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Oracle are buying Java. Well, actually Oracle are buying Sun, but in fact the top asset (though not sole asset) Oracle are after is Java. Which is pretty interesting, as IBM walked away from buying Sun at a cheaper price than Oracle are offering, yet IBM were interested in far more of Sun's assets, the mesh with IBM was such that it would have been investigated for competition issues. So Oracle's price factors in a lot of cuts, but far more importantly, both a strategic move in owning Java and an expectation that they can earn more from Sun's assets (Java and others) than Sun could. And actually, that seems like a reasonable expectation. Oracle has proved pretty competent at doing just that with other acquisitions, and with Sun technology they have a fairly compelling 'one stop' offer for enterprise technology.

So Java will have a new owner. Does it matter? Well, yes, of course, potentially Oracle could move Java in a whole new direction. But realistically I can't see any major changes in direction except possibly on the high-end enterprise side - I wouldn't be surprised to see an expensive well supported Java licensing model offering for the enterprise which could be attractive if sold correctly. But I think most Java developers will see no real change in the current Java trends. Except in a couple of possibly quite important areas ...

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There are two areas that spring to mind. Firstly, Oracle will now own two separate JVMs, HotSpot and JRockit. Without doubt both JVM teams have developed important innovative and very useful technologies for their JVMs. Integration of the JVMs would see a more scalable and much more clearly monitored JVM. But at the same time, we will see one less major JVM available, reducing JVM development competition, which will be a shame. And, in the next few years, instead of focusing on innovating their JVMs, they'll be focused on integrating them. Not really a move we want, the competition was helpful to the innovation that has resulted in fantastically performing JVMs that have kept Java the computer language of choice.

The second area is the number of developers working on the various core Java systems. This will inevitably be cut back, which means more Java extending will be taken on by the open source community and probably by IBM and maybe Google. I have no idea how this will work out, but the uncertainty is not good and Oracle should try to have a concrete strategy in place for announcement by JavaOne. My commiserations to those Sun employees who will not be retained by Oracle, I wish you all good luck but note you all have great and highly marketable skills and are well placed to find something new - or maybe start something new and create the next great I.T. company. In 10 years, you might be buying Oracle.

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Now on with this month's newsletter. We have all our usual items: Java performance tools, news, articles, Javva The Hutt with his pulled release, a new cartoon at fasterj avoiding locks; and, of course, we have extracted tips from all of this month's referenced articles.


Java performance tuning related news.


Java performance tuning related tools.

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Jack Shirazi

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