Oracle debuts JDK 7, MySQL 5.6 at OSCON, pledges better OS support

Summary:Oracle debuted JDK 7 and a preview of MySQL 5.6 at OSCON 2011 this week and acknowledged it is trying to be a better open source citizen -- but it is not trying to be an open source company.

Oracle unofficially debuted JDK 7 and a preview of MySQL 5.6 at OSCON 2011 this week and acknowledged it's trying to be a better open source citizen.

JDK 7 should hit the streets this week, one key executive said at OSCON 2011. A preview of MySQL 5.6 was also made available to attendees of that open source show this week.

But make no mistake: the Redwood City, Calif, company is not trying to be an open source company, noted veteran Oracle Senior VP Steven Harris, who spoke at OSCON.

Oracle is driven by lines of business  .. lines of business make decisions around open source projects. They are not, in contrast to Sun, made in the context of a larger scale open source strategy," said Harris during a brief keynote on Monday, contrasting how Oracle views its role in the open source community vis-a-vis Sun. "Its a behavioral difference, by design ... Oracle doesn't have an open source strategy. "

That doesn't mean execs don't care about open source, or that the corporate interests are overwhelmingly of a legal (vs engineering) nature.

Oracle values open source and will continue to work with open source communities, but it is driven by customer needs and solutions, he said. Oracle remains committed to OpenJDK and the JCP, he noted.

"We've definitely had some challenges in how we communicate and work with the open source community. We're been working to improve. I will say it is getting better. We made some improvements and our goal is that our open source developers should behave like other open source developers. We're not where we should be yet but it has gotten better and it will get better. "

But it's clear Oracle has a long way to go. No one applauded when Harris announced that JDK 7 would hit the streets this week. He needed to prompt the audience of developers to clap at the news.

Topics: Open Source, Oracle


Paula Rooney has covered the software and technology industry for more than 20 years, starting with semiconductor design and mini-computer systems at EDN News and later focused on PC software companies including Microsoft, Lotus, Oracle, Red Hat, Novell and other open source and commercial software companies for CRN and PCWeek. She receiv... Full Bio

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