The future of GlassFish

In my previous entry, I discussed some reasons why JavaFX has a future, even within Oracle. I don't intend to discuss every single Sun technology, but the future of GlassFish is also important to me as a developer.

The GlassFish story is slightly different from the JavaFX story, though. Speculations over Oracle's intentions with GlassFish are widely spread on the Internet. I can't tell much about Oracle's plans. It is very unlikely that Larry Ellison will contact me about this. But I do believe that there are good reasons for Oracle to keep funding the GlassFish project.

I believe that there are enough reasons for Oracle to continue or increase GlassFish support, but again, I am not in the Oracle boardroom.

But even if Oracle decides not to continue GlassFish, I am not extremely worried. GlassFish is currently bigger than Sun Microsystems only, it is a whole community. Contrary to JavaFX, the GlassFish code is already completely open sourced. Most of the code contributions indeed come from Sun, but the process is very open. As a non-Sun employee, I can follow the architectural discussions, check the bug reports, read the sub-project one pagers, and I have access to all code. So even without official Oracle support, there is a future for GlassFish.

I hope that the individual GlassFish team members keep working on the GlassFish project. The quality of an open source project is highly dependent on the quality of the individual developers, and the code that is currently in the GlassFish project is some of the best code I have ever seen.


I am not sure abut how to position GlassFish v3 inside this context. GlassFish v3 is more than just the next version of the Reference Implementation of Java EE. The OSGi based modular approach makes GF v3 rather a modular enterprise-grade framework that can be used in different environments, even including mobile devices.

No matter what Oracle decides, I think there are a number of opportunities for GlassFish and the GlassFish Community.

written on 04 May 2009 10:05.

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