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Sun Microsystems The Almighty Buck

Available To The Right Buyer: Sun Microsystems 489

Posted by timothy
from the send-picture-of-boat dept.
antediluvian writes "The Seattle Times reports Sun Microsystems shares surged forward on speculation the computer maker may be bought by a rival company. Prospective buyers could include Dell, IBM or Hewlett-Packard. Computer sales of rival companies have been outpacing sales of Sun's machines. Over the past three years Sun's stock has declined 92 percent."
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Available To The Right Buyer: Sun Microsystems

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  • by zlowry (445521) <[zach] [at] [zachlowry.net]> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:11AM (#5874128) Homepage
    I really, really like Sun hardware, and I'd hate to see it all go the way of the Alpha. Plus, what would happen to Java, I wonder?
  • stock (Score:5, Insightful)

    by v(*_*)vvvv (233078) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:11AM (#5874130)
    Over the past three years Sun's stock has declined 92 percent

    Gee, do the stock prices of three years ago mean anything? Yahoo and Amazon must also be bought!
  • Won't Happen (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:13AM (#5874141)
    While they have a large installed customer base, it would be too expensive a proposition for any company to pick up Sun at their current market cap. Not to mention whomever buys Sun will have to basically tear down the hardware division and integrate their customer base to an x86 standard.
  • Vastly unlikely (Score:2, Insightful)

    by infonography (566403) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:14AM (#5874152) Homepage
    It's a rumor, it sells shares of stock. Is it workable? No. However if they were to merge with say Cisco or HP that would be great. Both have their limitations. Sun is way the heck ahead in the 64 bit computer game, having an army of 64 bit gurus, a stable OS, and a very well respected CPU.
  • by m00nun1t (588082) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:20AM (#5874174) Homepage
    To be honest, I'm not sure why anyone would want Sun. Don't get me wrong, they have some great technology and are a good company. But they remind me a little of Digital pre-Compaq buyout, great technology which became irrelevant. The move is towards x86 technology, and with 64 bit x86 become more and more viable, there is simply less and less need for the premium price paid for Sun products.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they'll be dead in a year, just I can't see their sales growing much, and quite possible slowly reversing. There are still some very high end applications where Sun products may well be the best product for the job, but they are painting themselves into a corner - that niche is getting smaller and smaller as x86 gets better and better.
  • IBM to buy Java? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moderators_are_w*nke (571920) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:24AM (#5874194) Journal
    I should imagine IBM are after their Java division. They're probably not interested in the servers. Whether they'd just leave them as Sun, or buy the whole lot and wind the server business down over a period of years I don't know. If they do get the servers, expect to see a lot of work go into Linux on Sparc. Mark
  • by khuber (5664) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:27AM (#5874212)
    Sun doesn't play much at the very high end. I would say that's more Cray/NEC/HP/Hitachi/Fujitsu/SGI/IBM. They play in the midrange which means they get pinched from both sides with a charge running right up the middle.

    -Kevin

  • Stock prices (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tedrlord (95173) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:37AM (#5874248)
    Sun's stock fell 92% in the past three years? Jesus.

    Oh wait. Everyone's stock fell around 92% in the past three years.
  • by carsont (648940) <[moc.amarelet.lsd.cj] [ta] [todhsals+ct]> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:38AM (#5874258)

    All the anti-Sun FUD that keeps getting posted to Slashdot reminds me of the anti-Apple FUD that was all over the media a few years ago.

    Speculation about IBM or HP buying Sun now is probably just as groundless as speculation about Sony or Disney (or Sun) buying Apple five years ago. Yeah, they're not doing as well as they used to, but the whole industry isn't, either.

    I think Sun's main problem right now is the same problem that Apple has right now: getting hardware that customers will perceive as being equal or superior to x86 in price/performance. It looks like SPARC will get there eventually, but not soon enough; I imagine they'd either have to use Opteron/Hammer on their low-end machines, or somehow make very inexpensive 1-4 processor workstations and servers to leverage SPARC's scalability (it is, after all, the Scalable Processor ARChitecture) and Solaris's superior SMP support.

    I'll admit that I have many reasons to Want To Believe that Sun will still be a strong presence in the industry when I graduate from college, but I do seriously think that rumor's of Sun's imminent death are greatly exaggerated.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:50AM (#5874305)
    Let's say that Microsoft "buys" Java and transforms it into "Java.NET"...What would that mean for all of us?
  • by ocelotbob (173602) <{gro.bobtoleco} {ta} {toleco}> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @10:51AM (#5874313) Homepage
    While we're at it, why doesn't the open source write an ext2 defragmenter?

