Eye on Oracle

Jul 27 2010   2:48PM GMT

DTrace creator follows in footsteps of Phipps, Gosling with Oracle exit

Shayna Garlick Shayna Garlick Profile: Shayna Garlick

While Oracle has gained control of Sun technologies, the software giant has also lost some of the people key to their development. Could this hurt them down the road?

First it was Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz, then Chief Open Source Officer Simon Phipps and then the ‘Father of Java’ James Gosling – and now, Bryan Cantrill, one of the authors of Sun’s DTrace technology, has left Oracle to “to venture again into something new.”

In Cantrill’s latest blog entry – which any mention of Oracle is noticeably absent from – he details his 14-year career with Sun, highlighting his involvement in Fishworks, and the Sun Storage 7000 series.  In the July 25 post, titled “Good-bye, Sun,” he also expresses his gratitude to many of his Sun co-workers and what they taught him.

“One of Sun’s greatest strengths was that we technologists were never discouraged from interacting directly and candidly with our customers and users, and many of our most important innovations came from these relationships,” he wrote.

Is Cantrill implying that these relationships are something Oracle lacks? That’s what one article on H-online suggests, saying it may be an indication of the culture at Oracle, since “Oracle has developed a reputation for being very hard to communicate with.”

Still, this doesn’t seem to be anything that Oracle or Larry Ellison plan on changing soon.  Since the Sun acquisition, lack of communication has become evident as customers are left wondering about Oracle’s future; for example, wary users are still without a clear roadmap for Solaris and OpenSolaris.

Even when Oracle does provide information — such as details about its stack computing strategy – customers have said that they’re not saying enough.  The OpenSolaris governing board has also threatened to dissolve, citing a lack of communication between the Oracle and the OpenSolaris community.

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