Sunday, June 9, 2013

Oracle Drops the Other Shoe – Right on Top of Java...

I've been programming almost exclusively in the Java programming language for over 10 years.  Like many other Java programmers, ever since Oracle bought Sun (the previous owner of Java), I've been watching to see what Oracle would do to start making money on Java.  It's not in Oracle's corporate DNA to support something like Java for the good of humanity – which is, essentially, why Oracle bought Sun and not the other way around :)

Now we see the beginning, I suspect, of the multiple “incentives” Oracle is going to provide for Java developers to purchase a support contract from Oracle.  There are a lot of Java developers in the world – over a million, by some counts.  If even a small fraction of those bought support contracts, Larry would have an interesting revenue stream.

I'd bet that this timezone data is but the first of many such changes to come, and that soon the only way you can be a serious developer using Oracle Java is to pay a “tax” to Oracle.  What will be interesting to see is what happens next.  Will the Java community just complain and pay up?  Or will they fork the (still open source) Java code base and create a real open source community, perhaps with another, more altruistic sponsor?

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