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Oracle's acquisition of Sun, and the lack of certainty about the direction of the new company, gave rise to mixed feelings on the show floor at the annual JavaOne developer conference this week.
Despite a 'business as usual' attitude from Sun, whispers about new commercial strategies for Java technologies were not hard to pick up. And although Sun openly addressed this issue with its launch of the Java Store application store and Java Warehouse developer portal, the longer-term future of the Java language and platform was still open to question for many.
ZDNet UK spoke to people on the show floor, to get their reaction to JavaOne and to find out what they make of Ellison's plans for Sun and Java.
Craig Dickson, an Australian-born software engineering manager at Behr Paints in California
"It's been a very interesting show, given the fact that the Oracle deal has been resonating around the fringes of many of the informal discussions here this week. Oracle does participate in the JCP [Java Community Process], and they have contributed in part to the open-source community (not counting the stuff BEA contributed before being taken over) but, overall, when you think open source and open standards and community and collaboration, Oracle does not jump to the top of too many people's lists.
"Oracle's own products are built heavily on Java (I mean anything above the core DB layer), so they have an intrinsic need to have Java succeed. The best thing for Oracle is for the Java community to thrive. At the same time, Oracle needs to figure out a way to monetise the Java brand — something Sun never achieved.
"The other big thing on my mind is Netbeans. Oracle's JDeveloper is not my favourite tool, and I don't think you will find anyone outside of an Oracle shop willingly using it as their IDE. So I expect Oracle will definitely want to keep Netbeans going, under that name or another. It also puts them in a position to challenge IBM, which is traditionally (and historically) associated with the Eclipse brand. I think we will see Oracle build out their DB management tools on the Netbeans platform, and we will see a tight integration to be able to write the code and hit the DB all from the IDE.
"I think the last big issue is the Java community. Sun has built a community around the Java brand unlike any other development platform — I am thinking particularly of .Net here. In reality, the community is probably as valuable to Oracle as the IP they will get from Sun. The Java community spreads well beyond Java these days — just take a look at some of the sessions at JavaOne this year, which are only tangentially related to Java at best."