Google Acquire Instantiations

What is the Future of Instantiations’ Java Products?

Jessica Thornsby

After it was announced that Google had acquired Instantiations, speculation is rife as to what this means for Instantiations GWT Designer, WindowBuilder, and CodePro Profiler products.

Following the announcement that Google have acquired Instantiations, it is rumoured that Instantiations’ GWT Designer product will become part of the Google Web Toolkit infrastructure.

There has also been some speculation that Google will open source some of Instantiations’ products, with Joachim Tuchel naming GWT Designer as the most likely to get the open source treatment. GWT Designer is Instantiations’ tool for visually constructing applications for the Google Web Toolkit. Meanwhile, Jeff Sharkey has theorised that GWT Designer will become part of Google’s free GWT developer toolkit. According to reports, Instantiations was acquired by the Google Web Toolkit team at Google, so it seems logical that new developments will mostly come from the GWT space.

It has also been suggested that Google could donate Instantiations’ WindowBuilder product for Swing and SWT, to the Eclipse project, as Eclipse developers have previously been working on creating a visual editor for Java Swing and SWT programs. “Having it be an official, free, open source part of Eclipse would be a godsend for Java desktop developers,” writes Jeff Sharkey. He also speculates that CodePro Profiler might find a new home with GWT’s new Speed Tracer snapshot and diagnostic tool.

And it’s good news for Smalltalk developers! The Smalltalk team at Instantiations will be maintained as a separate, independent business and will even continue under the ‘Instantiations’ moniker – meaning that Instantiations is now a 100% Smalltalk company. According to the new, Smalltalk-focused Instantiations webpages, the operation will continue with the same team, the same products and the “same dedication to our customers and to Smalltalk.” The website promises that the customer-focused support and product development will be uninterrupted by the transition.

Mike Taylor will continue as President and CEO of Instantiations, while founder Eric Clayberg will join Google, but also continue as a Director/Board Member and technical advisor for Instantiations.

This has met with positive reactions, with Michael Davies expressing relief that Instantiations will not become one of the “innovative companies using Smalltalk” who are acquired by “big players,” only for the new owners to drop Smalltalk development in favour of focusing on Java and other enterprise environments.

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