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In a blog post yesterday, Steve Lohr of The New York Times said, “software developers uneasily held their collective breath when Oracle bought Sun Microsystems earlier this year.” That’s a good way to frame how we’ve all felt watching this acquisition play out for the past year. Tense.
But, yesterday’s Java Pact signed by Oracle and IBM makes me feel just a little less tense. In my post about JavaOne a few weeks ago, I covered things that made me both excited and worried about the future of Java. The real chance that Java might be fragmented for the first time was my number one concern. No one needs to go back to the dark ages of having to know multiple types of a programming language (I’m having post-traumatic flashbacks of C++!)
My take is that the IBM / Oracle Java Pact is a great thing. IBM’s support of the OpenJDK as the de facto standard moving forward makes me breathe a sigh of relief. Call me optimistic, but there’s some meat behind this pact. Oracle and IBM should have a vested interest in not letting Java fragment: too many developers are learning it, it’s being taught in universities, heck – even high schoolers are learning it. This announcement gave me a little bit of confidence that people – even the “corporate steward of Java,” as Steve Lohr puts it, seem to be working together to keep Java open.
As Senior Director of Research & Development, Jesse is responsible for the daily operations, product development initiatives and forward looking research for Progress DataDirect. Jesse has spent nearly 20 years creating enterprise data products and has served as an expert on several industry standards including JDBC, J2EE, DRDA and OData. Jesse holds a bachelor of science degree in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State university.
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