Funny: Oracle presentation at Linux Con

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This is funny photo was taken by Jim Campbell at Linux Con in USA last week and he originally posted on his G+.

Oracle attacks Open Source spreading FUD in document addressed to DoD


Oracle is very odd company, they own Open Source projects like Java, MySQL and OpenOffice but instead to develop them they do anything to shut them down.

First they try to cash Java by suing Google for using Java in Android and failed miserable, stopped the development of MySQL and OpenOffice, so MySQL was forked to MariaDB and Open Office was forked to LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice.

Now in this white paper they spread FUD for Open Source trying to convince US government to use their expensive products.

In this document you can read such brilliant statements like:

Open source is not free, nor is it easy to understand the strict legal terms and conditions associated with its use.


Because labor is the largest portion of the costs of an IT project and COTS software is such a small component of the overall lifecycle cost of a program, government officials should carefully assess claims by IT services organizations that promote open source adoption over commercial alternatives.

That is correct, but does the commercial software require less labor to implement project? No! Actually one of the comments below this article in Reddit clears the picture what in practice happens when you use Closed Source software in real project:

Let me preface this by stating that I have nothing inherently against 
commercial or closed software. It's a different business model. I 
prefer Open Source, for a variety of reasons, but I don't consider 
commercial software as much of a sin as people, such as RMS, do. 
I also don't traffic in the broad statements of code, documentation, 
or security quality comparisons between Open and Closed source. "Both" 
sides have examples of warts.
That said, I intensely dislike Oracle (although I do like VirtualBox, 
so there's that). Setting aside their continuing skull-fsck of Sun's 
corpse and sins against Java, my professional interactions with them 
have not been positive.
This is purely anecdotal. So take it FWIW.
I used to work for a DoD contractor. On one project, the requirements 
all-but-mandated the use of Oracle. Technically, we could've used Open 
Source solutions, but the government would've immediately red-flagged 
it for extra scrutiny. Not unreasonable for the type of project we were 
working on. Our project manager's assessment was that, given that we 
received 1/6th of the original budget and 1/3 of the original time to 
develop the system — from architectural specification to prototype — 
avoiding the extra time for evaluation was prudent. So we had to use 
The big tech we used were Oracle WebLogic, Oracle Service Bus, Oracle 
Database, and, of course, Java. There were other subsystems we used, 
but those were noise in the system. We determined that we needed some 
expertise to help us with the system, so we started asking for Oracle 
consultants. It took, and I am not exaggerating, 4 months to get Oracle 
consultants to meet with us. And when they were sent over, they were 
more salesmen than experts in the technology stacks. They basically 
tried to sell us more Oracle tech and failed to answer our detailed 
technical questions. My colleagues and I derived 0-benefit from that 
So, we set about learning the tech ourselves — we had deadlines to meet. 
We'd actually been doing it for those 4 months before the Oracle meeting,
but it would have been much faster had we been provided with someone to 
initially hold our hands. It would have saved me hours of time tracing 
through WebLogic internals to discover bugs. I can't recall how many 
conflicting pieces of documentation I came across trying to get Oracle's 
"Integrated Stack" to... uh... integrate. It was also fun when my 
colleague compiled his classes with Java 7 (WebLogic was only running 
on Java 6 at the time). That was a day well spent — not Oracle's fault, 
but better error messages would've helped.
In the meantime, we continued to try to get some expert Oracle support. 
The government finally provided us a guy from a consulting company that 
came highly recommended for Oracle work. My colleague and I, the two 
leads on the project and customer facing employees, corresponded with him 
remotely at first. We communicated what we needed help with, and planned 
to meet up on our next trip out to our sponsor. In the meantime, he 
produced weekly reports to the government sponsor indicating that he was 
progressing on the stuff we needed.
When we arrived, he asked us to clarify a few things for him. So we 
sketched out the ideas for him, he drew some pretty diagrams — anyone 
who's worked with OSB would probably recognize the big horizontal cylinder 
in the middle that says "OSB (magic happens here)" — and told us he'd come
back the next day with some examples.
The next day, he was hours late. When he arrived, he didn't have the 
examples he promised. To cut out a bunch of hemming and hawing, and to 
paraphrase him, "He had to learn the technology first." This was a guy 
billed to the government as an expert consultant in OSB. He should've been 
able to whip something out in his sleep.
At this point, we'd had enough with trying to get support. We'd already 
gotten major components of the system working through painful efforts 
wrestling Oracle technology stacks into submission. The only thing we 
needed we OSB to communicate between a couple of components.
My colleague, who was an Aviation PhD, but not a computer scientist, 
software engineer, or programmer, was so pissed off that he sat down for 
8 hours straight and taught himself how to get OSB doing what we needed 
it to do. This was in a lab with no outside internet connection, so this 
was no small feat. This Oracle consultant continued to produce reports and 
continued to get paid, because "he was contracted to do it." We largely 
ignored him for the remainder of the project.
We wound up delivering the project — minus some features — on time and on 
budget. At least, according to the government.
I now work in the private sector. I am the tech lead for my project at 
work, and I have integrated many of the lessons learned from those days. 
But, when I think back to that project, I am convinced that we could have 
used Open Source software to achieve the same — or better — end result 
with a fraction of the ass-pain, in less time, and at a lower cost.
Oracle is right, Engineering time is the single most costly part of a 
project. Licensing costs, even at Oracle scale, are a pittance compared 
to the cost of a Engineering time. So, from a direct cost perspective, 
the cost savings from open source vs commercial source are simply noise.
But the engineering time needed to work with commercial technologies — 
specifically Oracle — probably far outstrips that required for Open Source 
solutions. For every single piece of Oracle tech we used, there was an 
Open Source alternative. They had shortcomings, sure, but those tend to be 
acknowledged in Open Source projects. Rather than the "Rah-rah, we are the 
solution to everything" style of Oracle.
As I said, this is anecdotal. You can disagree with it if you want. I'm 
sure there are nits to pick.
TL;DR — Used Oracle tech working for DoD contractor. Had bad experience.

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