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Evil Empire #2 or and I just missing Sun?  RSS feed

 
Rancher
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Just a curiosity:

1-What does everyone think of the 6mo and you get a new Java release that Oracle has scheduled?

2-On another side of things... Charging monthly for JDK use?

1 - Personally, I believe the Evil Empire based in Bellevue WA has basically become the design pattern for Oracle to follow with Java... Not a good thing in my opinion... So now, do you want Evil Empire #1 or Evil Empire #2 to shape your enterprise?

2 - I and many of you, I suspect, got into Java back in the day when LAMP was forthcoming and became the cry from the non MS camp to rally.  I just have to feel that no matter how small of charge, which adds up across your enterprise, it really flys in the face of a big part of what made Java development popular. I know I look at it now and say: We have product from Evil Empire 1 out of Bellevue and our development seats come with our present licensing for their product.  It is kind of difficult to push a Java based solution and continued effort when we are faced with an Evil Empire #2 charging for each install of the JDK across our enterprise. I am somewhat placated with the fact that I, my self, am not a big enough concern that I have to pay for my private Java development efforts.

Anyway, just been kicking this around in my head for a while and just wanted to see what other's views are.
 
Saloon Keeper
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As to #1 - I find it inconvenient, as I don't like updating server JVMs regularly. For my web apps I'm sticking with Java 8 for the time being. For Android apps, that's the latest version supported anyway.

As to #2, this is a good time to remind everyone that Java is still free.
 
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Oracle had cemented its reputation as an Evil Empire long before they bought Sun/Java. Their business model comes from the mainframe world, where developers could be well-paid, a software product could cost $64,000 up front and $5000/month for support and nobody cared because it was all dwarfed by the million-dollar hardware expense of the mainframe. And when software vendors sold unique products and basically could hold IT managers hostage by simple vendor lock-in, but that was OK, because when you needed support, you didn't get a "please stay on the line. Your call is very important to us!" and an unintelligible monkey-with-a-script, you got an actual rep or even a team of them to show up on-site and fix things. And in Oracle's case, a lot of early revenue was from government contracts, where you can charge absurd amounts of money and only the taxpayer bats a eye.

And on top of that, Larry Ellison's biggest ambition all his life has to become richer than Bill Gates (or anyone else).

It was never a case of if Oracle would start to squeeze money out of their acquisitions, merely when and how. They didn't have a working model from Sun, or Sun wouldn't have ended up in a position to be bought by Oracle.

It had to be done carefully, though. Their spin of Red Hat Linux attracted no adoring mobs - most people preferred Red Hat itself unless they wanted an Oracle OS to run their Oracle databases. Their attempt to monetize Sun's OpenOffice was such a dismal failure that they ended up donating it to the Apache Foundation - too late, since the Oracle-independent Libre Office fork had already won over the open-source world. Likewise, probably more people run the MariaDB spinoff of MySQL than actually run MySQL itself.

The old idea of paying for software from a proprietary vendor is fading. Red Hat demonstrated that not only could you repackage free software and become a dominant technology vendor, you could even develop your own software and give it away too. And they don't have to send in license-enforcement stormtroopers like the BSA to do it.

It remains to be seen whether people will start migrating wholesale to open-source Java. Java is a very complex environment, and even after years of work, the open-source version has problems. But people are no longer impressed by heavy-handed tactics from hardware or software vendors. And they're not interested in paying large sums of money in an era when everything is supposed to be as cheap as possible. Especially when it's them that are among the things that aren't allowed to cost much.
 
Les Morgan
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Tim,
I know first hand what you are saying there: we used to run Oracle 10i on twin SunFire boxes.  One box was production, 4x2.8GH CPU, the other development, 2x2.8GH CPU.  The licensing alone, for our 4 users since they only license by CPU, was astronomic--my boss made the comment: "That is more than my house costs."  And in 5 years of supported development on that platform, Oracle failed miserably to provide a solution for any of the "speed bumps" that came up.  After we moved into phase 2 we bought a huge quad core Intel based machine and licensed up with that Bellevue company--all for less than the cost of the worthless maintenance contract on the software each year.