    Because they already have [sourceforge.net]

  • Re:stock (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Blaine Hilton (626259) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:08AM (#5874391) Homepage
    It seems once a company goes public they stop worrying about actually make good products and do anything they can to increase the stock price instead of quality.

    Need to create a mySQL table [webcalc.net]?

  • Re:Apple... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ghostdoguk (550575) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:09AM (#5874398) Homepage
    Too right. A good mix and both parties win. Sun systems running OSX server, sounds like a good move. I always thought that Apple should buy Silicon Graphics , now that would be a smart move. I always liked Irix. The sun thing would give Apple the Java angle.
  • Re:what about N1? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by joefission (101644) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:11AM (#5874406) Homepage
    Sun calls it N1. IBM calls in On Demand. HP calls it adaptive infrastructure.

    It is a business concept, not a technology. These business concepts (which are quite good...it only takes a few minutes to sell it to executives) are based on the evolution of IT technologies (grid, automation, web services) and business practices (off shoring and outsourcing).

    The idea is that a business only pays for the IT resources it actually uses. It's only a paradigm shift if you haven't been paying attention :-)

  • Re:What about MS? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LinuxXPHybrid (648686) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:13AM (#5874418) Journal
    They have $45 billion in bank, but it's a dead money. They just can't move it around for various reasons (anti trust case in EU is one of reasons). Besides, even if they got away with anti trust case in US, acquiring Sun? That's 99% market dominance of software development platform (.NET and Java). That's monopoly; that's anti trust. That's illegal. MS acquiring Sun? No, that's impossible.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:43AM (#5874556)
    So, I go in to try and clean up and find out there are neary 300 patches to apply after a year and a half with no cumulative patch at all!

    Yes there is, they are the "recommended" patches. It's a bundle, just like you want.

    Just the fact that there is no progress indicator to tell you if it's crashed or still running or what is ridiculous

    Agreed, that would be nice.

    Some of the patches say that they may actually make the machine non-bootable if incorrectly applied

    Patches should be applied in single user mode as a best practice. Yes, there are rare situations where applying the patches in multiuser mode can lead to corruption.

    Do you have a test box?" Do I have a TEST box!? Fuck no! Why should I need to run a test box for every Sun server I have? To make Sun more money? NO thank you!!!

    Regardless of the OS or hardware, don't you think it's a good idea to test patches on a clone (or near clone) of your production systems?

    They gave me a quick run down and I can expect up to 36 hours of downtime!!!

    Yes, that support person was a moron. Where I work we are patching boxes that haven't been patched in 2 years (sshhhhh!) and it's only taking 3 hours per box.

    I will be glad to see those HP-UX boxes come in.

    HP-UX is a pretty cool OS. I can't say it's spectacular and it definately doesn't suck.

    I think your real problem is twofold. First, Sun's support does suck at times. Yes, it's true. Then again, there aren't many companies that are much better except perhaps IBM. As for HP's support, beleive me, they aren't anywhere near spectacular.

    Second, you don't seem to be a Solaris admin by trade, or even a sysadmin for that manner. Yeah yeah, I know I sound like I'm trolling but I'm not. You're getting mad because Sun is suggesting you follow best practices which you would have known if you were worth your salt.

    Have fun with your HP boxes and I hope you learned something from this (aside from hating Sun).
  • by treat (84622) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:53AM (#5874605)
    Check out the SPEC scores. SPARC 1.2 Ghz have the same score a Pentium 4 2.4 Ghz. We all know about lies and benchmarks, but it seems to show that Mhz isn't the whole story.

    You are comparing a CPU that was released very recently against one that has been out for a couple years. This should make it apparent that if you compare Sun's fastest CPU to Intel's fastest CPU, the Intel is significantly faster. When you attempt to compare at the same price point, you find that it's impossible - you can buy many full Intel systems for the cost of one Sun CPU.

    Sun has improved prices (and CPU speed) lately, but it is too little too late. And many of the new systems, I presume in a desperate attempt to get to competetive prices, show a shocking lack of quality. But at least you get a really, really, really nice error message with your random crashes.

