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Does Java "Speak for Itself"?

Posted by editor on October 21, 2009 at 7:08 AM PDT

At Oracle OpenWorld, in a conversation regarding Oracle's acquisition of Sun, it was stated that "Java speaks for itself." This statement has drawn the scrutiny of quite a number of people (along with the question that was displayed during another of the keynotes, "Is Oracle good for Java?").

This week's java.net poll lets you voice your view on Is Oracle good for Java?. The statement "Java speaks for itself" is also worthy of discussion, I think. I expect that a lot of people have different opinions about this. So, to provide a forum for this discussion, I've published a new item titled Does Java Speak for Itself?

Thus far, I've found two cogent expressions of opinion regarding this statement in the blogosphere. The first is contained in Java Champion Bert Ertman's post Impressions from Oracle OpenWorld: "Is Oracle good for Java?". Bert says:

the official statement being made by Sun's Scott McNeally and Oracle's Larry Ellison is: "Java speaks for itself." But does it? In fact, I seriously doubt that it does so within Oracle. So far the people from Oracle that I met express a friendly, almost fatherly interest in Java, but they compare it to integrating the Hyperion Query Language into the Oracle stack. They see Java as just another 'product' from Sun and not as the Java platform and ecosystem that it is. So, if Java is speaking for itself within Oracle, than it's no doubt sending them the wrong message!

Meanwhile, Abdelmonaim Remani, founder of the Chico Java User Group, expresses a different viewpoint in his post Oracle/Sun Merger: A Community Perspective:

In the key note, Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, hit the bull's eye when he was quoted as saying that "Java speaks for itself". I have to admit that many people didn't like his answer and considered it ambiguous and unclear, but a deeper look would reveal that it is, indeed, a well-thought-of statement. Java has truly become in the hand of its community; be it the JCP or the contributors to the OpenJDK project. The decisions about the future of the platform are now made uniformly by literally whoever is interested developing it. Doesn't that mean that it speaks for itself?

It's been a long time since the announcement that Oracle is acquiring Sun (that was in April). And, of course, the acquisition process has blocked all possibility of any public statements regarding Oracle's intentions regarding Java. All we really have is our own speculation and attempts to "read the tea leaves". Still, I think most of us have a view on this.

So, if you'd like to contribute to a discussion on the question "Does Java Speak for Itself?", feel free to visit the page and post a comment.


In Java Today, James Gosling recently found a few moments for real programming, as he discusses in his latest post Map browser on kenai:

I ripped the little demo map browser component out of my Oracle OpenWorld slides and moved it to kenai as a new project called
OSMBrowser. Not very polished, more of a starting point for someone motivated to play :-) Thanks to the crew at the Open Street Map project for a nice database and tile server. A Thing of Beauty.

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A few years back Jack released a newsletter on April 1st that proclaimed Java as the fasted language ever. In that news letter to pointed out "stunning and irrefutable" evidence to support his claim. The email we received in response to that newsletter was simply amazing. We were called all sorts of things by people who some how missed the joke. So it was pretty funny when I clicked through to a blog entry on how to measure Java execution time to see the identical code being used. We'd already demonstrated that this code would run in 0 as in zero milliseconds. But here it is again only this time taking a whopping 3782 milliseconds to complete...


In today's Weblogs, Abdelmonaim Renami introduces his views on the Oracle/Sun Merger: A Community Prospective:

The Oracle Sun take-over stirred a lot of controversy about the future of the Java platform. It is no secret that Oracle's main goal behind the merger is access to Sun's hardware technology. This has been fueled by the ambiguity of statements made by Larry Ellison like "Java speaks for itself". Not much has been said in the last Oracle Open World either. Discussing these speculations is deemed to be fruitless if seen in the light of the nature of the Java platform, the way it evolves, and the way its community is organized around it. This article is based on a first-person account experience in the last Oracle conference, and on open conversation with all concerned parties from the community, Sun, and Oracle. It contrast the relationship Oracle has with their user groups to the way the Java User Group community is, and explores the issues that could rise in the integration process if the relationship between the Java User Groups and their new corporate sponsors is not well-defined...

Jim Driscoll talks about Request aggregation in JSF 2 Ajax:

I've had a few requests for request aggregation, ala RichFaces queues, in JSF 2. This was deliberately not included in JSF 2.0, but it will be considered for JSF 2.1. The reason why is simple - there was simply not very much time, once all the base Ajax work was completed, to add any additional features. However, adding this functionality yourself isn't actually very hard. Here's an example of how...

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In the relentless fight against configuration boilerplate, JSF and Glassfish have taken yet another small step forward. As of Glassfish v3 build 68, you no longer need to declare the faces-servlet in WEB.XML...


In the Forums, laliluna has a Bean validation localization issue: "Hello, I tested integration of a snapshot from last week with Hibernate Validator 4.0.0.GA. I just added the parameter INTERPRET_EMPTY_STRING_SUBMITTED_VALUES_AS_NULL to integrate it. The validation works fine but there is an issue with the selected..."

ramyamasti is seeing a Wonderland server shutdown: "Hi all, I am running the wonderland server on vista 32bit by building from the source. I would like to know how to shutdown wonderland "cleanly" such that all the shutdown hooks are called. I notice that when I just close the command..."

And yangfeng0404 asks what is lime in phoneme?: "Hi, I am porting phoneme for linux-arm.when I compile javacall,there are some prombles about lime. when I use USE_LIME_LIB=false I success. I don't know what is lime,and whether it will be used later.

some one can help me? thank..."


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Our current "(Not So) Stupid Questions" topic for discussion is Does Java Speak for Itself? It was suggested at Oracle OpenWorld that Java indeed does speak for itself. But, what does that statement mean? Does it have any truth? Register your view by posting a comment.

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The latest Java Mobility Podcast is Java Mobile Podcast 89: David "Left" Schlesinger on Open Source: David "Lefty" Schlesinger, Director of Open Source Technologies at Access, shares his views on open source with Terrence Barr.


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