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Sun, Oracle chiefs vow: Sun technologies will live on

Paul Krill | Oct. 13, 2009
Scott McNealy and Larry Ellison offer reassurances at the OpenWorld conference that Oracle will be good for all of Sun technologies after the merger

To argue on behalf of Oracle's commitment to Java, McNealy brought Sun Vice President James Gosling, considered the father of Java, onstage. Oracle's product mix features Java and the company has  participated in numerous Java Specification Requests (JSR), Gosling said. The JSR process is used to submit modifications to the platform to the community at large.

Oracle, though, has been a bit unprepared for the volume of activity in the Java world, Gosling, said. "We do 15 million downloads of the JRE (Java Runtime Edition) a week on average," he said.

Also appearing onstage at OpenWorld was John Fowler, Sun vice president of system. "My team is excited about working closely with Oracle because we have been working with Oracle now [for] what's measured in decades," Fowler said. He lauded recent Sun-Oracle performance benchmarks and noted the recently introduced Sun-Oracle Exadata Database Machine Version 2, which combines Sun hardware with Oracle's database and storage management software.  Fowler also announced the Sun Storage F5100 Flash Array, which integrates 1.6TB of Flash storage into a device that looks like a server.

McNealy cited a long list of Sun accomplishments, including the Network File System, the various editions of Java, Sparc's being the first 64-bit volume RISC architecture, and the company's contributions to open source, including its use of Berkeley Unix. "We were the Red Hat of Berkeley Unix," he said.

In a brief interview after the evening presentation, Tim Bray, Sun's director of Web technologies, would not comment on whether the Sun name would go away as part of the merger with Oracle or whether Sun would become a division of Oracle.

In a Top 10 list entitled "Top 10 Signs Engineers Have Gone Wild," McNealy  took potshots at Apple for not supporting Java on its iPhone. "Friends don't let friends type on an iPhone especially since it doesn't run Java. Are you listening, Steve," McNealy said, referring to Apple CEO Steve Jobs.  "[The iPhone is] the only device on the planet that doesn't run Java."

He also ridiculed President Barack Obama's winning of the Nobel Peace prize last week, without mentioning the President by name. One of the engineering signs on McNealy's list pertained to a Nobel prize for a gas mask bra, leading McNealy to follow the reference with a comment that such an award was "no more ridiculous than some other Nobel prizes that I've heard of."


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