News: Gosling Lends a Compassionate Ear as Oracle Mines the Sun

  1. Oracle's fourth quarter profit just jumped 24%.

    Indeed, Oracle has posted a nice, healthy profit, and the bean counters are saying that Sun, which was bleeding money at this time last year, actually contributed to the healthy bottom line. Software license sales are up, and Oracle managed to continue to sell $1.2 billion dollars in Sun hardware.

    But not everything is rosy within what is left of the Sun ranks at Oracle, as top talent continues to leave, and those that remain grumble with disillusionment. Since leaving himself, James Gosling, the father of Java, says he has been spending "an awful lot of time talking to people about life at Oracle. They need a place to vent, and I try to be a good listener. The exodus has been a thundering stampede. Pretty soon, all Larry will have left is an IP portfolio. Perhaps that's all he wanted: there's precious little evidence that he was interested in any of the people. "

    digitalgroup.info - Sun Profit Jumps 24%

    Businessweek - Oracle Q4 profit jumps 24 percent

    James Gosling's Blog

    Threaded Messages (11)

  2. A different perspective[ Go to top ]

    We have definitely lost some great talent since the acquisition, and in some cases it was so obviously avoidable as to be painful to witness. I do wish we could have handled various aspects of this acquisition better; there's really no simpler way to put it than that.

    On the other hand, as an Oracle employee, I can say we are quite happy to have the engineering talent that we acquired with Sun, and I'm seeing great results from quite a few different areas in which we're putting that talent to work, both internally and in the field. It will take some time to put all of that talent to effective use, and the transition is likely to be difficult for some Sun employees, but we'll get there.


    Cameron Purdy | Oracle Coherence


  3. A different perspective[ Go to top ]

    you will get there, loosig everyone on the way ... jo, das kann passieren. Das nennt man dann Pech ... oder anders gesagt ... ich sitz in meinem bonker ... nein, nein, cameron, ich kapitutier nicht ... 

  4. vertippt[ Go to top ]

    Oh my god ... jetzt habe ich mich auch noch vertippt. 

  5. auf Englisch bitte[ Go to top ]


    you will get there, loosig everyone on the way

    Das tut mir leid. That is both a fatalistic and pointless response. What is the point of wallowing in self-pity and self-loathing? A willingness to examine one's error is not the same as fatalism; the former is constructive, while the latter is simply an easy way out of facing (or searching for, or examining) the truth.

    And regarding "losing everyone", I have not lost anyone.


    Cameron Purdy | Oracle Coherence


  6. auf Englisch bitte[ Go to top ]

    "And regarding "losing everyone", I have not lost anyone"

    Clearly he meant losing Sun people from Oracle, rather than your personally.

    I don't think anyone can doubt that Sun needed a firmer hand, or that there were probably some very overpriced engineers there who needed a shot of reality, it's just that there are also some mighty fine and high profile engineers who have left recently and it's a shame.


  7. Nice Perspective[ Go to top ]

    Thanks for a slightly different perspective from inside Oracle.

  8. re: A different perspective[ Go to top ]

    Thanks Cam for your humility. Sadly, Sun was losing money and base. The pain of the acquistion will be eased by the continued viability of Sun hardware and Java, as well as, the emergence of products that leverage the engineering excellence that Sun brings to Oracle.

    Bill Kemp

  9. What about JCP?[ Go to top ]

    What's equally important, but unfortunately not mentioned in this discussion so far, is what impact the acquisition and its consequences have on the JCP. Those who have been members for a while spotted the difference for sure; since the first signals about the acquisition, all work has been been consequently slowing down until a complete stop in case of numerous JSRs.

    There have been a lot of brilliant, talented Java engineers contributing to Java standards for years; I believe a large group of them does not sympathize with Oracle's way of doing business which in turn causes them to withdraw their efforts from the JCP since they are afraid of their work being used by Oracle one way or another.

    I find it a serious threat for future Java evolution because it not only causes a technological slowdown but also contributes to granulating the community into a number of external projects, consortiums or other technological initiatives.

    Do you guys agree? 

  10. What about JCP?[ Go to top ]

    [...] I believe a large group of them [...] withdraw their efforts from the JCP since they are afraid of their work being used by Oracle one way or another.

    Or because they are afraid of their work not being used by Oracle in any way.




  11. all that talent..[ Go to top ]

    well, well, well.. coming from the Smalltalk community back in the 90ies, and looking at the first incarnation of java, we were far from impressed by what we saw. In fact, AWT and the initial collection classes (remember Vector, Enumeration?) gave us the impression that the designers of Java - either wilfully or out of ignorance - ignored the many achievements that had already been made in the field of object-oriented frameworks (look at Smalltalk, Objective-C, NeXT OS, even C++).

    EJB 1 was a step backwards by roughly 10 years, with endless suffering inflicted.

    In that sense, I would look twice at what talent deserves to be kept

  12. Which JSRs are important?[ Go to top ]

    Hi Cameron:

    It's been a while since I helped support any of the JSRs. The Java platform has been all about stability for me over the past 3-4 years. The JSRs I would still like to see are:

    Dynamic language support for Ruby on JVM, Jython on JVM

    Native XML support

    More SCA support for easy enterprise application configuration and deployment

    Cloud computing environment support

    Do you have your own list? Do you have insight into the energy and movement in any of the above list?