In his blog this morning, Jonathan announced that Sun is changing its stock symbol from SUNW to JAVA. Totally bizarre from a geek vantage point, but totally sensible in terms of marketing and brand awareness. It's been quite a road from a small group of malcontents to todays mission-critical systems. Java has changed Sun, and Sun has changed Java (for example, we had a lot to learn from the Solaris crowd about testing and quality). It keeps feeling like the fun has only just begun.

This is a terrible move (a terrible idea as well !). I don't see how it is good for anyone (and very bad to people outside of Sun that care about Java).

Java is a trademark of Sun, so they are free to do this. But with OpenJDK getting more and more important int the open source world, this is a bit like if Linux created a Linux company, and gave it a stock ticker of LINUX (assuming 5 chars allowed on some future exchange). Confusing ? yes. Helpful? Not to anyone whatsoever.

Unfortunately its not April 1.

Still it is just a stock ticker. But WHY?

Posted by Michael Neale on August 23, 2007 at 08:45 AM PDT #

(Obviously in previous post I meant "Linus created a Linux company" !).

Posted by Michael Neale on August 23, 2007 at 08:50 AM PDT #

I've already moaned on Jonathan's blog, and I'm going to do it here too.

Terrible idea.
It cheapens that java brand and completely discredits the idea of Java as a community asset.

It's amazing how every time Sun looks like it's learning how to do business again you go and flush it all down the toilet with stupid moves like this.

Posted by Tim Vernum on August 23, 2007 at 02:21 PM PDT #

I have to agree. This is a really terrible idea. It completely undermines all of the work that the community outside of Sun has put into making Java what it is today. It's as if Sun is trying to take credit for everything. And in the process, they are alienating the rest of the Java community who has contributed so much to making Java what it is.

Posted by guest on August 24, 2007 at 12:10 AM PDT #

So you really think this is a smart Marketing move? Seems like Sun never learns to get the Marketing right. I can only join the folks who think this is a bad idea for the many reasons already detailed in Jonathan Schwartz' blog.

Posted by Christian Schlichtherle on August 24, 2007 at 01:01 AM PDT #

"this is a bit like if Linus created a Linux company, and gave it a stock ticker of LINUX"

NSADAQ symbols are usually 4 characters, and Sourceforge, Inc. already has LNUX.

Posted by Michael on August 24, 2007 at 02:49 AM PDT #


Posted by erickson on August 24, 2007 at 02:59 AM PDT #

It is one of the most dumb marketing ideas Sun ever had - and Sun had a lot of dumb ones. It also hurts Java.

Yes, it sends a message. But not a good one.

Posted by Son Ying on August 24, 2007 at 03:23 AM PDT #

Makes no sense whatsoever - a crazy move for Sun.

Posted by David on August 24, 2007 at 03:48 AM PDT #

Even from a geek vantage point this is not bizarre, this is Sun marketing business as usual (JDK, J2SE, JSE, SunONE, iPlanet, Sun-Java-System-Webserver etc. etc. etc. etc.) Do people really get paid for such nonsense?

Posted by Karl Peterbauer on August 24, 2007 at 03:57 AM PDT #

People are blogging about a ticker symbol? I think the Sun marketing department seems to be doing its job just fine. I say we rename Java to SunW

Posted by B.E. on August 24, 2007 at 07:23 AM PDT #

Bad move. Confusing.
'It keeps feeling like the fun has only just begun.'


And this is shocking!
'Sun is blessed to have built two of the best known brands on the internet. The Java brand, and OpenOffice (and its cousin, StarOffice).'

Is SUN a M$ wannabe?

Posted by guest on August 24, 2007 at 07:31 AM PDT #

Sun might have some great engineers, but they have stupid marketing people. Once again a sign that Java is still not truly open source, in the traditional buttom-up sence. Sun is sitting heavily on the spec, the JCP and the name.

Posted by guest on August 24, 2007 at 09:02 AM PDT #


Whats your problem with Microsoft?


Why should Java be truly open source? I don't want to see that. Not that I am against open source but I am afraid what those gnu/linux people could do to Java. Those kind of people tend to make things hard to use, sometimes its better, better performance, but most of the time there is nothing you win, you can only lose.

Posted by Evert Tigchelaar jr on August 24, 2007 at 09:55 PM PDT #

But would you agree, that there is a lot of design-by-committee (who-are-unaware-of-other-committees) going on in Java? When you look at 100% top-down controlled languages, i.e. C# and Python, there is far more consistency, coherency and productivity to be gained. The other camp, purely bottom-up driven, achieve much the same quality by either adhering to an existing standard (Mono) or adopting an agile perspective where backwards compatibility isn't set in stone (PHP etc.).
Java is somewhere in between, not really ideal for anyone here 15 years after it was conceived. What I think Sun is really afraid of, is that IBM comes in to take over. After all, Sun could've killed .NET by going open source a long time ago.

Posted by guest on August 24, 2007 at 10:09 PM PDT #


Yes, there are comittee who are not aware or not fully areware of what others are working on, but thats the same for projects in the open source world. I don't see that if Sun would open source Java earlyer that .NET would be killed by now.
I think there there would be a bigger change that it would killed Java instead.

Allowing people to change or improve code by open sourcing can be good but there must stay good contol over the hole process to prevent that there will be to mutch different forks. This is very importand especialy for a programming language with the size of Java.

Posted by Evert Tigchelaar jr on August 25, 2007 at 02:56 AM PDT #

Then we just disagree. I happen to put question mark regarding the timing of the open sourcing also in light of the tremendous pace Mono is gaining growth in the Linux space - another market where Java did not really succeed (only EE containers anyway).

Posted by guest on August 26, 2007 at 03:33 AM PDT #

Could someone explain why they think this is a bad idea (rather than just stating it)? Tx

Posted by Hayden Jones on August 26, 2007 at 10:39 PM PDT #

I am the new Blogger here.I wanna a serious complete AJAX demo for my practise

Posted by Tanmoy Chakraborty on August 27, 2007 at 09:06 PM PDT #

It is not a bad idea. And that definitely would not affect Java project itself. Java became a recognizable brand and Sun is the originator of Java. So, what's the problem? I could oppose if Microsoft would change their stock symbol to Java, but Sun has the background for that move.

Posted by Nikita Kayurov on August 28, 2007 at 11:33 AM PDT #

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