Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Hey, Oracle!

You're scaring me!

In the last couple months, we've learned that the new Sun will be going forward without Frank Wierzbicki, the Jython project lead, and now without Ted Leung.

The Oracle Technology Network is working hard to foster dynamic language use with Oracle. It's got publications, PyCon sponsorship, resources, and so forth. OTN delights me.

I'm afraid, though, that the larger Oracle corporation doesn't share OTN's interest. Oracle's absorption of Sun is proceeding without any apparent interest in dynamic languages. Oracle is discarding some of the finest talent it could possibly acquire, people who could have helped bring on a real flowering of dynamic language use in Oracle environments.

I, for one, would have loved to see Jython harnessed on Oracle's many Java-based tools and even the JVM in the Oracle database - imagine the wonders Frank and Ted could have worked with that, had Oracle assigned them to! Instead... there will be nothing Oracle-related from them. Meanwhile, Microsoft funds development of several dynamic languages, including IronPython, which integrate to SQL Server through .NET.

I don't know. I just dread the thought that, five years from now, SQL Server will be the proprietary database of choice for any environment where dynamic languages are used... which will soon be most environments. Oracle, you really want to give this market away?


Anonymous said...

Sad to hear. It's probably not a case of them knowing that they're going to be missing out on a particular market. Rather, they just did not know about the talent they had. I think this is common in big corporations. The heavy hierarchical structure makes it very very hard to see creative work from work that does not add value to the business.

Craig Maloney said...

I think Oracle is interested in two things: owning the hardware supply chain for Oracle servers, and ensuring that MySQL sales go through Oracle's pockets. The rest of the Sun carcass will be tossed aside, by Oracle, like a fur trapper that's only interested in the pelt, and not the rest of the animal. Sorry to say that I'm not even remotely thrilled with this merger at all, and am sickened by the poor handling that I unfortunately knew was going to come from this. Sun is dead, and anything remotely cool that they had cooking is going to be shredded by boorish bureaucrats who couldn't give a flying buck to save it.

Matthew Sacks said...

It's quite interesting that they wouldn't hang on to Jython, especially since their own WebLogic server utilizes Jython for it's management API's (WLST).