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Poll Result: Mixed Views on Whether Oracle Is Good for Java

Posted by editor on October 23, 2009 at 8:30 AM PDT

The results of this past weeks poll reflect the uncertainty of the Java community regarding the impact of Oracle's acquisition of Sun. The poll drew a total of 394 votes. The exact question and results were as follows:

Is Oracle good for Java?

  • 21% (81 votes) - Yes, Oracle recognizes Java's importance
  • 22% (88 votes) - Probably, but it will require adaptation by Oracle
  • 32% (126 votes) - I have my doubts
  • 9% (36 votes) - No, Oracle doesn't understand Java
  • 15% (60 votes) - I don't know
  • 1% (3 votes) - Other

As usual, I'll state the caveat that this is not a scientific poll, the results should not be assumed to be a completely accurate representation of the actual distribution of differing views within the entire population of Java users, the margin of error for any given response option is at least 100%, etc.

To me, the most interesting number is the low value for the most negative response ("No, Oracle doesn't understand Java"). This says to me that people are definitely keeping an open mind about the impact of the acquisition on Java's future.

A couple days ago, I published a little item, Does Java Speak for Itself?, keying off another phrase that was stated at Oracle OpenWorld, and inviting comments from people. There, I quoted two large blogs that represented opposing views on the impact of the acquistion on Java, Bert Ertman's Impressions from Oracle OpenWorld: "Is Oracle good for Java?" and Abdelmonaim Renami's Oracle/Sun Merger: A Community Perspective. Bert is more of the view that Oracle really doesn't "get it" when it comes to Java, they view it as a "product". Meanwhile, Abdelmonaim thinks Java is already beyond a single company's control, it already has a life of its own that's bigger than anything that could result from the Oracle acquisition of Sun.

It seems to me that our poll result suggests that, while there is some doubt on whether Oracle will actually be a boon to Java, not that many people expect a strongly negative outcome due to the acquisition. In fact, 43% expect a positive outcome, ultimately.

The greater mystery, in my view, is what will happen with respect to the many open source projects that apply Java technology that receive extensive support from Sun. I mean projects like GlassFish, for example. Is Oracle going to demand cuts in those budget items?

New poll: IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition

A few weeks ago, I was surprised by the very strong response of IntelliJ IDEA users to the fact that I did not explicitly include an Intellij IDEA option in the Which IDE do you use? poll. I explicitly named only NetBeans and Eclipse, and that was considered a major slight to IntelliJ IDEA. Now that IntelliJ has released the free and open source IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition, I realize that part of the reason why I didn't have an IntelliJ IDEA option in the poll was that at that time IntelliJ IDEA was entirely a commercial product. By nature, I tend to focus on open source, and so, the drawback that IntelliJ IDEA was not free and open source influenced my creation of the poll options.

But now the free and open source IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition exists. As IntelliJ says, "we decided to remove the main barrier -- the price tag." Good move, IMO!

So, the new poll asks Do you plan to use the new IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition? Voting will run through next Thursday.

In Java Today, Janice Heiss told me about A Java Developer's Quiz: Part Three. The quiz "invites Java developers to test their knowledge and get an update on recent developments in Java technology." The quiz consists of eleven quite challenging questions. You'll have a better chance at doing well if you've been following the latest Java developments and the commentary that those developments have provoked from prominent people in the Java community.I took the quiz myself. On one of the questions where I guessed, I was quite surprised to find out the correct answer. I don't know what a passing grade is, but maybe I passed!

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