  • Re:EDS? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by HidingMyName (669183) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @12:02PM (#5874646)
    I can't imagine SUN workers staying in an EDS corporate culture, they are too different.
  • Re:Explain Please? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jkabbe (631234) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @12:14PM (#5874707)
    No, that's not the only reason people whine about it. I learned C++ and Java at almost the same time (C++ about a year earlier) and I, like a lot of other programmers, can honestly say that IMO C++ is just a better language than Java. It's more compact, easier and more pleasant to write, etc.

    You had me right up until "easier". There is a reason C++ journals have sections devoted to obscure sections of the standard and how code might not compile the way you would expect it to. It's because C++ is not simple. Powerul? Yes. Easy? No. Not to mention the differing implementations by different compilers. Ugh. No thanks. I'd rather spend my time working on solutions instead of fighting the language.
  • by The Mayor (6048) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @12:30PM (#5874784)
    Really? Funny that. Banking is one of the industries that has adopted Java the most. The application server market (what transaction processing systems have evolved into today) are split about 80%/20% between Java (BEA, IBM, and others) and Microsoft. Java dominates transaction processing systems for all new development. It is also a very common choice for legacy software integration.
  • anyone but dell (Score:5, Insightful)

    by b17bmbr (608864) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @12:34PM (#5874799)
    sun is a technology company. dell is a reseller. for a fortune 500 company, they have one of the lowest r&d budgets. all their r&d is done by intel, microsoft, and the OSS community. all they have perfected is the most efficient way to build a pc and ship it to you, oh yeah, and make cool ads, dude.

    sun is a true tech company. so is ibm, and so is apple. you might hate/love each of them, but you can't deny they innovate. dell wouldn't know what to do with java anymore than microsoft would. of course, figuring how much gates' ass mikey dell kisses, guess we know what dell would do to java. and sparc. and solaris. and...
  • by The Mayor (6048) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @12:34PM (#5874801)
    Let's say that IBM has already hijacked Java development (it has). Look at the JCPs that are being released these days. IBM's name is all over them. Despite Sun's control over the standard, they really no longer control the direction for the language. All they control is the rubber stamp that gets attached to libraries that go through the JCP process.

    Also, are you suggesting Java become subsumed into .NET, or that .NET gets subsumed into Java? Java (the platform) is more complete and feature-rich than .NET. Java (the language) may be analogous to C#. But Java (the platform) is more analogous to .NET as a whole, only Java is more complete and feature-rich and is available today.
  • by LibertineR (591918) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @12:47PM (#5874878)
    This is just too easy.

    Does anyone remember when Sun was the little guy, going up against Dec, Apollo, HP and the other workstation vendors? What was the difference?

    MARKETING.

    Back then, Sun was CLOBBERING those guys with a better message and machines that were just as fast or FASTER for less money, but the main thing is that they were hammering their message constantly and consistantly every where you looked. They were the upstart trying to get people to think differently about technology and it worked.

    The problem with Sun is that they BELIEVED everything they said about themselves to the point of anointing themselves as technical genuises, instead of understanding that they won because they had superior marketing than the other guy. They SAID things that got them attention, regardless of the fact that they built things too.

    Now, Sun just builds things and everything they say is directed at the technical people, instead of the BUYERS of technology that decide what gets bought and what doesnt. Geeks may recommend, but they dont to the buying; which is based on more than just who has the better technology. Much of the time it comes down to how much a business can afford to buy versus internal costs and other considerations like THE BOTTOM LINE.

    It doesnt matter that every programmer in the world knows what Java is, what it does, and why it is a great advance in both platforms and languages. How many people think they can go into a meeting with a CIO and talk about how Java's garbage collection is going to help his company become more profitable? Maybe it can through cost reductions in programming projects, but when is the last time you saw SUN SELL THAT?

    I have never seen them make the BUSINESS CASE for their technology beyond it's geek-appeal, and that is why they are dying. At Sun for the last 10 years, the message has always come from it's Engineers, which is totally and completely wrong.

    At Microsoft, everyone understands that no matter what we come up with, if Marketing cant sell it, it gets shit-canned (except MS Bob, thanks Melinda) If Microsoft marketing can make a company believe that radioactive rocks in their lobby can improve their bottom line, guess what is going to be developed? MS Radioactive Rocks, thats what.

