Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why Oracle should do something about the Apple fiasco

I very strongly dislike Apple and after this latest stunt even more so. Seriously.

Sometimes, people wonder : why should Oracle do something about the situation when it's pretty obviously Apple's decision that lead to this. So, here I go:

1. Apple has nothing to lose by not supporting Java on OSX. So, they might lose a few thousand (tens of thousands? maybe...) Apple laptop toting java developers. It's a drop in the sea of iPhone, iPad, and iPod sales. So, maybe the same number of devs might not buy the next OSX upgrade - whooptie doo...

2. Oracle owns Java. They have wanted to "own" Java for the longest time, they even bought a whole company (Sun), hardware and all, just to get their grubby hands on it. Now, they own it and when Apple drops the ball, it's now up to Oracle to step up to the plate and show what "owning" the platform really means to them.

I'm sure Adobe would like if Apple produced their own compatible Flash for OSX, but Apple doesn't - Adobe does. Why ? 'Cause they own the platform.

3. Oracle has the most to lose from this development - if Java doesn't run on MacOS, then much of the wonderful cross-platform claims of Java become somewhat gimpy as now Java will not run on a fairly mainstream modern client OS. Not very cool, especially since Java (based on Oracle's own statements) wants to be on the desktop.

From a personal perspective, I could care less about Java on Apple (although I did sign the petition as well). Up until now, I would have recommended it to people acknowledging it being a decent OS. Going forward, despite my dislike for Microsoft, I'd probably just recommend Windows 7. Not that this matters all that much, not too many people ask me.

Finally, why are people are asking Oracle to do something and not Apple ? Really, it makes so much more sense to appeal to the company that caused the problem in the first place. However, as much as Oracle has been sucking in their relationship with the community lately, they are light years away from Apple's blindness and deafness to the needs of their customers when those needs happen to be at odds with the cult leader's ideas (e.g. no flash on iphones yet despite ample evidence that it's a part of a modern web experience, even for the mobile web)