Will Java survive Oracle?

When Oracle bought Sun, I was initially fairly bullish on the idea – I thought Oracle might temper some of Sun’s whimsical brainstorming turned projects that it poured resources into, and create a leaner, meaner Sun.


Well, if initial indications continue to hold, they may be going too far, and throwing the baby out with the bath water.

I’ve heard from several people who returned from JavaOne about what a disappointing experience it was, and how they felt marginalized and overrun by the suit wearing denizens that have populated Oracle Develop for years.

I wasn’t surprised when I heard that Oracle was folding JavaOne into its main conference offering, but I *WAS* surprised that they didn’t take great pains to ensure that the experience for Java developers was no less useful, fun and all around worth it to developers as it has been in the past.

I would think they’d be working overtime to convince developers that Java is still a first class, thriving platform worth investing in, not an also ran to Oracle’s existing product suite.

To be fair, I’m observing from a slight distance these days as I work for Blue State Digital, an incredible company doing amazing things with PHP (which has come a long, LONG way while I wasn’t looking – I’ll be posting about that soon), but I still feel like I have a lot invested in Java – I spent a decade out of my career living in that space, so I would love to see it continue to thrive, not just survive.

Clearly, Java isn’t going away any time soon. In my opinion it’s a great platform (not free of warts, sure, but name one that is) but this does make me wonder about people choosing a platform for new projects – there are lots of choices out there today, many of which are lighter weight and much less fragmented than what Java has to offer.

Oracle needs to make up its mind about whether it sees Java as a crown jewel or a sick aunt to be locked away in a drafty room and checked on once every few days.

Or maybe it already has, only time will tell.


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