    Sun has had it ass-backwards for a decade, and time has run out on them. Great technology that cant be sold has killed every one of Microsoft's competitors in the same way. How long a head-start did NOTES have over Exchange? Netware over Active Directory? It's the same old story. They pitched to the techie, while Microsoft convinced corporate management that you dont base your business on field level replication, as much as on messaging and calendaring.

    This is the same reason that Linux has NO CHANCE to beat Microsoft in the near future. Linux may be wonderful for those of us who want to invest the time in learning to use it effectively, but most people dont want to face the reality that this group of people will NEVER be the majority.

    Most people just dont give a shit how it works, they only want write their documents and to get and send their fuckin email with a minimum of issues. That is 90% of corporate computing, and Microsoft owns it.

    Sun and others have decided that they can just change what is important in the corporate boardroom, and they cant. The only company that ever had a real chance against Microsoft was/is Apple.

    Why?

    FUCKING MARKETING, thats why.

  • Re:Why NOT Apple. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @12:48PM (#5874883) Homepage Journal
    It would certainly help Sun if Apple bought them: Apple could presumably port Cocoa (and Aqua) to Solaris relatively easily (considering there already is an OpenStep for Solaris believe it or not - Sun and NeXT were, at one point, touting OpenStep as an open API for *ixen), and Solaris rejigged so it's a more natural fit.

    Sun machines could then strengthen its control over the high end workstations, and Apple's currently small server range would be complemented by Sun's respected range, which in turn would be easier to use than the current systems, and would work better with Macs.

    From Apple's point of view, Sun and Apple's markets do not overlap very much any more, so it'd be a matter of taking a non-competitor, improving it with Apple technology, and reaping the profit of doing so. Theoretically it's win-win for both sides.

  • Re:HPQW? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by turgid (580780) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @01:02PM (#5874943) Journal
    Anyone have an idea what kind of steward HP would be for Java?

    Anyone who's been on the recieving end of a HP sales droid in the last two years knows that HP's story going forward is "Windows on Itanium." You can bet your bottom dollar that if they bought Sun, they'd kill Java stone dead in favour of .NET.

  • Java killed Sun (Score:2, Insightful)

    by axxackall (579006) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @01:13PM (#5874991) Homepage Journal
    I think Java is the the main thing that killed Sun. It was a hardware company with neither tradition nor understanding of software business.

    First they almost killed TCL project of John Osterhout. Then they decided to go with Java (I wonder what was their business model?), then they bought serv-side part of Netscape (anyone use it? or yeah! Sun itself!).

    I think HP (a successful collector of dying hardware platforms) will buy their hardware business (HP knows what to do with zomby-platforms), while IBM (as the most successful Java developer) will pick their Java (IBM knows what to do with).

    The time of proprietary Unix systems is over long years ago. The market is just adjusting to it by merging till nothing is left to merge.

  • Err... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Otis_INF (130595) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @01:17PM (#5875022) Homepage
    I agree with you that the parent should probably read some more books, but Sun also should be looking more to their worst enemy Microsoft how easy system administration CAN be done. I'm not saying Win2k is easy to admin when you set up a large forest with AD, but applying patches etc, it's darn easy. Sun (and other companies as well) should learn that even professionals do not LIKE it when their job is HARD because the 'tools' they have to work with are very low level and effectually do not help the professional a lot. Tools should help the user, not work against him/her.
  • by whereiswaldo (459052) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @01:25PM (#5875077) Journal
    No it wont. The only places using Java are those god-awful "B2B" shops. I don't see banks running Java on their critical transaction processing systems.

    You need to get out a lot more. Java is everywhere, including large banks. Read up on CORBA, EJB. These are what bring together banks' legacy applications.
  • Re:Apple (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anti-HanzoSan (637209) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @01:38PM (#5875138) Journal
    In all seriousness, Apple controlling Java would really, really hurt Java's credibility. Apple, in teh business world, is seen as a fringe player at best.

    Well, that could just as easily work the other way around. Apple controlling Java may buy them the credibility in the business world they now lack.

    Java itself is already well established in the business world. I doubt that it would be taken any less seriously if Apple acquired ownership.

    IBM controlling Java would be taken seriously. The corporate world pays a lot of attention to IBM.

    True, but Apple has been a more frequent partner of IBM's than Sun has. As Apple and IBM don't really compete, that may turn out to be a more productive and less contentious partnership than IBM and Sun.
  • by LeninZhiv (464864) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @01:50PM (#5875177)
    That's not the correct algorithm here--IBM split their stock in 1999.

