Jeremy Allison of the Samba fame wrote an interesting blog post about Sun’s approach to open source participatory development, followed by Bradley Kuhn’s bad opinion of Oracle’s attitude towards open source.
Oracle’s plans for open source are probably not detailed enough to score, but looking at history is always instructive.
Mike Olson’s experience with Oracle sounds positive in regards of BerkleyDB future.
Many open source projects “made in Sun” are not competing with Oracle’s products and Oracle will evaluate if they worth the money. The ones competing with Oracle’s products (e.g. Sun Open SSO) are not even mentioned in Oracle’s list of open source projects.
Listening to Michael Bemmer - formerly Director of Engineering for OpenOffice/StarOffice and Communication team and now GM at the Oracle Office Global Business Unit - reiterating that Oracle will remain OpenOffice.org’s main contributor, doesn’t say much.
Oracle to succeed where Sun Microsystems failed - i.e. engaging with the community and turning open source investments into profits - needs to define and implement viable open source strategies for those projects. I believe they can, let’s see how Oracle will move forward in the future.