Suns Biggest Blunder

By eweek  |  Posted 2006-04-14 Print this article Print

Were putting a lot of support into NetBeans for our multilanguage support and language to support No. 1 is JavaScript. And well be able to do a lot of the typical IDE things like syntax management and that kind of stuff. But when it comes to debugging and QA, its pretty limited as to what we can do. And were trying figure that out. What would you say has been Suns biggest blunder in terms of software?
There are so many to choose form. And sometimes its hard to say whats a blunder and whats just the case of the world being weird.
True. And thats why I sort of paused at the use of the term "blunder." But you guys have taken several hits as far as your software strategy over the years. Yeah, and we tend to have to play to about a dozen different communities. We try really hard to listen to the developer community the most and the analyst community the least. At least in my part of the universe, we dont do software architecture by listening to the analysts. Sometimes we have and its been a dumb idea. Click here to read about ActiveGrid CEO Peter Yared asking Sun President Jonathan Schwartz to open source Java. As for blunders, boy, one of the ones that has always gotten under my skin is the whole BSD [Berkeley Software Distribution] versus [UNIX] System V Release 4 merge that we did. That marked the transition from SunOS to Solaris. That set our whole OS [operating system] story back like two or three years. That was a really tough one to do. There were a variety of business reasons why we wanted to do it, but it was really hard for me to believe that the two or three years that it cost us were worthwhile. But its the kind of thing that at the time just felt really dumb. Now that we have a bunch of new perspective on that transition, its worked out reasonably well. But also it sort of worked out to be somewhat pointless because the BSD side of the universe has survived pretty well, and the whole System V universe has pretty much died. And we were trying to make peace between those competing camps. At some level what we didnt know was one of those sides was going to die, and it was pretty hard to predict which side was going to die. So we tried to do this other grand, unique thing. And we mostly succeeded at that. But in retrospect technologically it was somewhat pointless, and we would probably have been ahead of where we are now. But interestingly were still pretty far ahead. We lost a bunch of ground, but we gained a lot of ground. To read why Java experts believe AJAX will be hugely successful, click here. Other than Java, what would you say have been some of Suns bigger successes in software? Solaris for sure. Solaris has been a really big deal for us. The Solaris guys have really been on a tear lately. The stuff in Solaris 10 is really cool. If you go to some Web sites you can get the early builds for Solaris 11. Ive been running Solaris 11 for quite a while now. Just the ZFS stuff alone is definitely worth the price of admission. A long time ago I used to be a sys admin and I never had a tool that was that easy for administering data files. Its very cool. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.


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