    (It would be possible, by way of illustration, for you to own a stock valued at $10 on the ticker when you bought it, and still have it be valued at $10 ten years later, and have increased your fortune ten times over because the shares you owned were split into ten shares over the course of that time.)

    This is just FYI of course since I do not disagree that the quote to which you are referring, "everyone's stock fell around 92% in the past three years," is not a factual one. But I think the original poster knew he was exagerating as well :-)
  • H-1B Killed Sun (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Baldrson (78598) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @02:27PM (#5875313) Homepage Journal
    H-1B visas [vdare.com] killed Sun.

    Giving Fortune 1000 companies all the cheap, slavish, technologists from Asia their inner-Raj could desire is like giving high school kids methamphetamine at a pep rally.

  • Because Sun has $12Bn in market capitalization and $5.5Bn in cash on hand, I think the question isn't who's going to buy Sun, but rather who should Sun buy?

    I have maintained for some time that Sun should purchase RedHat (current market cap. approx. $1Bn if my sources [yahoo.com] are correct), go whole hog into promoting Linux, move the advanced features from Solaris into Linux, and turn their hardware into the best darned high-end Linux servers and desktops you ever saw.

    First of all, IBM is already trying to do this to Sun with high-end servers. New action is needed to defend that ground.

    Second, putting the weight of Sun and the open source devotees behind Linux application development together can help cut into Microsoft's server market share and potentially even make some more desktop inroads.

    There's probably no getting Sun out of the hardware business. But unless they harness a mass movement behind the software needed for their systems, they face the prospect of being the Apple of the UNIX server world: well-regarded but largely unused.

  • by pivo (11957) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:33PM (#5875883)
    "Java sucks ass", Insightful gush /. moderators

    "Java is very powerful on the server-side" Flaimbait

    Another shining example of the expert /. moderation we've all come to love. And when I say expert and love I am of course using those words in the negative sense.

    Java is a huge server-side force because it is so powerful. Many very high end sites run on Java. JBoss is constantly in the top 10 downloads from sourceforge, and that's not likely because it "sucks ass."
  • Re:stock (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Some Dumbass... (192298) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:46PM (#5875977)
    It seems once a company goes public they stop worrying about actually make good products and do anything they can to increase the stock price instead of quality.

    That seems kind of obvious, doesn't it? I mean, by going public, a company gets a bunch of new bosses (the stockholders) who only want to increase the stock price (and thus their own wealth). That's pretty much what going public is. :)
  • Re:Apple (Score:2, Insightful)

    by burns210 (572621) <maburns@gmail.com> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:09PM (#5876178) Homepage Journal
    on what? that Universal buyout... o, wait... that never happened? Apple still has their 4 billion or whatever it is... not enough to buy all of sun, but nothing is impossible.
  • Irrelevant? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nbahi15 (163501) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:29PM (#5876348) Homepage
    My team mates and I have been using Linux on our desktops since we arrived at our present position several years ago. However we still can't justify a move from Sun hardware and Solaris. The price point and quality are too good.

    If Intel compatible machines would put in OpenFirmware or equivalent, remove keyboard and monitor, and allow power management/console access through a single RJ-45 serial connector at a similar price point we could talk. Sun Fire v100 has this in a 1U for $995 retail.

    What I'm trying to point out is that Intel machines have an incredible amount of horsepower but have consistently failed on bringing managability in at a reasonable price.

    Further I think Sun is in the course of reinventing itself. They are supporting numerous open source efforts, looking for Solaris to Linux exit strategies, and moving away from proprietary hardware that kept its price point high. Just within the last few generations of hardware look at the changes. Say goodbye to SBUS for PCI, special memory for DDR, standard monitors. Similar to the reinvention Apple has gone through isn't it?
  • Re:Explain Please? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2003 @04:57PM (#5876559)
    Agreed, as a C++ developer for over 12 years and a Java developer for over 6, I'd have to say that Java is FAR, FAR "easier" to develop with than C++.

    Compactness is a bit of a wobbly term to throw around - are the C++ EXEs more compact than a JAR file? No. Are the C++ EXEs more compact once you include the JVM with the JAR file? Yes, but then you have to be fair and consider that a large number of pre-installed libraries your C++ EXEs are dependent on must be included.

