Ellison Hints at Oracle’s Java Priorities: JavaFX-based OpenOffice Apps and Mobile Devices

The new Sun boss put the OpenOffice and JavaFX groups on notice during the JavaOne opening keynote today: Produce some JavaFX libraries for the OpenOffice suite and do it quickly. Larry Ellison, head of the soon-to-be Oracle/Sun Java giant, said: “I’ve been meeting with different groups inside of Sun, and one of the things we’re looking forward to is seeing libraries come out of the OpenOffice group that are JavaFX-based.”

He offered spreadsheet and word-processing programs as the types of JavaFX application he expects. (Never mind that OpenOffice already has a spreadsheet program called Calc and a word processor called Writer.)

The two-hour keynote closed with a symbolic passing of the torch from the old “Chairman of JavaOne,” former Sun CEO Scott McNealy, to the new one, Oracle CEO Ellison. With so much speculation about how the acquisition will shake out for Java, both men had to address the topic for the largely developer audience. But their exchange was carefully worded because the acquisition has not yet been finalized.

As expected, Ellison reiterated Oracle’s commitment to Java (Oracle’s entire middleware stack is 100-percent Java) and twice pledged to expand its investment in Java, which drew applause both times. But his most pointed remarks were the challenge to the OpenOffice and JavaFX groups and later wondering out loud why Sun/Oracle couldn’t produce mobile devices like netbooks or Google and T-Mobile’s G1 phone, all based on the JavaFX platform.

In a setting where Ellison had to be particularly mindful of his words, choosing to declare these challenges publicly provided some insight into where Oracle will place its focus for Sun Java.

For you JavaFX devotees, hearing Ellison put the platform front and center has to be encouraging. At one point, he said: “We’re very committed to seeing JavaFX exploited throughout Oracle and throughout Sun.”


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