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News: SpikeSource - anyone remember them? - bought by Black Duck

  1. Black Duck Software has bought SpikeSource's assets. SpikeSource made a big splash back in  2004 or 2005, by providing open source integration and support along with having some big names on board, and now it's gone.

    Some of the big names: Kim Polese, Alan Williamson, and Calvin Austin. (Kim was a big wig at Sun, Alan and Calvin were both at Java Develeoper Journal as editors.)

    It's not that big of a deal - I don't remember Spikesource being all that relevant, but there was a wave of companies like them (Gluecode, Virtuas, sort of) that relied on leveraging open source and integration, and all of them now seem to have not been able to support themselves.

    Virtuas died; Gluecode was bought by IBM (way back in 2005!) and hasn't been heard of since (although I still have a t-shirt of theirs, it's great); SpikeSource had been forgotten except as a footnote of history, and now they've been bought.

    Anyone ever used any of these companies? The Register and eWeek both thought SpikeSource was important enough to mention the purchase of. Were they really relevant to people? If they were, how come they didn't survive on their own?

    (That's what really bugs me. Spring got bought by VMWare, which makes sense from VMware's perspective, but if Spring is really that valuable, why didn't Rod Johnson just keep it and make bank out of it? That's the moment I really started wondering if Spring actually had as much going for it as they say it does.)

    Threaded Messages (5)

  2. Does Spring have as much going for them as you thought they did?

    I'd say by the fact that many of these other companies floundered, while Spring is now more important to the enterprise Java community than Java EE is, is probably a good indication of the fact that they've got plenty going for them.

    Rod didn't sell off to VMWare and then just take his paycheck and go off buying classic cars and living it up. Okay, he did go off buying classic cars, but that's another story...

    Rod and Spring are redefining how enterprise Java is done, and they're leading in an independent and benevolent way, so that change moves fast and quickly. I'd compare it to how Apple just 'does stuff' and gets great products out fast, without worrying about what everyone else is thinking. Compare that with the JCP noose that hangs around the necks of every JSR our there.

    The difference of course between the malevolent foot-shooters at Apple and SpringSource is the fact that Spring does it with an open-source attitude, and an attitude of inclusion. I've never got the impression Rod was interested in much more than just doing things better, and that's what we've got with a whole whack of Spring products. I mean, didn't I recently hear some expert in the industry asserting that Spring MVC might actually be the best web development framework out there?

    By the way, Rod Johnson will be keynoting at TheServerSide 2011 Java Symposium. If anyone ever had doubts about SpringSource's commitment to Open Source and the Java community, we could probably have him addressing the issue directly.

  3. Risk/Reward[ Go to top ]

    (That's what really bugs me. Spring got bought by VMWare, which makes sense from VMware's perspective, but if Spring is really that valuable, why didn't Rod Johnson just keep it and make bank out of it? That's the moment I really started wondering if Spring actually had as much going for it as they say it does.)

    Why didn't Rod make bank out of it?  Its a risk/reward kind of thing.  There was probably a much higher probability of getting zero liquidity than getting any more than the $500million they got.  I don't know about you, but the risk of getting zero compared to getting $500million is an easy decision. 

    JBoss was faced with similar decisions back in 2006.  I'm glad Marc chose acquisition.  We would have been about ready to go IPO around the 2008 crash.

  4. About that symposium...[ Go to top ]

    By the way, Bill Burke will also be speaking at TSSJS 2011!

  5. About that symposium...[ Go to top ]

    The Future of Java Panel at Devoxx was a _fantastic_ end keynote.  Can TSSJS do something similar with Rod, Bill and others?  They can wear Tinfoil hats if need be!

  6. A Constant Theme[ Go to top ]

    A real underlying theme of the conference is the fact that Java is in transition. We'll have several senior execs from Oracle talking about the future, and a few 'surprise' independent keynotes giving their perspective. It would be interesting to get them on the stage together for a panel. Let's see what we can do!

    (And just to continue the trend, Martijn Verburg will also be presenting at TheServerSide Java Symposium in 2011!)