Sleeping with the fishes?

Oracle evangelist: “GlassFish Open Source Edition is not dead”

Elliot Bentley
glassfish-stained-glass-window2

Fallout from scrapping of commercial GlassFish build continues – but TomEE creator says users are also to blame.

Following the fallout
from Oracle’s decision to
kill off the commercial version of GlassFish
, Oracle evangelist
Bruno Borges has hit back, insisting that GlassFish is very much
still in good health.

On Monday, Oracle
quietly announced
the decision to end support for the
commercial branch of GlassFish (known as Oracle GlassFish Server).
Prominent Java EE blogger Markus Eisle quickly picked up on the
news and didn’t mince his words. In a blog post titled
“R.I.P. GlassFish – Thanks for all the fish”
, he said the
application server was being “deprecated from a full blown product
to a toy product”. Judging by the reaction on Twitter, many
commentators appear to agree.

However, Borges, cross-posting to both his
personal
and
Oracle-hosted
blogs, had a different spin on the news.
GlassFish’s commercial twin might be gone, he said, but the open
source edition is far from dead. In fact, he argued, this might be
a positive thing for GlassFish, allowing it to be “free from any
ties with commercial decisions”.

He also set out the combat other “FUD”, such as confusion over
the price of WebLogic – the closed-source server Oracle is pushing
current GlassFish customers towards – and emphasised that support
will continue for old builds of Oracle GlassFish Server.

Many have suggested that GlassFish’s natural successor is JBoss
WildFly, the open-source foundations for JBoss EAP – including
ex-Oracle evangelist Arun Gupta. Gupta, who evangelised GlassFish
before moving to Red Hat last month, told JAXenter that WildFly
“definitely emerges as the leader in this space”.

In response to such claims, Borges pointed out that Red Hat does
not provide commercial support for WildFly – only JBoss EAP, which
will not share identical builds. It’s a similar case with IBM and
WebSphere, he said: Oracle is far from alone in its policies.

Tomitribe steps up

In fact, only one open-source application server now has direct
commercial support: Apache TomEE, courtesy of Tomitribe. The young company,
recently founded by David Blevins, took the opportunity to
reiterate its commitment to open source in a blog
post
of its own.

However, Blevins – who appears to be the author of the unsigned
post – said selfish companies using GlassFish were as much to blame
for the move as Oracle themselves.

“If you are a GlassFish user, how would you compare Oracle’s
contribution to GlassFish to your own contribution to GlassFish?”
he wrote. “For as much as we throw money around in our companies,
it’s shocking we do not think to direct some of it at the
communities of Open Source software we use.”

Tomitribe was
launched at JavaOne this year
with the explicit purpose of
supporting the TomEE community and its contributors. Its strategy
is to provide paid consulting, training and support services in
order to fund TomEE’s development – and, presumably, build a
profitable business too.

This need for a commercial base to open source software was
echoed by Blevins in yesterday’s blog post. He concluded: “Not even
IBM or Oracle can pick up the bill for Open Source forever. All
Open Source communities need your support.”

Photo by Darren
Kirby
.

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