Skip to content

OOW06: Open Source Panel

To answer my previous, somewhat snarky question, the open source panel’s register was pleasant. Though I was about 15 minutes late, so I might have missed it, there wasn’t even the usual “don’t call it a come back, I been here for years” boasting about having been open source since the times of Hopper & co..


The meat of the content was an overview of Oracle’s involvement in open source, both by acquisition and innovation: Berkeley DB, InnoDB, PHP, and support in Fusion Middleware for the wide-wide world of Java open source projects like Spring and Hibernate. As I said on during the Ready to Commercialize panel on open source a few weeks ago, open source now-a-days is like air and water: inescapable, vital, and assumed.

Being a large company, Oracle drinks and breaths plenty of that air what with their involvement in Apache Trinidad, providing a LAOP (I’m sure I’m not the first to switch out the M for an O) stack, supporting Eclipse, and testing and certifying the use of stacks with their software. And, of course, in the grey area there’s using TopLink for the EJB3 reference implementation.

Applications and the “We’re Better” Cliché

Of course, Oracle is interested in selling software so they’re far from suggesting dumping the use of closed source. Indeed, all of the OSS talk was of middleware, developer tools, and other “dork level” software. When the topic of open source applications came up, the cliché response of “we’re better” was deployed in a nuanced way against open source applications vendors.

Application development is, indeed, a different kind of hard than the Morlock-ware that dominates open source now-a-days. I wouldn’t bet against open sources’ continuing expansion into applications: open source’s wider success in applications is more a matter of talent arbitrage and time to build up enterprisey scars (leading to enterprisey features) than questioning the eventual possibility of highly competitive open source enterprise applications. And the nature of how software is used could change as well.

Put another way, I don’t see that it’s helpful to dismiss open source in the applications space. Why be blind-sided, or, publicly portray yourself to be so?

JDeveloper and Eclipse

Monica Kumar, the moderator, raised the question of continued supporting for both JDeveloper (Oracle’s IDE) and Eclipse. The answer was that JDeveloper will be around for a long time. The dev team has stayed the same, and, in fact, Oracle, of course, thinks JDeveloper is better all around for enterprise development. But, some folks like Eclipse, so why leave them behind? In fact, the panel went on, this exemplifies the spirit of choice that Oracle likes to provide.

As James, quicker with the snappy follow-up questions than I, asked when I was telling him this later, “yeah, but what are the use numbers for Eclipse vs. JDeveloper?”


Here are my notes from the session for those who’d like more detail:

03-Oow-Open Source Exec Panel

Disclaimer: Oracle has paid my way here. Eclipse is a client.

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Companies, Conferences, Enterprise Software, Open Source.