Air bubbles in water

Opening Java EE, Tectonic on Azure, Free Tools & More...

While the open source story everyone was watching this week was probably the release of Docker EE 17.06, there were a couple of stories "bubbling under" (as Billboard used to call an also-ran record sales chart) that deserves some attention.

We'll start with Oracle, because no company says "open source" like Oracle.

Actually, Ellison & Company has always seemed to have trouble wrapping its head around open source, so much so that whenever the company inherits established open source projects -- as happened seven years ago when it acquired Sun Microsystems -- die hard open source advocates find themselves running for the hills, fearing that revolution is nigh.

Evidently the folks at Oracle have realized that the Java Enterprise Edition platform might be better off if it moved out of Redwood Shores and found a home more conducive to the open source development model.

"Although Java EE is developed in open source with the participation of the Java EE community, often the process is not seen as being agile, flexible or open enough, particularly when compared to other open source communities," Oracle software evangelist David Delabassee wrote in a blog on Thursday. "We’d like to do better."

The long and short of it: Oracle is "considering" finding a new place for Java EE developers to hang their proverbial hats.

"We believe that moving Java EE technologies including reference implementations and test compatibility kit to an open source foundation may be the right next step," Delabassee continued, "in order to adopt more agile processes, implement more flexible licensing, and change the governance process. We plan on exploring this possibility with the community, our licensees and several candidate foundations to see if we can move Java EE forward in this direction."

My guess is that if Oracle does decide to relinquish control of the platform, it'll end up at either the Linux Foundation or the Apache Foundation. The later would be the obvious best guess, since it's where Oracle dumped OpenOffice after it famously lost most of the office suite's longtime developers in a revolt that turned into the LibreOffice fork. In this case, Apache might be problematic, depending on how long people hold grudges. In 2010, soon after Oracle acquired Java, the Apache Foundation resigned it's seat on the Java Community Process board when Oracle refused to license its Technology Compatibility Kit for Apache's version of Java.

And you thought open source folks were a bunch of kumbaya tree huggers.

CoreOS luvs Microsoft. It appears that the more Microsoft professes its love for Linux and open source, the more open source loves Redmond back. Why? Because Azure, that's why -- which really boils down to money. In most cases, every time somebody spins up an open source enterprise app on Azure (or AWS, GCP or Bluemix), the cash register starts ka-chinging -- and usually without even having to pay a salesperson to wear out shoe leather.

No surprise then that CoreOS, a container centered Linux distribution, is making its Kubernetes-based DevOps platform, Tectonic, available on Microsoft Azure, beginning with Thursday's release of version 1.7.1. The platform is already available on AWS.

This can be a good option for DevOps. CoreOS is a leading developer of Kubernetes, and its products always contain the orchestration platform's latest version. It's also available for a free trial on 10 or fewer nodes.

Red Hat releases new Development Suite. Raleigh based Red Hat showed a little southern hospitality on Tuesday with the release of some new tools for developers. In a blog, Bob Davis explained:

"This collection of tools has been assembled into an easy-to-use installer to help software developers quickly and easily put together a development environment to create containerized enterprise Java apps by installing OpenShift on their desktop. The Developer Tools Installer will automatically download, install and configure the selected tools on macOS, Windows and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Development Suite also simplifies the installation and configuration of EAP, Fuse, and Kompose. As always, it’s available at no-cost from developers.redhat.com/downloads."

Sweet, eh?

Weekend reading: This week, Red Hat's community site, Opensource.com, published an article on "How to Write Better Error Messages." Usefulness to the user seems to be the key.

That does it for this week. Have a great weekend. And until next time, may the FOSS be with you...

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