Sun had been a good custodian of Java until it started to compete with other companies such as IBM, Little says. "As soon as they started to compete, they had a conflict of interest that they could never get over," resulting in a process that was slowed down for business reasons rather than technical reasons, he notes. "If [Oracle does] what Sun did, they'll probably fracture the whole community [and] we won't have the benefit of a community standard like we have today," Little warns.
So far, users are positive about Oracle's role
A recent survey of open source software users revealed Oracle was viewed by most respondents as a better steward of Java and the MySQL database than Sun. Open source business intelligence software company Jaspersoft in April queried more than 500 of its customers about the future of Java and MySQL and found somewhat surprising results.
Most large organizations in the survey planned to use Java more than before and expected to see MySQL improve faster under Oracle, the survey found. Eighty percent of respondents believe the Java process will improve or stay the same.
"The summary is that we believe that there may be a resurgence in use of Java" under Oracle, says Jaspersoft CEO Brian Gentile.
This article, "Java's team of rivals: Conflicts and alliances in the Oracle era," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in Java and programming at InfoWorld.com.