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Related Links: Wanted: 19 More of the Top Software People in the World Sung and Unsung i-Technology Heroes Who's Missing from SYS-CON's i-Technology Top Twenty?" Our search for the Twenty Top Software People in the World is nearing completion. In the SYS-CON tradition of empowering readers, we are leaving the final "cut" to you, so here are the top 40 nominations in alphabetical order. Our aim this time round is to whittle this 40 down to our final twenty, not (yet) to arrange those twenty in any order of preference. All you need to do to vote is to go to the Further Details page of any nominee you'd like to see end up in the top half of the poll when we close voting on Christmas Eve, December 24, and cast your vote or votes. To access the Further Details of each nominee just click on their name. Happy voting!   In alphabetical order the nominees are:   Tim Berner... (more)

Oracle Snaps Up Sun, Gains Control of Java

In a brilliant retrieve from the really nasty situation it was in after its deal to get bought by IBM fell apart, Sun surprised everybody who thought it had no options left – which was practically everybody – by turning up this morning with a deal to get bought by Oracle, Sun’s sometimes best friend. Oracle, Silicon Valley’s avaricious maw, agreed over the weekend to buy Sun for $9.50 a share, a total of $7.4 billion or $5.6 billion less Sun’s cash and debt. un chairman Scott McNealy called the marriage of the “two titans” a “momentous day” that “refines the industry.” The Sun deal is not as big as Oracle’s acquisition of PeopleSoft, BEA or Siebel but gives Sun a 42% premium to last Friday’s $6.69 close. The money is a bit sweeter than the $9.40 a share IBM had reportedly ultimately offered, but failed to reach the $10.50 neighborhood where IBM and Sun supposedly ... (more)

MySQL Creator Finally Does Leave Sun

After coming this close to quitting six or seven months ago because he felt MySQL 5.1 wasn't ready to be released, MySQL co-founder and creator Monty Widenius has finally parted way with the company that made him rich. He's going to run his own programming company, Monty Program AB, again and spend his idle hours dabbling in venture capital. He's looking for disruptive open source start-ups. On his blog Monty says Sun still hasn't made the changes he wanted to fix MySQL's development and community problems. He says, "The main reason for leaving was that I am not satisfied with the way the MySQL server has been developed....In particular I would have like to see the server development to be moved to a true open development environment that would encourage outside participation and without any need of differentiation on the source code. Sun has been considering opening up... (more)

Oracle-Sun Deal Puts Java Back in the Limelight

"It's almost impossible to overestimate the importance of Java to Oracle," wrote industry commentator Neil McAllister as the first rumors of the Oracle-Sun deal began to surface last week. McAllister referred to Java as "the crown jewel of this deal." So the question reverberating through Javaland now is: does this mean Java is back in the limelight? Or will Oracle's proprietary ways intervene in the open-source trajectory for Java set by Sun? In his internal memo to Sun staffers, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz yesterday wrote that "By acquiring Sun, Oracle will be well positioned to help customers solve the most complex technology problems related to running a business." He added: "A combined Oracle/Sun will be capable of cultivating one of the world's most vibrant and far reaching developer communities, accelerating the convergence of storage, networking and computing... (more)

Sun To Cut 3,000 Jobs, Blames EC

Mergers & Acquisitions on Ulitzer Sun said late Tuesday that it will be forced to cut 3,000 jobs worldwide over the next 12 months because of “the delay in the closing of the acquisition of the company,” laying the blame squarely at the doorstep of the European Commission and its prolonged investigation into whether Oracle should be allowed to acquire the Sun-owned MySQL open source database. It could be playing hardball with the EC, which some think has an interim deadline this week to decide how much longer its investigation is going to take. It could take until we’re deep into January. In an SEC filing Sun said its board had approved the plan “to better align the company’s resources with its strategic business objectives.” Sun expects to incur total charges of $75 - 125 million over the next several quarters, most likely the December and March quarters, in connectio... (more)

