Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, IT SOLUTIONS GUIDE, Eclipse

Java IoT: Article

i-Technology Viewpoint: We Must Get Beyond "Binary Extremes," Says Sun's COO

Open Source or Proprietary? That's not an either/or choice any more, says Sun's Jonathan Schwartz

He's been doing it again. Blogging, that is. And, as usual, Sun's president and COO zeroes in on the main issue that makes the software industry the endlessly fascinating place it is, anno 2004, namely the choice between proprietary and open source solutions.

It's not an either/or choice, Schwartz contends, and refers to a surprising moment that happened at Sun's JavaOne developer conference earlier this year.

"A bunch of friends joined us for a discussion on the open sourcing of Java," writes Schwartz in the latest entry in his widely-read blog: "Among the luminaries present was Brian Behlendorf, who opened his statements by asking what I'm sure he felt was a question with a popular answer, 'How many of you work on an open source project?' I expected to see a flurry of hands, and I'm sure he did, too. Neither of us saw hands go up."

Schwartz cites this as just one example of how you can't stereotype the software development community, even if you think you can. When you think it's a mixture of open-source and proprietary users, it can turn out to be proprietary only. And vice versa.

"There are those that persist in trying to draw the industry as filled with binary extremes," Schwartz observes. "I choose to see it differently - the network reaches a market so broad, there can never be one definition, one product or one market."

Schwartz mentions another example, the flip side if you like.

This time it involves an incident that took place when he was keynoting a CIO event in Cincinatti a few weeks back:

"The event was attended by a cross section of American companies, from retailers to pharmaceutical companies, logistics and airlines. Toward the end of my prepared remarks, I started previewing the open sourcing of Solaris (and our Red Hat upgrade programs, just for fun). One of the CIOs stopped me to ask, 'why are you open sourcing Solaris? The last thing I want is more source code.' My response, 'No offense intended, but you're not my target demographic. It's your developers, and they'd love the ability to see/evolve the source.'"

Schwartz has been making the headlines regularly with his blogging, most recently when, in an entry titled "I believe in IP," he made a declaration that Sun very shortly afterwards backed up with a $92M payment to Eastman Kodak Co.:

"I believe in intellectual property. In my view, it's the foundation of world economies, and certainly the foundation upon which Sun Microsystems was built. Copyright, trademark, patent - I believe in them all. I also believe in innovation and competition - and that these beliefs are not mutually exclusive."

"If you look at Sun's business," Schwartz continued in that September 30 blog, "all we really are, like most of our peers in the technology industry (and the media and entertainment industries with which we're converging), is an intellectual property fountain. Pour money in the top, some of the world's most talented people go to work, intellectual property falls out the other end. We happen to turn our IP into storage and servers and software and services - but realistically, that's what our manufacturing and service partners do for us. All Sun ultimately does is create ideas, design systems and engage communities."

What goes for Sun, obviously, goes for Eastman Kodak, which purchased the patents disputed in its case against Sun from Wang Laboratories in 1997 when it bought Wang's imaging software business for $260 million and was looking for restitution in the damages part of the trial to the tune of $1.06 billion in past royalties, which Kodak's lawyers calculated represented half of Sun's operating profit from the sales of computer servers and storage equipment between January 1998 and June 2001.

As we now all know, the following week Sun settled the case. For $92M.

As Schwartz blogged before the settlement: "I continue to believe in the protection of ideas conveyed by patents. From drug discovery to academic work, the protection of IP is part and parcel of what incents inventors to invent, and investors to invest."

He was as good as his word.

In this latest blog, too, he would seem to be adopting a plain-speaking approach that is likely to find favor with the developer community.

"There is no single definition of 'user' that encompasses the diversity of the constituencies we [at Sun] serve, or our means of doing so," he continues, in this current essay:

"Note that with the Tiger release of J2SE, the newest NetBeans gathering momentum (and Eclipse converts), and the unveiling of Java Creator, each product uses a different development and licensing model, appropriate to its objectives. J2SE is the result of an extraordinary collaboration between a vibrant and inclusive community, the most pervasive on the net (just go check out who belongs to the Java Community Process). NetBeans is the product of a traditionally defined open source community, churning out enhancements under a vastly different governance model. And then there's Java Studio Creator, built by Sun, just by Sun, as a means of driving to market a Java development tool for fans seeking an open, cross-platform alternative to Visual Basic."
The Java developer, in other words, is served by Sun three different ways. And this is Schwartz's overall point. Again, that key sentence: "The network reaches a market so broad, there can never be one definition, one product or one market."

Once again this looks certain to become a very widely-quoted blog.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (15)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...