Friday, January 29, 2010

On the takeover of Sun by Oracle

I guess I might as well comment - everyone else and his dog is doing so. A collegue said "A sad, sad day for FOSS". I know what he means, but actually I disagree. Take-overs and mergers will always happen.

It is occasions like this that demonstrate the power of FOSS. FOSS gives us choice, and we can choose to stay with MySQL or migrate to PostgreSQL, which all the smart people were using anyway. IMHO, technically PostgreSQL knocks MySQL into a cocked hat, and the Oracle takeover of MySQL could give PostgreSQL the increase in popularity it deserves. Other databases are available.

Sun blew hot and cold on FOSS anyway, I could never figure out what their policy was. Java probably has too much momentum of its own for Oracle to screw it up, although if anyone can.... Never underestimate the ability of corporates to kill things off by hubris (I used to work for Computer Associates).

There will always be other languages, other databases, other operating systems.

Other hardware?

Back in the 1980s a collegue (Haydn Moston - are you still around?) told me that CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer) chips could never last beyond 2000, and RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) chips were the only way to go. The i386 familiy is CISC, and Sun Sparc is the most well-known RISC.

Intel are running out of steam and having to use multi-core, ten years out was actually not bad Haydn. I'm not sure that the switch to multi-core is connected specifically with CISC, but the possible loss of RISC machines is my biggest worry with the Oracle takeover. The number of mainstream instruction sets out there is disapointingly small. How I hate monocultures.

1 comment:

Clive said...

It looks like Haydn works for Oracle (still). Spooky!