    Pleasant... no, C++ isn't a pleasant language to develop with. It's syntax is at times absolutely abominable and anything but clear and clean. I think it was DDJ who asked prominent people in the industry to rate themselves based on their knowledge and proficiency of C++. Even Bjarne Stroustrup only put himself at 70%.

    I'm not going to get into the "better" argument since it's nonsense. The arguments made by the original poster clearly show that he's never undertaken serious development (on a large scale project) in either language.

    I love Java, I love C++, I love a number of other languages... and they all have their place, but Java (and Java-style languages such as C#) are a great improvement on the C-style languages (such as C++) for clarity, readability, development time, and ease of use. It's time to evolve.

    As soon as you close your mind to any technology you've pigeon-holed yourself in such a way that you've guaranteed you become obsolete.
  • Re:Apple... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PierceLabs (549351) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @05:32PM (#5876810)
    Its not perception, its reality. I work for one of these Fortune 50 companies that is buying up IBM Linux servers because dollar for dollar they are cheaper and better supported than the Solaris equivalent. There was a time when Sun had the potential to be a major force in the computing world - but due to dismal leadership and a business plan that is worse than that of your average startup, they are struggling to survive the downturn. I personally blame Scott. I think he's an idiot who lacks vision and needs to be removed so someone who can take advantage of Sun's remaining position can turn the company around before IBM steals their thunder altogether.
  • by nathanh (1214) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @05:44PM (#5876893) Homepage
    I've been working with Sun Solaris and Sun SunOne products for the past two years and I have to say I've NEVER gotten worse support from ANY company

    Ahh, this should be interesting...

    Example. The person maintaining our Enterprise 220R before me was vary lax about applying patches to the OS.

    Hrm.

    So I decided to say screw this and just procede with upgrading our SunOne Messaging server even though the OS isn't patched,

    Hrm?

    Then I call support to find out how I move mail and users from one box to another.

    Hrm?!

    We're an OpenVMS shop with a legacy app... but we chose HP-UX because we are a Digital/Compaq shop.

    HRRMMM!

    So let me get this straight. You start with a woefully maintained box, left behind by another administrator who didn't maintain it properly, you have zero experience with UNIX (demonstrated by your inability to move user accounts), you are in a self-confessed non-Solaris shop, you don't even have a test environment for a production system, you expect free training from the support desk to do simple tasks (rather than reading a book or doing the Solaris admin course), and then when you don't get everything your way you have a temper tantrum and migrate to... HP/UX?!?!?!?!

    You're a freaking idiot.

  • Re:Explain Please? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rossifer (581396) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @05:44PM (#5876894) Journal
    I, like a lot of other programmers, can honestly say that IMO C++ is just a better language than Java. It's more compact, easier and more pleasant to write, etc.

    Well, that's a few criticisms I've never heard before. I'll give you compact, and if you want it, a performance edge. But other than that, C++ is a much more difficult language to write real programs in. It requires approaching guru level (well beyond expert) to write a portable system in C++. Language feature interactions in C++ can put a bug into the most subtle of indiscretions.

    • Operator overloading is ammunition for the inexperienced to do something that looks cool but is actually extraordinarily unwise.
    • Const and const correct sound good until you inform the newbie of the mutable keyword and later find that you don't have const methods after all.
    • Templates are similarly powerful/risky. Java will get them in 1.5, but the issues around their effective use are legion
    • Using threads in C++ is akin to a black art. I used to literally start any discussion of C++ threads by drawing a pentagram on the whiteboard to remind everyone in the room that we were about to descend into the depths of the various C++ threading models.
    • Dealing with other people's screwed up multiply inherited class structures was the only time in my life I've had migraine headaches
    • How about syntax-dependent semantics for the static keyword?
    • And though I tend to prefer the more explicit hpp/cpp interface/implementation separation, method inlining manages to ruin it right away (without any known benefit since the compiler will inline or not without your hint). Also, do I really need to type so much to get the hpp/cpp separation to work?
    • You've still got the C-preprocessor. Have you ever seen how much damage someone can do to code readability with the C-preprocessor? It's worth it to move to Java just to avoid dealing with cpp.
    • Portability. Java isn't really 100% portable either, so I'm not going to make that claim. But unless you're able to stick to gcc, porting a C++ app to another system is agonizingly difficult unless you're a guru on both systems. Even then, I'd probably get a whole chicken just to make sure.
    Now I agree that Java has its warts and there are plenty of aspects about it that should get attention (jdbc, unicode handling, API conventions, faster elimination of deprecated elements, etc.) but it has some huge advantages as well. The first one, one which almost any other language could take and benefit from, is the deliverable packaging strategy. The .class/.jar approach (along with the associated benefits in the ClassLoader architecture) become eye-poppingly powerful and sophisticated once you take a peek under the covers. I suggest taking a look at BCEL to get a glimpse of what I mean. Almost any VM architecture (both lisp and smalltalk can easily be implemented in a VM form) ought to take a page from the Java deliverable approach.

