Oracle's war of stack against stack

Open source politics isn't like Republicans vs. Democrats. It's more like the European Parliament. You can't go in there guns blazing. You can't push your way forward. You can't win it all. All you can do is cajole, engage allies, and try to make change around the edges.

It's a political struggle. As in the famous Monty Python sketch (viewable at Youtube).

Larry Ellison spread a lot of FUD with his "unbreakable Linux" announcement, but everyone knows this is aimed, not at competition, but at domination.

Which is the problem with it.

Ellison wants to make this a business case, a feature vs. feature comparison of what his folks can do for customers against what Red Hat can do.

I don't think that's how this is going to play out.

It is going to play out politically and that is a field where Oracle does not play well. Especially since the political field it's playing on is that of open source politics.

Open source politics isn't like Republicans vs. Democrats. It's more like the European Parliament. You can't go in there guns blazing. You can't push your way forward. You can't win it all. All you can do is cajole, engage allies, and try to make change around the edges.

Once companies truly embrace open source they understand this. What you get out depends on what you put in. But there is a limit to what you can get out. Because your reputation matters. It matters a lot.

Oracle's reputation within the open source community is poor. Very poor. Changing that requires more than rhetoric, more than press announcements. It requires actions, like donations of new code. It requires transparency, an acknowledgement of your own motives.

For Oracle to succeed in open source it must change its entire corporate culture, as Sun did. And even then it may never succeed as it once did, as Sun may not.

Larry Ellison isn't willing to do that, which is why I think this attempt to dominate Lin

ux will, like all his other attempts, fail.

The humor in all this may be Pythonesque, but the character Ellison is forced to play here is pure cartoon. He's Wile E. Coyote. (Illustration from Layne Saltern.)

 

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