Busy Week…

Last week was a busy week – with JavaOne, and a flood of customers in town.


I started the week previewing the week’s announcements at the NetBeans tools community gathering. Here’s a little known secret: I used to run developer tools for Sun – and as I said then, and I’ll say now, you need only two documents to understand a technology company’s corporate strategy: their end-user tools roadmap, and their sales force comp plan. Given that the former is public knowledge, inquiring minds can wonder about the latter.


This is my JavaOne keynote – which was a ton of fun. We broke a bunch of attendance records, with something near 15,000 attendees in the room (my favorite comment came from a reporter I spoke to after the event, who said: “I was amazed at the number of languages being spoken in the audience!”). Great buzz, tons of new stuff (capped off with a real-time Java roadrace after Scott’s keynote). Another reporter said, “it’s like a social movement.” Well, yes.


I got a chance to talk with Ed Zander, CEO of Motorola (go buy a RED phone!); and two of the world’s most vocal advocates of free and open source software, Mark Shuttleworth (the guy behind Ubuntu/Debian GNU/Linux who flew up from DebConf just for this event), and Marc Fleury (CEO, JBoss, Inc. – the company bringing Red Hat into the Java community). Definitely watch the video – you’ll see the symbolic passing of the pickle to Rich Green, Sun’s newly minted (but refreshingly familiar) Executive Vice President, Software.


After JavaOne, I spoke with Darrell Plummer and Paul McGuckin from Gartner at their conference (video here). David Berlind, as usual, had a thoughtful analysis of the hour. Frankly, I was a little disappointed in their questioning, as well – it seemed like so many of their questions had been hashed out in blogs and user generated analysis.


But all in all, a really great week – we’re now making serious progress on open sourcing Java (and despite the cynics, using a GPL license is very much *on* the table), while focusing the debate on what matters most: not access to lines of code (that’s already widely available), but ensuring compatibility. Compatibility is what brought a record number of people to JavaOne this year (making it the world’s largest free software conference), it’s what’s behind nearly 3 billion+ Java enabled devices. And for those that missed the subtlety, that compatibility is what creates the market Sun, and others, can monetize with network innovations, from software to hardware and services.


Seems like an obvious connection to me…


[update: fixed broken link]

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Busy Week…

  1. Good that you are having a busy week, here are a couple blog entries that you should take your time and read them, they directly affect your bottom line, my guess is that they are not rare occurances, just most of the people give up before they get any attention.
    http://uadmin.blogspot.com/2006/05/suns-resellers-hurting-sun.html

    http://uadmin.blogspot.com/2006/05/latest-from-sun-reseller.html

  2. Ghent

    Who benefits from Java? Let’s see… IBM, Red Hat and BEA. Sun? How big is Sun’s market share? The only way is to buy BEA, and go the open source route like JBoss. Microsoft is making money off .Net. Is Sun making money off Java? Very little. Why should our rivals making all the money? Why must Sun be poor?

  3. Oof, I’m not sure either Red Hat or Debian are going to be happy with this post🙂
    Red Hat have been involved with the free Java community for a long long time – witness their sponsorship on gcj et al, their work on eclipse and so on…
    Mark may be a Debian Developer, but he’s certainly not the guy behind Debian GNU/Linux… I think this bit is just badly worded, but it’s going to cause people to scream!

  4. Matthew Garrett

    Somewhat pedanticly, while Ubuntu is based on Debian we don’t use their trademark – and while Mark was one of the earlier Debian developers, I don’t think he’d lay any claim to being behind it!

  5. I appreciate your effort of trying to get Java closer to the free software world. I’m already enjoying some benefits of your move – i.e. finally be able to use my distro’s package manager to install JDK package.
    I can’t agree with you more on the point that ‘open sourcing’ does not merely mean the availability of source code. There’s no point in open sourcing Java if it does not generate serious momentum in free software world, or if it could not be integrated with other free softwares. At the very least we need to hold our ground in non coporate Linux world against Mono/RoR/PHP/etc either by open sourcing our JVM implementation or integrating those competing technologies into the Java platform.
    As long as we could keep Java brand name and JCP organization intact, I guess dual licensing under GPL/CDDL(or whatever) would be a good choice to prevent other coporate competitors from taking advantage of the source code.
    Again, thanks for your effort to revive Java’s presence in the free software world and please keep the good work going!
    I’ve become lot optimistic about the future of Java these days after reading your blogs🙂

  6. Derry Bryson

    There seems to be a lot of confusion on the message delivered by Sun at JavaOne about open-sourcing Java. Today Richard Stallman has an article on NewsForge.com (http://www.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=06/05/24/1154233) bashing Sun and saying that the only thing that is happening is the changing of the licensing terms to allow distribution of Java with Linux and that Sun has not indicated it will open-source Java.
    It would be nice if you could clarify Sun’s position and lay out what is or is not going to happen with regards to open-sourcing Java. While I would very much like it if Sun did open-source Java, I am not one that feels that Sun has any obligation to do so.
    Thanks.

  7. Anonymous

    Xavier,
    Just read Jonathan’s previous blog for details on how Sun monetizes Java. He is very clear about how Java, as a standard technology, works to Sun’s benefit (but not Sun’s alone!).
    As for Stallman: I think he is out of step with the modern open-source movement. And he obviously didn’t listen to (or read reports of) the announcements at JavaOne this year. It seems he is stuck in the past, philosophically and literally.

  8. Jimbo

    In response to Derry Bryson and as a general remark:
    While I would very much like it if Sun did open-source Java, I am not one that feels that Sun has any obligation to do so.
    It is not about obligation. Of course Sun don’t have to do this. But it would be better for Sun if they did. The community will fix many bugs and it will take Java to places that Sun cannot by themselves. That’s why Java should be open sourced (of course, under a licence that is compatible with GCJ/Classpath work).
    PS. Jonathan, Red Hat have been involved within Java community for a long time now. It’s just that this community is the open source Java community (i.e. GCJ/Classpath).

  9. kfu

    Regarding the first comments about sun resellers hurting Sun’s bottom line by ignoring small business or personal account, why not leveraging on established web retaillers such as ebay or amazon to sell your Sun Fire galaxy line or coolthreads server line (T1000/T2000)? I remember Sun once sell v40z on ebay but stop doing that for a while. Why not selling your coolest servers on well known, end-user friendly websites to expand Sun’s opportunity? It can literally extend your touch to end user’s living room!

  10. Hi, i was very happy to see you had taken over at Sun and was looking forward to you speaking at Java One. I have seen you speak a number of times and listened to a number of speaches on podcasts. However, i felt this years java one speach did not quite meet my expectations,it was not quite as inspirartional as some of those you have given over the past few years (i guess it may be becasue it was more of a handover speech); i like your tie backs to historic events. Anyway, Java One was the best yet, i hope to attend next year and aid java’s growth along the way. Keep up the great work and blog, maybe you could consider a podcast or an interview with the java posse🙂

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