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Interesting rumors about the Sun/IBM deal

Posted by fabriziogiudici on April 1, 2009 at 12:00 AM PDT

While the fact I'm a member of the NetBeans Dream Team prevents me from revealing some reserved news, I've got some hints from a private contact of mine, in Italy - so I think I can tell you some details without infringing any secrecy commitment.

Since when the WSJ anticipated the first rumors about the Sun/IBM deal, lots of analysts started speculating which would be the most important Sun assets that IBM is interested to buy. While there are no doubts that one of the primary interests is about Java IP, some put the focus on the server line, others on some innovative parts of Solaris (e.g. ZFS) or specific software in Sun's portfolio such as the Identity Server.

My private contact has access to a senior IBM manager, who comes from Italy but has been working in the USA offices for years. The manager allegedly revealed him that the primary IBM interest is indeed NetBeans. Not to shut it down, as some fear, but to make it the primary reference IDE for the Java world - in fact, as NetBeans is getting OSGi compatibility this year, IBM realized that Eclipse now can't stand the competition, as NetBeans is a much superior product.

My contact gave me some other hot detail. The primary site for NetBeans development would stay in Prague, and a specific spin-off company would be created. The (provisionary?) name of the new company would be "Sole" (*), the italian translation of the word "Sun", which would avoid some trademark issues, while preserving a sort of continuity with the current NetBeans owner.

Who knows? As usual, these rumors can't be easily confirmed, so we just wait and see...

(*) Indeed, some assert to have seen the name of the new company printed in some reserved document, and swear it is rather "Sola" - could be a transcription problem due to the bad pronounce of the italian word?


... and "sole" is a fish, like April's Fish (italian/french name for April's Fool).

"Indeed, some assert to have seen the name of the new company printed in some reserved document, and swear it is rather "Sola" - could be a transcription problem due to the bad pronounce of the italian word?" But "sola" in romanesco (Rome dialect) means cheat, trick... ;-)

@felipeal You know, the best jokes are those where 50% is fiction and 50% reality ;-)

Here is my rebuttal according to my sources: Blue Sun wont happen! There wont be a BlueSun (even though I love the Firefly reference), but there will be a Google buyout. Yes you heard it right. Google is going to suck it all up. Looking at it closely it all makes sense. Google heavily uses Java and MySQL. They are also a strong open source supporter and even have strong relationship with lots of ex-Sun people working at Google. They could also benefit a lot by taking all the goodies from Solaris and putting them into Solaris. Just imagine a relicensed ZFS ported to Linux Or an Android phone running JavaFX natively out of the box. And that is just the beginning. Sun storage system, black box data center in the container and more. It just all makes sense now. Oh and btw in terms of execution I heard that "Sun" will stay sort of independent and it will all be done via the newly started Google Venture financing operation. Just the company goals will be closer aligned with Google interests.

> NetBeans is a much superior product. Best April Fool's joke ever!

Damn, Fabrizio, you nearly got me there! Nice one! :) The fact that Netbeans is written in Swing alone is reason enough for IBM to either kill it or abandon it.

Hi again, Today is first of April and in my country it is the day when everybody jokes with the rest. Is it the same in the other countries as well? :-) Regards, Ivan

Hi Fabrizio, In the ideal world it would be great if NetBeans and Eclipse merge into the greatest open source Java IDE ever. But the problem is that the ideal world is different for the different people. For me the ideal world would take Eclipse's editor (because I'm used to it) and the NetBeans plugin concept and J2EE plugins (which I use find easier to use). But this is *my* ideal world. I'm afraid that it is not possible to match all the developers' ideal worlds into one product. So finally everything will come down to the politics and when politics comes into play, the mere developers suffer. So for now I am not very excited in the news, but I sincerely hope that my view is not correct :-) Regards, Ivan