Oracle's loss of the father of Java, James Gosling, is by far the biggest in terms of defections the database giant has witnessed since acquiring Sun Microsystems. There has been talk of a Sun "brain drain" ever since the acquisition was finalized in January. The departure of Sun chairman and co-founder Scott McNealy along with …
No Loss at All
I can only guess.... but I think that exactly this broken SUN culture is the reason for these departures. At Oracle, you have to demonstrate your ability to contribute to profitability, not just create some interesting stuff that will make software engineers notice.
Oracle is the leader in the database domain; it is highly profitable and that is what business is all about. Maybe not if your company is the Stanford University Network and your employees are students. Except that SUN people were no longer students and demanded a proper monthly payment.
Decisionmakers don't want to do business with losers, they rather buy a pricy product from a highly profitable business, knowing that some of their money goes into these profits. That is because a healthy company with fat on the ribs will be around in five years time.
I don't have the slightest doubt that for all former SUN products things will now only improve. Probably the time of the free lunch will be over, but that's OK. You don't get a lot of free stuff from Microsoft, yet they sell lots of it.
The rational thing to do would be to immediately dump SPARC and go for x86. But I am sure Larry will get on top of all this very soon and he will not need any of those S.U.N. academics to do that. Instead he will make sure good engineering, marketing and sales will create products that can make DOLLARS.
Don't be silly
jlocke said: "At Oracle, you have to demonstrate your ability to contribute to profitability, not just create some interesting stuff that will make software engineers notice."
That's a pretty narrow view of business. In some cases -- certainly not all -- creating "interesting stuff that will make software engineers notice" does contribute to profitability, albeit indirectly. There is certainly a benefit to a culture in which ideas are given equal priority as profit. Both Google and Microsoft do the same thing with their employees. Have you heard of Google's 20% time? Sun was really not much different in that respect.
Besides, as a developer who uses the Java stack, I am sensitive to how a company's culture. If people like myself start telling our bosses that Java is no longer a recommended software stack because Oracle doesn't really respect the platform or the developers, then you can certainly bet that it will affect the bottom line.
Nothing wrong with his depature
It is absolutely normal for company like ORACLE which does a lot of M&A and almost 0 investments in R&D that is opposite for the history of SUN. Thus, when two cultures collided, the primary is in the winning position and that is why Gosling left ORACLE.
The real question is: What ORACLE will change around JAVA and how it will keep it as an OPEN SOURCE DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM or they plan only to monetize on it?
BTW, Gosling might be a father and a great contributer to JAVA, but today he is more likely the symbol of JAVA past and ORACLE will continue with out him.
If this happened to me.
If I was a higly valued employee and my company was bought out or some violent take over.
I would leave as well.
Treated like I do not contribute anymore.
Being told to make my program not compatible with such and such or told to make the program do functions that would really bring out the fubar.
..is definitely not zero. They started out with the first relational database server outside IBM and they did *not* buy it.
Then they created lots of releases, which now command more than half of the RDBMS server market share. Contrary to DB2, Oracle 11 can be run on a cluster of cheap machines.
What Oracle is not doing are lofty fun projects that cost serious money but don't generate profits.
So they need to look at the open source community
I'll say it once more, for good measure: They need to look at the open source community, now, if they're going to find a footing for Java, today. I don't see how they could establish a sustainable footing for Java, on any other grounds, at this point. Without enough real, supported brain-power behind it, Java's popularity will otherwise fade, and Java development will slow to a pace more like the R language - no offense to the developers of which, just talking towards some simple matters of market dynamics.
It's this simple: A lot of the primary brain-power for Java is now officially outside of Sun Microsystems. They need to find how to tap into it, and there it is in some general terms.
Heck, they might also have to play some ball with IBM's Java teams, as well, but the open source things is *crucial*
Perhaps they might even win back the favor of at least some of their recently flew-the-coop friends, then.... so to speak, but in no less than to a real point, illustrated here, simply and at no cost.
Here in Middle Earth, we keep the wizards around in case the dragons, or worse, return. Profit counts for nought if you are being dipped in catsup by a Balrog! My buddy Gandalf here, he works for beer.
How intellectually challenging of a comment. Congratulations.
Having recently googled for some Java-related tech info, the sinking feeling I got when I saw the shiny new red and white styling was confirmed by the following paragraph from the "Developer Center" home page: "Java is one of the computer industry's best known brands ... With the acquisition of Sun, Oracle will drive continued innovation and investment..." ... this vacuous business-speak on a developer website. I'm reminded of a recent Dilbert: http://www.dilbert.com/2010-04-05/
DB2 works great in cluster
DB2 can be run in a cluster of cheap machines --> http://www.xkoto.com/index.php/blog/index/
DB2 can also be run in an endless cluster of small (4U) Power7 machines (Power 750). They are not exactly inexpensive, but you can mount a brutally big OLTP cluster, by chaining low mid range Power servers. It's called DB2 PureScale --> http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/db2luw/db2-purescale-scalability-part-1-35173