Twitter lit up yesterday with the news that Oracle had come out and said Java 8 was going to be late .
In reading the document, I repeatedly stopped and thought ‘this is a pretty nutty piece of rhetoric.‘ It reads like a tortured teenage Dear John letter. ‘I don‘t want to let you down, it‘s me, not you, we know 8 without Lambdas would be a disappointment.‘ Guys, pull yourselves together. In some ways, this is responsible stewardship of the sort you would not expect from Oracle. It has an element of them falling on their sword (admitting the security stuff blew up their plans).
But, another part of me thought ‘hold on a second, the CEO owns a Hawaiian Island and these guys are already throwing down the ‘it‘s just impossible‘ card?‘ Fire one sales guy and I think this project just got back on track (and after the management‘s account of last quarter, you‘d have thought busloads would be dispatched).
Here‘s another idea: I would argue that one of the main advantages of open source is relative elasticity. Here‘s a chance for Oracle to ford the chasm. Why not create a reserve of Java resources that people from anywhere could apply to serve in, like the National Guard, and in times like these, put out a draft call. The people in the reserve would have to go to their bosses and ask for say a month, and then these little militias could do their duty and return to whatever post they were manning before. I know, being both a worker and the boss, I would say yes (to myself, or another team member).
I think this would also be remarkably effective because of the rule we all know about the last 20%. Swarms can be amazingly effective, especially in situations where the navigational vagaries have passed. I really think pushing Java 8 to next year is a major mistake.