Since the purchase of Sun by Oracle we have seen quite a few changes. Oracle has decided that it is going to charge for Solaris, a previously free product, with the monetary gain coming in support of the product. Oracle has decided that Open Solaris will no longer mirror the Solaris project, and a few things will not ever get into the Open Solaris distribution. Employees of the old guard have been dropping like flies, and today, another one has dropped out of the services of Oracle.

ComputerWorld tells us today that the creator of Java has decided that Oracle is no longer where he wants to hang his hat. The announcement came by way of a blog entry, which seems to be the way many of these resignations are being brought into the light.

James Gosling, the creator of the Java programming language, has resigned from Oracle, he announced in a blog entry on Friday.

Gosling resigned on April 2 and has not yet taken a job elsewhere, he reported.

“As to why I left, it’s difficult to answer: just about anything I could say that would be accurate and honest would do more harm than good,” he wrote.

Gosling was the chief technology officer for Oracle’s client software group and, before that, the chief technology officer of Sun’s developer products group.

In 1991, he led a small group of engineers in a project, then called Oak, to build an object-oriented programming language that would run on a virtual machine, which would allow programs to run on multiple platforms, such as television set-top boxes. This work evolved into Java, which took off in conjunction with the growing use of the Internet, thanks in part to its inclusion into the Netscape browser.

Gosling follows a number of other noted ex-Sun employees out the door since Oracle’s purchase of the company was finalized in January, including CEO Jonathan Schwartz, and XML co-inventor Tim Bray.

Less than a month ago, Gosling had stressed the importance of Java to Oracle. “Oracle has certainly been incredibly committed to keeping Java and the whole ecosystem as strong and as healthy as can be,” he said, during a talk at a Java symposium in Las Vegas.

But around the same time he also expressed dismay over the growing politicization of the Java Community Process.

Fellow ex-Sun alumni Bray tweeted that he was “astounded that Gosling held on so long.”

A story I read elsewhere, that had a number of comments by other Sun employees made the assertion that  Oracle was actually doing this purposely. The contention was that by alienating all the Sun commercial customers by charging for the distribution, and changing the way that changes were distributed, and paid for, it was an effective way to remove all of them from any contracts, and avoid any suits in court.

Also, by irritating the old Sun employees to the point of their resignation, it avoided various problems with human resource management.

The assertion was also made that Oracle was only wanting Sun for its hardware division. This is fine until you realize that the software was designed to run on that hardware, and that other software just doesn’t work as effectively on SPARC equipment. Because of that, it would be wise to keep the people that know the distribution best, happy.

Apparently Mr. Ellison “don’t play that game”.  Too bad IBM did not follow through on the bid.


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