Sunday May 13, 2007

SeeBeyond serendipity

You never know what you get when you buy a company. Sun bought SeeBeyond to get an integration system, and it turns out that one of the best things they got, without knowing it at the time, was something that had nothing to do with integration: the F3 graphics scripting language, now known as JavaFX Script. Just announced at JavaOne, it is a whole new direction for Sun, competing directly with Flash and Silverlight.

F3 was originally developed by SeeBeyond's own Chris Oliver and the small group he headed, including Ricardo Rocha, and it's a tribute to both SeeBeyond and Sun that they were willing to stick with the project when another company might have written it off. It's great to be part of an outfit that is willing to take a chance on seemingly crazy ideas, and to keep supporting the people who dream them up, even when some of them fail.

More prosaically, Sun took a chance with its recent half price sale, which had the unintended bad effect of alienating our channel partners. But Sun recovered quickly, soothed the channel, Jonathan apologized, and life went on without recriminations. To my mind, Sun's encouragement of risk-taking ideas is one of its greatest strengths.

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davidleetodd

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