Red Hat execs comment on Oracle's Java opportunity

Red Hat CEO and VP encourage Oracle to follow through with independent JCP governance since Java is larger than any single company

While many will be following Apple's every move on Wednesday, those of us in the Java community will tune in that morning to Oracle's plans for Sun products, including Java. Ahead of Oracle's road map presentation, Red Hat's CEO Jim Whitehurst kicked off his third year at Red Hat with a State of the Union address. In his post, Jim discussed Red Hat's efforts within the Java community:

Late last year the Java Community Process (JCP) reached a significant milestone when they approved the specification for the next generation of Enterprise Java; JavaTM Platform, Enterprise Edition 6 (Java EE 6). We believe that the approval of this specification starts a new chapter in the story of Java and we are proud to have contributed and acted in a leadership role in the formation of this standard which aims to make enterprise Java easier to use and more appealing to more developers, while still maintaining the benefits of open standards.

[ Oracle's Larry Ellison pledged his company's support to Java at last year's JavaOne conference. | Stay up to speed with the open source community with InfoWorld's Technology: Open Source newsletter. ]

Craig Muzilla, vice president of middleware at Red Hat, picked up on the Java thread:

As Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison said shortly after the acquisition announcement in April of last year, Java is "the single most important software asset we have ever acquired." We agree with Mr. Ellison's statement; Java is one of the most important technologies developed and adopted during the past twenty years. It has fostered significant innovation throughout the IT industry and has enabled businesses and governments to operate with greater efficiency and effectiveness. Java is larger than any single company; we are all part of Java, customers and vendors alike.


We encourage Oracle to fulfill their original proposal and establish an independent governance process for the JCP (Java Community Process). And, finally, we encourage Oracle to continue the tradition of making the technology easily accessible, to vendors and customers alike, to secure its broad adoption and continued strength in the market.

As Craig points out, Oracle was among several names, including IBM and Red Hat, calling for Sun to make the Java process more open and less susceptible to any one vendor's influence or control.

While I'd be surprised if Oracle announced an independent governance process for the JCP on Wednesday, I don't think Oracle will act to damage the Java ecosystem. Customers and developers have invested too much in Java products over the past decade on the basis of their investment being protected through a multivendor community. The customer backlash would far outstrip any perceived competitive benefit of tightening control over the JCP. Oracle's far too smart of a vendor to risk that or encourage nonstandard Java usage as we've seen with Android.

Follow me on Twitter: SavioRodrigues.

p.s.: I should state: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions."

This story, "Red Hat executive comments on Oracle's Java opportunity," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in open source and Java at


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

How to choose a low-code development platform