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Thread: Analysis - Opinion: Oracle/Sun deal bad for free software ecosystem

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    Analysis - Opinion: Oracle/Sun deal bad for free software ecosystem

    HEXUS reader, occasional contributor and open source expert Jo Shields gives us his take on the deal of the year.
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    Re: Analysis - Opinion: Oracle/Sun deal bad for free software ecosystem

    Whilst I agree that we have probably seen the last of OpenOffice as a free piece of software, Oracle would have to be quite insane to kill off OpenSolaris.

    OpenSolaris has become one of Sun's primary test beds and development centres for features going into Solaris 10. It gives Sun access to a huge pool of free developers saving it's self millions in development costs in the process. A company as cash rich and savvy as Oracle is not going to throw that kind of free resource away. You can see how this is working for Sun by looking at the release notes for OpenSolaris and Solaris, Sun have continually cherry picked the best features from their open source OS and integrated them into Solaris once they are stable and debugged by the opensource comunity.

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    Re: Analysis - Opinion: Oracle/Sun deal bad for free software ecosystem

    I actually doubt that OpenOffice will be killed off as free software - if only because the codebase is already GPL'ed, and its very existence hurts MS's revenue stream which in turn helps Oracle. I would expect a de-emphasis on development effort from within the merged organization, but that won't kill off OO. MySQL ought to be more of an issue, at least superficially, since it's a database server, but in practice Oracle (or SQL Server for that matter) offer a lot of features that MySQL doesn't. And anyway, if they kill off MySQL, it's not like people can't get a free database server elsewhere, and arguably a better one. I actually don't think Oracle want to un-open everything, if only because a lot of the free stuff gets used as enablers for flogging stuff that has a real price tag attached; the real story is that they now have complete control over a very powerful software and hardware stack that they can sell and support as a completely integrated solution.

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    Re: Analysis - Opinion: Oracle/Sun deal bad for free software ecosystem

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04...sun_town_hall/

    There were greater re-assurances on Java and MySQL. There's a huge question mark hanging over what Oracle will do with Java, given that Sun tries to lead the Java community, its name is on so many Java specs, and the fact that it open sourced Java.

    Phillips called Sun's work on embedded Java "exciting" while Screven pointed to the fact that Java middleware is the fastest growing part of Oracle's business.

    Screven dismissed the idea Oracle would close source Java, noting its openness would help further Oracle's middleware business. "It would be pretty crazy of us to turn Java into some sort of private, hidden technology. A lot of the appeal of Java is it's open. The fact it's open makes our middleware more appealing...It would be pretty wacky to try and close that off," Screven said.

    On MySQL, concerns span whether Oracle will kill the product, stop development, or close off the community. Phillips said MySQL has reach in "incremental markets" such as start-ups that Oracle can't get to on its own. And citing PeopleSoft, Phillips said Oracle has a track record of improving the technology and level of support of products it has purchased.

    "We need that reach and want them learning SQL early. The number of customers we have that started on other databases and migrated over time for reasons of their own, that's good for us. We need to get them to learn that product and SQL...people experiment with a variety of things and I that's a good thing," Phillips said.

    "We have a track record of saying we know what to do. We are not going to kill off any product. It makes no sense to spend billions of dollars and start killing off products. We want to let as many survive as possible," he said.
    I has a win...maybe .

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