If you have been following the plight of the Java community over the past few weeks as Oracle tried to assert control on the crown jewel they purchased from Sun.
Neil Bartlet sums it up pretty well on his blog:
Java became strong not as a barbershop quartet singing in perfect harmony, but as a massive, heaving soccer crowd baying for their team. The neutering of the JCP threatens to turn that crowd into a bunch of North Korean rent-a-fans.
What makes Java a compelling platform is it’s massive collection of libraries that can be used on very diverse hardware. Java’s libraries are the key to productivity: you often start a Java project 1/2 finished.
So, Oracle comes in, with it’s fast talking, sales driven culture and tries to assert control. When you add in Oracle’s recent Android lawsuit, the picture becomes clear: Oracle thinks Java is 100% theirs, and all your contributions are belong to us. Good going Oracle. You piss of the fastest growing mobile development community and promptly enrage the people that you are counting on for the future of Java: the community of developers who contribute to Java’s massive collection of libraries. So far Oracle has succeeded in running off the Apache Foundation , Doug Lea and Tim Peierls all left Java’s Community Process. Speculation is that Google and others are getting ready to go shortly as well.
Which leads to: I’m glad Python isn’t owned by a corporation. Languages like Python derive their power from the programmers who contribute code to the platform. Python is great because I can type
import tweepy and have instant access to a very deep Twitter API, or I can type
pip install django and have a complete webified application framework. One of the reasons I love Python is that the community has an innate respect for the developers who contribute to and use the language, and it’s clear that any contribution that I or my company makes will not be used to bludgeon other contributors into paying royalties.