"From all the news that I've read, Oracle's been very good with [Java and Sun technologies] so far," Baron says. Still, doubts linger. Oracle's actions thus far are "alleviating some of my concerns but it's still sort of in the back of my mind," he notes. One area he's watching is Oracle plans to merge the JRockit and HotSpot Java Virtual Machines, with the question of how that will turn out.
Another developer cited the uncertainty that has arisen from the acquisition. "It's mostly concern because it's uncertainty," says Noel Kutuyev, a senior architect and Java developer for Innovis, which provides business-to-business services. Kutuyev says he has not seen any issues arise with Oracle's stewardship of Java technologies since the merger closed, but fears the company could limit options eventually.
Oracle's ownership of Java technologies thus far simply has meant a rebranding on Java technology Websites, says Jeremy Deane, a principal at Collaborative Consulting, indicating a continuation of that technology largely as is. However, Deane says the Java language itself is perhaps not the wave of the future, now that other languages, such as JRuby, run on the Java virtual machine.
Gosling's departure raises questions but not surprise
Developers were not surprised by Gosling's departure earlier this month from Oracle. Gosling, a holdover from Sun Microsystems, had served briefly as CTO of client software for Oracle.
"Gosling's departure will not have any immediate effect on Java, which by now is well established and has very strong developer support," says William Martinez Pomares, R&D manger and architect for Avantica Technologies, which offers outsourced product development services.
"Longer term, we might want to make the point that Oracle has to keep Java relevant and to keep innovating on the technology road map, which now will be more difficult for Oracle without Gosling. Also in that regard, the Java community is losing a brilliant technologist," Pomares says.
"I think it is fair to say that the transition from Sun to Oracle is an event of greater overall significance than James' departure from Oracle, but who knows how this changes things behind the scenes at Redwood Shores?” says Rick Ross, founder of the Javalobby Web community. "Additionally, we have no idea where he'll surface and whether or not it will have anything to do with Java."
"This turn is not at all that surprising," says Convergys' Lapinski. "Gosling may be the father of Java, but Java is growing up beyond his guidance. I think he knows this. This is going to be an interesting time for open source software. It will be up to Oracle to determine if Java continues to be fully open source. One future we may see is that Java will have gone completely corporate within five years and Gosling, along with the open source community, will have replaced it with something completely new and innovative."
IDC sees Java key to Oracle's own interests
A recent report from IDC emphasizes Oracle has "forged its entire software strategy around the Java platform. ... What's at stake with the Oracle and ownership and control over Java is not whether Java will be invested in or evolved, which is a certainty," the report states.