    And here's the scary/exciting part: C# is awfully close to doing all of that. The only thing that C# doesn't really have is the huge library and the mindshare. The C# library will grow. Depending on how it grows (.net-only or portable), it may get the mindshare. Java has one or two chances left to fix itself before momentum starts building behind C# and the future will be a very interesting time. It looks fairly certain that we'll have C# (and Microsoft) to thank for speedier future changes in the Java language.

    Regards, Ross

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2003 @05:47PM (#5876911)
    Hmmm. Pretty much 100% wrong there SimHacker. As an ex Sunnie I can state that we did not attend rallies where pictures of Mr Gates were burnt, nor did I, if any Sunnie I met, think we were "fucking geniuses" - for the most part the Sun culture I experienced couldn't have been more friendly and welcoming for the year or so I spent there, and customer support could not have been a higher priority! Perhaps in the future you could spend more time checking out the facts before writing an essay on what appear to be your thoughts alone.
  • by rossifer (581396) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @05:55PM (#5876963) Journal
    No it wont. The only places using Java are those god-awful "B2B" shops. I don't see banks running Java on their critical transaction processing systems.

    Actually, it just so happens that more and more banks are redeploying their core business systems in Java. Those who haven't done it by now are the laggards who were about to be stuck with a rather expensive manned teller system in a world of largely online banking.

    Any and all of the enterprise class frameworks are either built on Java or have Java interfaces (because many of the associated apps that they have to work with are in Java). I'm currently working on an enterprise class contract management system and more than half of the accounting systems we need to interface with expose an EJB interface. Any guesses as to why we'd use that over a SOAP or other simple network protocol? Yep. Transactional security.

    Java is overwhelmingly the current choice of enterprise systems development. That could change in the future if Sun went away and wasn't replaced by someone equally credible. But for now, if you're developing an enterprise application and you're not doing it in Java, most customers will laugh you out of the sales call.

    Regards,
    Ross
  • by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @09:01PM (#5877985) Homepage Journal
    Guys: do you have an interest in Sun been bought or do you keep pushing these unsubstantiated rumours out of the goodness of your hearts?

    I mean, honestly, you have been pushing this crap about Sun for several months now, every single snippet found by somebody about Sun's demise is dutifully put in the frontpage of this well loved, but some times ailing, site.

    What is it with Sun that opens a wound with you?

    Inquiring minds would like to know.
  • by fm6 (162816) on Monday May 05, 2003 @12:44AM (#5878853) Homepage Journal
    You're right, Sun's a hardware company, not a software company. And that does indeed affect their priorities. But a company can do well selling both hardware and software. You simply need separate teams who work separately in terms of selling their own product, and who collaborate when it matters to the company as a whole.

    Unfortunately, Sun, doesn't work that way. Separate parts of Sun don't collaborate, they work on stabbing each other in the back.

    None of which really is relevent to my point about ideology. The fact is, Sun's ideological narrowness is hurting the whole company, including the hardware part. They're still acting as if nothing can displace the Sparc/Solaris server. Sure, they went and bought a an x86/Linux [cobalt.com] business, but like other such Sun ventures, it's dying from proper care and feeding.

    As for your implication that a publically-traded company is immune from this kind of nonsense: dude, where have you been the last couple of years? Publically traded companies can't even track basic cash flow, never mind require that their management act sanely. In this case, most decisions seem to be determined by Scott McNeely's ego, and his personal vendettas.

    Here's why I keep comparing Sun with IBM: the latter went through all this just a few years ago. They kept telling each other that a 90% share of the mainframe market was a guarantee of permanent profitability. They refused to see the importance of the personal computer (even though they invented the term!) or the internet, even after these things began to take over everywhere. Their upper management even refused to use email!

    All this was turned around by a guy [forbes.com] who initially refused the job because he didn't know jack about computers. But knowing what he didn't know turned out to make all the difference.

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