The news that Oracle bought Sun caught me off guard.  I was moderately disappointed when they were courting IBM as a suitor, but I would have been more than happy if they had gone through with the deal.  IBM understands open-source and has a proven track record in Eclipse.

The best case scenario for Java would have been a acquisition by  or a merger with RedHat, though that would be very unlikely considering the size of RedHat itself - Sun is almost four times bigger than RedHat.  Out of some of the big software names large enough to buy and aggregate Sun’s high-end open-source assets, Google would have been a great choice.  They have shown a great deal of leadership in the open-source community.  We would have seen a vibrant community spring up out of this - consider how well the large GWT open-source projects are run.

So, what does the future hold for Java now?  I can’t tell, but the I think the best case is status quo for now.  I hope that Oracle spins Java off into its own, independent organization in the future.

If it comes down to it, the community will route around any damage.  It started down that path once before with Classpath and Apache Harmony, but those didn’t turn out to be necessary at the time.  Who knows - maybe Oracle will change through this whole process?  I’m not holding my breath, however.

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