Oracle Demostrates Great Community Support and Fixes Eclipse

Every once in a while I am reminded of the lunacy of the Internet, especially headline writers.  On Monday of this week, Oracle released an update to the Java 1.6 update 21 that fixes a problem in a previous version that broke Eclipse.   All the details can be found in the bug or Neil’s good summary.  The good news is that Eclipse is no longer broken!!

The irony however is that the issue just yesterday shows up on Ed Burnette’s ZDNet blog ‘Oracle Rebrands Java, breaks Eclipse‘ and the pillar of all Internet lunacy, slashdot Oracle Java Company Change Beaks Eclipse .   Credit to Ed for actually reporting and testing the fix.  However, the slashdot posting is the following:

crabel writes “In Java 1.6.0_21, the company field was changed from ‘Sun Microsystems, Inc’ to ‘Oracle.’ Apparently not the best idea, because some applications depend on that field to identify the virtual machine. All Eclipse versions since 3.3 (released 2007) until and including the recent Helios release (2010) have been reported to crash with an OutOfMemoryError due to this change. This is particularly funny since the update is deployed through automatic update and suddenly applications cease to work.

No mention the problem has been fixed and wrong on the fact the update was deployed through automatic update; update 21 hadn’t been pushed out yet via automatic update.  Of course the typical slashdot comment ensued, granted some of the comments do point out the reality.  However, as with anything on slashdot, people repeat the headline “Oracle’s Java Company Change Breaks Eclipse” on things like twitter, so the meme continues.  Let me be clear, the problem is fixed:  Oracle Demonstrates Great Community Support and Fixes Eclipse

Eric has already praised Oracle’s response to the situation.  I would like to add my thanks to Oracle for quickly resolving the issue.  I spoke to Oracle about the issue and I can tell you they had already decided to fix it before I spoke with them.  Oracle should be applauded for their response to the bug.  This type of bug could have easily lead to lots of finger pointing but Oracle just did the right thing for the community.  THANK YOU

9 thoughts on “Oracle Demostrates Great Community Support and Fixes Eclipse

  1. You’re right Ian, Oracle deserve nothing but credit for listening to the community and dealing with the situation quickly. It shows that with Oracle, Java is in good hands.


  2. Here Here! I was impressed and pleased when Oracle quickly stepped up and respun u21. We do need a better way to do what we have been doing in the launcher but in the mean time Oracle demonstrated their commitment to their userbase. Thanks!

  3. I am disappointed that Eclipse wasn’t able to fix the problem themselves. The problem isn’t actually fixed. And neither is Eclipse’s ability to get service releases out when needed.

  4. Before the Oracle love-fest continues what process does Oracle follow before issuing a release? Do they test any existing programs out there? Do a beta test? I’m amazed this wasn’t caught before the release.

  5. When I think of it objectively, I find myself asking these two questions:
    1- Why on earth does Eclipse depends on Sun’s JVM? What difference does it make? There should be no difference at all if I used Sun’s JVM, IBM’s, JRocket or any thing else. Looking at it this way, it’s not Oracle’s fault at all. They bought a product and re-branding it. Nothing wrong about it.
    2- Oracle DOES support eclipse and they release tools for Oracle development using Eclipse. Did they do at least a minor test for eclipse before releasing the JDK? Now I wounder how Oracle REALLY support Eclipse.!!

  6. @MElebetagy — Eclipse does work on other JVMs. Different JVMs manage memory differently, and for the case of the Sun VM, some extra args are needed for it to work with all the plugins, etc. If there’s a better way for JVMs to indicate their default memory settings (before startup), I’m sure the community would love to hear about it.

  7. That was a smart move from Oracle, hope the java.exe does’nt get re-branded to Oracle.exe 🙂

  8. Hi Ian, it’s great that Oracle fixed it but unfortunate that they broke it in the first place without even noting it in the release notes. With a little light shining on the issue niw, maybe they will include Eclipse in future release testing.

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