Oracle : Java Glossary

Oracle

Oracle makes an expensive high performance SQL (Standard Query Language) database engine. They bought out Sun (and with it Java and MySQL) announcing it on 2009-04-20 and completing the deal on 2010-01-20.

Why You Were Redirected Here

Oracle bought out Sun (the creator of Java) on 2010-01-20 and is still in the process of moving all the files from the Sun website to the Oracle website. Unfortunately, they are doing a royal botch of job. There were about 2500 links on the mindprod.com website alone that needed to be adjusted. A few of the old Sun links still work. Some are dead. Some temporarily redirect to Oracle pages (but not the corresponding pages! They mostly redirect to a Oracle’s general welcome page which I have redirected here to help explain what is going on.) To make matters worse, Oracle has been changing the names of the links on the Oracle site, so even corrected links stop working. There is almost no pattern to the new Oracle site, unlike the old Sun site. Properly cleaning up mindprod.com may take years to come. Please be patient. You may have to find some material on the Sun site or Oracle site with Google for now.

Ideally, Oracle would provide some tools for people to update their websites containing Sun links, or at least provide a database of old and new links, but I am pretty sure they will not. I wrote some tools to help automatically correct the links, such as BrokenLinks, and I have cleaned up most of them, but there are over 200 links that still need to be manually researched with Google and manually corrected. This will take a while. Please be patient. This process is quite error prone. If you know of obviously wrong links or better targets for links, or missing links, please let me know.

Oracle vs Sun

Oracle and Sun were quite different companies. To programmers, Sun was a bountiful source of cool free software and innovative hardware, and Oracle was a company that would stoop at nothing to extract your money. To investors, Oracle was a bountiful source of money and Sun was company run by hippies who had totally forgotten the point of corporations, thinking the prime directive was to destroy the evil Microsoft.

You would think capitalistic thinking would frown on annoying their customers needlessly, however, if a corporation can save a dime in the process, and waste thousands of dollars of each customers’ money, if they have nowhere else to go, that is what Milton Friedman ideology demands of corporations. Oracle could have redirected the links properly for less than $2,000 total, as a automated side effect of moving Sun documents to the new site, or deciding to scrap them. What they have done is force every website that links to Sun to manually research every one of their links. Overall, this will cost the programming community orders of magnitude more than that. I think this was not just an economic decision, it was designed to express contempt, to remind Java’s users they are beggars not choosers. Larry Ellison (head of Oracle) and Scott McNealy (head of Sun) are ripe with feuding genes.

The Bright Side

Usually, when Microsoft buys a company, they kill it, retaining its patents. They purchase solely to eliminate competition or potential competition. Oracle has kept Java alive. You can see what they are up to, trying to corral Java users into the lucrative proprietary Oracle database fold using free Java as bait. This far from wicked behaviour. Things are pretty stagnant compared with the Sun days, but at least Oracle is still offering a banquet of software free, something that must stick in their craws. IBM (International Business Machines) might have been a better fit for a takeover, but they backed out at the last minute. It is far better Oracle owns it than letting it die.


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