Anyway, I can see retirement's light down the road now, so I think I might just be grumpy about all the paradigm shift going on in the Oracle Java world.
Les

Tim Holloway wrote:Oracle had cemented its reputation as an Evil Empire long before they bought Sun/Java. Their business model comes from the mainframe world, where developers could be well-paid, a software product could cost $64,000 up front and $5000/month for support and nobody cared because it was all dwarfed by the million-dollar hardware expense of the mainframe. And when software vendors sold unique products and basically could hold IT managers hostage by simple vendor lock-in, but that was OK, because when you needed support, you didn't get a "please stay on the line. Your call is very important to us!" and an unintelligible monkey-with-a-script, you got an actual rep or even a team of them to show up on-site and fix things. And in Oracle's case, a lot of early revenue was from government contracts, where you can charge absurd amounts of money and only the taxpayer bats a eye.

And on top of that, Larry Ellison's biggest ambition all his life has to become richer than Bill Gates (or anyone else).

It was never a case of if Oracle would start to squeeze money out of their acquisitions, merely when and how. They didn't have a working model from Sun, or Sun wouldn't have ended up in a position to be bought by Oracle.

It had to be done carefully, though. Their spin of Red Hat Linux attracted no adoring mobs - most people preferred Red Hat itself unless they wanted an Oracle OS to run their Oracle databases. Their attempt to monetize Sun's OpenOffice was such a dismal failure that they ended up donating it to the Apache Foundation - too late, since the Oracle-independent Libre Office fork had already won over the open-source world. Likewise, probably more people run the MariaDB spinoff of MySQL than actually run MySQL itself.

The old idea of paying for software from a proprietary vendor is fading. Red Hat demonstrated that not only could you repackage free software and become a dominant technology vendor, you could even develop your own software and give it away too. And they don't have to send in license-enforcement stormtroopers like the BSA to do it.

It remains to be seen whether people will start migrating wholesale to open-source Java. Java is a very complex environment, and even after years of work, the open-source version has problems. But people are no longer impressed by heavy-handed tactics from hardware or software vendors. And they're not interested in paying large sums of money in an era when everything is supposed to be as cheap as possible. Especially when it's them that are among the things that aren't allowed to cost much.

 
Tim Holloway
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This is the annoying thing about commercial software today, and one of the biggest reasons why I avoid commercial software as much as possible.

Commercial vendors like IBM, Oracle, and the like used to provide a lot of support for the admittedly astronomical sums they charged. When we had an Amdahl mainframe, Amdahl actually set up a local office right in our building. IBM had a whole building by themselves (and a very good Arabic sandwich shop on the ground floor).

But when we adopted OS/2, it was almost impossible to get support for it. And every time we found a good IBM support person, they ended up leaving IBM soon after. I was frustrated, because I'd bought my first Linux distro for the princely sum of $35 for 2 CDs and I could get more assistance from both the Linux OS itself and from online forums than I could get from Fortune-50 IBM for OS/2.

So IBM, Oracle, et. al., went to horrible phone queue systems with under-qualified software support (this is when the cliché phrase "Have you tried turning it off and back on again?" appeared), and the preferred support channel is to go to their forum system, which typically is getting half its help from unpaid volunteers and which rarely comes up to the quality of the wholly-volunteer sites like JavaRanch  or open-source product forums.

If I'm going to pay tons of money, I think I expect something better. Or I might as well not bother. Most of what Oracle can do for me I can do with PostgreSQL. And probably a few things Oracle can't. Commercial products these days are designed by marketing droids and implemented almost entirely by cheap offshore labor. Open-source projects are usually done by people who actually believe in what they are doing and are generally better-skilled as well.
 
Tim Moores
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Just found this little post about a newly introduced problem with backward compatibility: https://www.symphonious.net/2019/02/04/fun-with-java-backwards-compatibility/

That kind of thing didn't used to happen.
 
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