The Wailing Wall of Open Source BI

Henry David Thoreau once wrote: "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation". Much the same can be said of the multitude of users struggling with open source reporting and analysis tools like Mondrian or Jaspersoft. The difference, of course, if that those folks happen to be pretty vocal. And nowhere more so than on those vendors' own "support" forums. I double-quote the term purposely. Because what you witness on these forums falls far (very far) short of what I consider to be minimally acceptable customer support levels. Now, it's a fact that many people find solace in these communities - after all, given the massive amounts of questions posed there, some are bound to get answered quickly and (hopefully) correctly. And it's a fact that many people achieve success (or some level of it) with open source BI solutions. At what cost, we can only surmise, but clearly... (more)

Oracle Says ‘No Compromise’ on MySQL: Reuters

Mergers & Acquisitions on Ulitzer Oracle has told Reuters that the New York Post story Friday claiming it had offered the European Commission a deal on MySQL is a bunch of baloney. The Post, quoting two unidentified sources, said Oracle proposed to “quarantine” MySQL inside a combined Oracle-Sun to get the European Commission to approve its $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun ahead of a hearing in Brussels Thursday. It said MySQL would be treated as a “separate entity” with a “firewall” between the open source database unit and the rest of Oracle and could even involve a separate board. A Post source said it was “the only way to get the deal done.” According to Reuters an Oracle spokeswoman said, “The New York Post article is completely untrue.” The Post said Oracle did not return its calls ahead of its running the story. Oracle has previously vowed to get the Sun acquisi... (more)

Five Big Data Features in SQL Server

Traditional RDBMS & New Data Processing Over the past two decades relational databases have been most successful in serving large scale OLTP and OLAP applications across enterprises. However, in the past couple of years with the advent of Big Data processing, especially for processing unstructured data coupled with the need for processing massive quantities of data, made the industry to look into Non RDBMS solutions. This has lead into the popularity of NOSQL databases as well as massively parallel processing frameworks. However the traditional RDBMS were quick to react and added several Big Data features as part of their offering so that the enterprises with a heavy investment of traditional RDBMS can have the best of both worlds by properly leveraging these new features. The following sections provide ideas about Big Data features in the popular SQL Server databa... (more)

Open Source 'State of the Union'

Bruce Perens is an established leader in the free software and open source community. As the former leader of the Debian project and the original author of the Open Source Definition he has been deeply involved in the open source community for most of its existence. Bruce was the original trademark holder for the term "Open Source." Along with Eric Raymond, Bruce cofounded the Open Source Initiative, which has become one of the top organizations promoting open source software around the world. Currently Bruce is a consultant specializing in assisting corporations, governments, and standards organizations with open source policy and programs. Bruce is also the series editor of The Bruce Perens' Open Source Series line of books from Prentice Hall PTR publishers. Books in this series are all published under an "open source" copyright – meaning that they can be copie... (more)

From Within the Java Community Process Program

Welcome to the January edition of the JCP column. In the time-honored New Year's tradition of offering a perspective of the past year, I have written a different column on the JCP than in other months. Driven partly by the fifth anniversary milestone and partly by some interesting trends happening around us, I'm taking this opportunity to chat with you about this past year and about what may lie ahead for the Java community in 2004. A Look Back To start with the technology side of things: 2003 saw the J2EE 1.4 JSRs go final. The Executive Committee voted unanimously in favor, thus giving a strong endorsement to this new release of the J2EE technology. This version took about six months longer to complete than planned due to the community's request to wait for the completion of the WS-I Basic Profile and include it in the J2EE 1.4 technology release. The milestone ev... (more)

Software Patents: Mr Linux, Mr MySQL, and Mr PHP Appeal to the EU Council

Here is the full text of the "Appeal to the EU Council" made yesterday by Linus Torvalds, Michael Widenius, and Rasmus Lerdorf, in an attempt to persuade the European Union to exclude software from patentability and thereby, as they put it, "gain a major competitive advantage in the information age." " Appeal to the EU Council by Linus Torvalds, Michael Widenius and Rasmus Lerdorf 23 November 2004 Later this week, on November 25th and 26th, the EU Competitiveness Council will convene and soon attempt to formally adopt a proposed "Directive on the Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions", commonly referred to as the "software patent directive". On May 18th, the Council reached political agreement on a draft legislation, however, did not take a formal decision to adopt it. We urge the governments of the EU member states, which are represented in the EU Coun... (more)