Oracle is reportedly restricting its future development of the Java programming language to focus solely on enterprise use. This shift, suggested by Forrester analysts Jeffrey Hammond and John Rymer, has the potential to leave the wider open source community of developers and other software engineering professionals out in the cold. Having already abandoned OpenSolaris and left a string of developers involved with OpenOffice seriously disenchanted, the company now appears to be exerting the weight of its corporate muscle one step further.
"Sun had a very broad focus for Java, including enterprise middleware but also PCs, mobile devices, and embedded systems. Oracle's focus will be on enterprise middleware first and foremost, because that's where the money is," said the Forrester report.
While Oracle CEO Larry Ellison still openly extolling the virtues of Java in his keynote addresses, reports suggest that if he has his way with the language, it will continue to be pushed towards a more server-side existence. December's withdrawal of the Apache Software Foundation from the Java Community Process (JCP) appears to only add weight to this argument.
Writing for InfoWorld, Neil McAllister notes that, "Although most of the Java specification is open source, Oracle maintains tight control over open source variants through its ownership of the Java trademark." McAllister goes on to say, "In lieu of Apache Software Foundation support, Oracle seems to be courting IBM instead, throwing its weight behind the IBM-backed OpenJDK open source Java implementation."