August 23, 2007

SUNW to JAVA, Oy Vey

I see that Sun Microsystems is changing its ticker symbol from SUNW to JAVA.

The marketing dweebs must have taken over the asylum.

Java is a decent language.

But Java as a software production environment on Linux is a creeping, clunking disaster.

It's bad enough that someone who wants to download Java has to hack through Sun's jungle of Java acronyms.

For years it was made worse because on each Java version the file pathnames to the executables changed.  And there seemed to be an undeclared war going on between Sun's Java and the GNU java tools.

And their Mozilla/Firefox plugin has always been a mystery wrapped in layers of incorrect documentation.  And it seems not to run at all on 64-bit Linux.

Sun turned what should have been gold into schmutz.

Sun's fumbling of Java is one of the great unheralded, self inflicted, marketing disasters.  Stupidity abounding.  It reminds me of Lyndon Johnson's phrase about someone being so stupid that they could not pour a certain bodily fluid out of a boot even if the instructions were printed on the heel.

Sun was once a great company and once a great place to work.

Sun still has the occasional flash of brilliance (for example, its CPU chips.)

Java was a great and brilliant idea.  A lot of work went into the design and into making it work.  Java is great technology.  But it is great technology that has been torpedoed by Sun's dim efforts at product marketing.

But SUNW to JAVA?  That's like Ford renaming itself "Edsel" or Merck renaming itself "Vioxx".

By-the-way, I use Python.

Posted by karl at August 23, 2007 4:58 PM