Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

Summary: Given the historical significance of SUN.COM, what would it hurt Oracle to keep it running?

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TOPICS: Oracle, Browser
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Update: Sigh. Made a typo on the single most important element of the story, the date the domain was assigned. Fixed. It was assigned in 1986, not 1996.

On Thursday, Rick Ramsey of the Oracle Technology Network declared in his blog, "Sun.com Will Disappear After June 1". He goes on to talk about the content that was on SUN.COM moving to other pages within the Oracle Technology Network.

I accept this. Oracle bought Sun and has the right to do with its purchase as it pleases. On the other hand, there might be a better option.

Look, we all know keeping a domain up and running and serving a few pages off it costs virtually nothing. So, it's not like Oracle will save big dollars by sun-setting the SUN.COM domain.

On the other hand, SUN.COM is a domain of historical consequence. SUN.COM was registered on March 19, 1986 1996, the very same day that IBM.COM registered. Back then, the top-level domain name system was run by the government, actually the U.S. Department of Defense, and only 10 other domain names had been registered earlier.

Because SUN.COM and IBM.COM were registered on the same day, it's a matter lost to history whether SUN.COM was .COM domain #11 or #12, but the fact is, it was one of the very first of what would be millions upon millions of .COM domains.

Given the historical significance of SUN.COM, what would it hurt Oracle to keep it running? Keep a page or two on it about that being a domain of historical import, and then link back to Oracle. Or do a tribute to the early days of the 'net, and run content like this. Or what about donating the domain to The Computer History Museum?

It's not a big thing to keep a domain running, but it has been a very big thing how long this particular domain name has been running. Here's hoping Oracle can find a better way to preserve this tiny bit of virtual history into the future.

Topics: Oracle, Browser

About

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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20 comments
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  • RE: Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

    I agree completely. Much like old historical houses are protected from the ravages of commercialism. As I was reading this I was puzzled about the date of 1996. I actually registered my own personal .com address in 1995, so was doubtful that I did that before Sun!! Turns out it was 1985! A typo I'm sure :) ref: http://theforrester.wordpress.com/2007/08/13/the-100-oldest-domains-on-the-internet/
    thuleenro
  • Also they should keep Sun.com and Sun branding

    Someday if oracle miss the boat or is caught into something bad they could use SUN as a branding group
    Quebec-french
  • RE: Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

    I had a similar feeling when I learned that Geocities was being turned off. Certainly there should be some record of it to show future generations what the early internet was really like.
    monicabower
    • RE: Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

      @monicabower There is an online 'museum' that does this... http://waybackmachine.org/*/http://www.sun.com That will show several instances of how it looked all the way back to 1996.
      hjenkins1
  • just redirect the traffic

    legacy does not makes sense in the internet era.
    Linux Geek
    • RE: Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

      @Linux Geek : That's what I was about to post. They can configure Sun.com so that any request to that domain is automatically redirected somewhere else.
      nomorebs
  • RE: Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

    Sun.com goes to an Oracle webpage now.. will they just have no forwarding on Sun.com anymore? Sell the address? Seems kind of odd... unless they plan on totally getting rid of Sun branding as well...
    hjenkins1
    • RE: Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

      @hjenkins1 I could see removing the sun branding backfiring...
      snoop0x7b
  • RE: Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

    Oracle is doing its corporate damnedest to stamp out any lingering memories of Sun. It is I think an ego thing with Ellison.
    bobinbc
    • RE: Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

      @bobinbc Probably because everyone loved Sun, and now no one likes Oracle and Ellison thinks that people will hate him less if he can make them forget about Sun.
      snoop0x7b
      • RE: Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

        @snoop0x7b That would definitely backfire. The only thing worse than Oracle's obsession with turning general purpose hardware into database appliances would have been if IBM had bought Sun, just to eliminate a competitor.
        rlhamil
  • RE: Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

    Since I have no ties to SUN, directly or indirectly, I'm not sure what to make of it. I suppose they want to make a quick brand-substitution and get SUN out of everyday language and not be compared to what SUN did in Oracle's ongoing future plans. Obviously it all boils down to products and marketing but we aren't privy to the real reasons except that Oracle is a for-profit. No profit, no company. So the answer lies in following the money.
    tom@...
    • RE: Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

      @tom@... It's a little unclear how this gets them more $$$.
      snoop0x7b
  • RE: Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

    I have quite a few bookmarks to various Javadocs and other Java and solaris related things that point straight to sun.com. I think they should just pay the 9.95$/year to keep it online...
    snoop0x7b
  • RE: Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

    Oracle has been ripping out much of the access to the technical documentation on SUN.COM since they took over. Access to part numbers and technical diagrams have been steadily disappearing. They want you to buy parts from their suppliers and support from them, so they make sure you're overly dependent on them for the knowledge. You can't get a decent development support deal anymore either. How do they expect people to want to create products on their platform when they make it so expensive to develop? There are other options...<br><br>I can still find some information cached here and there, so I save what I can. My company, along with those companies and educational institutions that friends work at, are all looking to leave Solaris because of Oracle's greed. We can't afford to stay.<br><br>Trust me, they can afford that additional $9.95/year.
    EvieMarie
    • Agree 100%

      @EvieMarie We are having a hard time accessing documents that were easily found before Oracle took over Sun.

      Oh hell, even Google is having a hard time finding pages that don't re-link to an "Not Found" page in the Oracle URL.
      wackoae
  • RE: Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

    <sarcasm>History? Who cares about history? Like an old building, tear it down and put up a parking lot.</sarcasm>
    WindowWasher
  • Tons of direct links no longer work

    That is the main reason not to dispose of the URL and legacy files.

    A lot of project still use SunOS and develop in Java. Many links no longer work and Oracle's search engine SUCKS at finding what you want.
    wackoae
  • RE: Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

    A scenario such as this is a great reason for a kind of user/programmer forum. You guys, (posters on techrepublic), always give me great links and article clues. I think we all know what we want and can talk up a self helping organization, what do you think? Kind of like a super mash-up, hugh?
    toodevastate
  • RE: Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

    Once, when I was an instructor, I asked an Oracle salesman if I could get access to an Oracle database product for free for educational purposes. He simply laughed at me. They haven't changed. Now, how to get rid of Java?
    sorgfelt