

It’s more touch-and-go in the app-server market (what Oracle likes to call ‘middleware’) which is already suffering a little from Oracle’s transition over to BEA Weblogic from its older products. Sun has excellent products in that area, i.e. Glassfish. I have used all of these products (plus Websphere and JBoss) and Glassfish is easily the nicest (in fact I would say it’s the best app-server I’ve used, apart from plain old Tomcat).

And what will happen to Java? Of course, Oracle wants Java, that’s part of the reason they are buying Sun in the first place (as well as their hardware business). But will IBM play along now it’s most critical competitor owns Java (and IBM has previously bet its software integration farm on the Java stack)? And what of the JCP?

Even more worrying for some, is what will happen in the IDE space. Of course, I’m a confirmed Eclipse man, but it is always a worry when competition is reduced. What will happen to Netbeans? And dare I say it … JDeveloper is fairly horrible compared to Netbeans but will that save either of them? Oracle’s got a lot invested into it’s tooling, which all runs on JDeveloper. As much as I prefer to just write code, that use wizards, Oracle does seem to have at least some customers in that area. Oracle’s development model tends to focus a little too much on magic wizards. From the IDE-JDeveloper-to-the-app-server single click-to-deploy, drag-and-drop to create-the-control, easy-peasy wizardry, which I hate, because I think it gets in the way of craftmanship. It’s the Bunnings Warehouse of software development. Show me the command-line Oracle! you should remember, that Sun is most definitely a company built around the Unix shell prompt. Even with Oracle middleware, it’s definitely possible, I’ve just been working on command-line deployment automation for their older Orion-based app-server, they just don’t like to promote it.

I’m hoping that Sun can reverse-ferret them on that score and teach them about Ant, Maven, /bin/sh and the goodness of installations that are as simple as tar xcf in the spot you want to install it.


  1. I think if IBM was really worried about Java they just would have bought Sun in the first place instead of walking away from the deal. Although it should be interesting to hear what the scuttlebutt around work will be.

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 00:20 | Permalink
  2. Bob Foster wrote:

    So your complaint is that developing with JDeveloper is just too damn easy?

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 05:56 | Permalink
  3. Scot Mcphee wrote:

    Yes, Bob, that’s exactly it. ;-)

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 08:10 | Permalink
  4. Ben wrote:

    “Of course, I’m a confirmed Eclipse man, but it is always a worry when competition is reduced. What will happen to Netbeans?”

    You don’t need to worry Scot, Intellij will be fine.

    Finally you can lay your IDE to rest and stop fighting the inevitable :-)

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 18:05 | Permalink
  5. Scot Mcphee wrote:

    Ben, the only problem with Intellij is that it has the crappiest set of key-bindings on the planet.

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 21:32 | Permalink
  6. Ben wrote:

    Scot, your argument is invalid — Intellij includes eclipse key-bindings by default.

    Any more objections?

    Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 17:41 | Permalink
  7. Scot Mcphee wrote:

    it’s not free. also it’s rubbish.

    Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 18:27 | Permalink